The masthead of this monthly publication says, “The Christian Chronicle® – An international newspaper for Churches of Christ.” On its editorial page the paper describes itself as “A subsidiary of Oklahoma Christian University,” with “Our mission: inform, inspire, unite.”
Further down on that page we read, “The Christian Chronicle is not a teaching or doctrinal publication, but a newspaper with news and opinion content in sections clearly labeled. Signed columns and reviews reflect the opinions of the authors.” The current issue in my hand (February, 2020) is Vol. 77, No. 2. From that I would gather this is its 77th year of publication. In one place on their website they claim over 330,000 monthly readers.
Here is my take on this newspaper: it does an excellent job in seeking to fulfill its mission! I have been a faithful reader of the Chronicle for well over 20 years. I have often shared stories from its pages from the pulpit and in Bible classes. It is the nearest thing to an international newspaper about happenings among the Churches of Christ… or at least those congregations who are willing to share news with the paper.
As I quickly scan this issue, here are some of the news stories and other things I find, and which I appreciate:
- At least four extended articles, written in journalistic style, about the church shooting at the West Freeway Church of Christ in White Settlement, Texas. One article is about the congregation and its response. Another is about the minister. And two more about the two men who were killed.
- International stories about fires in Australia and a volcano eruption in the Philippines, and how they have affected Christians in those places.
- A research article by a professor at Lipscomb University on the declining number of students from Churches of Christ enrolled in the colleges and universities associated with our fellowship.
- Several articles honoring gospel preachers and others who have recently passed away. This is supplemented by a “Milestones” section with shorter articles of still others who have recently passed away.
- A story about a preacher training school in Benin in French Africa.
- A very encouraging article about the history of black churches, and a book released in 2019 on the topic.
- How two congregations in Mt. Vernon, Ohio have recently reunited after being divided for 60 years.
- Several book reviews.
- Many advertisements concerning ministries, schools, books, and coming events.
- Numerous classified ads and even larger ads by churches looking for ministers.
And all of this is crammed into 36 newsprint pages sized about 10.5″ x 10.5.” There is no subscription cost; it is mailed for free. Its cost is borne by donors, fund drives, and requests to readers to give to its support. The Chronicle is supplemented and expanded on by their website where additional stories and breaking news can be found – christianchronicle.org.
I highly recommend and great appreciate The Christian Chronicle for trying to keep me and others informed of both positive and newsworthy things across the Churches of Christ, including in other parts of our globe. Occasionally things are reported or opinion pieces reproduced which generate objections or feedback from some readers. I love the balanced approach taken at those times by the editorial staff. I need to hear those things, too, whether I always agree with them or not. I know of no other publication or website I have access to that as consistently encourages, informs and makes me proud to be a part of the Churches of Christ. For in its pages and stories I see the teaching of Scripture being lived out so that our Lord is honored and our world is blessed.