In 1989, The Rev. Dr. Marvin Bergman began what became a 25-year term of service as the editor of ISSUES in Christian Education. Prior to his service as editor, Bergman, beginning in 1971, headed the Editorials section and, in 1975, the Book Reviews section. It is accurate to say that no single person has shaped and influenced the content and continuation of ISSUES more than Bergman.
After 74 editions the current edition, “Good News for the Generations,” is the last edition for which Bergman will serve as editor. Throughout his editorial service Bergman’s aim has been to focus on the greatest issue of all time: “to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.” These words, quoted by the now sainted Rev. Dr. W. Theophil “Ted” Janzow, the sixth president of Concordia University, Nebraska, in the first edition of what today is known as ISSUES in Christian Education, became a meaningful moniker for Bergman’s editorship. While ISSUES began as an extension of conversations among Concordia faculty members to document and deepen their ongoing discussions about Christian education, during the past 25 years ISSUES has become a popular and scholarly journal that has explored a wide breadth of topics relevant and applicable to the ministry of Christian education within the local parish and school. Among Bergman’s favorites, the following stand out as most significant: “Perspectives on Human Origins,” “Missional Lutheran Education,” “The Church in Concord or Discord,” and “The Ministry of all Christians.” (These and every issue since Vol. 1, No. 1, August 1966, are archived on the university’s website: www.cune.edu/about/publications/issues-in-Christian-education.)
The goal of ISSUES has always been to support the role of Christian education in the local congregation. As editor, Bergman desired that “ISSUES prompt the church to continue to provide a multi-disciplinary foundation for its entire ministry.” Thus, whether his first or final edition, Bergman positioned ISSUES as a practical, teaching tool to raise questions, explore answers from a variety of perspectives and engage readers in thoughtful reflection while connecting the dots of the edition to the answer to all of life’s most pressing issues: Jesus Christ.
It is with deep gratitude that we dedicate the Spring 2015 edition of ISSUES to the faithful, untiring, winsome, evangelical service of Marvin Bergman. In October, the University’s Board of Regents honored Bergman as the first ever Editor Emeritus, a token of its deep gratitude and appreciation for his 25 years of service as editor and nearly 45 years of service to ISSUES. It is fitting that Bergman’s final edition articulates the challenges and opportunities of proclaiming the Gospel and teaching the faith across the five generations of persons living today in our complicated, complex world. As you consider the articles of this edition, I suspect that, with me, you will observe that the golden thread tying the articles together is the same theme that motivated and informed all of Bergman’s service to ISSUES, Concordia and the church: “to know the only true God and Jesus Christ whom He has sent.”
Thank you, Marv, for your marvelous ministry among us. Well done, good and faithful servant!
Brian L. Friedrich, President
P.S. In October the Board of Regents appointed Dr. Russell Moulds, Professor of Education and Director of the Two Kingdoms Network, as the Editor of ISSUES. More information about the exciting new chapter now underway will appear in the Fall 2015 edition.