"Fear at Fanda" (Sept. 25)
Once in a while an article in WORLD leaves me numb. Such was "Fear at Fanda." I read it just as Pope Benedict was in England commenting on the abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. We Protestants can sometimes become very smug about the issue of child abuse, but this shows that we have to clean up our act, too.
Bruce Wollenberg; Minneapolis, Minn.
I am devastated but not surprised to read about the horrendous child abuse scandals at missionary boarding schools. I don't believe God calls believers with children to leave them behind "for the sake of souls." God's Son was born to be sacrificed for the souls of mankind. Our children were not.
Robert Reno; Irvine, Calif.
I once read an article by a missionary describing her heartbreak at sending her 6-year-old to a school a thousand miles away. She believed that if she took care of things precious to God, He would take care of things precious to her. Everything in me recoiled from such a perspective. I was thankful to read that New Tribes Missions has been humble enough to recognize the destructive effect of its past policies.
Fagel Brooks; Lancaster, Pa.
"Beckoning Christians" (Sept. 25)
I, too, appreciate Glenn Beck's patriotism. Thank you for Marvin Olasky's warning about religious syncretism. I also welcome his mention of the key biblical doctrine of imputed righteousness.
Kirby Spevacek; Avondale, Ariz.
I believe that God is using Beck to awaken a "form of godliness" in the American culture in spite of the fact that he is a Mormon. In one sense, that's a humbling embarrassment to far, far too many American pastors. And after watching him regularly for over a year, I have never heard him assert that a man is, or may become, like God.
G. Robert Greene; Fredericksburg, Va.
If Beck were teaching religion, it would be syncretism and Christians would have to be wary. If Beck is teaching history and applying it to today's politics, he is educating the populace and gathering more people into the conservative tent. Evangelicals need to listen to Beck's lessons from history.
Arthur Thompson; Atchison, Kan.
"One naïve fellow" (Sept. 25)
My sympathies to the Belz family at the loss of their mother. Mrs. Belz was quite the woman. I am a mother of five kids ages 11 to 19; this column made me think a lot about impact and how faithfulness in daily tasks as well as in encouraging intellectual stimulation in my children will affect the next generation. Thanks for that beautiful tribute.
Frieda Graber; Atglen, Pa.
I just ripped out Joel Belz's column and put it in my bedside table. I hope one day my son can write such things of me.
Lori Templeman; Kyle, Texas
Quotables (Sept. 25)
Sen. Tom Coburn's comment that Newt Gingrich would be "the last person I'd vote for" as a GOP presidential candidate because of his marital history hit a solid chord. The GOP needs moral voters who will support those who best represent their views instead of voters who support those they think will win or are merely the lesser of two evils.
Joel Bangen; Kansas City, Mo.
Regarding the tragic words from the Afghan Muslim man: Another horrific "unintended consequence" of a religion developed by men is the covering of the girls' faces so that men instead choose "beautiful" boys for their sexual satisfaction. It's also another death-dealing demonstration of Satan's influence. Lord, have mercy.
Frank Brown; Absecon, N.J.
"Side by side" (Sept. 25)
Thank you so much for paying tribute to Capt. Dale Goetz and God's work through his ministry as an Army chaplain. We were stationed in Okinawa, Japan, with Dale and Christy before they moved to Ft. Carson last year. We held similar views and shared copies of WORLD. Now we are back in the States, and every time an issue arrives in the mailbox I think about them.
Anna Baker; Waynesville, Mo.
Thank God for men like Capt. Goetz who made the ultimate sacrifice. I'd like to add that since Vietnam other Army chaplains have died as a result of combat wounds. Father Timothy Vakoc's Humvee struck an improvised explosive device during Operation Iraqi Freedom on May 29, 2004, and he died about five years later. Before he was injured while returning from leading worship for troops, he had written his sister, "The safest place for me to be is in the center of God's will, and if that is in the line of fire, that is where I will be."
Craig Anderson; San Jose, Calif.
"Dying dogs" (Sept. 25)
Yellow dogs, blue dogs-they always turn out to be just plain old dogs. Why is it that the "dog" Democrats always find a way to compromise with Speaker Pelosi and President Obama? When will conservatives figure out that Democrats have developed specific strategies to target and mislead conservative groups such as evangelical Christians and those who value Second Amendment rights?
Henry McBride; Everton, Mo.
"Despising our youth" (Sept. 25)
It's hard to imagine that before 1941 the word teenager hadn't appeared in print. Today it drives billions of dollars in sales of electronic gadgetry conducive to idleness and obesity.
Peter Kushkowski; Portland, Conn.
"Works in progress" (Sept. 25)
Thank God for people like the Pruitts who understand the purpose of the medium of film and who will not sacrifice artistic quality for the sake of pushing a message. These people get it. If Christians could fully grasp this concept-that we should use the arts to convey truth with grace and style, rather than placing message over excellence-we could revolutionize the arts. And thank you for WORLD's coverage of the arts, especially your film reviews.
Elena Trueba, 16; Coronado, Calif.
"Hold the saccharine" (Sept. 25)
Reading the word saccharine on more than one occasion to refer to Christian movies has finally gotten my ire up enough to write. The story lines and characters in the movies from Sherwood Baptist Church, such as Fireproof, are far more realistic and relevant to me than the predictable dialogue, formulaic plot, and surgically altered actors that Hollywood usually slobbers out.
Sharon Henning; Longview, Texas
"Rocks in their heads?" (Sept. 11)
Calvin College's "evolutionary science" (albeit "theistic") is the greatest hoax of modern times. This is deeply disturbing to Calvin alumni such as my wife and me. Realizing that professors can dupe students, we feel for our grandchildren and our alma mater.
Melvin Mulder; Banning, Calif.
Two years ago, my wife and I also took the same Colorado River ride through the canyon that Marvin Olasky did, along with Tom Vail and Dr. Andrew Snelling. It was an excellent ride and Olasky's descriptions brought back good memories. I came out of the canyon a convinced young earth creationist. The science from a wide variety of disciplines, not just geology, convinced me that microbe to mankind evolution never happened and that this planet cannot be millions of years old. And no fancy exegesis from a theologian is going to convince me otherwise.
Helmut Welke; Bettendorf, Iowa
The reason young earth creationists are not at many Christian colleges is because the evidence supports an old earth and universe. Let's move beyond this divisive issue that has alienated so many honest scientists and science teachers.
Paul Mason; Boston, Mass.
I just wanted to say that I appreciate the Dispatches section. It always manages to be detailed, topical, readable, and fascinating while still retaining its brevity. And the Quick Takes segment is always very funny or interesting.
Phil Leung; Lakeville, Minn.
Total Chinese holdings of U.S. debt, when combined with the holdings of Chinese-administered Hong Kong, are just short of $1 trillion ("Owed to others," Oct. 9, p. 68).
The director of the film Like Dandelion Dust is Jon Gunn ("Beyond the genre," Oct. 9, p. 24).