Regarding the recent cover story on the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan ("Our long war," March 8/15): It is good to hear and read about positive things that are happening in this area. That doesn't happen much in mainstream media, except for Fox News. I also hear good news from those who have served there, including some I know personally. Thanks to all at WORLD for a good job.
-Samuel D. High; Lonoke, Ark.
The invasion of Iraq diverted our attention and military prowess from the real terrorist enemy in Afghanistan. It's cost billions of dollars, taken thousands of American and Arab lives, and maimed many times that many. Christians in that tragic land have suffered persecution from emerging militant Islamists. The evangelical community, as a whole, should be ashamed of the support it gave this foolish adventure.
-Ralph Lord Roy; Plantsville, Conn.
Can't be done
I was pleased to see that WORLD accurately portrayed the falsities that abound in "A Common Word" and the Yale Response ("Can we talk?" March 8/15). Comparing the true triune Deity to Allah is the same as equating the Christian God with Shiva, Ahura Mazda, or Buddha; it simply cannot be done without demeaning the very One we profess to serve.
-Glenn Suggs; Murfreesboro, Tenn.
Christian signatories to the Yale Response to "A Common Word" may have overlooked the overwhelmingly different motives for love of God and neighbor. The Muslim, together with all legalists, loves in order to secure God's favor. The Christian loves because God has first loved him. Different motive, different love, different God. While noting external similarities between religions may (or may not) serve mutual courtesy, obscuring the deeper differences will undercut the good news we proclaim to all, Muslims included.
-David Covington; Quincy, Calif.
I was ashamed that some Christian leaders conceded so much to appeasement politics. Sure, we can agree about innocuous passages about loving God (whoever that means), and we do need to reach out to Muslims. But why are we entering this newly opened dialogue with our eyes closed?
-Joshua Eby; Farmington Hills, Mich.
Hit by conviction
Conviction hit me when Joel Belz observed in "Dinner date" (March 8/15) that "focus on here-and-now tasks may cause us to lose sight of our educational tasks." Probably every day, as a wife and homeschooling mother, I get bogged down in the here-and-now tasks. It's not about the three R's for the sake of getting a diploma and one day a job; it's about glorifying God in every task we face all day, every day.
-Stephanie Ferguson; Broken Arrow, Okla.
Belz talks about Christians losing their saltiness; I feel very strongly that we have lost our saltiness because we have pulled out of the public schools. I know that there are many negative things to be concerned about in the public schools, but I feel that this is where we will have the most impact on the next generation.
-Anne Johnson; Towson, Md.
The change charge
Megan Basham writes that Vantage Point ("War without end," March 8/15) "succeeds at movie-making's first and most important charge-it keeps us entertained." That seems a little out of touch with some of the most powerful members of the film community. From Terry George's Hotel Rwanda and Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth to less politically charged fare like Paul Haggis' Crash and Edward Zwick's Blood Diamond, filmmakers are using the cinema to elicit responses and, hopefully, change from their audiences. To ignore this side of the movie community is disappointing. Christians especially should be interested in this aspect of cinema.
-David Sizemore; Freehold, N.J.
Please cancel my subscription. You put too much emphasis on Hollywood.
-Mrs. Ben Harris; Lineville, Ala.
Thanks for the CD reviews; they introduce us to more of what's out there in music. I also appreciate the broad spectrum of categories you cover.
-Darrell Watson Jr.; Goldendale, Wash.
I am not only an avid scrapbooker for 18 years but a "faithbooker." As I reviewed Romans 1, mentioned in "Fighting over scraps" (March 8/15), it occurred to me that I have been scrapbooking the main message of that chapter for many years. Along with the photos on my pages I include stories of God's faithfulness in my life, and also about the glory of His creation. My purpose is to leave a spiritual legacy scrapbook of faithfulness for my children and others.
-Maureen Feist; Grants Pass, Ore.
I am glad that Michael English has finally gotten his life back together ("Long road back," March 8/15), but I sure don't think he belongs back out in the public eye.
-Lanita Noa; Lake Stevens, Wash.
I am a Southern Gospel nut and recently saw English on a Gaither video. I could tell he was battling back from something. It was good to read what had happened and is happening in his life.
-Randall S. Brunt; Aston, Pa.
A grim reign
Thank you for your recent article on Fidel Castro ("Remembering Castro," March 8/15). I remember when he took over, and I still am amazed that his dictatorship-with its brutality, corruption, and grinding poverty-has survived nearly 50 years. Those interested in an in-depth view of his reign may wish to read Fidel: Hollywood's Favorite Tyrant by Humberto Fontova (Regnery, 2005). The author is a Cuban expatriate who saw firsthand much of what we never hear. It's a grim read, but worth the effort.
-Bill Bader; Eden Prairie, Minn.
Clarity vs. unity?
Thank you for introducing the subject of church music ("Joyful noises," March 8/15). Marvin Olasky has done what many others seem to fear. Other issues Christians should raise include: What is the purpose of music in church? What spiritual or academic qualifications should a worship leader possess? What are the spiritual ramifications if we are doing it wrong? Many of these subjects have been discussed in books, but they don't seem to have been raised in our churches, perhaps for fear of disunity. But when it comes to worship, is clarity or unity more important?
-Pat Dys; Fort Myers, Fla.
Thank you for your great article on Team Slipstream/Chipotle and David Millar ("Millar's crossing," March 8/15). With all the negative press that cycling has received, it is about time that cyclists start to stand against doping.
-Ben Henderson; Cheshire, Conn.
We subscribe to WORLD and have found many worthwhile articles, so it was exciting to see our little church right there smack on page 77, top row, middle church ("Houses of God," Feb. 23/March 1). Most of all, thanks for acknowledging us as part of a growing trend of non-English and nondenominational churches.
-Miguel & Barbara Pereira; Bayonne, N.J.
"Fear not" (Feb. 23/March 1) could not have come at a better time. I have struggled with anxiety since I was a girl and have been dealing with how to feel secure in recent weeks. I would love to just be able to let my fears go and enjoy the beautiful view. Thank you for reminding me that I am not alone.
-Jodi Teasley; Oxford, N.C.
What do we think?
I appreciated "End of an illusion" (Feb. 23/March 1). It makes me wonder what we are putting our faith in, when evangelicals begin to predict doomsday in America because conservative, evangelical Republicans are not in power. Do we really think the kingdom of God cannot expand without a fearless evangelical leader?
-Barrett Clark; Richmond, Va.
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