Sunday, July 31, 2005

Three cheers!! 

The fellows at The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals have put out a new e-zine called Reformation 21. I am especially fond of the magazine's blog where one of the Alliance's weak points has been addressed, namely biblical analysis hadn't kept up with current events. The blog touches on current events, theological matters and cultural matters. Even if readers of this blog disagree with their perspective, the blog is a welcome addition to the blogosphere. I have posted a link to the e-zine on the right side of my blog. Please go there frequently for the spread of Reformed thinking to all parts of the web.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

London Bombings 

Unless one has lived under a rock completely disconnected from the rest of the world, then any reader to this blog is already familiar with the London bombings last week. I think it interesting that the only really violent terrorists out there are mostly Muslims. Europe and to a lesser extent, the United States are experiencing growth in Muslim populations and I don't think that is healthy for any society, especially societies with a Christian heritage. These bombings probably will demonstrate that what we as Christians are fighting is not just people and mere ideologies, but against principalities and powers that cannot be seen.

Securing our borders and monitoring Islamic groups can get us only so far in this conflict. Islam needs to be broken down at its most basic level. It is a religion that challenges the reign of Jesus Christ. We must ask God to tear down and to triumph over this pagan religion and we must fight this battle with faithful preaching of the Word, faithful administration of the Sacraments and a lot of prayer and faith in God's sovereignty over all of creation.

With that thought in mind, I think a proper perspective about Congressman Tancredo's remarks about bombing Mecca should the U.S. have another terrorist attack in this country. On a base level, I would favor such a move because of my desire for revenge and because the majority of Muslims have yet to clearly define what is acceptable behavior in regards to conversion, political aims, etc. I realize that this would be a mistake infuriating some billion Muslims and would serve no purpose at all in the GWOT. Realizing the stupidity of the geo-political situation is one thing, but on a deeper, more fundamental level, is the fact that the ultimate destruction of Islam is going to come through the church and not the state. Can God use our military might to strike at competing religions? Yes he can, but the ultimate power will come only from the movement of the Holy Spirit through all nations, tribes and tongues. That is the Congressman's biggest blunder. The proper role for the military and our government is to deal with the flesh and the blood of bloodthirsty individuals. The proper role of the church is to deal with the principalities and powers behind the people. When we keep these roles in their proper perspective, then we will begin to see the solution to the problem of terrorism.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

quick take 

Shelby Foote was, by what I understand, a great narrative story teller of the Civil War. I remember watching an extended edition of "Booknotes" on C-SPAN or something with Brian Lamb sitting in Foote's office/library talking about his career and his books. Towards the end of the interview, Mr. Lamb noted a two volume set of the Bible on Mr. Foote's shelf. I was very surprised and really dissapointed when Mr. Foote declared that he did not believe in Jesus Christ or Christianity or something of the sort. That made a profound impression on me because I rather enjoyed his story telling and easy goin' Mississippi drawl and deep voice.

At the very end of this interview, I distinctly recall him saying that he considered it a supreme compliment if a person could not tell whether he was more sympathetic to the North or to the South. As a history major and student, that would be the highest compliment I could recieve because it would show me that I had done my homework and truly understood viewpoints I might disagree with.

Dr. Al Mohler has an eloquent post memorializing Mr. Foote and putting his work into proper perspective. I do have one small bone to pick with Dr. Mohler's post. He said
Made popular by the Ken Burns PBS series, The Civil War, Foote was one of those few historians who can communicate both in print and in person. His Mississippi drawl, bearded face, and irreverent manner gave him a persona made for television -- at least for the folks who watch PBS.

I never watched much of Ken Burns' series on the Civil War, but Shelby Foote was practically the only reason I was even remotely interested in the series. Let's give credit where it's due. Ken Burns did a good job with the Civil War and Shelby Foote and the other historians helped sell the package. Dr. Mohler is right though: God can, will and does use unbelievers to sometimes turn out great works of literature or this case history. I'm sorry Mr. Foote is being judged by God for his sin and unbelief, but I will have to track down his books and read them when I have the time. Mr. Foote was a great historian and a great writer. He will be missed.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Reds thoughts 

I have to comment on my beloved Cincinnati Reds. The team has fired the manager and pitching coach, and ditched their multi-million dollar closer all in efforts to shake things up and get the team to play better baseball.

There was a lot of excitement generated in this city when the Reds actually went out and spent over $20 million to acquire Eric Milton and to reward Sean Casey and Paul Wilson. The Reds also acquired Ramon Ortiz and Joe Randa. I will be the first to admit that I bought some of the hype and thought the Reds might actually be contenders in the National League Central. Others won't admit they bit, but I will. I don't think the problem was totally the manager's fault, although what little I have heard on the radio, Dave Miley's easygoing style may have allowed the players to become too complacent and lazy when they should have been playing harder. The problem hasn't been offensive production with the Reds putting together an offense that is 16th in team batting average, 3rd in home runs, 5th in runs scored and 5th in OPS (on base percentage plus slugging percentage). The problem has been pitching. Until his past couple of games, Eric Milton has been one of the most hitable pitchers in all of baseball giving up a league leading 27 home runs thus far. Ramon Ortiz hasn't been much better and Paul Wilson was just as bad before going on the Disabled List with shoulder tendenitis. One of my co-workers put it best when he said, "Steve, I respect number one through eight in that lineup. I don't respect number nine."

What the Reds need to do is admit that there were mistakes made and then not do them again. Getting pitchers who keep the ball down on hitters and are "groundball" pitchers will have to be the target of this ball club if they are going to pursue a "pitch-to-contact" philosophy of pitching. I hope Dan O Brien will learn from some of his mistakes and will implement some necessary changes to give us Reds fans some true reason for optimism next year.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?