December 2002

BCS chaplains lead football players to championship life

December 27 2002 by Allen Palmeri , Baptist Press

BCS chaplains lead football players to championship life | Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

BCS chaplains lead football players to championship life

By Allen Palmeri Baptist Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Being a chaplain for a college football team that has made it to one of the four Bowl Championship Series (BCS) games is not unlike being a pastor of a large church. The rewards, challenges and observations as seen from the inside are much the same.

Their duties range from building relationships with players and coaches to conducting various pre-game services and devotionals. They also visit the players in the hospital, counsel, disciple them one-on-one and conduct Bible studies.

Because each campus is different, no two chaplains are alike. What works at Washington State, for example, might not work at Miami, and what the Iowa chaplain discerns is necessary may not be what the Oklahoma chaplain needs to do. What does get preached within these powerful football programs is the powerful gospel of Christ. It continues to be used by the Holy Spirit to bring athletes and coaches to Christ.

For those in the athletic community who are Christians, chaplains are in a perfect spot to spur them on to love and good deeds, according to Iowa chaplain Jim Goodrich. Quarterback Brad Banks handed out a Bible that Goodrich had given him to a freshman player named Clinton Solomon.

"I remembered that Brad had asked me for a Bible about a month before that, but I didn't know he had asked me for it for the purpose of handing it to a teammate," Goodrich said. "Clinton said he told him where to start reading, in Matthew, and whenever you have a question or don't understand things just pray and ask God to give you guidance. Open up your mind to what it says and He'll answer your prayer.

"You can see multiplication right there in that little story. I know it's happening behind the scenes."

Iowa's great success on the football field this season translated into a high number of attendees in chapel services. Between 40 to 45 players and coaches kept showing up at chapel as the Hawkeyes rolled through Big Ten play undefeated and into the Orange Bowl. At Washington State, though, where the Cougars were storming into the Rose Bowl, numbers were down.

Success in such a shifting environment is hard to measure, according to Washington State chaplain Steve Barke. He said he took to heart what one of Washington State's assistant coaches shared after the Cougars learned they would be losing their head coach, Mike Price, to Alabama.

"I was talking to one of those coaches who was going to be going with him, a coach who was in our Bible study, and his comment was it was a really hard decision to go," Barke said. "He said, 'I really prayed a lot about this, and I've never done that before, and that was because of you.' Those kinds of things, seeing that people are actually involving God in their lives because of what I do, are really rewarding."

Sometimes when a chaplain has been faithful in one location for a very long time, God will take that chaplain into deeper levels of trust and pastoral care within a program. This has been the case with Clint Purvis, who has served with head coach Bobby Bowden at Florida State since 1988.

Purvis was able to minister to one family with twin brothers when one of the young men died. The university paid for the chaplain to fly out to Texas to be with the grieving family, and he did all he could do to support them. In another setting, he had to perform a funeral for a former player who had committed suicide.

"That was very painful, but then you have your victories," Purvis said.

"When Todd Williams asked me to walk out with him for his last game at home as a parent figure, when he asked me to walk out on Parents Week in his jersey and represent him, I was very honored," Purvis said. "I told people that Todd is 6-6 and 350 pounds. He gets his size from his mama but his good looks from me. Todd graduated in December with a double major in criminology and sociology, and people said he'd never make it."

Each of the seven BCS chaplains said they place a high value on developing relationships. Not everyone they touch will become a Christian, but the importance of authentic moments, meaningful times of interaction within the entire athletic community, cannot be emphasized enough by these men.

"I'm a facilitator of spiritual growth and development," said Southern California chaplain Mike Sylvester, who serves with Athletes in Action.

"I try to build my role with them as one of service," said Oklahoma chaplain Mike Whitson, "to do whatever it takes to get them to see Christ for who He really is."

Georgia chaplain Kevin Hynes agreed.

"My role is to love and serve these players in the name of Jesus Christ in the hope of leading them to a personal relationship with Him, and to grow them in Christ-like maturity," he said. "I'm here to serve them.

"They call me Chappy," Hynes said. "It's the most rewarding position I've ever had. I served my country in the Marine Corps, I served my community as a deputy sheriff, but I love serving God (as a chaplain). It's an awesome, awesome, awesome ministry."

Whitson, who has become a bit of a fixture in Norman, Okla. due to his association with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, has been able to involve the players and the coaches in a service project. This year they helped more than 160 families in Norman through a food drive at one of the home games. Whitson also reaches out to needy children by helping to put together a football clinic for inner-city youths on the day of the Oklahoma spring football game.

"With all the challenges and distractions that are out there today for young people, it is not wise to leave your players totally without counsel in life issues," Whitson said. "The programs that take care of the spiritual aspect of their players will benefit greatly in the long run. The coaching staff at OU sees me as a Christian who is investing time in the players and coaches. Hopefully they see me as a positive influence. My role is not to pump them up to play but to challenge them in their spiritual life."

