"Tour d'America" (June 18)
I loved the latest edition of WORLD with the Tour d'America coverage. The candidates' jerseys were creative and the detail on the bicycles was perfect. It was a brilliant comparison.
Andrew Penksaw; Brea, Calif.
"Couples in community" (June 18)
Thank you so much for your two-part series on dating in the church. As a single, 23-year-old woman, I found it very applicable. I often think, regarding Christian guys I know, "Just ask us out! Let's figure out where this road leads! It's not as if you're asking for my hand in marriage!" I was so grateful that my own church recently initiated meetings for married couples and singles called "An Evening Devoted to Marriage." Our first meeting last week cast a vision of marriage as a mystery worth pursuing.
Nicole McLernon; Attleboro, Mass.
What can churches do to help young couples persevere to make it down the aisle? Married couples can come alongside engaged couples and give them much needed support, encouragement, and accountability. My husband Steve and I are blessed because our pastor and his wife availed themselves to us throughout our year of courtship, marriage counseling, and wedding details.
Selina Murrell; Durham, N.C.
These articles have come into my life at exactly the right time. I have never married and am in my upper 30s. I have started asking Christian married couples, "Why are you still married?" and others, "What happened? How could your church have helped you avoid divorce?" In the culture in which I was raised, the training was to value marriage and family highly while avoiding dangerous interactions with the opposite sex.
Amie Love; Marion, Ind.
I am concerned about Oregon's second attempt to institute homosexual marriage, and uncertain how to oppose successfully these relentless, aggressive attempts. Thank you for showing the way: The church needs to set an example by drastically improving its own marriages.
Brian Schwartz; Portland, Ore.
"June memories" (June 18)
I was a senior pre-seminary student at Calvin College when I first picked up my free, thin, and flimsy copy of WORLD in the mailroom. It caught my interest 25 years ago and still holds it today. I depended upon WORLD to keep informed as I studied through two seminary degrees, pastored three churches, and raised four children. This issue was another fine example of the news and features I have grown to love and expect. I was convicted, as usual, when "Iceberg parables" (June 18) lanced an unknown boil on my preacher's heart.
Pete Byma; Lynden, Wash.
Joel Belz asked about failures we celebrate. This year, I'm celebrating my daughter's 25th birthday with great joy. I was an unwed mother, and God used her to bring me to a right relationship with Him.
Arietta C. Watson; Atlanta, Ga.
"Has Newt Gingrich changed?" (June 18)
If it is true that Gingrich's adultery and his fear of public exposure kept President Clinton from probable impeachment, does today's American "democracy" have any semblance of what our Founding Fathers had in mind in establishing this country?
John Novotney; Prague, Czech Republic
For some years I have felt that something happened soon after Gingrich's "Contract with America." He went off track. Great reporting!
William Grove; Fort Worth, Texas
I was concerned by the way you evaluated Newt's ability to be president. Why not talk about how he was effective politically in 1994 and how he stands on issues? I read two of his books and he shows great knowledge of what is wrong with this country and how to change it. I don't know if I will vote for him, but I have a great deal of respect for his approach.
John Isaac; Arnold, Md.
Thank you for the story about Gingrich. It is a sad story but one that needs to be told because of the responsibility of the presidency. And it is a good reminder to pray for our leaders.
Eric Freeman; Jenison, Mich.
"Just listen" (June 18)
Janie Cheaney's column was fantastic. Perhaps her best advice was to ignore Christopher Hitchens' insistence that our prayers will make no difference because "the Hound of Heaven may be on the hunt." Amen. I see in him a sinner undeserving of God's grace just as I am. The last thing this man needs is the mocking and gloating of Christians.
Joshua Burba; Nashville, Tenn.
Cheaney's last line about "The Hound of Heaven" brought me to tears. Although I was raised in a loving home by godly parents, my pride and piety doomed me for God's holy judgment. But for the grace of God, there go I.
James Williams; Papillion, Neb.
"Homeward bound" (June 18)
It is encouraging to read about Wallace and Eleanor Turnbull's efforts to help Haitian students be educated in the United States and then return to Haiti to help renew their country. As many of them have become Christians, they are better able to cope with life and to learn skills to help the people in Haiti.
Stewart West; Apex, N.C.
"Iceberg parables" (June 18)
I accept Marvin Olasky's challenge to use more stories that pierce. I left a church that made it clear that it wanted "uplifting" messages which, translated, meant "pat-on-the-back" sermons. One member said he did not like being beat up every Sunday. Translated: "Do not preach on sin." The walk of imitating Christ is the crucified life.
Gary Turner; Lebanon, Ore.
I am so tired of the feel good, no substance messages that keep the flock at Christianity 101. A sermon is more than information: Iceberg parables connect to the whole man, not just the head. Sermons need to pierce. In Jeremiah, God talks about a circumcision of the heart; each pastor needs to be a spiritual heart surgeon under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Bob Corbin; Parrish, Fla.
"Fractured policy" (June 4)
I've worked in the oil industry for 42 years and have experience "fracking" oil and gas deposits in shale. Today's technology makes contaminating fresh water zones with hydrocarbons a very low risk. People need good information, not the emotionalism put out by the EPA and others with an agenda that is not realistic.
Mark J. Anthony; Colorado Springs, Colo.
"Keeping the faith" (June 4)
Erskine College and the ARP Church are justified in paying attention to what stance their members hold regarding Scripture. I moved my family across the country to attend a graduate school that labeled itself Christian, but did not do due diligence to find out where most members of the faculty stood on important theological issues. I spent thousands of dollars to earn credits that cannot be transferred and experienced a crisis of faith before I decided to leave the school. Moving away from the inerrancy and infallibility of Scripture is the first step into a theologically liberal (and non-Christian) abyss.
Steve Stucky; Castle Rock, Colo.
"Living in the middle" (June 4)
Thank you for such a wonderful and comforting column. God has just started to move quickly in a business area of my life. Just when I was going to throw in the towel, He sent me several positive answers one after another. After a stint in the desert, what a powerful reminder of God's sovereignty and timing.
Lisa Meek; Bothell, Wash.
P.G. Wodehouse set most of his stories and novels in Britain in the first decades of the 1900s ("Bygone Britain," July 2, p. 64).
Steven Spielberg was not involved in making Return of the Jedi ("Getting religion," June 18, p. 40).
New York's same-sex marriage law takes effect July 24, with licenses available July 25. ("Exempting religion," July16 , p. 5).