A few months ago, Pete Faber commented that if the Beacon Lights had an office, it would have to have a revolving door to accommodate the high turnover of personnel. After three years of dedication to the Beacon Lights, Pete himself has decided to resign. The Beacon Lights went through some major changes during those three years, and the number of subscriptions increased fifty percent, from 800 to 1200. Brian Kuiper, the treasurer of the Beacon Lights for the past five years and one of the Beacon Lights’ most senior members, has also resigned. The staff and I wish to thank Pete and Brian for their years of diligent work and pray that God may be with Pete, his wife Karen, and Brian.
Along with the job of editor, I inherited one of the few extant series of Beacon Lights. Apparently the most recent volumes are in the process of being bound, but I have the copies from the first edition, printed in January 1941, to those of 1970. I have not had time, of course, to read all of them, but I did read many of them, and I would like to share with you some interesting moments from the history of the Beacon Lights.
The thing which struck me most was the subject material. Many of the subjects (and pertinent, I might add) which we now find in the Beacon Lights are topics which have been discussed for the last fifty years. Subjects like drama, dancing, and drinking appear time after time. What is more interesting, however, is that the level of “conservativeness” and “liberality” has not seemed to have changed much, nor have the arguments of either party.
The conventions have produced an immense impact on the Beacon Lights. Old articles are replete with arguments for and against a convention, advertisements, topics, and convention speeches. What I found most interesting, however, were the pictures. Seeing conventioneers dressed in plaids with thick, heavy glasses, sporting crazy hairdos, could not help but make me wonder what the following generation will think of our styles.
I was also intrigued by the copiosity of military themes. During the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, the Beacon Lights made an enormous effort to reach the G I’s in World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, by dedicating columns, articles, and even entire editions to those serving our country.
I would like to think that I have learned something from reading these articles, and from life in general, something which will influence my attitude toward the Beacon Lights. First, although I do not wish to understate the importance of “traditional” topics, I would like to explore some fresh, new, and relevant ideas. Although history and old debates are certainly important, we must also look at the present and to the future. I think that this is reflected in a small way in my article about science. Secondly, I think that knowledge of the Bible is paramount, so to help both you and me, I have started a Bible quiz which I hope you will find both interesting and helpful. The difficulty of the quiz is supposed to increase as one gets to the later questions, and I would like to hear your input about the quiz in general, and the difficulty in particular. Thirdly, upon reading both old and new copies of the Beacon Lights, I noticed that some people write letters to criticize contributors. If you feel as though some writer needs to be corrected, we welcome your comments, but I ask that you do so in a polite, tactful way. I do not wish to receive letters lambasting a conscientious writer with vitriolic criticism, nor do I wish to make the Beacon Lights a forum for mudslinging.
Finally, I would like to encourage all of you to consider writing for the Beacon Lights. It is only through your help and comments that the Beacon Lights can be successful. If you do wish to send an article, we ask that you send us a copy of the computer disk as well as the printout (if you use a computer) so that our typesetter can eliminate redundant typing. My address is:
1013 McClelland Drive
Grandville, MI 49418
or you can reach me via the Internet at IN%“KM220595@HOPE.CIT.HOPE.EDU” I look forward to an interesting time as editor, and pray that God may lead me in what is right and pleasing to Him.