By Josh Seligman
'Ah, but what is the Kingdom of God?'
A relative asked me this question recently when I was describing Foreshadow to her. She is a theologian by profession, but it's a question I suspect most people ask, at least subconsciously, when I tell them that Foreshadow will feature writing that points to the Kingdom of God.
My answer to this question, as it involves Foreshadow, is essentially 'Watch this space'. One of my aims is that Foreshadow embodies an answer to this question through its memoir pieces, fiction stories, poems, music and other content. As several of my professors have advised in the craft of creative writing, 'Show, don't tell.'
Didn't Jesus himself describe the Kingdom of God through stories and images?
Stories and metaphors have power to teach people about spiritual realities that are difficult, if not impossible, to describe through other means.
I'm not saying direct teaching or preaching is ineffective. Jesus did this too, and called his disciples to do the same. It's essential, and it doesn't exclude the use of imagery. Effective sermons, for example, use illustrations to help listeners connect with and understand the message.
But many magazines already feature sermons and direct forms of teaching, and many do it well. Not many publications, though, are dedicated to proclaiming the Good News of the Kingdom primarily through art, beauty, music and narrative. Foreshadow seeks to fill this gap.
As author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry said, 'If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.'
I wonder if one of the reasons Jesus told his parables was to teach us to yearn and strive for the Kingdom of God. May Foreshadow continue that work.