At USC, Sylvester attempts to teach spiritual maturity principles to a group of football players who have sought him out. His approach differs a bit in that he likes a little distance between himself and the head coach.

"I know that the guys who come to me aren't there because the coach said, 'Hey, go to chapel,' so what I get in my opinion is a distilled cadre of guys who are genuinely interested," Sylvester said. "For me it's a good weeding-out mechanism that allows me to focus on the guys who want to grow. Those who aren't interested, I can engage them outside of a group setting, just one-on-one."

Steve DeBardelaben is part of a unique chaplain partnership at the University of Miami. He is a longtime Athletes in Action minister who shares his work with the football program with Steve Caldwell of FCA. "We're gifted similarly, but we're not exactly the same," DeBardelaben said.

What has worked among the Miami Hurricanes is a partnership where DeBardelaben and Caldwell, supported by AIA staff Arlene DeBardelaben and Jenise Winston along with veteran FCA staffer Joe Oliver, blend their talents. "We have made a commitment to work together, plan together, pray together, debrief together and critique each other," Steve DeBardelaben said. This is what works in Miami, where chaplains "help bring a family spirit to the team" as it has been riding a wave.

For the energetic Hynes, whose passion and zeal are known within the Georgia program, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing God save someone from his sins.

"Leading people to the Lord, seeing men alive in Christ Jesus, seeing the regenerate heart, seeing the sovereign God reach down from heaven and pluck these young men from eternal damnation, that's my biggest reward," Hynes said.

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12/27/2002 12:00:00 AM by Allen Palmeri , Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Reviewer selects top 10 Christian albums for '02

December 27 2002 by Tim Harms , Baptist Press

Reviewer selects top 10 Christian albums for '02 | Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

Reviewer selects top 10 Christian albums for '02

By Tim Harms Baptist Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - 2002 was a great year for the Christian music industry, building on the phenomenal growth the industry experienced in 2001.

Sales of Christian albums skyrocketed and the fan base continues to grow. The year was also marked by an impressive collection of new releases from veteran musicians and a few newcomers.

Following is our list of the top 10 Christian albums that were released in 2002:

10. New Map of the World, Paul Colman Trio, Essential Records

This group traveled all the way from Australia to record their first American album New Map of the World. Although their pop/rock style is overused in Christian music today, PC3 promises to be one of the best at its game. They combine clever and poetic lyrics with above average musicianship to create a project full of infectious songs that are perfect for radio airtime.

9. The Eleventh Hour, Jars of Clay, Essential Records

The Eleventh Hour is Jars of Clay's best release since their self-titled debut in 1995. Combining all the elements that have marked Jars of Clay over the years, the project excels in thoughtful songwriting, catchy melodies and excellent production. One of Christian music's most inspiring groups has created an emotionally charged album that lives up to expectations.

8. Hero, Daily Planet, Reunion Records

Daily Planet has delivered an impressive premiere, Hero, and the public has embraced it with open arms. An upbeat and positive message is displayed throughout and is joined by its abundance of rock styles and lyrical hooks. The factor that makes Daily Planet so successful is that they are not afraid to go beyond the "norm" of Christian music, already having dared to experiment with their talent.

7. Psalms, Shane Barnard & Shane Everett, Inpop

Shane Barnard and Shane Everett have easily established their own unique voice in worship music with the release of Psalms. The amazing musicianship of every instrument shines through the album with bright colors, matching with the vocals beautifully to blend and mold every song. Adapting Scripture to song, the album screams originality and artistry. This folk/pop masterpiece is a must-have for any fans of bands ranging from Caedmon's Call to Dave Matthew's Band.

6. Then Is the New Now, Denisson Marrs, Floodgate

Denisson Marrs is the band that Christian music has been craving for a long time. Musically, the foursome are best described as Emo-rock, similar to the sounds of Jimmy Eat World, yet it is hard to fairly describe them, as they do not neatly fit into one musical genre with their talent at the pen and with their instruments.

5. All Right Here, Sara Groves, INO

In Sara Groves' sophomore effort, she matches and surpasses her wonderful 2001 release of "Conversations," which ironically found itself in the number 5 position last year on the Top 10 List. I believe Groves is one of the best songwriters of today, able to communicate the many issues of a Christian life into poetic phrasings and well-crafted lines, allowing the listener to instantly relate to her messages. All Right Here is a heart-warming, piano- and guitar-driven folk/inspirational release.

4. Myself When I Am Real, Bebo Norman, Essential Records

Bebo Norman, with his collection Myself When I Am Real, proves he can master the art of writing ear-catching melodies and tunes that carry a listener from the first note to the last. His sensitive and intimate lyrics and, in some cases, soaring voice produce a folk/pop atmosphere that leaves little room for perfection. Myself includes everything you would expect from a seasoned artist such as Norman.

