We're working on setting up message boards and other ways of making our new ChristianityToday.com site more interactive. Still, we find letters to the editor to be a tried and true "interactive" way of hearing from you. These aren't all the letters we've received (not by a long shot), but they are largely illustrative of them. If you do decide to e-mail us in the future, please include your real name, city, and state. And thanks for your comments.
Eavesdropping: An Open Door Policy (Nov. 11-12, 16, 1999)
Of course, Gary Bauer should have considered the "appearance of evil", especially in this day and age, as proved by the press reports, that people are looking for bad things to say about Christians. If Mr. Bauer is not concerned about it for himself, he certainly should be concerned about it for the Name he bears!
Glenda L. Smith
Amassed Media: There Be Gold in Them Thar Fills, Claims Charisma (Nov. 10, 1999)
How stupid. If God is handing out such miracles I would expect Him to go for the best. Who, in their right mind, would prefer any kind of filling to whole, natural living teeth??
The Battle for the Inclusive Bible (Nov. 5, 1999)
I enjoyed the article about the controversy on gender-neutral translations. I take the side against them. I did not appreciate the statement in the early part of the article that said the KJV is sometimes "misleading". Perhaps the vocabulary is antiquated at times, perhaps it's on a higher reading level than some can appreciate but there are too many that have found the Lord Jesus as Savior via the KJV to say it is misleading.
My objection to the whole thing is that I don't think the goal for a Gender-neutral translation is a better understanding of Scripture. It's a quest for more dollars. The moguls that have bought, now own and operate the major Christian publishing houses are looking for publications that sell.
Culture cannot drive translations of God's Word. That will corrupt it. God's Word must stand above the fray. I don't think any child will be stilted by knowing God through a masculine pronoun as indicated in the original languages. They will not be hurt by seeing men being men and women being women. Call the Good News Translation what it is: business, not gospel.
Hymns on MTV (Nov. 1, 1999)
I found the Jars of Clay article very interesting, and informative. (Although I wouldn't have missed the lengthy history lesson concerning evangelical hymnody). I do have one reservation: The writer makes the comment that "the music of Jars of Clay invites us to consider again the Jesus on the cross. It dispenses with the triumphalism—the bravado and the posturing—that has infected evangelicalism for more than a century now:" My response to this statement is that yes, it is indeed necessary for us to always consider the cross and to remember the propitiation which gave us eternal life. Yet this is not the main wellspring of our joy for we do not worship a bleeding and suffering Savior, but a fully resurrected and victorious one. One who is alive and well and always working on our behalf. In other words, I don't blame evangelicalism for stressing the joy and "triumphalism" part of the message, and to give the impression that we must always be focusing on the cross is a distorted view of God's grace towards us.
Cassie Said Yes, They Say No (November 1, 1999)
I don't get all the hype over the Cassie Bernall story. I'm a youth minister and when a telephone sales person called me with an offer for a video of Cassie's life along with several copies of her mother's book, I immediately declined. Why? I don't think she was any sort of a martyr. I believe she would have been shot no matter what she said. I do admire her life change; her conversion. But I don't think her faith had anything to do with her death, so there is no way she could have been a martyr. Lets let Cassie rest in peace.
Aren't we missing the point on this issue? The point isn't how Cassie Bernall died but what God was doing in her life as she was in the midst of living it. I'm more impressed with her growing faith. In one article she is remember by a friend as admitting that her Christian journey was harder than she had expected but that she was sure it was the right journey. How many 40-year-olds can say that! Isn't that a more important legacy than final utterances? As a youth pastor, I believe you're doing a disservice to youth when you give the allusion that what you say at the end of your life strengthens or negates the impact your life has.
Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.