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Letters, feedback, etc.

Issue: "Francis Schaeffer's legacy," March 26, 2005

Majoring on a minor

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for "Changing God's words" (Feb. 26). I was alarmed to read the TNIV version of Ps. 34:20. Changing "his" to "their" clearly takes away the prophecy of Jesus Christ the Messiah, and I find the elimination of a Messianic prophecy startling and unsettling. TNIV supporters argue that today's readers need language that they will understand, but this concern over male-oriented words seems to be majoring on a minor point to appease popular culture.
-Megan McGregor, Independence, Mo.

I read every wearying word of the latest installment on the TNIV controversy and remain unconvinced that it represents a dire threat to the spiritual lives of Bible readers. I'm no advocate of the TNIV, and am disgusted with the publisher's lack of integrity, but I'm more concerned about the effect on readers of all this useless wrangling over words.
-Curt Finnamore; Swanzey, N.H.

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"Changing God's words" is right on target. We need to keep translations as close to the original languages as possible. What's next-a "sin-accurate" Bible? Efforts to please people by watering down truth leads to heresy.
-Michael Konves; Phoenix, Ariz.

As I was reading the TNIV verses, like "Blessed are those who do not walk in the counsel of the wicked," I felt, that's me! God includes me, and I can't wait to get a copy of the TNIV simply because, as a woman, I'm included. I'm not suggesting that the TNIV doesn't have its problems-every translation does-but why are we so quick to discard over half of the body of Christ, and tell them to "just figure it out"?
-Sarah Chambers; Chicago, Ill.

Are we women really so slow that we cannot understand, "What is man that You are mindful of him?" to include all of us wretched sinners? Even my first-and second-grade Sunday schoolers comprehend this. Wayne Grudem captured it perfectly with his phrase "linguistic gymnastics."
-Juli Lackey; Murrysville, Pa.

Thank you for your ongoing coverage of this issue. Scriptural application must always be founded upon the original understanding that the original hearers would have derived from the original text. How is it possible to understand this original setting if the translation has changed the words?
-Dana Young; Thompson, N.D.

As a former Christian bookstore manager, I believe that this is not about translation philosophy or political correctness. The battle has its roots in Zondervan's fight to maintain its hold on its market share for Bibles, which has eroded significantly. By introducing a new product line designed not for the evangelical Christian community but rather to appeal to liberal, mainline Protestants, Zondervan will broaden its market.
-Mike Nodland; Newton, Iowa

To read or comment more about the TNIV controversy, go to

Surprised by joy

As a retired military veteran and a Christian, I was appalled by "Onward Christian soldiers" (Feb. 26). While Mr. Veith correctly points out that a soldier should be allowed to fight and kill in good conscience, this is a far cry from enjoying the killing and mayhem of battle. If we believe that there is "joy" to be had in the death of our fellow human beings, we are in serious moral trouble.
-Lee Oslund; Mackinaw City, Mich.

Thank God for men like Lt. Gen. James Mattis, and thank you for reminding us that war is a noble pursuit. C.S. Lewis observed, "What I cannot understand is this sort of semi-pacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face and as if you were ashamed of it. [This feeling] robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the service of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage."
-Bradford Winship; Laurence Harbor, N.J.

While we are in a constant political battle in this country for support of the war in Iraq, we need our military leaders to have tact and discretion, recognizing that making blatant statements of pleasure over the act of killing destroys those efforts. And while I appreciate that soldiers surely enjoy winning battles and accomplishing objectives, I don't support the idea that they should relish the act of killing others. They should, for the sake of all of us, keep their mouths shut if they do.
-Becky Sparks; Raleigh, N.C.

I was sickened by "Onward Christian soldiers." Evil men are not the enemy; they are victims of The Enemy. Iraqi terrorists and Taliban warriors are lost human souls who need Christ's love and redemption.
-Joshua Yoder; Partridge, Kan.


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