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Happy Birthday, Banner!


Treasures from the Attic

Want to find out more about the history of The Banner? Read these articles from Banner archives. They’re posted on our website.

A Quick Trip through History by Arthur W. Hoogstrate, July 1, 1966 (Centennial issue)

The Banner: In the Church But Not Just of It by James D. Bratt, Nov. 25, 1966

Burning Shoes and Banana Peels: 125 Years of Banners by Herbert J. Brinks

It’s Time to Burn the Wooden Shoes

In 1980, editor Andy Kuyvenhoven famously drew a line between the CRC’s ethnic and Reformed roots. The resulting controversy burned as brightly as the flames enveloping the wooden shoes on the cover. In a letter to the editor, one outraged reader responded: “Why don’t you burn The Banner? I don’t want to receive The Banner anymore.” Another reader, one of the few remaining artisans who make wooden shoes, stopped by the Banner office to present a brand-new pair to the editor.

The Bananer

“By the 1960s, The Banner was largely predictable and nearly papal in its pronouncements,” observed Herbert Brinks in his 1991 article “Burning Shoes and Banana Peels”. It was a target ripe for satire. In 1970, a group of Calvin College students—many of whom went on to become leaders in the CRC—took up the challenge, publishing a parody edition never since equalled.

Cabbages and Kings

For 40 years, Jacob D. Eppinga wrote his beloved column “Cabbages and Kings.” Here’s how he concluded his final essay, “Sesquicentennial.” Though written for the occasion of the 150th birthday of the Christian Reformed Church, we think it applies equally well to The Banner’s birthday.

What of our future? When someone in our family has a birthday, he or she gets to blow out the candles on the cake while making a secret wish. I would like to blow out 150 candles and make a public wish—a wish that in the years ahead the Christian Reformed Church in North America may see a growing unity in a time of increased diversity.

“Banner editors have not usually been of the shy, retiring sort.” —James D. Bratt

“Please could we have The Banner written in simpler language?” —Zeeland, Michigan, 1966

“Hope the staff see fit to continue to include articles that stress the danger of conforming to worldly habits and temptations.” —Worthington, Minnesota, 1966

(Coal, Coffee, Herpolsheimers)
Although most Banner readers no longer heat their houses with coal, and Herpolsheimers is long gone, some things never go out of date!


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