Planned Literature Production Program
The Leading literature of this movement should not be the spontaneous outburst of personal urge to write, or the result of mere individual ambition to authorship. Rather, it should be the planned product of farseeing direction by our leadership. The best-qualified, clearest-visioned men in our ranks should be drafted to produce, in their respective fields, the most obviously needed and helpful contributions. Nor does this for one moment suggest the throttling of individual initiative. Neither does it imply regimentation. If volunteer manuscripts have merit, this will surely be recognized, and they will find their allotted place. Often has the Holy Spirit clearly led men to make notable voluntary contributions in the past, and this will unquestionably continue in the future. But the general program of publication should not be determined by the caprice of circumstance, or be chiefly dependent upon what happens to be offered to the publishers by various uncoinmissioned authors.
Our publishing houses must not drift into mere printing establishments for proffered products that may be acceptable. If manuscripts are selected principally because offered and available, opportunism will displace ideal balance and emphasis. Under such a hit-and-miss procedure, mediocre manuscripts will in*evitably crowd out superior ones, which are, of course, harder to get because those capable of producing really masterful treatises are very busy men whose time for writing is exceedingly limited. Such will probably not write without definite request by a responsible group.
Our publishing must not be confined too closely to promoting one class of publications only—the subscription book and the periodical work. Needful and important as this is, ours is, nevertheless, a world movement, with varied and imperative interests to serve—the church as well as those not of our faith; children and youth as well as adults ; educational, health, religious liberty, and other fields as well as the evangelistic phase ; periodical and tract as well as book needs ; the ministry as well as the laity ; the world field as well as certain divisions. This is forgotten only at great loss. The field is vast and varied, and of transcendent importance; for what our people read largely determines what they are.
Here is scope for real publishing genius. Here is room for outstanding literature leadership. The greatest message in the world deserves, yes, demands, the most effective presentation humanly possible. Our real possibilities have as yet scarcely been touched. Nor should sales probabilities be the chief determining factor in adjudging. A need that is adequately met should be our guiding principle.
The fundamental reason for all our publishing should be the evangelization of the world in the shortest time possible. We are to gather out and prepare a people from all classes, and tongues, and nations, to meet God. Whatever, therefore, does not directly or indirectly minister o that end should be relegated to the background. Let us crowd the mediocre, the light, and the frothy into the side lines. Let us plan our printed utterances in a statesmanlike fashion.
L. E. F.
Priceless Tools for Gospel Workers
The twelve highly artistic and impressive prophetic charts, pictured in miniature on page 47 are indeed priceless tools for gospel workmen, and are now available to the worker body of this movement. They form an important part of the new equipment now being devised to implement the greater-evangelism forward movement. The hour is therefore propitious for their release.
Charts had a vital place back in the first angel's message, the plan receiving inspired attestation. The "1843" chart marked a great advance over earlier charts. So today this new set of twelve charts just coming from the presses is a distinct advance over all previous chart attempts in this time of the third angel's message. In our former charts, all the symbols were usually clustered together on one sheet, often to the confusion of the uninitiated. Here they appear singly, or in distinctly related small groups. And the crude daubs of former days—as some of them were—are now superseded by highly artistic and impressive workmanship.
There is attention-arresting, convicting power in a good pictorial or diagramed chart. And a diagram, such as the 2300 days, is tenfold more effective when supplemented by effective inset illustrations. Pictured truth operates in harmony with the laws of the mind implanted by the Creator—that which is received by the eye being more vivid and permanent than that secured through the ear alone. This message is worthy of the very best that can be devised to promulgate it. And those who have projected, as well as those who designed, these charts, have rendered a distinct service to this cause, and will surely have their reward along with those who preach from the finished product.
A brief historical word may be appropriate. Long contemplated, and still longer needed, plans were laid in December, 1940, for these charts by appointment of a representative committee of fifteen, commissioned to counsel with the publishers, and to decide on the number, size, type, and form of these symbols. Numerous meetings were held, first with the artist's sketches to consider, and next with the finished drawings for criticism and modification. Then, in a Ministerial Association meeting, during the recent General Conference, samples of the completed charts done in two art styles were submitted—the naturalistic and the modernistic, or poster, type. These styles were put to ballot vote, with a heavy majority desiring the natural technique.
Such are the background and the process of preparation of these charts which are now ready and available. Fortunate are those gospel workers and lay evangelists who have access to such effective chart equipment !
L. E. F.