Fleming Rutledge—Beware of the Newsweekly Easter issues

Posted by Kendall Harmon

By now I am sure that most savvy Christians are long since inured to the drivel that Time and Newsweek foist upon us every Easter and Christmas. It was not always thus. David van Biema (formerly of Time) and Kenneth Woodward (formerly of Newsweek) were knowledgeable, conscientious religion editors and took great care with their reporting (not to mention the estimable Peter Steinfels, late of The New York Times).

It's very different today. Case in point: the cover story on heaven in this week's Time. Who's the author? None other than Jon Meacham, Sewanee graduate, author of several highly praised historical works (Franklin and Winston, American Gospel, and American Lion) and former editor of Newsweek. In addition, he has been on the vestry at St. Thomas Fifth Avenue.

Unfortunately, Meacham does not know when to back off gracefully from subjects he does not understand--which includes theology....

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEaster* Culture-WatchMediaReligion & Culture* TheologyEschatology

Posted April 20, 2012 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. David Keller wrote:

Conan O’Brian said last night that the current issue of “Time” lists the world’s 100 most important people.  They are the 100 people who still subscbibe to “Time”.

April 20, 9:35 am | [comment link]
2. c.r.seitz wrote:

The final comment from Christopher Morse was a bit compressed. I couldn’t tell if he didn’t want to be associated with Nt Wright or with another breed of journalist expert.

April 20, 12:59 pm | [comment link]
3. David Hein wrote:

Knowing of Meacham’s good reputation, I bought the magazine with his cover story and opened it with interest.

It is indeed “an article that should never have been written, let alone published.” It is incredibly light—and at one point, after demonstrating that he’s no authority, JM tells us his views. Like we care?

The only thing I learned was never to buy another one of these news magazines. You’d think that now that people don’t read them for news anymore, they’d go in for sharp analysis and solid interpretation—and let the real experts speak. Instead we get fluff that just wastes our time.

April 20, 8:20 pm | [comment link]
4. dwstroudmd+ wrote:

Ain’t Meacham Episcopalian?  Jah.  Thus he thinks he does theology and voila! it’s theology.  See how easy it is!  TEc has been doing it for years, it’s just that Kate had no real competition until now for journalistic revelations of the state of theology in TEc.

April 20, 11:27 pm | [comment link]
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