I hope you recognized this magazine when it appeared in your mailbox. The changes are a little startling, I admit, but not without a purpose.

When you have been in business for more than four decades and are known as the magazine started by evangelical hero Billy Graham, the temptation is to think of Christianity Today as something that was great and was significant. In a time before evangelicals had dozens of global communication companies and prestigious institutions of higher learning, Christianity Today was launched and quickly became a means for evangelicals to come together and find cohesion and direction. We see this noble heritage as one of our biggest assets, the foundation of the trust we receive from our readers.

At the same time, we want to make sure that our past does not preoccupy us. We do not want to tilt away from today to buck up the world that was. Instead, we want to use our past as our anchor, a counterbalance, as we lean into the future. Neither Billy Graham nor first editor Carl Henry poured energy into CT because it was a nice, safe Christian magazine; rather, they saw it as an exciting, dynamic vehicle for reporting on what God is doing in the world through his church. And that is still our obsession: reporting on God's activity and the church's work.

The magazine's look, therefore, should be as fresh and dynamic as God's activity in the world. This is the burden we gave to design director Gary Gnidovic. Gary began with Christianity Today Inc. in 1988 when he came from Tyndale House to design our sister publications Marriage Partnership and Today's Christian Woman, eventually overseeing two redesigns in each of these stellar publications.

"The first task of design," according to Gary, "is to serve the reader. You do that by providing orientation, so that readers know where they are in the magazine, and by playing off surprises with what is familiar in order to keep readers interested." Gary then forced us to think through exactly what we wanted to accomplish in the magazine and how we wanted the content to flow.

Yes, flow. All magazines are choreographed to enhance the reader's experience. We welcome you with News—a ten-page summary of what is going on in God's church, first in North America and then in the world. Next we present one or more Editorials that apply evangelical thinking to the issues that confront us. Now that you have been sufficiently warmed up, it is time to tackle what we feel are the most significant topics for this month: the cover story and feature articles.

Shorter regular features follow—such as Current Religious Thought, Dispatches, and In the Word. Short departments, like Conversations, Church in Action, and Books, then further help Christian leaders interpret our world and discover resources. We leave the benediction function to the Back Page writers, Charles Colson and Philip Yancey.

That's the dance we want you to enjoy, and which we hope the redesign of Christianity Today makes clear.

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