26 August 2006

My varied reading material

A couple of months ago, I subscribed to three journals using my book and journal allowance (one of the true perks of being a pastor!) -- Christian Century, Sojourners, and Christianity Today. I got Christian Century because I need to read it, not only to keep up with my colleagues, but also to hear the voice of my religious tradition in a thoughtful, well-edited format. I got Sojourners because I thought it would cause me to think and I got Christianity Today, expecting to agree with hardly any of it, but again, knowing that I need to hear/ read the stuff therein.
What has surprised me is that while I enjoy Christian Century, and Sojourners just ticks me off with its earnestness (is that a word?) the thing I really look forward to reading is Christianity Today.
I don't know if it's because Christianity Today is a voice I don't usually hear so it's interesting to be exposed to it, or whether it's becuase Christianity Today is really, really good at writing engaging articles, or whether it's because the format is really very similar to the news magazines I have always loved, but I have really enjoyed this magazine!
I am also surprised at how much I actually agree with what is said/ written. Perhaps this is because I hang out with the evangelicals online or because I'm learning to read for what I can learn from something, rather than what I can prove to something. Whatever it is, I like it.
I have some colleagues who have been shocked/ borderline- disgusted that I have considered fraternizing with "the others" in this regard (i.e. reading and paying for! their publications). These are the same colleagues who generally launch into loud rants about what "they" do or do not believe/ practice as contrasted with whatever "we" do or do not believe/ practice, which is, of course, far superior. Interestingly, these same colleagues apparently refuse to expose themselves to "their" writings, so I'm not quite sure how these folks have figured out what "they" believe, but y'know... I'm sure they're justified somehow... or not.
ANYWAY, it has been a JOY, an absolute and complete JOY to become informed. I feel like the world is much bigger now and I'm really quite enthralled by how much I don't know. Perhaps I'm getting ready to shake the dust off of Fowler's Fourth. Or perhaps I've still a long way to go...

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