Of making many books there is no end. In offering CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE we have no delusions of grandeur nor do we intend to detract from the solid contributions of others. Papers, like people, tend to have unique personalities. All of us like some better than others and we hope that this new offering may be attractive and instructive to some who receive a copy. We encourage you to share it with others.
CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE intends to provide scriptural, practical, timely, and readable articles that will build faith and hope. While we do not question the need for all sorts of religious writing — polemical,
scholarly, investigative we believe there is a widespread craving for literature which will build up the
weak and encourage all those who have set out to follow Christ. Several names were discussed while
this magazine was in the planning stages. One was “For Building Up.” It was a good sentiment and we
hope that CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE can be used for building up. A close second in our search for a name was “The joyful Christian.” While all of us know that Christianity is not all joy, we are also conscious that of all people in the world Christians should be joyous. We are happy in the Lord, though not complacent; triumphant in our faith. though not finished with the fight; rejoicing in our hope, though not counting ourselves already to have attained. While there is much that is wrong in the world—and we shall feel free to comment about it—there is a true and right way called Christianity.
We want to hold it high.
The theme of the first issue of CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE illustrates both the form that the magazine will take and its purpose. “Positive Christianity” we believe is the answer in a world jaded on secularism and sin. As we note elsewhere in this issue, “Positive Christianity” is often negative- opposing immorality and doctrinal flab—but it also focuses on the light which illuminates this dark and sinful world. It is that bright hope we seek to explore and magnify, We know that “Positive Christianity” has often been used as a cloak for maliciousness and weakness. It need not be so. The love and grace of God Almighty are majestic themes, as are His awesome judgment and power, and we intend to explore them all with reverence and candor.
CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE is not a preacher’s magazine, though we hope that preachers will find it useful. In style, content and tone it is aimed at that great body of Christians, young and old, who need encouragement, practical teaching and admonition on a regular basis. It will be a magazine that can edify the weak, as well as feed the strong. We believe it will be a paper that you can give to your non—Christian neighbor with the assurance that it will teach him in a scriptural, firm and yet friendly way. While we have no intention of avoiding the toughest and most controversial questions the Bible raises, we shall address them from the Scriptures,not in language laden with theological jargon and set aflame by contemporary controversy. The modern media saturates our senses with trash. It also provides stiff competition for one who hopes to talk about grander and purer themes. Is it possible to produce a magazine attractive enough, journalistically competent enough, and yet scriptural enough that it can be useful and used? We don’t know. We have pledged one year to find out. We believe it is needed. Do you agree?
CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE has four editors: Dee Bowman, Paul Earnhart, Ed Harrell and Brent Lewis.
Each editor will contribute two regular columns to the magazine. Dee Bowman brings an effervescent,
ebullient spirit that will lift you up and a scriptural common sense that will build you up. Paul Earnhart,
one of the finest Bible students of our time, will offer scriptural studies rivalling the finest commentaries.
From Ed Harrell we might expect a touch of the scholarly, a pinch of the ridiculous, a little semi-dry Will
Rogers wit and the unexpected. Brent Lewis brings to the magazine one of the finest journalistic minds
and pens among modern Christians. Combined, these men have taught tens of thousands in person; we
hope you will make them regular literary acquaintances. In addition, the paper will feature other regular columns. Sewell Hall, perhaps the most knowledgeable observer of the spread of Christianity in the modern world, will offer a regular column entitled “Lights in the World.” His articles about and interviews with the heroes and heroines on the frontiers of our faith should encourage and inspire us. Under such headings as “Woman’s World,” “Youth Forum,” “Parents’ Page,” “Teaching Tips” and “Ways That Work” the editors shall ask contributors to address the most pressing practical problems faced by modern Christians.
In this issue, among others, Marilyn Harrell Hardage addresses women about the particular problems of being both female and a Christian; young Russ Bowman tells of a Christian confrontation on a college campus; and Berry Kercheville, one of the most successful church builders around, writes with simple common sense about what has worked for him. Most distinctively, twelve pages of each issue will address a central theme. Twelve authors will write on discreet and concrete topics in short. pithy and practical articles. The theme sections will explore subjects ranging from the personal and subjective— “How Do I Live In This Mess?” and “True Spirituality” — to the doctrinal and theological — “Restoring New Testament Christianity” and “The Holy Spirit.” Each thematic section will comprise a twelve page insert in the center of the magazine and it may be extracted to circulate as a tract or to use as a teaching tool. Each issue of the magazine will be directed by a single editor on a rotating basis. We are confident that each will be scriptural and profitable—we also believe that every issue will have its own distinctive character and flair. The magazine will also feature a regular section called “Soundings” so you can tell us what you like and dislike.
”DEE BOWMAN brings an effervescent, ebullient spirit that will lift you up . . . PAUL EARNHART will offer scriptural studies rivalling the finest commentaries . . . from ED HARRELL we might expect a touch of the scholarly, a pinch of the ridiculous, a little semi-dry Will Rogers wit and the unexpected . . .
BRENT LEWIS brings to the magazine one of the finest journalistic minds and pens. These men have taught tens of thousands in person; we hope you will make them regular literary acquaintances.”
Do you and your family need something joyful to read? Do you know a weak Christian who would profit from thinking on “Positive Christianity?” Do you feel that the time is ripe to tell the world that plain, Biblical Christianity is the answer? How about looking us over?
CHRISTIANITY MAGAZINE JANUARY 1984