"Tested by fire" (May 8)
Mindy Belz correctly points out the hardships of the Israeli blockade on the inhabitants of Gaza. But until Hamas and other Palestinian leaders stop teaching their children about martyrdom, praising violent resistance, and denying Israel's right to exist, conditions will not change. How can a country constantly threatened with extinction by its neighbors always act in accordance with Western sensibilities?
Igor Shpudejko; Mahwah, N.J.
My heart was so encouraged to see a heartfelt, in-depth look at what's really happening to Palestinians. Jesus would be grieved to see the human rights abuses going on under the guise of "self-defense."
Douglas Bennett; Dearborn, Mich.
Thank you for continuing to cover the struggles of Palestinian Christians. With American evangelicalism's unquestioned support of Israel, I appreciate your broader perspective.
Taylor Nakamoto; Montrose, Colo.
"Gamble or gimmick?" (May 8)
The use of gimmicks, giveaways, and entertainment to get people to come to church is a sad commentary on the current state of the church. If we need these "marketing" tools to reach people then God's people are not living as true followers of Jesus.
Frank Nolton; Woodbridge, Calif.
I'm heartened by the Bay Area Fellowship's concern for the lost, but not so encouraged by the methodology. Cars, bikes, and TVs are not desperate needs. Most often they are only desperate wants. As for the church trying to speak the cultural language of the day, I would say that materialism is the disease of our culture and it's fed by greed.
Joel H. Sarrault; Adrian, Mich.
I'm weary of the worn-out rationalization that if even one soul is snatched from hell, it's worth the material cost. I simply do not believe that even when some are saved, the church can be absolved of concern for proper stewardship and methods. How many could have been saved through a different use of this money? And how many of the lost were further alienated from the gospel through what many will perceive to be crass materialism?
Mark Heijerman; Rock Valley, Iowa
I appreciated "Gamble or gimmick?" It was well written. Janie B. Cheaney hit the mark when she observed that people came to Jesus for many reasons, not seeking forgiveness of sins or eternal life, "but if they stayed, that's what they received."
Thomas Christiansen; Herndon, Va.
"Muslim minds" (May 8)
Marvin Olasky is right. It would be good if Muslim countries allowed their residents to learn who Jesus really is. Christians should also know what Muslims are taught about Jesus and His role in Islamic eschatology. Signs of the Qiyama and the Arrival of the Maseeh says, for example, that Jesus "will testify against those who had called him Son of God, the Christians," and other passages suggest that Jesus will judge according to Islamic law and "kill the swine [Jews]." That's not the Jesus I know.
Randy Weestrand; Long Lake, Minn.
"Pardoned passer" (May 8)
Thank you for writing truth about Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. I was born into the Steelers' fan nation in 1949 and in past years would have defended any Steeler no matter what the circumstances. Not now. Mr. Roethlisberger has taken advantage of the reputation of this fine NFL franchise, its many fans, and the city of Pittsburgh.
Ellen Noyes; Goffstown, N.H.
"Adoption trauma" (May 8)
I was surprised to see your initial report that U.S. adoptions from Russia have been frozen. We waited and prayed, and our contacts at the adoption agency and the orphanage told us that everything was still in motion. And then we got the call-we had 7 days to get to Russia. No longer was the freeze a concern, but the volcano was! God made a way and on April 28, 2010, Kristina became our sixth child!
Rodney McCart; Loganville, Ga.
"Resigned" (May 8)
Professor and Old Testament scholar Bruce Waltke says that "the data is overwhelmingly in favor of evolution." That same data also points clearly to God who did not use or need evolution to create. Perhaps He should have realized that any "data" in the hands of an atheistic philosophy will be used to diminish God's glory rather than reveal it.
Michael DuMez ; Oostburg, Wis.
"Jobs matter" (May 8)
Mindy Belz notes that "long-term unemployment is the worst it's been in memory." That really brought home how God has provided so well for our family despite some recent trials. Thank you for insight into God's workings in my little corner of the world.
Cindy Stephens; Howe, Texas
"Iggy's influence" (May 8)
Thank you for the piece on Iggy Pop. It's refreshing to find reviews of secular music that don't just pick out its flaws. I especially liked the quote about punk being similar to blues. It put into words what attracted me to punk music in the first place: an honest if raw expression of living and surviving in an often unfriendly world.
Lucie Biros; Minneapolis, Minn.
"Purchasing power" (May 8)
In Megan Basham's review of The Joneses she comments that it is rated R for "utterly gratuitous nudity and language." The vast majority of nudity and profane language in movies and TV is utterly gratuitous. Satan's purpose is to stimulate sin and desensitize crassness to the point that vulgarity becomes invisible to those who ingest this poison.
Terry L. Brown; Billings, Mont.
"Prying eyes" (May 8)
I have enjoyed Dr. Matt Anderson's recent columns, but his criticism of electronic medical records (EMRs) was a bit harsh. As an emergency room physician, I am frequently in situations where I lack critical information on a patient's medical history. Rather than fearing the EMR, we can pursue a system that improves patient care and protects patient privacy.
Jeremy Gabrysch; Austin, Texas
"Delayed, not denied" (May 8)
Thank you to Andrée Seu for her beautifully written column about delayed answers to prayer. My husband and I prayed for several years for a child. At times, it certainly felt like God wasn't answering us. I realize now, of course, that all that sadness and pain has been a blessing. As a physician, I have a new appreciation for what it's like to be a patient. I also have a bigger heart for the women around me who struggle to get pregnant, or mourn a miscarriage. Now please excuse me. The answer to my prayers, a handsome 6-week-old named Judah, is waking up from his morning nap.
Aubrey Tell; Greenwood, S.C.
"A church in crisis" (May 8)
Experts quoted in "A church in crisis" dismissed celibacy and homosexuality as sources of sexual abuse in the Roman Catholic Church. But viewing such factors in isolation is misleading and simplistic. It is not celibacy or homosexuality but celibacy and homosexuality and power and institutional legitimacy and a lack of accountability. When all these occur together, look out. If the Catholic Church wants to reform itself, then it will have to start removing the factors that jointly cause the problem.
Scott D. Julian; Livonia, Mich.
"Truly exceptional" (April 24)
I liked "Truly exceptional," in which Janie B. Cheaney mentioned that God ordained three institutions: the family, the state, and the church. Unfortunately our society, by putting the individual above all, is destroying the family, isolating the state from the morality and justice of religion, and is attacking the church. We must do everything we can to bring our country back to God and honor Him in the public square, for as she said, for the family and the state to remain, the Church must be made to last.
Ignacio Gomez; Pasadena, Calif.