Once or twice each week, “letters to the editor” are dutifully collected and logged by editorial secretary Sue Mole, then circulated in stacks of 20 or so to a curious staff. Some are handwritten, others typed. Some are only a few terse sentences long. Others are the length of a full-scale article. Yet each letter expresses a “view from the front” we here at CT are eager to hear—even if the view is not quite what we had hoped.
Many times we can anticipate the mail—that is, we know what articles or series of articles will draw heavy reader response. Not surprisingly, for example, we continue to receive mail on the Christianity Today Institute supplement on the role of women in the church (Oct. 3), with still another major sampling pulled together by administrative editor Carol Thiessen in this issue’s Letters department.
As for sobering surprises, J. I. Packer’s “ ‘Good Pagans’ and God’s Kingdom” (Jan. 17)—a biblical argument against the belief that all people will eventually be saved—received a majority of negative responses from those who found it hard to believe a loving God would condemn anyone. (That question will be the basis of an institute supplement next year.)
And then there was Philip Yancey’s “I Just Thought I’d Ask” (July 11), a collection of intriguing questions with no answers. In response to this popular column, letter writers asked a number of their own unanswered questions.
Interestingly, this particular column came about as a result of writer’s block: Philip simply couldn’t think of anything to say. That is something our readers, fortunately, rarely experience.
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