Count him in
After reading "Count me in" (June 17), I am further inspired to be salt and light in a bland and dark world. I have been an "operator" in a chat room called "#Christian" for about six years. I have listened to and prayed with countless evangelical Christians: Christians struggling with homosexuality, non-Christian "Christians," haters of Christianity, atheists, Wiccans, uninformed purveyors of neutrality-every manner of worldview. Some operators view opposing viewpoints as a threat to the faith and routinely remove from the chat room those who continually disagree with them. But I feel that we are only light within the dark. I am glad that WORLD does not isolate itself but instead exposes the deprivation and sin in this world. As long as you have that "certain edginess," you can count me in. - Bryan Cass, Charlotte, Vt.
Life, not movies
I was at the Advanced Training Institute Conference Mr. Olasky mentioned in "Count me in" and I heard about his "controversial" comment. As for reporting on a sinful world, I say, "Amen." While with ATI in Russia, my team was accosted by beggars, proposed to by drunks, and had our pockets picked by the Mafia. We've witnessed sin in order to offer salvation because, after all, Christ did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance. But "cultural reporting" is another matter. Watching actors perform acts of violence, cruelty, and lust can only dull my compassion for victims of the real thing. But if I can reach out into real sin and offer the love of Christ, Mr. Olasky, count me in. - Angela Bayne, 18, Cookeville, Tenn.
Is that wrong?
I am appalled by R. Albert Mohler Jr.'s review of Gregory A. Boyd's God of the Possible ("Does God give bad advice?" June 17). The NIV says that God "changes His mind" or repents some 35 times in the Old Testament. If these statements are metaphorical, as Mr. Mohler asserts, then what are these statements metaphors of? If they are "anthropomorphisms," what do they mean? Dr. Boyd argues the biblical statements mean what they say. Is that wrong? - John W. Frye, Rockford, Mich.
At its worst
Mr. Boyd's "openness of God" theology is an example of anthropomorphism at its worst. God is outside the created universe so that there is no conflict between God's omniscience and omnipotence and man's free will. The latter is exercised within the finite limits of time and space while the former exists wholly separate from the universe. - Sandy Kramer, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Mr. Boyd's choice of making God more knowable to the common folk changes Him from being God to just a super-man. Taking a few verses literally, even though they then fall in contradiction with the rest of the Bible, leaves him with an unbiblical God. - Daniel Horton, Oceanside, Calif.
"The opening of the American God" (June 17) is right on target. More and more people seem to disregard sin and the need for redemption. Thus, they don't show much reverence or fear of the Lord. - Michael Penn, Plano, Texas
I was disappointed by your coverage of openness theology. We supporters of the movement draw on many lines of classical theology instead of pulling this "new God" out of a postmodern hat; and we deal critically with postmodern philosophy and the question of anthropomorphism. I believe that the God who fulfills His plan despite the variations of human choices is far more powerful and more complex than Calvin's God could ever hope to be. There is nothing "emotional, effusive, or sentimental" in that sort of theology. - Rebecca Nelson, Boston, Mass.
"The opening of the American God" is one of the most inaccurate, anti-intellectual articles I have read in a long time. - Sandra Nelson, Beaverton, Ore.
Cancel my subscription. You write about movies I don't want to see, music I don't want to listen to, and news that upsets me. No, wait-that's why I subscribed in the first place. Never mind. Carry on. - Doug Drysdale, McMinnville, Ore.
Not for kids
I don't like the cover photo of the starving Sudanese child ("Blue Nile blackout," June 10). It would have been OK inside, but I don't want my younger children seeing this photo. - James R. Ford, Merlin, Ore.
"My pray baby feel better?"
I have a 4-year-old son with autism and a language disorder. He picked up your magazine with the Sudanese child on the cover and said, "My pray baby feel better like me?" Then he bowed his head and struggled through a heartfelt prayer for this precious child. Even a child with a disability can see the truth about this tragedy. - Tanya Harper, Tustin Ranch, Calif.
Editor's note: WORLD's sources in the Blue Nile confirmed that the child pictured on the cover has died.
Greetings from Left-hand
Thank you for your cover story on persecuted Christians in Sudan. My wife worked with Sudan Interior Mission from 1948 to 1952 in Boing and after our marriage in 1953 joined me in Wadega, both towns mentioned in your article. When we were expelled because of the civil war in March, 1964, we knew of no committed Christians in Wadega, and now we read 36 years later that there is a church there. We would like to let the Christians there know that "Am" (Left-hand) and "Engam" (Wife of Left-hand) have been praying for them all these years. - William A. Rogers, Sebring, Fla.
As Planned Parenthood opposes the long-term health tracking of early abortion pill RU-486 recipients, evidently that organization cares neither for the health and life of the baby nor for the health of the mother (No-Comment Zone, June 17). Who was it, again, they are trying to help? - Art Bergquist, San Marcos, Calif.
As a homeschooling father of three, I read "A stranger at the door" (June 17) with interest. Although deeply saddened at the way the Taylor family was treated, I was not surprised, given the increasingly intrusive nature of government.What will happen to our freedoms as our elected leaders continue to ignore the Constitution, and the courts continue to side with the government, not the citizenry, in privacy issues? - Allan R. Macdonald, Seneca, S.C.
Doing her job
As a parent I can imagine the horrifying experience of being accused of child abuse, but as a former Family Services Counselor for the Florida Department of Children and Families, I feel the social worker was simply doing her job. She may have crossed some boundaries in her questioning, but her tenacity in seeing and questioning the children as soon as possible was well within her responsibilities. Allowing the family to come in the next day (as the Taylor family suggested) would give the parents a chance to coach, threaten, or even further abuse an already abused child. That social worker had no way of knowing if the alleged events were true until she investigated. - Sarah K. Bristol, Vero Beach, Fla.
I was disturbed by the large number of anti-Disney letters regarding Bob Jones's article on a vacation to Disney World ("Child's play," June 3). We bought a family annual pass to Disney World for 2000 instead of gifts at Christmas. We stay in our camper at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground, and have an affordable and absolutely wonderful time. My husband and I work very hard to educate our nine homeschooled children to think critically within a strong Christian worldview. We use the evolutionary content of some of the EPCOT Future World attractions to help our children discern truth from worldly, humanistic propaganda. And I've never understood why some Christians boycott Disney but not Universal, Paramount, and other movie companies, nor do they boycott companies like IBM that offer domestic-partner benefits to homosexual employees. I think the best way to influence Disney would be for talented Christian animators, business managers, etc. to work their way up in the company to a position of influence, or for wealthy Christians to buy up Disney stock and voice opinions at shareholder meetings. - Lora Lewis, Biloxi, Miss.
- Frank Finelli donated a part of his liver to his dying neighbor (June 24, page 9).
- The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals conference this October, "The Power of Gospel Preaching," will be in Atlanta (June 24, page 34).
- Bryan Chapell is President of Covenant Theological Seminary (June 17, page 28). - ,