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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Issue: "Between Hell and Hope," Feb. 12, 2011

"News of the year" (Jan. 1)

I was first introduced to WORLD in 2010, and it was a tremendous blessing. Each issue was insightful and interesting, as well as spiritually edifying. The best compliment I can give is that I am a better Christian as a result of having read WORLD for a year. Thank you very much, and I look forward to another year.
Joshua Burba; Nashville, Tenn.

"Departures" (Jan. 1)

WORLD's biographical sketches on four who served in Congress offer a sad commentary on American democracy. Robert Byrd, John Murtha, and Ted Stevens were known for "funneling" billions of dollars to their home states and Dan Rostenkowski served 17 months in prison for mail fraud. It's yet more evidence of the upside-down world that passes for our nation's capital.
T. Norman Van Cott; Selma, Ind.

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I was sorry to see that the theater organist Rosa Rio was only very briefly mentioned in "Departures." Rosa was a truly special lady. Her career spanned 100 years and she was actively performing until shortly before her death.
Johan Doornenbal; Scio, Ore.

I am always surprised by some of the names I see in "Departures" but more than mildly disappointed that Ernie Harwell, Hall of Fame baseball announcer and humble servant of Christ, was not mentioned. He was truly a gift to the citizens of Michigan.
Mick McClelland; Bloomfield Township, Mich.

"Aroma of Christ" (Jan. 1)

This column left me almost speechless. I am, at times, overwhelmed when I think about running the race in 2011. I know that I smell more like death than like Christ and this should not be. I constantly forget that this life does not belong to me. It never has.
Lynn R. Barnhill; Mooresville, Ind.

So many times after reading Mindy Belz's columns I pause and thank God for how she challenges readers to think biblically. The recent piece on Tom Little is yet another example.
George A. Damoff; Marshall, Texas

"This changes everything!" (Jan. 1)

Thank you for Janie B. Cheaney's delightful and thought-provoking thoughts on the incarnation of Christ. Every year I ponder anew the mystery and pageantry, humility and grandeur of this unique act of God. "Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
Chris Harwood; Ontario, Calif.

Cheaney writes that "movies and artwork almost always picture the scene at night." What time of the day or night Christ was born and at what hour the shepherds found Him is not specified in the Bible. However, Luke tells us that the angels came to the shepherds at night.
Jessica Sadler; Denver, Pa.

Looking Ahead (Jan. 1)

You mentioned that "no one can agree on" why Dec. 25 was chosen as the date to celebrate Jesus' birth. One documentary, The Star of Bethlehem, suggests, using evidence from the Bible, astronomical research, and other sources, that the star described in Matthew was a natural astronomical event. This would make Dec. 25 the date of the first Christmas (when the wise men came and presented their gifts) but not the date of Christ's birth.
O.J. Gibson; Ventura, Calif.

"Another new NIV?" (Jan. 1)

As a teacher at a Christian high school, my biggest grammatical peeve is over the failure of high-school seniors, even AP students, to understand noun-pronoun agreement of the sort Marvin Olasky pointed out in his review of the NIV. The fact that the common usage of most Americans has degraded can never justify a scholarly translation adopting the same usage. By what rules would we limit our choices of grammatically degraded English expressions?
Randy Martin; Bakersfield, Calif.

This should be no surprise. These days I feel I cannot teach from the NIV without careful checking. The problem is a "sell more books" agenda rather than a "tell the truth more clearly" agenda.
Jerry Sweers; Lexington, Ky.

As Zondervan and the Committee on Bible Translation go back on their dual pledges to continue publishing the original NIV and not to use the NIV name on a gender-modified Bible, the ESV from Crossway Books is assuming the "most trusted" mantle.
Brian Moyer; Reedsburg, Wis.

Why would anyone bemoan another watered-down version of the Holy Scriptures when the King James Version is still in print?
Luke Martin; Greencastle, Pa.

"The happy warrior" (Dec. 18)

Thank you for your engaging interview with Dr. Hugh Ross. I have long been a fan of Reasons to Believe and am hopeful that WORLD's intelligent and accurate snapshot of this God-glorifying ministry may dispel some common misconceptions about old-earth beliefs.
Robin Reed; Medford, Ore.

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