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Letters from our readers

Issue: "Unto the breach," July 22, 2006

Gut check

My gut tells me that, while the news is not all positive, I think we are around the corner from the "victory" we are seeking. Al-Zarqawi is dead ("Death blow," June 17) and the Iraqis are slowly understanding that this is their war, and so becoming a larger presence in the military and policing side of things. More importantly, many Iraqis have decided that the insurgents don't serve their interests. Once this attitude spreads throughout the country, the tide will have turned without any fear of it sliding back to civil war.
-Stan Applebaum; Toronto, Ontario

Support, but . . .

It's very frustrating to see and hear of all of the successes in Afghanistan and Iraq but never see our guys get credit for what they're doing month after month away from their families ("Always faithful," June 17). It makes one sort of pine for the World War II days when you could depend on the home front for support and encouragement. Military folks rarely have a problem managing the bad guys emotionally or psychologically; I think what gets to most of us is being cut down by press and politicians in our own country and the "we-support-the-troops-but" mantra. I doubt there's a psychologist who can fix that.
-CDR Don Bosch, U.S. Navy; San Diego, Calif.

The questions

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"Vile and vulgar" (June 17) makes with passion the point that few 18-year-old students are prepared to handle pervasive and deceptive depravity. If my principle reason for going to Harvard is to get educated, then questions like, "Is a Christian campus group or good church nearby?" or "Can I do evangelism there?" are all a distant second to the questions, "Who will my teachers be?" and "To what temptations will I be exposed in the dormitory?" May God help our parents to cast off the intellectual idolatry of our old and ruined Ivy League degree mills. Christian universities exist. They deserve our support.
-Charles Detwiler; Forest, Va.

I refuse to believe that Christian youth are so grossly uneducated after many years in a Christian home that they require four more years of shelter from the vile, vulgar, and offensive world. As a student at a secular institution, I need encouragement. Nothing could be more tragic than segregating ourselves, the messengers, from a world that desperately needs Jesus Christ. Christian universities can provide a great education, but they are not the only path.
-Brian Hall; Westcliffe, Colo.

Joel Belz's column struck a chord with me. The novel may have dealt with secular, state-funded colleges, but its sequel could be written about private, religious colleges. At my private Catholic university, the party scene was every bit as vile as elsewhere. I had classes in "Christian Marriage" taught by priests who advocated free sex and homosexuality. One priest spent a whole class condemning old-fashioned Christian morality while he stood with his feet firmly planted atop a Bible.
-Bill Turri; Dayton, Ohio

Rather than withdrawing, it would be far better to encourage the outreach and support efforts of campus ministries at these schools so that our Christian students have the kind of community backing they need to survive the jungle.
-Leonard & Ina Lodder; Salem, Ore.

Christian people do not need Tom Wolfe's vile book to inform them of depravity. The injury from reading such material far surpasses the insight gained. We protect our children by teaching them the truths of Scripture, not by hearing a pagan tell us about Sodom.
-John M. Custis; Gresham, Ore.

Wasted sunshine

I spent my $5.50 to see the new X-Men movie ("Striking out on the third try," June 17) with my family. Afterward I told my mother it was worth about a nickel because I wasted a couple of hours of beautiful sunlight. Looking back, though, it was exciting and would have been OK to see on a rainy day.
-Daniel Fitzwater, 13; Shelbyville, Ind.

Knicker-twister

I am singing along with John Piper because of the Truth to which he testifies in "Defending my Father's wrath" (June 17). God found the perfect, loving way to rescue me from His wrath. Piper's testimony comes smack up against the false teaching in The Lost Message of Jesus.
-Mary L. Magnuson; Gresham, Ore.

While still in the midst of raising five children, I can only wonder who could ever have a 2-year-old child and still question original sin? With each gentle rebuke, time out, or (dare I say it?) paddy-whack, I hear my Father explain that I am no different; my heart is submitted yet still self-centered. Corporately, however, let's not get our knickers in a twist about this book. Let's pray that Chalke and Mann will humbly understand that it is a mockery to tell the Creator of love, mercy, and compassion what the definitions of those things are.
-Carolyn Schlicher; Elizabethtown, Pa.

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