Nothing Fails Like Success!
“The Media’s” Opposition to Evangelical Christianity Is Indelible Evidence of Its Success!
I consider it astounding and tragic that American Christians find it so difficult to keep track of the overall “score” of the expanding force of the worldwide followers of Christ. In country after country the Christian movement is not only so virile (but is getting so big) that it is having even political consequences, in either the right or the wrong ways.
But in America we don't know a lot of things because our information is so “processed” before it gets to us. This is getting sinister.
Tony Campolo has said, “There is a revival going on in the world, and the reason you have not heard of it is because you live in America.” Good people who love the Lord and His church are simply cut off from the kind of information which flows so freely through this Center.
At a conference in Texas (see editorial), a woman showed me an article about Guatemala from the June 15th New York Times. It admits the overwhelming growth of evangelical Christianity, but adds, ominously, that perhaps evangelicals are so law-abiding that “they become an opiate, dulling the people's sense of grievance,” paraphrasing Karl Marx.
Soviet Union, China
Has the authentic Christian core in the Soviet Union become an opiate, or has it been all along a salt and light? Has the Christian movement in China become an opiate, dulling the senses of people, or keeping them alive with hope non-Christians can never understand? Whenever faithful Christians will not take to violence, those who can't recruit them call them an opiate.
When push came to shove in China recently, I don't think Christians were incinerating government vehicles full of soldiers, and I don't think the soldiers acting wildly against civilians were Christians, either. What our media seem forever disposed to print is a black-and-white picture, with all the good guys on one side. Mobs are not easy to control in any country (witness Venezuela and Argentina in the past few weeks). It was Deng Xiaopeng’s own son who is a permanent cripple (thrown out of a second story window by a youthful mob of Red Guards)—who said youth are gentle?
Visit This Prison!
I was moved with horror when I first heard the testimony condensed on pages 9-11. We cannot name the country or the missionary, but it will give you a new awareness of conditions in many countries. This is a full-blown example of what Patrick Johnstone is talking about in the timely reminder which follows. As Patrick says, the countdown to 2000, if we give it all we have, will be a costly enterprise.
For the first time we have a page of news for Korean-Americans, contributed by Dr. David Kim, a professor at Washington Bible College and pastor of a large Korean congregation in the suburbs of Baltimore. Here is another report that is “hard to believe” about the durability of the Christian movement.
Prayer is WAR
John Piper's active congregation in Minneapolis knows his moving words here (pp. 15-18) are gloriously true of his own life. Are you ready for this kind of warfare?
The Highest Strategy!
One of the few Westerners to be invited to the Third World missions meeting described on page 19, Dale Kietzman, executive vice-president of our university, has worked closely with this budding movement for many years. Now we see the official, world-level flowering of a new organization that may well outrank in strategic value all others in the countdown to AD 2000!
Maybe you'd better order three to begin with (at the special more-than-fifty-percent discount), and then when you see it you will no doubt place a further order before this limited run is exhausted. Working night and day for weeks (getting it ready for the huge Manila conference—Lausanne II), the Global Mapping team here has now added the final graphics to this truly amazing atlas (see pp. 28-29).
Nothing like this has ever existed, combining advanced research data on a global level with sensitive evangelical interpretations and marvelous art work. What a joy! What an impressive gift—to your mission committee, church library, pastor, favorite seminarian, to show to your mission-minded friends…
Countdown to AD 2000
This is the title of the book, finally out, edited by Thomas Wang, telling of the moving and shaking that is gathering momentum to achieve the gloriously possible by the year 2000. It is the official compendium of the Singapore January 5-8 conference we have talked so much about. I have called this “the meeting of the Century,” and I'm not taking back those words. This book, too, may run out if you don't get it right now. Packed with solid inspiration and surprise!