I was born in Salt Lake City and raised as a Mormon, but have been a pastor in Utah for 18 years, currently at the Wasatch Evangelical Free Church. The LDS church repackaging its public image is nothing new to us ("Melting the ice?" Feb. 16). But despite stories of opposition against Christians, there are some real changes in Utah, including new openness to honest dialog. What's unfortunate is that many ministries hold on to the antagonistic "cold war" mentality of the past. This is counterproductive. Instead of railing against Mormonism as a cult, many of us here believe we must approach it as a culture. The issue is far deeper than winning the battle of competing truth claims. Evangelizing Mormons calls for us to grasp and be sensitive to their identity as a people. - Ross Anderson, Roy, Utah
I am a "Mormon" WORLD subscriber, and would like to thank Bob Jones for "Melting the ice?" It was accurate and fair. I hope that the ice will continue to melt. - Rebecca M. Payne, Urbana, Ill.
Needs no help
I was born and raised Mormon in small-town Utah and started a family in that state, but am now a Christian. Your article on the Mormon Olympics, I felt, helped the Mormons more than told the real story. Believe me when I say that any religion that teaches that we can become a god, and that Lucifer and Jesus are brothers, does not need our support in any way. - Burke Despain, Whitefish, Mont.
Thank you, WORLD, for alerting us to the latest attempts to "neuterize" and "neutralize"- as some would go so far as to say-the meaning of God's Word ("Word games," "Sad day," Feb. 16). The denomination of which I am a member and a pastor is already looking to another English version for the production of future hymnals, Sunday school lessons, and catechetical materials. Zondervan and IBS may indeed win this battle but lose the public-relations war, and with it future customers who will look to publishers they can trust. - David Daumer, Orange City, Iowa
"Sad day" by Marvin Olasky was exactly what I've come to expect from WORLD, inflammatory and scandalous. I'm deeply disturbed to hear the battle trumpets sounding again. - Lowe Bibby, Garner, N.C.
Joel Belz's piece on Zondervan's TNIV was very interesting and informative ("Word games"). However, the only way to combat such things is to hit Zondervan where it hurts: in the pocketbook. I intend to stop buying anything published by Zondervan until they decide to dump their plans to publish such a translation. - John Norton, Bossier City, La.
I am greatly distressed by your coverage of the TNIV, reflecting what I believe is a lack of fairness and an agenda that WORLD has in regard to Bible translations. WORLD even questions the integrity of IBS and Zondervan. Christian people work for these companies and need our support, not our boycotts. Let's get over this dispute and get on with teaching and preaching God's Word in whatever translation is best for us and our families. - Dan Longmore, Hunlock Creek, Pa.
Accurate in pink
I collect translations of the New Testament, but I doubt that I will add the TNIV to my collection (unless I find it at a garage sale). After reading "NIV's twisted sister" in the Feb. 9 issue, I picked up a small, pink volume from 1924 called The Centenary Translation of the New Testament. It was the first major English translation by a woman, Dr. Helen Barrett Montgomery (1861-1934), who was also the first American woman to serve as the president of a major denomination, the Northern Baptist Convention. I reviewed her handling of the verses listed in the article and found she had retained the masculine nouns and pronouns in every instance. Apparently, she did not need to compromise either her scholarship or the integrity of the biblical text to believe she was a recipient of God's grace and could serve Him effectively. - James Hickman, Worthington, Ohio
I read your article about the NIV's new "Twisted sister." Twisted is what this is. I intend to send my NIV Study Bible back to IBS and Zondervan with a gracious but firm note enclosed. - Ginger Hyatt, Nashville, Tenn.
I am offended that the International Bible Society and Zondervan would entertain the idea that women don't understand the generic use of male pronouns. We do not live in the dark ages, nor do we live in a Third World country where women are not taught to read, write, and comprehend. - Dolores Webb, Newfield, N.J.
Cheer up, Puzzles
Thank you to Mrs. Seu for "Turning 50" (Feb. 16). Although only 40, I am amazed how God has faithfully restored the years the locusts ate in my own life. Cheer up, all you Puzzles! Not one of us can look God in the eye with clear conscience without being robed in Christ's righteousness. Accept the challenge to live out the adventure He so lovingly plans for us. - Cindy Stephens, Howe, Texas
I deeply appreciated "Lives of service" (Feb. 9). The sacrifice the men and women in the armed services make for their country and countrymen is often more than some of us realize. It reminded me of John 15:13: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." - Naphtali Young, Ash Grove, Mo.
Honored to serve
Thank you for "Lives of service." I was moved to see the lives of my family and friends so simply and lovingly portrayed in a magazine I respect so greatly. I am now proud of my military career in ways I could not have imagined only two years ago. I told my family over Christmas dinner that it is a good time to be in the military. My wife and I are given encouragement now from so many people. My wife recently attended a Bible conference and received a spontaneous ovation along with several other military wives who were there. It is an honor to serve you. I am humbled by the simple gestures of thanks I see all around me. Continue to pray for us and our commander-in-chief. - Capt. Adam Dinsmore, Fort Lee, Va.
In response to the devastation wreaked by the collapse of Enron, one of our church members has begun a prayer group comprising the wives of Arthur Andersen employees ("Enwrong," Jan. 26). Her hope is that in all times of concern and fear, whether because of our own mistakes or those of other people, we can learn that our best hope is in God and our best witness to our family, our friends, and the world is to come to God in prayer. May Christians in the corporate world take up this challenge and cause a revival among their colleagues. - Beverly Uhlmer, Houston, Texas
Their greatest need
"Volunteer ... or else" in your Feb. 3 issue about forced abortions in China struck a nerve with me. I just spent two months working as an engineer in the very city mentioned in the article, Guangzhou. As I got to know ordinary Chinese people, almost everyone perked up their ears when they found I have five children, and that provided many opportunities to speak of this issue. I've seen tears well up in a young man's eyes as he told me his dream is to have five children. Then he sagged with passive acceptance and said simply, "But that is not allowed." Not all the Chinese are that way, of course. I met one delightful lady who is determined to fulfill her dreams of children if she has to leave China to do it. But for the most part, I found passive acceptance of the government's decree. But their greatest need, of course, is for the gospel. What matters being denied a large family if all are headed for a lost eternity? In our just concern for the suffering of these people in matters like the one-child policy, let us not lose sight of the eternal issues. - Mark van der Hoek, Salt Lake City, Utah
Waiting for the Age
Thank you for "Depth perception" by Andree Seu in the Feb. 9 issue. In her description of marriage and widowhood, she said beautifully what I've felt for seven years. Like her, I am-anxiously now-waiting for the "Age of Completeness." - Jenny Doig, Croton, Ohio