Periodical Reviews -- By: Anonymous

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 141:562 (Apr 1984)
Article: Periodical Reviews
Author: Anonymous

Periodical Reviews

“Do We Need That Organization?” Christian Leadership Letter, October 1983, pp. 1-3.

Sponsored by World Vision, this newsletter is edited by Ted. W. Engstrom and Edward R. Dayton, presumably the authors of this article. The discussion was prompted by a friend’s note about the “proliferation of new organizations” and his thoughts concerning their justification.

The reality of the proliferation of new organizations is demonstrated by statistics from “the 12th edition of the Mission Handbook (1980).” Fifty-five new agencies were begun from 1900 through 1919 and 235 new agencies were started from 1960 through 1979. In addition, of the “714 agencies listed in 1979, over half had an income of less than $100,000.” Half the reported income of all the agencies was reported by only 25 agencies. These statistics seem to underscore needless proliferation and perpetuation.

The reasons for the proliferation are sometimes suspect. The friend wrote, “Sometimes I fear the new organization starts because the leader could not work well with others and had to be the head of his or her own thing.” He raised the question, “How many can the Church support?” The authors conclude that “one can have a sneaking suspicion that more are formed than should be, and that it might help things if more of them failed.”

Another side to the story exists, however. Some of the newer agencies have made a vital contribution to the spread and impact of the Christian faith in the world—Wycliffe Bible Translators, Campus Crusade for Christ, and even Dallas Theological Seminary, for example. Again the authors conclude, “Evidently we need a continual influx of

new ideas and new organisms.” They also point out, “It would be foolish to attempt to discover some hard and fast guidelines by which one could tell whether or not an organization [is] an effective part of God’s kingdom.”

As a possible restraint as well as a help to prospective promoters of new organizations the authors discuss five problems frequently faced by new organizations and 14 points of counsel to consider before launching a new work. These suggestions are appropriate for any individual as well as any enterprise. They include “Seek counsel…Plan well…Pray much…Be accountable.” These guidelines can also help Christians analyze and evaluate organizations they are considering supporting with prayer, finances, and/or service.

“Inerrancy: What Does It Mean?” Kenneth S. Kantzer, Euangelical Beacon, December 15, 1983, pp. 8-10.

The author begins with the statement, “Evangel...

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