by Keith Bassham
Two features dominate the Tribune this month. First is the report on the May Graduation Fellowship Week. We report not only what happened but also some impressions from several who attended. The crowds and the schedule have slimmed somewhat from a couple of decades ago, but the quality of the presentations and the general enthusiasm created a great atmosphere for fellowship. We approved a good group of missionaries, and noted a larger-thannormal ratio of younger attendees. In the words of one observer, it was a good kind of momentum.
The second feature is an analysis of a book and an idea that created some controversy in the evangelical world this spring. The book is Love Wins, and the idea is no wrath of God toward sinners. The notion of a hell-free gospel comes up every few years or so, and even though the traditional views are well founded and well defended, we must be teaching sound doctrine continually. Greg Christopher of Baptist Bible College has provided his analysis of the new book and a defense of the traditional view of hell.
I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to the idea that the end of the year for the Tribune falls about now. Our fiscal year, the calendar we use for business purposes, runs from July to June. Our publishing year, the one we use to record volume and issue numbers, ends in August. My annual meeting with the Board of Directors takes place during Fellowship Week. And I just set up the time for our audit to take place a couple of months from now. So for us, it’s the end of the year.
I suppose it all makes sense when you remember the official birthday for the Tribune is June 23, 1950 (on a whim, I showed that date when I set up our Facebook page — by the way, you could join the Tribune’s more than 1,500 Facebook friends if you want).
This end of the year thing also explains our publishing schedule this time of year. We do not publish in May until after the Fellowship Meeting, and then we do not publish again until July with a combined July-August issue.
We had a good year financially. We spent less than we took in. Some of our planned cost rises did not occur, and even though our annual offering is down some from previous years, most of our friends came through for us, and we uncovered some new ones along the way.
We learned more about publishing in the digital age. We expanded a few digital offerings from the Tribune (I mentioned the Facebook thing above) so a complete copy of the magazine is available alongside the abridged edition we publish on the Tribune website. We will look for more ways to improve in the future.
I am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to serve our Fellowship this past year, and I appreciate the continued vote of confidence in the work of the Tribune.