Merry Christmas

Although I concur with the Dec. 25 editorial admonishing Christians to integrity, humility and mercy during and beyond Christmas, it is both unhelpful and inaccurate to juxtapose “the fury of an Old Testament god” with “the charity and compassion of Jesus Christ,” as the editorial does. This is the case for any number of reasons.

For one, valuable ethical materials and counsel permeate the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. In addition to the Ten Commandments, to which the editorial refers as “a good starting place in terms of societal values,” there is no shortage of ethical texts in the law, writings and prophets (e.g., Micah 6:8: “He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”) that call the people of God to the very qualities the editorial prescribes for Christians.

A second reason the theological dichotomy evinced in the editorial is unnecessary and misleading is due to the fact the Sermon on the Mount in general and the Beatitudes in particular — regarded by the editorial as normative for contemporary Christians — are grounded in no small measure in the Hebrew Scriptures, which Jesus maintains in Matthew 5:17-20 are to be taken with the utmost seriousness. As it happens, both the Old Testament and the New call the faithful to be both merciful and righteous/holy. According to Sacred Scripture, one without the other is a distortion of both God and the good.

Todd D. Still, Dean, Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University

Newspaper angels

Thanks so much to Trib sports editor Brice Cherry who so graciously described Hollis Biddle and Ann Roznovsky in his Dec. 27 article. Both were dear friends — Ann for almost 40 years, Hollis for almost 20 years. Both tried so hard to make a journalist of me (a retired high school English teacher) when I began working in the marketing department in 2002 as the Newspaper in Education director. Alas, I was still a work in progress when I retired in 2007, but they never quit trying! Their dedication to Waco and the Trib is proven with their combined service of more than a century. Their lives touched so many, all in positive ways. God received two of his most talented souls this year.

Sue Johnson, Waco

Godless culture

We’ve reached a new low when our schools seek to call Christmas holidays a “winter break.” It seems we’ve surrendered to non-believers in the name of political correctness.

Our children are the future of the world and deserve better teaching. It was bad enough when we took Jesus out of our schools. Now we don’t even celebrate his birth. There’s no good explanation for this.

Jack Crane, Waco