Some issues are like that! We were all ready to go to press with this one—some articles had already been sent to the printer, and even the editorial was ready to go. Then, one by one, our nicely laid plans began to disintegrate.
First, public interest over Billy Graham’s trip to Moscow was rising. Evangelicals were deeply concerned about potential dangers as well as the unbelievable opportunities. So we asked Billy if we might run his entire speech at the nuclear arms conference.
Then we remembered that this month marks the tenth anniversary of the Watergate break-in. But anniversaries can’t be shoved around at will; you have to take them when they come. And Chuck Colson could do an article for us. So another reshuffle devastated our layout.
And then Cameron Townsend died. We were going to run Philip Yancey’s article on Townsend later, but decided we would rather join the heavenly party (in absentia) now and rejoice with them at the homegoing of this dear saint and missionary statesman. If this was God’s timing, we figured we had better adjust to it.
Finally, the press coverage of Billy Graham’s Moscow trip made us angry enough to toss out the beautiful editorial on which I had worked so long and hard, and we sought instead to set the record straight.
You would never recognize the June-issue-that-used-to-be. Besides the regular columns, all you would find are the China articles and Congressman Dannemeyer’s call for “honesty in government.” It is important to remind ourselves on national holidays like July 4 that moral integrity lies at the foundation of Christian patriotism. We do not love “our country right or wrong.” We love it so much we want to do all we can to make it right. And in a nation like the United States, there ...1
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