Joel Belz, in his editorial "Uncurbed dogma" (Jan. 31), makes reference to the question of death before the Fall. I too, as a creationist, have wondered about this. Did not God design plants to produce seeds with the intent that they fall into the ground and "die" in order to reproduce themselves? (John 12:24). How did Adam know what God meant when he warned Adam not to eat of a certain fruit "lest he surely die" if Adam had never witnessed death? Surely God was not speaking unintelligibly to Adam, was he? Therefore, could Paul, in Romans 5:12, etc., possibly be limiting his statements to human death and not be negating death also for animals and plants prior to Adam's sin? - Robert Delancy, Fort Washington, Pa.
Curb your dogma
I always enjoy each issue of WORLD. However, Joel Belz's statement in "Uncurbed dogma" (Jan. 31) made me stop in mid-sentence. You stated that young-earthers make themselves look foolish by asserting that there was no plant or animal death prior to the Fall. Genesis 1:30 states clearly that animals were not carnivorous prior to the Fall. In fact, there is no evidence of death's entry into the world until after the Fall. We read of animal death (Gen. 3:21). Those who argue for animal death prior to the Fall claim more than the Bible asserts. - Byron Snapp, email@example.com
In your article "Pang of Conscience" (Jan. 17), you quoted Jesse Jackson in an article he wrote against abortion 20 years ago. He asked, "What kind of a person, and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually?" Twenty years later, the answer is clearly evident. In a three-day period this past week alone, headlines in the San Diego Union Tribune reported the murder of a 16-year-old boy who was beaten with his skateboard by three teenage boys; the death of a 2H-year-old child who was starved to death by his parents; and the murder of a 12-year-old girl who was allegedly stabbed to death by her 14-year-old brother. The moral fabric of our nation has disintegrated because we constitutionally allow the murder of unborn children. Is it any wonder that all life is taken casually? - Cheryl L. Comer, Escondido, Ca.
Many, many thanks for Margie Haack's article, "How soon we forget" (Jan. 31). My husband and I were both profoundly moved by it. Through her pain she has reminded us of the easily forgotten fact that "he is the reason for living any year." May God bless her new grandchild, who is already blessed with a godly grandmother. - Marilyn Baker, Duanesburg, N.Y.
Your readers should be warned that taking Chesterton "out of context" can convey an unreal impression of the man. His spiritual growth was from a peasant family without religion to a commitment to high church Anglicanism when he married Frances. He joined the Church of Rome after World War II. It helps to know when and where and why he said things. - Alzina Stone Dale, Chicago, Il.
He who digs a pit
Isn't it ironic that the "Clinton/Monica Lewinsky White House Crisis" burst into the headlines on January 22, 1998? What may turn into the beginning of the end of Bill Clinton's presidency became public on the 25th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade decision, legalizing abortion. Even more interesting is the identity of the gentleman who will oversee Bill Clinton's impeachment hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives, should this crisis lead that far. The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee is Rep. Henry Hyde (R-Ill.), who as the long-time leader of pro-life forces in Congress authored the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits federal tax dollars from funding abortions. Mr. Hyde would in essence sit as chief judge of President Clinton in any impeachment effort. One could imagine few stranger coincidences. - Paul W. Comfort, Sudlersville, Md.