A great one
I just completed the 2009 Book Issue. It is a great edition, very instructive and informative. The last two columns, "Be shrill" and "Liberty's champion," make it worth the investment. Speaking about closing lines ("The best of the last," July 4), "Bake a cake and know that Calvin was not against enjoying it," is a great one.
-Henk A. Berends; Lynden, Wash.
While your latest issue covered current book trends, including the decline of traditional bookstore sales, the rise of digital books ("Booksellers breakdown," July 4), and self-publishing ("Do it yourself," July 4), I was disappointed that you did not include one of the latest trends in book promotion: book videos.
-Edward Bolme; Charlotte, N.C.
The Kindle version of your 2009 Book of the Year (July 4), the ESV Study Bible, is especially sweet with its hyperlinks between text and notes. Unlike your reviewer (Bestselling Books, July 4), I find my Kindle reader to be better than a traditional book for highlighting, marking up, and dog-earing. It is almost effortless to copy and paste in documents or a quote file.
-Douglas Hammerstrom; Colorado Springs, Colo.
As a self-published author with Xulon Press, I can relate to everything in "Do it yourself." While I did a fair share of internet marketing, I also arranged local book signings and newspaper, radio, and TV interviews. This legwork around town paid off: The local Barnes & Noble and independent Christian and secular bookstores all carry my book.
-Jan Hasak; Paradise, Calif.
I'll be a senior at Erskine College next year, and I participated in the petition ("Looking for a miracle," July 4). I, along with many other friends, have been delighted to know that the synod will be sending a team to investigate Erskine over the next year.
-Becky Fick; Westford, Vt.
As a 2009 graduate of Erskine College, I appreciate Joel Belz's column on the situation there. As one of the leaders of the petition effort, I would point out that 144 college students and alumni, not 144 students, signed the letter of concern to the ARPC; about 60 of those were students.
-Joshua Grimm; Lumberton, N.C.
I am a graduate (M.Div.) of Erskine Theological Seminary and a current Th.M. student. While the column was fair and balanced in many ways, it painted the seminary with the same brush as the college. There is no such petition against the seminary. It is a wonderful place to receive a sound, conservative, and biblical education.
-Carey Whitman, Woodruff, S.C.
Thanks for the column about Erskine. My husband, a teaching elder in the ARP, and I were there at the meeting, and it really was something to behold. To hear about a denomination that pulled itself back from liberalism some years ago and now to watch it deal with its seminary and college is really special.
-Sally Illman; Huntsville, Ala.
Been done already
As co-author of Ghostbusters, Harold Ramis had silly-funny down pat. But, as Megan Basham points out in "One to forget" (July 4), Ramis delves anemically into social commentary with his new film, Year One, ostensibly highlighting the dangers of "religious extremism." That theme got a serious and excellent treatment by writer/-director Paul Greengrass back in 2006 in United 93.
-Albin Sadar; Sunnyside, N.Y.
I saw The Proposal after reading your review ("Impractical magic," July 4). Sandra Bullock movies are usually fun. What hit me, however, was that the review left the reader unprepared for the reinforcements of secular worldviews about sex outside of marriage, which are far more dangerous than the rating or whether the story line was believable.
-Val Vickery; Jackson, Miss.
Debt to God
Regarding Kuyper's quote that "it is demonstrable that you owe this to Calvinism and to Calvinism alone" ("America's debt to John Calvin," July 4): America and the rest of Western civilization owe their existence to God's sovereignty within which He used Calvin and many others to provide this "impulse of liberty." America's debt to Calvin is profound, but it is a debt to God for what He accomplished through Calvin and Calvin's writings.
-Wendell Piepgrass; Waxhaw, N.C.
As a non-Calvinist I read the latest WORLD issue with an unexpected appreciation. It was good to learn of some new positive aspects of Calvin's legacy ("Sticking by the Bible," July 4). However, we cannot avoid Calvin's negative legacy. All things can be tested by their fruit. Calvin's TULIP splits up churches even now, 500 years later.
-Diana C. Asadorian; Fresh Meadows, N.Y.
Janie B. Cheaney's July 4 column ("Popular science") was very insightful. Here in Texas we've noticed for years how the extreme left tries to couch many issues, from gay rights to abortion to stem-cell research to global warming, as "science vs. the far right." During
our 2003 evolution wars over biology textbooks, some women wrote to us to encourage us to keep up the fight (against evolution-as-fact) because abortion mills had used evolution, particularly the bogus Haeckel's embryos, to convince them as scared teens that their baby wasn't human yet but was just going through evolutionary stages.
