The Christian leaders participating in the panel on “The Gospel and a Lost World” have long been identified with major dynamisms in modern society. They are Dr. John Broger, director of education and information for the United States Armed Forces; Mr. John Whitnah, branch chief in the division of biology and medicine of the Atomic Energy Commission; and the Honorable Walter Judd, for ten years a medical missionary in China, twenty years a “missionary” in the House of Representatives, and now, in his words, a “missionary-at-large.”

Henry: Gentlemen, some churchmen seem to forsake the Bible entirely for secular goals in modern life, whereas others put so much emphasis on evangelism that nothing else seems to matter. Does the vocation in which you serve embarrass you in any way as a Christian? Do you justify your vocation as a Christian calling, or is it somewhat of an embarrassment to serve in politics, or in the military, or in science administration?

Judd: No, it’s no embarrassment to be a Christian. I don’t see how any Christian could take a vocation or a field of work if it were not a Christian calling. I went to China as a missionary. I adopted it as a philosophy of life that I should be where the need is greatest and I can meet that need, and where the workers are the fewest. There was great need in China for all sorts of things, but the need I was best able to meet—and the field where workers were the fewest—was in medicine. When the Japanese were closing down our work there, which they were able to do only because of the steel and the oil they were getting from the United States, it was clear that we weren’t going to have any missionary work out there unless we could change the policies of the United States government and the thinking of the American people. So I came back and got into politics in order to try to change the attitudes and policies of our government. It was a Christian calling. I repeat: I don’t see how I could do this, that, or the other thing, as a Christian, except on the basis that this is the place where I can witness most effectively to the Christian Gospel, to what I believe, and bring to bear upon society, through government or business or whatever field, those forces of regeneration that I believe are essential if a society is to survive—certainly if it is to improve and be effective in a world of turmoil and chaos.

Broger: The basis of the free society is the Judo-Christian heritage. And if Christians can’t give themselves, devote themselves, dedicate themselves to the cause of their government, which in turn allows all the other rights and privileges of a free society, then I think probably we are beginning to lose our freedom.

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Whitnah: I see no inconsistency at all in being a Christian and at the same time being engaged in the administration of a scientific and technical program. Actually both Christianity and science are engaged in a search for truth and an understanding of truth, and therefore I feel they are completely compatible. As a matter of fact, I feel, like Dr. Judd, that I have really been called by God to participate in this particular profession. There isn’t any area of life, including my vocation, that is exempt from the claims of the Gospel.

Henry: Well, what is it that society has a right to expect from your various areas of engagement?

Judd: Obviously a society can’t exist without government. There are a lot of things that government has to do. For example, everybody wants peace. Now, how do you get peace? People have been praying for it from time immemorial. They don’t have it. I can reduce my own thinking on this to four simple propositions. There is no peace without order. Peace is a by-product of order. It can be imposed, which is the peace of tyranny. Or it can be peace by voluntary agreement, as when our thirteen colonies federated in order to establish order. But there can be no enduring order without justice. That which oppresses people will be overthrown. They will maneuver and scheme and march or whatever may be needed, until they can change it. Third, there can be no effective justice without the machinery of justice: the making of laws, the interpretation of laws, the enforcement of laws. That’s government. But there can be no effective machinery of justice without men and women with the will and the good will to produce, to create the machinery and then to use it for these purposes. Therefore, government has to do these things. Evangelism won’t have a chance to operate unless government maintains a free society. Evangelism can’t do what government can do, just as government can’t do what evangelism does in helping change the hearts and minds of people.

Henry: What of the military in this respect?

Broger: The young men and women who go into the military are a direct reflection of the national conscience of the people. If this nation is headed in the right direction, its military will fight for the right things. I think this is true in the wars that America has participated in. We find the morale is high, but again, it’s always a direct reflection of the caliber, the conscience, the timber of the people themselves.

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Henry: What do you think we ought ideally to expect from science?

Whitnah: Well, we normally look to science to solve some of our biggest problems such as the cure of diseases. We look for science to be able to convert ocean water into fresh water, of which there is a great shortage. We look for science to improve our means of communication and transportation. But more basically, science, like civil government, has its roots in the will of God, and we need to pursue science in order to carry out God’s commandment to have dominion over the earth. I believe that in this way we can establish a moral and an ethical control over nature that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. We’ve seen a lot of progress in various scientific areas, but unfortunately we do not see the same progress in human relations. Even science, which of itself can be used for good or for evil, has become perverted and misused by so many of our leaders. Science is really perverse in some of its applications.

