A Cogent Argument
Thank you for publishing Joe Dallas’s insightful article, “Born Gay?” [June 22]. It is the most cogent argument that I have read yet on this emotional issue.
Predispositions and choices are more than a classic debate in Reformed theology, and a biblical and common-sense approach to the endless variety of sinful temptations we all face. Not everyone is equally tempted by the same sin. Why not? I believe systematic theologians cannot ignore our genetic code in searching for fresh answers.
Paul E. Grabill
State College, Pa.
In the Bible there are many examples of status by birth that were considered the result of sin (blindness, deafness, being female, deformed, etc.). The response of Jesus seemed to be that the results of one’s birth were given to manifest the glory of God, not the result of sin.
While the gay/lesbian community may not be seeking to identify the birth origin of their orientation for the glory of God, it may be that being born gay indicates a handicap that deserves the same protection and encouragement of any person born that way. Many blind or deaf people do not see their state as a limitation but as an opportunity to enjoy life on a different level. Maybe being gay/lesbian could provide the same, if the gospel liberated people rather than condemned them.
Could someone please tell me once more why a smaller hypothalamus means sexual preference for the same sex? Logic tells me a smaller cluster of neurons controlling the sex drive might mean a decreased sex drive, not a different sex drive.
Dan Quayle’S Answers
Although Charles Colson’s interview “Where Quayle Stands” [June 22] increased the reservoir of good will toward Dan Quayle personally, I found his answers to questions touching the administration less satisfying—particularly in regard to the frustrations evangelicals feel about key issues.
The explanation for the debate over the National Endowment for the Arts is an example. The claim was made that the President did not know what grants were being made. In fact, evangelical leaders like Don Wildmon and James Kennedy had thousands of petitions mailed to the President in protest. Were they delivered by the Post Office? Nothing was done to correct the situation until Pat Buchanan blasted the NEA in a campaign speech. The spokesman for the evangelical position on homosexuality was readily dismissed for expressing our views while the NEA chairman was removed only with difficulty.
Earl J. Wilder, Jr.
I thoroughly enjoyed Charles Colson’s interview with Vice-president Quayle. It is comforting to know there are political figures who will publicly profess their faith. Dan Quayle is a perfect example of what every individual, male or female, who holds a public position should strive to be.
Addressing The Racial Gap
Thanks for addressing the gap between the black and white churches, and especially for the “Speaking Out” column by Robin McDonald [“Stretch Your Racial Comfort Zone,” June 22]. As a white associate minister in a black church and denomination, I’ve seen both sides of the American race debate, and the black side has been telling the truth while the white side has been deceiving itself. As long as the white majority holds all the power, the oppression can only go one way, while whites can ignore the injustice of their own system. I can’t imagine Jesus sanctioning violent riots, but I can sure picture him overturning some moneychangers’ tables to secure the attention of an establishment that won’t listen.
Dr. Craig Keener
Go For The Gold
There was rock music, and then there was Christian rock music. There were bumper stickers, and then there were Christian bumper stickers. There was television, and then there was Jim Bakker. So why, after the Olympic Games have been around for several millennia, have we never made an attempt to have our own Christian Olympics?
It wouldn’t take a lot of work. In some cases, it’s merely a matter a putting a theological twist on an existing event. In the hurdles competition, for example, each barrier could be labeled to represent an obstacle to the Christian life: greed, lust, pride. You know, your basic seven deadly sins over 120 yards.
Instead of putting the shot, why not toss a Strong’s Concordance? What with all the new Bible-reference computer software coming out, who really needs that tome, anyway?
Other events could include:
The charismatic dash. Just like the 100-meter dash, except runners must keep their hands raised and palms to the sky.
Synchronized preaching. Pastoral pairs preach simultaneously and are judged by the coordination of their hand movements, hair styles, and use of alliteration.
Baptismal endurance. New converts in the font compete to see who can stay under the longest.
Wrestling with principalities and powers. Instead of grappling with human opponents, the wrestler is judged on how well he portrays a wrestling match in the heavenly realms. Frank Peretti will officiate.
As you can tell, I may be on to something big here. I may be too late for Barcelona, but I’m just in time for the next meeting of the Sunday-school curriculum committee.
Your excellent news article about women in campus ministries left a mistaken impression about InterVarsity’s decision to fire David Green [“Standing in the Gender Gap,” June 22]. Green has enthusiastically recruited several women as staff candidates. The women who had recently left his staff were some of his most ardent supporters. Although “traditional” on women’s ordination, he unequivocally supported InterVarsity’s official policy on women in campus ministry.
Political correctness was at stake. Green’s manager was asking him to go beyond official policy to make feminism and multi-ethnicity centerpieces of his ministry. Green resisted that direction, stressed instead an old-fashioned discipleship approach, and paid the price for “insubordination.”
