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The Living Tradition

By November 28, 2017 One Comment

By Scott Hoezee

Our blog here at The Twelve is closely tied to Perspectives Journal, whose history also intertwined in many ways with the old Reformed Journal.

In the end, this blog and those two magazines have a lot in common in ways that demonstrate the importance of something like The Twelve  today.

The Reformed Journal emerged as a thoughtful voice for a more progressive form of Reformed Calvinism during a time of great social, cultural, and also theological foment after World War II. It was 1951 when the Journal first appeared. Like many once insular faith communities, so also the Christian Reformed Church had seen its horizons expand after so many of its young men got swept up into a global conflict, exposing them to the wider world (its beautiful possibilities and its awful horrors). In the years after the war, the CRC’s religious fortress (to invoke Jim Bratt’s description) began to crumble. New thoughts and ideas poured in through the cracks in the wall against the outside world. This led to nervous uncertainty, fear of contamination. It also led to theological controversies and personal disagreements so fierce that it led to the firing of all but one member of the faculty at Calvin Theological Seminary in 1952.

During that time of uncertainty and on into the decades to come, the Journal was a place for thoughtful engagement on theological and cultural issues of the day. It was the place to ponder McCarthyism, the Civil Rights movement, Vietnam, the post-Watergate fallout, the rise of the Moral Majority and the emergence of evangelicals as power brokers in politics. Indeed, the RJ’s short columns labeled “As We See It” can be viewed as the ancestors of today’s posts here on The Twelve.

After the Journal ceased to exist, many of those who had been involved in it got involved in Perspectives and then eventually in The Twelve. It is our hope and belief that The Twelve now is also a place for Reformed reflection on the issues that are so prominent in this fraught socio-political moment. Our reflections may not always ring true with all readers even as those of us who share this blog platform may not always agree even with one another. But we are committed to keeping the conversation going in the best tradition of RJ and Perspectives.

But for that to happen, we do need funding. Of late we have been averaging well over 600 readers each day, and now and then certain blogs reach 2,000 or now and then even significantly more than that. If those of us invested in this enterprise all give at least a little, it will continue. The conversation will continue. Good Reformed dialogue will continue.

Please consider a gift for The Twelve. We promise to be good stewards not only of the money but of the rich theological tradition to which we are heirs.

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Scott Hoezee

Scott Hoezee is Director of the Center for Excellence in Preaching at Calvin Theological Seminary.

One Comment

  • Mark Bennink says:

    Thanks for sharing the background of how The Twelve is connected back to Reformed Journal and Perspectives. My father-in-law, Milton Essenburg, used to help edit the Reformed Journal when he worked as an editor at Eerdmans.

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