National Association of Evangelicals

Adrian Rogers ended with a flourish, much as he would in his 11,000-member Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee. “If you’re going to heaven,” he preached, “you’re not going on the ladder of logic, or the rocket of reason, but on the railroad of redemption—the old T & O, Trust and Obey.”

Rogers’s opening night address set the tone for the 37th annual convention of the National Association of Evangelicals. At an ultra-modern hotel near Orlando, Florida, over 900 conferees heard old-time preaching and emphasized the gospel fundamentals of salvation and evangelism—all built around the theme, “Jesus Christ: Now More Than Ever.”

A position paper, adopted by the assembly, explained that in today’s “dangerous world, with its economic, political, and moral ills, Christ alone offers an ‘answer.’ ” NAE pledged itself to an evangelistic concern for the world’s 2.9 billion unreached peoples, including the 80 million unchurched and 60 million inactive church members in the United States.

Reiterating those themes during conference addresses were morning Bible study leader Bruce Dunn, a Peoria, Illinois, Presbyterian pastor and radio broadcaster; Warren Webster, general director of the Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society; and Paul Smith, pastor of People’s Church, Toronto, one of the largest evangelical churches in Canada.

Some delegates complained privately that the two-day conference lacked the “intellectual challenge” of previous years. But NAE executive director of twelve years Billy Melvin, who said convention themes are varied from year to year to provide a “rhythm,” felt good about the program. “It’s been a long time since we’ve had some real Bible teaching and been challenged to ...

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