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As an Australian observer of the North American evangelical scene, I have often been saddened by the unnecessary conflicts in the academic world. It saddens me that scholars whose writings have aided me in my teaching and personal journey are treating an issue of interpretation as one of evangelical orthodoxy. While I do not agree with Michael Licona's interpretation of Matthew 27 ["A Grave Debate," November], I don't believe it justifies the charges of evangelical heresy. This is not the first time such charges have been directed at individuals. Unfortunately, it won't be the last.

Close to Him

I appreciate the caution of being casual with a holy God ["Disappointed with Intimacy," November]. I also know that great waves of spiritual intimacy may never happen as they did to Pascal, Moody, and Spurgeon. But what is this quiet stream of inextinguishable joy if not the presence of my Lord? When I am still and sense his wisdom, or when a verse quickens me, is this not dialogue? And when a believer puts her arm around me and comforts me over the loss of my husband, is this not the touch of Christ? What is this if not intimacy?

This is not the disappointment of a baking-soda rocket—this is what sustains me. I know this is only a "chink" of the glory to come, but it certainly is a taste of his goodness.

Even though the marriage feast is yet to come, the betrothal we experience now may be a time of genuine closeness. The article does affirm that true intimacy with Christ now is possible, but I am concerned that readers may miss the great truth that this intimacy is fully sustainable and incredibly rich. Few find this intimacy, but let us encourage its diligent pursuit rather than dampen its attractiveness.

I would ...

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January 2012

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