By Mike Willis
This issue of Truth Magazine completes twenty-four years of consecutive publication. Through the years, Truth Magazine has been a medium for discussion of issues which were troubling brethren. The paper was born during the discussion of the sponsoring church and of church support of orphan homes and colleges in order to provide a medium through which those issues could be honorably discussed. Thousands of brethren have studied the issues through reading the pages of Truth Magazine. I personally have a great appreciation for the good which was accomplished by those who published the paper before me.
One cannot be content to rest upon past laurels of victory. The cause of Christ demands our constant, persistent efforts and labors. There are millions of Americans who have never obeyed the gospel; they need to be taught. There are thousands of brethren who have never studied the issues which have divided the church; they need to be exposed to material answering liberalism. There are thousands of saints who need to be grounded in the truth. Through the pages of Truth Magazine, we have sought to teach some who might not have been taught through other means. Truth Magazine is not indispensable; it is, however, another means of teaching people the gospel.
Closing this volume marks an end and a beginning – as does the last number of each year. But this end and beginning are unique. We look back on twenty-four years of service with appreciation for those who have sacrificed in labors before us. We look back on battles fought, casualties suffered, and victories won. But looking ahead, there lies before us new prospects for service, new challenges, new helpers, and a new name. With our next issue, the paper will be called Guardian of Truth. This represents a change in our name but not in our thrust. We shall continue to preach, defend, propagate, and guard the precious truths of New Testament Christianity (Phil. 1:17; Jude 3). Our commitment. to the gospel of Christ in its pristine purity and simplicity is irrevocable! In fact, our volume number will not be Volume I but Volume XXV to reflect the fact that this labor is a continuation of Truth Magazine. The change in our name simply reflects the purchase of Gospel Guardian as we welcome its subscribers into our mailing list. We intend to stand for the same truths and teach them with as much boldness as before.
We are “set for the defense of the gospel” (Phil. 1:17). We plan to “earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). We intend to imitate the example of Paul who, in his conflict with the Judaizers at Jerusalem, acted as follows: “to whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you” (Gal. 2:5). That is our intention in being a guardian of truth. We are guarding the truth, not in the sense that a miser hoards wealth and watches over it to be sure that no one steals it, but as a doctor guards the purity of the precious medicine which he dispenses. We, like Paul, are going to guard the truth in order to be sure that its truths are not corrupted by the traditions of men. We are not in the business of sitting on the truth but in the business of spreading it as the only hope of salvation in a world oppressed and doomed by sin. Yet, in respect to the message which is taken to the lost world, we want to be positive that it is the truth of the gospel. Hence we want to be a guardian of truth.
Truth Magazine Bookstore
In behalf of our bookstore manager, Bob Whitehead, I would like to express appreciation for our customers trusting us with their business. Without the book business, Truth Magazine could not be printed. Publishing Truth Magazine has always been a financial loss. Were it not for our book business, this loss would be greater than we could afford to bear and Truth Magazine could not continue to be published.
However, because of your continued book business, we are happy to announce that more new publications are being planned by Cogdill Foundation. The revisions on the first twenty-four books of the Walking with God series (pre-school through third grade) are nearly completed; the writing has been completed for several months and the art work is nearly half completed. We hope that sometime during 1981 this literature will be on the market. Brethren will be pleasantly surprised at the quality of this material, both with reference to its content and its appearance.
New books are being planned. In 1980, we published Abstain From Every Form of Evil, We Gather Together, Neo-Calvinism In The Church of Christ, He Looked ForA City, A Commentary On Paul’s First Epistle To The Corinthians, Directory of Churches, and perhaps other new books which I cannot remember at the present. Plans for new publications already started are as follows: Britnell-Woods Debate, Porter’s Sermons Outlines, a book of sermons edited by Earl E. Robertson, publication of twenty years of Question-Answer columns by Marshall Patton and other works.
Being a non-profit business, Cogdill Foundation cannot give its earnings to its Board of Directors. Salaries can be paid to employees but the remainder of the profits can only be used to publish other literature such as we are publishing. Hence, no one is going to get rich because of Cogdill Foundation. Rather, we shall continue to concentrate on producing more literature which teaches the word of God. Every book order which is directed toward Truth Magazine Bookstore makes it possible for more literature which is useful to brethren to be published. In the same manner, every book order that is directed to liberal brethren’s bookstores are used to promote a production of liberal publications. On this basis, I appeal to brethren to direct as much book business toward Cogdill Foundation as possible. We want to serve you better each year.
I must also commend Bob Whitehead to you. Bob has labored many years to make Truth Magazine Bookstore one of the best book stores in the nation. He is not interested in seeing us handle a bunch of denominational garbage. He is interested in selling good material and providing good service. I have been in meetings as far as 600 miles from Truth Magazine Bookstore during which orders placed on Monday arrived on Wednesday. Brethren appreciate that kind of service and Bob intends to deliver it.
Excited About The Future
Yes, I am excited about the future. I am thrilled to see the number of reports concerning the establishment of new churches. I never have completely recuperated from the shock of seeing so much good news of this nature as I have seen since beginning to edit Truth Magazine. I am impressed with the number of young gospel preachers who are laboring among us. Most of them are dedicated to Christ and well taught in the first principles. I do wish that more of them were reading some of the restoration literature classics such as T.W. Brent’s Gospel Plan of Salvation, Lard’s Commentary of Romans, McGarvey’s Commentary on Acts, and other such material. Frankly, I have more respect for these men than I have for the writings of William Barclay, Albert Barnes, Hendriksen, and other denominational scholars.
I am also excited about the work planned through Guardian of Truth. Truth Magazine has the highest circulation which it has enjoyed in several years. Now, we are adding the mailing list of Gospel Guardian to our mailing list. Hence, our circulation is continuing to show increases. That reflects, to some degree at least, that brethren are enjoying the paper and recommending it to their friends. We appreciate this good-will. Without it, no paper can long exist.
With that in mind, I would like to again request our friends to recommend Guardian of Truth to their friends. Pick up some of those old issues which are laying around the house and give them to your friends with your personal recommendation. If you would do’that much, you will help us to increase our circulation and expose more people to the teaching which is available in our pages.
In accordance with our agreement with the Post Office, we will publish no issue next week. We look forward to our first issue of 1981 under the banner of Guardian of Truth.
Truth Magazine XXIV: 50, pp. 803-804
December 18, 1980