I like The Good News.
Although I'm not a subscriber, the occasional copy of UCG's flagship magazine comes my way. The Good News is a pleasure to handle, has a great design and layout, and a thoroughly professional appearance. In these categories the GN is simply streets ahead of LCG's Tomorrow's World.
The person who deserves the credit is Shaun Venish, a freelance illustrator and graphic designer who graduated from Ambassador College (Pasadena) in 1990 (that's him in creative pose). This guy is good.
But content-wise it's another story.
The Jan-Feb GN belies the slick design with the same tired old ideology that failed thirty years ago in WCG.
For starters the political content is far from subtle. Political content? Sure, what else would you call Melvin Rhodes' imperious articles, or the weltanschau that underlies the World News & Trends section? Objectivity? Fresh thinking? An international perspective? A willingness to challenge comfortable assumptions?
Not a sign of it. This stuff is only marginally less one-eyed than Flurry's Trumpet.
And then there's Paul Luecke's article called Help Your Child Refute Evolution in the current issue.
WCG did a nice little number on the creation/evolution thing once, in fact it was one of the draw-cards that attracted me to The Plain Truth in the first place. Sadly it was all nonsense. I've written about this elsewhere, so won't bore you with those comments here.
Luecke (whose credentials on this subject are not immediately obvious) won't have read it of course, but the US National Academy of Sciences and the Institute of Medicine have released a new book called Science, Evolution, and Creationism. It's tone, according to New Scientist, is not confrontational; rather the book draws attention to those many believers "who do not interpret creation stories literally, and do not view evolution as counter to their faith."
"The authors focus on why understanding evolution is critical to agriculture, medicine and specifically to tackling viruses such as SARS and HIV. They also stress that if Americans do not have a basic scientific literacy, which must include evolution, the nation will not be able to compete in the global knowledge economy."
Which is a thoroughly sane position. The creationism advocated by the GN (and its sponsoring church) is far more dangerous than any of the "bad news" dreamed up in the tormented imaginations of wooden-minded editors and columnists. Children need protecting from the pseudo-science of creationism, not the bogey man of evolution.
"There's nothing wrong
with a 5th Grade understanding of God
... as long as you're in the 5th Grade."
From the movie "For the Bible Tells Me So."
The Good News: great form, shame about the substance.