(Sept. 10) Many thanks for your special tribute to the 9/11 victims and their families. It was sad to read about those who could not recover physical remains of their loved ones. But it is a comfort to know that in our final homecoming the sea will give up her dead and out of the rubble of this tragic event the dead in Christ will receive new and glorified bodies.
Larry Eggink; Pella, Iowa
(Sept. 10) You are right. The United States did not receive its wake-up call about radical Islam until 9/11. These evil-doers began their work much before then. The first World Trade Center bombing in 1993 and the two U.S. Embassy bombings in 1998 had their origins with Islamic radicals in southeast Asia. It isn't just a war against the Middle East and the United States. It truly encompassed much of the world and still is continuing.
Neil Johnston; Grand Prairie, Texas
(Sept. 10) It is very difficult, looking at the wreckage of the towers and reading about people jumping to their deaths, to remember that the Lord's Prayer says "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." I can't seem to be able to forgive those responsible, and reading Paul Glader's account of Melanie Kirkpatrick's experience causes a feeling of rage to well up in me, even 10 years later. God help us not to hate.
Owen J. Loftus; Holly Hill, S.C.
All the remembrances and photos of a very dark time were particularly poignant as we try to understand the meaning of 9/11 in light of God's redeeming grace. When asked about the Galileans sacrificed by Pilate, Jesus' response was a call to repentance. I wish you had mentioned that this is what the living are to do after monumental tragedies.
Katherine Powers; Springfield, Va.
(Sept. 10) Three cheers for Marvin Olasky's column on Social Security. The American dream of retirement is the exact opposite of God's plan for our lives. Idling away one's time with golf, cruises, and cocktail parties does not square with a God who wants us to stay in the race, regardless of age or occupation.
Ken Walker; Huntington, W.Va.
Medical advances can enable us to live longer lives, but everyone still wants to retire at 65. My husband and I are in our 50s and fully expect to work until at least 70. But in today's economy many employers get rid of older employees to replace them with younger, less expensive workers. This leaves older Americans trying to compete for lower-paying jobs just to stay employed.
Nina Young; Phoenix, Ariz.
I have encountered many Christians who delay retirement because they can't yet afford the comforts they desire in their golden years, or perhaps they distrust God's providence. On the other hand, many Christian men and women step into retirement with their sleeves rolled up and the armor of God in place for the next phase of God's call-volunteering, short-term missions, and even attempting to turn their avocations into financially viable vocations. God bless them!
Baxter Hurley; Byron, Ga.
I do not dispute that Social Security is untenable in its current form, but for my Social Security check the government gets a volunteer in a school reading program, a board member for the senior center in a poor rural area, and a deacon in the church working in the government-sponsored food closet. There is a talented workforce among seniors. Instead of beating seniors with rhetoric about entitlements, let's talk about the opportunities that freedom from the daily grind gives people to be productive in new ways.
Sidney Avey; Groveland, Calif.
(Sept. 10) I don't think there will ever be a generation like the one that lived through World War II. I'm in the Air Force, and some give us that title because when 9/11 happened so many people signed up for the military. But our grandparents received that title because the entire country came together and sacrificed in many ways to support those fighting overseas. They knew what it meant to go without, but if you take luxuries away from people today or ask them to sacrifice for the nation, watch out. It always turns into something political.
Bianca V. Garcia; Altus, Okla.
Our son Justin was one of that young, idealistic "generation of redeemers" who also saw something other than the horror in the smoking towers-and got up from his college classroom on Sept. 11, 2001, and enlisted in the U.S. Army the next day. On Dec. 30, 2003, Justin lost his life in Iraq. God has given us peace and comfort with respect to his passing. His story is one of thousands of brave young men and women who sacrificed life and limb for a cause greater than themselves.
Bill Pollard; Foothill Ranch, Calif.
(Sept. 10) This is the most lucid clarification I've read of the differences between Christianity and Islam regarding salvation and works, and it explains why freedom is troubling to Muslims. The choice is life eternal with God by works or by grace. I am in the grace camp.
Tom Balderston; Boca Raton, Fla.
Like many other critics of Islam, Marvin Olasky does not account for the fact that millions of Muslims live peacefully in the United States today. I understand the concern about "radical Islam," but too many allow the terrorists to define their view of a religion with over 1.3 billion adherents, all but a few of whom are innocent of bloodshed.
Nick Freiling; Fairfax, Va.
(Sept. 10) Joel Belz asked for an example of something that works better now than when we were younger. Would anyone want to go back to the decades of Hitler, or "separate but unequal," or runaway inflation? In my own lifetime I have seen many changes for the better. Polio is a rarity. Average life span is extended. Lakes and rivers are less polluted. Grocery stores carry far more choices. I can look at the glass as half-full or half-empty, or I can choose not to focus on the empty glass of the world and instead look to the full glass that is Jesus.
Joyce Schlote; Silverdale, Wash.
(Aug. 27) I read your article on No Child Left Behind with great interest. The same process is projected into adulthood. My required class for a real estate license taught me nothing about real estate activities, like negotiating, but only how to pass the exam. In this respect European systems, which often offer vocational training, have us beaten hands down. Why are programs of this nature not nationally available here? At least they allow the non-academically inclined to be self-sufficient.
William Darling; Longs, S.C.
(Aug. 27) May Joel Belz have the strength and sense of humor to get through his adventure. I speak as one who, two years ago, took my mother into our home to care for her. She has Alzheimer's disease and arthritis. Caring for mom has become a family ministry for us and involves some sacrifice, lots of work, and much wondering about how long we can do it. But God has given us what we need for each day.
Jay Smith; Lima, Ohio
(Aug. 27) Shannon Sharpe missed a chance to follow in his grandmother's footsteps. Our children do not care about our careers, achievements, or what we can buy them; they simply want our time, attention, and genuine affection. His NFL achievements will soon be forgotten but his lack of attention to his family could impact many generations to come.
Todd Taylor; Eastvale, Calif.
William Bradford, who is buried in the cemetery at Trinity Church in New York (Houses of God, Sept. 10), was a printer born in 1660 who arrived in America in 1682.
The capital of Nigeria is Abuja ("What is Boko Haram?," Sept. 24).
Lane Hardie set up a job-help program at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Louis ("Spirit of St. Louis," Sept. 24).
Central Sulawesi, Indonesia
Submitted by Christy Hanna
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