Thursday 3 March 2016
Discern for March - the "sort of" magazine
But is it really a magazine when the only way you can read it is as a PDF? Granted, it's a frugal game plan. No postage costs, no left-over copies gathering dust. Whether people actually read PDFs in the same way they read hard copy is a moot point. There's a certain pleasure in sitting back in an armchair, turning real pages at your leisure that you simply don't get staring at a screen. All of COGWA's 'literature' seems to be available in this form, and only in this form. Time will tell whether it's an effective strategy for the long haul.
If this were a mainline church publication, you'd say it had an Easter theme, with a crown of thorns on the cover. Open it up (so to speak) and the graphics and layout are quite impressive. The first major feature you hit is a lengthy article by Clyde Kilough on Passover. That's followed by one in a similar vein by Jim Franks. Keeping on message is He is Risen! Now What? by Jeremy Lallier. Obviously, COGWA wants to proclaim its message "in due season".
Rick Avent moves to other matters with Does God Exist? He's up to Proof 3: The Origin of Life. I couldn't bear to invest time reading this, life is so short, and I have a copy of New Scientist that's higher on the priority list. Do you think Rick reads New Scientist?
Mike Bennett writes under the intriguing title, 5 Foolish Things we do to Foul Up our Future. Reading virtual COG magazines isn't on the list. Becky Sweat writes on The Loneliness Epidemic. Neal Hogberg beats the drum on ISIS with An Apocalyptic Crisis.
You get the impression that Discern requires a better standard of journalism of its in-house writers than, say, Tomorrow's World. Faint praise given the standard over at TW. That said, it's the same message you'll find in other COG periodicals. The articles in one are interchangeable with another.
The PDF is available to download.
(If you're interested in what's in the latest PCG mag, The Trumpet, you might like to check out Redfox's Living Armstrongism blog where he's got a detailed outline.)