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Mailbag

Issue: "Debunking Darwinism," Nov. 22, 1997

Too subtle

Thank you for pointing out the change to the Promise Keepers' statement about faith and salvation ("Whatever happened to sola fide?"Oct. 18). Mr. Looper was correct in saying that it is "so subtle that most evangelicals will never notice it." Frankly, after reading his article, the difference was still lost to me, unless it was a preference for the preposition "by" over "through." It seems to me (and, I suspect, to most of us ordinary folk) that there is very little, if any, difference between "only through faith" and "through faith alone." Promise Keepers are not perfect, but it is hard to deny that God is changing men through their preaching of the gospel. I hardly think I will reject this movement on the basis of grammar. - Jim Reinstein, Jasjosrein@aol.com

No OK needed

So one of your columnists does not care for Bill McCartney's "rough-hewn" style. I'll take rough-hewn anytime to vacillation. It is the rough-hewn of this world who are the salt, supplying flavor to an increasingly too-bland Christian community. God does not require an OK from Miss Manners before launching life-changing moments in history. The last article in the same issue is entitled, "Send bears, not sheep." 'Nuff said. - Barbara J. Smith, Waynesboro, Va.

Loose moorings

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The loose theological mooring of PK leadership has led to the gospel ship slipping out of their port. It is only a reflection of the theological compromise that is rife in the American evangelical movement today. While many men will remain intoxicated with the Promise Keepers experience, this will hopefully serve as a wake-up call to the long slide the church has taken away from our Reformation heritage. - Patrick S. Poole, Pelham, Ala.

Come together

I applaud Promise Keepers for what they are doing. We need to look beyond the doctrinal differences and concentrate on the goal here-bringing men to a closer relationship to God and leadership in their families. If they have to reword their "Core Values" to include Roman Catholics, then that is great! The end goal is that we all know Jesus as our savior. - Joan Melillo, Hudson, Mass.

Nit-picking

Promise Keepers may be faulted for a number of things, but I fail to get Mr. Looper's point about the movement's backing off of sola fide. Certainly the phrase "only through faith" means "faith alone." Fact is, the latter statement is an improvement over the first in that it makes clear that only faith saves and that faith must be placed in "Christ alone." One can profess to have "faith alone" but not have any content to it. What troubles me most is that this kind of nit-picky criticism gives true theological thinking a bad name. It gives credence to the call to leave our convictions behind and work together. Reformed people have the theological heritage and confidence to be major players in Promise Keepers. But we'll never gain a hearing by fussing over whether "faith alone" says it better than "only through faith." - Frank P. Crane, Richmond, Va.

Don't buy the book

In "Throwing the book at them"(Oct. 11), Danny Akin states that a more potent protest would be to pay for the book and then tear it up. Does Mr. Akin not realize that when you pay for a book you are paying money to the author of that book via royalties? - Connie Lovett Holt, Springdale, Ark.

Smug orthodoxy

Even though Daniel "didn't destroy the statue of Nebuchadnezzar," Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal, which belonged to his father. Our nation was born after courageous people took an open stand and drastic measures to make their point, and Israel experienced a degree of revival after Gideon took drastic measures to make a point against idolatry. - Anne Graves, Guthrie, Okla.

Not in the spirit of Christ

Sodomites can always make adjustments to stay within the bounds of legality-not by adjusting their behavior, but by adjusting the laws regarding acceptable behavior. Citizens of the celestial kingdom are not granted that privilege. Tearing up a book in front of its owner on his own premises is about as far from the spirit of Christ's teaching as I can imagine. - Michael McMillan, Duncanville, Texas

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