3. A Place Where You Belong, The Normals, Forefront Records

A Place Where You Belong offers a diverse musical layout throughout each of its songs, trying not to flood the listener with the same sound. This works unfailingly, and I commend the Normals for treading these uncharted waters. Every element adds to the accumulating greatness of the recording, from the honest lyrics to the creative production.

2. Stanley Climbfall, Lifehouse, Dreamworks/Sparrow

The grunge-rock-driven Lifehouse has released a great sophomore project Stanley Climbfall, joyfully taken in by non-Christians and Christians alike. Although Lifehouse reigns in a time period where their sound is all too popular, they have continued their musical journey and taken a leap forward with their latest release. Their open-ended questions require the listener to contemplate and digest the music, rather than being too blatantly obvious by shouting every message in every song. Stanley Climbfall is a musically refreshing and casual piece that is sculpted into an art form.

1. Divine Discontent, Sixpence None the Richer, Warner/Reprise

The top Christian recording of 2002 is Divine Discontent by Sixpence None the Richer. Like Lifehouse, their influence ranges beyond the Christian circle, which results in the subtle sharing of the gospel to millions of people worldwide. This project comes after a five-year lull in released music, but it was most certainly worth the wait. Divine Discontent features 13 polished, well-defined songs based on the theme of dealing with difficult areas in the human life, resulting in a complete, deep and effective feature. Easily, this is Sixpence's best album to date.

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12/27/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tim Harms , Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Software review: Bible Explorer 3, Logos Bible Software Series X, and BibleWorks 5

December 27 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Software review: Bible Explorer 3, Logos Bible Software Series X, and BibleWorks 5 | Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

Software review: Bible Explorer 3, Logos Bible Software Series X, and BibleWorks 5

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

Church groups in search of the perfect gift for a minister or other Bible study leader would do well to consider a quality Bible study software program.

Three of the leading companies who make such resources accepted our invitation to submit updated programs for review.

Bible Explorer 3

Bible Explorer 3, by Epiphany Software (www.epiphanysoftware.com), is the most user-friendly of the three, and the most limited in resources. Prices range from $149.95 for the Standard Edition to $379.95 for the Premium Edition, with the difference being how many Bible translations, commentaries, devotional guides and study aids are included. The number of English Bible translations varies from 13 to 17.

Bible Explorer 3 does Windows, and does them well. Clicking on books or Bibles from the "library" window opens them immediately in separate windows, which resize automatically to fit the available space. Related windows can be nested (BibleWorks calls it "docking") in a single window that utilizes file tabs to access each resource.

Searching by scripture reference is a snap, and word searches are only slightly more difficult. As with other programs, the user can define a range of resources for search operations, which include Boolean operators (like "and," "or" and "near").

The program offers little in the way of original language help. The King James Version and New American Standard Version (1995) have morphological tags, but provide only brief definitions. On my computer, some Greek and Hebrew characters did not display correctly.

Ironically, most of the reference works and other background materials provided in this high-tech program are very old, a common characteristic of Bible study software products. While some students may find commentaries by Matthew Henry or Jamieson, Faussett and Brown to be helpful, others will consider them outdated. The program also includes the full text of Christian classics like Pilgrim's Progress and The Confessions of St. Augustine.

A limited map set, art in the form of Dore's woodcuts and a nice set of photographs from the Holy Land add visual elements to the textual study.

Users who enjoy online communities can use Bible Explorer 3 to access Epiphany-monitored chat rooms and exchange study notes or sermon ideas.

Logos Bible Software Series X

As a long time user of Logos 2.0, I expected to be impressed by the new Logos Series X-Scholar's Library (www.logos.com), and was not disappointed. The Logos program is built on a digital library platform called "Libronix," enabling the integration of multiple resources. Logos Series X is available in five versions ranging from the "Christian Home Library" at $149.95 (stocked with theologically conservative home-schooling aids) to the "Scholar's Library" at $599.95. Versions targeted to pastors ($299.95) and students of original languages ($399.95) include extra resources for the designated audience, some of them quite valuable. Pastor's resources include up-to-date leadership resources from Christianity Today and authors like Leith Anderson.

Logos is king of the hill when it comes to available add-ins, now up to 3000 volumes from more than 100 publishers. Most of these, however, must be purchased separately or in packages and digitally unlocked.

Perhaps it is the sheer mass of Logos X's offerings and the variety of available approaches to study that make it a bit more unwieldy to set up and use, but the results are worth the effort. The search functions are straightforward. Users can type in a passage, click "go," and then choose to examine it in a variety of parallel translations (including critical Greek and Hebrew editions), or to access a wide variety of linguistic study aids and commentaries hot-linked to each word in the Hebrew or Greek text..

Pastors can even check to see if the text is linked to any of 7,700 sermon illustrations, or if it is discussed in either the full or the abridged version of Kittel's comprehensive Theological Dictionary of the New Testament.

The Scholar's Library contains 16 English translations of the Bible, 6 Greek versions of the New Testament, the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia edition of the Hebrew Bible, and Rahlf's edition of the Septuagint.