Peter D. Feaver
I read with interest the [News] interview with Pat Robertson [“Robertson Bullish on Family Channel, UPI,” June 22]. You mistakenly called it Building Pat’s Kingdom. It sounds more like Building God’s Kingdom to me. God is not limited to conservative ways. Christians need to support each other; maybe through that we can obtain unity.
Mrs. Jacqueline Plante
I was a bit confused when Pat Robertson claimed that he doesn’t “agree with Reconstructionism” but does believe that “Jesus is Lord of all the world, … of the government, and the church, and business, and, hopefully, one day, Lord of the press.” This is the heart and soul of Reconstructionism. Robertson says he wants “the church to move into the world.” Reconstructionists have been saying this and getting criticized for it for over 30 years. At the very least, Pat Robertson, as I’ve always suspected, is an operational Reconstructionist.
Gary DeMar, President
Good Stewards Of Creation
A brief comment on “It’s Not Easy Being Green” [May 18]. I agree with your editorial in general; however, in being good stewards of all God has entrusted to us, we do not have to sup with the Devil. Atheists and New Agers do not view anything in a God-centered context, and it might be a bit idealistic to think that “we can stand with all” without compromising our beliefs. Evangelicals need to make sure that they bring glory to the Creator God by managing and caring for this world, and all that is in it, in a more responsible way—and are careful not to buy into alarmist ideas that give glory to the created.
Mrs. Tershia Lambrechts
Port Alberni, B.C., Canada
I commend you for your plans to give attention to the environmental crisis. It is a systemic problem brought on in no small part by an emphasis on industrial production and development. The planet can no longer sustain this drive for continual growth in the advanced industrial nations, much less provide resources for Third World nations struggling to overcome poverty by the same route. You might want to look at a broader range of futures that can emerge from other cultural heritages besides the one represented by the industrialized Western world.
Margaret G. Forsythe
If CT is planning to run stories about the environment, it should consider the exponential growth of population. Without that the ozone, dirty water, and the cutting of trees is just a symptom. People will eat what can be found until the earth and the sea are bare before they will lie down and die.
Tom E. Cummins
Stafford’S Informative Look
Tim Stafford’s treatment of the Christian psychiatric industry [“Franchising Hope,” May 18] was an informative and objective look within this sometimes controversial industry. It is no question, as pervasive sin further breaks down our culture, that the problems people face will certainly overwhelm traditional pastoral-counseling resources. Sad to say, the time for specialists is upon us, and professionals should equip themselves with the best wisdom and knowledge available and apply it in a biblical framework.
But Stafford may have soft-pedaled the profit motivation of Christian psychiatric corporations by not seriously questioning whether most of their enormous fee structures are justified. His argument that fees are largely determined by affiliated hospitals, and beyond the control of the Christian care provider, does not bear close scrutiny.
The real tragedy is that these Christian mental health providers aren’t being true to their faith. They should be bucking the trend, by finding ways to cut costs, so that top-notch Christian counseling is available to a wider segment.
Los Osos, Calif.
Thank you for your excellent article explaining the effectiveness of Christian mental-health centers. I believe the Book of Proverbs gives a mandate for the social sciences. It speaks of Wisdom being present at Creation in the form of laws of nature.
Throughout history we have seen that whenever Christians neglect an area necessary for balanced lives, the Evil One comes to fill that void with his own peculiar blend of half-truths. Instead of running the other way from psychology, we should take back and conquer that speciality.
Joan C. Benton
Garrison Keillor No Prodigal
Count me as among your long-time subscribers who is grateful that Garrison Keillor “left home” to explore life in a bigger arena [“Lake Wobegon’s Prodigal Son,” May 18]. But as one who did the same, I am bemused by your use of prodigal to describe Keillor; it seems a clear reflection of your own parochialism rather than a profligate, wasteful life on Keillor’s part.
A person’s inquiring intellect often pushes beyond borders; the information thus assimilated becomes inherent. Such integration of social experience takes one beyond the buzzwords and buzz-behavior that Americans, and especially “born againists,” use to measure another’s salvation barometer.
Deborah A. Stokkan
Bloomfield Hills, Mich.
MacDonald got a few details wrong (Keillor’s current show is the “American Radio Company”; his first book was Happy to Be Here), but he was wise not to come to a strong conclusion about Garrison’s spiritual position. We can wish whatever we’d like about him and the path he takes, but when he comes to our attention, let’s pray for him.
St. Paul, Minn.
Macarthur’S Needed Corrective
I am at a loss to understand the “hatchet job” tone of the review of John MacArthur’s recent books [Books, May 18]. I have read the three books in question and found them helpful in my own study of the Scriptures. As a pastor, who occasionally deals with the issues MacArthur covers, their content is a needed corrective to abuses that are confusing many people in our churches.
I served on staff at a large charismatic church near Grace Community in Sun Valley and recall at least twice when John declined invitations from our pastor to attend prayer gatherings attended by most well-known pastors in the L.A. area to pray for the city. He could not pray with those so misled.
MacArthur defines truth so narrowly that it is doubtful Christ himself could serve on the elder board.
Pastor Brad Davis
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