Henry: Isn’t this a point that we ought to pursue, that modern man tends to look to each of these dynamisms—political, military, scientific—as the saviour of human civilization? We might well ask ourselves why it is that these can’t fulfill the function that only evangelism and the Gospel of Christ can fulfill.

Judd: Nobody will deny that there has been a greater increase in the power of our federal government in the last few decades than ever before. There was a depression. There was a war. A government has to move in, in times of disaster and emergency. Because of that a lot of the power has stayed in Washington—in my opinion, more than is best for us. People go to Washington because it does have power. They think the government can do anything. Hitler controlled everything. Stalin controlled everything. But Khrushchev had to decentralize in order to deal with lots of things. Besides, the federal government can coin money. State governments or the city governments can’t coin money. Therefore it won’t cost us anything to go to Washington. And so much power has been concentrated in Washington that we are making people more and more dependent upon it. I’m not against government; as I said, I’m for government. But who is going to control all this power? That has to be persons. On what basis are they to operate the government with such power and such money? Self or others? Get or give? Public welfare or personal aggrandizement? This is the place of evangelism, that which will change the human heart. Never was it needed more than it is now for those people who are in government wielding such terrific power over our own nation and our people and such influence throughout the whole world.

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Henry: What of this expectation, Dr. Broger, of salvation from education or the military in our time?

Broger: A good many people say that our problems will be solved if we will just make people literate. All you’ve got to do is educate them, and automatically good will come. This is not always true. Japan and Germany were two of the most literate nations in the world prior to World War II. Education in itself is not the answer. There has to be a change first in the heart of man, and enough change in enough hearts to make a society move in the direction that’s basically for the good of all. I think General MacArthur recognized this in Japan after World War II when he said the problem is basically spiritual and theological.

Henry: What of science, Mr. Whitnah, as a millenium-producing mechanism?

Whitnah: I think all of us realize from reading that in the years before the first World War everyone was thinking that science and humanism would usher in the millennium, a golden age. If our thoughts were not shattered by the experience of the World War, they certainly have been by more recent developments. Now we all live in the fear of nuclear war, and therefore we see that we cannot trust in science to solve all of these problems. We have a lot of respect for the objectivity of the scientific method, but this method in the final analysis cannot really uncover fundamental and ultimate truth. The problem is that we have to contend with the human will. Some geneticists are saying now that we can produce a new order of man by inducing changes in the genetic composition of man. But the real answer was given to us by Jesus Christ himself. He said that unless a man is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.

Henry: The World Congress on Evangelism held in Berlin in 1966 emphasized that it is possible to evangelize the earth in this generation and that nothing is more urgent. I had hoped to include evangelist Billy Graham, who was honorary chairman of the World Congress, in this panel. Although he could not take part, he did register for us some of his convictions about the urgency of world evangelism. You will be interested, I think, in these comments of his.

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Graham: I think that Christ could change the world. I think that we could have the most fabulous century of history, if men would voluntarily turn to Christ and make him the Lord of their lives. The one thing that is lacking in our world, that keeps us from having paradise on earth, is the fact that man’s heart is so sinful. The lust, the greed, the hate—all of this that we see so strikingly manifested in our newspapers every day—is the result of man’s sin, and the only cure for sin is, of course, the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Henry: I take it then, Dr. Graham, that you’re not wholly happy with the way in which science and education and politics are changing the world.

Graham: No, I am not. Some time ago, I had a talk with one of our great labor leaders, and he said that in the next ten years scientific knowledge would double. Now, so much of science and politics and education today is without reference to God. It has become secular. This could lead us eventually to catastrophe, because we now have the scientific instruments to destroy civilization. We need spiritual motivation. If we had this, we could build a new world order—but I don’t think it can be built until man has come to God.

Henry: What biblical emphases do you think are most neglected today in education, and in science, and in politics?

