Good to know
I found "Foot in the door" very uplifting. With all the depressing news and trends that we hear about (and must keep up with as we fight the good fight in our modern culture), I was thrilled with hope reading Mr. Veith's article about conservative and Christian worldview materials in books, music, film, and entertainment. It is good to know that Christian voices are actually making it to the ears of a needy and lost world. Also, I am excited about Mr. Anschutz's plans for a movie production company because of our family policy of not viewing R-rated movies at all and being very selective about the rest. I have four children who have to grow up and live in this world (in which views will be shaped by TV, movies, books, and music) and will be trying to reach it for Christ. They will need all the "cultivating of the soil" that they can get. - Debra Short, Lexington, Va.
Okay, Arsenio Orteza is not optimistic about the value and impact of CCM ("Remains of the day," March 23). Can we get a second opinion for this patient? Can we say anything for being able to expose our kids to music and lifestyles that will influence them for good and not evil during impressionable times in their lives? If only for that, CCM serves a godly purpose. - Janice Scott, Tucker, Ga.
Krieg Barrie's illustrations consistently stop me in my tracks. I often check the credit, thinking there's no way one person could keep producing such arresting images in so many styles so frequently. Kudos from a fellow artist. - David Slonim, Chesterfield, Ind.
Blessings to Andree Seu for another superb column ("Channel slumming" March 23). When we started homeschooling almost 18 years ago, we did not do it to "protect" our kids. Now, however, I freely admit that part of the reason we learn at home is to protect them. Maintaining innocence in kids today is like trying to walk them through a tornado -even in the church, unfortunately. - Barbara Wiedenbeck, Arlington, Wis.
Couldn't be more accurate
Regarding Andree Seu's "Channel slumming": A more accurate description of American entertainment couldn't have been made. - Warren Reeve, Fruitland, Idaho
Don't look back
Andree Seu wrote that the "family" TV show 7th Heaven was a "relatively benign teen drama." One day, however, I caught the last five minutes of the show and learned in that brief period that a woman was making a move on the father of the family just as another man was going after the mother. The oldest daughter and her boyfriend argue about whether she had had any "adult relationships" (they both soon admit to it) and the middle daughter is about to marry a boy because they "love" each other, as shown by several passionate kisses. At the end it seemed like no one would long be a virgin except the 10-year-old girl, who saw the parents having sex, and the baby twins. To top it all off, the father is a pastor and Christian counselor. This show is better than other dramas in what way? - Paul McClain, Asheville, N.C.
There is at least one on this planet besides Mrs. Seu who has actually never seen a Seinfeld episode, although I probably have surfed past it many times on the way to Law and Order reruns. Is TV a way to maintain cultural relevance or a "vile thing before my eyes"? As always, Andree Seu makes me think and chuckle with her delightful style. - Robert S. Berry, Greeneville, Tenn.
Andree Seu's March 23 column, "Channel slumming," should have cited the PBS documentary Merchants of Cool. The column included without attribution several phrases and insights. In the same column, the line, "I'm not that innocent," is from a Britney Spears song called "Oops! ... I Did It Again."
Tennyson wrote, "'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all" (March 30, p. 34). - The Editors
Thanks for your insightful article, "Foot in the door" (March 23). Mr. Veith is right on the mark. It seems that all too often we have settled for being critics of the culture and not creators. And as it has been said, "It's easier to be a critic than an author." Thanks for recognizing that in an ever-coarsening society, there is an appetite for higher ideals. Let's pray and ask God to raise up more people who are committed to Christ and influencing the culture through beautifully written and crafted creations that point to the Creator. - Bruce A. Schultz, Wayzata, Minn.
In "Foot in the door" you talked about the impact of Christian performers on the world and mentioned U2. I am a 39-year-old U2 fan and I am concerned about some of their lyrics. While I appreciate U2 not promoting themselves as a "Christian" band, this does not give them license to design their performances as "unto the world." - Kathy Johnson, Florence, Ore.
I enjoyed the March 23 issue in which you wrote of how Christians are bringing more of an influence to Hollywood and the music industry. As for the Christian Contemporary Music scene, you failed to mention those artists who form the real core of CCM and whose lives reflect scriptural values, those like Michael Card and Steve Green, and whose lyrics focus on biblical truth. - Mike Butler, Jackson, Tenn.
They're still around
Count my family among those who know The Imperials once existed, and that they still exist. No, they are not the gospel superstars of years gone by. They have taken a vibrant ministry to the local church, and that is even better. Sure, the band has changed, but I like their sound today much more than I liked their hit 1981 album Priority, which Mr. Orteza mentions in his otherwise on-target article. - Phil Brown, Austin, Texas
Arsenio Orteza fails to give credit to the many Christian musicians who are having an impact on the culture. One of the most shining examples is the rap/hard-rock band P.O.D. ("Payable On Death"), whose last two albums have each gone multiplatinum in the mainstream market and whose recent album, Satellite, has already produced some rock radio hits. This band is boldly and unapologetically Christian. - Scott M. Roney, Lake Jackson, Texas
Only Christian people
In discussing the condition and future of Christian music, I believe Mr. Orteza hit the nail fairly on the head; modern Christian artists are making music with a bad memory for history and a poor vision for the future. However, I would suggest that this popular idea of "Christian music" is a practical impossibility. In this life there are no Christian arts, only Christian people; in fact, it is entirely possible for an unbelieving artist to make a better and more God-honoring piece than his Christian counterpart. In such cases, which piece is more Christian? By labeling his work "Christian," an artist hampers the advancement of God's kingdom. He should put himself in the background and work like the dickens; his excellent, Christ-honoring work will do more to glorify God than all the labels and posturing that he can invent. - Jonathan Landell, San Jose, Calif.
I enjoyed your article on James Vincent ("Singing a new song," March 23). I was very happy to see a man with such a rich history receive some recognition. - Steve Murray, Phoenix, Ariz.
Producer Ralph Winter said it best: "You can't ignore excellence" ("Working from within," March 23). Too many Christian filmmakers do just that, thinking that delivering the gospel is mission accomplished. It isn't. If we truly want to change Hollywood, Christian filmmakers will need to make some changes of their own, starting with writing good scripts and insisting on adequate budgets. A foot in the door is a good start, but if our product is deemed inferior, we'll get no further, or worse, have the door slammed in our faces. - Hilber Nelson, Twin Falls, Idaho
In your March 23 item, "On a more positive note," you described the CBS documentary 9/11 as "remarkable" and "not one to miss." I watched the show for a while, until I became so utterly disgusted with the foul language the fireman were spouting that I turned off the TV. - Paul A. Carter, Monmouth, Ore.
I too was shocked by the blatant homosexual propaganda being presented as family entertainment on the March 11 episode of the ABC drama Once and Again ("Blind dating," March 23). - Jeff Symons, Flint, Mich.