Saturday, September 30, 2006

New blog to the blogroll 

Check out Riddleblog over on the right. Kim Riddlebarger is one of the co-hosts of the White Horse Inn, radio show about Christian theology. He is a pastor, writer and professor in Southern California. His blog has a lot of good material to read and chew on each day. A highly recommended blog.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood? 

On Thursday, Lance McCallister linked to a story from the Washington Post on his blog. The story is about how the Washington Nationals are ready to part ways with manager Frank Robinson. Lance asked the question on the air: Should the Cincinnati Reds dump Jerry Narron as manager and make a move to get Frank Robinson as manager? Lance said no, he wouldn't. He said that the old grandpa routine had been tried before with Jack McKeon. He said that he would take Robinson at age 50, but not 71. He implied that he would be more effective getting more effort out of Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn at a younger age.
I have two main thoughts about that. First, it should be pointed out to all Reds fans that the last time the Reds had a winning season was under "Trader Jack" and he also won a world series with the Marlins AFTER leaving the Reds. Just because he's old doesn't mean he's can't coach or get a lot out of his players.
Second, Frank Robinson has been handed the biggest platter of raw sewage out of anyone I know and at least made the club somewhat dangerous to play. Had he had better talent in Montreal/Washington, I think his record would be much better than it is.
One final point. I would make this move, not out of "desperation" to dump Narron as a manager, but as an opportunity to upgrade the manager's spot. I would do it because it would be a fitting homecoming to a Hall of Famer. Finally, I would do it because even at 71, Mr. Robinson could get more out of this team than most other managers out there.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Come and Dine... 

On Wednesday, the Cincinnati Enquirer published a strong editorial regarding the efficacy of the "family meal". It points out, for instance
Columbia University's Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse has been reporting since 2003 that teens whose families eat meals together are much less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol, and more likely to get good grades in school.
. . .Other studies have shown teens whose families eat meals together get in fewer fights, start sexual activity later, are less depressed, develop fewer eating disorders and practice better nutrition.
They caution
Eating together is no silver bullet. But it can make a huge difference if parents show a genuine interest in their children's daily lives, know their teachers' names, know the parents of their teens' friends.
and they also say that parents must make it a priority to have a family meal together in order for it to "succeed" or "work".
I agree wholeheartedly with this editorial. The problems of crime and drugs that have plagued many cities for many years can be curtailed if parents are willing to stay together and to be heavily involved with their children's lives.

There is one question I would raise and one statement that could have been added to the editorial. First, do the studies cited have any findings about "traditional" versus "non-traditional" families? I would speculate that "non-traditional" or "alternative" family "arrangements" would undercut some of the usefulness of the family meal. The other point I would add is that it is true that a wholesome family meal and atmosphere does have its virtues, the ultimate source of peace and safety can only be found in Christ and Him alone.

It is with admiration and shame that I have seen and witnessed elders at my church conduct family devotions and catechism of their children at the dinner table and to great effect, as far as I can tell. I need to be more consistent in this vital regard. Cultural and societal renewal cannot come about unless my children know Christ and Him crucified and essential doctrines of the Christian faith. Anything short is just that: short. Let us come together and have fellowship over good food and good company.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Thinking About Torture 

In a strong open letter to the "Religious Right", Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost had this note to say about torture
I can’t make excuses for us on this one anymore: We have to take a firm stand against torture. Yes, there is a debate about what exactly is meant by that term. So let’s define it in a way that consistent with our belief in human dignity. And then let’s hold every politician in the country to that standard. Our silence is embarrassing.
I'm not sure what is expected here. He says that our silence has been embarrassing. I am guilty as charged for swallowing the conservative Kool-Aid on this issue before I have dealt with the issue in a serious God and Bible fearing manner. But what I have read online and in other sources tell me that serious theologians and public discourse has been anything but silent on the issue. I will engage the issue thoughtfully going forward, but I don't know what is to be expected at this late date. I am in favor arguing or debating whether or not this or that technique would qualify as torture or if it is merely psychological gamemanship or aggressiinterrogationion techniques. The lines amurkykey as far as I can tell on this front. This is to say nothing about the heart of the prison guards and officials in charge.

The charge of "silence" strikes me as being silly. Especially when you consider This collection of thoughtful essays by Christian thinkers and posts like this, this, this, andthis.

There is a lot more discussion that needs to take place on this issue. I have been given sound reason by Joe to pause and to seriously, with eyes wide open, consider what it is I believe on this issue. I embraced conservativism and "Reformed" theology with eyes wide open. I knew that while these ideologies, philosophies, etc had many strong points to them, they ultimately would be found wanting at some point to what the Bible says and who Christ is. I welcome further discussion on this topic. I think that we should consider carefully our moral ground and if it is found wanting, we should take the fight elsewhere.

Update #4 

On Sunday September 24, my church, Church of the Covenant, formally extended a call to Glenn Durham to become our teaching elder. Mr. Durham has been serving in Omaha, Nebraska at Dominion Covenant Church after serving as a church planter for the PCA in Arkansas and Chicago. Given what I heard in his sermon on Sunday and what I heard at a reception last Friday night, I think he will be a good fit for our particular congregation. Glenn and his wife both struck me as highly intelligent, thoughtful people whose lives have indeed been touched with the Spirit.

With the wide margin of the final vote on whether or not to extend the call to Mr. Durham, he should have little trouble passing examination by the Ohio Valley Presbytery. I am thankful to God for moving amongst the members of the pulpit committee who sifted through about 60 different applications and resumes. I am thankful that the final votes were without conflict and there appears to be a large measure of unity behind the choice. I am intuitively optimistic about the future of the church going forward. Praise be to the Lord for His gracious hand!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Update #3 

I know I haven't been blogging about much except personal items lately, but these are important developments in my own life and I want to share them with you all. First at 2:23 a.m. on September 18, Ian Alexander Goldsworth was born. For readers of the posts below, this was a huge answer to prayer. My wife Nancy had been praying for the ability to have a vaginal birth and God has seen fit to answer our prayers. He came into the world at 21.5 inches long and weighing 8 pounds, six ounces. He is generally a quiet and even tempered lad. Praise the Lord for the new arrival!

Monday, September 11, 2006

What's good for the goose.... 

This story in today's Cincinnati Enquirer is a good article. It is about Republican Jim Raussen's getting ideas to incentivize cities and towns to consolidate services to residents. I think that this would be, on whole, a very good idea. Usually it would allow more bang for the buck that tax payers shell out for services such as fire and trash collection. The only question I have about the idea is this: "is there any way law makers in Columbus can see to it that the same drive would apply to statewide government services?

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