I was a student at Houghton College, class of 1957, when Christianity Today came into being. In a smart marketing move to introduce the publication to young people at Christian colleges, I received a free subscription. Fifty years later, I am still subscribing to CT, nearly without interruption.

Since I live in a Manhattan apartment without a lot of storage space, I've had to stop saving back issues. Even a clipping collection can get out of hand. Recently, though, I came across one such collection, and I was struck by how relevant and important some of the clipped articles still are. Here is a sampling of the articles I uncovered—and continue to hold on to:

  • "How It All Began: Why can't evangelical scientists agree?" by Bill Durbin Jr., accompanied by a sidebar on science and semantics, in the August 12, 1988, issue. Still an apt commentary on questions that have not gone away.

  • A book review of Kathryn Lindskoog's The C. S. Lewis Hoax by Nancy Lou Patterson (December 9, 1988).

  • "The Charismatics Among Us" (February 22, 1980) by Kenneth S. Kantzer. This article exemplifies the many sympathetic and intelligent articles in CT that have strengthened the bonds of Christian unity.

  • An interview with Madeleine L'Engle, "Allegorical Fantasy: Mortal Dealings with Cosmic Questions" (June 8, 1979). Thank you for looking at the whole person: body, soul, spirit, mind, and imagination.

  • Two articles about John Perkins (January 1, 1982) as well as the entire issue of January 30, 1976, devoted to "The Church in Black and White." My church, a diverse congregation in downtown New York City, continues to be involved with John Perkins' ministries.

  • The Refiner's Fire column from September 23, 1977, about Star Wars and other science fiction. Also, from September 9, 1977, Frank E. Gaebelein's article on "Paradoxes of Prayer." His is a name we shouldn't forget! I thank God for the variety of CT's coverage and the stability you have provided within the Christian community.

  • As a reader of C. S. Lewis (and a member of the New York C. S. Lewis Society), I saved the entire issue of November 9, 1973. I notice this issue is particularly fragile, explained by Harold Lindsell's editor's note about a paper shortage and the use of a different grade of paper. Over the years, I have noticed the upgrading of paper quality and the changes in format. For a while, the type size was too small, but it later became readable again (or did I get new glasses?).

  • From more recent issues, I have held onto an October 3, 1994, article about Henri Nouwen's experiences at Daybreak. On the other hand, from May 12, 1989, I saved a collection of articles about Christian teaching on wealth. CT's breadth of coverage is commendable.

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  • As a Baptist who grew up mainline Methodist, I have continued to keep an eye on the church of my roots, which is why I saved the November 9, 1984, article entitled "American Methodism at 200." Methodist youth conferences started my thinking about social justice issues, and I notice I have also clipped a long CT Institute study about South Africa from November 21, 1986.

  • From the November 7, 1986, issue I saved a series of articles on American Catholics. I underlined parts of an interview with Avery Cardinal Dulles (though I think he was not yet a cardinal in 1986), and especially liked his response about justification: "We do not merit justification, but having been justified or made righteous in God's sight, by his favor and grace, we are in a position to perform good works—and those good works will be rewarded. . . ." Rereading his interview reminds me of the improved relationship between evangelical and Catholic Christians, encouraged, I believe, by CT and its courteous and careful coverage of people and events in both traditions.

  • Finally, I have clipped numerous articles by John Stott, Philip Yancey, and Charles Colson. Somewhere in my apartment is an article Philip Yancey wrote about accompanying Russian Orthodox clergy on a prison visit and seeing how an inmate's request for prayer was met only after making suitably solemn arrangements. Also in my apartment somewhere is an article about Harvard child psychiatrist Robert Coles and what he learned from the family of the first black child to integrate a Southern school.

Where and when to stop! I could find a similarly diverse sample of CT's subject matter through the years in another file drawer. It can be a hard choice, deciding whether to reread old articles or open up the new issue that just arrived.

Fifty years of reading Christianity Today has brought me from college age to retirement age and has influenced my thinking and actions as a Christian. CT has not told me what to think. Instead, it has taught me one can "think Christianly" about many issues, including those related to family, church, business, economics, and human relationships. It has helped me to see and understand brothers and sisters in Christ across denominational boundaries, national boundaries, and generational boundaries. It has represented the best in Christian love, civility, and courtesy.

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Happy anniversary, Christianity Today—and many thanks!

Marilyn Driscoll is the author of Devotions for Caregivers: A Month's Supply of Prayer (Paulist, 2006) and a deaconess at Calvary Baptist Church in New York City.

Related Elsewhere:

Christianity Today's other articles on its 50th anniversary include:

Where We Are and How We Got Here | 50 years ago, evangelicals were a sideshow of American culture. Since then, it's been a long, strange trip. Here's a look at the influences that shaped the movement. By Mark A. Noll (Sept. 29, 2006)
Sidebar: 'Truth from the Evangelical Viewpoint' | What Christianity Today meant to the movement 50 years ago. (Sept. 29, 2006)