At the beginning of this new volume year for the Standard Bearer, we have many things to report. We start with the most significant.
At a special and significant Staff meeting on August 31, the Standard Bearer Staff appointed two new editors. Rev. Joshua Engelsma and Prof. Brian Huizinga become editors to join the undersigned and to replace Prof. Russell Dykstra and Rev. Kenneth Koole. The Staff is very pleased and encouraged to have these brothers on board.
Readers are aware of Prof. Dykstra’s resignation this summer on account of his taking the call to be Byron Center PRC’s new pastor. They are unaware that Dykstra’s somewhat sudden resignation pre-empted Rev. Koole’s planned announcement of his retirement. Koole has turned 70 years old and was ready to lay down the editorial pen. With Dykstra’s resignation, Koole was willing to continue as one of the editors for another year. That is, until the special committee appointed by the staff informed him that they had found two men willing to take on an editor’s role. Thus, at the Staff meeting, the Staff received Rev. Koole’s resignation, thanked him for his seventeen years of service (Rev. Koole began serving with Dykstra and the undersigned in 2004), and appointed Engelsma and Huizinga.
The SB Staff which appointed these men is comprised of all the regular writers in the magazine, who now number 38. This body governs the magazine by their decisions to appoint or re-appoint editors, appoint
writers, assign rubrics, and more. In June this multitude of counselors appointed a special committee to search out new editors and then in August judged the recommendation of the committee to be sound: Appoint Engelsma and Huizinga.
Implied in these appointments was a decision to continue the shared editorship. Beginning in 2004, and for the first time in many years, three editors shared the responsibility to write editorials and edit the magazine. Many considerations have led the Staff to conclude that this way of editing the SB is wise. Among these considerations is the amount of work required. Few realize the weight of responsibility that the former, sole editors bore when at the same time they labored full time in the pastorate or teaching in the seminary.
Of note, and appreciated as well, is the concurrence of the overseeing bodies of the two new editors. Both Engelsma’s consistory and Huizinga’s Theological School Committee gave their approval for the men under their care to take on this added responsibility.
Rev. Joshua Engelsma is pastor of Crete (IL) PRC, and former pastor of Doon (IA) PRC. He is a well known writer in the SB and author of two RFPA books—Dating Differently: A Guide to Reformed Dating (2019) and Watchman on the Walls of Zion: The Life and Influence of Simon Van Velzen (2021). He is husband of Courtney and father of six children. Prof. Brian Huizinga presently serves as Professor of Dogmatics and Old Testament in the PRC Seminary, and formerly was pastor of Redlands (CA) PRC. He is well known for his doctrinal writing in the SB. He is husband of Michelle and father of five.
The SB staff (and editors) express thanks to God for the seventeen years of labor given by Prof. Dykstra and Rev. Koole. May our good God richly bless the newly appointed editors and cause the SB to prosper under their editorship. We must continue to be a witness of the Reformed faith of the Scripture, a defender of the faith, and an instrument to build up Christ’s kingdom worldwide.
Now, since the appointment of the two new editors was somewhat sudden, Rev. Koole has consented to write the first two editorials of this volume year. Thus, he writes for this issue and for October 15. The November 1 issue is the special Reformation issue, this year on the Diet of Worms where Luther gave his “Here I stand” speech. On November 15, Prof. Huizinga will begin to write.
Church news editor and more
Mr. Perry-“trivia-quiz”-VanEgdom is retiring from his position as our news editor. Perry knew how to keep the news interesting, especially with his little opening trivia quiz question to pique interest. We learned about the church. We thank the brother for his work, for fulfilling his assignments when the deadlines come with killing regularity, and for his evident interest in and love for the life of the church.
We cannot yet divulge who the new “News” editor may be. Although the prospect is optimistic that he can take the position beginning in one year, his optimism is “cautious.” We pray that the brother can accept our invitation. The temporary plan for the rubric is to have our managing editor, Mr. Charles Terpstra, with the help of a few others, produce the “News” each month (alternating issues), making use of feature news items from sister churches, mission stations, and so on. Thanks to our tireless managing editor who now wears yet another hat.
We may also note that Dr. Nathan Lanning, a contributor to the “All Thy Works Shall Praise Thee” rubric, resigned this spring. We thank him for his four years of service to the magazine and the valuable contributions he gave.
Rev. Arie denHartog
After many years of writing for the SB in various rubrics, most recently “When Thou Sittest in Thine House,” Rev. denHartog lays down the pen. The young minister was asked to contribute to the magazine early in his ministry. His first articles were two on “The Communion of Saints.” From there, he wrote over 200 articles for our edification. He retired from the active ministry in 2016. In God’s fatherly providence, health problems now prohibit the brother from preaching or writing. But his weaknesses do not hinder him from encouraging visiting ministers to his congregation after they preach. We remember, brother, your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Finally, a note of appreciation for the Reformed Free Publishing Association (RFPA), publisher of our magazine. This board of a dozen men have worked hard to establish and maintain a good working relationship with the editors and staff of the Standard Bearer. Although the Staff of the SB determines the writers and content of the magazine, the RFPA publishes, distributes, advertises, promotes, finances, and everything else important for the witness to go out. Without the RFPA, there is no magazine. Carry on, brothers, in this important work of the Lord.