Signs of the Times

Christian Herald

The Rev. Prof. Nels F. S. Ferré Andover Newton Theological School Newton Center, Massachusetts in the Christian Herald New York, New York

I have just seen for myself in a year's trip around the world how the non-Christian religions are rising to creative self-consciousness and to missionary fervor. Traditionalistic Christianity has failed as a whole to make a dent on these religions. It has drawn mostly, for example, from the outcastes of India. Now Hinduism is inviting them into its new beyond-caste structure. Traditionalistic Christianity has converted the rejected Samurai of Japan and the masses in Asia and Africa that groped in low forms of primitive belief which education could dissolve. There are many and notable exceptions, of course, but a generally educated new world will dismiss traditionalistic Christianity on a worldwide scale.

But if Christ is set free from outmoded formulations,...we shall sweep a religiously empty and hungry world. I have talked with leaders of non-Christian religions in many lands and found them amazingly seeking when Christ is presented within the creative patterns which He inspires. There will be a whole new day for the Christian faith all around the world when we dare to honor Christ by renouncing our shibboleths and reaching for the pioneering loyalty of thinking from the Christian presuppositions and perspectives of God's universal love.

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March 7, 1964

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