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Responses to our December issue.

Blessed Are the Handouts

The article on effective giving was very enlightening, motivating, and hopeful. Thank you for offering it!

Ellen Redcay Newark, DE

What I did not see in the article by Professor Wydick was an analysis of the Christian virtue of working. Whether those given handouts work less (at least in the United States) or not, I wonder if it is more scriptural to give someone a job, even a make-work job (like the New Deal–era work programs), so that he can fulfill the biblical command to be fruitful and productive. We are told, after all, there will even be work in heaven, so it seems fitting that Christians should favor work for all here on earth. As we enter an era where more and more people have a marginal product that essentially renders them unemployable for any profit-making enterprise, I wonder if that creates a Christian duty to find ways that those so situated can remain “productive,” thereby not only preserving their dignity but fulfilling their biblical mandate.

There is a huge difference between our parochialism in giving patterns and the parable of the talents. It may seem like an odd comparison, but giving money empowers the recipient in ways gifts that are finite cannot.

Jonathan Thompson

Thanks for your articles challenging readers to be more thoughtful and biblical with regard to charitable giving. However, the articles focused on individuals, both as the givers and receivers. Yet charity is more of a societal matter, particularly with God’s plan for the centrality of churches, functionality of church networks, and priority of apostolic leadership.

Stephen Kemp Ames, IA

In Defense of Pro-Life ‘Hypocrisy’

Consistent life ethic (CLE) theorists and practitioners do not see moral equivalence between the disparate life issues. As Cardinal Joseph Bernardin maintained, each issue has its own moral logic and requires contextualized analysis. What CLE theorists do contend is that all of these issues are linked in that each is a denial and denigration of the value that God placed on each human being. The indelible worth of every human person ought to be an overriding concern for Christian ethics.

Rob Arner Blue Bell, PA

It is also significant to note that pro-choice does not equal pro-abortion. Pro-choice simply means that it is not up to the government or religious zealots to make the pro- or anti-abortion decision for another person.

Deborah L Carnahan Mesquite, TX

Work Hard, Pray Hard

Yes! Our congregation is full of teachers and rocket scientists. The kids are in sports, music, AP classes, and scouting. They see what is important to us and respond. We have valedictorians and Eagle Scouts who probably could not find Amos if their lives depended upon it. They have the brains and bandwidth. We need to provide the priority.

Dianne Adams Placentia, CA

The last thing we want is for young people to treat this life-changing thing as just another school subject they may not use after they graduate. Too much homework makes kids hate learning, and the last thing we want is for them to hate reading the Bible too.

Robski McFadden

Forgotten Figures

Jennifer McNutt’s fine essay on faith and science was most enlightening (pun intended!). She’s right about John Wesley, whose most popular book was his home health care manual. You can still see his electricity machine at his house in London. Wesley and his contemporaries said we should pay attention to both God’s books—the Bible and the Book of Nature. Together they give us a fuller understanding. Especially important today, when some evangelicals ignore or even mock scientific findings regarding (for instance) climate and threats to the oceans.

Howard A. Snyder Wilmore, KY

I loved this article. It’s frustrating as a Christian who loves science to constantly have to battle the misconception that science is somehow anti-God or anti-Christianity. This article was well written and researched.

Derek Robinson Rogers, AR

A Skeptic Learns to Doubt His Doubts

Some of the strongest Christians come from homes in which atheism is strongly practiced. Mark’s story illustrates how God has such a sense of humor and is able to overcome all obstacles to bring people to Christ. His stories of witnessing to unsavory characters in the middle of the night shows how brave and passionate we can be if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Pat Gauthier East Hampton, CT

I come from a similar background and often marvel over God’s sense of humor in calling me to ministry. A little over seven years ago, I was bartending, cussing like a sailor, and contemplating suicide. Today, I’m on staff with a Wesleyan church of about 2,000, on track for licensing within the year. Life is funny, and God is good. Our dark pasts become our greatest assets. Keep these stories coming!

Serenity Miller Brookings, SD

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