Sunday, February 25, 2018
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Bait and Switch

We’re all familiar with the tactic. Advertise one product and when the prospects come into the store, try to sell them a higher profit item instead. But what do we call it when the church embraces a seemingly benign movement that over time fundamentally alters its mission?

American Christians are often surprised when they find out that authentic believers around the world have often come to remarkably different conclusions about different issues and policies. A lot of that surprise is due to the lens through which American Christianity views economics. And that lens, by the way, did not come down from Mt. Sinai, it was created, fueled and financed by a group of donors who enlisted leading churchmen.

Ironically, the leading churchman in the merger and acquisition of American Christianity was a theological liberal. In this issue, we tell the story of the man and the movement.

We have also found among the archives a snapshot in history, a talk delivered to the American Bible Society by a missionary renowned in his day. His poignant stories of the demonstrable hunger for the Gospel in India causes us to wonder where that hunger went. Or, is it possible that hunger manifests itself most visibly in the presence of food?

If so, this talk by the Rev. Chamberlain might cause us to honestly reconsider what kind of spiritual food exactly we are sending to the mission fields. For our own generation, that is food for thought, indeed, and a needed discussion of the most urgent import.


On the Cover
Johannes Kepler, in the court of Rudolph II in Prague. From the Liebig series Famous Astronomers / Astronomes célèbres, No. 4, published 1921.

Volume 13, Issue 2 includes these articles:

  • Johannes Kepler
  • A Mess of Pottage: The Merger and Acquisition of American Christianity
  • A Reformation Love Story
  • Passage(s) to India
  • The Missionary’s Bible
  • Of These Stones