Megan Basham's review of Prince Caspian ("To Narnia!" May 17/24) excellently avoids the mistake of judging a movie entirely by the book it adapts. However, while I liked many things about Adamson's movie, it just isn't Lewis' book. Aslan was all but absent from the story, and the reawakening of Narnia, which makes up so much of the novel's beauty, was completely absent. The movie is less an "adaptation" than a "resemblance."
-Charlie W. Starr; Grayson, Ky.
I lost sleep because of your review of Prince Caspian before I saw the movie, particularly because of your description of Susan as a "warrior princess leading the charge and commanding men (or at least male Narnians) on the battlefield." After seeing the movie, however, I would point out that although Susan does perform one or two stunts needlessly sugarcoated with girl power, at no point does she lead a charge on the battlefield; she directs a rear rank of archers. I am very confused, however, that the article did not mention the quasi-romance between Susan and Caspian, a departure far bolder and more uncalled-for than any other.
-Clara Meath; Adelphi, Md.
I was impressed with many things in the movie, but creating an arrogant, controlling, and prideful Peter who lost faith in Aslan was not a positive change. It saddened me that Peter's previous encounters with Aslan had seemingly faded from his memory. Lewis' original message was superior: A true encounter with Aslan (Christ) will make lasting changes in a person's attitudes, character, and actions. If that makes Peter and all of the characters seem too good to be true, then so be it.
-Susan Corley; Carthage, Texas
I am amazed at fans' negative response to the movie's portrayals of Peter and Susan. Their characters were not really different from those in the books, just expanded. In the book, as in the movie, Peter struggled with self-reliance and Susan did not enjoy violence but she fought when necessary to save her siblings and Narnia. Adamson was very faithful to the source material while telling the story as he read it.
-Emily Nowak; Churchton, Md.
Right on the student loan
Janie B. Cheaney is right on the money when she points out that many students graduate from college with huge debt and low incomes ("Diminished returns," May 17/24). I frequently work with young (and not-so-young) folks who are deeply in debt due to college loans. Sometimes these are deeply committed believers who would like to go into missions or the pastorate but find their debt preventing them. While Scripture does not condemn borrowing as sin, it certainly warns that the borrower is a "slave to the lender."
-Robin Lambert; Webster, N.Y.
As a current college student, I found especially interesting the assertion that "many young people without professional goals could get their life preparation elsewhere, like travel, apprenticeship, or volunteer work." I love the idea but there are issues: Travel costs money; I've never found an apprenticeship that didn't require some advanced schooling; and volunteer work doesn't pay the bills. How do we make this work?
-Alisha Bennett; LaRue, Ohio
I would add to Janie Cheaney's insightful column that an enlistment in the armed forces can also prepare young people for life, clarify professional goals, and provide valuable training and experience, provided the young person has "counted the cost" of serving his or her country.
-Kathy Benton; Gainesville, Fla.
The column about Cpl. Matthew P. Wallace and his fellow soldiers ("Blood that speaks," May 17/24) was a beautifully written, compassion-filled remembrance of lives worthy of remembering. Mindy Belz was able to capture our delicate tightrope walk through grief in words because she chose to see it as her own. As we spent Memorial Day at Arlington, we knew we were accompanied by the thoughts of many from the WORLD community. Words fail to convey how deeply that's appreciated.
-Louise Korade; Hollywood, Md.
In July our family of six will drive up the Eastern Seaboard to absorb American history and make a few family memories. "Blood that speaks" put a face and a name to our future time at Arlington. We will make the long walk to Section 60 and find the grave. While we're discussing the brightness of the marble and the lack of grass, I will read that Wallace was "torn between confidence in Christ and his mission." We will pause and listen to the breeze and pray for the Wallaces (and the Korades) and the families of all those who made the greatest sacrifice.
-Mark Whitlock; Franklin, Tenn.
The article ("Raising the bar?" May 17/24) makes the case that tenure at Baylor University was given or denied based in part on published research articles in academic journals; therefore, discrimination based on faith was less of a factor. However, academic journals are notoriously biased against many conservative Christian ideas, so it's not surprising that these professors might have fewer articles published.
-Ray Daniell; Douglasville, Ga.
I am a senior Cedarville University Bible student. While I know there are currently many difficult issues facing the administration ("The Cedarville situation," May 17/24), I hold strong confidence in the school's sound doctrinal stance and quality of the Bible department and school as a whole. I was sorry to see WORLD's article questioning the university.
-Daniel Benner; Tiffin, Ohio
Can anyone truly say that a rapist and murderer or a "master torturer" like the Khmer Rouge's Kaing Guek Eav ("Would you forgive this man?" May 17/24) somehow deserves forgiveness less than anyone else? Can a person do something so terrible that they are beyond the reach of forgiveness? Staring at a bloodied man on a rugged cross, knowing it was me who put Him there, I stand compelled to say "no." Last time I checked, forgiveness is not mine to withhold.
-Jacqueline Gardner; West Allis, Wis.
It is entirely appropriate for the legal instruments of justice to convict and punish Kaing Guek Eav for his many past crimes. If by God's grace he truly is now a Christian, his hope is in eternal fellowship with Jesus Christ, not in earthly immunity from consequences. I hope to see the reborn Kaing Guek Eav in heaven and celebrate together what a great and merciful Lord we serve.
-Lorena Suhayda; Snohomish, Wash.
While I lament, with Timothy Larsen, Kent Gramm's lack of transparency with the Wheaton College community regarding his divorce ("Counter-culture," May 17/24), I sympathize with Gramm's unwillingness to bare his bosom to his employer. While an academy has an interest in maintaining a wholesome community, churches can and should take the lead in discovering sinful behavior that needs to be addressed.
-David Covington; Quincy, Calif.
Jamie Dean ("Borderline voters," May 17/24) distills Hispanic evangelicals' dilemma in the words of Samuel Rodriguez: "Does immigration trump our biblical worldview?" I sincerely hope not. How can serious Christians be more concerned for immigration reform, however described or implemented, than for the creation mandate of marriage and the very lives of those who bear God's image?
-Nancy J. Rice; Madison, Ala.
Thank you for the inspiring article about Don Schoendorfer's Free Wheelchair Mission ("Mobile blessings," May 17/24). It is so encouraging to see people who are touched by a problem then actually do something about it. I, for one, am guilty of sometimes hearing of a problem, then becoming callous to it over time instead of thinking about what I can do to help.
-Heather Gundlach, 16; Marion, Ill.
The real dishonor
I was astonished to read Nancy Pelosi's admonition to "minister to the needs of God's creation" (Quick Takes, May 17/24) and especially the last part: "the God who made us." Hey-an endorsement of Intelligent Design, coming from an anything-but-evangelical public figure! I would that such appeals to care for God's creation could include preserving the lives of the hundreds of thousands of unborn children Americans abort every year. That, above all, dishonors "the God who made us."
-Ann Ritterbush; Ringgold, Ga.