Sjogren’s Top Tens — Magazines

Top Tens – Magazines

I make it a point to read a number of magazines each month – that is, about thirty in all. Magazines are the fastest way to catch a glimpse of what is going on in our rapidly changing culture today and they are a much faster read than a book.

The following are the ones I make a point of reading without fail. These aren’t necessarily magazines written from a Christian perspective. All but one are secular reading materials. I assume if you are a Christian you have plenty of information on Christ-centered publications. The point of this list is to expose you to some places where you can better see and understand the culture going on around you.

Fast Company
This is my favorite magazine that deals with leadership and management issues. I read every issue word for word – it really is that good. I find the topics relevant to my leadership situations

Utne Reader
The word means “far out” in Norwegian, and it is well named. Each issue is a Reader’s Digest of sorts of the alternative press – that is, obscure publications you will probably never run across. These articles make for some interesting illustrations if not a reflection of where at least a part of our culture is heading..

My friend, Leonard Sweet, dean of Drew Seminary, calls Wired the sounding board for the postmodern culture of America. He says that every pastor of a postmodern population needs to read this one completely through each month.

Rolling Stone
You’re no doubt wondering if this is a typo. Nope. Rolling Stone is an inexpensive way to quickly get a glimpse of what is going on musically and culturally of the cutting edge of our postmodern world.
A note to the incredulous: You don’t have to agree with every page of the contents of a magazine to see through a window to the greater culture. If you are concerned about the occasional sexual innuendo, have your spouse or someone else edit it for you.

Entertainment Weekly
This is the best quick read out there that covers virtually all media – print, film, TV and the popular culture. I don’t watch TV. I find virtually all of it mindless and irritating. However, I am aware of what is popular so I can reference it in my talks because I’ve read about it in this magazine.

Assumption: You are on the web, right? If not you are not living in the present. Don’t fight the flow of technology. It’s inevitable. The Internet is a big place – you could hunt and peck for years and never run into much of substantial help. I recommend Yahoo because it gives a birds eye view of it all. This is an especially helpful publication if you are new to the web.

Christian History
This is the only Christian magazine I faithfully read. Each issue is dedicated to a single issue or person. And a thorough treatment it is – loaded with illustrations for future talks. An added bonus: The publishers of CH now offer past issues on CD-ROM for quick access and study.

Life @ Work
A new magazine that’s a cross between issues related to men’s concerns (ala Promise Keepers) and decent business strategic thinking. I consider this a crossover magazine that a prechristian could read and not feel cornered, but drawn to the wisdom and love of Christ. Each issue is very well done graphically.

If you are a frequent speaker you need to exegete both the scriptures and the culture – which is made up of individuals. Biography is a great source of info on the news makers so many in our culture look up to – whether they are worthy of such attention or not.
This daily e-zine offers an overview of political, high tech and financial currents. One of my favorite aspects of this site is the monitoring it does of about twenty major magazine cover stories — more mags than I have time to glance at on the news stand.
These guys offer two versions of the day’s religious news from a Christian viewpoint — an overview and an in-depth look. The stories are written briefly and to the point but they offer numbers of website links for further connections if the reader wants to pursue information.

The Economist
This is simply the best news magazine out there for presenting a non-biased perspective on world events. This British zine is pricey compared to Time or Newsweek, but you get what you pay for. I’ve been reading it for years and feel that it has given me a viewpoint that is well-informed and allows me to speak intelligently about the news when I refer to it in messages.

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