by David J. Hesselgrave
It’s a cliche, but it’s also a fact: we live in challenging times. A major part of the challenge lies in sorting out challenges.
It’s a cliche, but it’s also a fact: we live in challenging times. A major part of the challenge lies in sorting out challenges. My desk is loaded with appeals from organizations meeting spiritual, physical, and social needs. All of the appeals are valid. There are also movements and ideologies that are inimical to God’s truth. But between these extremes are a host of appeals, causes, and concerns that are mixed. They exhibit desirable and undesirable, or, at least questionable, elements.
Causes falling into these three general categories constitute different challenges. In the case of altogether worthy appeals, I must determine which good among many effects the greatest good and merits my support. When, on the other hand, ungodly forces are at work, I must decide which evil constitutes the greatest evil and requires my attention.
In some ways, the greatest challenge comes from evaluating the mixed causes. This is because their desirable aspects are not good in an ethical, moral, or spiritual sense, nor are the undesirable elements evil. In part, my response must be based on history and my projection of outcomes. The appeal from some fellow evangelicals, who attended last summer’s Sixth Assembly of the World Council of Churches held in Vancouver, to join the WCC is a case in point. I applaud some recent statements from WCC leaders. But I seriously doubt that their statements signal a commitment to the full authority of Scripture and a turn from a socio-political interpretation of mission.
When it comes to our appeal to evangelical professors of missions to wholeheartedly join with us in the AEPM, that appeal can safely be placed in the first category above. There is no ambiguity about the doctrinal basis and Great Commission goals of the organization. More than that, there is no other such association of missions professors, all of whom are avowedly evangelical.
With that in mind, read carefully J. Herbert Kane’s brief article, "Let’s Keep the AEPM Going." It complements Donald McGavran’s similar appeal in the January issue of EMQ. Also, you will be interested in the article by Norman Allison, in which he deals with the content and purpose of a course in religious belief systems.
All evangelical professors of missions should be sure that September 24-28 is marked on their calendar. Those are the dates of our triennial meeting with the IFMA and the EFMA, to be held at the U.S. Center for World Mission in Pasadena. We are planning a significant program. Details will be in the next issue of EMQ.
If you want more information about the AEPM, write to me or to Ray Tallman at Moody Bible Institute. Ask for our new fact sheet, "Information Concerning the Association of Evangelical Professors of Missions." We will be happy to send you as many copies as you need.
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