“One-third of all children born in the world today will die before they reach five years of age” (letter from a relief agency).

“ ‘All the architectural glories of Christendom are not worth the life of one child.’ So wrote the distinguished Methodist leader Colin Morris in 1968 in his prophetic Include Me Out, a tract provoked by the discovery outside his home in Zambia of a young boy who had died of starvation” (Christian Century).

A company in Tarzana, California, announces a line of “beautiful caskets for animals.” Prices range from $49 to $145, depending on size of pet, casket line, and so forth.

A Christian TV talk-show M.C. appeals for contributions to a $100 million university building project.

The “Christian embassy” in Washington, D.C., purchased two or three years ago for $500,000, has been sold to a small Muslim oil-producing nation for $1.5 million.

A letter from a radio missionary in Marseille, France, asks for help. “Compared to the same month last year, letter response from [Muslim] North Africa was up by 30 per cent in January, 120 per cent in April, 350 per cent in July (a record increase). With this kind of encouragement, we are reluctant to give up.… There is a money crisis such as we haven’t had for years. If we play some of our best songs again [because of the lack of money even to buy new records], listeners are going to start calling us ‘the merry-go-round.’ Forward ‘like a mighty army’? I think we often look and sound like a rag-tag band. Yet God is with us.”

How long will God be with us?


Question for A Question

I read with interest the two articles under the title, “Does His Christianity Count?”, asking myself the question, count for what? Why are we linking an individual’s faith with the quality of the job being performed? Do we ask that kind of question of college presidents, business executives, janitors, or even magazine editors? While none of us is above criticism for the way we perform or do not perform at our jobs, I question the value of linking that performance to the individual’s faith.… John Anderson is a politician and a good one, one whom I respect from our state. I believe CHRISTIANITY TODAY did him no favor by asking him to comment on Jimmy Carter’s leadership abilities by linking them to his character or his faith. The result is that John Anderson reflects a tone of scorn regarding the moral qualities of a fellow Christian. I did not appreciate that tone. Politics and religion make strange bedfellows. When one uses a religious platform for political criticism or a political platform for religious criticism, more is said of the critic than the person being criticized.

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Chicago, Ill.

I think it hardly an accident that your November 3 issue with Jimmy Carter’s picture on the front and long article about his “fine” Christianity should reach me shortly before the election. Mind you, this is not written because of any partisan politics; but solely because such a definitely political article has no place in a religious magazine. However, the fact that it was published by you does definitely illustrate how very lightly spiritual matters are considered today.


Pittsburgh, Pa.

President Carter’s Christianity, like his policies, is difficult to understand. He says he opposes abortion, yet he has refused to lift a finger to support the prolife movement. He and his wife make an ostentatious show of not serving hard liquor at White House functions, yet he has tolerated his staff using hard drugs. While publicly stressing his “born again” style of Christianity, Carter has filled his administration with McGovern-type liberals who at best are indifferent and at worst are openly contemptuous of the basic morality of Middle America. What does it matter if the president teaches Sunday school if under his administration the vast powers of the federal government are used to push programs that strike at the basic tenets of Christianity? Is the man a fool or a hypocrite?


Whitehouse Station, N.J.

The two articles about President Carter’s moral leadership in the November 3 issue of CHRISTIANITY TODAY require a response concerning Congressman John B. Anderson’s evaluation. The article could have been prepared for a Republican Party rally. Congressman Anderson is over halfway through his article of destructive criticism before he arrives at President Carter’s induction into office, when his leadership began.


Bellingham, Wash.

Strategy As a Tool

It is unfortunate that Dr. White equated all Christian communicators who use audience analysis with the segment who do so in order to sell Christian “stars” (Books, “How Can I Get Them to Listen?”, Nov. 3). I am sure that he was not thinking of those of us who are missionary broadcasters. I am sure that he realizes that we are not out to sell anything nor are we “in the business” of making money. Careful attention to the programs from HCJB (Quito, Ecuador) will immediately assure the listener that doctrine, truth, and theology are neither thin nor less persuasive because of our use of audience analysis. We believe with all of our hearts that the entrance of God’s Word gives light, but as radio broadcasters we also realize that there will be no entrance if there is no audience. Therefore, it is our desire to use all proper means available to insure the fact that we do have a listening audience. Knowledge of who is listening, why they listen, when they listen, in what language they listen, and what is their understanding or lack of understanding concerning scriptural truth, enables us to produce programs that will capture our listeners’ attention and provide just one of many means for the Holy Spirit to minister to the needs of those who are tuned to HCJB. In this way, we use marketing strategy only as a tool, which, when properly implemented, can bring men and women to a knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Quito, Ecuador

Christian College Service

Your efforts in the continuing discussion about the value of Christian liberal arts education are appreciated. Yet in all [that’s written] about the Christian college, from Arthur Holmes’s The Idea of a Christian College to your November 3 articles by Glenn Arnold and J. Edward Hakes, something is lacking. We need to confront directly the question of allegiance. To be in allegiance to a human institution, in this case the Christian college, and to Christ and his church generates a personal dilemma.… To create opportunities for student (and faculty) growth is appropriately the college’s (any college’s) mission. As Hakes indicates, there are several needs that the Christian college can meet. But it cannot escape the tensions inherent in its being. Our culture uniquely has promoted the idea. There may well come a time, as once was the case, in which the idea of a Christian college is culturally irrelevant. I trust that we will be sensitive enough to such possible contingencies as to understand that our allegiance to such institutions can be at best only provisional. To continue in Christ’s service under these implications is not easy, and we should not pretend that it is otherwise. I remain, by God’s rich gift of grace, in his service, even at a Christian college! May God continue to bless your ministry in this excellent publishing endeavor.

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Associate Professor of Sociology and Religion

Spring Arbor College

Spring Arbor, Mich.

Mixed Emotions

I have never written a letter to the editor before but I must congratulate you on your October 6 issue dealing with the Mideast conflict. Not only were the lead articles timely and provocative, but the entire issue was so consistently well written that I consider it the single best issue of any periodical that I have received. However, I was greatly disappointed by the November 3 issue. I was excited to see that the lead articles would deal with President Carter’s leadership as a Christian. But when I noted the authors I was stunned to see that the negative assessment was written by Representative John Anderson; not only a Republican, but also a presidential hopeful (as you yourselves reported in the Oct. 6 issue). Do you consider that fair? Is your periodical a political tool to increase a congressman’s exposure? I am not opposed to a negative assessment, but I must protest your selection of authors.


Des Moines, Iowa


We regret that we omitted giving a credit for the December 1 cover to Ideals Publishing. The artwork appears in The Christmas Miracle© 1978.

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