Editor's Note from August 18, 2016
Another theme in this issue: The US National Park Service, which turns 100 one week from today (August 25). Both Kyle Rohane’s examination of thermophiles and Dorothy Boorse’s meditation on wildfire center on events at Yellowstone, America’s first national park. And Rebecca Randall heads to Washington’s Olympic National Park in search of the country’s quietest spot.
But there’s another theme, too: finding life. Spiritual speech in places famous for silence. Creatures thriving in boiling water. Beauty from ashes.
It’s that “beauty from ashes” theme that has especially resonated as we’ve celebrated our second anniversary as a magazine and looked to the future. After a lot of discussion, we’ve decided that the September 1 issue of The Behemoth, our next issue, will be its last.
I have loved working on this magazine and I’ve loved hearing from you readers. The Behemoth has received a ridiculously large number of “fan” letters for such a small circulation, and we’ve savored every one. But it’s the size of that small circulation that has prompted our move. I knew The Behemoth’s readers would be a relatively small cadre of renegades who want to opt out of the false outrages of social media and superficial religious squabbles—a coterie of awe aspirants and wonder hunters. It turned out that world may be bigger than I’d thought; the vision resonated with nearly everyone I talked to. The problem has been the format. The barrier hasn’t been what we’re covering, but that we’re a digital-only, subscription-based magazine. When we planned The Behemoth’s launch, the future of iPad magazines and digital subscriptions looked bright. Truth be told, we’ve outlasted all the titles that had served as our model, that back then looked so successful.
Thanks to our grant from the John Templeton Foundation, the support of Christianity Today, and some other factors, we could have kept The Behemoth going for another year or so—and then shut down and found other jobs. But we came up with another, better plan: We’re moving into Christianity Today magazine itself. We’ll still be publishing articles designed to elicit awe and wonder. We’ll still be looking at science, history, spirituality, and other topics in unexpected ways. But we’ll be asking folks to read them in Christianity Today, not this digizine with an ironically intimidating title and lacertilian logo. (We’re giving you a CT subscription equivalent to whatever was left of your Behemoth plan.)
I’m truly eager for the next phase for The Behemoth team as we take what we’ve learned in this experiment and apply it to Christianity Today. I’m excited for the articles of awe and wonder ahead. But yeah, it’s bittersweet, like new life springing from wildfire ash. So it’s probably appropriate that we start this issue with a moment of silence. Thanks as always for your support and reading.
- Traveling into Silence
A journey into two of the quietest places on earth. /
- Life in the Cauldron
Meet the hearty tenants of Yellowstone’s deadly hot springs. /
- Wildfire’s Dangerous Renewal
Awe and lessons from Peshtigo, Yellowstone, and Fort McMurray. /
- Christ as a Gardner
“I never noticed it until they died.” /
- Wonder on the Web
Issue 55: Links to amazing stuff.