Wednesday, October 13, 2010

From Lausanne to Cape Town

David Virtue has an excellent article on the forthcoming Lausanne Conference in Cape Town (to which some NZers are going, including one of our local vicars, Malcolm Falloon). Here is an excerpt which mentions some of the leading personalities at the Lausanne Conference on World Evangelization in 1974:

"Schaeffer has passed away. Paul Little, IVF evangelist and author, was killed in a car crash in Canada. Muggeridge too, is gone. Billy Graham and John Stott are in the final stages of their journey home, their mission accomplished.

Their legacies will live on in their spiritual sons and daughters.

There may be no more crusades. Those days are gone, but Leighton Ford, who served the Billy Graham organization as an evangelist for thirty years and is Graham's brother-in-law, has spent his later years focusing on raising up younger leaders to spread the message of Christ worldwide.

If I make any claims to a personal legacy, it is to old Muggs. Without him, I would not be where I am today. No journalist in the 20th Century wrote like him. I live in his shadow.

Graham and Ford have trained new generations of evangelists. Stott has left an incalculable legacy in future generations of Bible preachers and teachers, theologians and seminarians who will serve the church long after he has gone. His personal ministry and his books will last for generations.

It is quietly said that if England ever recovers the gospel, it will be through the legacy of John R.W. Stott, not any Archbishop of Canterbury, certainly not the present incumbent.

Now the torch is being passed on from the Global North to the Global South. Even as Christianity fades and the light of the gospel slowly dies in the West; Africa, Asia and Latin America are coming alive with millions (many of them Anglicans) of men, women and children discovering the Good News about Jesus for themselves. Is it any wonder that a tall, handsome Ugandan Anglican Archbishop in the person of Henry Luke Orombi is chairing this major event?

Truly, it is a happy yet sad moment. I am watching my world slowly die, the forces of greed, consumerism, pansexuality and cultural submission eating away at the vitals of a once powerful church. We are in the twilight zone. The darkness is descending all too rapidly.

In the Global South, the church is coming alive, millions are being borne anew and Cape Town will be a witness to this moment. I can but stand and watch. I will probably shed a tear for a time that has gone, but rejoice in what God is doing now and how His plan is unfolding as the gospel goes to the ends of the earth."

Muggeridge was an extraordinary man, and (as I recall my father, who was at Lausanne, telling me) his appearance at the conference was a surprise and his address a highlight. He could write like the wind!

David Virtue's whole article is here.


Peter Carrell said...

Hi David,

I am not prepared to publish your comment in full as it involves some assertions about David Virtue's journalistic character the truth of which I would be unable to defend if challenged legally. I appreciate that there is nothing original about your assertions as they have more or less been repeated many times on the internet. Nevertheless I have been taken to task here for allowing ad hominem comments and I need to attempt to generally raise the standard! That also means I am not prepared to publish your comment about Archbishop Henry Orombi.

The remainder of your comment I am happy to reproduce here. :

"... As much as I have slowly come to respect you as an honest and sincere man, and a Christian, it disappoints me when you must stoop to this man [David Virtue] as a source of your news ..."

PRC: David Virtue's article is interesting because it reveals a hitherto unknown to me role that he had in the original Lausanne Conference.

Brother David said...

Were we able to truly research his involvement, we might be surprised by what we found, sort of like trying to fish out the facts behind his DD.