With this issue, the Standard Bearer enters the eighty-third year of continuous publishing. This cannot be noted without expressing gratitude to God for making the bimonthly publication a reality—including the financial support, the RFPA, and the superb support staff. Above all, we thank God for willing and able writers who are committed to the Reformed truth.
The start of another volume is a good time to look back, and to give a preview of the coming year.
The Standard Bearer will introduce two new features for the coming year. First, we plan to print a number of Rev. Haak’s Reformed Witness Hour sermons from past years. The staff agreed with the editors’ assessment that Rev. Haak’s sermons are profitable, being the fruit of much hard work by a capable minister. The new rubric will be entitled Sounding Out the Word, an allusion to I Timothy 1:8, “For from you sounded out the word of the Lord….” The words “sounded out” are the translation of a Greek word meaning “to echo forth” or “to broadcast.”
The second new feature will be installments of a Dutch work entitled Not Anabaptist, But Reformed (Niet Doopersch, Maar Gereformeerd). The Reverends Henry Danhof and Herman Hoeksema wrote this 70- page pamphlet in the heat of the controversy over common grace in the Christian Reformed Churches. In it they respond to Rev. J. K. VanBaalen’s charge that a denial of common grace is Anabaptist. The translation was done by seminarian Daniel Holstege under the supervision of Prof. David Engelsma.
The October 15 issue of the SB will be our annual Reformation issue, devoted to some aspect of the great sixteenth-century Reformation. This year, it is devoted to the reformation in the Netherlands. Another special issue is planned for later in the year on the topic of the Lord’s day.
For the rest, our writers remain the same, with one notable exception. Prof. Herman Hanko has decided to remove himself from the list of regular writers in theStandard Bearer. His exposition of Galatians will be discontinued in the SB, and readers will have to wait for the rest when the book is printed by the RFPA, D.V. About a half a dozen articles remain to be printed in his rubric Marking the Bulwarks of Zion.
This is something of a historic occasion, in that Prof. Hanko has been writing for the SB for more years than any other writer, with the possible exception of his father, the late Rev. Cornelius Hanko. Prof. Hanko’s first article as the newly-ordained minister in Hope PRC (Grand Rapids) was a feature article on the parable of the sower (Matt. 13)—in the January 1, 1957 issue (Vol. 33). He was soon pressed into regular service as the writer for All Around Us, a post he held for fifteen years. Next he wrote columns officially entitled My Sheep Hear My Voice, the most memorable of which were his “Let- ters to Timothy,” advice for a young pastor and his flock, and an in-depth study of “Our Order of Worship.” Prof. Hanko, always willing to plow new ground, delved into the difficult issues of Christian ethics in the rubric Walking in the Light. In more recent years, SB readers have profited much from Prof. Hanko’s years of study in church history.
We thank God for Prof. Hanko’s years of service to theStandard Bearer. God gave him the conviction that writing for the SB, defending and developing the truth, was an obligation, not an option. For years of faithful service, for pages and pages of edifying articles, for countless book reviews, and for solid contributions to the Reformed faith, Prof. Hanko, thank you!