What a shame
Thank you for staying abreast of the activities of the International Bible Society and its efforts to publish a regendered translation ("There they go again ... " June 5). Many accolades are due for bringing this issue to the public's attention, for monitoring their efforts to slide this by without debate, and for not shrinking from the slings and arrows of the IBS. I find it very difficult to understand the IBS and their intentions. For a Christian organization, they have certainly acted in a very secular manner. I have gone to their website and looked at their explanations. I must say, I find them inadequate and, most tragically of all, I cannot believe anything they now say or will say in the future. Once lost, a good reputation is hard to regain. What a shame. - Shirley L. Covington, Marietta, Ga.
From the perspective of Hell, the issue is not whether the church will use inclusive language (Hell doesn't care about that) but whether the church will choose to alter God's Word to make special-interest groups feel more comfortable. The irony is that soon after such concessions are offered, another more drastic measure is demanded. The moment the church, in chorus, says, "We surrender the integrity of God's Word for this most noble of causes," the only applause we will hear is laughter coming from Beneath. - John F. Longmire, Sugarloaf, Pa.
I remain unconvinced by the articles on the regendering debate. Some of the examples cited are certainly egregious. Others seem much less clear-cut and are places where honest believers could disagree about translation practices. - Bill Leal, Athens, Ohio
Every nuance counts
Thank you for your dedication to reporting the actions of Zondervan Publishing and IBS. You are absolutely correct that every nuance of God's Word is of vital importance and should not be changed to fit the worldly ideologies of man. - Lisa Meek, Bothell, Wash.
A troubling resemblance
I'm really concerned with the stance taken by the IBS. It seems that representatives of the IBS have done nothing but lie, mislead, and deny their true intent when questioned about providing a gender-neutral rendition of the NIV. I'm reminded of someone who lives in a large, white house in Washington, D.C. - Fred Spuhler, Richfield, Minn.
In our cultural environment of relativism, radical feminism, and political correctness, discernment and vigilance are required to preserve the integrity and accuracy of the Word of God. Zondervan may be sincere in its attempt to market a more socially acceptable Bible, but I am apprehensive of any path leading to an altar where scriptural accuracy is sacrificed to the idols of political ideology. - Chet Steffey, Sierra Vista, Ariz.
I am greatly saddened to see your barrage of articles again bringing up accusations that International Bible Society has a feminist agenda. Wouldn't we all do better to get on with the task of helping distribute Bibles around the world? No, we in the Christian right-wing camp must spend our time picking specks out of one another's eyes so that we can help our brothers and sisters maintain a patriarchal agenda. - Kathleen Delph, Colorado Springs, Colo.
I agree that there are potential problems with leaving Bible translations with publishers ("A radical proposal," June 5). Yet placing translations in the hands of denominations seems equally dangerous. Wouldn't each denomination be tempted to use words that slanted the meaning of passages toward their doctrinal beliefs? The creation of a new Bible translation should always involve people from multiple denominations. - Brian Schwartz, Wichita, Kan.
Sorry, Tim and David Bayly are naive to think the churches (i.e., the denominations) will preserve the Bible. As an Episcopalian, I assure you it won't happen. Just look at what happened to our beloved English masterpiece, The Book of Common Prayer. - Alzina Stone Dale, Chicago, Ill.
I appreciated Marvin Olasky's insightful comparison between Coca-Cola and IBS and Zondervan in the marketing of their respective products ("Bible cola," June 5). It is disheartening to see God's Word stuffed into the transient mold of societies' trends. - Joli Howard, Libertytown, Md.
Since my days in seminary some 20 years ago, I have been a subscriber to Christianity Today. Many was the time I thought I might let that subscription run out, so frustrated did I become with the inconsistency of their evangelical stand. Still, there were many excellent articles, and I felt it kept me in touch with developments in the evangelical world. Then, a few years ago, a friend loaned me his copy of the infamous "Stealth Bible" issue of WORLD. Soon I found myself going to your website to check out each issue, and I knew that this was the magazine for me. I am now in my second subscription year. When I compare your continued excellent coverage of the Bible-regendering issue with CT's "lap dog" defense of the IBS, there is no doubt in my mind which subscription I am going to allow to expire. - Richard C. Klueg, Northville, N.Y.
On the cover of the June 5 issue is this: "Cox report turns up the heat on White House." This administration is protected from "heat" by a go-along Congress and a fawning national media. While WORLD is to be commended for reporting the Clintons' scandals, you should accept that they will not be brought to justice in this life. - J. Michael Brown, Tulsa, Okla.
Let them hear
I have just read "Forbidding evangelism" (June 5) about the attempt by liberal Christians to prevent Campus Crusade for Christ from mailing C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity to freshmen at Dartmouth College. What right does any organization have to decide what someone else can or cannot read? By all means, let the students hear all the ideas for themselves and then decide. - Miriam Thompson, Spring Branch, Texas
After reading Roy Maynard's article, "What teens are reading these days" (June 5), we looked on our library computer and found that, indeed, all the books mentioned are available to us in the "young adults" section of our library. I intend to photocopy the article and give it to our children's librarian. They will never "censor" any book by removing it, but maybe they will refrain from recommending it. - Annette Richards, Aurora, Ore.
Wider and deeper
Regarding William H. Smith's Soul Food column ("Strange foreign customs," June 5): While I feel a great loss is being incurred at the elimination of hymnals in favor of "chorus only" worship services, I believe that the Apostle Paul, who "became all things to all men, that I may by all means save some," would likely have embraced much of the "movement." I cannot join Mr. Smith in praying for a narrowing of the stream, but I will gladly join in praying for a deepening of it. - Steve Cast, Oklahoma City, Okla.
I am a 14-year-old homeschooler and I was really vexed when I found out about Gov. Jesse Ventura declining to participate in the National Day of Prayer and installing Rolling Stones Day instead (No-Comment Zone, May 22). I am glad you put that in your magazine. You guys say it like it is. My next letter will be to Mr. Ventura himself. - Tim Frost, St. Paul, Minn.
The gods appeased
It was refreshing to read Cal Thomas's "To the front of the bus" (June 5) pertaining to the audience's spontaneous recitation of the Lord's Prayer at the graduation in Maryland. That is a remarkable exception; for the most part our national religious rites have been fulfilled with the prayers offered in Littleton, Colo., after the human sacrifices. - Leighton Earley, Sparta, N.J.
Small is beautiful
Your point is well taken concerning the size of schools ("Size-wise," June 5). But I do believe that size is of significance when students have spent years in a system where the teacher-to-student ratio is consistently 30 or 35-1 as opposed to, say, 5-1. I also would rather be one of 500 people listening to Charles Swindoll or R.C. Sproul than one of just five listening to "some schlock." But I would rather be one of five listening to Charles Swindoll or R.C. Sproul than one of 500. - Rex Rector, Harrisonville, Mo.