By Cecil Willis
With last week’s issue, we completed eighteen years publication of Truth Magazine. For the past five years, Truth Magazine has appeared on a weekly basis. The Latins had an expression, tempus fugit, which means “time flies.” Allen Sommer amused me a few years ago as he wrote the last article for the more than one hundred year old American Christian Review. He closed by saying, “tempus sure do fugit.” And so it does. It hardly seems possible that we could already have completed five years as a weekly journal.
Last year we enlarged the paper, and intended to go to an 8 1/2 by 11 inch page size. However, since we have bleed-off color on the front page (i.e., color all the way out to the outer edge of the trim size), we were unable to get a full 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper this year. Truth Magazine is printed on a very fast rotary web-fed press (both sides of both sheets, including the color are printed on one press run). The rollers that pulled the paper through the press from two one-thousand-pound rolls picked up the color on the outer edge of the front cover, and then transferred that color to the outer edges of succeeding pages. We therefore ended up with an 8 1/4 by 10 3/4 inch page size.
However, this next year we have purchased wider rolls of paper so that we will be able to trim out a full 8 1/2 by 11 inch page. This 1/4 inch on each margin may seem insignificant to most readers, but it is important when we come to bind the 200 bound volumes each year. The one inch wider paper will permit us to have ‘/4 inch more margin on the inside or gutter of each page. This will make reading from the bound volumes much easier. We are shortening the lines of type from 21 3/4 picas to 21 picas, which means we are shortening each line about 1/8 of an inch, in order to have a larger outside margin on each page, which will make for a better looking paper, and also allow more space for trim for the bound volumes.
This kind of information is technical and of little interest to many of you, but I thought some explanation needed to be made. You will notice also that in the last issue of Vol. 18 we included not only an Author Index, but for the first time also a Topic Index. Several brethren have mentioned how valuable a Topic Index would be in years to come, as preachers and teachers sought to utilize the good material presented in various issues of the paper. In order that the last issue of Vol. 18 might not be consumed almost entirely by indexes, we added an eight page supplement to that issue, at a cost of about $250.00 to us.
It also is our intention to include in Vol. 19 the November and December issues of 1975, so that thereafter each bound volume will be on a calendar year basis. At some time in the future, we hope to publish a subject index for all the preceding volumes of Truth Magazine. This would be a major and costly project, but it will make the paper much more useful to those who keep their copies, or buy bound volumes.
Everything continues to increase in costs, as I recently discussed with you in an article on “Inflation and Religious Printing.” We have just been informed that there will be a price increase of 12.5% at least by January 1st. That means that our prices will have increased by 34.6 % in the last two years. These percentage increases may not sound too bad to you, but to illustrate what it does to us, the increase over the past two years would add approximately $50,000 to the cost of the printing which we did at Berne, Indiana between January and September, 1974. Some price increases are inevitable, if we are going to remain solvent and stay in business. We have put off price increases as long as possible, but we probably will have to make some across-the-board price increases about January 1, 1975.
But now let us come to some more pleasant thoughts, and tell you who our new staff writers are, and something about each one of them.
New Staff Members
After several months of deliberations among ourselves and of discussions with those to be involved, we now are ready to announce the appointment of several new members to the Truth Magazine staff. Those to be named are being appointed as “Staff Writers.” Due to our wide dispersion geographically, it seemed a little inaccurate to continue to add people to the staff as “Associate Editors,” since there is so little opportunity for us to confer editorially.
