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Modern Reformation: Thinking Theologically

As we prepared to celebrate Modern Reformation’s thirty year anniversary, we spent a good bit of time reflecting on our history and legacy. MR has been and continues to be a theological magazine for engaging the intellectual life of culture. The way in which we have engaged, as our readers well know, has been very intentional. Early in the first years of Modern Reformation (Jul/Aug 1994), editor-in-chief Michael Horton lamented that both popular culture and evangelicalism had pushed aside attentive and careful consideration of God, seeking instead entertainment, amusement, and fun. “So,” Dr. Horton wrote, “we will be raising thinking to the top of the agenda.” Indeed, for thirty years now, MR has kept thinking, specifically theological thinking, at the top of its agenda. 

Thinking theologically is a rich sort of thinking. It involves theological retrieval, whereby we learn to listen to the wisdom of the past (Ps. 78:1–4; Heb. 13:7). It involves theological conversation, where we consider, probe, and examine from varying perspectives in order to prove what is excellent and to grow in our discernment (Prov. 11:4; 18:17; Phil. 1:10). It involves theological engagement with the goodness, the perplexities, and the agonies of our time and place (Jude 3; Matt. 5:13ff). This is the legacy of Modern Reformation, throughout which we have sought to persuade our readers that the truths of the Christian faith, and the particular insights of the confessional Reformation traditions, matter greatly.  

To celebrate our anniversary, MR is building upon that legacy. We are adding some exciting new content, like poetry, under the guidance of our new poetry editor, the award-winning poet and poet laureate of North Dakota, Larry Woiwode. We are also relaunching the magazine with a stunning new design and architecture that captures and conveys its legacy. The elegance and simplicity of its look channels the magazine’s intellectual heritage. It’s four new main sections—“Retrieve,” “Converse,” “Persuade,” and “Engage”—advance the magazine’s agenda of theological thinking. 

So, please join us in celebrating thirty years of thinking theologically!

Joshua Schendel

Executive Editor