Graham: Primarily, man’s moral and spiritual nature. We are teaching that man is a completely materialistic being—and we are supporting this teaching by the way we live. This is similar to what the Communists are teaching. It could lead us eventually to very serious trouble. Most of the Western world has been built upon the fact that men believed in God, and out of that came individual freedom. This is how the democracies were built. You cannot have a democratic society that is functioning properly, in my opinion, unless you have a high moral and ethical standard. Well, where do we get it? What is our rule of authority? It has always been the Bible, faith in God. Now, if we move away from these moorings, as we are now doing, then I think democracy is in serious trouble. How can we get back? I think we can get back through a great religious awakening that would cause men and women to turn to Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Christ said that we are to love the Lord our God with all our heart and soul and mind, and our neighbors as ourselves. We need neighbor love. We see that in the newspapers every day, because we are filled with lust and hate and greed. We need to love our neighbors, but we don’t have the capacity to love our neighbors. So man needs a capacity. How does he get it? By a relationship to Jesus Christ. If a man is converted to Christ, he repents of his sin and receives Christ as his Saviour, and then he has the capacity to love his neighbor. He has a new orientation; he lives in a new dimension. To me, this is the thing that we need today more than anything else, not only in the Church but throughout the world.

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Henry: Dr. Graham, if the apostles were here today, what guidance do you think they would give us in the task of evangelizing the earth?

Graham: I think that they would say exactly the same thing that they taught when they were here. I don’t think they would change their message at all, because man’s nature hasn’t changed, his heart hasn’t changed. They spent their time proclaiming the Gospel. They went out and suffered; they were persecuted. And yet they went on preaching that Christ had died for our sins, that he was raised again for our justification, and that he could change human nature. They evangelized everywhere they went. I think they would say today, “go and evangelize”—this is our task. Human nature hasn’t changed; basically, the world hasn’t changed. We still need the Gospel. In fact, we need it more today, really, than their world needed it in their day.

Henry: Dr. Graham, why is the Gospel good news for everybody?

Graham: Because everybody is separated from God by sin. Man needs reconciliation and redemption. We are lost apart from God, and we need Christ as the Mediator between us and God. He came to bring us back to God. When we are in a right relationship with God, we have the ability to be in a right relationship with our neighbor. This could build the society men have dreamed of for centuries.

Henry: Thank you, Dr. Graham, for these helpful comments. Now, gentlemen, if the Great Commission is still in force—and the New Testament leaves no doubt that it is—then it is the responsibility, not only of a few professionals, but of every professing follower of Jesus Christ. What does the Great Commission imply for us in our time?

Judd: For the first time in many centuries, at least, our civilization, which is based on the Judeo-Christian faith and philosophy, and ethical values, is faced with a passionately missionary competitor. I was under the Communists in China. You can’t get into the Communist party unless you think more of it and its work than you do of father or mother or wife or children or brother or sister, or even of your own life. They purge you. They know what they’re out to do. They’ve got an evangel. They reject the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jesus, but they have a god. Its name is history, and they’re sure it’s going to win. You can’t meet that kind of passion with a little philosophical discussion. You’ve got to have people on our side, as Jesus well understood in his day, who will commit themselves first of all to this, to him and the Gospel, and thereby be regenerated and activated in such a way that they can witness to this, not by compulsion but by contagion. And so if I think that the Christian religion is the answer to my problems, as I do, then I must want to share it with other people, and not as a duty. If I see a man going over a precipice I’ve got to give him the lifeline if I have one. If I don’t want to do this, if I don’t want to share and evangelize, then I have questions about the depth of my own faith. This is an imperative; you can’t have one without the other. If you care only about government, as I’ve said earlier, then you’ve got to begin with men. The Gospel doesn’t exist to change men or change society. It exists to change men in order to change society, including the government.

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Henry: It is remarkable that just at the time of the population explosion, in the providence of God science has given us or led us into the age of jet travel and of mass communications; all these opportunities are before us for matching the requirements of this hour. I’d like to hear from the scientist or representative of science administration on our panel.

Whitnah: I think that all of these wonderful new mechanisms and techniques for evangelism, for obtaining a wide audience for the presentation of the message of reconciliation through Jesus Christ, are important and necessary. However, so much of what we see the Church doing now results from an assumption either that everyone is saved, a sort of universalism, or that evangelism is the same as social action, that we do not really hear very much within the Church itself even about the necessity of a personal commitment to Jesus Christ. But even if all of the churches and if all of the activity of the Church, either through the more conventional means or through these new techniques of television and other mass media—if all this were effective, it would still devolve on me, upon Dr. Broger and Dr. Judd, upon you, as individual Christians, to be the principal witnesses to the Gospel message. It boils down to what someone has called friendship evangelism, on a personal level.