Before announcing the names of these men, there are a few introductory remarks that I deem appropriate. It should be understood, without our having to state it, that the fact that one is on the staff of a journal like Truth Magazine does not imply that he endorses every statement made by some writer within the pages of Truth Magazine. Nor should the appointment to the Truth Magazine staff be construed by anyone that those appointed agree with every statement that the Editor of this journal makes, or with the manner in which it is made. No attempt at coercion into a blanket sort of endorsement has been made, or ever will be made, so long as I have anything to do with the editorial policy of this paper. Truth is made to shine brighter by the conflicts that occur in regard to it. On some occasions, there may even be articles written by staff members in reply to something written by other staff members. We hope that the occasion for such a reply will be rare, but it is not precluded. This paragraph is written more for the exoneration of our new “Staff Writers” than for their intimidation. It is unfair to charge anyone, other than the writer, with the import or plain teaching of any article, unless that person has somehow otherwise in dicated approval of the position under discussion. Every man does have the responsibility to defend, or repudiate, what he has written for public consumption, and no staff member will be excluded from this duty.
Some of our readers may be a little surprised at the youth’of some of those whom we have chosen as “Staff Writers.” We are realistic to know that the remaining work for some of our current staff members, by reason of their age, necessarily will be limited in quantity, even though their maturity probably will enhance the value of what they produce. A few of us on the staff are supposedly in the middle-years of our life, though we all realize that the vicissitudes of life may later make evident that those of us who thought we had many years of fruitful work ahead also were in the sundown years of our lives.
All of us who now are on the staff thought it timely that we reach back and pull into the efforts made through Truth Magazine some of the able younger men among us. Choosing such men was a difficult task, because there are so many able young men among us. We could as easily have chosen a dozen or two dozen such able young men. Some of the younger men chosen were selected because of long acquaintance with them which has resulted in implicit confidence in them. And to be perfectly frank, we realized that their ability was such that someone else would soon snatch them up for appointment to the staff of some other journal. Since we wanted some younger men on the staff of Truth Magazine, after great deliberation we have chosen eight younger men to work with us as Staff Writers. Two or three of these men would probably require the stretching of one’s definition of “younger” in order to get them in, but of the remainder, some are quite young.
We have not chosen any man about whose soundness we had the slightest doubt. Of course, no man is an infallible judge of men, nor is any one of us immune to the possibility of apostasy. Should anyone of us digress from the truth, it would be the duty of the others on this staff to reply to his error, and to dismiss him from the staff of Truth Magazine. While discussions intended at arriving at truth, or illuminating for others truth already known, are the primary purpose for a journal like Truth Magazine, it is our intention that Truth Magazine shall never devolve into a platform for digressives or those with crank-ideas. There is such a thing as editorial responsibility, and we intend to discharge that responsibility as judiciously as we know how, until either God or men shall remove us from such a position of responsibility. Some brethren have the idea that everything that anyone wants to say on any subject should be published in the pages of a journal like this. If such were the case, there would be no need for an Editor; we simply could hire a printer and instruct him to print everything that came in for publication.
We have asked each of our new “Staff Writers” to provide us at least six articles a year. If the time should come when they, for any reason other than sickness or other justifiable hindrance, should decide no longer to write for Truth Magazine, we have asked that they be manly enough to ask that their name be removed as “Staff Writers.” We do not need a Masthead loaded down with non-productive staff members. It always is difficult to ask anyone to resign, simply because he is not writing. Perhaps to lessen the frequency of that difficult chore, it has been my practice to ask that men who no longer intend to write for Truth Magazine ask that their name be removed as a “Staff Writer” or as an “Associate Editor.” I will assure you that if the Editor were to cease writing, my associates would not permit me long to remain on the staff.
