Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Pryor commitment," Sept. 13, 2003

I was amazed at the arrogance of suggesting that the "new heaven and new earth" would be more like a move to the right than the left. When Jesus dealt with the religious leaders of His day, it was the conservative Pharisees going up against the liberal Jesus. Numerous times the Pharisees tried to trick Jesus into defining the world in their simplistic "black-and-white" boxes. Jesus never fell for their traps. I think the new kingdom will look a little more like the example of the King. - Steven Reiff, Tokyo, Japan

Joel Belz is correct about syncretism. The Hegelian dialectic (thesis, antithesis, synthesis) operates as relentlessly as Adam Smith's unseen hand. Hegel saw his system as leading to utopia, but history has shown him to be wrong. - Ralph W. Hahn, Glenns Ferry, Idaho

Two reports in the Aug. 16 issue illustrate that the right-to-left drift does occur: "Formally heretical" (on the current debacle in the Episcopal Church USA) and "AG speaks to the AG" (on the increased flexibility afforded to Assembly of God ministers when it comes to marriages of divorced people). This tendency results in the birth of new organizations on the right. - Richard Engelmann, Cincinnati, Ohio

Read the book

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To Gene Edward Veith's comment ("Christian Christ-killers," Aug. 16) that maybe a "movie on the centrality of the cross can set the record straight," I would add, "Read the book!" - Jeff Cottrell, Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio

Mr. Veith hit the nail on the head (if I may use that expression) when he wrote about Mel Gibson's Passion movie. I applaud Mr. Gibson's stance and his endurance to see this project finished, despite political consequences. If people see this movie as anti-Semitic or Jew-bashing, they've got a wrong perspective of both the story and the man who's producing it. - Ruth Romansky, Pennsville, N.J.


I enjoyed Mrs. Seu's "Playing with words" (Aug. 16). I, too, have become more and more disillusioned with writers as I have forayed into the world of writing. I and some fellow homeschooled teenagers from around the country have started a newsletter; going through the process of writing myself has made me much more critical of others' work. - Sarah Fowler, Groveland, Fla.


Many in the media (including WORLD) have used the term openly gay to describe the Rev. V. Gene Robinson, recently elected bishop in the Episcopal Church ("Formally heretical," Aug. 16). May we use the more accurate biblical terms unrepentantly homosexual? The first should disqualify him even more than the second. The formalization of heresy can only come after many years of its celebration and affirmation in practice (ordaining homosexual priests, blessing same-sex unions, etc.). No Episcopalian leader has a right to feign shock over this heretical development. - Joel Mark Solliday, Brooklyn Park, Minn.

I took heart recently when two unbelievers I know expressed their disgust at the tone that television has been taking in its glorification of homosexuality. It is a sign that Christians may no longer be alone in believing that there is a long-term plan to legitimize that lifestyle throughout all of American society. The latest attempt to forcibly gain respectability by placing an openly gay bishop shows clearly that they needed a churchand they got one. - Elaine Neumeyer, Big Canoe, Ga.

Christians are infamous for killing their wounded, so I really appreciate the charitable yet honest tone of the article. It is easy for our small "vices" to become monsters. We should examine our own hearts and behaviors lest we too wake up one morning to discover that our witness has been devoured by habits that once seemed innocent. - Anne Johnson, Newport, Ore.


Based on an incorrect reading of a published report, WORLD wrongly stated that Nimir Petroleum took kickbacks from the purchase of Iraqi oil to finance terrorist activities ("Fueling terrorism," Aug. 9). The article also incorrectly asserted that Khalid bin Mahfouz is "head" of Nimir Petroleum. His sons Abdulrahman bin Mahfouz and Sultan bin Mahfouz are, respectively, chairman of the board and deputy chairman of the board of Nimir Group Ltd. WORLD regrets these errors.

Nothing falls up

I loved the two columns by Joel Belz on the drift from right to left in organizations and in all of life's institutions from family on up ("One-way traffic," Aug. 9; "Unlikely as uphill erosion," Aug. 16). It reminds me of Jonathan Edwards's famous text on Deuteronomy 32:35: "Their foot shall slide in due time." From Adam on, innocence dissipates before disobedience, and life turns to death. Nothing falls up. Praise the Lord for Joel Belz's courage to say what he did when people are breaking their arms patting each other on the back for their own goodness. - James A. DeWeerd, Grand Rapids, Mich.


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