Being a Christian can mean embracing weakness rather than strength.
Arranging to interview Dr. J.I. Packer, one of Canada’s most celebrated evangelical scholars, involved phone calls, faxes, more phone calls and another fax or two.
In an age of immediate electronic communication, Packer prefers to do things offline, the less instant way.
Even the writing for which he is so well known (his classic book Knowing God, originally written as a five-year series of articles for The Evangelical Magazine, turned 40 last year) is carefully composed on a manual typewriter.
Although that bit about the typewriter is the least of the many insights Packer shared with Faith Today in this issue’s exclusive interview, it’s still a delightful peek behind the scenes at the work of a wise and unique evangelical influencer.
(By the way, we’re offering a free copy of Packer’s latest book Weakness Is the Way along with every new subscription purchased before the end of February. Pass the word along to anyone you know who may be interested!)
Our stories this issue challenge us to think Christianly.
We really did go behind the scenes for this issue, to the streets of Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver. Our writers were assigned to get a glimpse of what life on the street is like for prostituted women and the Christians who try to serve them.
Senior editor Karen Stiller handled the Toronto segment only three nights prior to her departure for another story in Senegal (see “Operation Christmas Child” on p.12).
When Calgary flooded, the Church responded providing shelter, food, clothing and comfort.
When the terrible train crash devastated the town and people of Lac-Mégantic, the Church provided solace. It became the place where people gathered to mourn together, ask impossible questions and begin to heal.
In both of those difficult, unpredictable disasters that made this a Canadian summer like few others in recent memory, the Church catapulted into relevancy: providing practical and spiritual help when people needed it the most.
In case you ever thought otherwise, the Church still matters in Canada.
This issue of Faith Today will help your church prepare to be light in the darkness of a community emergency.