Your coverage of the hope and turmoil in southern Africa ("Saving Isaac," Nov. 10) was alternately heart-warming and gut-wrenching. This mirrored my experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the early 1980s, where I enjoyed the hospitality of most Congolese people and saw the cruelty of mean-spirited exploiters. The West must not slumber while these people suffer.
-Tim Sizemore; Freehold, N.J.
Chivalry hangs on-or not
I was so thrilled to read that the idea of male chivalry and honor has not disappeared ("Combat and cowardice," Nov. 10). John Piper did a wonderful job of pointing out the biblical view men and women should have of each other, and how easy it is in our society to mess up those God-given roles. I thank God for how He hard-wired guys to protect and display valor, and I only wish that more women would see the honor in that.
-Emily Muhlbach; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Piper's analogy of Jason and black-belt-holding Sarah facing a robber, brought to its logical conclusion, ends with Jason dead and Sarah disarming the attacker anyway. Men like Piper may be surprised to learn that "their" women are interested in more than just being nourished and cherished. We want to be respected and given full scope for our talents.
-Jessica Kane; Grand Rapids, Mich.
Kudos to Piper for "Combat and cowardice." But it is difficult to expect our national leaders to see the light when our theologians are so ominously silent on the issue.
-Stephen W. Leonard; Vidalia, Ga.
As a lifelong reader of WORLD, I was deeply offended by "Combat and cowardice." My husband and I are both Army veterans and have witnessed firsthand the significant and increasingly important role women play in the armed forces.
-Jessica Fithen; Indianapolis, Ind.
I totally agree with Piper's assessment that God created men to protect women. However, as a former captain in the U.S. Army, I find the editorial an interesting use of space. Annually the Army struggles to meet its recruiting goals despite women stepping forward to serve. We should exhort men to do their job without shaming the women trying to lead as God and country direct.
-Melissa Brown; Columbia, Md.
Trust and truth
Thank you to Joel Belz for "Trifling with the truth" (Nov. 10). The LDS prophet, seer, and revelators not only seem to think they can believe or not according to whether it's convenient, they change their beliefs and history. The god of Mormonism is a very weak god who needs constant cover-ups and deceptive methods of protection. Maybe that is why Romney finds it so easy to flip-flop.
-Vicki Hoeft; Hutchinson, Minn.
Belz worries about Romney's "religious upbringing." Frankly, Romney's religious upbringing gives me hope and confidence. There are some inconsistencies in the positions Romney has taken over the past 15 years, but I bet he feels more comfortable with traditional morality than with the liberal positions he took while active in Massachusetts politics.
-Paul J. Henry; Colville, Wash.
I was beginning to think I was alone in my resistance to getting behind Mitt Romney. Apparently winning now trumps righteousness in leading evangelical circles. Belz is right that Romney is winsome, persuasive, and even presidential looking-but God looks at the heart.
-Kristi L. Klusman; Mesa, Ariz.
I write to express my strong disappointment with Belz's column suggesting that Mormonism is essentially a religion of liars, and that Romney can be expected just to follow suit. This is deeply offensive.
-Ryan Bell; Salt Lake City, Utah
If Mormons are not up-front about their views in regard to the nature of Jesus Christ, how can we expect a presidential candidate holding to the same corrupt belief system to be up-front with us?
-Carolyn Anne Venable; Houston, Texas
This family won't be voting for the "least worst" candidate this year. This is the worst least worst year ever. If Romney wins the nomination, we will be writing in Huckabee. We can't believe people think Romney is a better choice than voting for a Democrat. It's a no-brainer: neither.
-E. Stanford; Tempe, Ariz.
Mark DeMoss' statement concerning Romney, that one can "share values without common theology" ("Right man, wrong religion?"), caused me great alarm. My theology shapes and forms my values. Am I to leave my theology in the parking lot when I enter a voting booth? I think evangelical Christians struggle with trust when it comes to Romney. How can someone who is gullible enough to follow a cult be a discerning president?
-Martha Kasper; Alpharetta, Ga.
No middle road
It's good that Rachel Laser moved toward the middle as an "abortion gray" ("Life decisions," Nov. 10). But how can a person take a middle-of-the-road stance on this issue? Either it is good that women have a right to choose, and they should be able to use that right, or it is wrong to kill human life in the womb (or partially out of the womb) and abortion should be illegal. Joel Hunter is right that pro-life advocates need not insist on having the whole thing at one time. Any bipartisan step that reduces abortion and bolsters the pro-life movement should be taken. But at all times pro-lifers must continue to voice the moral reasoning for opposing the destruction of human life.
-Randy Goggin; New Port Richey, Fla.
We should spit from our vocabulary any notion that abortion is a complex moral issue whose acceptable resolution is a percentage reduction rather than total elimination. Was the murder of Jews in Nazi Germany a "complex moral issue"? Should slavery be "safe, legal, and rare"?
-Bob Brown; Belcamp, Md.
The low road
Democrats are taking the "high road" to protect our enemies from any discomfort to obtain information ("Torture tantrum," Nov. 10). At the same time, they advocate a gruesome drowning by a saline solution for our own most defenseless citizens, the unborn in the womb.
-J.D. Moyers; Centennial, Colo.
Not all bad
I serve at a Willow Creek-style church. Your quote by Bill Hybels, "We made a mistake" (Quotables, Nov. 10), may lead some to assume that the Willow Creek model was a colossal failure. Not true. The conclusion of the Reveal study, that church involvement does not equal spiritual development, showed that many of Willow's efforts did not necessarily result in the depth of spiritual maturity for which they hoped. Arguably, however, God has used Hybels to usher in a "Second Reformation" that has helped thousands of churches proclaim the gospel with greater clarity, courage, and effectiveness.
-Mark Matson; Rockford, Ill.
What a refreshing take on cultural transformation Gene Edward Veith offers in holding up the seemingly mundane importance of nurturing family life ("Salt recipe," Nov. 10). This is the long-term view for cultural change, and we need to be reminded of it more often. Hats off to the many mothers who pour their lives into rearing godly offspring.
-Jeremiah Pent; Ft. Washington, Pa.
Fruit of intensity
Since Rocky and Helen Hulse spoke at our church, it has been a joy to follow their ministry ("Rocky road," Nov. 10). The article doesn't begin to convey the intensity and fruit of their work, which is against fierce opposition because of their love for Christ and for Mormons.
-Jenny Wiers; Iowa City, Iowa
I think it's ridiculous that we say that missions are so important but we barely give anything to support them ("Our 2 cents' worth," Oct. 27). Jesus commands us to spread His Word; maybe we could put our spare change in a jar every day, and then donate it to missions at the end of the month.
-Tansy Harkins, 14; Grand Junction, Colo.