The Evangelical and Today’s World -- By: Hudson T. Armerding

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 122:485 (Jan 1965)
Article: The Evangelical and Today’s World
Author: Hudson T. Armerding

The Evangelical and Today’s World

Hudson T. Armerding

[Hudson T. Armerding, President, Wheaton College, Wheaton, Illinois.]

The world today demands our attention. Possibly in other generations it may have been an option to ignore it. But this choice is denied us, if indeed we as Christians legitimately ever had such an option. It is well that this is so when we recognize the critical nature of the contemporary scene.

Futhermore, the compelling circumstances of life today are not only more insistent in their demands upon our attention; they are also of greater magnitude. Who among us has not pondered the implications of the fact that our world population, which today stands at more than three billion, may by the year 2,000 be six billion. A recent study by the Fund for the Advancement of Education suggests that in the United States alone the population will rise from 179.3 million in 1960 to 285 million by 1985. Thus in the span of 25 years the people to whom many of you will be ministering will have increased by approximately 100 million. Beyond our shores we are faced with a demographic giant in China, which in one century has nearly doubled its population and may soon be the first nation to number one billion. As members of the white race, we are faced with the possibility of a minority status far more threatening than our fathers would have imagined.

This concern is, of course, directly related to the amazing revolution in communications which links us ever more closely with the peoples of the world. And this linkage cannot but have major implications in the sensitive area of international relations. In the nearly twenty years since the United Nations

were formed in San Francisco, the membership has more than doubled. Such growth is part of the curious phenomenon of a world shrinking and fragmenting at the same time, with racial and national loyalties vigorously challenging the proposition that there should be allegiance given to the world community. In fact, cultural and racial ties in Asia and Africa—or even as seen in the Black Muslim movement in the United States—seem increasingly important as people of the world strive for identification and self realization. Indeed, this poses as much a threat to world communism as it does to world democracy or federalism, as the recent struggles between Kruschev and Mao-tse-tung made clear; and in the West in a smaller way there is a bitter nationalist struggle between Greek and Turk on the Island of Cyprus. These events would seem to confirm a remark attributed to Sir John Angell: “Political nationalism has become…more important than civilization, humanity, decency, kindness, pity; more important than life itsel...

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