The tomb is empty
In January I traveled for three weeks to Israel and Jordan, so I enjoyed Marvin Olasky's "Jerusalem by foot" (March 24/31). I went all the places he mentioned, but as I sat waiting to enter the Church of the Holy Sepulchre with our group, I was struck with the thought, "Why would I want to go in? The tomb is empty." This year, Easter has more meaning for me because of that encounter. Praise God, I serve a risen Savior.
-Lyle Suderman; Hillsboro, Kan.
Yo. This is a shout-out to Big O and his homies. I am dismayed at the gratuitous use of the word bling in a fascinating and otherwise well-written article ("Jerusalem by foot," March 24/31). How did MTV infiltrate your fine magazine?
-Timothy Pauley; Airway Heights, Wash.
Congratulations on a great special issue ("Building a city," March 24/31). You've got it covered.
-Siegfried Snyder; Syracuse, N.Y.
Regarding Joel Kotkin's prediction that cities relying on attracting the "creative class" will end up with a cosmopolitan elite and many low-wage service providers (Noteworthy Books, March 24/31): Here in the Northwest, as the logging companies and lumber mills went under, the men who lost their high-paying jobs were advised to enter the growing tourism industry. In other words, go work in the motels, restaurants, and outfitting companies that sprang up to cater to the wealthy tourists. Unfortunately, all those are dead-end jobs. Now the wealthy are complaining of a lack of amenities and long-time residents are being priced out of their own region.
-Randy Myers; Vernal, Utah
These are all excellent articles, but not a single Latin American city? What about the revitalization of Prague and the incredible opportunities for the gospel in Eastern Europe, or the explosive growth and conflict of East meets West in Doha or Dubai (although the Casablanca piece was good)?
-Patrick Poole; Hilliard, Ohio
Regarding your article criticizing our treatment of the homeless ("Not in my backyard," March 24/31) in the same issue praising New York as family-friendly ("Bullish in the Big Apple," March 24/31): Please recall that the turnaround in New York happened only after then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani authorized police to crack down on windshield soapers, Times Square beggars, and prostitutes. Thanks for the short paragraph mentioning that we recently voted to build a $21 million homeless-assistance shelter.
-Sheila M. Collins; Dallas, Texas
Your article demonstrates that the Park Cities program feeds the lifestyle of the lazy. It's usually by choice that panhandlers take to the streets, not true despair. I'm ready to help those who have a look of despair, and will sometimes buy food and bring it back to them with a Christian tract and a note with a message: "God has fed you today, consider this a blessing and turn to him for your salvation."
-Bill Dickson; O'Brien, Fla.
Joel Belz is right, and he elegantly articulates a correct picture of the global warming lobby ("Protesting too much," March 24/31).
-R. Overby; Arlington, Va.
Belz claims that the intensity and tactics of "global warming folks" are a sign of weaknesses in their arguments. As a research scientist, I can attest that a more likely reason for this intensity is that the reality of global warming demands immediate action. If we conservatives ignore the evidence and side with the skeptics, the consequences will be dire if we turn out to be wrong.
-Micah Green; Cambridge, Mass.
I agree with Belz's call to skepticism concerning global warming. Global warming greens, generally speaking, tell us the answer is more government (or less freedom) and fewer people (i.e., keep the abortion mills running). On both fronts, this makes them a lot like the global cooling greens of the '70s. Christians should be more than skeptical; we should fight this nonsense.
-Jeff Kessler; Rossville, Ind.
Much too much
Much too much has been made over Ann Coulter's "faggot" remark ("Circuses and bread," March 17). It's disconcerting to me when WORLD would quote a so-called conservative blogger declaring, "the age of Ann has ended." All is not lost due to one inappropriate comment. Coulter's biblical worldview extends well beyond a simple sarcastic remark.
-Brian Prong; Stow, Ohio
Marvin Olasky comments that "the larger academic audience is hearing something about Christ, and apart from [Stanley] Hauerwas, it's unlikely that they would" ("A playful mind," March 17). I take great comfort in knowing that God draws people to Himself according to His will and isn't dependent on someone like Hauerwas, who refused to give straightforward answers about the inerrancy of Scripture and whether Jesus is the only way to salvation. You call it being playful, I call it putting up a fog screen.
-Sharon Henning; Longview, Texas
I confess, I have really enjoyed Hauerwas and how he challenges my thinking. Especially useful is his critique of Reformed social thought. Reformed and evangelical Christians are blessed to have someone like this to speak with and to.
-Bill Harris; Grand Rapids, Mich.
The interview was interesting. It's sad that he's ignoring the spiritual war going on behind the scenes in much of Scripture. He ignores the interaction of John and Jesus with military personnel, as well as Deuteronomy 20, setting out God's laws of war for Israel. But pacifism is always useful for people who rely on others to defend them. This enables pacifists to exist, because in other situations they wouldn't survive.
-Kenneth Conklin; St. Louis, Mo.
They deserve it
Thank you for "Wounded warriors" (March 17). It's great that those wounded while serving our country are not being overlooked and are given the opportunity to stay affiliated with the military. They deserve it for their sacrifice.
-Kirsten Montgomery; Winchester, Va.
I did not believe God could ever possibly use rap ("Holy hip-hop," Feb. 3) until I met a young man who came to know Jesus through Christian hip-hop. He now has a fruitful ministry reaching people in the urban culture desperately in need of the Savior. So I've had to make this box I've constructed for God just a little bigger. Someday I hope not to keep Him in a box. However, I'm still not convinced He can use jazz.
-Marcia Garland; Lancaster, Pa.
Andrée Seu seems to read my heart and mind. I too have yearned to reach the stage of "restful coasting," where I have built up some "spiritual capital" ("Dependence day," March 17). But, like her, I am glad that God calls me to daily communion and daily dependence.
-Kathy Muir; Manlius, N.Y.
Thank you for Marvin Olasky's recent columns on the Iraq war ("The half-seen ledger," March 3; "Refining cruelty," March 10; "Make love, not war," March 17). I have been thinking a lot about it lately, trying to understand where we are and why, and these columns have helped clarify my thinking.
-Brian Schwartz; Tigard, Ore.
Olasky writes that everyone thought that Saddam Hussein had "lots of weapons of mass destruction" or the capacity to make them, and implies that this was the justification for war. But the ceasefire was revoked because Hussein breached international obligations as reaffirmed in Resolution 1441. Behavior in terms of threats, evasion, intimidation, and past use, not possession of WMDs, was always the key.
-Nolan Nelson; Eugene, Ore.
April 22 marked the 38th annual Earth Day ("Cool-headed," April 21, 2007).