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Mailbag

Issue: "Hong Kong," June 28, 1997

It takes TEEM work

Thanks for your May 3/10 cover story on the legal hurdles to effective welfare reform and the related article about The Education and Employment Ministry. Mr. Benson's direction is on target in applying Christlike patience to training the job seekers with the whole set of skills needed to receive and keep employment. Regarding your discussion of the issue of self-esteem, Christians need to recognize that this is one of the chief idols of our day. To anchor anyone's hope in this nebulous concept is deceitful. Rather, our hope is in that our great God has called us to reflect his glory. - David Debruler, Katy, Texas

Confidence in Christ

I was greatly disappointed in WORLD's treatment of the TEEM ministry and its emphasis on self-esteem. Sinners do not need greater self-confidence; they need confidence in what Christ can do through them. The distinction is not petty, but crucial. - Steven J. Cole, Flagstaff, Ariz.

Appreciating God's grace

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It was so refreshing to read William H. Smith's May 31/June 7 article "Don't knock yourself out." Too many Christians have bought the psychobabble line about the importance of self-esteem. I agree with Mr. Smith that unless we recognize our sinful nature and just how bad it is, we will never truly appreciate the grace of God that comes to us through Christ Jesus our Lord. - Brenda S. Kent, Bryan, Texas

Confession and repentance

Poor William Smith. He considers himself full of shortcomings, but this appears to have created in his mind a large problem of unresolved guilt. The believer has only one obligation in regard to sin and shortcomings: to sincerely confess and repent-again and again, if necessary. Is not self-flagellation a prime example of the sin of pride, especially when done in the company of others and for their benefit? - F.R. Hedinger, Springfield, Ill.

Tuskeegee connection

In your May 31/June 7 issue, I was disappointed that you did not bring out in your article on the "Tuskegee experiment" the fact that Henry Foster (nominee for Surgeon General by President Clinton) was on the board and knew of this experiment. Your article stated that President Clinton issued a formal U.S. government apology to survivors. What a hypocrite we have in the White House! - Patricia Ann Moore, Kettering, Ohio

Laughable charges

Anyone who missed the recounting of Zondervan's ethics charges against WORLD should dig out his June 14/21 issue and read the sidebar, page 15. Someone's ethics are amiss alright: Zondervan's, for throwing dirt in the air with spurious charges that would be laughable from someone in a position of less responsibility. The matter of rounding up or rounding down the number of pages in Zondervan's style sheet that deal with sex-specific language in the NIVI is inane and preposterous and tells me volumes about the people running Zondervan. - Gary Hansen, Aurora, Neb.

Far-right name-callers

Marvin Olasky's in-your-face defense ("Throw the book at us, please," June 14/21) demonstrates why the ethics charges filed against WORLD are justified. His continued use of the term "stealth Bible" in reference to Zondervan's gender-inclusive NIV shows that WORLD intends to persist in inflaming emotions by using its own disparaging description of the Bible instead of the name given to it by the publishers. This is both a deliberate use of the propaganda method of name-calling and unprofessional journalism. While touting WORLD's commitment to truth, Mr. Olasky neglects mention that WORLD defines "truth" narrowly as that which is supportive of its own unstated, but obvious, philosophy: far-right, libertarian politics, laissez-faire economics, and-finally-conservative evangelicalism. - Dean Ohlman, Jenison, Mich.

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