Additional resources in the Libronix format can stretch as far as the user's budget allows.

Bible Works 5

While Logos has targeted versions for a variety of audiences, BibleWorks 5 ($299.95, www.bibleworks.com) is singly focused on providing maximum resources for the translation and study of the Bible with special attention to the original language texts.

The basic package includes no less than 90 Bible translations in 28 languages, including multiple translations in Spanish, French, German, Russian, even Indonesian! The ability to compare multiple translations from different linguistic families makes it a Bible translator's dream.

The 20 English translations include new translations like the English Standard Version, the British New International Version, and the Jewish Publication Society's Tanakh in addition to traditional standards and older translations such as the Geneva Bible of 1599 and the Douay-Rheims 1899 American edition.

Original language texts include the most recent critical editions in addition to historically significant editions of the Hebrew Bible, the Septuagint and the Greek New Testament. Fans of the King James Version who also read Greek will be pleased to see a modern version of the "Majority text" and two versions of the "Textus Receptus" favored by the KJV translators in addition to the critical editions preferred by most scholars.

Serious students willing to pay an additional unlock fee can supplement the basic lexical support with new and unabridged versions of the Koehler-Baumgartner Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament (4th edition) and Bauer and Danker's A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature (3rd edition).

The package itself is tightly integrated, loaded with features and lightning fast. Users can choose between "beginner," "standard" and "power-user" platforms distinguished mainly by the increasing availability of shortcuts and search options. Instructional videos included with the package are helpful. With a few hours of practice (and maybe a cheat-sheet for the shortcut codes), most users will have little trouble ramping up from "beginner" to "power-user."

My favorite feature is an "instant lexicon" - as the cursor floats over words of the text in Hebrew, Greek or morphologically tagged English versions, the appropriate entry from the user's favorite lexicon pops immediately into a separate window, complete with a full parsing of the word.

Each of the three programs has strengths. For a basic comparison of Bible translations in a superior Windows format, Bible Explorer 3 is a good option. For one who is primarily interested in translation and a study of the original texts, BibleWorks 5 is the quickest, slickest program around. And, for those who want more commentaries, pastoral helps and other resources, Logos Series X is the choice.

Any of these programs - or a gift certificate enabling the recipient to choose for himself/herself - would be a welcome gift.

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12/27/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments



The girl who hated reading

December 27 2002 by Tony Cartledge , BR Editor

The girl who hated reading | Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

Friday, Dec. 27, 2002

The girl who hated reading

By Tony Cartledge BR Editor

KANNAPOLIS - As a child and young adult, she didn't like to read and cared little for libraries.

So how did Vicky Morris come to be named media library director for the Baptist State Convention?

It's a long story that started with friendship, got a boost from guilt, and culminated in a transforming experience.

Morris didn't like reading, but she liked Blanche Robinette, a local schoolteacher who volunteered as church librarian at North Kannapolis Baptist Church in Kannapolis. Morris hung out in the library to socialize, but Robinette kept sending her home with books, which Morris would return, unread, the following week.

As Robinette aged and Morris grew into adulthood, the friendship continued. Robinette urged Morris to take over the job as librarian. "I told her I would help clean it up, but I didn't want anything to do with books and reading," Morris said.

Several times Robinette asked, and Morris always promised to help, but never followed through.

Several days after Morris' last promise, Robinette suffered a heart attack and died.

Morris is quick to admit that it was a mixture of both guilt and affection for Robinette that finally spurred her into action. She recruited fellow Sunday School class members to clean up the neglected library and sought in vain for someone to take over as librarian.

But, trained librarians were in short supply, and Morris soon realized it would be up to her to carry on Robinette's legacy. "But I didn't even know who Dewey was, much less anything about his decimals," she said.

Morris checked with public libraries and community colleges in search of a training class, but came up empty. A friend who worked at a nearby public library showed her some basics, and Morris began to attend meetings of the church media library organization in the Cabarrus Baptist Association.

There Morris found friends willing to share both enthusiasm and expertise about their jobs. They encouraged her to attend the state media library conference at Caraway, and "that conference changed my life," she said. "It was there that I realized that the library was not just a place to hang out, it was a ministry just waiting to bloom."

Morris soon saw the ministry flower. A man who drove his wife to church but didn't want to attend started spending time in the library, shelving books and assisting Morris with cleaning chores. He also read some of the books, and became an active member.

A girl whose mother was an unbeliever began checking out books to carry home as a means of witness.

"Things like that made me realize the library was a ministry," Morris said. "I felt like I was called."

But Morris' new ministry was put on hold when the church took over the struggling North Kannapolis Christian Academy. The library's room was pre-empted, and the books were put in storage.

Morris campaigned for a new space for the library, and got her wish when the church offices were moved to a new multi-purpose building, leaving the former office space for a new media center.

Morris now has 1,100 square feet of floor space divided into five rooms for the library's collection of 3,000 books, CDs and videotapes. The library also has a broader purpose, serving as a resource for the 180 student K-12 school.

