I wish I could be more understanding about Sen. Rick Santorum's behavior in last year's senate primary election in Pennsylvania ("A day in the life," April 30). Instead of supporting a pro-life, conservative candidate, Mr. Santorum actively campaigned for pro-abortion, pro-big government Arlen Specter. Now he says that he did it to try to maintain a Republican majority in the Senate. Was it worth it when there was a good chance of electing Pat Toomey?
-Jim Huffman; Burlington, N.C.
My wife and I laughed at the lone similarity we share with the Santorum family: the children stay up until 10 or 11 p.m. because Karen Santorum homeschools them and "allows them to get up much later than their dad." We now refer to our own later-to-bed, later-to-rise schedule as "the Santorum Plan."
-Brian Smith; Stoughton, Wis.
. . . and statistics
Regarding the Barna poll that found little difference in goal setting between born-again and non-Christian parents ("Aim low," April 30): Other articles in WORLD have pointed out that polls of this type assume that everyone who says they're born again really is, rather than taking only those who are actually active in church and living out their faith. Other polls, in which active churchgoers were identified, have found huge differences in behavior.
-Robert Perry; Chaska, Minn.
I would not measure success in the raising of children by perfect results. Although our three children seem to be currently doing well, I call that the result of grace. Likewise, some of their friends are following hard after God despite unbelieving parents. I cannot fault fellow sojourners whose children grieve them. I call that the exercise of free will.
-Nancy Henrickson; Houston, Texas
By every word
As Gene Edward Veith so aptly noted, instead of looking around the internet for yet another topical sermon, how much better would it be to simply feed one's congregation the Word of God ("Word for Word," April 30)? All too often churches extol the Bible to their people but neglect its teaching in favor of anecdotes and psychology. If only more ministers would remember our Lord's teachings: "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God."
-Tim Burns; Tyler, Texas
When I became a pastor, preaching two sermons per week suddenly became the enormous challenge of my life. But I praise God for that challenge. It throws me into God's Word, crying out for His message. I feel sad for those poor pastors you describe as "too busy" to devote themselves to the Word and prayer. This doesn't bode well for Christ's church.
-Chuck Walton; Kanawha, Iowa
Truth as expounded by another servant of Christ has at times so gripped my heart that I would be quenching the Spirit not to preach it, although I always make clear in my sermons how the material came to me. Congregations that have never heard Owen or Edwards or Spurgeon recycled and updated from their pastors have been cheated.
-Randy Pizzino; Roanoke, Va.
I found one common factor in "Aim low," on parenting, "A day in the life," on politics, and "Word for Word," on preaching, in your April 30 edition. In the most important areas of our lives, we are flying by the seat of our pants. Family, faith, and freedom take thought and time, things in short supply in the average person's over-committed schedule. As individuals and as a society, we are reaching a point where we can no longer maintain even the status quo, let alone make things better, because the issues are too big and we are too busy and too tired.
-Val Beard; Toppenish, Wash.
I enjoyed Russell Board's column ("Foreign gods," April 30). How true he is to point out the majesty of our King and His demands on our life.
-Pam Taylor; Placentia, Calif.
I enjoyed Prof. William Stuntz's account of life at Harvard ("Uncongeniality contest," April 30). Science-fiction tales of parallel universes are always entertaining. As a Christian and a university professor who is not "a conventional academic," I'm fascinated by his account of a world in which universities are genuine marketplaces of ideas and one can espouse any viewpoint without fear of damage to his career. I'm glad that God has made room for Prof. Stuntz, but it's a mistake to think that modern American academia is particularly tolerant of the Christian worldview.
-Steven E. Woodworth; Benbrook, Texas
My wife and I are part of the one percent of Roman Catholics who subscribe to WORLD. Mr. Veith laments that none of the good things said at Pope John Paul's funeral will matter absent "the proclamation of the gospel" ("The Catholic moment," April 23). Although Mr. Veith wishes that "salvation through faith" were proclaimed better, he won't soon get sola fide from the Catholic Church. Mr. Veith can have his Luther and Calvin, we'll stick with Augustine, Aquinas, and, God keep him, John Paul II.
-Shane E. Bartee; Marktbergel, Germany
Thank you for the respectful way you covered the passing of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Benedict XVI. As a Catholic, I am in the minority of your subscriber base but, having tried Time magazine, I much prefer to warm my hands by your fire. While you may not share my wholehearted joy at the election of Pope Benedict XVI, I hope we can agree that now is the time for all who follow Jesus to love and pray for one another.
-J.J. Garcia; Roswell, Ga.
The real problems
It is ironic that the editors of the Baptist publication and the leaders of the church from which Judge Greer resigned ("Leaving the fold," April 23) wanted him to do what Christian groups so vigorously oppose at the federal level. The real problems lie with Michael Schiavo or the law, not with a judge who understood the limits of his authority and had the courage to do his job in the face of public condemnation, knowing the outcome was contrary to his personal views.
-Gary L. Achtemeier; Bishop, Ga.
Every man who read "Porn again" (April 23) knows the monster. Some of us have fought and lost, others have won. There must be dialogue in the church, but let us please stop using the phrase "felt needs" or "core needs." The Bible knows no such terms and to use them is to import psychological baggage that is unwise and unhelpful. Scripture is clear: The fruit of our lives falls from the tree of our heart.
-Gabe Sylvia; Orangeburg, S.C.
God bless 'em
Thanks for the article on my alma mater, Parris Island Marine Corps Recruiting Depot ("Battle ready," April 23. God bless every little bald head on the Island and their DIs.
-Larry Wilcoxen; Racine, Ohio
The pigment that darkens human skin is melanin ("Beauty at any price," May 7, p. 51).