Positive Proof

"Want to Change the World? Sponsor a Child" [June] is excellent. Thank you, Compassion, for having your program used in this study so that we have statistics that prove sponsoring children does make a difference. We support several children through Compassion Canada and give thanks for the opportunity to impact their lives.

Bev Bellamy
E-mail

I am a missionary in West Africa in a country where Compassion does not work. We missionaries all have protégés: children we are personally sponsoring through school. Last year my husband and I ended up with 13 and ran out of money, so I was able to find sponsors among friends in the United States. I am deeply thankful for your article, which affirms our personal commitment to the children. I will recommend it to the sponsors we found. When we show mercy to "the least of these," we are in some mysterious way serving Jesus, and it certainly honors him.

Linnea Boese
E-mail

We Can't Hide

I appreciated the refreshing transparency of "A Terrifying Grace" [June], in which Mark Galli observed that we never reveal all of ourselves even to the ones we love. God knows what we try to conceal, and that is a needed message for Christians everywhere. It brings to mind the most convicting yet comforting prayer I pray, the Anglican Collect for Purity: "Almighty God, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy Name: through Christ our Lord. Amen."

Steve Rindahl
Black River, New York

Health and Poverty

"The Fitness-Driven Church" [June] ignored the major contributions of John Wesley and the early Methodists who were health reformers and relentless advocates for both spiritual and physical fitness.

Back in the 18th century, Wesley was concerned that only the rich could afford doctors. He wrote a book about simple preventative health to help the poor and pastors stay healthy. Far from being the "health and prosperity gospel," Wesley's gospel might have been called "the health and poverty gospel."

In Memphis, family physician and Methodist minister Scott Morris is following in Wesley's footsteps. Years ago, Morris founded the Church Health Center to provide quality, affordable health care for working people without health insurance. The center cares for over 55,000 people and focuses on spiritual fitness and prayer, physical fitness, daily exercise, and good nutrition.

Cal Samra
Editor & Publisher, The Joyful Noiseletter
Portage, Michigan

Sing in His Name

Thank you for discussing a richly complicated subject in "Love the Lord with All Your Voice" [June]. Athanasius stressed unison Psalmody so that the people of God might "sing with one voice." Humbly singing and purposefully blending together can tear down the distinction between prayer and performance.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer beautifully expressed the fact that when we feel uncomfortable with Psalm texts, we should remember that we are often praying the words of Christ. Only Christ is worthy to speak the way many of the Psalms speak and to sing what he sings, so we sing in his name.

Sue Talley
E-mail

Baptist Tension

"The Unorthodox Baptist Bishop" [June] is quite good in several respects. But in the areas that dealt with Malkhaz Songulashvili's problems with other Baptists in Georgia, and the tensions with other Baptist unions in Eastern Europe, it badly mischaracterizes the situation.

Baptists who have left Songulashvili's leadership in Georgia are pro-Western and against President Putin's policies toward Georgia and the West. If the Eastern European Baptists wanted to partner with someone who was anti-Western, they made a terrible mistake. It is also nonsense that tensions arose with Songulashvili's group because of his ties to evangelical groups. Baptists in Georgia have ties to many evangelical groups. If the Eastern Europeans desired to work with Baptists who rejected ties with evangelical groups, they failed.

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So why the opposition? The short answer is the theological liberalism that Songulashvili adheres to. He obscures the gospel and the believers' need for a real relationship with Jesus Christ by adopting Orthodox religious reforms. Members of the Georgian Association have no problem working with their brothers in the East on a range of issues. This is despite differences over alcohol consumption, dress codes, and politics in the former Soviet Union. Also, there was no "rush" to recognize the Association by the Eastern European Baptists. The majority of our churches left Songulashvili's group 16 years ago. They were organized together 13 years ago and recognized just last year.

Brian Wolf
Missionary, International Gospel Outreach
Telavi, Georgia

Faithful Where We Are

I am blessed to still call Eric Metaxas a friend and a brother ["The Golden Fish," June]. I often share the story of meeting Eric to encourage people that the Lord is asking us to be faithful where we are. I was not out to get Eric saved, nor was I out to do a "big thing" for God. I enjoyed his company and answered whatever questions I could answer. We never know God's plans for the people who cross our path.

Edward Tuttle
E-mail

Clarification

With "A Flood of Arks" [Spotlight, June], readers wanted to know more about our summary of Answers in Genesis. We used multiple independent sources, the Ark Encounter fundraising website, and senior vice president Michael Zovath's statements to various news outlets and local government officials. All consistently stated that the economic downturn has significantly hurt Ark Encounter fundraising and construction.

Correction

In "The Unorthodox Baptist Bishop," the correct name of the American pastor quoted in the first paragraph is Cuttino Alexander.

Top 3

What got the most comments in June's CT

35% A Flood of Arks CT Spotlight

19% Want to Change the World? Sponsor a Child Bruce Wydick

15% A Terrifying Grace Mark Galli

Readers' Pick

The most praised piece in June's CT

Want to Change the World? Sponsor a Child, by Bruce Wydick

Worth Repeating

Things overheard at CT online.

"As someone who yearns for Jesus' vision and prays for his kingdom to come, how can I be okay with this inequity?"

JS Boegl, on the death of Trayvon Martin and the ensuing trial.

The Exchange: "3 Things Privileged Christians Can Learn from the Trayvon Martin Case," by Christena Cleveland

"The decision did nothing to hinder our preaching the same love that Jesus taught and spoke."

Norman L. Martin, agreeing that the Supreme Court's definition of marriage doesn't affect our calling as Christians to share the Good News.

The Exchange: "Prop 8, DOMA, and the Christian Response," by Ed Stetzer

"It's not wrong to find comfort in imperfection."

Heather Eure, finding that sharing our brokenness helps us see our need for God.

Her.meneutics: "The Very Worst Trend Ever," by Megan Hill

"No two people seem to use the same definition of modest—which makes this debate so difficult."

Ann Olson, noting that Jessica Rey's "modest" swimsuit line would not be considered modest in her childhood church.

Her.meneutics: "Don't Blame the Bikini, Blame the Bikini Culture," by Sharon Hodde Miller with Caryn Rivadeneira and Rachel Marie Stone

"You may see more leaders fail. But that does not mean that the work and the ministry are not well."

Manny Dee, on how some ex-gay ministries provide healing even though they do not receive the attention that Exodus International did.

"After Exodus: Evangelicals React as Ex-Gay Ministry Starts Over," by Melissa Steffan

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