Preparations included shelf building by candlelight after the Dec. 4-5 ice storm, but with considerable help from her husband, Wayne, and other church members, the library was readied for a Dec. 15 dedication as the "Blanche Robinette Library."

Denise Privette Sherman, daughter of Coy and Betty Privette, was on hand to sign copies of a children's book she wrote in collaboration with her mother, who provided the artwork.

Morris understands the importance of reading now, but she has not forgotten that it was the social atmosphere that first drew her into a library. So, she sees to it that the staff keeps a pot of Concord-based S&D coffee available for visitors.

Now Morris faces a problem she never expected to have. With a day job working for the city of Kan-napolis and the volunteer hours at the media center, she just doesn't have enough time to read.

To learn more about media library ministries, contact Cathy Hopkins at the Baptist State Convention by calling (800) 395-5102 or (919) 467-5102, ext. 435, or by e-mail at cathyhopkins@bscnc.org, or Dell Moore at dmcml1@aol.com.

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12/27/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments



Bless the peacemakers of the world

December 20 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Bless the peacemakers of the world | Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Bless the peacemakers of the world

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

Our recollection of the biblical Christmas story inevitably focuses on the manger where Jesus was born, but there are other memorable scenes. Foremost among them, in my mind, is the open field where shepherds who set out to watch their flocks of sheep found themselves watching a sky full of angels.

Of all the good tidings I've ever heard, few things compare with the song of the heavenly host: "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men" (Luke 2:14, KJV).

I remember being disappointed when I learned enough Greek to understand that the latter part of that should probably be translated as something like "peace among men with whom He is pleased," "peace among those He favors," or even "peace among men of goodwill."

But, the clear message of scripture in any translation is that God loves all the people of His creation, and wants them to live in peace.

Isaiah prophesied that the coming Messiah would be called "the Prince of Peace" (Isa. 9:6), and Jesus grew up to proclaim, "blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God" (Matt. 5:9).

The blessing was not simply for people who love peace or prefer peace or hope for peace - but for those who work to make peace, and that's no easy task.

I can't think of anyone in my lifetime who has worked harder to bring peace to our world than former president Jimmy Carter, who makes me proud to be both Baptist and a native of Georgia.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee finally granted its prestigious award to Carter this year, though he should have won the prize 25 years ago and every year since.

Carter learned the virtues of hard work as he grew up on a peanut farm in South Georgia, walking barefoot behind the mules as he plowed the fields. He learned the values of human dignity and justice from good parents and a good church. He practiced those values as president, and he has labored mightily to cultivate worldwide peace and justice since leaving office.

The Nobel award carries a prize of more than $1 million, but Carter will donate the money to the Carter Center in Atlanta, a non-profit organization he founded to make the world a better place.

I first met Jimmy Carter in the spring of 1969, when he was still governor of Georgia and I was a high school senior in Lincolnton, Ga. The state had a "Star Student" program for the student from each school who scored highest on the SAT exam, and one of the perks was a trip to Atlanta for a fancy banquet and a chance to meet the governor.

I wasn't particularly interested in politics, but I knew Carter's signature was on my driver's license, and I was very interested in that. When we arrived at the golden-domed capital building, I knew we were walking in high cotton - or tall peanuts, as the case may be.

I was a bit intimidated, but the first thing I noticed when Carter extended his hand in greeting is that it was covered with freckles. He spoke with an accent a lot like mine, and he looked me in the eye when he spoke. He was so genuine and down-to-earth that he put us all at ease.

I think that has been one of Carter's secrets of success in peace negotiations through the years. He is an honest and earnest man of good will who truly cares about people, and that tends to inspire sincerity in others.

One of his great disappointments, I heard him say, was that he tried to effect some reconciliation among moderate and conservative Baptists, but to no avail. In 1998, he brought together 25 representative leaders in search of common ground, "but not much came of it," he said.

Carter, now 78, could sit back and live the good life with no thought for the poor or the disenfranchised, but at any time you're likely to find him promoting a project in some far corner of the globe, nailing shingles on a house for Habitat for Humanity, or teaching Sunday School at Maranatha Baptist Church.

I've never known a politician who is a more genuine Christian, a more authentic Baptist or a more devoted public servant than Jimmy Carter.

My prayer, as we approach the beginning of a new year, is that his tribe will increase.

Blessed are the peacemakers, indeed.

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12/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments



The wonders of technology

December 20 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

The wonders of technology | Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

The wonders of technology

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

Sometimes, I'm just amazed.

I learned to type and wrote my first term paper on a manual typewriter.

I remember being impressed with the portable electric I bought in college.

In graduate school, computers were just coming into vogue, and I thought the dot-matrix printer I bought for my new Zenith PC (with two 5 1/4 floppies but no hard drive) was the cat's meow.

Then ink-jet printers came along, and I bought one of those, and it wasn't long before they were even printing in color.

