In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him, and without him was not any
thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life
was the light of men. The light shines in the
darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
Imagine these first verses of John’s gospel (ESV) were a principal motivator for evangelist Billy Graham when he, along with his father-in-law, L. Nelson Bell, launched Christianity Today 59 years ago. Graham was looking for ways to shine gospel light in theological darkness. He used CT to give evangelicalism a central place from which its doctrinal commitments and Christ-honoring agenda could counterbalance an advancing liberalism.
Since then, the threat of mainline liberalism has slowed to a crawl. But biblical and theological ignorance continues, as well as confusion over the meaning of orthodoxy and all of its implications.
Today, many believers are being wooed by “attractive heterodoxy” and pressured to either conform to public sentiment or be shamed into silence. In this context, CT stays committed to thoughtfully engaging our society with a convicted civility that points to a better way. That offers restoration, renewal, and hope where there is chaos, crisis, and despair.
CT editor Mark Galli refers to this commitment—this ministry cause—as a “beautiful orthodoxy.” We present it to a church that is tempted to sacrifice the wonderful truths of the gospel for mere relevance, or to react to the day’s challenges with defensiveness, anger, and legalism. Both responses exhibit a faith that is anemic and unlovely. (For a fuller explanation, see Katelyn ...1