Vision Quest

Seven challenges face the church as it enters a new millennium. How will we respond?Guest editorial by Jay Kesler, president of Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.

The burden of leadership is to plan and prepare for something impossible to know—the future. But while we may not know the details, the general character of future challenges are clear. Following, as a companion to CT Institute essays beginning on page 20, are the issues evangelicals must face.

1. Privatization and entrepreneurship. The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers does not imply that each believer is to set up a god shop with himself or herself as the sole proprietor. We must infuse biblical, fiscal, moral, and social accountability into evangelicalism. Every disagreement must not be allowed to express itself in the formation of a new church or movement. Far too much is at stake in the church to allow narrow motives and thoughtless passions to rule. Since no ecclesiastical or civil organization can enforce accountability in our pluralistic democracy, we must encourage it on a voluntary basis and pray the Holy Spirit to guide congregations to demand, at minimum, New Testament standards and structures.

2. Biotechnology and human responsibility. Between the excuses, “You are not wrong, God made you what you are” and “You are not wrong, society has shaped what you are,” much of what once brought about conviction and repentance has been lost in the evangelical church. In many settings, the therapeutic approach has replaced the call to conversion. This complex and ambiguous situation must be patiently, compassionately, and biblically addressed before we sink into a quagmire of false compassion.

We are in the midst of a sophisticated political, ...

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