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The Christian journalist

"The Christian journalist" Continued...

In short, a Christian journalist through his work answers each day a simple but crucial question: Whose world is this? Abraham Kuyper—a Dutch editor who was also a theologian and even served as prime minister of The Netherlands—answered that question this way: “Every square inch of creation belongs to Christ.” Let’s think about that. What if … every square inch is truly God’s? What if every person is made in God’s image? What if every moment is within God’s providence? How do our answers to those questions affect the way we report the news?

We talk in church about Christ as the fulcrum of history, with all things working by and through Him—but does that have any relevance to the way we cover events? We joke that in Sunday school the answer to every question is Jesus—but why is that almost never the answer in the news reports most of us read, even ones in some Christian publications.

A Christian journalist knows that Christ is not simply someone to praise in church. He’s the 800-pound gorilla in every living room. He’s hard not to notice, but some people ignore Him. Those who notice Him react positively (gorilla-sympathetic, gorilla-praising), negatively (gorilla-uncomfortable, gorilla-pretending-to-ignore), or with extreme and somewhat crazed negativity (gorilla-attacking). These roughly correspond to varieties of journalists and professors, or publications and colleges: atheist, agnostic, secular, theistic, pro-Christianity, Christian.

People contemplating careers in journalism need to think through where they want to be? It’s worthwhile to establish a theistic presence in a secular environment, or a pro-Christianity presence in a theistic environment. At some point, though, many Christians want to report and write at an enterprise that, following Kuyper, asserts that every square inch is Christ’s.

WORLD’s definition of a Christian journalist is one who not only goes to church for an hour on Sunday but believes that Christ rules 24/7. A Christian journalist trusts the biblical message that God created the world and is active in the life of His creation. Christian journalists know that God created a good world but Adam and Eve fell, and the whole creation with them.

Christian journalists see evidence of that fall—the sin and misery—all around us. But they also know that the Bible is a story of redemption. They see evidences of God remaking, repairing, and renewing this world. They report on brokenness and renewal in culture and education, in communities and families, in church and state.

It’s not easy to be a Christian journalist: Public relations is an easier pursuit. But one of my favorite movies, The Right Stuff, has an official telling pilot Alan Shepard, who became the first American in space, that the work of an astronaut is “dangerous. Very dangerous.” Shepard’s instant response: “Count me in.” That’s what prospective Christian journalists need to say.

Questions

1. Name something that happens anywhere in the world in which God would have no interest. Back up your argument with scriptural references indicating His lack of interest.

2. Describe a “Christian journalist.”

Marvin Olasky
Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD News Group and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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