When I heard what Franklin Graham said about Islam and then saw the column by Mr. Olasky, I had to write to say, "Amen" ("Hurrah for Franklin Graham," Dec. 1). It is about time that we call the Islamic religion what it really is. We gloss over far too many things in the name of comfort, but we are called by our Lord and His word not to be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Cults and false religions are dangerous; they spread deception and lead people to hell. - Bob Ernsberger, Cornelius, N.C.
I just finished reading your 2001 Year in Review issue. I thought it was well put together, except for one important happening that you did not include. I refer to the opening of the D-Day Memorial. This memorial is well done and well placed in the small Virginia city of Bedford, which suffered such heavy loss of life in that attack on Fortress Europe. I do not know how you can correct this oversight, but I, as a World War II veteran, was disappointed. - David J. Lytle, Lynchburg, Va.
Your year-in-review issues are wonderful. - Brian Schwartz, Nashville, Tenn.
According to your obituary on Adm. Ulysses Grant Sharp Jr., he "criticized American weakness in the Vietnam war" (Obits, Dec. 29/Jan. 5). A better description of his fulsome critique that appeared in The Reader's Digest (I was his editor) would be "vigorously denounced," and he denounced not "American weakness" but the conduct of the war as dictated by Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara. For some reason, Mr. McNamara remained so certain of his own genius that he insisted on adhering to his own terribly misconceived strategy of "gradualism," which gave the enemy all the time he needed to build up his defenses-in fact, to construct what became the world's most formidable air defense system. Thus, the war lasted 10 years, we lost nearly 60,000 young people, the country was more bitterly divided than it had been since the Civil War, and we ended up losing. - John G. Hubbell, Minneapolis, Minn.
In response to the esteemed Mr. Piper, I took his test and am proud to announce that I failed miserably ("Glad about glory," Dec. 29/Jan. 5). Of course, Mr. Piper is correct that ultimate fulfillment is found in the enjoyment of God Himself, but must he rain on our parade just yet? As one of those who has just discovered the "cross of Christ as a witness to my worth," as one who has teetered on the precipice of self-destruction because I didn't think I was worth loving, please excuse me for presuming that I might actually gain a little pleasure from knowing that the almighty, sovereign God of the universe thought I was worth saving. - Gary Mendelsohn, Greer, S.C.
Words from the wise
Thanks for bringing the wisdom and ministry of John Piper to your readers. Your magazine is always high on my priority reading list and, with material from the likes of Dr. Piper, it will stay there. - Alex Ramig, Meridian, Idaho
We love WORLD and have had a subscription since it began. My husband and I fight over it when it comes. I give it as a gift to someone every year and a few are subscribers still. Keep up the good fight. - Helen Reeves, Brenham, Texas
The greatest danger of the Harry Potter books and movie is that they encourage children to imagine (or even embrace) a world in which God does not exist and where they are not accountable to anyone but themselves ("Wild about Harry," Dec. 1). To entertain, or be entertained by, such a concept reflects at best a profound ignorance of the Truth; at worst, it reveals a deliberate rebellion against it. - Anne Moore, Jacksonville, Ala.
After reading Gene Edward Veith's defense of The Lord of the Rings, I'm struck by how we Christians will come to the defense of something just because it was created by a Christian ("Still ringing true," Dec. 8). I read the trilogy before I became a Christian, and after I became a Christian I was shocked to learn it was considered a great Christian classic. It has no more redeeming value than the Harry Potter books. It's fantasy, no more, no less. - Steve Holle, Billings, Mont.
Thank you for the wonderful article about John Ashcroft ("Daniel of the year," Dec. 22). He's a good American hero. - S. Shenk, San Juan Capistrano, Calif.
I had always believed that one of the guiding principles of conservatives is a basic distrust of government. I guess that only applies when Democrats are in control. If Janet Reno had assumed "a broad array of emergency powers" at any time during her reign like John Ashcroft has, we would have called for her resignation. I find it more than ironic that in the same issue in which Mr. Ashcroft is held in such high regard, Joel Belz decries an overaggressive state government's actions toward a children's home ("Sharpe vision," Dec. 22). The actions of Mr. Ashcroft and President Bush's planned military tribunals should scare all true conservatives. - J.T. Borah, Corinth, Texas
I must wholeheartedly disagree with the pick of Mr. Ashcroft for "Daniel of the Year." I believe that many of his actions fly in the face of the Constitution and the limits on federal power that our Founding Fathers, using their God-given wisdom, placed in it and the Bill of Rights. - James L. Cochrane, Jersey Shore, Pa.
Regarding "The new multi-faith religion," Dec. 15: You observe that "Christians have endured martyrdom, but can they endure unpopularity?" In this culture, how soon after they become unpopular are the unpopular deemed worthy of persecution? I fear the clock is ticking but I try to rejoice, for the end is assured. - Bryan J.L. Glass, Elkins Park, Pa.
As good as advertised
I just received my first WORLD magazine and am pleased to say that it is as good as I had heard. How refreshing to read a periodical with a biblical worldview that is written in an articulate and intelligent manner. In a day and time when the liberal and secular media dominate the landscape, it is nice to have an alternative reading source where you can receive the facts without the usual politically correct slant. - J. Roger Dail, Hardeeville, S.C.
Thank you for speaking truth in this postmodern world. It's so refreshing to read articles and feel a sense of trust with the writers, knowing that they are doing their best to trust the Lord with their writing. My wife and I live in Miami Beach and our worlds are filled with secular views. It is a great place to live out our walk with Christ but it can be discouraging at times. WORLD keeps us encouraged and well informed with proper, biblically based perspectives. - Brandon Mills, Miami Beach, Fla.
I wondered about the exclusion of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Great Britain. I know that tough editorial choices must be made and that terrorism and events in the Middle East dominate the world news. But this event sent a shockwave through animal agriculture worldwide, wreaked havoc on British tourism and agriculture, and had many other effects. - Timothy A. Snider, Stillwater, Okla.
The sad but predictable disdain for the message of Joel Belz's Sept. 22 column, "Sinflation," and the necessity of Jerry Falwell's retreat from his commentary on a nation gone wrong become sadder when these messages are not endorsed or understood in many of our churches (Religion, Dec. 29/Jan. 5). Which of God's prophets were ever appreciated for delivering the words of our un-politically correct God? - Joe Harrell, Fair Oaks, Texas