Central America is a narrow strip of land beset by immense problems; our series of on-the-scene reports from several of its nations captures some of the conflict. The entire region is experiencing a violent political and ideological struggle, and evangelical Christians—sometimes in spite of themselves—are in the thick of it. Each believer’s response may affect his lifestyle, his worldly goods, his life, and even his ministry for Christ and the church.

Assistant news editor John Maust, just back from a three-month study leave in Costa Rica, chronicles recent events at Latin America Biblical Seminary in San José—a school noted for its evangelical tradition, but which now faces compromise by liberation theology. In hours of interviews, Maust encountered a recurring suspicion: Was this seminary, like so many of its sister institutions in the North, caving in from liberal pressure around it to repudiate its evangelical and Protestant heritage? Or, was this going to be another North American misinterpretation of a Latin church trying to be both evangelical and truly Latin? The picture that unfolds is terribly complex and confusing even to the church in Central America. Our prayer for the Latino church is that it will find the true balance of faith that is both culturally relevant and fully obedient to Holy Scripture, the only infallible rule for faith and life.

In accordance with its policy to tackle the really tough issues, CHRISTIANITY TODAY also includes articles here on church discipline and biogenetic manipulation. The former is an old problem on which the Bible has much to say. Evangelicals agree that it is the clear duty of the church to exercise discipline; they just don’t do it. Mark Littleton explains why they don’t, and offers some practical suggestions as to how it can be done in obedience to the Bible.

Even tougher are the moral choices raised by genetic manipulation. The science is so new that we have not yet discovered the nature and extent of the problems it poses. With great clarity, Fay Angus explores its terrifying possibilities. Here, too, the biblical doctrine of man and creation guides us; but it does not relieve us of diligent research or responsible decisions. Rather, it drives us to more faithful interpretation of Scripture and more rigorous application of biblical truth to what is clearly one of the most delicate problems that will face the Christian during the next generation.

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