Liberty and justice for all
The review of The Patriot was right on, except that I felt the believers were portrayed as Hollywood caricatures of Christians. I closed my eyes during much of the film, and often cried. One thought stays in my mind: "And to the republic, for which it stands, one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all." - Karen Griffin, Yucaipa, Calif.
Thank you for the insightful article on Bach and Pärt ("Bach, 250 years later," July 22). Having sung both composers, it is nice to read an article explaining musical orderliness in two diverse generations, each providing the hearer with gospel order and truth. - David Burks, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
As a conservative living in a town that equates conservatism with bigotry and church pledges with tax returns, I took interest in how the British press treated Marvin Olasky. Derision is better handled if anticipated, but I'm stumped in how to prepare for the pejorative use of, "He's called Marvin." - Marvin Brummel, Iowa City, Iowa
I'm glad that you plan to increase your international coverage ("Surprised by stories," July 22). While growing up I frequently heard my father, a missionary in Nigeria, comment on the ethnocentricity of Americans. By publishing more information about other nations and cultures, you will help us to have a heightened awareness of the world, hopefully leading to a growing compassion for those suffering in faraway lands and for those who have never heard of Christ. - Sheri Muma, Cornelius, N.C.
The Baptist General Conference affirmed by vote its belief in God's omniscience and sovereignty ("Open and shut," July 22). These were votes well cast, but less than an hour later, the same delegates voted to allow a chief promoter of "open theology" to continue teaching. What lunacy permits the employment of a false teacher? - Hugh Henry, Roswell, Ga.
The excessive hand-wringing from the leftist media over recent Supreme Court decisions in their own favor is not an unexplainable irrationality from liberals. They are terrified a complacent liberal electorate might lead to a Democrat defeat, and they'll have to spend the next four years apologizing for the Clinton chickens finally coming home to roost. - William P. Roeder, Merritt Island, Fla.
A few years ago I would have argued that the Southern Baptist Convention's resolution in favor of capital punishment conflicts with its pro-life beliefs ("Swimming upstream," July 1). Now I believe that capital punishment is consistent with the sanctity of life. Innocent life is protected, and those guilty of murder are punished. Human life is so valuable that if you take it, you must forfeit your own life. Execution must not be performed in a vengeful or a hateful manner, but in a saddened and solemn manner that also shows respect for the sacredness of the life that the guilty person is forfeiting. - Anthony L. Chapman, Louisville, Ken.
In Greek mythology, the legendarily mucky stables cleaned by Hercules in a single day were the Augean Stables (July 8, page 13).
I sometimes think about letting my subscription run out. Your magazine upsets me, scares me, and sometimes makes me so angry-not at you, but at what our country is becoming. Then I realize that I need to know these things, and I pray more. Based on your review, I went to see The Patriot ("Finally, a conservative movie," July 22). I could not speak for 10 minutes after leaving the theater and am still unable to talk about it without tears coming to my eyes. All through the film I kept thinking, "At what cost freedom?" The freedoms we take for granted are being taken away from us today by our own government. What would those men, who gave their lives for freedom, think of us today? I want my teenagers to see this movie. I can no longer keep my head in the sand. - Kathy McGrew, Silverhill, Ala.
Your otherwise excellent review of The Patriot referred to "the Lutheran divine Henry Muhlenberg taking off his vestments ... to reveal the uniform of the Continental Army." Actually, the minister-turned-soldier was not Henry Muhlenberg but his son Peter, affectionately known as "General Pete" to generations of Muhlenberg College students who daily pass by his statue in the campus center on their way to class. - Mark R. Hettler
Muhlenberg class of '73, Ambler, Pa.
Very much alive
I was very impressed by the cover story of July 22 ("Two faiths colliding"). It is encouraging that you are reaching out to include the rest of the world in some fairly in-depth coverage, and it was good to learn that evangelicalism in Great Britain is very much alive despite so many declarations of its decease. - LeRoy Lindahl, Kendall, Wis.
Your July 22 issue arrived at my home while I was deciding whether to move to London for business. Now in London, I have a much better understanding of the people I will encounter. I look forward to seeing what the Lord will do while I am here, and I will be going to the Mayflower Family Centre you mentioned in "Normal Christians." - Daniel N. Arbeeny, London, England
Your comments about the new Harry Potter book were fair and instructive ("Grail of fire," July 22). After a church leader proclaimed it to be a good read-aloud series, I bought and previewed the first book. I was appalled. Witchcraft was a part of my past before Christ stepped into my life. It is not a laughing matter; nor is it child's play. Perhaps when my children are older I'll encourage them to read it, but not until they are wise enough to resist being inoculated by it. - Mike Reid, Portland, Ore.
I agree with Mr. Belz that occasionally we Christian conservatives get depressed at the news and forget that God is still in control ("Purple prose people," July 22). But the recent Supreme Court vote against banning partial-birth abortions is legitimately discouraging. Maybe sometimes we should be somber, not defeated, lest our opponents think us self-righteous. Let them know we are devastated at the loss of the children, and that we are in pain knowing that so many in our generation are deceived and may be lost forever. - Joseph Alexander, Charlotte, N.C.
Gene Veith laments that the newest book in the Left Behind series, The Indwelling, is "not a work of profound theology" and lacks the "full complexities of the biblical teachings about sin, grace, Christ, and the Christian life" ("Evangelical thriller is No. 1," July 1). I would say that the series covers every one of those teachings. Far from being a mere "lead blocker for better books to come," this series has taken the ball that more complex theologians have fumbled and run it for a touchdown. For reaching a generation through the medium of storytelling, authors LaHaye and Jenkins deserve to do an end zone dance all the way to the bank. - Steve Pruett, Santa Maria, Calif.
Filled with God's glory
Your tribute to the life and work of Dr. James Boice ("Complex simplicity," July 1) reminded me of a story I have often wanted to share with you. When WORLD first reported on the Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals' Cambridge Declaration in 1996, one participant said that the conference couldn't have been held in Kokomo, Ind., because "the Kokomo Declaration doesn't have quite the same ring to it." As a pastor of the Sycamore Reformed Presbyterian Church in Kokomo, I wrote to WORLD suggesting that if ACE came we could call it the "Kokomoan Kreed" or "Kouncil of Kokomo," and noted that if Dr. Boice or R.C. Sproul would come preach, we would gladly put them up at the Koko Motel. I was overjoyed when Dr. Boice's secretary called to ask if I would like him to preach for us. When he came, our attendance doubled in the small YMCA gym we were renting and his deep bass voice filled the room and our hearts with the thoughts of God's glory. May the Lord use the work of Dr. Boice, the Alliance, and WORLD to bring needed reform to His church. - Barry York, Kokomo, Ind.