Regarding your coverage of the events of 2009 ("News of the year," Jan. 2) and "2010: The year ahead" (Jan. 16): I'm reminded that in my fleeting life so much has changed-not advanced, but changed. In my 1950s teens there were no such things as global satellite TV, PCs, the internet, bar code scanners, and cell phones; not to mention the array of moral, cultural, and religious issues that have torn us apart in just 40-some years, especially in the church. When will the Lord declare that enough is enough? I can almost hear the trump and shout.
-Stu McAllister; Hendersonville, N.C.
Bravo! Your outlook issue is the best I have seen in over a decade of reading WORLD. Congratulations on a truly outstanding job of addressing the major issues confronting us in 2010.
-Wayne Curtis; Pelham, Ala.
Regarding "2010 Vision" (Jan. 16) about the need for an alliance between Christian conservatives and non-religious conservatives: It seems to me that Christians are markedly uncharitable toward those with different views. We have a history of cutting off our noses to spite our faces. I am praying that what now appears to have been a very close call with the health bill fiasco will help us to be more ready to form coalitions based on common ground.
-Anne Johnson; Medford, Ore.
I found "The Next Hundred Years" (Jan. 16) to be the most insightful interview I have yet read in WORLD. Arthur Brooks was so understated yet so profound.
-Bob Cunningham; Bloomington, N.Y.
I found your "Looking ahead" snippets (Jan. 16) interesting and informative. However, you should be cautious about prognosticating on the results of an election, as when you wrote that Martha Coakley would "almost certainly" win the special election in Massachusetts to replace Sen. Ted Kennedy. Tsk, tsk!
-Philip Morgan; Bellingham, Wash.
I received a subscription to WORLD for Christmas. It's a perfect gift. However, in the article on seven "Countries to watch" (Jan. 16) in 2010, I can't believe North Korea didn't make the list. I think next to Iran, it may be the largest threat to us.
-Edsel Bernstrom; Renville, Minn.
In "Countries to watch" you reported continuing persecution for both "Christians and Catholics" in Vietnam. As Catholics, we accept Protestants as brothers and sisters in Christ. It is a necessary beginning to acknowledge that we are all Christians.
-Charles Oliver; Macon, Ga.
As a Narnia fan, I was delighted to see the article on the upcoming movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ("2010 Preview: Movies," Jan. 16). However, I was disappointed that the pictures portray the ship as very gaudy, more like a parade float than the sailing ship C.S. Lewis describes. I hope that this movie will stay much truer to Lewis' book than the movie of Prince Caspian.
-Dorothy Norberg, 13; Wake Forest, N.C.
I have just come from Avatar with my son. He called it "Pocahontas meets Star Wars"; I called it "Dances with Wolves goes Sci-Fi." In a different era it would just be called treasonous agitprop, but it is more properly called a reflection of the culture of self-loathing found in much of the public discourse.
-Richard Davison; Bryan, Texas
Avatar was a fun film. Like the Harry Potter films, as long as you understand the philosophy you can enjoy the movie. With its pantheism, reincarnation, and so on, Avatar has a little bit of philosophy for everyone, except for Christians.
-Ron Hanson; Escondido, Calif.
I've appreciated many things Andrée Seu has written, but most of all "Much higher learning" (Jan. 16) about a new kind of seminary. I, too, am a seminary graduate. It was the greatest test of my faith I've ever experienced, and I wasn't expecting it. Seminary wasn't all bad, but the biggest problem was how it stripped from my friends a love for Jesus and replaced it with intellectual pride.
-Dave Ness; Longview, Wash.
Seu painted a good picture of the atmosphere that seminaries probably ought to cultivate but have long since abandoned in their quest to provide academic "excellence." I teach Greek, Hebrew, and exegesis in a small church and what she described is what our church is doing.
-Phil Faris; Spokane, Wash.
I disagree that we need a seminary that teaches nothing but Scripture, prayer, and fasting and goes light on doctrine. In my view, we have already turned North American Christianity into little more than self-help theory based on an emotional appeal. We should instead teach a faith based on immutable truths. We are losing the next generation of churched young people because they don't know what they believe or why they believe it.
-Gray Abercrombie; Fort Mill, S.C.
"Waging holy war" (Jan. 16), about the Fort Hood gunman, Nidal Hasan, was wonderful. I am a retired minister and used to tell my people that if Adolf Hitler had come to Jesus on his deathbed, we would see him in heaven. Many people did not like that, but God wants all of us there with Him.
-Edd Worley; Grant City, Mo.
Dealing with an impersonal enemy is such a difficult issue, and I have never before read such a simple and accurate way to deal with something our politically correct culture seems absolutely unable to handle.
-Bill & Kathryn Douglas; Lafayette, La.
Thanks to Janie B. Cheaney for "Out of Egypt" (Jan. 2) on spiritual freedom. So often I find myself viewing freedom from the world's perspective. However, the Bible makes it clear that true freedom is not the authority to do whatever you want to do but the ability to do that which you should do.
-Lois Miller; East Berlin, Pa.
Ceased to exist
I began attending the Episcopal Church 22 years ago, but recently I have witnessed its moral and spiritual decay ("News of the year: Churches," Jan. 2). The Episcopal Church I once knew has ceased to exist. Instead of upholding the Judeo-Christian model of marriage that God ordained, it has unwisely chosen to promote homosexuality in America. The Episcopal Church would do well to remember that God is sovereign over culture, not the other way around.
-JoAnn L. Fuir; Lewisburg, W.Va.
In "Going against the stereotype" (Dec. 19), the author asks, "Can science accept the concept of an intelligence beyond nature directing nature? If not, should the definition of science change?" If God's effects on nature could be systematically measured and predicted, then He would simply be part of nature, and no longer beyond nature. I have very serious doubts that He would cooperate.
-Robert F. Scott; Knoxville, Tenn.
While I appreciate WORLD's "big tent" philosophy regarding its readers' interpretation of Genesis 1 ("War and peace," Dec. 19), I would suggest that WORLD still needs to make room for the many Christians who accept common descent as God's modus operandi for creating. Objections like the mathematical improbability of evolution no longer matter when a personal God is behind the process.
-Thomas Hogue; Jackson, Miss.
An honest look
When I first began reading WORLD I was loath to read the political articles because I had been disillusioned by all the lies in politics. My apathy was compounded by Christians who would blindly follow the party line or passionately argue over every issue. But WORLD slowly won me over. Your balanced articles show politics for what they are: in so many ways grievously far from what they should be, yet not completely without virtue. Thank you for helping me take an honest look.
-Daniel Griswold; Wyoming, Mich.
I was just reviewing some older issues of WORLD and was struck again with the breadth, versatility, and wit of writer and music critic Arsenio Orteza. Thank you for the opportunity to keep hearing from him.
-Barbara Masoner; Los Angeles, Calif.
Trevor Thomas of the Human Rights Campaign said he never asked for Larry Grad's firing ("Maine event," Jan. 30, p. 35).