It's hard to believe what is on the market now.

My wife recently bought a new printer for the home office, but it's more than a printer.

We now have a copy machine in our house - no more trips to the post office or library to copy the tax forms.

What's more, it's a color copier, and it even does a beautiful job copying pictures on photographic paper.

But that's not all.

It's a fax machine.

And a scanner.

And a computer printer - in both black and in color.

And get this - it cost less than the portable typewriter I bought 30 years ago, with no adjustments for inflation. It costs less than the dot matrix printer I bought 20 years ago, less than the first inkjet I bought 10 years ago.

You can have this magic machine for $150, which is probably close to what the manufacturer has in it.

Why do they sell the handy dandy do-all machine so cheaply?

Because they know you have to buy their proprietary ink cartridges to make it work. While there is little or no markup on the home-office-in-one-machine, the printer companies average a 60 percent profit margin on their ink cartridges: two sets of black and color replacements will set you back about the same amount as the printer itself.

No matter what new song technology sings, you still have to pay the piper.

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12/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments



Bush expands charitable choice

December 20 2002 by Robert Marus , Associated Baptist Press

Bush expands charitable choice | Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Bush expands charitable choice

By Robert Marus Associated Baptist Press

PHILADELPHIA - President Bush has implemented a rule change designed to expand his "faith-based initiatives" that critics say does an end-run around Congress.

Some say the president is trying to have his constitutional cake and eat it too.

Bush signed an executive order Dec. 12 that ordered all federal agencies under his control to ignore the religious character of a charitable group in determining whether the group is eligible for government funds to perform social services.

Legislation to do the same passed the House in 2001 but stalled in the Senate this past fall. Bush's desire to expand the ability of religious charities to receive government grants and contracts is a major part of his agenda as president.

The executive order also contains provisions that secure the right of religious organizations to hire personnel on the basis of religion and ideology, even if they receive federal funding.

Previous federal civil-rights laws have given religious organizations the right to hire personnel on the basis of religion. However, courts have not settled the question of whether such employment practices remains legal if the organization receives federal funding.

Bush announced the executive order in a speech in Philadelphia to leaders of religious charities. "I recognize that government has no business endorsing a religious creed, or directly funding religious worship or religious teaching," he said. "That is not the business of the government. Yet government can and should support social services provided by religious people, as long as those services go to anyone in need regardless of their faith. And when government gives that support, charities and faith-based programs should not be forced to change their character or compromise their mission."

But supporters of strict church-state separation said the two principles - government funding and lack of government regulation - tend to be mutually exclusive.

"The president is trying to have it both ways," said Holly Hollman, general counsel for the Washington-based Baptist Joint Committee on Public Affairs. "There is an inherent conflict between allowing religious social-service providers to maintain their distinctive character and complying with the Constitution's prohibition against government funding of religious activities, such as religious worship, instruction or proselytization."

Welton Gaddy, a Baptist minister who is director of the Washington-based Interfaith Alliance, said the president is "not doing religion a favor."

"In fact, while he demonstrates an understanding of and concern for the poor and needy that heartens all of us in the religious community, President Bush displays a frighteningly limited understanding of the nature of houses of worship and the legal complexities necessary for the preservation of religious liberty in this country," he said.

Other critics of the plan said it would essentially allow the government to fund religious discrimination - one of the major complaints that bogged down the faith-based legislation in the Senate.

"There is something ironic and wrong about trying to stop alleged discrimination against religious groups by implementing a regulation that actually subsidizes religious discrimination in job hiring," said Rep. Chet Edwards, a Texas Democrat, in response to Bush's remarks. "No American citizen should have to pass someone else's religious test to qualify for a federally funded job."

Senior White House officials told Associated Baptist Press that Bush views the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as allowing religious groups to discriminate in hiring on the basis of religion, whether or not the government funds them.

Ralph Neas, head of People for the American Way, found irony in the fact that Bush announced the executive order in the same speech in which he criticized Senator Trent Lott for comments many critics viewed as discriminatory. "Far from championing equal rights, the president is endorsing tax-funded discrimination," Neas said.

"President Bush says his policy is designed to put religious groups on an equal footing, but in fact he has created a special right for religious groups to discriminate using tax dollars, something other groups are forbidden from doing," Neas said.

Bush's order includes language designed to ensure that federal funds given to religious organizations do not go to support "religious worship, instruction or proselytization." The White House released a set of guidelines for religious groups applying for government funding.

Bush also signed an executive order creating new offices of faith-based initiatives in two more federal agencies - the Department of Agriculture and the Agency for International Development.

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12/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by Robert Marus , Associated Baptist Press | with 0 comments



Chowan president to retire on May 31

December 20 2002 by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor

Chowan president to retire on May 31 | Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Chowan president to retire on May 31

By Tony W. Cartledge BR Editor

MURPHREESBORO - Stanley G. Lott, president of Chowan College, has announced that he will leave the post May 31, fulfilling a three-year contract that was renewed in 2000.

