Parenting Real Oranges

I never usually comment on articles, but I could not let the opportunity pass after reading ‘When life gives you oranges’ by Andrew and Rachel Wilson (November).

I have always been a huge fan of Andrew Wilson’s writing, but this article surpassed everything else I’d read by him. It contained the best description I have ever come across of what it feels like when you discover your child has special needs. I appreciated the raw honesty from the couple when they admitted that ‘your heart sinks’.

While they acknowledged the depths of their pain and struggle, their choice to embrace the mystery, be thankful and look forward with hope for their children’s future was truly inspirational. Well done, Andrew and Rachel, on such an authentic and challenging article. God bless you both as you continue to serve him every day in raising your beautiful children.

Sue Partridge

I have four kids with autism. I love this article because it is exactly how I feel. Sometimes I watch other kids playing and think about what it would be like. I would miss it though, I think. Not the swearing and the kids running utterly naked down the street, but certainly how much they love life and get such joy out of simple things. We tend to hold back, but they just throw their heads back and laugh while bouncing on tiptoes and flapping. Sometimes I like to think that others would be wishing for oranges if they knew what they were missing.

Name withheld

It has been great in recent editions to be enlightened about autism, but the question this raises for me is whether autistic people can respond to the gospel through repentance and belief? Can they be judged by God if they don’t have the mental equipment for faith? Will God give them a second chance in the hereafter?

Brian Allen


I found David Instone-Brewer’s article ‘The Perfect Wife’ (November) rather strange and somewhat alarming. It’s the first time I have heard wifely submission described as part of God’s curse on Eve. I thought the curse was that Adam would ‘lord it over her’ and that her ‘desire would be for her husband’, meaning that she would desire the male role?

He then goes on to write that Peter and Paul’s teaching on marital relationships had necessarily to ‘commend Aristotle’s…rules because of the danger to the Christian message if they taught equality’. But since when has the Christian message needed to be curtailed for expediency’s sake? Perhaps most notable of all, he then finishes by quoting Ephesians 5:21, choosing not to include the very next verse: ‘Wives, your own husbands as you do to the Lord.’

Mike Caffrey

Reconsider assisted dying

I read the story on assisted dying (‘News’, November) with interest. I have been a practising veterinary surgeon for the past 36 years, and a Christian for about 50 years.

I often have conversations with my animal owning clients who face the choice of assisted dying for their pets, and the emotional traumas that entails. Many clients say to me ‘if only we could do that for humans.’

Perhaps we should reflect and reconsider our approach to killing and relief of suffering? We need to pray harder about the patients who are on this difficult journey.

Discernment of God’s will in life, death and dying will always be a challenge, but we need to embrace it. It’s important to discuss specific examples of diseases and conditions patients face with their physicians, rather than working on generalisations. As a friend said to me once, ‘we are all going to die someday’.

Paul Manning

Church needs publicity

It was good to read ‘The letter of Joel Edwards to the church’ (October) as I had missed reading Joel’s wise input into the media since he left the Evangelical Alliance.

I’m not surprised the taxi driver who Joel mentioned lacked knowledge of the good work being done by parachurch organisations such as food banks. Fifteen years ago Christian sportsmen and women could be quite open about their faith and it would have been reported in the media. Christian charities often had ‘Christian’ or ‘Mission’ as part of their title, but during the time of the previous but one government it became apparent that if Christian charities wanted access to public funds they were encouraged to hide or disguise their Christian foundation.

I strongly believe that one of the major issues confronting the Church today is finding a way to get more publicity.

Derek Redman

Don't be fooled

I sent for a copy of Fool’s Talk by Os Guinness on the basis of Greg Haslam’s book review (October). Greg used the word ‘accessible’ in his last paragraph, but having reached page 78, I feel that the scholarly content of this well-reasoned book on ‘Christian Persuasion’ might have been highlighted in the review. I am determined to finish the task, but do wonder if some readers may find Dr Guinness’ latest book rather heavier going than they were led to believe.

Peter Swan

Pay your taxes

Email Premier Christianity putting ‘feedback’ in the subject line We reserve the right to edit letters for style and length. The views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the publisher.

Thank you for the Doctrine Detective piece, ‘The truth about tithing’ (October). It’s not often that I find something approaching a ‘theology of tax’ to help me consider how we can best work out Jesus’ commandment to ‘love one another’.

I feel it a privilege to pay tax and have actively avoided options which would have meant I could legally have paid less. I quite like there to be teachers, nurses, street lights etc…

Adrian Ashton

Competition Winner

Congratulations to our new subscriber Sarah-Louise Dee, who has won a Spring Harvest holiday at Les Pas Opton worth £2,000.  

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