January 1978 · Vol. 7 No. 1 · p. 2 

In This Issue

Delbert L. Wiens

The articles in this issue of Direction have been written by social scientists who are concerned both that the church understand and accept its responsibilities within the social and economic spheres and that the church may better understand itself from the insights which have been worked out in the social sciences.

The article by John Bower demonstrates and justifies the growing sense among evangelicals that social action is a Christian mandate that the church cannot legitimately ignore.

L. W. Lockett, in “Bridging Broken Walls,” and Dennis L. Langhofer, in “Ethics, the Businessman, and the Church,” apply theories worked out in sociology and business administration to the church and to the Christian as businessman.

Langhofer outlines the evolution of a business from the beginning effort to survive to the later stages when security makes the “luxury” of ethics possible. The stages of this process are shown to parallel each individual’s hierarchy of needs. The outline of a church’s progress from involuted exclusiveness to involvement, which Lockett outlines, contains interesting parallels to the processes Langhofer discusses. Must the church, like each individual and each beginning business, first establish itself before it can turn to “missionary” and “higher” and “ethical” concerns?

But there may be problems with social science paradigms. Scott Chesebro suggests that Christians need to be careful lest sub-Christian presuppositions distort the Christian vision.

Finally, the Director of Institutional Advancement for Tabor College discusses planning for the future in a continuing series of reports from the schools which sponsor Direction.