A few bright spots
Kudos to your magazine on addressing the distressing lack of quality in today's Christian fiction market ("A lot of growing up to do," Oct. 25). For the past five years, I have looked on in dismay as "genre" authors crank out books, each with maddeningly similar plot lines. For well-written Christian books, I have become accustomed to looking to those whose theology may be suspect (e.g., L'Engle or Lawhead), but whose writing is superb. There have been a few bright spots, Peretti being one of them. I would commend James B. Huggins, a Christian who is an author rather than simply a slap-dash artist who specializes in spreading a thin skin of Christianity over the skeleton of a secular plot. - Darren A. Jones, Purcellville, Va.
I enjoyed your cover story on Frank Peretti. I have read and own all of his books and I think he is a remarkable Christian author. His books make me think about our world today and how subtle our enemy is. - Amanda Ross, Cody, Wyom.
We're the ones
Mr. Peretti's critique of Christian fiction echoes a call I have heard for a few years. Christians ought to be the ones who create the greatest art. We are the servants of the one, true God who created our wonderful, complex universe. We are the ones called to imitate him and to work as he works. Christians must pursue artistic excellence because our Lord who is perfect calls us to imitate him. - Phil Wade, Chattanooga, Tenn.
The other Frank
After learning Frank Schaeffer had published a new novel based on the characters in his first novel, Portofino, I was disheartened to read F.W. Baue's review of Saving Grandma ("Dishonoring thy father." Oct. 25). Portofino was the funniest novel I have read and was a breath of fresh air in the pathetic Christian fiction genre. In the same edition, you devote five pages to Frank Peretti. Having read three of Mr. Peretti's novels, I gave up on him as being the epitome of cookie cutter fiction with "poorly drawn" and "stereotypical" characters. After reading the article about him and his viewpoints on Christian fiction, I am actually looking forward to seeing his next piece of work. - David J. Weigel, Farmington, Mich.
I was pleased to read the cover story on Frank Peretti. Often I want to throw up my hands in frustration at the current state of Christian art, but Mr. Peretti's statements about fiction and writing restored my hope. - Lee Ann Bisulca, Alexandria, Va.
Brad Winsted suggested ("Reformation Day," Oct. 25) that we should replace Halloween with games and activities reminiscent of "exciting scenes from Martin Luther's life." Please sir, you need to get a life. Your idea is boring. Our family has never celebrated Halloween. Sometimes we have invited friends and kids over to hide and seek candy, and see good movies. This year our home group had a hayride, sang praise songs, and ate hotdogs and s'mores around a roaring fire until we were stuffed. I explain to my public school class (because they always ask) that we don't do Halloween because it is not an activity that in our opinion glorifies Christ. My own children have readily accepted this fact as long as there was fun, a memory, and a candy payoff. - Melody Gardner, Parkville, Mo.
Whole church party
There is a biblical problem with celebrating Reformation Day as a substitute for Halloween. Jesus prayed that "they also may be one in us, that the world may believe that you sent me." Celebrating the point of schism in the church is a bit like having a divorce party. Like some divorces, the Reformation may have been a tragic necessity, but we can hardly rejoice that the church is so little like Christ's prayer. All Hallows Eve is the evening of All Saints Day. Why not celebrate the great cloud of witnesses and the saints, as Hebrews 11 does? We could dress up as saints and heroes of the faith, not excluding Luther, and honor those who went before us. A Saint's Day party would be a celebration for the whole church, not just the Reformed segment. - Lynn Sidebotham, Colorado Springs, Colo.
"Renewing vows," (Oct. 18) reminded me that my husband whom I lost last month (but will find again when God calls me), didn't ever need to make new vows after our wedding day. This is not to denigrate others' needs, just to appreciate my quiet, loyal mate. - Gwen Arnold, Pearsall, Texas