In this diverse collection of categories related to church history, several things stand out clearly as trends. First, there is growing interest in denominational studies. Over the past few decades with the stress on merger and bigness, one would perhaps have expected individual Christian distinctives to have disappeared. Such was not the case. The call to abandon distinctives caused people to look at them more closely, and to discover that they really did mean something after all. The result is that today histories of denominations, biographies of founders, doctrinal studies, and periods of time are being looked at carefully, from a denominational point of view.
Second, the relation of Christianity to the arts is being explored in a new and creative way by evangelicals. There has been something of the world denier in evangelical thought in times past; today, however, a serious attempt is being made to look at how music, art, literature, aesthetics, and architecture relate to the basic Christian message. It is as if to say, this is our Father’s world and all that may be used in the interest of our Father’s business is a legitimate concern for the believer.
Third, the place of the pulpit is receiving attention once more. Gimmicks have failed, fads have come and gone, but the needs of the congregation have remained. How to meet those needs is an increasing concern to the evangelical community, as it takes a new look at effective preaching. Every preacher asks himself somewhere along the line, What good does all this preaching do? Attention is now being directed to that question, and there are some good answers being given.
Fourth, the problem of Israel won’t go away. This is not news, of course, but this fact stands out clearly ...1
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