-Mark Ramsey; Spring, Texas
In an issue of WORLD with a story about "last lines," I really liked Cheaney's: "If it comes down to a choice, I'd rather be controlled by profit motives than political ones." Political correctness prohibits the discussion of alternative theories to Darwinism in our universities and public schools. This, in my opinion, is the most dangerous example of political motives interfering with science.
-Robert Ouimette; Bloomington, Minn.
Wisdom over feelings
Selecting Supreme Court justices requires scrutinizing their past decision-making wisdom more than glorifying their empathy ("Empathy for us all," June 20). Certainly, wisdom supersedes feelings in deciding court cases and likewise should reign in the selection of Supreme Court justices.
-Caroline M. Stanley; Houston, Texas
Define and defend
Thank you for Andrée Seu's wonderful piece titled "Be shrill" (July 4). She makes a great case for our leaders to define and defend basic principles. They are as necessary for success to a nation as a spine is to a body. Unfortunately, the USA currently has severe back problems. Shrillness from more Christian leaders can cure the illness.
-L. James Harvey; Caledonia, Mich.
I am deeply concerned about "Be shrill." Seu compares the divisiveness caused by the statements of Patrick Henry and Jesus to the divisiveness caused by the statements of Rush Limbaugh. Divisiveness does have its proper place. However, I believe it is a tool that should be used carefully and precisely instead of the clumsy, injurious ways Limbaugh implements it.
-Daniel Sizemore; Freehold, N.J.
Seu really nails a broad contemporary need in two words: "Be shrill"! It takes freedom in Christ to adhere to the biblical plumb line and not use "code" words for fear of others taking offense. The church and other institutions prosper when men acquit themselves as men.
-Russell Kaufman; Avondale, Ariz.
I don't see how Susan Jeffers could try to claim copyright over the phrase, "Feel the fear and do it anyway" ("Own that phrase," June 6). As a librarian, it was my understanding that book titles and song titles were not protected. There are multiple books and songs with the same title, for example. Another overzealous lawyer?
-George Nettleton; Willow Street, Pa.
A thousand issues of WORLD
We have been subscribers since 1987, when we went to Japan as newly married missionaries. Even though it took six to eight weeks to receive the magazine, it was always worth it. Now, with nine children, it is hard for me to get a chance to read WORLD for myself, as it gets snatched up as soon as the mailman delivers it.
-Paul English; Concord, N.C.
Before I found WORLD I read the other newsmagazines, and almost every week I found myself angry at one or more articles that presumed that those who opposed homosexual practice, abortion, or evolution were bigoted homophobes, misogynists, or idiots. Simply to be treated with respect by a newsmagazine is Mississippi Mud Cake. A real newsmagazine with a Christian worldview is ice cream on top.
-Charles Poteet; Texarkana, Texas
My first encounter with WORLD was a surprise. I had no idea that a newsmagazine written from a Christian worldview existed. Since then all seven of my children have spent many hours reading reviews, articles, essays, columns in WORLD. As a result, we have grown in our understanding that the entire universe is under the providential orchestration of a divine Creator.
-Trena Hill; Suffolk, Va.
WORLD has made a difference through the years by keeping us informed from a Christian perspective and by reporting stories that mainstream media ignore. I would never have known about Zondervan and the plans for a "gender neutral" NIV without WORLD's reporting
-Celia Miller; Greenwood, Del.
When WORLD was started, many of us wondered if it could really succeed in helping evangelicals bring God's light into a rapidly darkening culture. I am encouraged to see its growth over the past 23 years. Thank you, WORLD.
-Chuck Anderson; Lookout Mountain, Ga.
I can count on WORLD to be conservative and yet measured in tone. I also appreciate WORLD's thoughtful, non-kneejerk approach to the issues and its breadth of coverage, including news stories I cannot get elsewhere, particularly the regular coverage of Africa.
-Steve West; Raleigh, N.C.
The Honduran military ousted president Manuel Zelaya on June 28 in an action ordered by the legislature and the supreme court; this was followed by the appointment of a civilian president (The Buzz, July 18, p. 8).
Former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich was removed from office by a 59-0 vote in the state Senate ("Mr. Obama's neighborhood," July 18, p. 49).