Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Panic at PBS?," Aug. 14, 1999


I applaud your July 17 cover story, "Worldview warehouses." Last summer I toured the National Museum of American History. I noticed many of the same things that Mr. Veith did: the large amount of space given to the internment of Japanese Americans, the prominent mention of women, and the almost lack of mention of our founding fathers and the principles our nation was founded upon. I left very troubled and sad. The saddest thing for me was that I toured it with my 13- and 11-year-old niece and nephew, who were completely oblivious to what they were missing. They were only getting more of the kind of history they were familiar with from their public school. To try to explain to them all that was overlooked would have probably just brought me blank stares. - Joni Halpin, Allen, Texas

An eloquent bang

Although some exhibits at the Museum of Science and Industry are objectionable and others cater to the lowest common denominator, other educational displays are well worth the trip. To squeeze through the cramped quarters of a German U-boat and bang your head on overhanging pipes and valves teaches far more eloquently than any textbook the hardships of submarine warfare in the Second World War. - Kenton Skarin, 17, Wheaton, Ill.

Perfect little people

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The display at the Museum of Science and Industry of human embryos in various stages of development, right up to what could have been a healthy baby, was not easy to look at. But this exhibit is most profound because those babies were perfect little people, not fetuses that had no identity. I made sure that my teenage daughters saw the exhibit and impressed upon them the wonderful sanctity of life before birth. - Gary Darling, Siloam Springs, Ark.

Sensitive worship

William H. Smith takes the worst offenses of the seeker-sensitive approach to worship and makes it sound like anyone who is trying to be sensitive to an unbeliever in their worship service is guilty of all the atrocities listed in this article ("Who's the seeker?" July 17). Certainly we should continue to preach the Word so that unbelievers in our services might fall under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, but we can be sensitive in the way we express our faith. Also, over the history of the church we have added many things to "improve" worship. The attempts to introduce hymns in America's early years were considered by many to be very unbecoming and not dignified enough to intrude upon true worship. - Ron W. Hammer, Prescott, Ariz.

Self-centered worship

I thought Mr. Smith's article hit the nail on the head. In our self-centered, entertainment-focused society, we look to the "worship" service to meet our needs, and unfortunately many churches have shifted their focus to accommodate this mindset. - Jamie Hunt, Malabar, Fla.

Seeking worship

"Who's the seeker?" explains why after several years of anguishing I left the evangelical church where I was active to join a church (conservative Lutheran) of the liturgical tradition. Now I am worshipping where the worship focuses on God rather than on how I feel. Some of my friends have trouble understanding my change. But I believe that I'm truly worshipping for the first time in years. - Dan LaRue, Lebanon, Pa.

Fitting worship

I disagree that seeker-service worship is not focused on God. True, worship styles have changed to fit the "consumer," but Luther, Calvin, and Handel all changed music styles to fit the "consumers" of their days. - Sue Alexander, Springfield, Ill.


Thanks for unveiling another example of the theological decay so rampant among American evangelicals today ("What does God know?" July 17). It has long been the case that few evangelicals engage the finer points of orthodox theology, but with the like of BGC Pastor Boyd of Minnesota, who so limits God's sovereign foreknowledge of all things, we now see evangelicals surrendering the main points of orthodox theology. - David J. Bissett, Clifton Park, N.Y.


I don't know what is more unbelievable: that a Baptist pastor would teach that God is not omniscient, or that an amendment to his denomination's doctrinal statement avowing God's omniscience should fail due to the errant pastor's popularity. - Christian N. Temple, Raleigh, N.C.

Too far

I appreciate your efforts to identify the dangers of immoral cultural elements seeping into our minds, but you may have gone too far with "Stopping a foul practice" (July 3/10). A foul or penalty in sports is not necessarily a sin; it is often strategy. If you have an unplayable lie in golf, it is perfectly acceptable to take a one-stroke penalty and a free drop. In chess, you may sacrifice one of your own pieces to gain an advantage. Hardly a "Christian" action, but I don't think we should change the rules of chess. - Gavin Sinclair, West Lafayette, Ind.


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