John Woodbridge's "Culture War Casualties" [Mar. 6] was a great article. Most of us Christians often forget who the enemy in this war is. It is Satan, not people.

Even when they attack us or our values, feminists, Muslims, Earth Firsts, atheists, the NEA, liberal Democrats, act-ups, pro-choicers, and even the demon-possessed, are not the enemy. They are the lost that Jesus died for and that we are supposed to reach out to. We will never reach people in these groups by name-calling. We will only reach them by showing love while maintaining godly principles.

- Pastor Bob Caldwell

Valley Gospel Chapel

Anza, Calif.

Woodbridge's assertion that we should be "widely known as Christ's servants, who demonstrate compassion and nonetheless speak out boldly and clearly regarding our Master's teachings" is right on target. This mixture of humble servanthood and bold clarity is a mix we frequently have difficulty achieving. If these things provide us with a tension, well, welcome to the Christian life, wherein the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and we serve the One who is both the Lion of Judah and the Lamb of God. It is no wonder we need the power of the Holy Spirit to live as Christ calls us to live.

- Pastor Mark Drinnenberg

Sheffield Chapel

Sheffield, Mass.

* I'm reminded that on occasion Jesus used extreme rhetoric (calling Herod a "fox," for example), and Paul was unequivocal when Elymas spread false ideas ("You are a son of the devil!"), and indeed, whenever there was any real challenge to the gospel.

On occasion, such words can remind us how much is at stake and shake up those who need shaking. Keeping in mind that the "sinner" must be treated apart from the "sin," we ought not to be timid as we "demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God."

- James Scott Bell

Woodland Hills, Calif.

A common phrase is that we are "known more for what we're against (the world's sins) than what we're for" (Christ himself and his will). Woodbridge ingeniously points out that at the bottom of it all is our desire to live comfortable and self-satisfied lives, and with the natural anger toward anyone who disturbs that.

- Eric Bolden

Queens, N.Y.

Woodbridge's work fails not in its reasoning but in its presuppositions. The church's work is not to transform culture. Indeed, it is just the opposite. It begins with encouraging one to leave a depraved and alienated culture and live in the kingdom of God. Ultimately, the church's work is to make disciples, that is, to train or discipline believers to walk in the ways of Christ. Is this not the biblical mandate that gives meaning to all other works of the church?

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- Rev. John D. Richardson

St. Mark's Episcopal Church

Geneva, Ill.

* I think the culture-war rhetoric has definitely created a climate in the evangelical community, as Woodbridge says, where "anyone who speaks up for civility" is considered suspect. The truly brave warriors in this conflict will be those who pull out the chairs at the peace table and encourage both sides to sit down.

- Anna Kathryn Hardin

Alabaster, Ala.


Thank you for reprinting Francis Schaeffer's "The Mark of a Christian" [Mar. 6] and for your continued support of Evangelicals and Catholics Together. The need for unity among evangelical, born-again Christians is a pressing one. Over the past year I have seen division and suspicion douse the flames of revival at my school and my church. Recently, I addressed my students on this issue and offered this advice:

How do you know if you are harboring a divisive spirit? Examine your immediate, unspoken response to other Christians. When someone tells you they have led someone to Christ, is your first thought, "Praise God!" or one of the following: "Why wasn't it me; I'm a stronger Christian than he is"? or "Are you going to disciple him or leave him high and dry"? or "I'll bet he thinks he's more spiritual than I am," or, perhaps, worst of all, "I'll bet he'll steer him toward his church or denomination, which isn't as biblical as mine"?

How do you retrain your spirit? Find a home church and be committed to it, but on Saturday or Sunday nights, visit other churches in your area where the Lord is working. Learn what the Lord is doing in other churches so that when you hear these churches mentioned your first thought will be, "Yes, God is doing great things in that church," not, "Their doctrine is misguided" or "Their worship style is unbiblical."

What's our final goal? It is to eliminate spiritual pride and to learn not to feel threatened or judged if people worship or serve God differently than we do. When revival has come to our nation in the past, it has spread like a contagion, moving swiftly and forcefully from school to school, church to church, denomination to denomination.

- Louis Markos

Houston Baptist University

Houston, Tex.

How sweet, marvelous, and challenging was the article: "The Mark of a Christian." Love is still the greatest way and the Christian's mark. Praise Him!

- Oseas Wichert

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Silver Spring, Md.


Thank you for Richard Mouw's tribute ["What the Old Dispensationalists Taught Me," March 6] to the godly leaders who influenced him in his Christian growth. It set me to reminiscing about my own spiritual pilgrimage. My Christian nurture came from an amalgam of independent, baptistic, and holiness churches. Like Mouw, I was also familiar with the Scofield Bible.

At seminary my eyes were opened to a depth and grandeur of biblical piety I had not seen before, as it was modeled by the faculty of Westminster Seminary. As much as the theological training I received from these men, their unassuming love for the Word of God and for the Savior has left a lifelong impact on me. R. B. Kuiper used to tell us, "Be natural in the spiritual and spiritual in the natural." Such a balanced Reformed piety may well be one of the best-kept secrets in the evangelical world.

