Books of the Century (Apr. 24)
Picking only 100 had to be a daunting, if not near impossible, feat. Nevertheless, I am surprised by the omission of Rudolf Bultmann's Kerygma and Myth. Love it or hate it, the book shaped debate for decades. Also, its inclusion is necessitated if just for the one quote: "It is impossible to use electric light and the wireless and to avail ourselves of modern medical and surgical discoveries, and at the same time to believe in the New Testament world of spirits and miracles." The quaintness of that quote is priceless.
Robert PosticI just don't see how Dallas Willard's Divine Conspiracy could have been left off the list.
Phil FrankI would liked to have seen Eugene H. Peterson's A Long Obedience In The Same Direction included in your list of the best religious books of the last century. Reading the list reminds me that I still have a lot of important reading to do. I must be more selective.
Rev. Gary Archer
Director of Church Relations, Vanguard University
Costa Mesa, California
I too was born on Easter and it occurred again when I was 11, and not again till I'm 71, I thought this was strange, but your article help some in understanding,
Easter Sunday (Apr. 20)
I wish to commend Philip Yancey on his thoughtful observations concerning Christianity and our role as children of God. I felt a certain revulsion to the church for many years due to much of the hypocrisy within the walls of my childhood church. I still felt drawn to Jesus yet I often despised Christians as being holier-than-thous who looked down on the different. The more I have learned about God and his relationship to us the more I realize just how ignorant I am especially in my self righteous attitude concerning others. Philip Yancey has done a great service not only in seeking to promote the true spirit of Christianity, but in humbling himself in his writings. He does not pretend to know it all and dictate to the masses exactly how everything is and should be done. He also reveals his own failings in what I presume to be an earnest desire to communicate honestly to others. I look forward to his future works and feel a debt of gratitude for the spiritual shake-up his writings have given me.
The Scars of Easter (Apr. 18)
I am so moved by the article I just read about the hands of Christ. As we know, Jesus Christ knows our suffering and today, of all days, we recognize that suffering. As a Christian, I know I am loved. But to fully understand my personal suffering is some thing only God can do. This article uplifted my spirit and I am grateful for reading it now. Praise the Lord for his impeccable timing!
Thanks for your articles. They are great reading. I've thought over maybe the reason some had problems recognizing Jesus after he rose from the grave. I'm not dogmatic (mainly because I've never heard preaching on this) but Jesus "was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men," right? And He had holes in His hands from the nails and a pierce wound in His side from the spear of the centurion, right? Well, what kept Him from having all the scrapes, cuts, wounds, and bruises such a marring would cause? The face carrying bruises beyond belief from the beating of the guards. Hands and feet that were tore up from the weight of the body pushing up on the nails that had pierced them, along with the bruises of whips and the scourge along the arms, legs, chest and back. The body, after such a beating, would have much more wounds to it than just the tradition scars of Jesus.
Mary did not recognize Jesus in the garden (just after the resurrection) until she heard His voice. She thought He was the gardener. A good area of work for folks who wouldn't be seen much. The apostles were terrified at His appearance (Luke 24:37). In heaven, John says the "Lamb as it had been slain" (Revelation 5:6), was worthy to open the seal. Yes, I believe that the resurrected body of Jesus can heal, but I believe there's a reason people didn't recognize Jesus for a while after the resurrection. It was not another body, as some cults have made up. It was more than just His hands, feet and side that were effected.
Columbine's Tortuous Road to Healing (Apr. 14)
Columbine is a sad but touching story to me. I know it has helped put me back on the right road. I know if I had a gun held to my head and asked if I believe in Jesus I would say "yes with my whole heart I do believe and trust him." The story of Rachael Scott and many others touched me tremendously and by reading more into it I am proud of the way that the parents of the youth are carrying out their children's stories and lives. I would like to know them personally if I could I want to send my prayers as well as all of God's love to them. May God bless every life, heart, and mind touched by their doing. I will be praying for the families everyday.
