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Mailbag

Issue: "End of the innocence," Jan. 30, 1999

Sad memories

As I read your "Remembering 1998" (Dec. 26), I was overcome with a great sadness. Thinking back over this year I could see it certainly was a year of ups and downs; not only here at home in the United States, but all over the world. The downs have far outweighed the ups. So much has occurred in a mere 365 days. From the little known (China's leaders ordering 140 members of underground Christian churches to be arrested and beaten, while Chinese president Jiang Zemin was shaking hands and sharing smiles with men such as our own president and clergymen) to the much talked about (President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky). He remains in office only because our fellow Americans cannot decide whether his perjury is crime enough to bring about his removal from office. The problem is they don't know the answer to a key question: What is truth? It is the same question that stumped Pilate. The answer is in John 14:6, where Jesus declares: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." - Sarah Durkee, Livonia, N.Y.

Trekkies rise up

Having recently seen the movie Star Trek: Insurrection in its entirety, I cannot help wondering if Chris Stamper did not ("Technological constants," Dec. 26). If he did, he seems to have missed the whole point of the movie. In my opinion, the main theme was that those who base their lives on principles (e.g., the Prime Directive) can weather rough times; those who ignore principles (living primarily to satisfy their own desires) are bound for disaster. - Bill Brown, Golden Valley, Minn.

Trekkies protest

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Chris Stamper could have been more careful with Star Trek: Insurrection. The only constant I've seen with sci-fi films is that they are often misunderstood. The reason that I love sci-fi, and Trek in particular, is because of its incredible good vs. evil storytelling. So, we must strive to get the story correct, or it will be lost in the retelling. The Ba'ku merely want to be left alone; the whole universe cannot reside on their single planet, after all. The plot to destroy their planet and capture the life-extending particles from the rings is part of a blood feud between angry children and their parents. Picard manages to uphold the Prime Directive, save the planet's inhabitants, and reunite children and parents. Let's give due credit to the writers. - Erin Haddix, Santa Clarita, Calif.

Wish it were longer

Just wanted to say I enjoy your online magazine and consider this magazine what Christianity Today should have been. I think you cover the issues very well. I just wish your magazine were larger with more, more, more. I breeze through it in a short time and that's it. I would be nice to have more to read. - David Hale, Rockford, Ill.

Fainting from fear

I definitely agree with Joel Belz's argument in "Tired of Y2K?" (Dec. 19). It is obvious that public confidence in government-and in anything, for that matter-is low. When people get information about "possible" problems associated with Y2K, I believe there will be a rush on staples, gas, and cash (and perhaps, guns). As he stated, the problem itself isn't the big problem. The way we react to it is. We must involve ourselves in educating people to see the problem as one that will pass. Indeed it will, unless we lose heart. Maybe Luke 21:26 is applicable, "Men will faint from terror, apprehensive of what is coming on the world...." - Vernon Ball Jr., Saluda, S.C.

No blinders

It is encouraging to see WORLD magazine addressing theological issues with integrity. Although religious belief is easy to misunderstand, honesty is still the only policy worthy of followers of Jesus Christ. R. Albert Mohler did a service to both evangelicals and Roman Catholics (Dec. 19) by honestly pointing out the watershed issue of indulgences. In his accompanying article, Edward Plowman astutely pointed out the hesitancy of modern ecumenists to openly discuss this historically divisive issue. Claiming to temporarily set aside such issues as indulgences, baptismal regeneration, and sacramental grace, Evangelicals and Catholics Together has declared a unity based upon some beliefs that are supposedly held in common. This is like trying to build a house without a secure foundation. On either side of this theological divide, for leaders to set aside fundamental beliefs in order to declare a unity that does not exist is simply dishonest and unbefitting followers of Christ. - Jerry Moser, Theriot, La.

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