Letters, April-May 2006

Warm greetings from the Philippines! I just read the February issue of Christian Odyssey. As I read your editorial, what stood out in my mind is the statement by Mike Feazell:

“This magazine is about grace, pure and simple. People need to know that God loves them and will make their lives worthwhile despite everything they’ve heard to the contrary. Christian Odysseyis not about religion; it’s about good news.”

I truly appreciate this statement, and I say AMEN! AMEN!

GRE, Philippines

Thank you for Odyssey and I am looking forward to articles by Paul Kroll should he be a regular contributor. I have grown to look forward to his writings. They are usually very interesting and easy to understand. Writing in layman’s terms is very valuable. Especially as we grow older.

LF, Arkansas

Paul is getting older too, but we hope he is good for many more articles yet.

I see a lot of potential with this tool. Media is part of our denominational ‘DNA’ and I think we should use it where possible. Not meaning to be critical, just offering an impression — the trim size is not standard. Sometimes that can create a negative impression on what’s inside. You may have to increase paper opacity and brightness. Anyway, for what it’s worth. You have a budget, and money talks, as they say. Keep up the good work. This old publishing guy is cheering you on.

RM, Alabama

We agree. After reviewing the February and March issues, we decided to increase the size of the magazine, add some pages and use a better quality of paper. We hope you like the result. Of course, this comes at a price, and our budget is not unlimited. So we have decided to publish six times a year, alternating with Together.

Just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed reading CO from bow to stern. The color makes so much difference in the appeal of the publication. I tried to look at it from the viewpoint of one who has never picked up a previous issue of CO to read it. We all need “eye candy” from time to time to get us interested in what’s on the inside, and the cover of this issue does it for me. Also, the articles are short, well written, and have a lot of human interest. I especially liked the creativity Joyce Catherwood used in writing “The Bride’s Story,” and I appreciate Jump Start for the encouragement it offers to “could be” writers. I thank you in advance for the future articles that will be written by these people. Looking forward to the next issue!

Judi (email)

I was just reading the magazine this morning and my interest was caught by the Jump Start page. The article speaks about a 450-500 word article, but I was wondering, are you considering including any poetry at any time? I know this is a Christian magazine, but is the article to be strictly religious in nature, and is there a particular doctrine to be considered, or are there other parameters to be included as well?

RS (email)

The articles submitted must be in keeping with the general theme of the magazine, which is focused on the Christian life. All articles must be compatible with the accepted beliefs of Christian orthodoxy. They should be between 500 and 650 words. And please understand, we will rarely consider poetry. Poetry is an intimate expression of creativity, and is therefore almost impossible to edit.

I just want to thank Joyce Catherwood for the wonderful article, “The Syro-Phoenician Mother.” It shows the depth of compassion and love our Lord had for all mankind. It also shows the love and compassion we should have when dealing with unbelievers.

JB, Northern Ireland

I have just finished reading Sheila Graham’s very interesting update of the Hittites, but I was distracted by her use of BCE. I guess you approve of it or you would have edited the article.

Will you be using BCE in future articles instead of the historical BC? I just don’t believe the secular usage is proper in Christian literature or articles. Am I a hard-core traditionalist?

GB (email)

BCE (Before Common Era) and CE (Common Era) are relatively new abbreviations (early last century) that are slowly replacing the traditional BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, or Year of the Lord). The word “common” simply refers to the fact that the Gregorian Calendar is the most frequently used calendar system. The idea behind BCE-CE is to use in scholarly writing abbreviations that are not so obviously rooted in any particular religious system.

At the moment we don’t intend to make an issue of which to use; we leave it to the writer. Some people interpret BCE to mean “Before Christian Era” and CE to mean “Christian Era,” so they can have it both ways.

It is useful to remember that no one knows exactly when Jesus was born (it was most likely between 7 BC and 4 BC). This means that the BC-AD system, which was not even invented until AD 525, does not accurately reflect the birth of Jesus, anyway. The BC-AD system is actually based on the last year of the reign of the Jewish King Herod. So does it really matter whether we use BC-AD or BCE-CE?

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