Once More: The Threshold


A stretch of time never before traversed opens up before us. With such a prospect of new possibilities of service to our King, the proper attitude is not one of lightheaded celebration. Rather, with our eyes upon Him who is our strength and our glory we would greet one another with a handclasp of firm resolve to serve more effectively in that cause which excels all other concerns, the cause of the Kingdom of our lord.

In that spirit we who publish this magazine greet you, our readers, on the threshold of 1961. There is something exhilarating about the beginning of a new year. At such a time one’s spirit soars, much as it does when one stands high on a mountain and looks far down exciting vistas. Surely, the work of the Kingdom is never done. Surely, the possibilities for more effective witness are never exhausted. An organ like Torch and Trumpet can and must enter new paths of witness in furthering the cause to which it is dedicated, the Reformed Faith.

We greet you with deep appreciation of this our spiritual heritage and with steady resolve to keep its light shining brighter in 1961, under God’s blessing.


The above words might very well be taken to be just so much more of the lightweight patter that is often heard at the beginning of a new year. We do not mean them to be that.

We believe our greeting is spared from the judgment of superficiality because it comes with a confession. And our confession roots in the fact that it is not easy to publish a journal that seeks to further the Reformed Faith consistently and effectively. Of this we are keenly aware.

It is not easy to publish such a journal because it must accomplish two basic purposes. In the first place, such a magazine must express the Reformed Faith accurately and consistently. This is no easy attainment, as every careful student of theology knows.

In the second place, the magazine must demonstrate how every Christian in his place in life can and must live out of the faith, his task a calling from God. In this area we believe we have a record of more failure than success as a magazine. This is where much work has to be done. We confess our shortcomings here. And out of our confession rises a resolve.


We, the publishers of Torch and Trumpet, earnestly want to do more by way of stating and exalting the claims of Christ our King on all of life and culture. This must be more than a mere statement of claim. It must be a demonstration of the Christian leaven in every area of human concern. The extremes of culturism and pietism must be avoided -extremes which often meet, curiously enough. They meet when a Christian does not bear pertinent witness to his faith in an area of human interest (literature or social problems or physics or politics); when he deals with it as if Christians and pagans have this interest in common. For thus his faith is no more than purely personal piety, having no real reference to the cultural concern.

We wish to do something better than that. That something better is, we believe, what Calvinists have always sought to do on this score. But historical situations change, even though the essential faith does not change. Thus there must be new approaches and new evaluations of our Christian task and witness. In the total task of spreading the gospel we believe this intensive witness to the faith is always a most urgent concern. Torch and Trumpet seeks to do more in thus making disciples of all nations, according to the marching orders given by the lord. Our humble resolve is to further this effort in 1961.


We are grateful for the continued interest and support of our readers and friends. Without that interest and support our magazine could not long continue. We believe our readers constitute in the main a respectable bloc of Christians with a devoted interest in the furtherance of the Reformed Faith. Surely, the existence of such a bloc of Christians is reason for deepest gratitude to God.

As we move into 1961 we covet the continued prayers, interest, and support of our readers and friends. With such heavenward-looking support Torch and Trumpet should, with God’s blessing, move to more fruitful service in the year that lies ahead.

A cause so dedicated and so supported in humility can surely go forward in the confidence of Romans 8:31: “If God is for us, who is against us?”