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DECEMBER 2012: EDITORS’ NOTE
The end of the year always brings some changes to Perspectives. The most significant change is that beginning in 2013 we’ll be going to an every-other month publishing schedule—six issues per year. Be on the lookout for January/February 2013 soon.
This change is prompted by recognition of our limited human and financial resources. Running a journal with an all-volunteer editorial team is an adventure, to say the least. It often feels as if we are so consumed by our preparations for the upcoming issues that we don’t have the capacity to address the important big-picture questions. The dates on the covers of all magazines and journals are largely irrelevant, but you’ve probably noticed we’re typically about a month behind. And the world of publishing continues to be in such flux, no one dares predict where it might end. More of us get our information and reading material electronically. The costs of printing and postage continue to rise. But whatever the future holds, we’ll be able to say, “Perspectives—we outlasted Newsweek!”
Subscribers, fear not! You’ll still receive the same number of issues. In other words, your subscriptions will continue a bit longer since you paid for ten issues per year and will now be receiving six. Likewise, the cost of both new and renewed subscriptions in 2013 will decrease accordingly—now only $20 per year, a deal that’s hard to pass up! And to all those who prefer an actual paper copy, going to six issues per year does not indicate a turning away from paper. We realize that a considerable number of our readers like to hold a copy in their hands. We’re still proud of and pleased with the way our layout redesign of a couple of years ago makes that a positive experience.
At the end of 2012, we also say farewell and thank you to board members Steve Bouma-Prediger of Hope College and Theresa Latini of Luther Seminary. Both Steve and Theresa have served as guest editors on several issues. Steve served as book review editor for a number of years, and Theresa continues to contribute to The Twelve blog. We are grateful, Steve and Theresa, for your service. Phil Tanis is also stepping back from his duties as managing editor. It is impossible to enumerate all the good things that Phil’s work encompasses—practical, behind the scenes, creative, endless details and loose ends, always done in a timely and gracious manner. We’ll still need Phil’s fingers in some of the leaky holes in the dike. Phil, our gratitude to you is great.
It might not be surprising that as Reformed people we see ourselves as “institutionalists.” We deeply value our connections to the educational institutions of the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church, and of course, the Reformed family more broadly. However, these are more ties of heart and heritage than anything formal. Perspectives is not an official publication of the RCA or any other denomination. In recent years, the RCA has been a kind and generous partner with us, but we are not a party organ or denominational mouthpiece.
As a place that encourages the exchange of ideas and sharing of insights, we believe our work is an important asset to all these sibling institutions. Of course, since Perspectives does not express the official position of any denomination or educational institution, we may at times play the role of loyal opposition or in-house irritant. While we don’t see it as our primary role, now and then we may rock the boat a bit. We hope readers understand that what we publish never represents anything more than the ideas and positions of the author. We trust that our readers value our work for exactly that reason.
Part of the Perspectives ethos has been a desire to cultivate readers more so than subscribers. With this goal in mind, we continue to offer the entire contents of each issue free of charge on our website. Our daily blog, The Twelve, has been up and running for over a year. And we are currently exploring exciting new possibilities for our online presence.
While Perspectives wants readers, and we want to stimulate conversation and foster community, financial and practical realities are such that we also need subscribers and supporters, benefactors and patrons. If you believe there is a need for the voice of Perspectives in the wider Reformed family, we ask you to step forward. (The “Donate” tab at reformedjournal.com is a great place to start!) We depend on your financial support. Equally important, we appreciate your comments and suggestions, your referrals and sharing with others, and of course your prayers. Thank you for reading Perspectives and passing it around to friends. May the Lord bless you and keep us all in 2013. Happy new year!