If this same topic were written today, closing in on 90 years later, there would be a few changes… but not many. This quote is from the 1928 Jerusalem Conference of the International Missions Council.
Throughout the world there is a sense of insecurity and instability. Ancient religions are undergoing modification, and in some regions dissolution, as scientific and commercial development alter the current of men’s thought. Institutions regarded with age-long veneration are discarded and called in question, well-established standards of moral conduct are brought under criticism; and countries called Christian feel the stress as truly as peoples of Asia and Africa. On all sides doubt is expressed whether there is any absolute truth or goodness. A new relativism struggles to enthrone itself in human thought.
Along with this is found the existence of world-wide suffering and pain, which expresses itself partly in a despair of all higher values, partly in a tragically earnest quest of a new basis for life and thought, in the birthpangs of rising nationalism, in the ever-keener consciousness of race- and class-oppression.
Amid widespread indifference and immersion of material concerns we also find everywhere, now in noble forms and now in license or extravagance, a great yearning, especially among the youth of the world, for the full and untrammeled expression of personality, for spiritual leadership and authority, for reality in religion, for social justice, for human brotherhood, for international peace.
In this world, bewildered and groping for its way, Jesus Christ has drawn to Himself the attention and admiration of mankind as never before. He stands before men as plainly greater than Western civilization, greater than the Christianity that the world has come to know. Many who have not hitherto been won to His Church yet find in Him their hero and their ideal. Within His Church there is a widespread desire for unity centered in His Person.