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Souled out

Regarding Dr. Jonathan Wells's comments about cell development, I would like to add that researchers commonly neglect the influence of the soul upon biological development ("Cracking the code," April 29). As a researcher, I believe that genes and cellular architecture do not and cannot explain who we are apart from "soulish" arguments. To recognize how the soul and body interact is to glorify the Creator and to embrace a complete Christian worldview, bringing the soul back into modern-day conversation and out of the theological closet. - Tom Moller, San Diego, Calif.

Slippery slope

I share many of the concerns described in "Cracking the code." I am amazed at the discoveries related to the Human Genome Project, but I also have concerns about DNA screening for jobs or screening kids to determine what they will do in life. Some of these things may not be real yet, but if we aren't careful they will be. - Aaron Witt, Maplewood, Mo.

Old-time religion

"Cracking the Code" took on the spirit of Christians of years ago who wondered if electricity was the work of the devil. Granted, there is no proof yet, and sure these things could be used for evil. But should we get rid of all doctors because some are bad? Should we stop studying genetics because some will use it for ill, when it might help us push back the works of the Enemy in many areas? - Greg H. Parsons, Pasadena, Calif.

No rush

"Cracking the Code" was informative and biblically perceptive without rushing to judgment. - Kurt Prenzler, St. Louis, Mo.

Step lightly

Why so hard on Gwen Shamblin's new book Rise Above (Bestsellers, April 29)? I believe that for thousands of people the spiritual gain from reading her book will far outweigh any "theological missteps" your reviewer seems to think she made. - Leah Slawson, Montgomery, Ala.


On the way to giving guitarist Larry Carlton much-deserved praise in your review of his latest album, you may have given the impression that Steely Dan's Fagen and Becker were to be regarded only favorably, owing to their creative contributions over the past three decades (The Music, April 29). "The Dan" rated magna cum laude for innovation and musical perfection, but their message was often counter to Christian values; for example, "Everyone's Gone to the Movies" depicted showing porn to teens. Unfortunately, this is another example of a wonderful gift being squandered. - Ron Imken, Round Rock, Texas


Thank you for the excellent piece on the revival of Shintoism in Japan ("Rising sun," April 29). It is a well-written reminder to pray for Japan in general and for Japanese Christians in particular. - William & Laurel MacDonald, Bangor, Maine


Your cartoon showing Attorney General Janet Reno and Elián with the ruins of Waco in the background was inexcusable (April 29). For this alone I demand cancellation, although I am also offended by your book and movie reviews. - Roger L. Wilson, Anniston, Ala.

It's a miracle

If it weren't so serious, it would be amusing that the top Army brass don't know what's causing the exodus of able young officers (Ups and down of the week, April 29). After years of politically correct experiments with homosexuals, female combat soldiers, lengthy and hazardous family separations with no end in sight, and a president who apparently does not respect the military, it's a miracle that we have any able officers at all. - Dwight Bunn, Clarkesville, Ga.

Suicide formula

The publication of Al Gore's book Earth in the Balance is timely ("Al Gore's green streak," April 22). I believe that he is trying to induce fear in the general public so that they will submit to more government control of their lives and higher taxes. But the proposed cure, for the government to impose strict limits on most uses of energy, is a formula for national suicide. - Thomas Akin, North Hampton, N.H.

A helpmate in need

Joel Belz's column on divorce reminded me of my own painful divorce 10 years ago ("Big comfort," April 22). Then I came to Marvin Olasky's "Rejected" (April 22), where he discussed some of the attacks he is receiving from the secular media. The line that grabbed me is that his wife said she was proud to be next to him. How sad that so many miss why God gave Adam a helpmate. It was not so she could be the perfect accessory, gorgeous and talented, but rather so that they could stand tall with each other in good times and bad. - Shirley Roberts, Cincinnati, Ohio

Unholy union?

As a former Evangelical Lutheran Church in America member, I believe that the real motivation behind the ELCA's unity pact with the Episcopal Church is to force the acceptance of openly practicing homosexual clergy in ELCA pulpits ("What would Luther do?" April 22). The ELCA hierarchy tried to legislate the ordination of homosexuals a few years back, but the laity voted it down. The acceptance of a historic episcopate merely shows the extent to which they will go to achieve this end. - Richard C. Asper, Watertown, S.D.

Working for slavery

If Elián is returned to Cuba he will not be raised by his father, who is not free ("Back to no future," April 22). His father is not free to defect, not free to allow his son to stay, and he is not free to keep his son with him when he returns to Cuba. Little Elián will become property of the state just as all Cuban children are, only more so. It makes me shudder to think that our compromised administration would actively work to facilitate not the father's freedom but the boy's slavery. - Jeanine Cheeney, Winchester, Tenn.

Failed to consider?

Conservative Christian leaders have been beating the drum against Castro and communist Cuba. Is it because they can't stand to support Janet Reno's decision? Is it because they figure that if the media and liberal organizations are for returning Elián it can't possibly be right? Have they failed to consider that to support keeping Elián in the United States and separated from his father is to oppose the institution of the family, that God ordained above the state? Apparently so. - Kirt R. Poovey, Little River, Kan.

For once

It is distressing to see all the political maneuvering going on in the case of Elián, but I am so happy to see Americans, for once, rallying in support of a child instead of an animal. - Ann E. Cone, Tualatin, Ore.


I greatly appreciate WORLD because it gives me a Christian perspective on world affairs that I cannot find anywhere else, but I will rejoice when you jettison your knee-jerk support for whatever you perceive as conservative and Republican. - Charles McCormick Sr., Pleasant Hill, Tenn.

WORLD balanced

Thank you for your balanced reporting. I know it is a challenge to remain "in the world," but not be "of it." Your evaluations of music and videos are helpful because they are not categorically broad condemnations of these forms of popular expressions. Thank you for pointing out redeeming qualities where they exist and for helping readers and Web-surfers learn to apply Christian principles to every area of life. - Mark Lowell, Irmo, S.C.

Always have that

I was proud to read about John Reyes who was jailed for preaching the gospel in front of a public school ("Faces," April 1). When I found out that schools can't sponsor prayer I was a little upset. I might have to go to a public high school. But I always pray before I eat lunch, so that will not be taken from me. - Gracie Williams, Glendora, Calif.


I was impressed with the hard common sense of "Why not self-control?" (April 15), which echoes my thoughts on the matter exactly. Fifty years ago my father gave me a .22-caliber rifle-I was about 14-and taught me how to clean and use it correctly. "Gun control" meant being constantly aware of your responsibilities when you used the weapon. I am becoming increasingly disgusted at creeping government regulation, chipping away at basic personal freedoms. If you whittle enough toothpicks out of a tree trunk, it will eventually fall. - Carol D. Neubauer, Delphi Falls, N.Y.