Our Story

Who are we?

What if there was more to life than the lies young people are bombarded with everyday? Scope Magazine is distinctly different, introducing students to a bigger scope of our world today through the Gospel.

We all have some sort of lens through which we see the world around us and it has been said that one really begins to develop this framework of belief during the formative university years. Scope Magazine opens minds and broadens perspectives about who God is and why it’s worth living for Jesus today. Instead of imposing this on anyone, we desire to bring through a message that will speak to any student on a level they can understand, initiating and cultivating conversations about what really matters in the world.

What we’re not

Before you think this is just another one of those ‘Christian things’ aimed only at Christians, think again.

We are not a Christian media platform catering only to a Christian audience. On the contrary, the content that we publish has both the spiritual and skeptic student in mind and encourages dialogue to take place amongst those who may have completely opposing worldviews. Christians have had the bad reputation of judging instead of loving those who are different to them – we promise to be sensitive about where you’re coming from and listen.

This is not a religious publication in the sense of us trying to indoctrinate young impressionable minds into the traditions of the Christian faith.

We are not expecting you to agree with everything that we publish, but would actually prefer you to think critically about the relevant issues that are raised, what the God of the Bible has to say about them, and consider if that is applicable to wherever you may be.

Where we’ve come

From its first edition in the beginning of 2012 under the old name of ‘The Good News’ magazine, it has come a long way!

It all started as a pipedream vision that Jonathan Just got in his first semester as an undergraduate student at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. It was a seed of faith he believes God sowed and began to water, especially after receiving support from an inter-denominational Christian society on campus called the Student Y. Fuelled by an insatiable desire to see the local church reach students with an accessible and applicable message of the Gospel, in 2015 Jonathan saw it necessary to change ‘The Good News’ (something which looked more overtly ‘religious’) to Scope Magazine. It has been an exciting platform, both in print and online, where young and old(er) people have been able to openly express their view of the Gospel as it speaks to the heavier and lighter issues that we all face.

All students want to know that they are part of some or other community while going through university. This publication serves as a medium to encourage church unity on campus, standing in agreement around the core doctrines of the faith. Jesus commanded in John 13:35 – “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” We want all students from different backgrounds and cultures to be exposed to this love, seeing it demonstrated in churches partnering together, and personally being drawn into this fellowship. It’s a church collaboration initiative called ‘Simunye’, which in Zulu means ‘we are one’, and is what the world should see when they look at God’s people.

Where we’re going

The future is bright for Scope Magazine.

Even though the media is definitely moving more and more into the digital realm and we are also heading in that direction – there is still potential for print. The goal is to see an annual printed edition coming out in September onto every main university campus in South Africa, being released in Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Port Elizabeth, Grahamstown, Durban, Bloemfontein, Potchefstroom, Johannesburg, and Pretoria. This edition will be unique to each region with content that is locally sourced and supported by churches in the Simunye collective. Each regional publication will be a physical representation of different churches all working together for one purpose and passion – to see the future leaders of our country impacted by God’s word.

Your first encounter with Scope Magazine may have been through picking up a printed edition on campus – we are glad you did! But we’re even more pleased you found us online – this is truly where it’s all happening. As you scroll through, may all the resources and cool stuff you find be stimulating, enriching, and relevant to what you’re currently going through in life. Just two key things to check out is a bi-annual digital edition that normally comes out in March and November with contributors from all over South Africa. And ‘Encompass’, which is a hub of regular blogs, podcasts, and video shared on our social media channels. Watch this space!

Grasping the whole Gospel

The Gospel, which in Greek literally means ‘good news’, is connected to the idea of a messenger coming excitedly to tell of a victory, bringing joy to all who listen. The Bible says that Jesus Christ came into our world as the Son of God “full of grace and truth” (John 1:14).

“Okay, that’s nice,” you say. “But what’s so good about this?”

Unpacking the answer to this question is exactly what Scope Magazine ventures to do. The grace and truth that Jesus showed the world will radically change the way you see your life and those around you. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 puts it well:

So from now on we regard no-one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

It goes beyond trying to be religious or acting like a ‘good’ person. Isaiah 64:6 says that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags in God’s sight. There is nothing good we can offer God. We need to become a ‘new creation’ and it is only possible in confessing our sin to Him and believing that Christ loved us so much that He died for us. He died so that our sins – past, present, and future – might be forgiven. And because He rose again from the grave, Christians have the great hope of eternal life not just when they die, but in the here and now. It doesn’t mean that they always live perfect lives (often far from it!). Rather, they have God Himself who is doing a powerful transforming work in and through them. They live life through a new lens.

Timothy Keller once said: “The gospel has been described as a pool in which a toddler can wade and yet an elephant can swim.” This is the beauty of the Gospel.  It can both adequately address the convoluted and complex issues of life, while also be as simple as giving your enemy a glass of cold water to drink on a hot day. Our desire is to try strike a healthy balance between the two.

May all that you find in Scope Magazine help you to probe deeper into what forms and informs the way you view this world. You only have one life – don’t waste it. You were fearfully and wonderfully created by the same God who made the stars and the galaxies and everything in-between. You are the pinnacle of His creation and He paid the ultimate price for you to realise just how much you are worth to Him. Live in light of this.

Welcome to a new view!