I live in Littleton and the anniversary of Columbine is bringing the whole community together again for prayer vigils and services. As April 20 approaches, people are pulling together more and more. The last thing the Columbine students need is a bunch of press people all up in their faces about going to school on the anniversary. Nobody needs that. These kids have been through so much, right when they were getting back to normal, the kids were shot at Subway. These are some of the bravest people I know and all of this press and attention isn't doing anybody any good. They are going to have a hard enough time with this as it is.
Stephanie Babcock, age 14
Lesson One: Never choose a brown-nosing, book-educated novice (without clear giftings for relational communication, just mentored by the founder) to ascend to the headship of that founder's ministry without exhaustively testing the accuracy of the subordinate's assimilation of the doctrine, vision, character, calling and attitude about response to opponents of a ministry's teaching for likeness to the founder's own behavior. Hanegraaff's brutal treatment of Spirit-baptized ministers and movements widely considered innocent of heresy and error can only owe its origin to a carnal fear. Mrs. Walter Martin correctly believes there is room for growth by Hanegraaff in agape love.
Second Lesson: It is never ever premature to develop a sound, predigested succession plan for a church, para-church ministry or Christian media publication. This distinguishes a excellent work from a mediocre, money-eating shell, living off the memory of the founder. Such decayed works are best closed down and rebuilt as new.
Lawrence Eugene Dunlap
Letters (Apr. 14)
My name is Mike Hoffman and as a Christian of Jewish heritage I must say that I was deeply offended by Manula Torres's letter to the editor that expressed her view that the Holocaust was God's punishment to the Jewish people. I wanted to throw up. Maybe someone should remind Ms. Torres that it was not just Jews who died in the Holocaust. Catholics, Jehovah's Witnesses, homosexuals, and Gypsies were among the others slaughtered. With theology like that, Ms. Torres out to shave her head and get a swastika tattoo. I know this may be a bit extreme but I hope you understand. I'm assuming that this is a minority view in the Church.
This is in slight reply to Kelly Woodall's letter on apologies of Roman Catholics and Pentecostals. According to the creeds (Apostle's and Nicene) there is only one church that Christ Jesus was the founder of. Everyone baptized with water in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are members of it, forever! We may back out on God, but He doesn't back out on us. If anyone is interested I belong to the Episcopal part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
OK, they arrested a guy for breaking an angel in Italy. And well they should. Even though the KFOR soldier seems to have damaged the statue accidentally rather than maliciously, obviously he had no business rock-climbing on a religious monument in the first place. When are we going to arrest the NATO military that damaged or destroyed such religious and cultural treasures in Yugoslavia, such as churches both old and new, monasteries, icons, frescoes, and public monuments? Destroying religious and cultural sites is considered to be a war crime. Let's arrest all those NATO pilots, as well as, their commanding officers.
T. V. & Alida Weber
Receiving the Day the Lord Has Made (Mar. 16)
I enjoy your magazine, and I have for years. There is something I wanted to add to the article on the Sabbath. In regards to keeping the Sabbath, Exodus is clear that it not only includes you, your family but those who serve you as well. As a pastor who does "tent making" in the restaurant business, this is important to me. My co-workers "demographically" are most likely to be abusing alcohol, doing drugs, young and living life from one day to another. However, many would attend or consider attending church on Sunday if given the chance. Many would just like a day that they knew they could rest (like in the article). However, Christian culture is no longer one that goes home for Sunday dinner. They go out to eat. Therefore, restaurant owners take advantage of this. Somebody must work those shifts. It is getting worst. Now restaurants are staying open on Thanksgiving and Easter. Recently, one owner I worked for wanted to stay open on Christmas because he believe he could get the business from people going to movie theaters on that day. (the poor theater workers). My point, Sabbath should mean everybody gets a rest. Most restaurants wouldn't be open Sunday morning if it wasn't for Christians wanting to be served.
