Go to Camp!

Parents are beginning to panic at the thought of a long, hot summer with children who have “nothing to do.” The camping business has become sophisticated and specialized, no longer merely offering “Camp Heep-Fun” on beautiful Lake Frigid with swimming, sailing, softball, and spaghetti. The new breed of camp offers three hours of computer instruction a day, wrestling, judo and kung fu, ballet, tie-dying, and electronic games. Even with these exotic offerings, parents may expect some emotional regression after Junior has been at camp for several days. The independent 10-year-old may become a wet noodle snivelling over the phone, “Come and get me!” Above all else, camp directors fear this.

They also fear, according to a recent poll, that: bed wetting is becoming a contagious disease; a plague will break out; the cook will quit; the cook won’t quit; parents will come before “parents day”; or the campers will decide “they have more fun at Camp Whoopee.”

Letters home are a major headache because the wrong letters could close the camp. Many well-run camps now give campers a letter home with blanks for them to fill in:

Dear _______1,

I’m having a wonderful time at camp. What I like best is _______2. The food is really good, especially the _______3. Yesterday we went for a hike and saw _______4. My counselor’s name is _______5. S/he is good at _______6, and wants to become _______7. Please send _______8. Write and tell them I don’t have to _______9. I won the _______10 contest. I need money for _______11. Don’t forget to _______12.

A camper I know filled it in this way: 1. Mom, Dad and Sybil; 2. electronic games; 3. pancakes; 4. people swimming naked; 5. Tom; 6. jumping; 7. a ballet dancer; 8. my comic books; 9. memorize verses; 10. pretty-leaves collection; 11. calomine lotion; 13. feed Sybil two mice a day.


In spite of the trauma experienced by everyone, there is still nothing quite like a summer at Camp Heep-Fun. It’s the stuff of memories. Go to camp!


Long-needed Dissent

“School Prayers: A Common Danger” [May 7] was a long-needed bit of dissent. The basic flaw with “voluntary” school prayer is the same as the problem with the old forced prayers. You can’t really make anyone pray; you can only make him or her say the words.

It is strange that many of the same Christians who want schools to encourage kids to pray often insist sex education is too personal for classrooms. After seeing what so many schools have done with sex education, why trust them with prayer?

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Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

True Article

I am writing in response to the article Diet, Discipline, and Discipleship [News, April 9].

Both the 3D program and the Community of Jesus have been the gift of God to my life and calling. I count myself greatly privileged and blessed to have received so much of the love and life of Jesus Christ through these two Christian ministries.


Suffern Presbyterian Church

Suffern, New York

When I read your article on the Community of Jesus, my heart hit rock bottom as I relived the terrible experiences my son had in that school. It has taken him several years to sort out his feelings, his faith, and his life generally.

Christians today are involving themselves in all kinds of groups. We get such questions as: Is it Christian? Am I involved in something cultic? There are also the Christians who look for educational alternatives for their children (as we did), and then become involved in an experience that wounds a life, and takes time to heal. Some Christian parents worry about the influence of secular public schools on their children. They need to be concerned about some schools that bear the name of Christian.


Dorchester, Ontario, Canada

Is There a Middle Ground?

I was delighted to see the article “Hidden Agenda Behind the Evolutionist/Creationist Debate” [April 23]. Dr. Olson touches on every major facet of the controversy and bears strong testimony to a perspective that is consistent with a regard for both authentic science and authentic evangelical, biblical, Christian faith.


Journal of the American

Scientific Affiliation

Stanford, Calif.

I have been concerned for some time about the untoward influence the “scientific creationists” have had on evangelicals. Their aggressive salesmanship has resulted in scientific creationism becoming orthodox doctrine in many conservative evangelical circles. This bears the bitterest fruit in the Christian school movement where scientific creationism is the litmus test for hiring science faculty and establishing curriculum. In this technological age, Christian young people cannot receive defective science education.


Millersville, Pa.

You need a clearer definition of “creationist.” My dictionary preserves the essence of the word and dispels the overly restrictive formulation. Were the orderly arrangements obvious in physical and biological science derived by random processes in conformity with the properties intrinsic to matter and energy? Or were they derived by the input of order and design from a source outside the cosmos? Let’s keep the theological baggage attached to creationist theory to a minimum.

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Institute for Creation Research

El Cajon, Calif.

Neither evolution nor creation can be proved by the scientific method (hypothesis empirically verified via repeated experiments). One’s conclusion regarding the question of origins is largely based on basic assumptions (God vs. no God, supernatural possible vs. supernatural impossible, etc.). Thus, the evolutionary theory is no more “scientific” than the creation theory—both are out of the realm of strict scientific investigation.


Community Baptist Church

Alta Loma, Calif.

Many scientists and theologians who are evangelicals attempt to come up with a compromise between evolutionary science and the Bible. Your editorial note and publication of the Marsden, but especially the Olson, article only encourage the development of a compromise position and raise questions about the validity of the Genesis record on origins.


Westfield, N. J.

Let’s Get to the Root

Parents should be notified when their children receive birth control devices, even as they are notified whenever they receive any sort of medical treatment [News, April 23]. But parental notification deals simply with the effects, and not the root cause, of the problem. The cause is our popular sexual attitudes and practices, which reduce sex from communion of life and love within marriage to mutual masturbation and a means of voyeuristic gratification.


Arlington Heights, Ill.

Process Theology or Philosophy?

Being trained in analytic philosophy, I must respond to “The Relativity Blitz and Process Philosophy” [April 23]. There are a number of analytic philosophers who are not antimetaphysics, the most notable being Alvin Plantinga. I perceive process philosophy as a minor branch that is weak and declining, not increasing. Process theology may be a trickle-down effect of process philosophy and, as such, is a real hazard to be faced. We must still be diligent in our apologetics. For such a purpose I believe analytic philosophy can be a valuable tool.


Houston, Tex.

Wrong Fight?

Your editorial “Of Evolution and Creation and the Space Between” [May 7] prompts a suggestion that this debate may be the wrong fight.

Perhaps humans came from a billion-year evolution, perhaps from recent fiat creation. In either case, Jesus lived, died, and was resurrected to redeem mankind. Our salvation depends on his sacrifice; our faith rests on the historical witness to his life. Neither of these is affected by our biological antecedents (if any).

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Midland, Mich.

Whose Responsibility?

Count me as one evangelical Christian who takes strong exception to the Coalition for Better Television’s call to boycott NBC and RCA [Editorial, April 23].

It is up to us, not NBC, to disinfect our own minds, to guide our children’s TV-viewing habits, and to turn the set off. It is up to us, not RCA, to convince others that there is more to life than rotting in front of the tube. It is up to us, not any secular institution, to spread Christian values.


Wheaton, Ill.

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