The letter evangelizes a Bible selection. I’m glad for it.
Evangelical missives have shown up in Pilot letters from time to time for as long as I can remember. That they routinely inspired abusive Christian bashing in the now discontinued comments is one reason I’m not sorry to see that feature go away.
I don’t read the Bible much, nor any other religious material, nor even go to worship, but I’m always happy to consider recommended readings for their relevance to current events. My view is that the Bible is a compendium of human knowledge that is accessible to religious and non-religious thinking alike.
Specifically, an old rule of classical argument holds that a truly thorough interpretation of any text must address four distinct levels of analysis:
Where the Bible and other spiritual works are concerned, the literal analysis typically requires the most subtlety and sophistication. Consider, for example, the Old Testament claim that God created the world in six days. This cannot be literally true in a physical way, but it can be literally true in the sense that the number six was the base of the number system the authors of Genesis knew. The claim can otherwise be stated as, “The creation of the world conformed to natural laws, which are revealed through the mathematics of the number six.”
In contrast, Christian and Bible bashing tends to focus on the metaphysical, or analysis of first principles. This requires little subtlety or sophistication. Anyone can do it. Just proclaim that it is stupid to believe in God, as if the stupidity of the belief were obvious. (It isn’t, but that’s another topic.)
All of that is a roundabout way to make a basic point: Evangelism in the Letters feature is legitimate. Although I am not a proponent of Judaism or Islam or Zen, for that matter, I would approach references to their texts in the same way, because I think of religion as a repository for human knowledge of a long proven kind.