Sometimes I receive letters and know right away what I want to say in response.

But sometimes, even if I know what I want to say, I’m more interested in hearing what other people would say in response.

This letter, which raises questions about the differences between magazines like Paste, Relevant, and CCM, is one of those letters.

So, let me put this letter on the table, and see what happens.

Keep it gracious, generous, but bold and true. I don’t want to know if you “like” or are “offended” by it. I want to know what you would say to address this writer’s questions, and what your perspective is on the differences between the three magazines, their methods, their styles, their audiences, and their integrity.

Heck, if you want to include Risen in this round-up… feel free. There’s some interesting stuff happening there as well.

Here we go:

Hope all is well with you.

I really enjoy most of Paste Magazine and I like the fact that they are not afraid to get out of the CCM ghetto to reach the world with good music.

But, I still think I am not fully out of the ghetto.

I still want to support Christians in the media. I come to you and Steven Greydanus because I know you are both guys with Christian values and that influences your movie reviews.

Paste tries too hard to show they are not Christian. They will mention the spiritual lives of artists as long as it is not Christian, except of course U2… they are Christian, but ‘the good kind,’ socially liberal.

What I like about Relevant is that they get out of the ghetto, but are not afraid to say they are Christian. They make a good product.

What do you think of Relevant? Can there be that balance between Paste Magazine and CCM Magazine. A buddy of mine … is doing that over at Christian but relevant.


Eventually, I’ll come back to this and share a few thoughts, but I thought I’d open up the discussion, and the writer of this letter has granted his permission.

What do you think? Is there a right and proper balance to be struck here, a balance of presenting an openly Christian publication while also providing relevant discussion? Is Paste trying too hard to avoid “looking Christian”? (Or is that what they’re doing at all?) Is Relevant setting the standard for cultural relevance?

As in the thread about our personal spiritual journeys, let’s manifest Christ’s grace in our responses. I have a Delete option, and I will use it if necessary.

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