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Does Christianity Today Agree with Joe the Plumber?

What our articles mean.

Christianity Today seeks to revitalize the church by helping Christian leaders understand and assess the people, events, and ideas that are shaping evangelicalism's life, theology, and mission. We examine both the culture of the church and the culture in which the church swims.

We are a magazine of both formation and information, and in both functions we believe in the ability of our readers to think for themselves. We don't muddy the waters simply for the sake of doing so, but we don't believe truth and complexity are opposites, either. As a magazine of reform, we believe many beliefs need to be challenged - but always in service of the biblical truths on which we stand.

To help our readers better understand the world and the church, we use all kinds of journalism. Sometimes people get confused about "what we're trying to say." Occasionally we find ourselves having to explain how different kinds of articles work.

News article

CT thinks: Here's what happened, with particular attention to its importance to the church.

CT agrees with: The journalist's effort to report as accurately as possible.


CT thinks: The person is interesting or has influence in a cultural sphere and should be asked about the ways in which their faith informs their views and actions.

CT agrees with: The questions (often, but not always).

Column: An opinion piece written by one of our regular columnists.

CT thinks: The person has influence somewhere, is an orthodox Christian, and is worth listening to.

CT agrees with: Various things the person has written over the years. But the specifics of each column are the columnist's opinions alone, not those of the magazine.

Review: An opinion about a book, film, album, or other cultural artifact.

CT thinks: This cultural artifact is or should be influential.

CT agrees with: The choice to review the cultural artifact and the ability of the reviewer to review it for our readership. Various editors and other CT reviewers often disagree with aspects of the review.

Editorial: An unsigned opinion piece reflecting the views of the magazine.

CT thinks: Here is our view on an important issue of our day.

CT agrees with: The whole editorial.

Our "Joe the Plumber" interview has provoked a lot of comments and questions about why we would interview such a person who is not known as an evangelical leader, and why we did not explicitly state our beliefs about homosexuality, those who struggle with same-sex attraction, and emerging Christian leadership.

The fact is that our views on such matters are quite plainly available for anyone to read. The point of an interview with "Joe the Plumber" was to query someone who has become a household name, who is influential as a speaker and author, and who identifies as an evangelical Christian. Do we agree with everything he said? We believe that you can read what we've written on the subject and come to your own conclusions on that point.

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