Did CT Fail Its Readers on Civil Rights?

ChristianityToday.com | 8/19/2019 | Staff
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Last year, upon the unveiling of our archives (we are in the process of making every issue digital going back to our beginning), I rehearsed some high and low points in our editorial history. Regarding the latter, I noted that we had, at best, a mixed record during the civil rights era. At a recent conference, I bumped into Paul de Vries, president of New York Divinity School, who was quick to disagree with my assessment. It’s not often I welcome someone telling me I was wrong, but when he explained himself, I was glad he did. I asked him to write a piece for us. No, this doesn’t mean we got everything right and we have nothing to apologize for, but it does show that God has been able to use even a flawed vessel like CT. –Mark Galli, editor in chief.

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Far - Community - Rights - Movement - Too

Far too frequently the evangelical community is criticized for having “missed” the civil rights movement. Too often I read of people bemoaning how their church denomination or publication “failed” its members or readers on racial justice. These depressing statements are stated as matters of fact, while listeners and readers simply assume the expertise of the writer or speaker.

But what if we asked people of that era, especially those directly involved in the civil rights movement at the time?

Comments - Mark - Galli - Editor - Chief

The comments of Mark Galli, the editor in chief of Christianity Today (CT), particularly caught my attention. In an editorial on November 27, 2018, Galli commented that “CT’s greatest essays of old still speak today.” On this he is correct. However, Galli then added, “But on civil rights we failed our readers.” At the time, I sent him a letter contradicting this claim of failing readers. Galli has since asked me...
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