Riding the rapids (Sept. 11)
Marvin Olasky deserves our thanks for encouraging a respectful dialogue in the Christian community between old-earth advocates and young-earth proponents. Each side undermines its own credibility when it brands its opponents "unscientific" or "unbiblical." Productive dialogue requires a shared acknowledgment that the biblical text is authoritative, but our interpretations of it are not. Respectful listening and bomb-throwing are mutually exclusive.
Howard Killion; Oceanside, Calif.
It was gratifying to see fair coverage of the young-earth creationist position in something other than a critical light. The claims of its proponents deserve open-minded scrutiny. This kind of reporting is what Christian journalism is all about.
Scott Julian; Livonia, Mich.
I am an old-earth creationist, and I thank you for "Riding the rapids." It was a reminder that I should not be too quick to dismiss young-earthers, with whom I disagree. The subject of age is very complex and I should not hold onto my opinions too tightly.
Mark Swanson; Minneapolis, Minn.
I agree that when there's a conflict between "what the Bible clearly states and what a contemporary scientific theory stipulates, we go with the Bible." The real difficulty for Christians arises when our understanding of the Bible is not clear and the science is. Since our understandings of the Bible and of creation are both fallible, it is unwise to assert that our understanding of the Bible must always win. That leads to such absurdities as geocentrism and gives people an excuse not to trust the Bible.
Ken Cochran; St. Andrews, Scotland
We, who are created, have no right to add or take away from what the Creator tells us in Genesis. We should be reading what the Bible says and interpreting the world from that, not the other way around.
Elizabeth Wellendorf; Livermore, Calif.
It was very gratifying to see young-earth creationists highlighted in WORLD. As they are fond of saying, it's not just about origins, it's about biblical authority.
Charles A. Burge; Kaneohe, Hawaii
The age of the Grand Canyon may be open for debate, but that is not the strongest argument that science has for the age of the universe. While we should never reject the liberty to express such views as young-earth creationism, at what point should science no longer tolerate viewpoints that do not pass multiple tests?
David Speer; Lubbock, Texas
As a geophysicist with Shell Oil for over 30 years, I have been blessed to help find, develop, and produce billions of barrels of oil and gas and have never yet seen evidence that could not be more reasonably understood with a young-earth model than the currently dominant models of "billions and billions" of years.
Toby Perry; Sugar Land, Texas
Kudos to WORLD for addressing a subject that divides, confuses, discredits, and embarrasses so many Christians. Too many Christians view the use of scientific means to date the universe, such as the Hubble telescope, as the sign of an apostate rather than an appropriate use of created intelligence. I hope WORLD's coverage helps Christians distinguish bad theological interpretation from biblical truth.
Gene Poole; Prior Lake, Minn.
I have been researching discrimination against Darwinism doubters for over 30 years and find the problem is just as bad at Christian colleges as secular ones.
Jerry Bergman; Archbold, Ohio
You selectively quoted from Calvin College's recent statement, which begins, "We believe in God, we affirm God's promises." The entire statement is at www.calvin.edu/academic/biology/why/evolution-statement10May2010.pdf.
Claudia Beversluis, Provost, Calvin College; Grand Rapids, Mich.
Your story concludes that the "Statement on Origins" endorsed by Messiah College is "clear as mud." In fact, our statement (www.messiah.edu/departments/bioscience/origins-full.htm) unambiguously affirms "that the world had its origin in a purposeful act of God, who continues now faithfully to uphold the creation," and explicitly states that we "offer our students multiple models for relating science and faith."
Prof. Edward B. Davis, Messiah College; Grantham, Pa.
"The case for youth" (Sept. 11)
Thanks to Marvin Olasky for his fair profiling of some of the quality books by young-earth creation scientists. My husband and I are weary of the way some Christian intellectuals tend to treat any young-earth interpretation of Genesis 1 and 2 as though it is an embarrassment.
Lisa Meek; Bothell, Wash.
"The other side" (Sept. 11)
Deistic evolution advocate Daniel Harrell presumes that, given the choice, God would rather design a universe so as to minimize the labor required to run it. But if labor-saving is the goal, why do we humans have to labor at all? Perhaps, like a father who buys his child a puzzle rather than a pre-assembled picture, God values interactivity and working together.
Erick Poorbaugh; Virginia Beach, Va.
"Rattlesnakes and Kool Aid" (Sept. 11)
Joel Belz failed to convince me that the controversy over the proposed Muslim facility near Ground Zero is like the two examples he cited. Should the rights of Christians in the United States be affected by the actions of Christians in other countries? Freedom of religion for us is contingent on freedom of religion for everybody else.
Marina Lehman; Lafayette, Ind.
Thank you for making me think again about this issue, but I am not sure whether Americans are concerned mainly because mosques can be fronts for terrorists or because locating a mosque near Ground Zero is a blow to our national pride.
Leon Cook; Midland, Mich.
Excellent column. I fully agree with Joel Belz. Sometimes I feel Americans have lost their sense of what America is all about.
Jane Barron; Sand Springs, Okla.
Belz commented that it's hard to name a predominantly Muslim country that allows the construction of Christian churches. In sub-Saharan Africa there are several. Mali, where we are missionaries, is 90 percent Muslim, but the government is proud of its secular constitution and upholds freedom of religion. At times of political or national crisis, the president and prime minister will consult with Muslim, Catholic, and evangelical leaders.
Jennifer A. Bowers; Kayes, Mali
"Critical masses" (Sept. 11)
Janie B. Cheaney's column on education is right on! I taught college courses for 25 years but soon discovered that the Department of Religion was teaching students how to dismantle one's faith rather than how to analyze religion. Indeed, many university faculty taught that skepticism was an end in itself. However, I disagree that foundational principles "must simply be believed." I think they can be proved, if not to a certainty, then beyond a reasonable doubt.
Donald T. Fairburn; Wilmington, N.C.
Critical thinking is not altogether a bad idea. Critical thinking skills keep me from assimilating cultural norms, buying everything advertised on TV, believing every politician, and blindly absorbing every statistic.
Kim Moore; Bay Village, Ohio
As a schoolteacher who loves to impart the value of critical thinking, your article reemphasized for me the even greater importance of instilling biblical presuppositions. Thanks.
Josh Davis; Watsonville, Calif.
"Arenas of service" (Aug. 28)
Thank you to Gene Edward Veith for the helpful reminder that, as a stay-at-home mom, all my little services to my 1-year-old son are not insignificant. Luther's comment that "changing a baby's diaper is holy work" makes me laugh-and almost cry with relief.
Esther J. Ender; Verona, Wis.
Glen Beck headlined a Right Nation 2010 event in Chicago on Sept. 18 (Looking Ahead, Sept. 11, p. 10).
In the 2008 election, four of Nebraska's electoral votes went to John McCain and one went to Barack Obama, making Nebraska a red state ("Indebted index," Sept. 11, p. 12).