Lott, who was 60 when he came to Chowan in 1996, said he felt at the time that five to seven years of service would be a reasonable goal. "By the end of this school year, I will be almost halfway through my 68th year," the veteran of 36 years in Christian higher education told the college trustees on Dec. 12. "I have no doubt about this being the right time for me.

"Being at Chowan has been an exciting and challenging way to finish my career," Lott said. "I am confident that we have taken the steps necessary to ensure a strong future for the college."

Chowan has faced financial difficulties in recent years as anticipated enrollment increases and financial projections failed to materialize after the school transitioned from a two-year to a four-year program in 1992, and the stock market downturn left the school with no added income to fall back on. Chowan's board of trustees announced a fiscal emergency on Aug. 12, along with plans to cut seven support staff positions and lay off seven professors after the school year. Employee benefits are to be reduced Jan. 1, and all staff members making more than $20,000 are to receive a 5 percent pay cut beginning with the new fiscal year on June 1.

In the next six months, Lott said, "My staff and I will continue to work hard to strengthen and improve this institution. There is yet a lot to be done, even in those areas where we have made improvements. We will continue to do what we have been doing to build a strong and stable foundation for this worthy institution."

Wayne Wike, executive director of the Baptist State Convention (BSC) Council on Christian Higher Education, said he regretted Lott's impending departure. "Stan certainly is to be commended for his leadership at Chowan and his commitment to the Baptist State Convention," he said. Wike noted that Lott has worked intentionally to strengthen ties between Chowan and the BSC.

Chowan has lost two other senior administrators this year. Vint Tilson, a 20-year veteran who was vice president for development, left last summer to take a similar position at Wingate University. Steve Everhart, Chowan's provost, has announced plans to relocate to Wilmington at the end of the current semester.

Lott plans to retire in or near Pineville, La., where he served for 16 years as vice president for academic affairs at Louisiana College prior to his tenure at Chowan. Earlier, he served for 13 years as professor of sociology and religion at Tift College, a Baptist college for women in Forsyth, Ga.

With Lott's retirement announcement, three of the five colleges and universities that remain affiliated with the Baptist State Convention face leadership transitions. Max Lennon resigned in January as president of Mars Hill College, and faculty member Dan Lunsford was named interim president. Gardner-Webb University president Chris White stepped down Oct. 25 in the wake of controversy over an incident involving the way a student athlete's grades were averaged. Frank Campbell, recently retired president of Averett College in Virginia, is now serving as interim president.

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12/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by Tony W. Cartledge , BR Editor | with 0 comments



LifeWay sales rep gives of self

December 20 2002 by Terri Lackey , LifeWay Communications

LifeWay sales rep gives of self | Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

LifeWay sales rep gives of self

By Terri Lackey LifeWay Communications

This Christmas, Larry Herbert is preparing to give Wallie Hargrove a present that will take her off a 70,000-person transplant list.

When Herbert, a Broadman & Holman (B&H) sales representative, first met Hargrove in August, he noticed that her arm was black and blue.

"He wanted to know who I had been in a fight with," Hargrove said. "I explained to him I was on kidney dialysis."

A short while later, Herbert made Hargrove an offer that shocked her.

"We were sitting around talking and after 15 or 20 minutes he said, 'I've got two kidneys, I'll give you one,'" Hargrove said.

It wasn't something Herbert had planned.

"I don't normally walk around saying, 'Hey I've got a kidney, anybody want one?'" he said. "I wasn't out looking for it, it just happened. I really think God put us together that day."

Kidney transplant surgery is scheduled for Jan. 14 at Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville.

Herbert, a Methodist who lives in Sherrills Ford, has worked for B&H for six years. Among his duties at the trade book division of LifeWay Christian Resources is selling Bibles, books and other merchandise to the Free Will Baptist Press account in Ayden.

Hargrove has worked there for several years, but just took over the job of buying books for Free Will's four North Carolina stores in August.

She initially doubted that Herbert was serious about donating his kidney.

"Here's this guy I've never met before offering to give me a kidney," she said.

Herbert, a regular blood and plasma donor, was serious. He gave her his blood type card with his telephone number so she could contact the local transplant group at East Carolina University's Brody School of Medicine in Greenville.

"I was in a state of shock," Hargrove said. "If I hadn't have been, I would have remembered I couldn't do anything about it myself anyway."

Potential donors must contact the transplant group and offer to give up an organ, she said. "He has to call them so they can make sure he is doing it willingly, and I'm not pressuring him or offering to pay him," Hargrove said. "And he did it."

Herbert not only called the transplant group, he began immediately going through a battery of tests; his latest was an all-day event Nov. 6 at Pitt Memorial Hospital where he was "given every test known to man."

