Hi, we’re new here.
I moved to a new city only once when I was little. It was the third grade. The next time I forged my way in a new place I was twenty-two—just a child-bride looking for a job and a friend . . . or seven. There’s something about third graders that makes being the new kid less nauseating than it does when you’re an adult.
I particularly dread the get-to-know-you conversations of adult moving. You know the ones: they contain questions to which no answer ever feels impressive. “No, I haven’t been here that long. I just moved last month.”
These happen over and over. I get it. There’s only so much you can do to immerse yourself in a conversation that covers the same questions as a national census.
Being the new folks on the internet doesn’t feel all that different. I can’t tell you how many non-Fathom readers I have cultivated by stammering through my response to “What does Fathom do?” So we decided to not answer those questions here. At least not in a straightforward way.
The theme of our debut issue is convictions. It’s not necessarily the convictions of culture, the ones we think should be investigated further, or even the ones we believe you should hold. These are the convictions that reside in each member of the Fathom team: the ones that got us all eager to start a digital publication.
In some of our pieces, like “The Resurgence of Reasoning” and “What Is the Bible?,” we won’t be shy about the passions that propel this publication. Other articles are more of a showcase of the things we support. For instance, the author reviewing the novel Silence should prove that we don’t think any less of those who wrestle with the hard parts of Christian faith—we may even think more of them.
Some aren’t articles at all, really, but they tell you what we value. Q&AAA is about hearing different perspectives. The Drift highlights cultural happenings. And our Conduits of Conversation will look to make you better, smarter, or faster in some way (this issue the Fathom team recommends things that make you a better conversationalist—no census data here).
Regardless of the approach, all the pieces in this issue reflect the Fathom way, if there is such a thing yet. So consider this issue our introduction.
We’re Fathom, and it’s nice to meet you.
Cover photo by Mark Asthoff.