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I had long been in search of an honest magazine. So have we all. And when we find one, we support it. Magazines, like people, can have integrity. They can focus on what’s most important; they can be faithful to their commitments.

Like people, of course, a lot of magazines do not do any of these things. First Things does. It’s the only magazine I still subscribe to—not because there are no other good ones around, but because I can’t trust them amid the shifting winds of cultural politics, editorial idiosyncrasy, and journalistic waywardness. Rigorous analysis, the value of persons, humility, correction, and—oh yes—the truth of God: First Things has been sticking to this for years, through both the light rumbles and seismic shakings of our times. 

I will continue to subscribe, not just to online content, but to the handsome and sturdy paper issues, whose feel reflects their character. Magazines, to be sure, are what they are because of the people who write for them. I first became a subscriber because I personally knew some of the writers whom Richard Neuhaus and his succeeding editors had the wisdom and skill to attract. These are people of integrity in the deepest sense. In some cases, I know of their otherwise unpublicized acts of generosity and devotion.

It was, and remains, the magazine’s virtue to provide an outlet for such character to be expressed in analysis, critique, and meditation of the highest intellectual caliber, and through faithful insight on the matters that most concern the religious and civic community. Integrity is most needed and often least visible in these contexts. In the midst of Diogenes’s ongoing search for an “honest man,” an honest church, an honest society, First Things continues to encourage us; and I continue to read.

Ephraim Radner is professor of historical theology at Wycliffe College.

Resist junk food journalism. Support journalism that nourishes the mind and soul by contributing to our year-end campaign today.

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