"Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me" John 14:1
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Faith and Reason
Written by Kevin L. Howard   

August 20, 2004


Dear Mr. Yancey,


I’ve just finished reading Soul Survivor and I wanted to tell you I loved it.  I’ve known about you for years, occasionally reading your articles in Christianity Today.  But I finally read one of your books, and I must read more.  Fortunately, my wife has several.


I work as a writer myself at [deleted] and related to much of what you said in Soul Survivor.  I also grew up in the South in a similar church setting.  Thanks for giving us this work of art.  The Lord has ministered to me through you. 


Please allow me to quote my favorite line from your book: "No matter where I start, I usually end up writing about pain.  My friends have suggested various reasons for this propensity: a deep scar from childhood, or perhaps a biochemical overdose of melancholy.  I do not know.  All I know is that I set out to write about something lovely, like the diaphanous wing of a mayfly, and before long I find myself back in the shadows, writing about the brief, tragic life of a mayfly."


I wept when I read those words.  In the movie Shadowlands, C.S. Lewis sees one of his students in a store stealing a book.  When Lewis confronts him about it later, they talk about loneliness and isolation.  One of them says, "We read to know that we're not alone."  When I read your words, I knew that I wasn't alone, that someone else was there too, tinkering in the edge of the shadows and suffering with issues of pain, poverty, and death.  Thanks for your vulnerability. 


I prayed for you and your family, because you must have so many responsibilities.  I hope I get to meet you some day, this side of heaven.




Kevin L. Howard



[Mr. Yancey replied with a kind letter on May 3, 2005.]

Written by Kevin L. Howard   

March 30, 2005


RCP Publications

Box 3486

Merchandise Mart

Chicago, IL 60654


Dear Bob Avakian,


I heard one of your speeches recently (?3/24) on Michael Slate’s show “Beneath the Surface” (90.7/KPFK).  You’re articulate and passionate!  You’re also confident of Christianity’s evil. 


Please write me back at [deleted] because I like talking with people of other faiths.  I hope you’re not offended that I call your atheism faith.  I’m sure you realize atheism is a faith system too.  And since you’ve pinned you’re hope on its truthfulness, we can call it your religion.  How about that!?  Bob Avakian is a religious man!


You probably realize what most evolutionist don’t—since no one was there to record the Big Bang, it too is just as much a leap of faith as the biblical version of creation.  But no worries, you can always make your case stronger by stating forcefully, “Evolution is a fact!”


That’s what I like about progressives, they’re open-minded.  In fact, they’re so open-minded that only evolution should be taught in public schools, because we know for a fact that it’s true.  Those close-minded Christians who say kids should be told that another option is possible!  How stupid of them!  Fortunately, you see how ignorant Christians are, trying to force their beliefs on everyone else.  I hope I evolve to be as smart as you.


When liberals propose that the gay lifestyle might be a legitimate lifestyle they label themselves open-minded.  But when Christians propose that theistic creation might be a legitimate explanation they get labeled backwoods bumpkins.  (I guess hate speech against backwoods bumpkins and Christians is acceptable—just don’t speak derogatory of gays, women, blacks, illegal immigrants, or Democrats.  Interestingly, while you’re condemning Christians for being so close-minded, a Christian worldview allows your view to be heard.  Do you think you’d ever get to present your views in a country founded on Islamic principles?  You’d lose your head for it.  Oh, there I go spreading hatred about Muslims.  Man, I really could use some diversity training.)


Mostly, I like hearing from atheists how that Christians oppress women and homosexuals.  But a person of your intelligence knows that someone who believes evolution can never embrace a system of morals.  You have to call apparent oppression “survival of the fittest.”  History records the great contributions made by communists like Lenin, Stalin, Pol Pot and Mao.  But don’t fret those death camps, since matter is eternal, then who cares about people dying by the thousands?  And before you mention the Crusades, keep in mind your worldview can’t condemn them.  In fact, a good robust atheistic view must admit there was no moral difference between the acts of Hitler and Mother Teresa.  However, a Christian can say that the evil of the Crusades supports the accuracy of the Bible—all people are sinful and in need of God’s wisdom and grace.


It’s too bad atheists can’t say anything intelligent about beauty and love while remaining faithful atheists.  You would think if Christians have to explain evil, then atheists would have to explain good.  But atheists are too sharp to get into this debate.  And for good reason, because they have no system that equips them to judge such.  For atheists to remain consistent, the Mona Lisa painting is no different in value than a finger painting from a 3-year-old.  The Grand Canyon no different in beauty than the ditch beside my apartment.  If you weren’t an atheist you could consistently argue otherwise.  But it’s better to be consistent than honest.


Anyway, I’ll stop now.  You probably quit reading a few paragraphs back.  Open-minded liberals have a way of being close-minded with Christians.


Yours Truly,


Kevin L. Howard

 PS-- But don’t be too tough on oppressive Christians—they were just born that way.  Isn’t that the trump card to justify anything?  Surely if it’s in their genes you could sympathize with their cause.


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