I first came across First Things at a busy airport newsstand. I was looking for something to alleviate the monotony of travel, and the title intrigued me. “What first things?” I wondered. Scanning the cover for clues, I saw a tantalizing list of articles that promised much more than the magazine’s competition on the newsstand. By the end of my flight, I was hooked. I have been a subscriber ever since, and became a charitable supporter of First Things in 2000.
First Things shines a light on mankind’s central predicament: our critical need for God, which is obscured by the distractions and temptations of a fallen world. In gentler times, it was easier to find that transcendence. Today, our society is far more secular, and opponents of religion far more aggressive.
First Things offers respite from the pitched polemics of our polarized society with enduring truths, reasoned arguments, and the refreshment of friends gathered in goodwill. Never has there been a greater need for this magazine—a rallying point, a forum where religion is understood to have an essential place in the public square.
As secular society claims more territory, First Things calmly asserts that enduring truths emanate from God, and that these should inform the contours of civil government. In this forum, which we have enjoyed these many years, Christians, Jews, and others are free to fraternally discuss their religious differences as they seek to more closely follow God’s will and understand one another.
First Things provides a print edition, web exclusives, and podcasts that offer interreligious dialogue covering a range of viewpoints and experiences. The articles are colorful, varied, insightful, deep, sometimes exotic, and often poignant. In addition, First Things seminars, retreats, and other events afford opportunities to meet the staff, friends of the magazine, and other attendees in a cordial setting. These gatherings are also pleasant occasions for the religiously curious to do some wading among believers to see if the temperature is to their liking.
For all these reasons, I am a supporter of First Things. I urge you to join the growing list of First Things subscribers and to support the magazine's year-end campaign with a donation today.
John F. Lang is a retired chemical engineer and a Pillar member of the First Things Editor's Circle.
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