Adele Gallogly

REFLECTIONS & REVIEWS


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Magazines for Thoughtful Christians

TIN-677 Magazines for Thoughtful_large_all

In a recent issue of The Banner, I compiled some suggestions of Christian magazines and journals to add to your reading list. Here are some to consider:

Comment: Produced by Cardus, a Canada-based Christian think tank, this magazine is grounded in a Reformed, biblical worldview that all of life is being redeemed by God and worthy of faithful attention. Its lively essays and timely, well-researched articles celebrate the multifaceted areas of human existence—vocation, family, worship, politics, economics—as opportunities to freshly proclaim God’s grace in a broken world. Tip: The recent The Comment Reader anthology is an excellent way to acquaint (or reacquaint) yourself with the magazine.

Geez: Definitely progressive and defiantly hopeful, this magazine highlights the role of social justice activism in living out a Christ-like response to the complex—and often controversial—realities of the world. Each issue uses poetry, personal essays, news stories, and photos to explore hard-hitting questions about such topics as poverty, politics, creation care, race, and gender identity.

Image: Since 1989, Image has been demonstrating that contemporary art can do more than merely express faith. When crafted well, it can embody the very struggles and paradoxes at the heart of Judeo-Christian religion. The journal is an array of poetry, fiction, longer essays, artist profiles, and interviews that seeks to engage your imagination and invite you to see God’s image in every human being. Features the work of both modern masters and emerging artists.

Relief: This literary journal features fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, graphic narrative, and reviews by both new and established authors. It is a publication that boldly aims to rise above a saccharine or easy view of Christian faith by artfully revealing how belief and doubt can intersect in surprising, varied, and beautiful ways in one’s spiritual journey.

The Other Journal: Presented by the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, this journal blends academic scholarship with cultural critique, primarily through creative writing. Each issue is organized around a theme in the topical sphere of theology, art, and social justice. Recent themes include “Identity,” “Sport,” “Encounter,” and “Trauma.”


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So We Attend, So We Wait

“Faith is not much different from work or love, from which life also grants us no rest.

Sometimes, we look up from that work, pausing to catch our breath in this labor which we can never see compete and which we therefore perdure in by faith, posing love and being against death and nothingness, and through the spaces between the fingers that mop our brows and clear the dust from our eyes, we glimpse the world before this one, the tale it told when we were all very young: how creation is the utterance of its creator, how it hums and shimmers with signs of Him. The highest end of our lives is to attend to those signs, those rustlings in the trees that are intimations of his being, his love. We cannot know when or where or how they will come. We can only wait; and so it is that we live in the past, among and with the dead; without them we are lost. So we wait in the overgrown boneyard that is our home, amidst the ashes of our grandfathers’ houses. Yet they do come, though it is futile to wish for them; we can scarcely see them, they are more than we know how to desire.”

— Robert Clark in My Grandfather’s House, his luminous autobiography of faith, doubt, and family history.

Robert Clark will be teaching a fiction class at Image Journal’s Glen East Workshop in June. Although he was one of the mentors in my grad program, I never had the opportunity to study with him directly. So I would be thrilled to be able to do so, faraway as late spring may be. For now I have time to catch up on more of his work, including the novels that have been on my to-read list for too long. This week: Mr. White’s Confession.


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Whispering Along a Thin Trembling Thread

“What if we writers are able to tell stories of hurt and joy only because something in us is dulled enough to look them full in the face?

What a mission we might have then, to introduce the truth of brokenness and redemption to our brothers and sisters terrified to hear it. We’d have to whisper our little truths of moans and water pools in hopes that our stories would turn others back to their own hidden stories, thereby sparking that blessed epiphany we readers have experienced and which keeps us coming back to the writers we love, the epiphany that can be summed up in this way:

Yes, I have felt this too, and I see you have felt it, and so I am not alone.”

— Tony Woodlief, in his brave and beautiful post on the Image blog today