John Buckeridge considers ‘finger lickin’ good’ slogans

Each family has its traditions. One of ours is to buy a board game each Christmas. This year, once the turkey and Christmas pud had been polished off, the Buckeridges sat down to play the latest offering. ‘The Logo Game’ asks trivia questions about household brands – their logos, straplines and slogans.

It was striking just how many brand slogans we remembered. From Nike ‘Just do it’, McDonalds ‘I’m lovin’ it’, Tesco ‘Every little helps’ to perhaps the most promoted and best known slogan of all time ‘The real thing’ (Coca Cola), vast marketing budgets have been spent on promoting brand values.

I can’t take credit for this magazine’s strapline, my predecessor dreamt it up. And it certainly hasn’t benefited from a marketing campaign, but I love it. ‘Real life. Real faith. In the real world’ perfectly sums up what we aim for in each issue. My colleague Ruth Dickinson and I look to include authentic reports, articles, reviews and news stories each month which reflect what it is like to be a follower of Jesus Christ today.

We don’t claim to always get it right, but that strapline is the ethos that influences our editorial choices about what does and doesn’t get included. Sometimes the magazine reflects the dilemmas and disappointments Christians face – like the moral failures of high profile leaders or churches that are declining or closing. Other times we feature news of healing and hope – like testimonies of people coming to faith or churches growing. When ‘Dear Maggie’ launched in 2006 we received mixed reviews. Some thought (and still do) it was inappropriate to print such frank advice on sex and relationships. Happily most readers have appreciated the need to provide a biblical and yet down to earth perspective on what is a lovely gift from God.

Feedback from last year’s reader survey and the comments of numerous readers I have met in person, suggest many of you would like us to address other questions, beyond sex and relationships, about the daily struggle to be a disciple of Christ in our humanistic, materialistic Western society – hence the launch of a new column this month. ‘Ask Steve’ gives you the opportunity to ask your real life questions. I believe that Steve Chalke is well placed to provide authentic and biblically based perspectives.

In addition to his print column, you can also watch a short film of Steve addressing each month’s question and others at For quite a while now we have been increasing the quantity of web material to supplement the magazine. This includes a significant archive of past articles that is free to access for all subscribers. This month, our profile interview with Ken Costa addresses questions about the banking crisis in greater depth in a Premier.TV interview. Look out for the mouse logo throughout this issue for further web-related links.

I hope you find the mix of print, web and video resources matches the aspiration we have to be authentic about following Christ in 2010.