Logical Gal and how to write a letter to the editor

7 Jul

letter to the editor

Today’s Asheville Citizen-Times sported a guest columnist who is Director of Radiology at a local medical school.  He wrote about 750 words asserting as FACT two ‘propositions’ about the theory of evolution and the nature of Christians.

About evolution, his statements were along the line of ‘it’s settled science’.  And his view of Christians painted a strawman group of people who can’t ground their beliefs in anything true or factual.  He also maintained that most Christians accept the theory of evolution.

Nor did he build a case around either premise.  His commentary turned out to be nothing more than multiple statements offered as ‘fact’.  He then finished up by accusing Christians of being anti-science and a threat to democracy if they support creationism.

As a thinking Christian, I have to keep my emotions in check.  But it’s not enough to avoid mild rants about how our current society sees Christians.  I don’t always compose a letter to the editor. This time I felt like I should.

But what do you do when there are so many un-truths in one piece?

direction?

 

I had to limit myself and choose a main topic and maybe one side issue.  First I prayed that God would guide me.  And He did!  Before I sat down at the computer, I listened to a podcast while walking and heard some ideas that gave direction to my thoughts.  Then I jotted down my points BEFORE I started writing the letter.

Taking a few minutes to line up my direction kept me, I hope, from volleying back with an equally shot-gunned answer.  I also tried to write at a 5th grade reading level (the audience of daily papers, they say) and keep my tone winsome.

Here’s my response.  We’ll see if the paper publishes it.  At least the guy or gal whose job it is to monitor letters and perform ‘triage’ on them will have to read it!

 

Dr. ‘Joe Blow’ seems to think that only Christians trust beliefs they cannot see. Were we to sit down to talk, I would offer the following for his consideration:

We all start with a story or world-view written by the community we most identify with. This world-view is a lens through which we see and explain different facets of life. Dr. Rowe has faith that the scientific view of the world is true.

Reason calls us to verify our view with facts and experiences. What can be measured lends credence to the story.  Christians rely on the evidence of the historical crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. No top-rate New Testament scholar, secular or religious, disputes the historicity of the death and rising to life of Jesus of Nazareth.

However certainty about one’s assumptions is impossible. We should retain those offering the most explanatory power.

Therefore, the best any human can do is exercise reasonable trust.

If Dr. Rowe were married, I would ask him how he is sure of his wife’s love. I would point out that he couldn’t have the same kind of certainty he probably has about the temperature at which water freezes. But he can look at his experiences with his wife and choose to trust her love for him. She has probably built up a track record of faithful exercise of loving actions toward him.

Thinking Christians look at the evidence and their experiences of God in their lives and make the rational step of trusting the God of the Bible.

Question: which is easier for you to do – write a response to someone with whom you fundamentally disagree or dialogue face-to-face?

 

 

 

3 Responses to “Logical Gal and how to write a letter to the editor”

  1. Trish July 8, 2014 at 1:07 am #

    It’s easier for me to write a reply, and I’m especially grateful to God for word processors, which make editing so much easier.

    I trust the God of the Bible, but I believe God has put into the minds and hands of thoughtful, careful people some discoveries in geology and other sciences that have shown us fragments of God’s great workmanship.

    When I get to heaven, speaking a little facetiously, I would ask God to “show me the video tape” of creation!

  2. Patricia Godel Gray July 8, 2014 at 1:11 am #

    I’ve clicked the comment button!

    Thanks for tackling the letters to the editors issue. I have had one or two published and so has my son Karl.

    Loved your photo of the scenery over Mike’s shoulder… I get lots of pictures of Steve and the kids walking away from me!

    Blessings for tomorrow! trish PS I had the good news today of the acceptance by a wonderful woman of our invitation to lead our women’s retreat this fall. Theme is Hearing the Voice of God. Want to come?? It’s Friday evening and Saturday, October 3-4.

    • Maria July 8, 2014 at 1:25 pm #

      I like your idea of asking God for a video of how he did it! I have my toughest Q saved up too!
      Glad that you can see God answering specific prayers for being the retreat speaker! Oh what a Great God we serve and love

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