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Mailbag

Letters from our readers

Mailbag

‘Martin or Matteo?’

May 12  This is an interesting contrast between two philosophies of aiding the poor. It is important to help the poor so their needs are met in this world, but the next world will last forever. Those who are to live eternally with God must hear the gospel and accept Christ’s atoning sacrifice, as Luther preached. —John Cogan on wng.org

Ministries that focus on enabling the poor to improve their situations do a great deal more good (for those who apply the programs) than a simple handout. But giving unconditionally to the needy helps those who “fail” or fall through the cracks of even the best-designed programs—and isn’t that how God works with each of us? —JennyBeth Gardner on wng.org

Many Catholic ministries around the world do more than feed the hungry. The Capuchins running Detroit’s Soup Kitchen, for example, do job-training through their bakery and urban farm while offering substance abuse counseling and other programs. —Carol Tardiff / Troy, Mich.

‘Welfare and work’

May 12  I agree with Marvin Olasky’s point about connecting work and welfare, but we need to remember that even well-intentioned changes will likely leave some broken and hurting people with no way to get by. —Elizabeth Cole on wng.org

‘Irreconcilable differences’

May 12  I thoroughly enjoyed Andrée Seu Peterson’s column on theistic evolution. The concept makes no sense, yet at my Christian college I sat under several science professors who believed it. How sad that they ignored the simplest of Biblical truths in order to stand with the world. —Ashley Young / The Woodlands, Texas

Thank you for clearly stating the incongruity between the words theistic and evolution. It’s impossible that adding billions of years of random-chance processes would produce the complexity and design we see every day in the world around us. —Debby Saint / Wellington, Ohio

Thank you to Peterson for noting her granddaughter’s question at the museum. We are in a fight for our children’s minds, and belief in Biblical creation is a front-line issue. —Jorge A. Velez / Long Beach, Calif.

‘An FBI story’

May 12  Jim Long’s inside look at the training and practice of an FBI agent was one of my favorite pieces ever. It’s comforting to know that agents are trained in moral principles such as truth. I truly wondered if such things mattered anymore at the agency. —Lynn Barton / Medford, Ore.

Thank you to Long for joining WORLD. I look forward to his investigative reporting. I pray for FBI agents in this dark time, and may the Holy Spirit light the way and expose the dark dots. —Bev Roe on wng.org

How reassuring to hear that our FBI team in the trenches is still committed to protecting Americans. —Tom Maxwell / Boonville, Mo.

‘Lead us not’

May 12  This column sums up how I feel about the Parkland protesters. Their sense of security, already fragile by prior shootings, has been shattered, but they lack the perspective to see that they are not the only ones upset. Christians can offer the gospel, for the solution to brokenness is not in politics but in Christ. —Pauline Marie Ferrill on Facebook

Those who attack these kids are playing right into their hands. The students are taking their grief to the streets. If we listen and let them know God loves them more than they can imagine, it will produce more change than any criticism. —Daniel MacLean on Facebook

‘Scientists say …’

May 12  The irreproducibility crisis in science is old news but little has been done about it, so thank you for bringing it up. The emphasis on statistics is extremely important; it teaches people to ask hard questions about, for example, research methods and whether the results indicate causation or merely correlation. To paraphrase Lewis, “Why don’t they teach them statistics in these schools?” —Adrian Keister / Raleigh, N.C.

We should keep in mind the fact that 73.29 percent of all statistics are made up. —Bob Gutjahr / Cary, N.C.

‘Awaiting a verdict’

May 12  Mindy Belz’s writing has long been one of my strongest arguments for subscribing to WORLD. I have deeply appreciated her reporting on Iraq and the larger Middle Eastern conflict, which enables me to pray with insight for the region and to inform others. —Alan Amavisca / Placentia, Calif. 

‘Miracles and myths’

May 12  Good piece. I struggle with the uncritical support of evangelicals for Israel, some equating national Israel with spiritual Israel, and to understand how it all lines up with prophecy. —Rosa Edwards on wng.org

‘Bail burdens’

May 12  Most government institutions are inefficient, but taking hours to bail one person out of jail is ridiculous. It does sound like a mess. And if the accused person has a job, unless there is a very good reason, it’s cruel to set bail so high that he can’t get back to his job and loses it. —Laura Weleneth on wng.org

I have noticed in the last several issues what a broad range of subjects, regions, and styles of articles you’ve been publishing. You’re living up to the WORLD name! —Erin Long / Egg Harbor Township, N.J.

‘By the numbers’

May 12  You cite a study that found progesterone is 48 percent effective in counteracting the mifepristone abortion pill. At a group of four small pregnancy clinics where I volunteer, progesterone has helped seven of nine women have healthy births, including two sets of twins. Dedicated staff and nurses came in during off hours to give injections at the right times. That’s a small sample size, but it suggests the success rate might be higher with proper procedures. —Ree Mehta / Sunnyvale, Calif.

Correction

The Boy Scouts of America will change in February of 2019 the name of the program known as “Boy Scouts” to “Scouts BSA”; the organization’s name will remain the same (Human Race, May 26, p. 10).

More letters, emails, and comments we didn’t have space for in the print edition:

‘Irreconcilable differences’

May 12  There was no death before Adam and Eve sinned, so evolution is impossible. And at what point in the evolution from ape to man did Adam and Eve sin? How can any Bible-believing Christian fall for this satanic lie? —Dick Dickerson / Mechanicsville, Va.

‘Bad trip, man’

May 12  I’ve used the lie in 2001: A Space Odyssey that maybe God is “just a super-advanced alien” as an evangelism tool with science-fiction fans. I have encountered, I said, an incredibly intelligent and benevolent extraterrestrial being who can control particle physics and transport humans through wormholes to a perfect place like heaven or a terrible one like hell. They responded with gnashing of teeth. One person insisted this could not be the God of the Bible. It shows why logic alone is not enough; we need the Holy Spirit and prayer, for only God can bring repentance. —Elizabeth Jones on wng.org