Missions at Risk--A Failure of Nerve
Author, Speaker, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
America's evangelical Christians are facing a critical testing-time in the twenty-first century. Among the most important of the tests we now face is the future of missions, and our faithfulness to the Great Commission. At a time of unprecedented opportunity, will our zeal for world missions slacken?
Just as doors of opportunity are opening around the world, the Church seems to be losing its voice. A virtual re-paganization of Western culture is occurring, indicating that the failure of the American Church is evident at home as well as abroad. What is the root issue?
At base, the issue is a failure of theological nerve--a devastating loss of biblical and doctrinal conviction. The result is retreat on the mission fields of the world and regression on the home front. Since the middle of the last century, the mainline Protestant denominations have been withdrawing from the missionary enterprise, some even declaring a "moratorium" on the sending of missionaries charged to preach the Gospel. Among these denominations, the total missionary force is now a fraction of that during the 1950s, and many of those who remain on the fields have been assigned duties far removed from conversionist witness.