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It was with disappointment that I read the January 2023 article “Abortion: Seeing the Trees for the Forest.” Certainly there was some good advice offered; however, the main point of the article, summarized in large, boxed text—“Your aim is to build relationships, not change minds”—sounds a lot like “Let’s be friends with the world and not proclaim God’s Word.”
It goes on to say, “This person does not need to hear our views on abortion.” I would argue that she does need to hear, and that as Christians, our calling is to compassionately and boldly speak the truth.
Laura Sebert // St. Catharines, Ont.
I read with interest the article on unplanned pregnancies in North America and the issue of abortion. This is a serious issue, and your article offered great insight on how to address someone who is facing an unplanned pregnancy. I am a woman who has been on both sides of the issue and struggled to make a choice with nowhere to go. My decisions were taken from me by my parents because I was only 15 years old. My problem came after the birth of my beautiful baby boy. I never saw him. He was taken from me and placed for adoption, and I was left behind with no one to talk with—ever. I was told we would never discuss it again. My situation allowed me to have an inside understanding of how to address the issue with another who was in the same situation I had been in and the options available to us with great reverence for them and their individual needs. Since that time long ago I have been able to share my story, offer understanding to others facing the same issue, and (talk with them about) how to make decisions based on the many options available.
Linda Parent // Port Perry, Ont.
Meaning in the Margins
In “Meaning in the Margins” (January 2023), Sam Gutierrez reminds us of how the church has misinterpreted God’s general revelation. As Gutierrez puts it, in the early to mid-16th century Copernicus “knocked humanity off its pedestal at the center of the universe.” Though Gutierrez focuses on the denial or despair this “dose of humility” can cause, this article raises another question. If we need to approach general revelation with humility, shouldn’t we be equally humble about our understanding of special revelation? By the early 1600s both Catholics and Protestants were citing biblical support for a heliocentric universe. Being humbled by past errors in knowing the meaning of God’s revelation should lead us to approach contemporary issues, such as our understanding of LGBT issues, with similar humility.
Frank Barefield // Holland, Mich.
The Romans Road
Thank you for the excellent article by Rev. Leonard Vander Zee (“Rebuilding the Romans Road,” March 2023). His biblically based research is a well-reasoned reminder that fruit and faith should never be viewed separately. As Jesus said so clearly in Matthew 7:20, “By our fruits we will be known.” Again, in James 2:26 we read, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” It is so refreshing to see the holistic understanding of the gospel and the magnificent power and glory of God in Christ in action for the entire cosmos. In our 35-year missionary career in Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Minnesota we have seen this integrated fruit of the Spirit change individual lives, start churches, make peace in war time, and transform communities.
Paul and Mary Kortenhoven // Grand Rapids, Mich.