Four Decades of the Yale Standard
If there ever were a blessed disruption, it would be God’s calling breaking into the consciousness of a young man or woman. The three editors of the first edition of the Yale Standard—Spring, 1969—averaged about 20 years old at the time. We had entered Yale a few years before with some mix of the ambition, excitement, and foreboding that most new Yalies would recognize.
Details in our three lives differed, but each of us made a startling discovery at Yale: The God that made the sunsets, the blue whales, and the Pleiades lives! More startling, He has things to do in every generation—and He was calling us!
When King George’s General Cornwallis surrendered to the Colonials at Yorktown, the British army’s band is said to have played “The World Turned Upside Down.” We were at least as astonished to find, in this Yale of intellect and culture, that the world was upside down, at least in its perspectives and orthodoxy.
Yale, secular, unholy, is full of striving and reaching for more of whatever appeals to us: money, reputation, fame, knowledge, power, possessions, sophistication. What a shock when we four found that the real action, the high adventure of life, wasn’t in any of those, but in answering God’s summons to step into His purposes.
Having seen modern Yale’s cultural bedrock uprooted in our experience, we studied Yale’s history, only to find that Yale’s founding and original rise to prominence were done for God’s sake and in the name of Jesus Christ.
Yale was one of God’s many projects, in other words, not the other way around.
The Bible tells us (2 Kings 7) of four desperate lepers that ventured outside a besieged city, only to see that God had driven off the besieging army in a panic overnight. In the deserted camp they ate and drank, then remembered the famished people inside the city walls that didn’t yet know God had smashed the siege overnight. “Let’s tell the others,” they said, and they did.
Like the amazed lepers, the editors, authors, mentors, and helpers of the Yale Standard have had it in heart to pass the word to class after class of Yalies. The thirty years since that first Yale Standard have only confirmed and amplified what we understood back then in the spring of ’69.
We don’t want you to miss the main event of your life, the true raison d’être—because no one let you know about it. Life is full of plans, large and small, but the plan that dwarfs them all is moving toward fulfillment, and its author, the God of the Bible, He is God.
We hope with all our heart that you, too, will dare to believe that God is, and is a rewarder of those who seek Him earnestly. If you do, we know you will soon be as astonished and grateful to Him as we are.
As President Timothy Dwight put it, “Christ is the only true and living way of access to God. Give up yourselves therefore to Him with a cordial confidence, and the great work of life is done.”
For the editors, past and present,
Philip K. Chamberlain, Branford ’70