I was thrilled to see your article on Detroit and particularly my neighborhood, Brightmoor ("Beyond 'ruin porn,'" March 27). We in Detroit regularly are lambasted because of our high crime rates and devastated landscape, but many miss how Christians are moving in as others move out. Detroit is a city ready to demonstrate what God's grace can accomplish where His people are willing to be the hands and feet of Christ.
-Tim Miller; Detroit, Mich.
Thank you for a touch of Savannah and a glimpse of her rich history ("In the beginning," March 27). I have been there several times and am always enriched both historically and spiritually. You brought those historical and spiritual qualities home in a way that makes them spring to life.
-Elayne Barnett; Valencia, Calif.
Thanks for an excellent summation of the situation with Christ Church in Savannah. As a member of the other downtown Episcopal Church (St. John's), which is also orthodox in its doctrine, I was encouraged to read such a clearly written and interesting piece.
-Rich Mays; Savannah, Ga.
The lesson from Jane Jacobs' story ("Cities up close," March 27) is not that everyone should embrace her vision of urban life ("density, diversity and dynamism") but, rather, that no one else should from a distance tell you how to live. I, for one, am happy to reside in my well-planned suburban community, filled with grass and trees, two-car garages, and large amounts of free parking. I would not care to live in an urban center designed by either Robert Moses or Jacobs.
-Bill Hensley; Sugar Land, Texas
I've seen firsthand "urban renewal" destroy whole sections of my hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., leaving huge areas looking like East Berlin used to. I even saw an exhibit in a history museum in Cleveland that publicly decried the ravages of this misguided policy on urban America and its neighborhoods and buildings. Who's been in charge? It's awful.
-Gary F. Albon; Kansas City, Mo.
It is refreshing to read an article that deals with the reality in which most of us live. "A church too far" (March 27) honestly and openly deals with perceived failure. What a wonderful change of pace to read an open and transparent article about a "failed" church plant and the struggle experienced by that church planter and his family. God's hand of grace and blessing comes in many forms.
-Larry Edison; Sarasota, Fla.
Just a tool?
As a physician, I have used the electronic medical record for 11 years, and I strongly disagree with Matt Anderson's analysis of the EMR ("Broken record," March 27). The flaws he describes in pre-formatted templates are not universal. Regarding handwriting, give me a legible and available record any day. Finally, if physicians choose to bill fraudulently, it is not the software's fault. EMRs are servants, and when used wisely they can be marvelous servants indeed.
-David Reagan; Johnson City, Tenn.
As a registered nurse of 40 years who has worked both at the bedside and in hospital middle management, I agree wholeheartedly with Matt Anderson regarding the EMR. I helped implement an EMR and in that process saw more frightening potential for medical errors than I ever saw for cost savings. Hospital administrators under the gun to control costs use such technology as an excuse to slash and burn when it comes to providing adequate staffing. This results in frustrated, harried, and mistake-prone caregivers.
-Joy McArtor; Hot Springs, Ark.
Short on experience
I completely agree with Andrée Seu ("Joy from above," March 27). I have long thought that pastors in America and probably much of the West are too long on education and too short on experience. Those who aspire to be pastors should live a Christian life in the real world before becoming pastors.
-Frank Husker; Hanover, Pa.
I appreciate Seu's passion for powerful preaching and agree that a preacher's personal experience of what he is preaching can add passion to the message and make the hearers more inclined to listen. But if he is faithfully preaching the Word of God, that is what the Spirit uses powerfully. The voice of God commands obedience, not the story of the preacher.
-Tim Miskimen; Chiang Mia, Thailand
I disagree with Andrée Seu ("What's in a name?" March 13). Yes, the name of Jesus is first in importance for all Christians. However, it is not a matter of fearing other doctrines but of wanting people to hear the truth of the Bible. Within our own congregations, it is proper to want teaching that agrees with our denominational positions.
-Gloria Chaves; Lancaster, N.Y.
A good and drastic step
"Reclaiming Erskine" (March 27) was very interesting. I applaud the ARP Church for taking that drastic step to bring its college into conformity to its biblical position. As a former professor of theology, I have seen the liberalizing trend over the years among faculty and in the watering down of curricula and requirements of prospective pastors.
-John H. Stoll; Minneapolis, Minn.
It seems "the team" in this case ("Take one for the team," March 27) is a group of '60s radicals who hijacked the Democratic Party and who have now (with the passage of Obamacare) exchanged "free love" for "free load."
-Albin Sadar; Sunnyside, N.Y.
The story of the lives of the Irish monks is so important and so riveting that I'm deeply grieved to find it being trivialized by the movie you reviewed, The Secret of Kells ("Mixed up," March 27). There's also no excuse for portraying them making friends with Druidic elements, who were genuinely Satanic. The monks of Iona sacrificed their lives to free pagans from the Druids and point them to Christ.
-Linda Columbkille Simms; Oxford, Conn.
But they love it
I agree with Charles Krauthammer (Quotables, March 27): You can't replace old-fashioned mail. The Lord inspired me to start writing a letter once a week, and our teens write letters to the child they sponsor and thank-you notes. (OK, I make them do it, but once they get into it, they love it.)
-Rebeca Freytes Chico DePra; Hornell, N.Y.
Fascinating and practical
Thank you so very much for all of the fascinating and practical information Susan Olasky provides. So many of the websites she reviews in the "Lifestyle" section have proven to be interesting and very helpful. I also enjoy and appreciate her book reviews (Notable Books).
-Cynthia Johnson; Sisters, Ore.
Thanks for explaining the NCAA brackets ("Math madness," March 27). But I still don't understand all this hype. It bothers me that my fellow college students seem to care more about their brackets getting messed up than their education and relationship with Christ.
-Miriam Crane; Richmond, Ind.
Not the same
I think it's great that Brian Godawa is working in Hollywood ("Discerning eyes," March 13), but I disagree with some of his points. In particular, he says that the Bible graphically shows the details of sin sometimes, but the Bible doesn't visually show anything-it tells it. That's very different. In the Song of Solomon, for example, sexuality is being discussed, but that is nothing like a sex scene.
-Shaun Smith; Spokane, Wash.
The past and the future
Thank you for Janie B. Cheaney's great column, "Wilderness of Zinn" (Feb. 27). I had never before understood how and why people wanted to rewrite history until you quoted Zinn, whose stated aim was to try to change the future. It was like a light coming on.
-Neil Slattery; Fort Worth, Texas
The rest of the story
Thank you for printing my letter (Mailbag, March 27) about waiting for my adopted nephew Louis to come from Haiti to his new home in the United States. I smiled as I read it, because in between my sending and your printing, the Lord made a way for Louis to come. He arrived in Miami on a flight chartered just for orphans, on Feb. 28. He is now acquiring English at an amazing rate and learning what it is like to live with his forever family.
-Jen Litowski; Matthews, N.C.