Volume 11, Issue 1: Sharpening Iron
Our last issue met with strong reactions to our new layout and Doug Wilson's opinion of alternative medicine. However, Doug recovered with his usual herbal biscuit, ginseng chaser, and meditation tapes. He's calmed down a wee bit and promised to not use the word "panty-waist" for this whole issue.
Although this issue may seem a little smaller and was a bit late in getting to you, please think of it (in keeping with our medieval flavor) as a fine wine, potent and aged. If that doesn't help, try the herbal biscuit and ginseng trick.
LETTER OF THE MONTH
...I'm just so thrilled with "The Gladdened Heart" issue. Words fail me. Is it really true that good wine, feasting and sex are to be fully enjoyed! Ah, my poor husband! I haven't given him a moment's rest since reading "Thema" and I've surely clogged his arteries with my devastating Shrimp Scampi over pasta. Fortunately, the wonderful "Cabernet, `96" has mellowed him out a bit. And all whilst praising the Lord. Indeed, praise the Lord for giving us such delights and, specifically for giving me such a hunky husband! How sorry I feel for non-believers who take of these delights and short themselves of the full glory of it all by not thanking the One and Only True God who delighted to give them to us. . . . By the way, I was completely undone by Jones's "Ode to Freckles."
East of the Mississippi
HE THINKS NOT
I take great exception to your recent encouragement for readers to resist the trend toward alternative medicine (see Snake Oil and Traditional Medicine Vol. 10 No. 3). While you acknowledge "some gross generalizations," I disagree that "traditional medicine is still Christian at the center." Is evolution Christian? Is a fixation on symptoms and symptomatic relief Christian? Is an industry driven and funded by an incredibly profitable pharmaceutical industry necessarily Christian? ...Traditional medicine may have the edge in technology and trauma care, but is chronic disease best treated with pharmacology and organ excision? I think not! Optimum health is complicated and involves numerous components. The responsibility should not be relinquished to either traditional medicine or the latest multi-level marketing craze....
Kris A. Truitt
WHOSE THE PANTY-WAIST NOW
In the article Gender Warriors you use language like "weak sister" and "panty-waists" and say "the only thing missing from the evangelical masculine renewal movement today would be the breast implants" all in an effort to slap the wrists of cowardly Christian men. However, you missed the mark and instead landed a solid punch in the face of your Christian sisters. What is so abhorrent about femaleness that the very words "sister" or "breasts" are useful for smearing, demeaning, and shaming men with whom you disagree on issues? If you confess that God created both male and female in His image, then you need to examine why female characteristics are so readily equated in your mind with weakness and cowardice... While it may deeply offend you personally, yet it is true that God's irresistible call, even to military action, also falls upon women. So now how do we make sense of all that in our wrestling with the issues of women in society, and in particular in the military?
TO THE RIGHT REVEREND WILSON
In response to The Rev. Douglas Wilson's inquiry regarding the use of the title "Reverend," I submit a perspective from the forgotten branch of reformed theology, Anglicanism. The word Reverend comes from the Latin meaning, "worthy of reverence or respect." The biblical reference for this title is 1 Timothy 5:17. Because the word is an adjective it should be preceded by "The." This title is given to clergy in recognition of a particular honour reserved only for those in the Church who preach and teach. Unlike the practice of many evangelical clergy, it is not proper for a minister to refer to himself as Reverend. The respect the title Reverend carries can help the evangelical church shed its baptistic tendency to blur distinctions between laity and clergy.
Eric W. Jorgensen
With reference to "Just a Simple Hey!" (Doug Wilson, Anvil, Volume 10, Number 3), I think that the "sanitized" Voyage of the Dawn Treader you've seen is actually the original version, published in Britain, and written (of course) by Lewis himself. According to Companion to Narnia by Paul F. Ford, Lewis revised the ending to chapter 12 after VDT was published, "to correct any impression that the original British edition might have given that night-fears are unreal and ultimately laughable and that they can be obliterated altogether" (page 125). Appendix Four of the book has a handy side-by-side comparison of the two endings.
Ford says that the pre-1994 American editions have the revised ending to chapter 12. Although Ford doesn't say so explicitly, I assume that the post-1994 editions have the original British chapter 12. But I must add, for the sake of any conspiracy theorists out there who want to run with this thing, that Companion to Narnia is also published by Harper Collins.
How about doing a Narnia C/A issue some day?
This edition takes the cake! Or the cask, which ever. I enjoy all of your stuff, and this one incredibly more than most of the others. I'm sure you'll take some serious hits on it, but it's worth it. It is good to enjoy the delectable delicacies our great God has poured out on us—whether wine, our women (yee haw!) or the new songs reminding us of His great salvation! Blessed be the Name of Yahweh our God! And thanks for this edition of Credenda/Agenda.
Michael W. Philliber
As a longtime reader of C/A and a married woman, I always look forward to Nancy Wilson's "Femina" column and it is the first article I turn to. This month I was a little disappointed, though, in the choice of subject matter ("Loving the Kids"). Perhaps it might not occur to a woman who is also a mother that devoting an entire column which is purportedly addressed to "women" in general to child-rearing might be hurtful?
ANOTHER REDUCTIO SWALLOWED
I value Credenda/Agenda so highly that I must disagree with Nathan Wilson's hypothetical syllogism (Magistralis, C/A Vol. 10 No. 3) regarding school-choice vouchers... Those who support vouchers are attempting to exercise tactical wisdom. We live in a fallen world and a doubly fallen culture. Americans would sooner jettison Medicare than end the universal right to education. It's pointless to hold out for scenarios which will never occur. As kids are murdering others on campus and government education's abysmal record is finally becoming a political issue, Christians must pick our battles and use the ammunition at hand....
Vouchers are not government money, but taxpayer money returned to taxpayers. Using the author's logic, I suppose that any child turned over to the government for education is now a government child?
The article Federal Husbands may be the best article I have ever read.
SAY YOU'RE SORRY
I believe your magazine owes Dr. Gary North an apology.
North began to warn his news-letter readers in January 1997 about Y2K. North admitted that he knew about Y2K in 1992, but it took 4 years for the message to travel the 18 inches from his head to his heart.
North has been faithfully trying to alert Pastors, Christians, public utilities, banks, etc. to prepare. Moreover, three months ago his web site was getting 15,000 hits per week. He has not sold advertising, in order that his Christian brethren take him seriously.
Your magazine and others (World, etc.) have benefitted from North's excellent web site and research. It is not fair to read the man and then mock him for being too extreme and then three months later agree with him, but qualifying that agreement with an insult.
He deserves an apology.
St. Louis, MO
Douglas Wilson replies:
We believe in giving credit where credit is due. We have honestly acknowledged North's valuable contributions at various times in our pages. At the same time, his "end of civilization as we know it" hyperbole places those of us who think Y2K is a significant problem in a difficult place. We want to be ready for anything, including the possibilty that Y2K does not represent the end of our civilization.
North is not ready for this. If anything less than a total meltdown occurs, he will have entirely discredited himself—along with everyone who gave their unqualified support.
We believe, with North, that our culture is suffering under the curses brought by our covenant God. But we have not forgotten that one of the curses He brings is panic over nothing (Lev. 26:17, 36-7). We are on the record as believing we face a serious problem with Y2K. However, we do not want to discredit our ministry through crying wolf as North has done before—and may be doing now.
TOO MUCH TIME
I recently attended the fourth annual ministerial conference. Never smoked so many cigars and drank so much wine in my life. And you call yourselves Christians!