Discover Academic Journals
When many people want to learn about a subject, looking to books is the first thought. There is nothing wrong with books, but they are not the only option. When I teach courses at a Bible college or Christian university, I recommend to my students that they should use academic journals.
Why use journals when books are so much easier to find? When an author writes a book, that material is tied to the publication date until they have enough material for a new edition. That same author can publish new material on that subject in a journal, providing the reader with more up-to-date information than would normally be available.
Another advantage to journals is that you can often find an article directly on the topic you are interested in, while there may not be such a book. Another point to keep in mind is that the books you read are often getting their information from journals. It is good to go directly to the source.
How do you get access to academic journals? One way is to join a scholarly society such as the Evangelical Theological Society or the International Society of Christian Apologists. With the membership fee, many societies provide a subscription to their journals.
If you are a university or college student, you likely are given free access to most journals in electronic format through the library. There are also a number of journals that are available for free online. For example, the journal I edit, Hope’s Reason: A Journal of Apologetics, is available for free online but can also be purchased as a print edition.
What journals should you look to? That depends on the subject that you are studying. In terms of apologetics, I provide a list of journals and magazines at my Apologetics Resources page. You can also find a list of online journals here. Another very good resource is Theological Studies.org.uk.
My challenge to you is find one good theological or apologetics journal to read. There are plenty of free options but you might want to join a society. If you already subscribe to journals, my challenge to you is to submit an article for publication in a journal.
Find other posts in this series here.