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Mailbag

Issue: "Day of reckoning," June 14, 2014

‘Salt and light on campus’

May 3  As a professional academic, I’ve found that faculty on Christian campuses are typically far more liberal than their students. As your reporters show, the scandal of evangelical campuses is that the power players now are often more interested in accommodation than faithfulness. We might be better off if several schools did disappear. Families might ponder such a state of affairs before shelling out large tuition checks.
—Joe Martin, Hampton, Va.

‘To train up a Pharisee’

May 3  The feature on Michael and Debi Pearl seems unfair. I’ve read many of their writings, and they seem to be proponents of common sense and biblical discipline. The Pearls’ methods prepare the child’s heart for the gospel.
—Marilyn Wagner, Bitely, Mich.

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I’m disappointed that you didn’t also mention the Pearls’ book on marriage and its extreme views that I would say are soft on physical abuse and ungodly behavior by the husband. The Pearls advocate an extreme, patriarchal view of family life and emphasize “top down” family dynamics. It’s unwise to take parenting advice from a tree that has over and over again produced bad fruit.
—Katherine Harper, Galt, Calif.

This article really bothered me. I thought that your story was fair, but the headline and tone implied that readers should steer clear of this parenting philosophy. I disagree about many things with Michael Pearl. He is KJV only and too dogmatic on oddball points of theology, but I dearly love his refreshing honesty and downright fearlessness in proclaiming true religious living.
—John Knaus, Lynchburg, Va.

After decades of studying child-raising advice, I’m used to hearing the Pearls called Pharisee-trainers. But the article itself doesn’t demonstrate this caustic charge, only that some folks accuse them of it and others have abused their advice. The most useful insight was Kirstie Benke’s observation that Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp “helped fill in some gaps.” No one’s advice is complete, but in combination Tripp’s and the Pearls’ suggestions are very thorough.
—Michael E. Owens, Denver, Pa.

You mentioned that pro-Pearl sources declined to be interviewed, but I would have been more than happy to speak on their behalf. The Pearls’ book was instrumental in teaching me consistency as a parent.
—Sally Blankenship, Redding, Calif.

I read To Train Up a Child when I was pregnant with our first child. When parents focus on methods of discipline while ignoring the Pearls’ continual encouragement to “cultivate fellowship” with their children, families are torn apart by the parents’ own hands..
—Dixie Benson, Barnesville, Ga.

‘Silent submission’

May 3  I agree with Joel Belz that many Christians are scared to speak up about creationism. Often we either withdraw our children from public schools or silently disagree but submit to popular opinion. As an alternative, in my children’s school district we rent out the high school auditorium and hold an annual “Creation Night,” featuring a pro-creation video or speaker. The first two events were well-attended and -received.
—Devon McVey, Kennett Square, Pa.

This column stirred me. Mention God and instantly, with many folks, a great gulf opens that we don’t know how to cross. Yet we are commanded to bridge it, and I am ashamed to admit how often I don’t. It’s OK to be a little fuzzy, or even plain wrong, on how the world got started, but we have to be crystal-clear on the gospel. 
—Kevin Jones, Charlotte, N.C.

Thank you for a much-needed admonishment to the body of Christ. Christians should make every effort to, as the psalmist says, “bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.”
—George A. Damoff, Farmers Branch, Texas

‘Sexual propaganda’

May 3  I am taking a college counseling class that promotes under the guise of “multiculturalism” teachings similar to those Andrée Seu Peterson described. Our textbook says that those who decline to be more “accepting” of homosexual and transsexual people are biased and discriminatory, that the Quran is equivalent to the Bible, and Islam is not violent. Amazing! Parents need to know what their kids are being taught.
—Rhonda Barker, Mesa, Ariz.

‘Rebels from the right’

May 3  Your puff piece on three tea party Senate candidates didn’t mention recent controversies about, for example, whether Matt Bevin’s LinkedIn profile was misleading or that on his radio program some years ago Chris McDaniel made insulting remarks about Mexico. Let’s have a little balance, please. 
—Kevin J. Kennedy, Haslett, Mich.

‘Holy alliance’

May 3  This one struck a chord with me. I especially appreciate how Janie B. Cheaney noted the subtlety of the “gender fluidity” of neo-Gnosticism. Only in Jesus Christ do the material and spiritual finally and forever come (or return) together. He was the perfect integration of body and soul.
—Dave Aldridge, Huntington, N.Y.

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