God of Evolution
I much appreciated "A Tale of Two Scientists" [July/August]. However, I found your editorial comment, "The Evolution of the Debate," less than satisfying: "The debate may be with us always … until that day when we learn how all truth is one in Christ."Not all current views on how things started can be true, if any are. We can't live in ignorance, but we are charged with seeking the truth with diligence—not until Christ returns, but until one view has enough evidence that it would be unreasonable to oppose it.
I am writing to commend Tim Stafford for the excellent "A Tale of Two Scientists," featuring theistic evolutionist Darrel Falk and young-earth creationist Todd Wood.I am pleased that Wood has gone beyond criticizing evolution and is tackling the necessary scientific research program of explaining the details of a creationist theory of origins.
Now that Stafford has done such a fine job with Falk and Wood, I recommend that CT dispatch him to Seattle for a profile of Dr. Stephen Meyer, the director of Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture, thus avoiding the erroneous implication that theistic evolution and young-earth creationism are the only alternatives to the reigning atheistic theory of evolution.
Phillip E. Johnson
University of California, Berkeley
Editors' Note: Tim Stafford based "A Tale of Two Scientists" on research for his forthcoming book, The Search for Adam, which also includes profiles of two scientists from the Intelligent Design movement.
After reading Leslie Leyland Fields's "The Gospel Is More Than a Story" [July/August] just one month after the June cover story, "When Are We Going to Grow Up?" I cannot help wondering whether the two issues—a fascination with narrative theology and a landscape of youth-friendly Christianity—are closely connected.
Is today's church content with some sort of spiritual young adulthood that, like biological young adulthood, looks fully grown on the outside while inside it is still far from fully mature? Have we forgotten that spiritual maturity is the real goal?
Like both articles, I fear that everything good about narrative and youth (and certainly there is much inherent good in both) may be sacrificed as a result of today's extreme and widespread pendulum swings.
West Lafayette, Indiana
Faith of the Refugees
"The Other Iranian Revolution" [July/August] points out that those in the liberal tradition are so concerned with interfaith dialogue and issues of social justice that they have little concern for the apostolic calling of the church. Fortunately, God still witnesses, even when the church fails to engage society with the gospel as delivered in Acts. I envision a time when the multitudes of immigrants from non-Christian lands will become the new backbone of the Christian faith in Europe. God is bringing them there to get saved and to save Europe from secular apostasy.
Searching the Desert
In "Finding Jesus at Burning Man" [July/August], I do not see the author and his friends presenting anything that comes close to a gospel message, i.e., that we are lost and under God's judgment, that Christ died for our sins, and through faith in him and him alone can we gain entrance into the kingdom of God. To think that Martin Luther's "priesthood of all believers" is somehow in evidence in the demon-infused mélange of Burning Man's sex, drugs, and anything-go-ism is like applauding the children of Israel's creativity in forming the golden calf!
Instead of commending pillar-sitting, I pray that the troubled souls who gather in that Nevada desert would hear the gospel, climb down from their pedestals, and repent in dust and ashes.
Delmar, New York
"Fading from the Family Portrait" [July/August] was great. A big takeaway was the author's exhortation that the church can be a community of caring that "suffers with us and for us." This is the calling of the church. We are to be the spiritual family that gives testimony to all that a family can be and should be.
I believe we seek the Lord most when our feelings of comfort and entitlement are threatened. We don't want to come close to the suffering victims of divorce; we want them fixed so that they don't disturb our sense of narcissistic peace.
One does not need pain to be able to connect with people in pain.One just needs to care for those in pain and resist the urge to run away.This is union with Christ and is where true ministry is grown.
Delta, British Columbia, Canada
I Pledge Allegiance
As one who served over 31 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, I read the July/August Village Green ["Should churches display the American flag in their sanctuaries?"] with interest. I do not believe churches should display the American flag in their sanctuaries. U.S. Code Title 4 Chapter 1 pp 7.c. states, "No other flag or pennant should be placed above or, if on the same level, to the right of the flag of the United States of America. …"
The usual practice in our churches is to display both the American flag and the Christian flag in the sanctuary. Since the American flag must be displayed in the preeminent position, this symbolically places our allegiance to our country over our faith in Jesus Christ and our citizenship in his kingdom.
What got the most comments in July/August's CT
38% A Tale of Two Scientists by Tim Stafford
17% The Village Green: Patriotic Piety by Douglas Wilson, Lisa Velthouse, and Russell D. Moore
11% The Gospel Is More Than a Story by Leslie Leyland Fields
The most praised piece in July/August's CT
The Gospel Is More Than a Story by Leslie Leyland Fields
Compiled by Elissa Cooper
"You hated to see him cry due to his failure to understand, but you never considered to tell him his course of action was fine."
Mark Matthias, illustrating how a parent would rebuke a child for running into traffic out of love for the child, not to be cruel, in relation to Christians taking a firm stance on the sinfulness of homosexual practice.
"A Better Conversation about Homosexuality," by Christopher Benson
"No one will get it perfectly right all the time, no matter how holy they are or think they are."
Tim Childs, thinking further about the importance of grace—the topic of Max Lucado's latest book—in our mentality and relationship with God.
"Max Lucado Goes Overboard on Grace," interview by Mark Galli
"I've been watching this whole debacle with a tub of popcorn."
Stacey, thanking the author for giving a dignified response to clashes over Jared Wilson's "The Polluted Waters of 50 Shades of Grey, Etc." blog post.
Her.meneutics: "Sex! Outrage! The Internet! Doug Wilson, Rachel Held Evans, and the Gospel Coalition," by Caryn Rivadeneira
"We ought to reiterate that in Christ we can all be more than any impulse or desire that seems to overtake us."
Tryphena, reminding others that people are more than their sexuality, and that one's identity and freedom is found in Christ. After the sexuality of evangelical writer Jonathan Merritt was called into question because he defended Chick-fil-A, Merritt spoke about his broken past.
CT Liveblog: "Chick-fil-A Controversy Draws In Jonathan Merritt's Sexuality," by Jasmine Young
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