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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "The yoot vote," Aug. 4, 2007

Grieving together

The article written by Nancy M. Tischler on the fictional settings created by Jan Karon and Wendell Berry ("Books issue: Jan Karon vs. Wendell Berry," June 30/July 7) depicts my 30-year marriage. My wife dwells in Jan Karon's world; I dwell in Wendell Berry's Port William. But together we grieve over what modernity and progress have taken away.
-Mark R. Seeley; Charlotte, N.C.

I appreciate the attempt to compare the fictional places created by Karon and Berry but it largely fails, and not from lack of skill on Tischler's part. Despite his estrangement from the institutional church, Berry's fiction is much truer to the Christian experience. His characters have a sense of looming joy and impending disaster, of the twin possibilities of love and judgment, while Karon's world is tidy and sentimental. While Karon's work has some moralistic merit, it remains artistically insubstantial, like a Thomas Kincaid painting, to be consumed and forgotten. What use is Karon's "gentle life full of grace" without the brutal reality that makes us see our need of grace?
-Stephen Schuler; Golinda, Texas

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Jan Karon's wonderful books are dessert after a steady diet of violence, hypocrisy, and plain lunacy in the media. When I crawl in bed with a Karon novel, I know it will be a sedative to my weary soul. When I pray, it's for the redemption of the sinful world and deliverance of the innocent, and for a Mitford-like world full of Father Tims and Cynthias, God bless 'em.
-Barb Roberts; Lynchburg, Va.

Professing wisdom

"Backward, atheist soldiers" (June 30/July 7) was quite eye-opening and troubling. It appears that, as Paul says in Romans, "professing to be wise, they became fools." The proper and urgent response to those who publicly express such intense hatred of our Lord is to pray that God in His great mercy will give these authors the gift of saving faith.
-Joan M. Hochstetler; Charlotte, Tenn.

Why the violent language by the atheists? If there is no purpose in life, why get all exercised about people who are "deluded" into thinking that there is? In general, Wilson's book is a well-reasoned, relatively calm response to Harris' book-exactly the mode and mood Christians should take. (I have read both.) Hate mail should be off-limits to Christians, whatever the atheists may write or say. Also, The New York Times' endorsement of the atheists' books confirms what many of us have suspected for quite a long time, namely, that The New York Times editorial board is virulently anti-Christian.
-J.C. Keister; Lakeville, Minn.

Your review of all the atheist authors brought to mind this Scripture from 1 Corinthians: "But the natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God; for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised." We should not be surprised at their thinking.
-Dorothy Austin; Farmington, N.M.

Heroine of faith

Thank you for Stephen Griffith's article on Ruth Bell Graham's long and beautiful life ("Woman of letters," June 30/July 7). I admired her as an older sister in Christ who taught me about loving family and God in her books. She was a heroine of faith to me. I hope Mr. Griffith will finish her book, How to Marry a Preacher and Remain a Christian. Her wisdom and humor would benefit so many.
-Joan G. Martin; Marietta, Ga.

In the summer of 1982 my fiancé gave me a beautiful copy of Ruth Bell Graham's book of poems, Sitting by My Laughing Fire. It faithfully and safely led me through our engagement, early marriage, and mothering of four children with beauty, wit, sorrow, and always with hope. At least twice a year I read it all the way through, laughing and crying, as she expresses the challenges and joys of the Christian life.
-Carol Stone; Sagamore Beach, Mass.

Ripping good mystery

Thanks so much for Megan Basham's positive and accurate review of Nancy Drew ("No mystery here," June 30/July 7). My 10-year-old granddaughter and I thoroughly enjoyed the clean humor, the ripping good mystery, and Emma Roberts' charming portrayal of the heroine. It was a pleasure to see a movie that both entertained and provided so many examples of good behavior to discuss with my granddaughter.
-Molly M. Freeman; Tulsa, Okla.

Just bluffing

Regarding the study suggesting the patterns in fossils of the dinosaur Sinosauropteryx are not "protofeathers" but merely skin fibers ("Where the evidence leads," June 30/July 7): Evolutionists are bluffing when they say their beliefs are scientific.
-Karl Priest; Poca, W.Va.

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