Writing For Digressive Journals
However, we have never made any effort to discourage our writers from sending articles to other journals which stand for divine truth. Several brethren who have been writing frequently in the Gospel Guardian, while under its Wallace -Fudge management, have begun seeking to get their articles of general interest published in the Christian Standard, a publication by Christian Church personnel. The July 28, 1974 Christian Standard gave a brief review of the history of that journal. From its inception in 1866, it has always been a journal that stood for digression. In fact the defense of digression was the very thing that precipitated its birth. The afore mentioned issue says, “Standard editors, all of them, do worship and serve in local Christian churches …. Twenty-nine of the editors teach regularly in Bible school; five are superintendents; five are youth sponsors; ten sing in choirs. Three are preaching regularly; one is an associate minister; one serves as an elder, and one as a director of Christian education.” If brethren Gordon Wilson, Edward Fudge, and Wayne McDaniel were writing in the Christian Standard on subjects that are pertinent to the errors held by Christian Church people, my reaction would be, “More power to them!” However, they have only written inane little pieces that might as easily appear in a Methodist Sunday School journal, and in some cases have written articles that teach precisely what the Christian Church would like for them to say. In most cases, saying what the Christian Church has wanted some gospel preacher to say is the very reason why their articles have been published. Some of the articles have taught Christian Church doctrine better than most Christian Church preachers could do it. Why brethren Wilson, McDaniel, and Fudge would even want their names connected with the Christian Standard, I do not know. Why they would lend their influence to its purposes by writing for it, I do not know.
Other Good Papers
But I digressed from my initial statement in the above paragraph. Several good papers are published by faithful brethren, and some new journals are being started. A detailed reference to these new journals will be made in a later issue. If any of our staff writers wish to send material to other journals, that is entirely their business. As “Staff Writers” of Truth Magazine, we would like the first chance on what they write. But if they wish to write additionally for other papers, of course none of us already on the staff would object. In fact, several of us have written and yet may write for other journals. Brother James Adams continues to serve as “Front Page Writer” on the Preceptor staff. But I had better get on with the announcement of our new staff members. Lest anyone think I am attempting to rate our new staff members, I have chosen to introduce these new staffers in alphabetical order. A little biographical information will be given concerning each man.
Donald P. Ames
Don Ames was born in Denver, Colorado on July 28, 1938. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Ames, operate an apple orchard in Union, Nebraska, though his father has worked previously as an engineer. Don has three younger sisters. Don’s family, during his early years, were members of the Christian Church. Paradoxically, it was none other than Leroy Garrett who taught them what was wrong with instrumental music. It would be such a blessing if Leroy would go back, restudy those old lessons that convinced the Ames family, and learn again himself the lessons he once taught.
Don had great aspirations while in High School. He decided he was going to be: (1) a banker; (2) a preacher; and (3) a fighter pilot in the Air Force! That would be quite a combination.
Don’s early years in college were spent at York College. While at York, he met brethren Vinson, Pennock, and Leslie Diestelkamp who just had started a new journal called Truth Magazine. Don completed two more years of college at Florida College. Upon graduation, he moved to Aurora, Illinois where Truth Magazine had originated and continued to be published for its first six years. Don served as Business Manager for the paper and operated the bookstore. While in Aurora, he met and married Miriam Travis. They now have two children: Mark who is 11, and Joel (adopted) who is 3.
After Truth Magazine was moved from Aurora, Don worked in a local bank, though all the time continuing to preach. I have no information regarding any “fighter pilot” activity during these years while he “banked” and preached. From 1964-1972 he preached for the church at 410 S. Michigan in Chicago. A conflict with bank officials over contributions to the United Fund severed his bank connections, and in 1972 Don moved to Tuckerman, Arkansas to work full-time with the good church there,. At Tuckerman, Don is engaged in a heavy load of teaching and preaching. He speaks regularly on a radio program, and edits a weekly bulletin for the local church, and edits a monthly bulletin which is mailed out to people in the community. Don has written, “Throughout this time, my interest in Truth Magazine, its fine stand for the truth, . . . has remained high, and I regard it as a real honor to be asked to return again to the staff of the magazine.” And we are glad to have him!
It seems strange to be announcing the appointment of one to the staff who has been writing for the paper regularly for-twelve years. But Karl has never been given any formal position other than “News Briefs Editor,” and we felt he also officially should be on the staff. Karl will continue to handle the “News Briefs” section, and write on other subjects as he sees fit, and is disposed to do so.