29 September 2005

of fairy tales and mashups

I seem to have caught one of the colds that are ubiquitously circulating around these parts. Perhaps the following thoughts aren't as foggy as my head currently feels.

Browsing around the Christianity Today library website, I was led to recall a significant disappointement of the past several years, one that honestly stretched my exercise of the Christian virtue of forgiveness: the dissolution of re:generation quarterly as publication.

RQ was published between 1995 and 2003, filled with articles of thoughtful Christian reflection on issues of theology, art, ethics, and culture from the standpoint of a younger generation of thinkers (who we called "GenX" back then), representing a wide swath of orthodox Christian faith. RQ was "emerging" before any of us had heard of the emerging church conversation and, given its explicit stand for orthodoxy, RQ engaged that conversation in way that struck me as more careful and respectful of ecclesial tradition than some of what has since come to fall under the "emerging" banner.

The magazine went through several incarnations and variations from the time it first began, under the guidance of Brad Wilcox, who was a bright doctoral student in sociology at Princeton at the time and who brought the project to my attention, though I can no longer recall how I first had met Brad or where I fit into his wide circle of acquaintances. But as with many publications of that sort, particularly in an age when print journalism is struggling, RQ never had an easy time of things, despite offering articles by thinkers as excellent and diverse as Rodney Clapp, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, D.G. Hart, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Leon Podles, Michael S. Horton, and Lauren F. Winner.

By the time the magazine shut down, with Andy Crouch at its helm (not that RQ's demise was in any way Andy's fault), it had been a great run and I can be only grateful that the archive of the magazine remains available online, though the subscription price in order to access full articles will be cost-prohibitive for many (though, from another perspective, it is really a good deal).

I say all of this in large part to segue into mentioning that most of the writers for RQ have not disappeared, but continue to produce thoughtful essays and other work in various forums. Among those is the former editor, Andy Crouch, whose website, Culture Makers, offers a current listing of what he's thinking and writing about, now that Andy's taken a position with Christianity Today.

If you've read this far and are still wondering about the title for this blog entry, it refers to two of Andy's recent pieces, "Of Wardrobes and Potters", a disarming story that functions as an apologetic of sorts for Harry Potter, and "Let's Do the Mash", a story about faith and popular music appearing in Books and Culture.

And with that, I'm going to bed.