That there aren’t twice as many Congressmen and half as many doctors.
That grass doesn’t grow through snow, necessitating winter mowing as well as shoveling.
That we’re on first-class postage stamp “A” at 15 cents rather than “F” at $4.95.
That there are only twenty-four hours available each day for TV programming.
That civil servants aren’t less civil.
That teenagers ultimately will have children who will become teenagers.
That houses still cost more than cars.
That the space available for messages on T-shirts and bumpers is limited.
That liberated women don’t grow beards.
That women whose husbands take them for granted don’t all scream at the same time.
That snow covers the unraked leaves.
That hugs and kisses don’t add weight or cause cancer.
That record players and radios and TV sets and washers and mixers and lights can be turned off.
That no one can turn off the moon and stars.
That evangelicals don’t have to agree on a pope.
That I’m not a turkey.
Question of Motive
Eutychus VIII’s “Offense of a Parachurch Ministry” (Oct. 6) is truly offensive to me. I am amazed that the respected pages of CHRISTIANITY TODAY would tolerate writings of this category. I take exception to the article not because I have been a “parachurch worker” for the past twenty years, but because of its senseless putting down of a profession which God ordained and which the Reformers have overlooked. Even more disquieting is its name-calling of three respected and fruitful parachurch ministries of today. I question the very motive of the writing. Will it help the church? the people? or the kingdom? I, of course, understand the rightful place for wit and humor in the ministry. But I also know it could degenerate into something cynical and unconstructive. It is of particular poor taste, in the Chinese eyes, when the ridicule involves someone’s parents. Kowloon, Hong Kong
• Eutychus is meant to be a tongue-in-cheek comment on the evangelical and religious scene.—ED.
Near East Reactions
The issue on the Near East brings reactions as mixed as the articles were varied. Douglas Young is a treasure of facts and insights (witness the recent respect of the Jerusalem Post) and Elisabeth Elliot writes colorfully. If Elliot had only stylized Young, the latter would be more convincing and the former believable. I can forgive Young for not having read Strunk and White, but I cannot forgive Elliot for not reading history. Pragai and Kerem are predictable, but make necessary points. Shama is only predictable. I did not predict Massouh, but would like to have read more from him. It was all worthwhile. Thank you.
Austin First Baptist Church
My thanks for the provocative October 6 issue. The format, though, allows us to pick our favorite expert, and reject the ones our ingrained prejudice has always rejected, and thus be little enlightened. We are, as you know, quite set in our opinions on the Middle East, and this is nearly always rooted in our theology.… But do continue to jab and poke and present such provocative matter; I for one am grateful!
GEORGE C. WESTEFELDT
Zion Congregational Church
The ignorance expressed by Elisabeth Elliot concerning the modern state of Israel was appalling. A number of statements were either outright lies or show Elliot to be ignorant of the situation as it exists. She has become a self-styled expert on the Israeli-Arab conflict based upon a few days’ visit, and apparently all her contacts with the Jews were to the bad while her contacts with the Arabs were to the good. Her statements of Jewish media control reflect the old anti-Semitism where the Jews are out to take over the world and became the basic foundation for the Nazi Holocaust. Her statement that there is no such thing as religious freedom in Israel is at best an overstatement. There is a great deal of religious freedom in Israel. Even evangelism as such is not so much outlawed as certain forms of evangelism are. Israel has a good number of missionaries in the country and none of them have been thus far expelled. Nor do I understand what her point was in saying that Arabs tend to be more religious than Israelis. Is religious Islam really superior to secular Judaism? In statements like these her prejudice is showing and not her objective observation.… No doubt, if Elliot had been living in the days of Joshua she would have been an outspoken defender of the Canaanite cause.
ARNOLD G. FRUCHTENBAUM
San Antonio, Tex.
Contradiction In Names
I have real problems with Elisabeth Elliot. It seems to me that she herself does things—teaching (preaching?) in churches, accepting a role within the evangelical community in which she can speak out on issues—which she disallows to other women. This contrast particularly stands out in “Not About Women Only” (Oct. 6). “When a woman marries,” says Elliot, “and doesn’t take her husband’s name, she has no idea of the real meaning of marriage.… When a woman marries, she dies to her past, her name, her other commitments, her identity, and herself. Because of love she takes her husband’s identity.” Granted, Elliot is the name of husband number one, but what about poor husband number three?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank CHRISTIANITY TODAY for the timely and well-written article on “Reid Debates Hume: Christian Versus Skeptic” by Michael L. Peterson (Sept. 22). I am not a philosopher, but take seriously what those who are, are saying. It is good to know that a magazine the calibre of CHRISTIANITY TODAY continues to present the many facets of truth in an intellectually respectable manner.
RICHARD E. SENSENIG
J. D. Douglas’s editorial, “Terrorism: The Deadly Dance” (Sept. 22), paints a grim picture of violent acts during the Christian era and indicts Christians as responsible for much of it. While he lists Herod’s massacre of the infant children as the first such act, he neglects to mention the ongoing slaughter of millions of pre-born infants. Sadly, many Christian leaders support this slaughter with such excuses as “individual health, family welfare, and social responsibility.” While nothing can now be done about the violence of past centuries, we do have the opportunity today to repent of our sins of violence, whether in Rhodesia or the neighborhood abortion clinic.
LOUIS E. LAVALLEE
What We Need
The September 22 article, “The Urgency of the Equipping Ministry,” by Paul Benjamin is right on. For a growing, healthy church the laity in the church must be trained for involvement in the need-filling, hurt-healing programs the church must have to reach the unchurched and grow.… It is my prayer that Paul Benjamin’s article will be read, believed, and action taken by thousands of pastors.
WILBERT B. EICHENBERGER
Robert H. Schuller
Institute for Sccessful Church Leadership
Garden Grove, Calif.
I heartily agree with Paul Benjamin’s perceptive analysis of the church ministry. It illustrates again how reluctant we are to practice biblical principles we claim to believe. Not only does practice of these principles equip the saints, but it also dispels the unbiblical clergy-laity distinction, guards against personal theological dominance, and eliminates dependence upon a professional staff.
ROBERT L. LEHMANN
St. Albans, W.Va.
When in Rome
In reviewing the September 8 issue, my eye caught the editorial “On Missions and the Price of Cauliflower.” The impact of inflation is undeniably serious in its effect on the mission dollar.… Yet I wonder sometimes how much of the problem couldn’t be helped by more reasonable standards of living on the part of some missionaries. Please don’t get me wrong: most missionaries adapt marvelously to the places they work in, and set excellent examples of thoughtful consumption. But I’ve also personally seen missionaries who spent large amounts having special foods shipped in from the U.S.—pizza mix, for example—and equally large sums trying to eat a U.S. style menu from locally available foods, a task that is usually doomed to frustration anyway.… Inflation is serious, there’s no doubt, but a greater willingness to live with the people one serves might go a long way towards handling this chronic problem.
The Park Center-Walhalla
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