Tuesday, October 30, 2007

URGENT: The Best Magazine for Evangelicals and Conservative Christians

Why "URGENT"?  The impetus for this post is a feature article that appeared this past weekend in The New York Times Magazine; it will likely go into the Times archives in a couple/few weeks and only be accessible for a fee or through an online database with full-text access to the Times.  Hence, read it now.  (Note: It may still be accessible for a longer period through a feed reader, such as through this link.)

So, which magazine is the best for evangelicals and the Christian Right?  The obvious answer is Christianity Today, right?  After all, it can't be The Christian Century (my personal favorite) since it's the/a voice of mainline Protestants.

The surprising answer:  Sojourners. 

As noted in the Times piece, the evangelical movement is splintering -- and the Christian Left is going after the Christian Right.  Or, perhaps the Christian Right is moving to the Left; this might be a better explanation as to what is happening.  The emergent church movement, places like Willow Creek and Saddleback, all play into this sorely-needed shift.

It's a shift that focuses on peace, justice and love:  Three basic tenets expounded by Jesus.  And rather than focusing on what one is against (e.g., abortion, same-sex marriage), it focuses on what one is for.  It combines the best of a personal Gospel and a social Gospel.

"He (Bill Hybels of Willow Creek) brought up the Rev. Jim Wallis, the lonely voice of the tiny evangelical left. Wallis has long argued that secular progressives could make common cause with theologically conservative Christians. 'What Jim has been talking about is coming to fruition,' Hybels said."  Jim Wallis is the President and Executive Director of Sojourners/Call to Renewal, the publishers of Sojourners magazine.  He also authors and edits the God's Politics blog on Beliefnet, and is the author of the book by the same name.  In addition to the magazine, Sojourners/Call to Renewal publishes a free weekly e-magazine, Sojomail, and the subscription-based lectionary aid, Preaching the Word; I personally use Preaching the Word for personal Bible study and reflection.

To quote a snippet pertaining to Wallis' book, "Since when did believing in God and having moral values make you pro-war, pro-rich, and pro-Republican? And since when did promoting and pursuing a progressive social agenda with a concern for economic security, health care, and educational opportunity mean you had to put faith in God aside?"

Amen to that, Brother Jim.  Sojourners:  The best magazine -- and medicine -- for evangelicals and conservative Christians.


David Scott Lewis

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