Even though we've gone daily with the launch of ChristianityToday.com, we can't cover everything. And sometimes other magazines publish articles we wish we would have thought of. In this new feature, Amassed Media, we'll take note of those articles (and other media tidbits) we think you should be aware know about. Most of these links will take you outside Christianity Online, and all will take you out of ChristianityToday.com. Keep in mind that we're not going to agree with everything that's said in these articles. But whether they're informative, revealing, or just simply entertaining, we think you should be aware of.

Millennialism in The New Republic

The November 8 issue of The New Republic is its 85th Anniversary issue, and the editors devote the cover story to millennialism. It's not an original idea for a cover story (Christianity Today's October 25 issue covered millennialism in the context of our annual Bible issue, which we devoted to Revelation, and Christian History had an issue on the topic earlier this year). The New Republic, however, seems to pull it off as well as anyone. The article, by Anthony Grafton, will strike many of our readers as more secularist claptrap. ("I am as skeptical, detached, committed to tolerance, and appalled by orthodoxy in action as the next man," Grafton writes at one point.) But Christians, even the most ardent dispensationalists, can learn from some of what he has to say. He sometimes expresses respect for those "who eagerly match headlines in USA Today to the sensational events described by LaHaye and Jenkins," especially when he considers "the secularists who kick back in their Barcaloungers, munching corn chips as blood is shed and plots thicken on 'Millennium' or 'The X-Files.' The Beast has become a mere pop star." Almost all of us, especially the educated, believe the world will end, he concludes, "but we no longer believe, deep in our being, that this will happen or at least that it will happen soon enough to matter to us, to threaten our lives or well-being, or even to require that we change our lives. The Apocalypse is decidedly not now, not for us, not really. It is a curiosity, a script idea, a marketing strategy, something to generate magazine theme issues with relentlessly upbeat tones and mildly ironic stories about scholarly debates. And so the millennium is at once everywhere and nowhere in our culture."

Canada's Anglican Journal issues a warning over its sex abuse coverage

Anglican Journal, the national newspaper of the Anglican Church of Canada, devoted almost the entire front page of its October issue and about half of its inside space to discussing the British Columbia Supreme Court's September decision that the Government of Canada and the Anglican church are jointly responsible for sexual abuse committed in the early 1970s by a dormitory supervisor at St. George's Indian Residential School in Lytton, B.C. The issue also fronts an editor's note: "Readers may find the stories on sexual abuse in this issue difficult to read. They were difficult to write about and publish. They are not just about terrible crimes committed against children in the church's care reason enough to publish them. These issues will also affect much of the church's life as we enter the new millennium." Indeed, these are important articles, but other important articles are left to the issue's inside: Canadian Anglicans are being told by their church not to engage in programs that free Sudanese slaves by buying them, Cape Town's archbishop is calling for a stronger break between the Anglican Communion and the Church of England, and the Anglican archbishop of Southeast Asia is actively protesting "heretical provinces" like Scotland. (The November issue is now out, but we didn't want you to miss the coverage in the October issue.)

Article continues below

Baptist FaithWorks supports public education

FaithWorks, a publication of Associated Baptist Press, runs a cover package in its September/October issue asking "Are public schools really that bad? Is pulling out the answer?" The basic answers are maybe and no: "As Christians, we may be unable to turn the public schools around. It's a messy, risky business with much at stake. But even if all we can do is love people, influence some decisions for good, and show up to care, it's still worth it."

One more time: Was Lincoln a Christian?

The cover of the first issue of our sister publication Books and Culture examined "The Struggle for Lincoln's Soul" in an article by historian Mark Noll (the article was later adapted for Christianity Today). Now that struggle has taken a major turn with the publication of Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President (Eerdmans, 1999), by Allen C. Guelzo of Eastern College. Richard Ostling takes a look at the book, Guezlo, and Lincoln last week in an Associated Press piece picked up by the Washington Post and other publications.

This ad we'd like to see

At Christianity Today, we often receive early copies of books long before they're released or even done with the editing process. Publishers are always careful to note that these are "uncorrected proof" copies and that "reviewers are reminded that changes may be made before books are printed." But these books are also usually accompanied by information about how the book is being marketed and the text for that information is usually correct. But we wondered upon receiving the uncorrected proof and marketing information for the memoirs of Episcopal bishop and unrepentant heretic John Shelby Spong (the book's incredibly arrogant title is Here I Stand: My Struggle For a Christianity of Integrity, Love, and Equality). The marketing copy promised "National advertising in New York Times Book Review, Advocate ["The National Gay and Lesbian Newsmagazine," we presume?], Christian Century, Episcopal Life, [and] World Magazine." World Magazine, for those of our readers unfamiliar with the title, is how shall we put this a magazine that practices what it calls biblical, directed reporting and is, er, more than slightly more conservative than the other magazines on the list. If it's true (we have our doubts), World may be receiving more than one or two angry letters from its readers. (We should note that there is a small Unitarian-Universalist magazine with a similar title, World, that would be more accepting of Spong's teachings, or the company may have meant Anglican World. Who knows?)

Article continues below

Ted Olsen is Online Editor of ChristianityToday.com and Opinion Editor of the print magazine Christianity Today.