September 11, 2001, is a marker in American history. Much like November 22, 1963, to a previous generation, and December 7, 1941, to the generation before that, it is a day on which everyone remembers what they were doing when they first heard the news.

The first and the last dates led to international wars; the middle one involved a killing and anticipated a culture war within our borders. All three events radically changed the United States and the world, and this month many other magazines will reflect on how 9/11 has altered the social and political landscape locally and globally.

Christianity Today is more interested in how 9/11 changed the church and its mission. The most pressing change has been our increased awareness of Islam. Before 9/11, missions to Muslim countries and cultures were an asterisk for many Christians. Today they have become the theme of missions, and our relationship to Islam has been the subject of some of the most important conferences of the past decade. There is no better person to survey this topic than J. Dudley Woodberry, senior professor of Islamic studies at Fuller Theological Seminary.

We also wanted to show how 9/11 reverberated on a local level, from how one Midwestern church ramped up its missions to Muslims to how "the vicar of Baghdad," Andrew White, learned to minister in his war-torn country, to how 9/11 inspired a parachurch ministry to reach out to emergency personnel as an unreached people group.

But mostly we are interested in how 9/11 sharpens our understanding of the gospel. Russell Moore does a splendid job showing how the murder of 3,000 revealed the darkness of the human situation, yet also points to the glorious light of the Cross.

In one sense, then, our tribute to the life ...

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September 2011

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