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Mailbag

Issue: "Abolition of C.S. Lewis?," June 16, 2001

Just ask

I usually agree with your magazine, but I heartily disagree with your review of The Prayer of Jabez (Bestsellers, May 19). As I read the book I was at first, like you, very critical because it seemed that Bruce Wilkinson was giving the secret of how to manipulate God. But when I read further, I saw that his main point was really that God wants us to live an abundant life, and we can trust Him to supply the power-we just have to ask. - Megan Linsley, Mason, Mich.

Just a closer walk

You stated that the worldview behind The Prayer of Jabez is "God as cosmic bellhop." I read the book, and I believe that instead it encourages believers to a closer, more fruitful walk with the Lord as they seek to align their lives with His perfect will. Mr. Wilkinson does not encourage the reader to pursue worldly success. - Steve Mitchell, Pendleton, S.C.

Expanding territory

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I am sorry that some evangelicals have taken to criticizing The Prayer of Jabez. I was challenged and encouraged to see how God will increase my sphere of influence for His glory. My "territory" has been enlarged to the point that I am leaving the suburbs and moving into an urban neighborhood and into an urban church. - Mike Campbell, Mobile, Ala.

Propelled by conviction

In "Changed by choice?" in the May 19 issue, you reported that psychiatrist Dr. Robert Spitzer found 200 men and women who report varying degrees of change in sexual orientation. As president of the National Association of Research and Therapy of Homosexuality, I suggest that the idea of "choice" as you present it needs some clarification. Through therapy and religious counseling, many clients, with time and maturity, develop heterosexual feelings and stop their homosexual behavior. But it is unusual even for a committed Christian to be completely freed of all of the unwanted attractions that contribute to sexual orientation. Still, the religious client is propelled forward by the conviction that he is moving in the right direction, with the intuitive knowledge that normality is that which functions in accordance with its design. So, a choice to work toward change does exist. But in all fairness to the people who struggle, it cannot be said that a change of feelings can simply be chosen. - Joseph Nicolosi, Encino, Calif.

The un-PC alternative

As someone who works daily in the realm of public policy and culture, WORLD has been essential reading for me for several years now. However, my appreciation for your magazine was recently renewed after I happened to read one of the other weekly newsmagazines and was struck between the eyes by just how different-how "politically correct"-their tone and treatment of the same issues was from WORLD's excellent coverage. It was a good, and needed, reminder of what a blessing WORLD is. - David C. Dunn, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Fundie conspiracist propaganda

WORLD is just another fundamentalist propaganda outlet (part of the aptly named Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy) that probably believes its own hogwash on the usual litany of right-wing boilerplate topics. It is people like you who are responsible for most of what is wrong about "Middle America"-its crude conservative bent, its nativist know-nothingism, its nasty prejudices, and its fundamentalist intolerance. You won't be happy until you've destroyed the country. - Richard M. Todaro, Washington, D.C.

Given over?

Regarding the column that mentioned apotemnophilia, a desire to have one's own limbs amputated, is it possible that this is a judgment of God ("The real me," May 19)? If a person rejects God long enough, may He not, as it says in Romans, "give them over" to the consequences of a wicked life-a debased mind? - Bill Holschen, St. Louis, Mo.

Cutting questions

Hooray for Janie B. Cheaney's essay on self-obsession, but it raises a thorny question or two. Why is it self-mutilation to cut off an arm unnecessarily, and business as usual among Christians to chemically or surgically neuter a man or woman made procreative in the image of God? Why are we distressed by the disorder driving the transgender fad but do not see the same disconnectedness with gender reality among our Christian friends who reject fertility? - Charlotte Ostermann, Lawrence, Kan.

Bush country vacation

Thanks to Bob Jones and Gene Edward Veith for their excellent travel advice for families on their summer vacations ("Sleeping in Seattle," "Vacation as vocation," May 12). I noticed that many of the potential vacation destinations mentioned in their columns-Seattle, Chicago, Beverly Hills-are squarely in "enemy territory," politically liberal counties that voted for Al Gore in the last presidential election. As for me and my house, we're planning a "Bush country" vacation this year. Sorry, but Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Seattle, and those infamous southern Florida counties aren't getting one cent of my vacation dollar. - Steven A. Costello, Lake Jackson, Texas

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