As I write, I just finished uploading the most recent issue of Sojourners magazine to our Web site, Sojourners Online. Over the past three years I have posted more than a thousand articles, dating back to November 1994.
It must be acknowledged that cost and other factors will always exclude many people from this technology, but it certainly does have its benefits. Once on our site, for example, anyone in the world can search by any word and find any Sojourners article in which it occurs. After talking with my son about a Bruce Cockburn concert he recently attended, I entered Cockburn’s name in the Sojourners search engine, and instantly found all of the Sojourners articles where Cockburn is mentioned.
If I am preparing a talk on the Sermon on the Mount for my youth Sunday school class, I can find all of the places where Matthew 6 has been used. Our men’s group agreed to discuss Richard Rohr’s article, "Boys to Men" from last month’s issue. I only had one copy of the magazine, and several wanted to borrow it. Then I realized we could all copy it from Sojourners Online. (Yes, we are an enlightened men’s group and all have e-mail and Web connections).
I don’t think the Internet will ever replace books or libraries. An article on a screen can never replace a worn copy of Sojourners that I can curl up with late at night before going to bed. Making Sojourners available on the Web is my way of giving back to others for all that I received during the many years I worked and lived with Sojourners. I believe that there is enduring value in many of the issues and articles that have been published over the years, and this is one way of making them easily and cheaply available to view and use.