The decade of the seventies has been laid to rest and already seems far behind us. What the eighties will bring we can only guess.
The sixties saw revolt against tradition and the establishment; the seventies represented the “me” generation. Some predict the eighties will be a decade of experience-centered religion and individual privatization in American life. Others warn that the eighties will see a move toward a secularization of Western society in which religion at best will be tolerated as a tool of the good life, and a new humanism will dominate the scene. Still others warn us of an inevitable oil crisis, of increased international tension, of crushing burdens from the arms race, and of the awful probability of a nuclear holocaust.
Evangelicals must accept their responsibility to bring “salt and light” into this troubled world. They can work and pray for mankind’s good, while they bear faithful, loving witness to the Savior, who alone can bring ultimate good to our sinful human race.
Two of the most exciting areas in this turbulent world are Africa and China: Africa, because in one generation that continent is moving from being a helpless infant among the peoples of the world to full maturity; and China, because the world’s most populous nation though tightly closed to the gospel and antagonistic to the Christian message—is now ever so slightly opening its doors anew to a guarded toleration of the Christian faith. In this issue Tim Stafford gives a Westerner’s first impressions of modern Africa, while Ralph Covell presents a veteran missionary’s assessment of the China situation.
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