Why We Need a Beautiful Orthodoxy

These days, if you walk the hallways of CT (if you’re in the area, stop on by!), you might hear a staff member mention “beautiful orthodoxy.” Drawing from the best of Christian thinking, editor Mark Galli recently coined it to guide our ministry in a broader climate of rancor and spiritual rootlessness.

“Beautiful orthodoxy” might seem a paradox. But in both the classical and the Christian traditions, truth and beauty are inseparable. Only relatively recently has it seemed that, to be winsome and loving, one must downplay truth claims. Or that, to speak the truth in a pluralistic world, one must pick a rhetorical battle. Indeed, our social media discourse often feels like a fight between the truth-Christians and the beauty-Christians (with both groups claiming that Jesus likes them best). Pick your side.

Except we at CT don’t think you have to. To our delight, in many articles in this issue, truth and beauty dance side by side. In our cover story (p. 30), Andrew Root corrects our ministry obsession with “reaching millennials” while painting a lovely picture of intergenerational fellowship in the local church. Shannon Sedgwick Davis, who has helped to stop Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony (p. 38), embodies orthopraxy—what Christian belief actually looks like in the world. (Hint: It’s pretty darn stunning.) Even our sobering report on book publishers’ marketing practices (p. 50) aims to highlight what ethical, even beautiful book marketing can look like. In these and other articles, we aim to ensure that every “no!” we imply is followed by a “yes!” That as we name wrong thinking or behavior, we also heartily affirm the abundant life ...

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Why We Need a Beautiful Orthodoxy
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January/February 2015

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