Signs of the Times

John W. Shackford in an article in The Virginia Methodist Advocate Richmond, Virginia

There is all the difference between a form of so-called Christianity, that is content merely to proclaim the events of nineteen centuries ago, and that of a living faith that sees those events as ushering in a living movement that is to go on until the consummation of the ages. A living Christianity does not merely tell the story of past events. ... It is the bringing of the principles of the cross and of the resurrection down to the present time. It is a fresh incoming of the Eternal into our hearts. It is the Spirit of God within, creating new resources of power to meet the new resistance of the time. It is a living religion of the past. It is not enough to have a theology about God. There must be an experience of God.

If the church is to win, it must witness to the living Christ. It must witness not alone to a fact of history, but to a fact of present-day experience. ... We need to break through afresh to the sources of power in order that Christianity may move forward with renewed effectiveness to meet the spiritual needs of our tragically confused world.

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November 10, 1956

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