Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Army's new MP's?," May 31, 1997

More mail on the NIV controversy

A supra-denominational control board for Bible translations? ("Farewell to freelancers," May 3/10) Sounds familiar. It was called the Roman Catholic church. They knew how to censure those pestilent independents-Tyndale, Wycliffe, and others. No, we don't need "the highest courts and councils of several church denominations" dictating their self-serving "policies and procedures." The solution is local pastors seriously teaching sound doctrine (admittedly a rarity in today's evangelicalism). Then, under the tutelage of the Holy Spirit, members of the body of Christ will mature to discern what is best. I usually agree with you, Joel. But this proposal is a WORLD-class blooper. - Guy Fisher, Ormond Beach, Calif.

Return, don't reinvent

Your proposal to convene a group of Bible scholars to produce yet another new and different version of Scripture brings to mind the old clich': reinventing the wheel. Such a work was faithfully accomplished 386 years ago by Bible scholars who approached the task with a reverent regard for divine inspiration, and the authority and inerrancy of Holy Scripture. The King James Version was born of the Reformation; revised versions and modern Bibles were born of higher criticism. - Mrs. William A. Rocap Jr., Conover, N.C.

No need to re-breathe

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As a former editor, a former Zondervan employee, and a current newspaper reporter, I congratulate you on your eye-opening coverage and solid reporting of the impending NIV inclusive-language Bible. Satan has clearly chosen the most powerful avenue through which to influence unsuspecting Christians. Thank you for encouraging all of us to stand firm against this politically charged revision, and not to relent until we've convinced the CBT, Zondervan, and others that God doesn't need to re-breathe and paraphrase his sacred Word to make it fit the worldly lifestyle and lingo of the 1990s and beyond. Maybe we can also seek to influence those current-day lyricists who've already succeeded in "unisexing" many of our classic Sunday hymns. - Kerry L. Brusky, Magnolia, Texas

Millstones and drowning

It is a sad thing when a highly esteemed publisher of Christian works publishes an edition of the Scriptures for children with significant and very dangerous changes. Many parents and church leaders, having a responsibility before God for the edification and guidance of his little ones, will have a deep sense of betrayal. My prayer is that some may be reminded of millstones and drowning before there is no room for repentance. But praise be to God, his watchmen are still in place-not on walls these days, but in offices, armed with telephones and personal computers and printing presses, to his everlasting glory. - Steven J. Pettit, Derwood, Md.

Hand in the cookie jar

Regarding the May 17/24 letter from the Committee on Bible Translation's Larry Walker: If, in the articles in WORLD concerning the feminizing of the NIV, it is not the case that you are "part of a movement designed to change inerrant Scripture to accommodate the feminist agenda," then what is the case? Being grieved, lauding the International Bible Society and Zondervan, and lamenting the resulting firestorm clarifies nothing! To me it sounds too much like the little boy who got caught with his hand in the cookie jar. - H. Fred Nofer, Reno, Nev.

Unity at all costs?

My question for Mr. Walker is, Why not address the issues raised by the NIV articles instead of deny the facts and try to shift the focus of the discussion to that mean ol' magazine for daring to speak out on the issue? - Mike Garrett, Monterey, Calif.

Unity at all costs?

Larry Walker of the CBT wrote that "the work of Christ [had] been hurt" because WORLD was willing to proclaim the truth without the sugar coating that would have no doubt proceeded the publication of the translation in the United States. He further declared that "your articles have fueled a firestorm of misunderstanding among Bible-believing Christians at the very time unity is needed in our witness to our neo-pagan society." Does not Mr. Walker understand that the proliferation of "unity" at the cost of biblical and doctrinal accuracy does damage to the cause of Christ and does not in any way work well for the furtherance of his kingdom? - David Landry, Casa Grande, Ariz.


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