In the 1940 film Foreign Correspondent, one of my favorites directed by Alfred Hitchcock, a New York City newspaper editor unexpectedly awards the choice European beat to Johnny Jones, a local news reporter who has never been overseas. Of course, that editor understands that it's far more difficult to master the art of reporting than to find one's way from London's Leicester Square to the Houses of Parliament.
In November we assigned our talented editorial resident Corrie Cutrer, a May 2000 graduate of Mississippi College, to cover Reinhard Bonnke's evangelistic crusade in Lagos, Nigeria. This event was expected to draw crowds in excess of one million people per night. Corrie is no slouch when it comes to overseas travel, having spent a summer in Gaza teaching English as a second language to mostly Muslim Palestinians in 1998. But among African nations, Nigeria is in a category by itself. With 124 million people, it has the continent's largest population. It has enormous crude-oil wealth and corruption to match. Religiously, Nigeria is almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians and the nation is a lethal hotbed of political and religious conflict.
Many times after a CT staff member returns from an overseas reporting trip, we eagerly listen to anecdotes that never make it into print. Corrie not only told us about lunching on pounded yams, washed down with Coke, but also of the passionate commitment of Christians to minister amid the hazards of rebuilding Nigeria after decades of military dictatorship. Corrie's experiences in the church and in journalism have equipped her well for her year-long appointment as editorial resident. Corrie has lived in Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. As a college senior, Corrie was editor of her campus newspaper and gained a reputation for persistence in ferreting out the facts for her stories. Her eight-page Special News Report begins on page 40.
With this issue, we are pleased to announce the beginning of two new columns in our pages.
The honesty and intellectual zeal of Yale law professor Stephen Carter have made him one of America's most respected commentators on race, religion, and politics. Equally embraced and hammered by both conservatives and liberals, Carter provoked a national debate with his 1993 book The Culture of Disbelief and again with his most recent God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics. His new column is called Civil Reactions (p. 69).
Andy Crouch was a campus minister with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship at Harvard University for nine years, and in 1998 Crouch became editor-in-chief of re:generation quarterly and executive director of the Regeneration Forum, which publishes the magazine and sponsors both local and national forums to bring emerging Christian leaders together across deep differences. "My abiding passions," he says, "are to get evangelicals to think more deeply and carefully about the culture around them and to rediscover the dimensions of a gospel we too easily reduce to biblical sound bites." His column, Everything in Parables, is found on page 71.
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