- Theodore J. Georgian

Montoursville, Pa.


Chuck Colson's column "The Year of the Neopagan" [Mar. 6] would seem to ignore the warnings of [that issue's] cover story, "Fighting Words." I must reply since he mentions Newsweek thrice-particularly our recent cover story, "The Search for the Sacred."

Colson seems genuinely upset that the "media" would pay so much attention to what he calls "the pseudo-spiritual." He asked in an unpublished letter to Newsweek about our story why we failed to mention the nation's evangelicals in a piece that talks about spiritual search. That question lurks behind his column, too.

Surely Colson knows that evangelicals are hardly neglected by the media. Nor is orthodox Christianity. Both have been well represented in recent cover stories in Newsweek: "The Death of Jesus," on the work of New Testament scholar Raymond Brown, and "Talking to God," which reported on the varieties of prayer practiced in these United States.

In "The Search for the Sacred," we thought it well to pay attention to those millions of Americans who seek other routes to what they consider sacred. The opening example Colson cites in his column was hardly a celebration of spiritual drift. The reason it caught his eye was precisely why the woman it describes caught ours: she well illustrated the protean nature of much of what passes for spiritual grazing in today's culture. He-or I-may find the woman's eclecticism superficial, but that does not make her story unworthy of journalistic attention.

There is something in Colson-maybe it's the Calvinist ghost of Francis Schaeffer-which does not want to acknowledge, much less understand, what is going on outside one's own spiritual pasture where truth has so fortuitously come to graze. Certainly, nothing is gained by mislabeling spiritual searchers as "neopagans." Much is lost instead. Today searchers are rummaging through a whole attic of alternative ways of coping, which necessarily include spiritual perspectives, however distorted or superficially presented.

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As the man who made the term "born again" famous, Colson is just the man to demonstrate that this phrase does not mean an end to the search. There is an unbecoming spiritual smugness in the person who feels that he has already been saved, and hence has no need of search. Orthodox Christians know otherwise. So does the Bible. So, I think, does Colson.

- Kenneth L. Woodward

Newsweek Religion Editor

New York, N.Y.

Charles Colson responds: The point of my critique of the Newsweek story is that the editors represented on the cover a story about "America's Search for the Sacred," and then ignored evangelical and orthodox Christians. I have no quarrel with their covering New Age or eclectic spiritual searches. That is legitimate news. But when you put that under the banner of "America's Search for the Sacred," one is left with the impression that that is the sum total of America's spiritual search. In other words, the story left a grossly misleading impression, as I wrote in a letter they refused to publish. Woodward acknowledges the question, but then simply ignores the answer.

I think his letter betrays Newsweek's disdain for "evangelical spiritual smugness," apparently justifying their ignoring us and covering more interesting people who do not believe truth is absolute-exactly the point of my ct editorial. The cultural elite do not believe in absolute truth. We do. (Not that we have the answers, but we know that he is the Truth.) That, stripped of all the clever rhetoric, is what the issue is.


I was pleased to note (News Update, Mar. 6) that the main evangelical crafters of the ECT document [Evangelicals and Catholics Together] have met and produced an addendum to the original statement. While agreeing with much of the thrust of the ECT document calling for Roman Catholics and evangelicals to stand together in confronting moral declension in our culture, I felt (along with many other evangelicals) that Reformed doctrinal differences with Rome were underplayed. This new statement is welcome; ecumenical zeal has given way to theological precision.

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However, John MacArthur's bottom line (that Roman Catholicism is "another religion") is unfortunate. To say that great theological and spiritual leaders such as Chrysostom, Augustine, Francis of Assisi, Anselm, Aquinas, and John of the Cross are outside the pale of orthodox Christianity goes too far. (One might also mention godly women such as Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Avila, and currently, Mother Teresa, in this group.) Perhaps humility and some historical perspective are in order here.

- Ralph E. MacKenzie

San Diego, Calif.


Thank you for Harold Myra's editorial: "Racial Reconciliation Begins with You" (Mar. 6). As an African-American daycare provider of African-American children who are adopted by white parents, it has been my experience that these children are well-groomed, emotionally stable, and possess a healthy self-esteem. I fervently believe that white parents are just as qualified to raise an African-American child in today's society to have self-worth and a strong racial and cultural identity.

I salute Mr. Myra and the many other white Christians throughout the nation who open their hearts and homes to African-American children. And who, more importantly, instill Christian values and principles and the Word of God in our children.

- Kandis Heckler

Agape Family Center

Wheaton, Ill.


Brief letters are welcome. They may be edited for space and clarity, and must include the writer's name and address. Send to Eutychus, Christianity Today, 465 Gundersen Drive, Carol Stream, IL 60188; fax: 708/260-0114. E-mail: Letters preceded by * were received online.


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