As a 2011 high-school graduate, I am constantly on the lookout for thought-provoking, enlightening reading material. The arrival of WORLD's annual Books Issue, always a highlight of the summer, swelled my "to read" list to unnerving lengths. I couldn't be happier.
Amy Valine; Carlton, Minn.
There's only one downside to your Books Issue: I'm on the other side of 75 and the urgency to read all these wondrous books at my age borders on greed. But I love every review, and have made some choice selections to read this year.
Barbara J. Ortler; Chelmsford, Mass.
The solid insights and accuracy in Marvin Olasky's description and sidebars on the two "Books of the year" were matched only by the courage to print them. He can expect criticism from both the secular and religious worlds who have for too long been afraid to acknowledge the foundational scriptural truths about origins that theistic evolution can never provide.
Michael DuMez; Oostburg, Wis.
Setting aside Genesis 1-2 is not enough to eliminate the claim of creation by a Creator God. All throughout the Bible we read of God's hand and Word actively involved in creation. This is the basis of who God is and why we need Him.
Jody Tellers; Eagan, Minn.
Christians can no longer ignore theistic evolution. Science is ready and willing to be "as God" and many Christians are apparently ready to bow. Soon we will see the eternal life Jesus promised described as symbolic of the fountain of youth made possible by stem cells.
Carol Tharp; Winnetka, Ill.
Tim Keller wrote, "I don't think the author of Genesis 1 wants us to take the 'days' literally, but it is clear that Paul definitely does want readers to take Adam and Eve literally." The plain reading of Genesis 1 reveals a historical account, and the fact that each day is defined as "the morning and evening" makes it hard to conclude that the Holy Spirit is not referring to 24-hour calendar days.
Carl Foresti; South Plainfield, N.J.
I usually read WORLD cover to cover but the essay by Ann Voskamp stopped me in my tracks. The line, "that which I refuse to thank Christ for, I refuse to believe Christ can redeem" was convicting. What a great gift and talent she has for addressing key spiritual principles we grapple with every day.
Al Shirah; Big Canoe, Ga.
I was delighted to read the poetic excerpts of Mrs. Voskamp. She has a breathtaking ability to just shout and laugh and whisper the wonder of our Blessed Creator.
Gabriel J. Benton; Wahpeton, N.D.
As a farmer who planted his crop in the wettest spring in memory and as a father who buried a stillborn daughter recently, I want to say "Amen" to Voskamp's essay.
Lamar Martin; Leola, Pa.
There should be nothing controversial about Voskamp's phrase, "The intercourse of soul with God is the very climax of joy." "Intercourse" means to have dealings with someone, an interchange of thoughts. And "climax" simply means, "the highest or most intense point in the development or resolution of something; culmination." This is a beautiful description of the wondrous relationship man can have with God.
Tom Wells; New Orleans, La.
Janie Cheaney hit the nail on the head when she said too many college professors use classic literature to propagate a certain philosophy of race, class, and gender oppression. I network with other book bloggers and the tiny minority who review classics are mainly young college women who, for example, congratulate Anna Karenina and Madame Bovary for their "emancipation" from the fetters of wifedom and condemn Rochester in Jane Eyre as an arrogant monster. What angers me the most is how smugly these women present themselves as intellectuals.
Sharon Henning; Longview, Texas
I loved this column. I feel like my high-school literature teacher wants us to interpret books, so that we're putting our own thoughts and words into the author's mouth, instead of just letting them speak to us. It kills me.
Kiska Carr; LaGrange, Ind.
I read The Silver Sword to my fourth-grade class every year for 35 years and never got tired of it. I knew what was coming but still got choked up near the end when the children saw their mother for the first time in years. Sometimes I had to ask a child to read that part because I was too emotional. Weird. I've been retired for seven years, but all I miss about teaching is reading that book.
Karen Heerwagen; Elmhurst, Ill.
Thank you to Marvin Olasky for the article on the influence of Darwin on every part of life. It is important that we understand the sneakiness of the enemy of our Creator. Unfortunately, like Eve, many Christians have been deceived into thinking evolution has validity. We need to understand the premise behind it: Man is just an animal, not the creation of a loving Creator.
Janet Bell; Punta Gorda, Fla.
I was impressed by WORLD's God-honoring and uncompromising position on the theory of evolution. Indeed, I have seen so many instances where it is undermining the Christian faith, as you succinctly put it: "If Darwin was right, the Bible is wrong."
Daniel Mann; Brooklyn, N.Y.
Thanks for including Jeffrey Overstreet's The Ale Boy's Feast in your list of good speculative fiction. I have enjoyed the poetry and artistry of his books but would note that this is the final installment of a four-book series. Interested readers should begin with book one, Auralia's Colors.
Kindra Andrews; Seattle, Wash.
This was worthwhile since many of us try to guard our hearts. But it was most disappointing to read Olasky's comment, "I believe Jan Karon's Mitford books . . . are clean, although I've only sampled parts." He needs to add these to his treadmill stack. We don't want hearsay-we want Marvinsay! And by the way, they are not only clean but excellent.
J.A. Scott; Peachtree Corners, Ga.
I can really relate to this column. My parents are in their upper 80s and never throw anything away. My dad even saves scraps of soap to eventually (read: never) make them into one big bar of soap again. And I live in part of Pennsylvania Dutch country where everybody has an attic and basement full of "things" (please don't call it "junk").
Jack Pavie; Sumneytown, Pa.
In an age of tweets and abbreviated text messages it would be a horrible shame if Joel Belz's linotype machine were sold for scrap. The machine could educate many people about how print media has evolved.
Karley Stineman; Le Claire, Iowa
My wife Pat grew up the daughter of a newspaperman in Weldon, N.C. Her mother and father sat literally back-to-back for years at two linotype machines in the newspaper office. I still remember the "clank-clank, clank" sound of the linotypes as you walked into the small printing office. When my wife's father passed away, some suggested selling the equipment for scrap metal but history is worth more than 18 cents per pound. It ended up in a museum. Thanks for the memories.
Tom Starkey; Opelika, Ala.
Quite possibly Super 8's charms simply passed me by, but I thought it was a shameless rip-off of Spielberg's own wildly successful ET, just without the cute alien. Same big, bad government agency, same dramatic "just let him go home" climax, only this time the nerdy middle schooler tosses out Jesus' name as a swear word, along with other profanities.
Elaine Neumeyer; Big Canoe, Ga.
I was saddened to read about Bishop Eddie Long. His apparent fall into sin and the decline of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church are potent reminders that the church must be firmly grounded in the gospel, not in the charisma or charm of a sinful man.
David Garringer; Pleasant Prairie, Wis.
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