Table of Contents
Here in the west, things are not what they once were. The West was once considered the hub of Christendom, but it is no longer. One leading Latin American theologian, Samuel Escobar, deals with the need for the West to be re-evangelized by the Church of Jesus Christ in his book The New Global Mission of the Church. He states that we must adopt a “missionary stance” in relation to our culture for we have become “resident aliens‘” here. This proposal seems extreme to some, especially those who have been living under the illusion that that things are getting better all the time. However Samuel Escobar’s comment from 2003 is an echo of days gone by.
In 1971 Fundley Edge dealt with the need for some thing to change in his book, The Greening of the Church. The pews of our churches may not have been empty at that time, but they were “filled with empty people“. In his own words, “the average church member’s understanding of what it means to be Christian is so superficial as to constitute a major perversion of the gospel.”
In 1970 Francis Shaffer asked, “Is there a future for the Church in the twentieth century?” Over and over again he declares that if we fail to be the Church before the world, then they have the right to scorn and inevitably they will exercise that right.
In 1961 Elton Trueblood’s book, The Company of the Committed, is prefaced with this statement:
“This book is intended to represent the best thinking I can do on what seems to me a most urgent question, the question of how the Church of Jesus Christ can be so reconstructed as to play its potential role in the redemption of contemporary civilization.”
Last but not least, the twentieth century prophet AW Tozer penned these words in 1950 in the book The Divine Conquest:
“Many Churches (even gospel churches) are worldly in Spirit, morally anemic, on the defensive, imitating instead of initiating and in a wretched state generally.”
 Samuel Escobar, The New Global Mission of the Church (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2003), 73.
 Fundley Edge, The Greening of the Church (Waco: Word, 1971), 9.
 Francis Shaeffer, The Church at the End of the Twentieth Century (Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 1970), 45.
 Ibid., 152.
 Elton Trueblood, The Company of the Committed (New York: Harper and Row, 1961), xi.
 The Quotable Tozer (Camp Hill: Christian, 1994), 39.