Definitions can be tricky. They can prove especially difficult to develop when the very thing to be defined is constantly changing and evolving. But I like a challenge, and I’m learning to live with more ambiguity these days.
So, it’s 2011 and the publishing world is undergoing seismic shifts, technology is changing at lightning speed and becoming more accessible by the moment, and the world’s needs seem only more desperate with each new conflict and natural catastrophe. Financial collapse, ebooks, the iPad, 4G, Facebook-fueled protests in Egypt, tornadoes, earthquakes in Japan and New Zealand, human trafficking, Mexican drug wars—the list goes on like some kind of “Subterranean Homesick Blues”-inspired mantra. (I wish I was as lyrical as Dylan.) Somehow all that brings me to NewHopeDigital.com (hereafter, NHD) and a definition.
NHD sits at the confluence of Christian publishing, technological advances, and the dire needs of the world. For me, NHD is a space, a cyberspace not limited by time or geography, where those interested in joining God on mission in the world can learn and listen, read and discuss, investigate and interact over important issues. That’s my definition. And I hope you will join me in seeing this vision blossom and bloom in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
For the not-so-abstract thinkers out there, a more descriptive, more official definition goes like this: NHD is an innovative Web venture from New Hope Publishers, providing readers and retailers with fresh content from top authors and others in multiple digital formats. Each month the site will have a specific theme, such as Orphan Care, Human Exploitation, The Persecuted Church, Upside-Down Kingdom Values, Immigration, and Disciple Making. We’ll be featuring regularly updated magazine-style content—articles, columns, feature stories, podcasts, videos—from New Hope authors and other contributors, in addition to the latest book releases.
I’m looking forward to fleshing this concept out. There’s so much happening today that Christians need to examine, think through, work for or against, pray about, and strategize for. God has called us to engage our moment, not the past (though we must learn from it) and not the future (though we must anticipate it as best we can). And these are dizzying times. But we can be thankful that the answer to the issues confronting us today is timeless—it is the gospel. Sin is real. It separates and alienates and twists and distorts and disfigures (think Smeagol/Gollum in The Lord of the Rings), and if not dealt with, will lead to eternal death. But, God in Christ is reconciling the world to Himself (see 2 Corinthians 5:18–21). And we get to be a part of that as He has empowered and commissioned us now to make disciples among all the peoples of the world, extending the love of God in word and action.
There’s no alternative plan out there. As Tom Blackaby writes in Experiencing God’s Love in the Church, “Where else can anyone find the love of God, if not in His church and among His people? If love cannot be found there, then there is no hope for a lost world. No hope at all.”
We want to love God, love our brothers and sisters, and to offer people hope in Christ. That’s what NewHopeDigital.com is all about.