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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "'Infidel'," March 3, 2007

Even prison

I had spent most of Jan. 30 in criminal court finding out that my husband would be spending time in prison. When I got to my mother's that evening I read your magazine and was almost stunned to see the "Letter from prison" (Feb. 3). It was such a beautiful letter and showed how God can use even prison for His glory. I will give this column to my husband to remind him that Christ is our blessed hope, wherever we are.
-Joan Eck; San Bernardino, Calif.

Robert Fahrbach's letter to Andrée Seu's son was very moving. I am involved in a prison ministry and shared the letter with a young man in prison in Kansas who recently killed his alcoholic father. It shouldn't, but it always amazes me how God can so completely re-create us sinners into His children.
-Dave Troup; Lee's Summit, Mo.

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Fahrbach's "Letter from prison" is the most eloquent and moving piece I have ever read in any magazine. Truly, "he that is called in the Lord, being a servant, is the Lord's freeman."
-Ken Brooks; Danbury, Conn.

Honor the directive

I share Joel Belz's perplexity with the actions of the National Association of Evangelicals' vice president for government relations, Rich Cizik ("Evangelical steamroller," Feb. 3). Climate change is a tangential issue compared to clear public-policy battles that evangelicals can agree on and must respond to. Nearly two years ago the NAE leadership appeared to be moving toward endorsing a call for a limit on greenhouse-gas emissions. Early last year the NAE board, after a request from several evangelical leaders, directed the staff to "stand by and not exceed in any fashion [NAE's] approved and adopted statements concerning the environment." Would that Cizik might honor the spirit and the letter of that statement.
-Kenneth W. Chilton; Lake Saint Louis, Mo.

Bad rap

While it is grievous to read that sensual music such as rap is given a place among God's people ("Holy hip-hop," Feb. 3), church history reminds us that syncretism is nothing new-from Israel's golden calf to music with more "thump."
-Gayle Schulz Ataceri; Drexel Hill, Pa.

What an absolute shame that John Piper's ministry is being questioned because he hosted Christian rapper Curtis Allen. I cannot wrap my mind around the logic that says God cannot use a certain type of music. To preach Reformed theology in the style of rap calls to mind the apostles preaching the gospel to crowds of people, and how each person understood in his own language. God bless John Piper and other mission-minded pastors.
-Kimberly Loomis; Marysville, Wash.

Obvious to all

It was a terrific interview with Juan Williams ("Descent into destruction," Feb. 3), who said things that are obvious to all but could be said only by a black man. His quote of Bill Cosby referring to the black leaders who "rejoice in your hopelessness because they have jobs mismanaging you" is spot on.
-Tom Morgan; Hermitage, Pa.

Any change has to come from within the black culture itself. Hopefully, if enough people like Williams speak out, something will change.
-H. Steinbrueck; Upper Montclair, N.J.

Next to faith

I interviewed Colts coach Tony Dungy when he first arrived in Indianapolis ("Coach calm," Feb. 3). The team receptionist had told me he got hundreds of interview requests, and I was the editor of a small Christian publication, but he spoke with me alone for an hour in his office specifically because I wanted to speak with him about his faith. As important as football is to any NFL coach, Dungy made it perfectly clear to me that football was absolutely meaningless to him next to his faith in Christ.
-Chip Bayer; Lonoke, Ark.

Evangelical escape

Christian Smith, the creator of the "Christianity and Culture" minor at the University of North Carolina ("Classroom Christianity," Jan. 27), has done some very important work on youth and faith and on racial relations and Christianity. A stellar, evangelical talent, and highly respected sociologist, he is also one that got away, at least from Carolina; he now teaches at Notre Dame.
-Bill Harris; Grand Rapids, Mich.

Wake up, America

Thank you for taking Robert Reich to task for his recent comments on PBS about regulating homeschooling ("Homeward bound," Jan. 27). He lamented that when children are shielded from what their parents deem "sinful or objectionable," they are more likely to hold beliefs similar to their parents. Obviously, Reich thinks the state should determine what is objectionable, and he wants children to hold beliefs the state chooses.
-Douglas Daudelin; Hackettstown, N.J.

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