New Age Religion

Robert Burrows’s article [“Americans Get Religion in the New Age,” May 16] begs comment. He fails to mention self-discipline in describing New Age religions; anything goes is not the attitude or lifestyle of a warrior. Truth, as the Bible states, is like a sharp sword that will cut right through deceit. The truth will be recognized regardless of the source, whether it be the Bible or Oriental religions.


Dennison, Tex.

Burrows’s references to offbeat occultists as if they were respected leaders of this “movement,” his inclusion of the sensationalist nonsense of Dave Hunt and Constance Cumbey as a legitimate point of discussion, and the lumping of pop stars Yoko Ono, John Denver, and Shirley MacLaine alongside committed, idealistic thinkers—all undermine his thesis. At the same time he paints traditional Christians as rigid, closed-minded people suspicious of any and every philosophical statement that uses “non-Christian” terminology.


Charlottesville, Va.

After reading Burrows’s article and the comments of Douglas Groothuis, “Is It Conspiracy?” I wonder what we are trying to protect, and from whom. Dr. Charles Stanley, recent head of the Southern Baptist Convention, has a new tape in which he endorses Christian meditation; obviously he is a dangerous man. Dave Hunt may want to add him to the hit list. I don’t believe that and neither do you, but that’s the climate our satanic accusations are creating.


The Christian Village Church

Forked River, N.J.

Let us reclaim the rainbow! It was given as a symbol to the people of Yahweh.


Los Angeles, Calif.

Many of the Christians whom “New Agers” have encountered have been fundamentalists who are obnoxious about their Christianity, or liberals who don’t know how to talk about Jesus. Between the two is where we need to plant seeds of faith and hope. Many “New Agers” are really asking, How can I be saved?


Dexter, Oreg.

Who’S Seducing Whom?

Three cheers for Robert Wise’s “Welcome to the Inquisition” [Speaking Out, May 16]. I was recently asked by a local Christian library to review The Seduction of Christianity, it was producing much controversy because some individuals had decided to ban all of the books and authors Hunt and McMahon label as seduced. In correspondence with the Christian Information Bureau, which Hunt is associated with, I found a great lack of concern for the divisions they may be creating and the great emotional, mental, and spiritual damage they may cause people. Hunt and McMahon have done a great disservice to the Christian community.

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Serenity Counseling Center

Mexico, Ind.

I wonder if Wise and others like him realize a minister’s task is not to combine God’s Word with the speculations of fallen man, but rather to “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints.”


Austin, Tex.

There is a saying “what goes around, comes around.” How long are evangelicals/charismatics going to anathematize one another and make a mockery of Christian charity and long-suffering?

It is spiritual folly to continue this debate. When reputable men are “driven to their knees” by the contents of a book, when emotionally laden pictures of inquisition revenge insinuate that the brethren are on a witch hunt, how in the name of unity and communication can anything good come out of Christendom?


New Covenant Church

Pompano Beach, Fla.

Having just spent three weeks at the hands of the inquisitors, I was especially appreciative of Wise’s clear thinking as well as the comfort he brought in knowing that perhaps there were 7,000 out there who had been falsely accused of bowing the knee to Baal.


President, Biola University

LaMirada, Calif.

The Problem With Alcohol

I believe the statistics Kenneth Kantzer quotes on the desirability of raising the drinking age to 21 may be somewhat misleading [“Tough Is Not Enough,” May 16]. It is true that the number of deaths among the 18-to 20-year-old age group declined in states that raised the drinking age, but the percentage did not. The number of alcohol-related deaths has declined in all age groups, the primary reason being tougher drunken-driving laws.


Stetsonville, Wis.

Healthy Body Life

The “health and fitness” craze has invaded the churches. It started innocently enough, with a few churches building gymnasiums or hosting meetings for Weight Watchers. But now we have regular nutrition classes, Christian aerobics, and even sweatsuits with embroidered doves or fishes.

As long as this health fad was kept at arm’s length, in optional programs, I was willing to mind my own business. But last week at Communion, when I was offered a regular, whole wheat, or rye wafer, I had to consult the church bulletin to make sure I wasn’t in a Christian health club. There was a listing of the wafers’ various ingredients, how many calories were involved, and the percentage of recommended daily allowances of vitamins and minerals. I read on to discover that I next was to be offered my choice of regular grape juice, grape juice lite, or a natural, unsweetened fruit juice blend.

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After the service, I was so upset that I decided to bring it up with the pastor at our regular Thursday morning meeting. I just need to decide whether to do it while we’re jogging, or on the racquetball court.


A New Comprehension

Philip Yancey’s odyssey through the Bible told in “God, the Jilted Lover” [May 16] is the best summary of the Old Testament I have ever seen. If he will add God’s solution to the problem—wooing us back through Jesus—he will have the whole Bible in a nutshell. It’s really profound.


New Albany, Ohio

Yancey has taken the first steps along a road I have been traveling for several years. Reading the Bible more and the theologians less, I have been discovering a loving, compassionate God participating in every moment of history.


First Baptist Church

Troy, Kan.

Instead of appreciating the harmony between our personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and our knowledge of God through doctrine, Yancey seems to set these two aspects of Christianity in opposition. Why must personal faith and theology be contrasted as an either/or proposition?

Yancey writes, “… God does not care so much about being analyzed.” True, he commands us to love him, which comes from knowledge—revealed to us in the Bible, which gives us the doctrine of Christ. Thank God for those who help us know God better by setting down the grand doctrines of the Scriptures in an orderly and systematic way.


New Rochelle, N.Y.

In Praise Of Artistry

I was initially drawn to artist Marcus Uzilevsky’s work purely on the basis of its artistic quality. In the selection process of poring over his prints, I was impressed by the many biblical themes reflected in his titles. I knew there was something special about this artist. Thanks to CT’s Refiner’s Fire [“Total Clarity: An Artist’s Pilgrimage,” May 16], I now know what it is.


Haddam, Conn.

Away From The Melée

I only write to editors when I’m mad or delighted. This time, I am delighted. Please let me stand at the end of the line with Unspectacular J. I. Packer [Senior Editor, May 16]. So many are pushing and pulling on the way to the Father’s house. I don’t want to be part of the melee.

I won’t even look to see if this letter is published (or will I?).


President, Good News Publishers

Westchester, Ill.

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