Dear Navigators On The Sea Of Matrimony:
The knack of teaching Christians how to apply the wisdom of the Scriptures to the vexing problems of everyday life is one every Christian minister needs. Baptist pastor Dr. C. S. Lovett of the Personal Christianity Chapel in Baldwin Park, California, has this gift in spades. In his new volume, Unequally Yoked Wives, he plots a strategy to help the Christian wife bring her unconverted husband to Christ. He calls his method “The Nutcracker Technique.”
When I read the flyer about his book, I thought perhaps the developer of “The Nutcracker Technique” was himself a nut. But as I read the book, I found that salty C. S. had come up with a biblically sound approach bound to be appreciated by many Christian women experiencing the agonizing trials of such marriages. The two jaws of his nutcraker are light and works. Lovett writes, “The Holy Spirit joins the two together so that you can bear down on those handles and get all the squeeze you want. The nut in the middle is your unsaved husband. Apply enough pressure and his resistance is sure to crack.”
The light the wife is to shine is the Word. Not the word of incessant preaching, but the personal word of giving God credit for the changed life she is living before her husband. The works are evidenced in her proper submission to him and in her desire to please him as she pleases God. Lovett sets forth four principles: (1) use equal force on both nutcracker jaws; (2) squeeze gently at first; (3) make changes in one area of life at a time; (4) start away from yourself—environmental changes before acts of self-denial. In a variety of true-to-life situations he suggests how a wife may influence her husband: when to give in, when and how to hold her ground, when to let her husband leave her, when to take him back, when to separate from him, how to lead him to Christ. Lovett recognizes that marriage is based on bodies (one flesh) and advises the wife to use her sexual role to advance her husband spiritually. She must not merely tolerate him sexually but genuinely seek to satisfy him. States Lovett: “The marriage bed gives her a great ministry in the Holy Spirit.”
I’m not much for pat formulas, but Lovett’s systematic approach for unequally yoked wives makes sense. It shows how practical the Bible’s teaching is in helping Christian women solve one of life’s most rending problems. May they all have great success in their ministries to their husbands!
Happy decks on storm-tossed seas,
Literature, And All That
Thanks to God for a magazine not afraid to recognize that a Christian can use his mind without losing his salvation, and to Mr. Howard for proving that it is possible to write thoughtfully and perceptively about life and be a Christian. You are to be congratulated for printing an article as intelligent and provoking as the one by Thomas Howard on the possibilities of literature in the life of a Christian (Oct. 25).
Los Angeles, Calif.
Thomas Howard asserts truly that “serious literature” addresses the imagination and that the Christian must bring the rewards of such reading to God’s altar. But I question whether all “serious literature” should be recommended as the “noble fictions of the human imagination”.… The imagination (like the reason and the emotions) is a God-gift but sin-affected faculty that the writer exercises in service to his god or to God.
Sioux Center, Iowa
Didn’t men preach better when they were better read? Spurgeon had an enormous library. Wesley’s saddlebag was always full of books.… Many parsonage libraries are as bare as the proverbial cupboard.
United Methodist Church
Minotola, N. J.
Among the insights in this excellent article, the most incisive is the culture-holiness discontinuity.…
The spiritually perceptive allegorical description of the fourteenth century in “Piers Plowman,” like William Law’s “A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life,” comes from a man with a global discernment of the mind of God.…
This is the day in which we commiserate with the “cultural shock” experienced by our missionaries abroad—forgetting that the greatest possible cultural shock occurs when a man penetrates the eternity-barrier into the Kingdom of Heaven, and not only becomes a “pilgrim and stranger” to his generation but is called to variance with his own family.
Moorestown, N. J.
To Appreciate Freedom
I appreciate much in your article by H. Daniel Friberg (Oct. 25). But to say “The Law faithfully proclaimed as God’s Word exerts an unlimited power to break the pride of man and to put him in that distress in which the Gospel becomes the sweetest news in the universe” is like saying: “Everybody should be put in a concentration camp so they will appreciate the good life they receive again when they are set free.” Nonsense! Why put men in the concentration camp or under the “law”?… We must proclaim radically the grace of God so that they can be freed from the bondage of sin by acceptance of God’s grace through faith.
First United Methodist Church
Goliath And The Ministry
I want to comment … on “Men Wanted” (Oct. 25).… It seems that no one has endeavored to determine why a successful minister changes course in midstream.… No attempt has been made to help the minister who has decided that he is going to leave the ministry.… I am wondering if there isn’t a greater need to help the “man of the cloth” stay in the ministry.… This in turn will result in many more men choosing the ministry.… Most of the material that I read on the above subject points up the need for men of increased stature, causing many churches to search for a “Goliath,” unmindful that the man of God on this occasion was a boy named David!
