A great story
Thank you to Amy Henry for the great story on Michael Oher ("All-American adoption story," Nov. 21). This is not the first time that I have been struck by Henry's excellent writing and ability to tell a story fully and compassionately.
-Carole Hutchings; Rathdrum, Idaho
Your features of the Hope Award ministries ("Effective compassion winners," Nov. 7) and the Michael Oher story were an inspiration and a delight, but your continuing reports on the C Street house ("On the house," Nov. 21) trouble me.
-Doug Mcgraw; Garden City, Kan.
Barring a miracle
Regarding your good article about Chris Christie's gubernatorial win in New Jersey ("Turnabout," Nov. 21): I am deeply disappointed with the Republican Party in New Jersey for pushing Christie in the primary over Steve Lonegan, the only Republican contender with a clear agenda that included conservative Republican values. This is probably the last time I vote either Republican or Democrat, barring some kind of miracle.
-Ralph V. Harvey; Malaga, N.J.
Thank you for covering how black support factored into Bob McDonnell's win in Virginia's gubernatorial race ("Words and Deeds," Nov. 21). Even conservative talk radio and political blogs have not fully appreciated how amazing this is. Hopefully, the Virginia election will encourage more black Democrats and Republican politicians to leave their comfort zones.
-Frederick D. Weaver; Washington, D.C.
I agree that God is not going in circles ("Going somewhere," Nov. 21). However, my understanding of the phrase, "what goes around comes around," is that actions have consequences, rather than, "this too shall pass." The phrase does fit perfectly in discussing history or the current economic crisis, for when people or governments borrow and spend money they do not have, the bubble will eventually burst with ugly results. We the people, not God, go around in circles repeating sins that are not new under the sun.
-Rhonda Joyner; Hardeeville, S.C.
Joel Belz is correct to say that we have no right to an "obligatory happy ending." Maybe we should think of 9/11 and the economic meltdown as the first splashes of an imminent tidal wave of divine justice. A linear history isn't a guarantee of a glorious future this side of eternity.
-Phil Meade; Three Rivers, Mich.
Mark Bergin's "Delay reaction" (Nov. 21) about November baseball was spot on! I love baseball, but it is hard to watch in November. It is too late in the year and too late at night for those of us who live on the East Coast.
-Keith Russell; Jacksonville, Fla.
Not about us
Janie B. Cheaney's "Something to smile about" (Nov. 21) made an excellent point: Positive thinking isn't about our effort, it is what Christ has done for us. That puts the focus on Him and not on our works, which always fall short.
-Dana Palmer; Corunna, Ind.
I witnessed my brother, dying of melanoma, and his wife do the positive thinking thing to the highest extremes. But as I sat in his hospital room and asked what he rested on for salvation, he could not or would not give me a straight answer. I suppose that the "rainbows" and "balloons" that festooned their house were supposed to give me the answer. How sad.
-Gary Armitage; Decatur, Texas
"Morality without God" (Nov. 21) raises the profound question, "Can the atheistic worldview give a basis for moral convictions?" Sinnott-Armstrong engages in wishful thinking when he says that it can. He asserts that we should all agree to do no harm to others, but what does he base this on and how does he know it? The innate moral sense we all have can exist only because God has written His laws on every human heart.
-Christopher J. Fyock; Gainesville, Fla.
I'm a big fan of WORLD but am very disappointed with Sam Thielman's review of Paranormal Activity ("Horror on screen," Nov. 21). He says, "Supernatural horror is always difficult to recommend to Christians." How about "pervasive, disgusting language and immoral behavior are difficult to recommend to Christians"? He advises also that "this film's theology is as good or better than The Exorcist." What kind of commendation is that?
-Jim Kirkpatrick; Stillwater, Minn.
Rev. David Moyer's courageous battle with the heretical Episcopal Church in the United States is commendable (Houses of God, Nov. 21), but if his church moves en masse over to Catholicism it suggests that the members don't understand basic theology. Join another conservative protestant denomination by all means, but converting to Catholicism is too much of a leap.
-Andrew Engelman; Stuart, Fla.
What'd you expect?
I am becoming frustrated with polls ("A high tight wire," Nov. 7). I heartily agree that some Christians have an over-the-top way of expressing the truth, but if we are confronting our culture with the truth in love the end result will be the same. Wouldn't we expect to be called intolerant, insensitive, and judgmental if we oppose homosexuality, regardless of how lovingly we express the truth?
-Don Rapp; Union Springs, N.Y.
What would a survey of 40- to 80-year-olds look like if they were asked to evaluate how the 16- to 29-year-olds were doing? And why are we asking the world to evaluate the church? We need to focus on the power in God's message. Thanks for a provocative column.
-Bill & Jo Schuster; Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Joel Belz's column sparked indignation in me. I expect such criticism from the surrounding culture, but I hate it when one of our own paints us with a broad brush as "wrong!" And are these 16- to 29-year-olds getting their opinions from the mainstream media, or do they actually know any evangelicals firsthand?
-Barbara Parks; Spokane, Wash.
A few years
After reading the Nov. 7 issue I was as excited as I've been for a long time about the future of U.S. politics. I read Marvin Olasky's excellent Q&A with Ted Cruz ("All together now") and instantly reached the same conclusion as his column ("Candidate of the future") even before I turned to it. Now all I've got to do is become an American in time to vote for Ted-how long have I got?
-Stephen Wright; Sevenoaks, England
What a character
I think it is terrible that the University of Notre Dame reelected John I. Jenkins, who invited President Obama to speak at commencement in May, for another five-year term as president (Human race, Nov. 7). What "Catholic character" of Jenkins is the board of trustees commenting on when describing its reasoning?
-M.M. Barron; Tyrone, Ga.
Salaries that taint
I am highly disappointed in your coverage of Franklin Graham and the Inspiration Network ("Franklin's purse," Nov. 7, "Money for nothing?" Aug. 1). Again, we Christians shoot our wounded.
-Ruth Solow; Highland Village, Texas
The level of Graham's annual compensation makes me heartsick. How many clean water wells could half his salary install? Did some of that salary come from sacrificial gifts, some of them mine? Where were his ministries' boards, and where was the EFCA?
-Sally Essex; Helena, Mont.
The Bible does say to honor those in authority and provide them with compensation, but a person's motives come sharply into question when he is in authority and receiving large sums of money. Would we rather not live modestly than receive salaries that taint the reputation of Christian organizations?
-Robin McMurray; Grants Pass, Ore.
The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 ("'Singing Luther together' at the Berlin Wall," Dec. 5, p. 50).
Grocery chain Safeway is headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif. ("Striking the unions," Dec. 5, p. 49).