Great books tell stories. Here’s our pick of vivid and insightful new releases for better understanding America, world events, history, science, and theology
[ Oct. 26 ] My heart is torn. I love freedom. I want Hong Kong to remain free. Yet another part of me wonders if Christians there should obey the government God has raised up? The people of Hong Kong face tough decisions. —Fred Kerr / West Columbia, S.C.
I was born and raised in Hong Kong and came to the United States many years ago. I am saddened by your report, which focused on the protesters’ side of the story. The protest may have started with good cause, but some of the radical rioters now use violence against people of opposite views. Christians should be peacemakers in such a turbulent time. —Thomas Fong / San Francisco, Calif.
[ Oct. 26 ] Excellent column. Mindy Belz describes in detail a heart-rending turning away from God-mandated compassion for the refugee, and this by conservative Republican leadership, of all amazing things. —Christina Wilson on wng.org
Christians should help refugees, but maybe the Trump administration is right that we should help where the problem is, in their home countries, instead of allowing all the good people to flee here. —Jeb Rice / Fishers, Ind.
I’m pro–legal immigration. We need massive immigration reform, but that does not excuse those who break the law to get into the United States. —Mike Bricker on wng.org
[ Oct. 26 ] We Christians often forget to look vertically. We need these reminders and the reasonable, God-fearing voices of Marvin Olasky and Joel Belz (“A better tone,” Oct. 26). Thank you. —Betty Griffin / Mullica Hill, N.J.
Mourning over sin in our nation is a Biblical thing to do, but we don’t despair because Jesus has overcome. —Holly Massie on Facebook
The avian species that are growing are generally doing so because of careful management practices. Such successes do not cancel out the precipitous declines of so many other species. Canada geese may be doing well, but there are only 300 spoon-billed sandpipers left on the planet. —Abigail Valine / Carlton, Minn.
[ Oct. 26 ] Imagine if the Apostle Paul or Timothy were forced to sign an NDA or a non-compete agreement. How Machiavellian can a church get? I thought that Jesus is our example in all things; obviously I am wrong when it comes to the church and NDAs. —Terry Jansen / Orland Park, Ill.
The large churches that did not respond to WORLD’s interview request perhaps had NDAs that prevented them from doing so. When a church abandons faith in Jesus and depends on secular tools to survive, it will surely die. And it should. —Bob Cremer on wng.org
[ Oct. 26 ] Marvin Olasky’s column about not playing catch with his dad reminded me of growing up in Chicago’s inner city. My dad never, and I mean never, played anything with my brother or me. My three sons and I played every game we could think of, the rougher the better. Often I would deeply regret not having those memories with my dad. —Robert Ericson / Loudon, Tenn.
This was one of the most poignant pieces ever in WORLD. Thank you to Olasky for his vulnerability and insight. —Scott Bahr on Facebook
[ Oct. 26 ] When I was growing up, the children’s library was one of my favorite places. When books were overdue, my money paid the fines. Removing the fines only erases yet another way to teach personal responsibility and good citizenship. —Debbi Lawson on Facebook
Removing fines allows low-income people to access the library like the rest of us. If you work an erratic schedule, returning books on time can be a struggle and the fines a major problem. —Christa Lehr on Facebook
[ Oct. 26 ] Andrée Seu Peterson’s column opened my “pioneer” eyes to the very things I’ve been dealing with. I hope we pioneers can stage a comeback using phone calls for personal interaction with our progeny, regardless of what they think. —Dorothy Bruner / Penney Farms, Fla.
Texting is very useful and not as intrusive as a phone call. My family uses Snapchat a lot; it’s helpful for group chats or coordinating family dinners. Peterson should sign up for Snapchat and send something once a week to her kids. —Rexann Bassler on wng.org
[ Oct. 26 ] My cheeks are still wet from reading this column, fresh from my daddy’s unexpected death and in anticipation of my second grandson’s birth. I am so grateful for this hopeful reminder. Weeping may remain for a night, but a joyful morning is coming, followed by an eternity of joyful mornings. —Susan Harbaugh / East Bernard, Texas
[ Oct. 26 ] What a wonderful story about a school custodian given the privilege of befriending and then bringing the gospel to the Hmong. May God bless and multiply his efforts. —Carol Blair / Gladewater, Texas
[ Oct. 26 ] Indeed this TV series is well done. No sex, no nudity, and no gore, so how can it be so engrossing? Because the focus is on plot and character. —Nick Patapoff on wng.org
[ Oct. 26 ] This interview was so revealing, not just about class division and lack of contentment but because of Chris Arnade’s acknowledgment that secular solutions do not work. —John F. Wynn / Lutherville, Md.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services granted an exemption to Miracle Hill Ministries after South Carolina’s Department of Social Services said the Christian group couldn’t use religious criteria in selecting foster parents. The ACLU later filed a lawsuit over Miracle Hill’s declining to work with a same-sex couple (“Surrendering to the state,” Nov. 9, p. 37).
[ Oct. 12 ] After 67 years of marriage, we agree that expectations have been lowered, usually because the goal is self-gratification rather than unconditional love and service. Yet there are many wonderful marriages, and they need to be celebrated so that people don’t think that failed marriages and broken families are the norm. —Bill and Rose Ramsay / Berea, Ky.
[ Oct. 12 ] Yesterday I saw a milkweed ready to explode, perfectly formed in a pod and silky smooth. Amazing. I also saw a peacock, the wonder of our eyes, and a newborn baby. But there’s a lot of passion and suffering as well. God is the only rational explanation. —William Peck on Facebook
Mindy Belz points out the deeper meaning of the world and our deepest longing so very well. —Paula Guinn Cate on Facebook
[ Oct. 12 ] An outstanding documentary. I highly recommend it. —Mary Jo Bohn on Facebook
[ Oct. 12 ] May those of us who have chosen Christ not “go gentle into that good night” but take every opportunity as long as we have breath to draw more souls into His marvelous light! —Joan Allmendinger / Fort Collins, Colo.
[ Sept. 28 ] The tragedy at the southern border has long been allowed to fester because it seems to benefit some political and corporate interests. The Trump administration deserves some credit for trying to fix something that may not be fixable even in two terms. —Albert van der Heide / Langley, British Columbia
Yes, Trump is sometimes ham-fisted in addressing issues, but surely you could note something positive about his dealing with the very challenging border crisis. —Jeffrey B. Talley / Dallas, Ga.
[ Sept. 14 ] Thank you to Sophia Lee for her writing on immigration and asylum-seekers. Before her articles I wondered if the situation was being blown out of proportion to score political points, but I often felt uncomfortable with conservative reactions. Lee’s articles gave me clarity. She went and saw what was happening and changed the way I think about it. —Melody Foster on wng.org