Part two of two parts; click here to read part one.
* I too was at the 1972 Explo. I don't remember a lot about the event other than learning that different states don't have our wonderful weather. I do remember, however, going door to door with the Four Spiritual Laws and reading the book with little or no expression to a woman in a poor neighborhood. I remember her reading the prayer with me. I don't remember her name or anything else about her. I just felt I had accomplished my task and went on my way. Since then I have occasionally wondered what became of her. After reading your article, I am at least hopeful. While I cannot agree entirely with the Brights' approach, perhaps I at least was allowed to plant a seed in this woman's heart. And, dear woman, if you are by chance reading this, I was one of those 15-year-old girls with very long hair and glasses who came in and out of your life in less than 15 minutes. God knows your name; I would love to know it too.
San Jose, Calif.
We would like to clarify a fact for the record about the La Jolla Valley Project. CCCI was not "forced into Chapter 11 protection." CCCI sold University Development, the company that was developing the property, around 1986. Sometime later the new owner caused University Development to file for reorganization under the Federal Bankruptcy Act. In short, CCCI has never filed bankruptcy.
Campus Crusade for Christ International
* Bravo! on Dean Merrill's article "Not Married-with-Children" [July 14]. As a never-married single woman, I have too often heard the subtle (or not-so-subtle) message, "This church is for families," and therefore, "This church is not for you." For me and for many singles I've talked to, Sunday morning can be the loneliest time of the week. Church may be the only setting in our lives in which we do not feel included, respected, valued—or loved.
As the percentage of singles in the U.S. rises steadily, churches need to learn how to affirm and include families and singles. If they do not, they will miss a huge portion of the population, a group that not only needs a church family, but that has inestimable time, money, and talents that could enrich the whole congregation.
Colorado Springs, Colo.
UNATTRACTIVE DOESN'T MEAN SPIRITUAL
* I really appreciated Karen Lee-Thorp's article ["Is Beauty the Beast?" July 14] on the subject of beauty. I have encountered very little teaching on this subject in the church, almost none from a positive perspective. It is a relief to know that I don't have to imagine myself as unattractive in order to be spiritual.
Toronto, Ont., Canada
THE LOVE OF BALLET
Thanks so much to Piper Lowell for the wonderful "Leaps of Faith" [Arts, July 14]. My youthful striving for a ballet career ended with a loving husband and the raising of three priceless children—but the love of ballet has never left me. Having become a Christian while involved in ballet, I'm so glad to see this article on Ballet Magnificat! I hope to see Kathy Thibodeaux dance sometime.
GOD'S WORD FOR THE WHOLE CHURCH
The decision by the International Bible Society—under pressure—to cancel the use of more inclusive language in future revisions ["Hands Off My NIV," June 16, and "Focus Dumps 'Inclusive' Bible," July 14] saddens me deeply.
I am sad for my 9-year-old granddaughter, Christine. She might have read (in the NIV-based Adventures in Odyssey Bible now withdrawn by Focus on the Family) in Paul's words, "Teach … some people you can trust," a version of 2 Timothy 2:2 more correct than the current "Teach … some men." She might have said, "Oh, I am a person. So I want to be one who can be trusted." Now she will have to wonder if that role is meant only for her brothers, Graham and Benjie.
I am sad for the many outstanding young women leaders who come to our evangelism leadership programs, drawn not so much by an agenda of feminism as by a deep longing to have their gifts fully used by God and the church in sharing the Good News. We have learned how important it is to make them feel included by using language that unobtrusively includes them, not just the "guys."
And I am sad for the evangelical church. Critics of the proposed NIV revisions call it a "feminist seduction of the evangelical church" and say they oppose any form of language that would serve a "particular cultural agenda." It strikes me that many of the critics are themselves serving their own cultural agenda: that of preserving the position and privilege of one gender—men in power. In so doing they are holding the scholarship and faith of the NIV translators hostage to the critics' own entrenched version of culture, as well as to the seduction of market share.
Leighton Ford, President
Leighton Ford Ministries
* We are identified as "inclusive language opponents" in your July 14 coverage of the May 27 meeting on gender language in translation. The article and Inside CT left much to be desired in terms of fairness and accuracy. The article mentioned none of the over 4,000 Bible verses whose translation is changed to something less accurate in inclusive-language Bibles. You cited ten people or groups who disapproved of our position and only one who approved. The evaluative statements in the article and Inside CT were imbalanced 37 to 1 against our position. Of the 13 translation guidelines adopted at our meeting, you cited only 4, and 3 of those were cited incorrectly. You cited none of our 6 guidelines that approved certain kinds of inclusive language which retain accuracy in translation. Perhaps most disappointing was the failure to mention the grace of God at work to bring a peaceful resolution and a unanimous statement from a meeting of 12 people at the heart of the recent conflict over a planned (and now canceled) inclusive-language NIV.
Tim Bayly, Joel Belz, James Dobson, Wayne Grudem, Charles Jarvis, Vern Poythress, R. C. Sproul
For the news story, our reporter called the principals affected by the decision and concisely recorded their responses. We did not keep a scorecard for how they responded. As to the substance of the debate, in our next issue Trinity Evangelical Divinity School professors Wayne Grudem and Grant Osborne will offer opposing answers to the question "Should Bible Translators Use Inclusive Language?"—Eds.
* After 16 years of studying and using the original biblical languages, I rarely use any translation for my daily devotions, and I often preach and teach straight from the Greek N.T. We must never forget that every translation of the Bible takes us one step away from the language in which it was first written, read, and heard. No translation can ever be fully adequate. However, most people have not had the opportunity to learn the original languages, and it is a great gift that scholars have carefully translated the sacred texts into secondary languages, including English.
Women used to know that they were included in such English words as man, brother, and brethren, which rendered similar expressions in Greek. This is no longer the case. Thinking and compassionate Americans have become sensitized to the male-dominated past of the English language. Our language has changed, and we must make an effort to be sure that the original intention of Scripture is what people grasp when they read a translation today. I find it interesting that the lively and growing British churches have embraced the gender-inclusive NIV.
Stirchley, Birmingham, England
* I read Michael G. Maudlin's "Accusing the Brothers (and Sisters)" [Inside CT, July 14] and feel he completely missed the point of the NIV controversy. It is not, as he states it, "fundamentalist political correctness." You do a disservice to a number of evangelical groups to paint this controversy as a "PC" battle.
Dale R. Yancy
* I can't remember an issue that's been more disheartening to me as a Christian woman in America than this furor over the new NIV. Thanks, Ed Dobson, for a reasoned, sensible statement of what's really involved here.
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