How we chose this issue's cover story provides a window into this magazine's editorial dynamics. We had three contenders, each representing a different piece of journalistic turf CHRISTIANITY TODAY is committed to cover.
First was an issue debated in the church. Psychiatrist Dwight Carlson takes up the task of "Exposing the Myth That Christians Should Not Have Emotional Problems" (see p. 28). His article is paired with a frank conversation about pretense in the pews with Steve Arterburn of New Life Clinics, the group that has done the most to make evangelicals comfortable with seeking therapy. We felt that many readers struggle with the proper role of psychology.
Second, an issue debated in the Christian academy. Our next contender for cover story was a spirited exchange over whether the evangelical theological consensus, which made our movement possible, has broken down or will soon do so. Bethel Seminary professor Roger Olson, coauthor of 20th-Century Theology, sketches the theological map, and three theologians respond: the staunch-conservative-turned-theological-pioneer Clark Pinnock; the hip-liberal-turned-paleo-orthodox Thomas Oden; and Southern Baptist historical theologian Timothy George, who hasn't changed much but is always worth listening to (see p. 52). While fewer of our readers live with these issues day to day, we felt many would be interested. We are all affected by the outcome of the debate, which will determine the degree of evangelical common ground.
And the winner is—a Christian idea debated in the culture. Apartheid was doubly tragic because South African culture was so permeated by Christian themes. During apartheid, Christians proved just how much evil could be done in Christ's name. Beginning on page 18, the new dean of Duke University's divinity school, L. Gregory Jones, shows that while the church was crippled it was not broken, and out of the ashes has emerged the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, "one of the most dramatic and hopeful signs of an authentically Christian contribution to political life to emerge in many years." Combined with Seattle Pacific University professor Susan VanZanten Gallagher's eyewitness account and Bishop Desmond Tutu's reprise of what has been achieved, this cover-story package constitutes an exciting and hopeful statement of Christian social impact today. We felt we could all be inspired by this report.
If you disagree with our choice, feel free to read your contender first. ct editors try to cover each of these areas, and more, as we attempt to report on what the Holy Spirit is doing in his church. As always, let us know what you think of our efforts and choices (see Letters, p. 6).
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