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Letters from our readers

Issue: "Cellblock campaign," Dec. 23, 2006

What right?

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

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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.

Been there

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.


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