How stands the church in 1979? Such people as Harvard theologian Krister Stendahl, national pollster George Gallup, missions leader David Howard, and Catholic bishop Thomas Kelly have their opinions. So do pastors in places like Waka, Texas, and Nappanee, Indiana. They were among the respondents to this CHRISTIANITY TODAY survey, designed to show where the church “is at” as we enter a new year.

News assistant John Maust traveled the nation by telephone and post, asking persons at all levels of church ministry two questions: What is your greatest concern for the church today, and how might the church begin to deal with that concern in the coming year?

We could not publish all the responses in the space available, but representatives for varying concerns are included. Similar subjects are grouped together first and then other views are grouped according to the ministry or profession of the respondents.

CHRISTIANITY TODAY readers aren’t expected to agree with every observation that follows. We chose people who would represent points on the theological spectrum—from Dwain Epps of the World Council of Churches to soul-conscious conservative John R. Rice. The editors want to challenge readers to ask themselves, Where should the church be headed in 1979?

‘Letting The World Set Our Agenda …’

Charles Keysor, editor of Good News magazine, a publication of the evangelical movement of the same name within the United Methodist Church.

Christianity is being modified to accommodate the fads of our culture. Rather than “leaning against” the consensus, as Francis Schaeffer puts it, we are letting the world set our agenda. In the mainline denominations, this can be seen in the uncritical endorsement ...

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