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Henry: Suppose evangelizing the earth became our prime task for the remaining years of the twentieth century. Dr. Judd, how would you go about getting this task moving?

Judd: I think the most crucial task is the intellectual. The Communists’ first target is the mind of youth, and the key person in the society in the long run is the intellectual. And so I shift from medicine in China to government and now to the colleges. The people who are running the world today are those who were recruited in the colleges twenty years ago, thirty years ago. Those who are going to be running the world the rest of this century are in the colleges now. What are they learning? Who is challenging them? I think the crucial task for the long run is to bring the Christian Gospel into the colleges and universities, into the intellectual circles of our country.

Whitnah: I’d like to inject a personal note here. When I was doing graduate work in Harvard University, I was very much enamored with the possibilities and the ultimate answer that science and philosophy and social action had for the answers of man’s problems. I had grown up in a very fine Christian home, but during military and university days earlier I had seen really very little relevance of the Gospel in my own personal life. But while I was a student I was very much laid hold of by God, and he showed me that there was really no purpose or direction in my life apart from a commitment to Jesus Christ. I can testify to what Dr. Judd has said, that there is a real need for a witness on the part of men who are committed to Christ on the university campus. I found in my experience there that God has a plan and a purpose for me as an individual and for every person and also that there are certain things, spiritual things, that are knowable and understood only through the Spirit of God. This has been a wonderful bulwark to me. If I did not know this fellowship with Jesus Christ personally, I would really anticipate the future with a great deal of fear and hopelessness and futility.

Henry: Isn’t this really the place where evangelism begins? Those of us who are professing Christians must really yearn to become like Christ so that as individuals we become attractive to the people around us. I think of Augustine, for example, who was first attracted to Christianity not by a philosophical argument, brilliant mind that he was, but by the spontaneous joy of the early Christians that he knew in his day. There is something missing in the lives of so many professing Christians today. We lack the yearning: O Christ, make me the kind of person I ought to be; keep working in me until people around me drool to have this thing that really makes life worth while. Isn’t this the lost dimension we’ve got to recover in our churches in our outreach to the world?

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Judd: I think that in the next few years—at most a decade or two—our country and our civilization face destruction by default. That’s the only way it will come, if we just fall by the wayside. The alternative is regeneration by rebirth, and the business of the Christian Gospel is to cause rebirth in human beings. Not so they can sit down and say, “Lord, I’m saved,” but so that, regenerated, inspired, challenged, and energized, they can take the Christian Gospel into society. Oftentimes I think our Church today is trying to change society by government and edicts and pronouncements and statements and pressures. But the real task of the Church is to change people so that they may then go into society and government and be effective agents of change. Therefore evangelism is the key to the answer in all these fields we’ve been talking about.

Henry: What one word of counsel would you give to the American people in this time that is so decisive and critical for national preparedness and personal preparedness also?

Broger: You’ve used the term “evangelism,” which I see as far more than simply the preaching of an evangelistic message. I see it as the exhibition of the fruits and the gifts of the Spirit for instance; we haven’t time to go into that, but any Christian will know where they are found in the Bible. If one wishes to exhibit the wisdom and the courage and the peaceful demeanor and the love and the joy that are essential in the Christian life, he can find it in no way but by being lost in Christ himself. I never have found any man, woman, or child anywhere in the world who can find a source of such strength except in the person of Jesus Christ.

Whitnah: It seems to me that we need very desperately to keep Jesus Christ in the center of our thinking. Christ can bring peace not only to individuals who are groping for the way in their own lives but also to those involved in human relations, whether in communities or in the world. We cannot afford to continue the trend toward moving God and Jesus Christ out of our national affairs.

Judd: I think our task is first to rediscover God’s principles and then to get them into the hearts of men so we have God’s persons. God’s principles plus God’s persons equal God’s programs. That’s the only answer for our world.

Henry: What a high tragedy it would be if the twentieth century modern man should keep adding to his accumulated learning and the insights of science, and if he should be able to preserve by military power a free society, and yet lose his own soul.

Judd: Yes, what an opportunity we have. What a tragedy if we don’t use it. But if we do, what glory for God and for man.

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