Grateful for WORLD history
To defend the faith revealed in Scripture meshes with today’s journalistic mission
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Have a look at the cover date of this magazine: It’s our first issue for the month of August and most closely coincides with what must be considered our anniversary day, Aug. 10, 1981. That was the cover date of the first issue of the first newsmagazine published by our organization, It’s God’s World.
Our staff worked for months to produce that first issue, of course, so that pushes the true “start date” back into at least the spring of that year. And that same group of employees had been publishing magazines prior to our launch of newsmagazines, so the true start date is hard to pin down.
Ultimately, I suppose we could look back to June 11, 1942, and we may celebrate that date as an 80th anniversary of sorts next year—as we’re always looking for opportunities to celebrate God’s goodness to us. That is the date of our original incorporation in North Carolina as the Southern Presbyterian Journal Company.
While the specific purpose of that organization obviously was denominational, its broader mission, “to defend and perpetuate ‘the Faith once delivered to the Saints’ as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments,” certainly is congruent with the purposes of the Biblically objective journalism we practice at WORLD today.
Nobody from those early days is still around. Because of that, it’s hard to know how much today’s WORLD shares with the original Journal. We know many things have not stayed the same. Joel Belz arrived at the Journal in the late ’70s, and by the time he took over the organization in 1985 (the same year we changed our corporate name), I think it’s safe to say he knew some changes needed to be made, both in the organization’s business model and in its approach to some important issues.
But while some important things did change, the most important things did not: the organization’s commitment to Scripture as the basis for truth, and its emphasis on the defense of the faith through publishing.
Those two commitments underlie WORLD’s mission today. The word “publishing” has many new meanings—beyond putting ink to paper—but Biblically objective journalism demands reporting, interpreting, analyzing, and forming opinions based on the eternal truth of the Old and New Testaments.
In that sense, we hope we’ll be pursuing our mission 40, 80, even 100 years from now, if God allows us to continue that long.
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