A renaissance of spiritual vitality has begun to infect some major denominations at the grassroots and is slowly spreading upward.

There is a growing orthodox presence and influence in major denominations today, but many evangelicals seem to be unaware of it. The liberal momentum has halted, and dynamic ministries are developing in many churches. It is a new day.

Of course, theological liberals dominate denominational structures, and nonevangelicals almost completely control official schools. The emphases and programs of the boards and agencies are usually to the left of center theologically, politically, and socially. Church school literature often fails to keep faith with a denomination’s historic doctrines. Many conservative ministers face discrimination and prejudice.

But there is an evangelical renaissance taking place within the so-called mainline denominations. Lloyd Ogilvie, senior pastor of Hollywood Presbyterian church, recently predicted that during the 1980s, the life and vigor of the parachurch movements will invade these mainline churches.

A growing percentage of ministers receive their seminary training in evangelical schools of theology. For instance, Asbury Theological Seminary, an independent Wesleyan school, now trains more pastors for the United Methodist denomination than any official denominational seminary. Fuller, Gordon-Conwell, Trinity Evangelical, and Oral Roberts schools of theology are growing dramatically and making a notable impact on mainline churches as an increasing number of their ministerial candidates attend these institutions. Some authorities estimate that 40 percent of the ministerial candidates in the United Methodist church are currently trained outside the denominational schools. The ...

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