It seems superfluous to blog about magazine articles. It seems like overkill to me, to write an article about an article. I could turn to the philosophy behind it, about how some articles are just digesting events by covering them while others become events themselves. None of these articles will become newsworthy in and of themselves, yet I appreciated their contents.
Christianity Today is not a magazine I read cover to cover, or even regularly. I generally read a magazine in two stages: first I page through the whole thing, then I return later to read the articles that interested me. In this issue, April 2007, I found three I deemed worth reading.
Passion Takes It Higher: This cover article drew me in to the magazine this month. I know almost nothing about the Passion movement. I've heard one or two CDs and know some names that are associated with it: Chris Tomlin, Louie Giglio, Matt Redman, and John Piper, namely. I know almost nothing about its founder, Giglio. But for the others I have the utmost respect, so I was drawn to the few impressions I had. Further, the name, Passion, resonates with me, as with most of my evangelical generation. It describes a desire for a real faith, driven more by desire than principle. Those who've read "Desiring God" will know what I mean.
The article provided me with some real substance to build on my "impressions." It confirmed my impressions really. Among other things, Passion's mission verse is Isaiah 26:8: "Yes Lord, walking in the way of your truth, we wait eagerly for you, for your name and your renown are the desire of our souls." This speaks to my own passion, so I resonate and want to unite with this movement. Passion encompasses a something within man, to be a part of something bigger than myself, a tangible reflection of my desire to know God's own eternal infinity. Finally, the founder's own vision for Passion is "to be a catalyst, not an institution." Catalyst is a rising buzzword in Christian circles today. But again, the phrase speaks to my generation's desire for authenticity.
Learning to Cry for the Culture: Second is another individual of whom I most have "impressions" and no real knowledge: Francis Schaeffer. John Fischer provides a good introduction to Schaeffer's life, passion, and work. It resonates with my own desire to love this world in the right way, with compassion for its fallen position, to mourn its brokenness and dream of its redemption. Jesus wept for his dead friend Lazarus, and he had the power to change it. In the same way, I desire to mourn our own frailty and then rejoice in bringing the possibility of redemption to life, to reality, to actuality.
The Road to Healing: This was an interesting one, a topic I've not seen written on. Of the three, this may indeed be the one that becomes its own event, really. An anonymous writer reflect on some 20-30 years dealing with homosexual desires. In his view, practicing homosexuality is a sin, even while experiencing homosexual tendencies is not. Most specifically, I think the author wrote a good article on how every individual can deal with sin in their lives. He offered a realistic view that you don't change "overnight" despite desperate prayers. That what you put into your mind becomes what your heart feeds on. And since "out of the heart the mouth speaks," since what you do reflects who you are, what you put in is what you get out. This author reflected on how he'd created habits that indulged his desires, which led to sin. In the same way, with any desires leading toward sin, our constant and patterned life which resists those temptations is the only way to gain victory over them.
In all, this issue was worth reading in my opinion. It struck chords for me in dealing with passion, compassion, and sinful habits in our lives.