Religion: Whose Eschatology?

In August 1954, at Evanston, Ill., the World Council of Churches will hold the second General Assembly in its five-year history. The 750 churchmen participating will represent an estimated 168,000,000 Protestant and Orthodox Christians. As assembly time gets closer, most of the world's Protestant theologians are getting deeper and deeper in the preliminary debate over the council's agreed theme: Christ—the Hope of the World.

To plain laymen, the nature of Christian hope may seem too self-evident to permit much argument, but it is in fact a knotty problem on which Protestant theologians are hotly divided. The key word in the preliminary discussions,...

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