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Letters, feedback, etc.

Majoring on a minor

I want to extend my heartfelt thanks for "Changing God's words" (Feb. 26). I was alarmed to read the TNIV version of Ps. 34:20. Changing "his" to "their" clearly takes away the prophecy of Jesus Christ the Messiah, and I find the elimination of a Messianic prophecy startling and unsettling. TNIV supporters argue that today's readers need language that they will understand, but this concern over male-oriented words seems to be majoring on a minor point to appease popular culture.

-Megan McGregor, Independence, Mo.

I read every wearying word of the latest installment on the TNIV controversy and remain unconvinced that it represents a dire threat to the spiritual lives of Bible readers. I'm no advocate of the TNIV, and am disgusted with the publisher's lack of integrity, but I'm more concerned about the effect on readers of all this useless wrangling over words.

-Curt Finnamore; Swanzey, N.H.

"Changing God's words" is right on target. We need to keep translations as close to the original languages as possible. What's next-a "sin-accurate" Bible? Efforts to please people by watering down truth leads to heresy.

-Michael Konves; Phoenix, Ariz.

As I was reading the TNIV verses, like "Blessed are those who do not walk in the counsel of the wicked," I felt, that's me! God includes me, and I can't wait to get a copy of the TNIV simply because, as a woman, I'm included. I'm not suggesting that the TNIV doesn't have its problems-every translation does-but why are we so quick to discard over half of the body of Christ, and tell them to "just figure it out"?

-Sarah Chambers; Chicago, Ill.

Are we women really so slow that we cannot understand, "What is man that You are mindful of him?" to include all of us wretched sinners? Even my first-and second-grade Sunday schoolers comprehend this. Wayne Grudem captured it perfectly with his phrase "linguistic gymnastics."

-Juli Lackey; Murrysville, Pa.

Thank you for your ongoing coverage of this issue. Scriptural application must always be founded upon the original understanding that the original hearers would have derived from the original text. How is it possible to understand this original setting if the translation has changed the words?

-Dana Young; Thompson, N.D.

As a former Christian bookstore manager, I believe that this is not about translation philosophy or political correctness. The battle has its roots in Zondervan's fight to maintain its hold on its market share for Bibles, which has eroded significantly. By introducing a new product line designed not for the evangelical Christian community but rather to appeal to liberal, mainline Protestants, Zondervan will broaden its market.

-Mike Nodland; Newton, Iowa

To read or comment more about the TNIV controversy, go to tniv.worldmagblog.com.

Surprised by joy

As a retired military veteran and a Christian, I was appalled by "Onward Christian soldiers" (Feb. 26). While Mr. Veith correctly points out that a soldier should be allowed to fight and kill in good conscience, this is a far cry from enjoying the killing and mayhem of battle. If we believe that there is "joy" to be had in the death of our fellow human beings, we are in serious moral trouble.

-Lee Oslund; Mackinaw City, Mich.

Thank God for men like Lt. Gen. James Mattis, and thank you for reminding us that war is a noble pursuit. C.S. Lewis observed, "What I cannot understand is this sort of semi-pacifism you get nowadays which gives people the idea that though you have to fight, you ought to do it with a long face and as if you were ashamed of it. [This feeling] robs lots of magnificent young Christians in the service of something they have a right to, something which is the natural accompaniment of courage."

-Bradford Winship; Laurence Harbor, N.J.

While we are in a constant political battle in this country for support of the war in Iraq, we need our military leaders to have tact and discretion, recognizing that making blatant statements of pleasure over the act of killing destroys those efforts. And while I appreciate that soldiers surely enjoy winning battles and accomplishing objectives, I don't support the idea that they should relish the act of killing others. They should, for the sake of all of us, keep their mouths shut if they do.

-Becky Sparks; Raleigh, N.C.

I was sickened by "Onward Christian soldiers." Evil men are not the enemy; they are victims of The Enemy. Iraqi terrorists and Taliban warriors are lost human souls who need Christ's love and redemption.

-Joshua Yoder; Partridge, Kan.

God's church

"Stop and listen: A humble prescription for a racially divided church" (Feb. 26) was such a timely article. My pastor recently asked us to look on either side and to notice that we wouldn't have to look far to find someone of a different race. His point was that too many churches are still racially divided and that our church has never been. When is it ever going to become God's church?

-Shaun Hawk; Reynoldsburg, Ohio

For 21 years I pastored a church where we "stopped and listened." Woodlawn Baptist Church is a predominantly white congregation, yet we had Korean, Native American, Japanese, and black members who served as Sunday school teachers, mission leaders, and deacons. My time pastoring this church was the most fulfilling of my 40 years of ministry. May such churches become legion.

-Kenneth J. Schmidt; Williamsport, Md.

Go boldly

Mrs. Seu's column ("An empire in denial," Feb. 26) is interesting, but I must take issue with her misrepresentation of Martin Luther's quote, "Sin boldly." His point was that Christianity calls for action, and sometimes in our enthusiasm we take the wrong course, or even worse, we excuse our inaction with our worry that we might take the wrong course. Luther was encouraging us to action with the knowledge of forgiveness if we fail.

-Jackie Blackwell; Houston, Texas

Colossal ego

Bishop Griswold claims he offers his regret "wholeheartedly" for his apostate actions and then in the next breath declares he has no intention of altering his course ("'Regret,'" Feb. 26). It demonstrates the colossal ego so typical of liberal clergy who believe everyone else is either unenlightened or dead wrong. What more evidence does one require that there are wolves in leadership among the flocks of the faithful?

-Donald A. Seeks; Reedley, Calif.

Let us eat cake

Alan Greenspan's recent caution about borrowing to finance the Social Security privatization plan needs elaboration (The Buzz, Feb. 26). Because it is unlikely that the government will decrease spending or increase taxes to make up for funds diverted to private accounts, the government will probably borrow more and more money and continue to saddle future generations with debt simply because we want to have our cake and eat it too.

-Tony Barger; Norfolk, Va.

Rising hopes

Joel Rosenberg's interview with Natan Sharansky ("Free societies vs. fear societies," Feb. 26) was one of the best interviews WORLD has done. My father and I recently had a discussion about the idealistic tendencies of President Bush. At times, Mr. Bush has sounded much like Woodrow Wilson after World War I. Sadly, Wilson was devastated mentally and physically when he realized he would not see his utopian dreams even begin to come to fruition. This interview raises my hopes that the president will not fall into the same pit.

-Andy Janus, 17; Ravenel, S.C.

Correction

The Bible passage Andree Seu summarized as referring to "those who sin and those who cause sin" is Mark 9:42 ("Eating as entertainment," Feb. 19, p. 43).

Send letters to: Editorial Dept., WORLD, P.O. Box 20002, Asheville, NC 28802; e-mail mailbag@worldmag.com; or fax (828) 253-1556. Include full name and address. You're also invited to join the daily discussion at worldmagblog.com.