I agreed to write a review for the brand new “Bible Study Magazine” in exchange for a copy of their inaugural issue. I’m not one for long reviews in prose form, so I will put what I see as pros and cons about the magazine in list format:
1. The articles are both scholarly and readable at the same time. One does not have to be a Greek or Hebrew geek to get a lot out of this magazine.
2. The content covers a wide range of theological topics, including, but not limited to things like apologetics, archaeology, and marriage.
3. With 50 pages of magazine, only 14 are given to advertising (when adding the sum total of ad space), which I see as a low percentage. It is nice to have magazines that come across as being rich in content as opposed to an ad catalogue with a few articles to give it credence.
4. Of all the theological magazines out there, this is the first one I have seen that is devoted to “Bible Study.” There are plenty of specialized theological journals and publications, but this one seems to find a good niche that is very important to the life of the Church.
1. By looking at the cover of this copy and the preview cover for the next issue, I do not like the really big headshot of the featured writer/contributor. This first issue has Josh McDowell staring you down, with a big smile on his face, like your friend’s Dad talking to you too closely and breathing heavily near your nose. You can even see the layout of his teeth. Next month, Kay Arthur has the exact same smiling headshot on the cover. In my opinion, zoom out a little, or take a picture of something else.
2. This magazine is put out by the Logos Bible Software company. I am an avid Accordance fan, and I know that Logos just came out with their Mac version, but I am still not going to switch. Maybe I’m prejudiced, but I hope this magazine does not turn into a large ad for Logos over time.
3. By glancing at the contributors and their backgrounds, I sense that there is a heavy representation of Conservative Baptists (a la DTS) running the show here. Now, I love the Baptists, and I love their focus on the Word (which is what this magazine is all about). But I hope to see a more broad representation of ideas from within the Evangelical community, such as the Pentecostals, the Wesleyans, the Emergent/Missional community, the Calvinists, etc. Perhaps that is already in their plans, but I just had that gut feeling about this first issue (footnote: I understand there is plenty of blurry crossover in the aforementioned groups).
There you have it. It is not a very scholarly review, but thanks to BSM for giving me my free copy. I love the chart in the back about the different canonical traditions within the Church (Protestant, Catholic, Ethiopian, Syriac, Orthodox, Hebrew, Samaritan)