Rev. Chris Griffin
Norcross Community Church
Scouts Defend Homosexuality Policy (Mar. 14)
Your article on the Supreme Court Decision about homosexuals and the Boy Scouts of America is a disturbingly accurate analysis of where the "Politically Correct" movement is taking us. Influencing even the highest court in the land. We are becoming a nation of "disturbing" no one. The watering down of our founding father's values is almost complete. It would be helpful to publish these articles in a format where they could be easily printed and/or forwarded for more mass consumption. Thanks again for your insight.
John W. Ott
Letters to the Editor (Mar. 17) / Mormon-Evangelical Divide (Feb. 9)
In light of the recent efforts of Blomberg & Robinson ("How Wide the Divide?"), the Ostlings ("Mormon America") and others to evaluate what Mormons actually emphasize and teach in their communities, it is worth noting that the LDS Church has now published on the Web its 393-page handbook and study guide entitled "Gospel Principles" at http://www.lds.org/library/gos_pri/gos_pri.html Here you will find in straight-forward, readable text, "approved" descriptions of many LDS doctrines. You won't find esoteric speculations like the Adam-God theory, but you can certainly clear up what the LDS are teaching about the Virgin Birth or Second Coming, for example. The text is fully searchable using the engine at http://www.lds.org/search/search.html For example, searching for "grace and works" will turn up 14 hits, including the 1998 address by Mormon scholar-now-apostle Dallin H. Oaks entitled "Have You Been Saved?" Certainly, these resources should be checked by anyone wishing to further explore the LDS-evangelical divide. It might also help avoid the misstatements of LDS doctrine that often appear in evangelical summations.
Thank God that some churches are enlightened
Take a Little Time Out (Feb. 1)
Wendy Zoba has wasted your print space and my time perpetuating rumors and innuendo. No one, except Amy Grant, Vince Gill and God, Himself know what happened in this relationship. What's the matter? Is Ms. Zoba jealous or angry that Mrs. Gill wouldn't grant her an interview, as she did CCM, so she has instead used second or third hand information gleaned from an weekly entertainment rag? Rather than reprinted entertainment weekly rag fodder, an article about those who are being misled and used by the Jehovah's Witnesses would have been much more appropriate in this instance. If I was ever interested in a subscription to your magazine, I have been cured.
Thank you for speaking openly and honestly about this matter. I too have been very disturbed by Amy's actions and find them very inconsistent with her previously spoken life philosophy and ministry. I do believe as a child of God she is afforded the grace and forgiveness of Christ, but I am troubled by the rush to grace before repentance and restoration has occurred. Many are left in the wake to pick up the pieces of ruined ministry and lives, while she remarries and walks off into the sunset without missing a promotional beat! Let us be people that extend loving kindness to bring people to repentance, but not forget the price paid for that privilege. I believe that Amy Grant does need to take a little time and let healing and restoration begin before continuing on in ministry.
Alisa M Risso
Why We Like Harry Potter (Dec. 13)
What kind of Christianity are you presenting by saying that: "the literary witchcraft of the Harry Potter series has almost no resemblance to the I-am-God mumbo jumbo of Wiccan circles." Author J.K. Rowling has created a world with real good and evil, and Harry is definitely on the side of light fighting the "dark powers." I have read portions of the books for myself and they have every resemblance to the Wiccan "religion" today. To say that Harry is "definitely" on the side of light fighting the dark powers goes directly against God's Word since he is a Wizard and practices witchcraft. What Bible are you reading? And which part of God's Word don't you understand about His hatred of anything to do with witchcraft? I'm a Bible Translator and am very surprised that you ride the fence on this issue. God's Word definitely does not. I'm sorry to say that I've lost respect for your magazine for leading so many parents and children down the wrong road with your compromising position.
Papua New Guinea
Thank you so much for the new daily CT format! I love it!! I use it to help in my teaching a married 30's Sunday School class and in my own daily walk. Thank you very much for bringing back the newsletter and I love the new format!
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