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Is Books & Culture contemplating a name change? Maybe to "Books & Culture: A Faith Tradition Review"? That's what Doug Howard calls Christianity in his review of The Blood of Lambs ["Mixed message," May/June]. Which puts us on an equal footing with Druids. Maybe it might be helpful for us lowly readers and serve to enhance truth in advertising if the reviewers were actually Christians and not trendy academics who worship at the altar of modernity and moral equivalence.Michael R. Shannon
Life in a Bubble
I appreciated Philip Yancey's reflections on the Christian "bubble" he lived with as a college student ["Life in a Bubble," September/October]. Though few of B&C's readers are joined to schools a strict as the one Yancy attended, I have noticed a tendency among Christian college professors to speak derisively of the settings they teach in. I have also noticed that few—actually, none—of the profs I've heard speak this way have ever taught at a state university. I have taught at one, and I know that a greater variety of political opinion exists—or is allowed—in the small Christian school where I teach now.
More importantly, there is greater room for serious discussion at my Christian university than there was at the state school, which I remember only as a heart-breaking intellectual deathtrap. Because of sensitivities within the bubble, for instance, there's a reticence to face the overwhelming evidence for evolution, let alone to bring theological discussion to bear on what that evidence suggests. And yet it is this same reticence that makes the discussions that do take place serious, careful, and shaped by a commitment to first Christian principles as well as to scientific rigor. Similarly, inside the bubble we sometimes joke that the answer to everything is "Jesus," and yet the fact that most discussions really do revolve around this organizing principle (so to speak) has lent depth to philosophical class conversations ...