TOUCHING A NERVE

Apparently most who read the April 3 issue found something in it to evoke a response. The flood of letters showed by a four-to-one ratio, for example, that computer online correspondents are enthusiastic about the new technology described in the News article "Cybershock." Nick B. Nicholaou, a ministry consultant, tells clients and audiences "the next ministry wave will be ridden by those offering communication services via one of the cyber networks." But some cautioned via e-mail about spiritual issues: "I can easily be caught up in the desire for more and better computers," says Mike Gagnon, "faster processors, bigger hard drives, cooler software … what the Bible calls greed."

Meanwhile, conventional letter writers ask if we can imagine Jesus communicating the gospel on the Internet or touching the afflicted while "hiding behind a computer screen." Henry Broadbent asks: "Suppose the shape of the Net becomes something we Christians find problematic?" Suggesting it may be a modern Babel, he adds, "This time, not bricks, but electronic machines; not mortar, but computer software."

A more sensitive nerve was touched in the articles about adulterous pastors. Writers of the dozens of letters received are almost equally divided over whether fallen leaders might be restored to ministry. One, writing from personal experience of grace and healing, says Jesus "did not treat sexual sin as a 'greater sin.' He was more concerned about the heart." Yet Vialo Weiss writes, "Adulterous pastors should not be restored to pastoral ministry. Adultery reveals a significant character flaw."

The accompanying excerpted letters reveal CT readers as articulate, insightful-and holding a variety of opinions.

TIMELY, CORRECT, AND RARE

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