"Even though my wife, Cathy, is a nurse and teaches nursing, that was the first time I had a full physical since 1969 when I got out of the Air Force," he said, noting he works under the premise, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

Herbert, 58, said he asked the doctor if his aging kidney would be any good. "The doctor told me the average healthy kidney has a longevity of 140 years."

Earlier, three of Hargrove's family members had failed the donor test, prompting doctors to offer her a kidney from a cadaver, Herbert said. "But she didn't test well for it, so the transplant didn't happen," he said.

Receiving a kidney from a live donor is far superior to getting one from a cadaver donor because fewer people need temporary dialysis afterward, Herbert said.

The organ recipient's insurance company pays for the entire procedure, from start to finish, including the testing.

Herbert, who said he was glad to find out he was in good enough health to give up a kidney, prays the operation works out for both of them, especially Hargrove.

"She's really had some tough times, so at least I'm going to give it a shot," he said. "I'm a Christian, and it just seems like the thing to do."

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12/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by Terri Lackey , LifeWay Communications | with 0 comments



William Jewell president defends college's approach

December 20 2002 by Bob Baysinger , Baptist Press

William Jewell president defends college's approach | Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

Friday, Dec. 20, 2002

William Jewell president defends college's approach

By Bob Baysinger Baptist Press

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.-David Sallee, president of William Jewell College, is making no apologies for what is taught, presented and portrayed at the Baptist campus in Liberty.

A recent report by Baptist Press quotes Patricia Schoenrade, the chair of the department of psychology at William Jewell, saying there is a pattern of accepting homosexuality at the college. Schoenrade issued a warning to "fellow believers" that the spiritual and intellectual souls of the students are at risk.

"The problem, as I see it, is that some Baptist persons don't like the way we do our work," Sallee told the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) executive board at its Dec. 10 meeting. "However, we believe we are doing the work we are called to do in the way we were called to do it.

"I believe that God called me to Liberty to lead William Jewell College to provide a superior education in a distinctively Christian environment. More specifically, the issue is that some people would implement the phrase 'distinctively Christian' differently than we do. At this critical time in the history of William Jewell, it must be clearly and firmly stated that we will vigorously defend both the way we do our work and the systems of governance under which we operate."

Sallee told the board members that William Jewell was founded upon - and continues to be devoted to - the model of education as exploration.

"There are some who want us to adopt the model of indoctrination, simplifying truth to easily digestible nuggets and translating it into uniform action, both personal and corporate," Sallee said.

"We cannot do that. Diversity of views, ambiguity and creative conflict are necessary parts of the enterprise of higher education. We are at our best and we serve our Baptist constituencies best when these qualities are present in the collegiate experiences of our students.

"As a result, we expect our college to address any and all topics, confident in the academic freedom we enjoy. We also expect that freedom, like every freedom, to be exercised responsibly."

Sallee told the MBC board that he believes that "every person is to follow Christ, doing so in the unique giftedness that he/she is as a unique creation of God."

"There is not one expression of the Christian life to which all of us should conform," he said. "Each of us is called to live our own unique life as an expression of Christian faith. To attempt to live the life of another would be to live without authenticity and genuineness.

"Our goal as a community is the kingdom of God. God calls us to practice love and justice in our relationships. The clearest guideline for all relationships is from Jesus, 'Love one another as I have loved you.'"

Sallee said he believes "our heritage calls us to be anchored in the ideals of Christ and the conviction that each person must choose to stand where his or her informed conscience dictates."

Concerning the homosexual debate on campus, Sallee said he thinks it is instructive for students to commit to a respectful discourse about issues which families, churches and denominations across the country are struggling.

"One of our goals is to help our students learn how to work through such difficult issues in a disciplined fashion," he said.

"We have always been a Baptist college and we plan always to be a Baptist college. We have long been a faithful partner of the Baptists of Missouri and I hope you will support our endeavors to provide a Christian education to our students."

An MBC executive board subcommittee has voted to open an inquiry into reports of a "homosexual agenda" at the school.

In a statement to Baptist Press, MBCF Executive Director David Clippard called on the William Jewell administration to respond immediately to the charges that the college has a "pro-homosexual atmosphere."

"I'm shocked that this kind of thing would be debated on a Baptist college campus," Clippard said. "... It may be a liberal arts school, but it is a liberal arts school that receives Cooperative Program dollars. I believe there needs to be some accountability to the Missouri Baptists that support them."

Sallee said in a Dec. 17 press release that governance of the college will not be compromised by pressure from any external organizations, institutions or individuals.

Sallee affirmed the college's autonomous system of governance following a meeting of the board of trustees' executive committee and in response to public pronouncements by leaders of the MBC that were critical of the school's administration. Since its founding in 1849, William Jewell has been governed by an independent, self-perpetuating board of trustees.

"We have always had a strong covenant relationship with Baptists and I feel certain that that will continue; however, we will not cede control of William Jewell to the Executive Board of the Missouri Baptist Convention," Sallee said.

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12/20/2002 12:00:00 AM by Bob Baysinger , Baptist Press | with 0 comments



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