Community Baptist Church
The Right Light
Please permit me to thank you for the excellent editorial on the U. S. Congress on Evangelism (Oct. 25). It caught exactly the spirit of the whole enterprise, and put it in just the right light.
St. Louis, Mo. “Lutheran Hour” Speaker
The Third Party
I … was profoundly amazed to see that article on George Wallace (News, Oct. 25).… Wallace is a patriot, a common-sense American, and he is bringing into the open the real issues in this election campaign.…
I … had intended to vote for Nixon.… Nixon will perhaps be elected and will carry on as the “establishment” dictates. Wallace has no such connections; he is independent. Now that you ran such a nasty article against him, I shall vote for Wallace.
San Diego, Calif.
I am no particular fan of Mr. Wallace and do not intend to vote for him (though he will carry the state of Louisiana). But I say to the clergy, especially to the United Methodists, clear your own house before you condemn Mr. Wallace.
New Iberia, La.
I plan to vote for George C. Wallace in November and have been an active supporter of his campaign for about seven months. I can’t hold it against him because he is a Protestant, a Methodist, a fundamentalist, or a Sunday-school teacher. Also, in my thinking it is to his advantage that he sponsored an anti-lottery bill, put tax on liquor, and wants to bring the Bible and prayer back into schools.… In my opinion, if you want to do a good job …, you should get some disgruntled politician or preacher to write articles pointing out the faults of Mr. Nixon and Mr. Humphrey.
Why publish such a prejudiced article on George Wallace in a religious magazine?…
You mentioned Brooks Hays: Who is he? Be he a congressman or past president of our Southern Baptist Convention, he was not any credit to the Southern Baptist Convention.… Why didn’t you quote the view of Joseph H. Jackson, a Negro and president of the vast National Baptist Convention, Inc.? You know he stands for Wallace.…
I … feel that CHRISTIANITY TODAY should apologize for the distorted photo and article which … debase one of the greatest men our country has produced.
• Dr. Jackson endorsed NIXON.—ED.
It was amazing the things you have allowed to be printed about Governor George C. Wallace. While personally I do not intend to vote for him, there are many things he stands for that are basic principles which we must return to.…
There isn’t a shred of evidence given to substantiate the views of Mr. Henley, merely assumptions and biased allegations.
Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company
Columbia, S. C.
Before reading the article … one learns that it is not the clergy on Wallace but … the opinion of one man who works and writes for a newspaper which is considered by many to be liberal, socialistic, and left wing.…
The last paragraph of the report takes the cake. Here a “young minister” “fears” George Wallace because he (Wallace) does not laugh. Millions of thinking, red-blooded Americans feel at this time of crisis in our nation and in the free world that weeping would be more appropriate than laughter.…
I feel that this report is unfair, misleading, offensive, biased, prejudiced and unChristian. I feel it is an insult to the intelligence of Governor Wallace and to millions of Americans of every race, creed, and color. I feel that a retraction and an apology are in order.
I protest the cartoon (Oct. 11) … [as] poor taste and unworthy of your high standards. Not only is Wallace’s stance as a Christian statesman a phony because it masks old-fashioned Southern white racism, but to suggest that any man has “saving power” even remotely comparable to that of Jesus Christ is sacrilege at best, and blasphemy at worst.
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
Hay Springs, Neb.
I think CHRISTIANITY TODAY dropped to a new low with that clever(?) cartoon.
MRS. ROBERT E. WATSON
George Patterson’s “Red China Woos Embittered Christian Tribes” (Oct. 11) may well be more significant than the current Paris peace talks.
Interestingly enough, the tribal leaders in Laos (Tanby) and in Viet Nam (Y Bham) also profess Christ. The latter has pled with our government to be allowed to fight with our boys against the Viet Cong. Some of his men fought within a few miles of Ban Me Thuot in an attempt to protect the missionaries martyred during the Tet offensive. They ran out of ammunition. These tribesmen know the woods and could control the woods. Many American lives could have been spared in the many “Valley” battles in Viet Nam if we had taken in Y Bham. Today he sits in Cambodia waiting. Our government refuses to overrule a reluctant South Vietnamese government. We control much of their government anyhow; it’s strange we won’t assert ourselves where American lives and American tax dollars are on the line. Would you believe that some well-informed people believe the war would be over now had we just started and pursued a right policy with these tribespeople? I think they’re right.
• Mr. Sawin lived in Viet Nam for fifteen years. He was auxiliary chaplain to the U. S. military forces and pastor of the Protestant International Church (Christian and Missionary Alliance) in Saigon.—ED.
I would like to express my appreciation for your excellent magazine.… One function that I believe has not received adequate recognition is that of presenting the news of the church world. Hats off to you for reporting items of interest and importance.…
As a member of a group whose missionaries are being expelled from an apparently critical area (Assam, India), I thank you especially for the eye-opening report by George Patterson.
Bethel Baptist Church
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