After reading our lead article, the CHRISTIANITY TODAY audience may wonder what it all means. Respondents to “What is your greatest concern for the church today?” provide many ideas, but no answer predominated.

A number of valid concerns surfaced from the diversity of response. Among them were the renewed emphasis on evangelism, greater commitment to social programs, and development of family life. In addition, the style of ministry did not always predetermine the response. For example, Denny Rydberg, iconoclastic editor of The Wittenburg Door, and Billy Melvin, something of an establishment spokesman as executive director of the National Association of Evangelicals, both said that the church must avoid its compromise with culture. Metropolitan superchurch pastor Robert Schuller said the church needs the renewal of its laity, as did a smalltown Indiana pastor.

That many of the answers were quite predictable was a sidelight to the article. John R. Rice—who keeps tabulations on converts produced through his Sword of the Lord newspaper—wanted greater emphasis on soul-winning. Jim Wallis, editor of Sojourners magazine and a social activist, said the church should focus its efforts on social programs. World Council of Churches official Duane Epps wanted greater unity among church bodies.

To some readers, such predictability might smack of an overall trend in America—a trend Newsweek called “Single Issue Politics.” The writer said that Americans today are pushing their own pet issues, while ignoring other important, but unrelated, concerns. Proposition 13 activists, for example, might mobilize for or against a political candidate depending solely upon that candidate’s stand on tax cuts. It may not matter whether the man has an impressive ...

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