A friend recently told me that his favorite article from Christianity Today concerned trees. The article, penned by Matthew Sleeth and published in October 2018, changed the way he read Scripture. Suddenly, he noticed that God’s Word is thickly forested throughout, from the crafting of trees on land and in the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1 and 2 to the tree of life before the throne of God in the New Jerusalem in Revelation 22. For this friend, the article surfaced a vein of insight running through Scripture that he had never noticed before.
One of the challenges our editors face is balancing timeliness and timelessness. When the world feels unmoored, and Christians struggle to respond faithfully in a year of suffering and strife, we lean in the direction of the timely. We cannot, however, become so caught up in the clamor of the moment that we forget the eternal sounds of the soul—the need for the gospel, for salvation, for discipleship and growth, and for the timeless truths of Scripture as they play out in identity, family, and community.
But perhaps fullness, not balance, is the better word. Our December issue told the stories of men and women all over the planet bringing the grace and truth of Jesus Christ to a world suffering from COVID-19. The specific stories were current, but they spoke to the timeless story of how a life redeemed by Christ can bring glory to God and life to the world.
Or consider the issue you hold in your hands. Not everything in the cover package on the Bible or CT’s annual Book Awards is devoted to the stresses and strains of the moment. But everything speaks to the deeper yearnings of the soul that hold constant today and every day.
We pray CT will never succumb to the idolatries of the age. We pray we will never allow the anxieties and antipathies of our culture to define our reality.
There is nothing more real, nothing more relevant, nothing more timely than the timeless Word of God. When we choose to pause in our busyness, to quiet the noise of the world and come before God in stillness and silence and listen for his voice through his Word, we are telling the world a different story about what really matters.
So do something countercultural. Spend time in the Good Book. Then spend time with the books whose excellence we recognize in this issue. Crises and controversies come and go. Our souls need to remember—and the world needs to remember—what truly stands eternal.
Timothy Dalrymple is president and CEO of Christianity Today. Follow him on Twitter @TimDalrymple_.
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