Commendations to William Kilpatrick for his shrewd commentary on the degree to which Hollywood's rash of "message" movies has neatly missed sending messages that actually need to be heard ("The movie that wasn't made," July 1/8). However, one movie this year celebrates people usually shown as victims. United 93 shows what a small group of people can do when confronted with a devastating reality: They don't flinch and they do what they can. No one walks away feeling pity for these heroes-only pride.
-Lisa K. Moose; Parkville, Md.
Thanks to Kilpatrick for such an inspiring and fascinating article. This is a prime moment for someone to ripple the public waters. An aspiring filmmaker, like me, may even find Kilpatrick's creative outlines to be the catalyst for a future project.
-Nathan Andrew Andersen, 14; North Kingstown, R.I.
Kilpatrick pretends racism is an "out-of-date" topic, along with gay rights and capital punishment, but racism occurs every day. Kilpatrick is living in a dream world which simply does not line up with the reality that every day millions of individuals and people groups are being mistreated, often by self-righteous Christians.
-Jeremy Benson; Royal Oak, Mich.
Regarding Debbie Maken's interview ("Single & stuck," July 1/8): I am a 43-year-old single female physician and have devoted my professional life to the care of the poor in Christ's name. I would love to be married but feel that I am fulfilling God's call on my life in my circumstances. I am offended by the assertion that my lifestyle is a "social deviancy," and I resent the implication that I and my singleness are the "sinful byproducts of a culture war."
-Karen F. Neeley; Evansville, Ind.
Your review of Joan Didion's The Year of Magical Thinking came at a perfect time for me ("When death is on the line," July 1/8). I had just read this book for my book discussion group and was praying for words to share at our meeting. Regarding Didion's comment that "no eye is on the sparrow," I explained that His eye is on every one of us and that physical death is not the end of Christian life.
-Carole Hutchings; Rathdrum, Idaho
Thanks to Susan Olasky for two outstanding articles. Melanie Jeschke ("A rocky path," July 1/8) is an amazing woman. With nine children, when does she write? Homeschooling three children, I feel like I need scuba gear to breathe because I'm under like a rock. And even though it's not clear whether Caitlin Flanagan is a believer ("Liberated but bound," July 1/8), her message is right in line with Scripture: the value of making a home for the people who love you. I loved that.
-Joy Shiner; Overland Park, Kan.
Spoiling a romance
Arsenio Orteza says The Lake House doesn't "contribute anything aesthetically salutary" ("Waste of time," July 1/8). How about a love story devoid of the typical superficial and immoral elements that plague Hollywood romances? A dating relationship where the man exhibits servant leadership and the woman gratefully responds? Not only are these characteristics morally commendable, they are refreshing in modern cinema. Also, Orteza revealed the spoiler without any warning.
-Cap Stewart; Knoxville, Tenn.
Not so super
Superman Returns lauds Superman as a moral leader of humanity and, some may argue, even a Christ figure ("Happy returns," July 1/8). We therefore found it disturbing that this moral champion would commit the immorality implied in the film, with no signs of remorse or negative consequences. This Superman is a sadly accurate reflection of the contemporary American Way, or at least of the Hollywood Way.
-Mark Ingram; Lansdowne, Pa.
Andrew Coffin praises the movie as "fantastically entertaining," but we found it boring, slow, and predictable. Routh, as Superman, is almost too pretty, and Bosworth seemed uncomfortable in her role as Lois Lane. Although the religious allegory is obvious, and the Christ symbolism is strong, it's like having a diamond in a bowl of oatmeal; it's rather hard for it to sparkle through that much glop.
-Rebecca Cook; Charleston, S.C.
Thanks for the excellent report by Joel Belz, "Relativism at Fuller" (July 1/8). It is truly tragic when a fine school like Fuller, which was founded to stem the tide of the liberal influences in the church, eventually succumbs to the tide itself. It is a grave danger to attempt to integrate psychological theory with inspired, biblical truth. This is not an example of "open-mindedness" but of theological compromise.
-David D. Edgington; Phoenix, Ariz.
My professors at Fuller were not afraid to invite to our classes people struggling with abuse or homosexuality so we could try to understand the complex dynamics of their lives and faith. This created problems for people like me who thought they knew the simple answers for people in such difficult situations. Fuller allows for a dialogue among students, faculty, and even clients on these kinds of tough issues in the context of a Christian worldview. We need more Christian institutions brave enough to take this kind of approach.
-J. Trevor Milliron; Cleveland, Tenn.
Having watched Fuller since its beginning, I have to agree with Belz's column. There are good professors there who stand for the Word of God, but the administration seems to want to be so politically correct that it really doesn't stand for anything.
-Doranna Cooper; Mission Viejo, Calif.
Were it not for the several articles in WORLD ("Ideologue for hire," July 1/8), I probably would have voted for Ralph Reed in the Georgia primary on July 18. Your counsel sent a smoke signal early to evangelicals. I find it an indictment that Reed has avoided WORLD's efforts to discuss his involvement in the various controversial issues. Thanks for your thorough coverage.
-Silas D. McCaslin; Savannah, Ga.
Tears and taps
The article about "Amir" trying to rescue Christian children from lives of slavery in Pakistan ("Operation rescue," July 1/8) moved me to tears and prayer. Also, I felt a tiny tap on my conscience remembering the thoughts I'd wasted on something as trivial as what I would wear somewhere.
-Jennifer McFarlane; Aubrey, Texas
Is anyone else tired of the pandering that the ECUSA, UMC, and PCUSA have been doing over the last several years or so to the gay/lesbian agenda ("Nothing resolved," July 1/8)? It seems like every few weeks one of them has a meeting to "study the issue," form a committee, hire some consultants, and publish a report. I'm not the smartest guy in town, but you'd think that with all of their collective decades of seminary training and experience, at least one of them would open a Bible and see what God has to say about the matter.
-Dave Whisler; Charlotte, N.C.
The July 1/8 issue is one of your best, but as a longtime quilter and knitter I'd like to point out that Lauren Porter's knitted red Ferrari Testarossa is either a sculpture or a sweater for a car; it is not a "high mileage quilt" (Quick Takes). Quilts are like a fabric sandwich, with batten between two layers of fabric.
-Mary Evans; Orlando, Fla.
As a missionary in Africa for nearly 37 years, I was interested in the idea that ancient Egypt's false religions contained some hints of the truth ("More than pyramids," June 24). It reminded me of the heated discussions about Don Richardson's concept of "redemptive analogies," the idea that most traditional religions have some truth that, if discovered, could be keys to opening up whole cultures to the gospel. My wife and I have used some of a culture's folk beliefs to initiate gospel presentations. Thank you for the article and a reminder to reconsider one of the ways to offer Christ to the lost.
-LeRoy Judd; Nairobi, Kenya