Cavalry have come
My heart-felt thanks for recognizing two great men of the gospel: Archbishops Peter Akinola and Henry Orombi ("2006 Daniels of the year," Dec. 16). In the battle for the gospel in the Episcopal church, they are like the cavalry who have come to help rout the enemy, even while fighting their own battles at home. We owe much to these men and the courageous African brothers and sisters who have fought and prayed with us.
-James C. Conyers; Lewisburg, W.Va.
Watching the slow disintegration of so much of the Western church can be extremely discouraging. Thank you for your excellent reminder that God continues to bless those who take Him at His word, regardless of who they are or where they live.
-Ray Engel; Salem, Ore.
You got two of the right men. Anyone reading this article should be filled with excitement and hope for the church. Where are the men of like character in all denominations who would rise up for the truth? Stand up and be counted!
-John Bandow; Stratford, Wis.
I commend you for your recognition of the courage and leadership of Anglican Archbishops Akinola and Orombi but was disappointed that you did not mention Presiding Bishop Walter Obare Omwanza of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Kenya. There are roughly three times as many Lutherans on this planet as Anglicans, and the spiritual battle among Lutherans is as serious as that among Anglicans. Last year Omwanza traveled to Sweden to consecrate a bishop for the Mission Province, a confessional, biblical movement within the Church of Sweden. He and his church have suffered reprisals but he proclaimed that, as missionaries from Sweden had brought the gospel to Kenya and founded his church, he was now bringing it back to Sweden. The Mission Province is now working to re-evangelize this most secularized nation on earth, and the movement is spreading also to the other Scandinavian countries. Bishop Obare's courage and leadership has made this possible.
-Christopher C. Barnekov; Fairfax, Va.
Words of division
"A note from God" (Dec. 16) could be a good start on a helpful discussion. Over the years it has distressed me how many widely divergent opinions people hold on the subject of prophecy, and how many people are absolutely confident their opinion is right in every detail and all others are wrong. Although the gifts of the Spirit are intended to build up and unite, the subject of prophecy can become a means of sorting and dividing people. I appreciate Andrée Seu's gentler approach to the subject.
-Gene Yow; Wenatchee, Wash.
As a liberal, registered Democrat living in a foreign country, I find reading WORLD to be a very interesting experience. I was very impressed with your recent election coverage and the story on Bob Dylan. Not so impressive was "Press to the left" (Dec. 16). Certainly, all media are entitled to freely report the news as they see fit. I wish more would do so in a responsible, unbiased manner. What is most disturbing, however, is the deep divide between liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans. From time to time, although not always, your magazine contributes to this divide.
-Scott Hower; London, England
I saw the entire Dateline report on North Korea. The quotes you reported are out of context. The show clearly reported that North Korea is a closed, oppressive regime with few individual rights and freedoms and a citizenry that is largely brainwashed into blindly following an unbalanced dictator.
-Terry Corney; Galion, Ohio
Weep for the children
I just read "Experimental kids" (Dec. 9). My heart weeps for the children who have been disowned by their fathers.
-Marcia H. Brown; Asheville, N.C.
Joel Belz suggested that we owe our troops "a better explanation for the war in Iraq" ("Over there," Dec. 9). The attack on 9/11 should be enough-is there a better one than that?
-Beatrice Hugelman; Peoria, Ariz.
Thank you for "Over there." My son and I recently attended my daughter's pass in review. She joined for several reasons; one is to do her part in cleaning up terrorism. She and the rest of the armed services are doing this for everyone, no matter the politics. She also realizes that the whys and therefores of the war are confusing. As someone tries to come up with a better explanation, the military will continue to serve.
-Donna Pheneger; Lake Wales, Fla.
In reviewing your list of recommended children's books ("Books that show, books that tell," Dec. 2), I saw many of our favorites and I wanted to recommend some other authors. Ralph Moody's series starts with Little Britches: When Father and I Were Ranchers. These are some of our all-time favorite books, a boy's Little House on the Prairie series, but better both in its writing and its adventures. There occasionally is coarse cowboy language, but the books stress the importance of family, industry, and ingenuity in earning an honest living. Also, Gene Stratton Porter's first book of fiction, Freckles, and her last book, Keeper of the Bees, are excellent stories whose heroes exemplify courage, industry, and high moral standards. Another exciting boy's book is Old Sam, Thoroughbred Trotter by Don Alonzo Taylor, set in the Dakota Territory in the late 1800s.
-Robin Hamel; Oconto Falls, Wis.
As a children's book editor and mother, I was very happy to see the recent article devoted to children's literature. However, I was disappointed that the contributors included very few nonfiction books among their favorites. Elizabeth Mann's The Brooklyn Bridge and Peter Busby's First to Fly: How Wilbur & Orville Wright Invented the Airplane represent a relatively new but exciting genre of educational picture books with wonderful art. And then there are the biographies of Christians, such as Martin Luther by Paul L. Maier. While they haven't been around long enough for many people to know about them, I do think they will become favorites for many in the next generations.
-Emil Whitten; Nashville, Tenn.
My siblings and I have enjoyed the Hank the Cowdog books for years ("Dog's best friend," Dec. 2). They are hilarious and entertaining for all 10 of us. Erickson takes ordinary events and turns them into comedy. Thanks for giving Hank the recognition he deserves.
-Abbi Peterson, 12; Spokane, Wash.
I am in grade 7 and think it's a good thing for President Bush to act on his Christian values even when he's criticized ("Uncovering deeds of darkness," Dec. 2). I am grateful for a president who believes in God. Bush's stand for religious freedom is obviously making a difference. I am glad America is free; however, I am sad so much persecution is going on. We should remember to pray for him.
-Peter Hilbert; Portland, Ore.
I am not a feminist, but I am appalled at Wayne Grudem's comment that the Bible restricts leadership to men in the home and the church but not in business or other areas of life ("Dangerous first step," Nov. 25). Is Mr. Grudem suggesting that women can be strong leaders in the business and political community but silent in church (unless we are teaching women only, that is)? That I can share the gospel with a man in my workplace, but if I meet that same man in my church I am not allowed to speak? Should I keep my mouth shut in the small group my husband and I host in our home lest the men construe my words as "teaching"?
-Anita Aurit; Sandpoint, Idaho
"Dangerous first steps" is the best defense of male leadership in the home and in the church that I have ever read. It will certainly please many who take the Bible seriously.
-Gerry Vellenga; Grand Rapids, Mich.
Clarification and correction
Many bloggers and media critics have accused Salam Daher ("News of the year: Wars and rumors of wars," Dec. 30, p. 24) of staging photographs.
The name of a Minneapolis program for homeless Native people, "Kola," is the Lakota word for "friend" ("House calls to the homeless," Dec. 23, p. 30).