What is happening in Darfur is a terrible crime ("Darfur," Nov. 25). It is government-sponsored mass murder and China, because of its desire for Sudan's oil, will veto any UN Security Council measures to punish the Sudanese. However, the United States should not get involved other than to condemn the situation. What right does the American government have to send one American soldier to die in Darfur?
-Randall Van Meter; New Brighton, Minn.
Are there no African nations willing to lead on these issues? When will the more democratic African countries impress upon their neighbors the necessity of human rights in continent-wide economic growth?
-Randall Ware; Newport News, Va.
Women and the Word
Wayne Grudem's position, that evangelical feminism leads to theological liberalism ("Dangerous first step," Nov. 25), will not be popular, but I believe it is the right one, and necessary if our churches are to be truly effective in advancing the kingdom of God. I would like to remain positive and believe there's still a chance that churches will do an about-face, going back to obedience to Scripture, but it will be hard to reverse the downward slide. I pray that people will pick up a copy of the book, read it prayerfully, and search the Scriptures (preferably not TNIV, NLT, or NRSV versions) to see what God's Word has to say on the matter.
-Carolyn Moore; Alamo, Texas
I too believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and male headship in marriage, but to suggest that groups who ordain women are exegetically deluded and that this somehow leads to theological and moral liberalism is a giant step I am not willing to take.
-Larry Orr; Moreno Valley, Calif.
As a pastor serving in a mainline denomination, I must sadly agree with Grudem's thesis. I have seen firsthand the effects on a denomination that openly defies God's Word. Now the denomination is twisting Scripture so that many of our leaders and members now question God's truth on the person and work of Jesus Christ and the issue of homosexuality. To make matters even worse, this has lead to great division and the lowest membership figures since the 1920s. There is no doubt in my mind that God builds His Church, while those who want to conform Christianity to the culture have seen their membership rolls decline and their churches and denomination die a slow death.
-Gary L. Schultz; Astoria, Ill.
Many pentecostal denominations have given women both teaching authority and ordination for generations without falling down any one of Grudem's "predictable" slippery-slope steps. These denominations are reliable critics of evangelical feminism and its corrosive effect on church and family, so Grudem's postulate seems to be missing something.
-Andre Van Mol; Redding, Calif.
My mind, while reading "Dangerous first step," could not rid itself of the fact that many of our finest missionaries from early times were women who ventured out on their own to the foreign fields where they took up the roles of teacher and preacher. There were no men under which "to learn quietly." How then should we consider their ministry in light of biblical teaching? Para-church? I think not.
-Barbara J. Ortler; Chelmsford, Mass.
I've noticed that many who make an apology qualify it ("Apologizing in public," Nov. 25). How often do we see someone start the apology with, "If I've offended anyone" or "If that upsets you." I've done it myself, and I need to stop doing it. When I've caused a wrong, I should limit my statement to an admission and follow up with a request for forgiveness. No more conditional apologies.
-Norman Riddle; Weaverville, N.C.
I'm not impressed with Marconi's apology. It conveys that he is a sensitive soul who is, alas, better informed about the true status of the world and has paid the price spiritually, even that he carries a tragic, noble burden. But as a shock jock, he contributes to making evil and violence banal and laughable.
-Margaret Davis; Marina, Calif.
To see or not to see
Marvin Olasky writes, referring to its PG-13 rating, that "unless you by principle or preference will not watch a movie that contains such stuff, go see" Stranger Than Fiction ("Grand design," Nov. 25). Where is he coming from? Sin can never be an appropriate vehicle for truth and must never be an acceptable vehicle for entertainment.
-John M. Custis; Gresham, Ore.
I completely agree with Olasky's review. It is a great movie! I laughed, I cried, and left the theater uplifted. In a funny, tender way the movie deals with life, death, fate, and free will. It is the only movie in a long time, outside of the fantasy genre, that implies a higher power and applauds the nobility of self-sacrifice.
-Hannah Garland; Lancaster, Pa.
Thank you for Matthew Ristuccia's column, "Thanksgiving's forgotten ally" (Nov. 25). As he says, we are inclined to take responsibility for "the works of Almighty God." If we fail to heed this Thanksgiving message, we will destroy ourselves and each other.
-Sean Finn; Oroville, Calif.
Don't be despicable
Joel Belz writes of the recent election having "contradictory" signals ("Quiet time," Nov. 25). We should not be surprised. General elections are not the time for Republicans (or Democrats) to express displeasure with their candidates by withholding votes or crossing to the other side. People should work, argue, and debate for acceptable candidates in the primaries, then work for their party's choice in the general election. Unfortunately, in ignorance and laziness, we have forsaken the primary party elections and so make rash decisions in the general election. Or, we do not vote at all, which is a despicable act against our great nation.
-Steven F. Ardhuerumly; Churubusco, Ind.
Here's my take on the election results: It was America's equivalent to Spain's March 14, 2004, election where Spaniards capitulated after Muslim terrorist bombs three days earlier. We no longer have the will to fight our enemy in Iraq. We would rather just continue in our self-absorbed lives and avoid being insensitive to our attackers.
-Tom Gilbert; Dewey, Ariz.
The better of two
I appreciated Marvin Olasky's "Throwing the bums out" (Nov. 18). Dean Smith's statement is a perfect example of many voters' blind fixation on a single, often insignificant issue. Also, Olasky seems to understand very well that wisdom should cause one to choose the better of two bums instead of the worst.
-Ron Conley; Parrottsville, Tenn.
The big battle
The recent sex scandal of Ted Haggard is another sad reminder of the dangers of exalting human leaders ("Out of the dark," Nov. 18). Despite the gleeful doomsday predictions by liberal media about the political implications, his moral failure should elicit prayers for his healing and his family, not cause dismay that it happened so close to election time. Christians should never lose sight of the most important thing we can fight: sin in our own lives.
-Samuel James; Louisville, Ky.
As a Muslim, I say that these drivers should not have the privilege of running the service from the airport ("Get out of the cab," Nov. 11). We Muslims cannot stand by and watch a few Muslims flaunting Islam for their own ends. We have put up with enough of this nonsense.
-Mike Ghouse; Carrollton, Texas
The Metropolitan Airports Commission has the responsibility to serve the whole public. If private contract operators, such as taxi drivers, refuse, they should be denied access to the pick-up area. It may be commendable, religiously speaking, for individuals to obey Shariah rather than the laws of men, but to disobey the authorities may bring consequences.
-Spurgeon W. Wesner; Tucson, Ariz.