Children aren’t alike. Just ask any parent who has more than one child. One child may be naturally assertive, another naturally neat, a third naturally quiet. And they show these characteristics quite early.

Take my brother. It didn’t matter what you said to him. If he didn’t want to do what he was told, he didn’t. But he never said he wouldn’t. He soon learned that the best way to get your own way was to keep quiet about it. You might say he was stubborn. I know my parents did.

He was also independent. He couldn’t have been more than four the summer my grandmother came to visit. We had finished breakfast and my mother was off to the grocery store. Everybody disappeared, including my four-year-old brother. His habit that summer was to leave after breakfast and, because he’s never missed a meal in his life, return promptly at lunch time. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t tell time. He just knew when it was 11:30.

My grandmother, though, didn’t understand his lifestyle. Or approve. She’s from the old school. She could always answer the question, “Do you know where your child is tonight?” My casual attitude toward my brother’s whereabouts mystified her.

About 11 o’clock she started wondering where he was. And every few minutes she would ask me, “Don’t you think you should go find your brother?” Or, “I wonder where he is? Do you know where he is?” Now, how could I answer that question? I was sitting in the house with her. (When I was younger I always thought adults asked strange questions. Now that I am one I realize I was right.)

There are many drawbacks to being the oldest child. One of them is that everybody thinks you should take care of everybody else who is younger than you. I tried quoting Scripture. “Am I my brother’s keeper?” I asked. But my grandmother wasn’t interested in a theological discussion. Then, I tried to explain that my brother’s pattern was to leave in the morning and return at lunch, having put in a few hard hours of play, ready for his humble soup and simple sandwich. No luck.

Although a grandmother isn’t quite the same thing as a mother, when Grandma told me point blank to do something, I did it. So out I went to look for him. I’ll admit I didn’t look all that hard, but I spent ten minutes or so calling his name and roaming up and down our street. But no brother. There was nothing for it but to tell Grandma I couldn’t find him.

I had just broken the bad news to her when, true to form and ready to eat, my brother walked in. Grandma rushed up to him and said, “We were so worried, because we couldn’t find you and you were lost.”

My brother even at four was not at a loss for words. “No I wasn’t, Grandma,” he said. “I knew where I was all the time.”

Wouldn’t it be great if all of us could say that?


Timely Words

I especially appreciated your editorial on the “Israeli-Egyptian Peace Treaty” (April 20). On balance I believe it presents the whole aura of the situation in perspective. It was refreshing, for a change, for someone to praise President Carter for his risk, and his willingness to negotiate and not merely to exert power. Thanks for your timely words.


First United Methodist Church

Winters, Tex.

Yes, It’s a Hoax

I was deeply disturbed by the ad in the April 6 “Marketplace” section for “Nominations for Antichrist” placed by the Illuminati Society in Brussels, Belgium. Is this intended to be some kind of a hoax, or is it for real?


Austin, Tex.

Yes, it’s a hoax. Since December 1978, The Marketplace has included one or two fictional classified ads written byCHRISTIANITY TODAYcartoonist John Lawing. These ads will always include his name in some way. We hope they add a touch of humor to the classifieds and encourage more people to read them.-Ed.

Credible or Incredible?

Clark Pinnock’s defense of the bodily resurrection (April 6) is one of the best articles printed on the subject; however, the title “The Incredible Resurrection: A Mandate for Faith” is sadly inappropriate. Far from being “incredible,” the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is historical fact.


Capital City Church of Christ

Raleigh, N.C.

Clark Pinnock’s article reminds me of a man “wearing out his reverse gear” trying to prove something every true evangelical accepts.


Rancho Temecula Bible Church

Rancho, Calif.

Casts a Negative View

I was pleased to read the interview of Francis Schaeffer (March 23 and April 6), but I was very disappointed with the accompanying negatively-slanted article by Philip Yancey (“Francis Schaeffer: A Prophet for Our Time?” March 23). While there is no need to gloss over honest and real weaknesses in a man’s work, it is unconscionable to cast a negative view upon him in a general sense, as this article does. Denver, Colo.


The article and interview with Francis Schaeffer are to be warmly commended, despite a few errors of interpretation and the tendency to share a little gossip. Schaeffer’s impact on Rochester during his time of treatment for cancer was one of the most remarkable things I have ever experienced. He and his family, during a time of severe trial and pain, were totally self-giving.

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During his stay, Schaeffer made calls in the hospitals to others suffering from cancer. He spoke to groups of doctors and hospital chaplains. For five Sunday evenings he shared “How Should We Then Live?” with hundreds of people, and spent over an hour each of those nights discussing the Christian faith with people from every discipline. The man’s love and humility were truly evident as he shared Christ intelligently.


First Christian Church

Rochester, Minn.

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