The Power of Our Weakness p. 40

[Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner’s] hopes for the future are commendable: working on social projects alongside those who support gay marriage, strengthening marriage, encouraging teenagers to abstain from sexual activity, and defending human dignity. But all of these must be Spirit-directed activities that originate in the gospel. Sexual ethics spring from believing that Jesus loves all unconditionally and is an advocate for every human being. Jesus died for all and is therefore the quintessential defender of human dignity. Gospel-motivated social engagement has the better hope of the gospel being passed on to following generations.

John Torgerson

Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin

Gerson and Wehner mention the “Wilberforce Option,” but it’s a misrepresentation of this abolitionist movement. The abolitionists had zero tolerance for sin while implementing political change. The Wilberforce Option is not a social tolerance posture but a holy and restless striving to apply God’s will in society regardless of the decisions by governments and men in general. May the Lord raise up many Wilberforces in America, and may we be counted among them.

Cornelius Hegeman

Miami, Florida

Gerson and Wehner too easily dismiss the importance of what we do sexually. . . . The sexual revolution is not just about the licentious freedom to follow our impulses among consenting adults. It is a radical revisioning of what a human being is, namely: a sophisticated beast that is radically autonomous, even self-creating, in a godless universe. Thus, we don’t receive or discover our moral framework. We simply will whatever morality we fancy. We will even ourselves, our identity. So, for example, children are not born boy or girl, but rather at some time choose to identify as one or the other. There is no sovereign Creator God, only sovereignty over oneself and thus sexual autonomy.

The sexual dimension of the culture wars is not ultimately about “sins of the flesh” but about what it means to be human. If Christians don’t speak up on this matter, there is almost no one else who will. It is hard to speak in defense of people’s humanity when the very concept of “human” is in flux.

D. C. Innes

WORLD magazine, “Sex and the City of Man”

Gerson and Wehner’s article on the Wilberforce Option is a welcome invitation to rethink our evangelical reaction to our nation’s so-called “cultural shift.” However, we Christians need to go one step further and walk a mile in the shoes of our gay brothers and sisters, many of whom are our own sons and daughters, friends and neighbors.

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They are men and women whom Christ loves and died for. A good number have grown up in the church and are hanging on to their faith in spite of ugly public rhetoric and continued rejection. For those who turn away from their faith, it is often we who must answer to Jesus for sending them away. For those who do not yet know Jesus, will they be drawn to him by the self-righteous who declare, “I’m a Christian, so I won’t bake a cake for you”? Or might they be drawn to our Savior and his sacrificial love (as one blogger suggested) by the Christian who says, “I’ll bake two cakes for you” in the same spirit that Jesus said, “If a soldier demands that you carry his gear for a mile, carry it two miles” (Matt. 5:41, NLT)?

Neta Jackson

Evanston, Illinois

A Church Welcome for the Tired, the Poor p. 33

Thank you for this excellent article on how Christians can shine their lights for the gospel.


Disappointed in comments here by @FranklinGraham4. Okay to send 1,000s of shoeboxes to Muslims but not welcome them?


Lead Like Jesus—Really p. 36

Christena Cleveland seems determined to cast Jesus in the image of a social activist. She assumes that the amount of power is fixed, so that leaders must give up power in order for followers to gain it. This contradicts the radical message Jesus brought. He gave us power and authority; he did not reduce his own. This he demonstrated not by his death but by his resurrection, which ushers us into new life.

A more powerful demonstration of servant leadership in the Christian community would be to practice forgiveness and love as a diverse community and let the natural outcome be a righteous “kingdom” come among us rather than seeking to adjust societal structures inherited from our prior “lost” condition.

Richard Ogburn

Newark, Delaware

Cleveland’s article extolling servant leadership rightly points out that we’re living in a world in which all things are not equal, “especially in matters of race, class, and gender.” Unfortunately, Cleveland also raises issues that reveal some deeply held assumptions.

She implies that a pastor is inconsistent if he assumes a role of servant leader and then makes an executive decision. But it’s one thing to deplore inequality in matters of race, class, and gender; it’s another to imply that a pastor is behaving in a sub-Christian manner if he makes an executive decision.

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John Harutunian
Newtonville, Massachusetts

When Islands of Meaning Sink Beneath Us p. 50

I’m overwhelmed reading Doug Groothuis’s extremely well-written article in November’s CT. He bared his heart and soul in a most penetrating manner. Doug has every right to lament and cry out in anguish. I can’t imagine the physical and emotional depravation he has endured.

Phil Parshall

Sebring, Florida

Ever since reading Groothuis’s article, I have been haunted by it. I too have lived with a spouse who had Primary Progressive Aphasia and have had to say goodbye for ten years to pieces of this man I have loved. He was a well-educated pastor who was bright and articulate, so as he lost the ability to express himself, it was painful and difficult for both of us.

Through it all, I have found redemptive opportunities to come alongside others in similar pain. I have found great comfort in what Dallas Willard calls a “conversational relationship with God.” I am able to say with the hymn writer, “It is well with my soul.” This would be my prayer for Dr. Groothuis.

Carol Windham

St. Paul, Minnesota

We all need a rich theology of suffering and lament to guide us when life crushes.


A Peculiar Display p. 74

Very well-written reflection. That was indeed an amazing concert experience. And pivotal album. Nothing like it since.


I purchased Jesus Freak on a whim. I listened to it on repeat. I became a Christian shortly thereafter. #JesusSaves


My fearful flesh says one thing about the refugees. My spirit ought to say another thing as a follower of Jesus.


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