An amazing work
I recently spent two weeks teaching a biblically based abstinence program in a Namibian public school. It was life altering, and much of "The new frontier" (July 16) parallels my experience. Thank you for your attention to a region that is largely forgotten by the mainstream media (except when a rock star opens his mouth). I have seen souls saved and commitments made to remain pure until marriage by sincere students and adults alike. God is doing an amazing work and He's seeking those who will respond to His call.
-Joel Ogden, Enon, Ohio
My hat is off to Marvin and Susan Olasky for their current series on what people are doing to make a difference in the lives of orphans and widows in Africa. My wife and I have been working in Africa for the past 11 years with World Medical Mission and we realize how important these ministries are.
-Charles and Doris Marshall; Martinsville, Va.
Missing the tag
I am a conservative whom Mr. Veith (and Todd Wilken) would no doubt tag as liberal ("Liberal conservatives," July 16). For example, I see no problem with women leading churches and maintain that the differences between denominations are petty, so long as we stipulate the inerrancy of Scripture and the Lordship of Jesus. But I have no use for Pharisees who insist that I interpret key passages of Scripture exactly as they do or lose my salvation.
-Jim Wilson; Redding, Calif.
Todd Wilken's points about cavalier attitudes toward the Bible, gender roles, and God's commands have merit; however, resisting changes in the church based solely on distaste for cultural change is every bit as unbiblical as making changes based solely on cultural change.
-Richard M. Soule; Hockessin, Del.
I don't understand how people who accept abortion, homosexual behavior, and pornography can call themselves Christian. All of these activities are condemned in the Scriptures, either specifically or implicitly. We can and must love such people, but this doesn't mean approving or accepting such actions.
-G.H. Thompson; Thornton, Colo.
As an ordained pastor in the Lutheran church, I participated in traditional liturgical services for many years. I believe they are not worth "conserving." Traditional liturgy is boring, and it has an alienating effect on unchurched visitors. Stubbornly clinging to our traditional liturgy withdraws us from the world into our own hermetically sealed subculture, and we cease to be "salt and light."
-Rob Malloy; San Antonio, Texas
It may be true that, adjusted for inflation, gas prices peaked in 1981, but you thump on a tender spot when you suggest how well off we are now in comparison ("The record on oil," July 16). Those making $43,000 or more may not feel the heat of buying fuel that costs over $2.00 per gallon, but those of us living on small Social Security incomes do.
-L. Knickerbocker; Bolivar, Mo.
Mr. Lamer reminded me of an earlier figure. In cleaning out my departed mother's filing cabinets, I found my parents' 1953 tax return. My father itemized business expenses, among them the purchase of gasoline for about a nickel a gallon.
-Jim Ingram; Broken Bow, Neb.
Mr. Coffin's review of War of the Worlds mused that Steven Spielberg's message on family is not clear ("Redefining blockbuster," July 16). But I saw the gritty story of a selfish and irresponsible father who, when faced with the ultimate test of parental love, reached inside himself and found the right answer. Sure it's a summer movie, but I thought family came out looking pretty good.
-Jim Heggie; Camano Island, Wash.
The ending was the sort of "happily ever after" garbage Mr. Spielberg always puts in, but the atmosphere and special effects made the whole thing seem real and plausible. The movie has a gritty feel that captures the anxiety and fear the main characters try to display.
-David Briggs; Dublin, Ohio
For 30 years, while Christians were focused on abortion, the Supreme Court secularized our country in ways that would have appalled the founders of our country ("Clanging symbols," July 16). The battle is not just about the Ten Commandments. It's about the public's and government's right to acknowledge God.
-Larry Craig; Wilmette, Ill.
I have been really interested in WORLD because of the music and movie reviews, especially reviews of music that is not mainstream, such as Spoon and Ryan Adams ("Bestselling CDs," July 16).
-Phil Selander; Rochester, Mich.
The music reviews in WORLD puzzle me. For example, the review for the album Get Behind Me Satan describes the material as both "PG-level lechery" and "playfully rowdy garage punk." I don't find lechery playful.
-Gerry Wright; Russellville, Ky.
Lauren Winner accuses my clerical detective, the Rev. Kathryn Koerney, along with others ("Clerical mysteries," July 2/9) of "irresponsible liberalism." Rubbish. In my first novel, Kathryn suffers paroxysms of guilt every time she indulges in the slightest flirtation (twice in the entire book) with the miserably married Tom Holder. Tom, who is well aware that he's in love with Kathryn, suffers horribly about it. It's a study of two ordinary, real Christians doing the best they can in difficult circumstances.
-Rev. Cristina Sumners; Taos, N.M.
Mr. Belz misses the forest for the trees ("Fatality flaw," July 2/9). What represents a bigger threat than Iraq are our porous southern borders that could serve as an entryway for Middle Eastern terrorists who are willing to learn Spanish. In God's mercy we have not had overwhelming casualties, but this is no excuse for a war that has questionable benefit to our national defense and is poorly executed.
-Edward Whealton; Norfolk, Va.
Andree Seu's heart, revealed in "Joyful fanatics" (June 25), reaffirms my ambition to pray that God's people in my church, city, and nation would repent from their pride and materialism and cry out to God to fill their lives with His presence.
-Peter Habegger; Tucson, Ariz.
Thanks for the Quick Takes page. As a pastor, I file each week's page as a rich resource for sermon starters and illustrations taken from today's world. Subscribing to WORLD is like getting a two-for-one deal-not only do I get in-depth reporting and articles from a Christian worldview, I now have a dynamic illustration file taken entirely from real life.
-Ryan L. Day; Hazleton, Pa.
Creative Learning Concepts is based in Sioux Falls, S.D. ("Risky business," July 23, p. 35).