At the close of every decade, this magazine declares what it believes the future holds, with the caveat that no one really knows what the future holds. It is no trivial exercise: how we see the future determines how we see our duties in the present.
Fortunately there are few laughable moments in Christianity Today's four decades of predicting. Because we have seen ourselves as defenders of a historical faith, our concerns for the future have been remarkably stable. Our agenda for today's tomorrow looks much the same as it did in the past: to win the lost for Christ. "We evangelicals must cast aside our ghetto complex and advance actively into the contemporary battle for the minds of men and women," we argued in 1981.
In fact, Billy Graham's diagnosis of evangelicalism at the founding of this magazine remains relevant: "We seem to be confused, bewildered, divided, and almost defeated in the face of the greatest opportunity and responsibility, possibly in the history of the church." Though the specifics may have shifted since Graham's 1955 speech, evangelicals are still confused about their role in society, divided as a body, and even bewildered about what evangelical means.
These issues will only intensify as evangelicalism moves into a post-Graham era. Though the Christianity Today of 2099 may discuss how best to evangelize a post-post-postmodern society or how Generation Z's grandchildren will "change the face of the church," our concerns for the future of biblical Christianity will likely be the same.
New world order
Tribalism and economic globalism will jeopardize the multinational church. That the future heart of evangelical Christianity lies more in Nairobi and Seoul than Wheaton and Colorado Springs is no prediction; it ...1
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