Category Archives: links

Links To Go (July 17, 2017)

Links from around the Internet. No agreement nor endorsement implied… Tim

On Representing the Views of Others

I often told my PhD students that it wasn’t necessary or wise to exaggerate or distort the views of others in order to make their own case for their views. It wasn’t necessary to run down the work of previous scholars in order to justify their own work. All that was needed was to demonstrate some further contribution that their own work made to the subject, whether correcting, or supplementing, or reinforcing, or extending our understanding of it.

The pope praised him for providing for his parents; now Texas may want to deport them

Ortiz’s love for his father makes accepting the new Texas law all the more difficult, he said. He describes his father as a patriotic sort who taught his children at early ages to respect police and honor the U.S. flag.
“He’s kept a clean record. He raised us the right way,” Ortiz said. “Now, the people he taught us to look up to are the people who can deport him and decide what his future is.”

The Five Key Factors in Every Christian’s Sanctification

  • God Changes You
  • Truth Changes You
  • Wise People Change You
  • Suffering and Struggle Change You
  • You Change

These Are The Six Red Flags That You’re Getting Bad Advice

  1. The person isn’t qualified
  2. The advice isn’t tailored to you
  3. The person talks but doesn’t listen
  4. The advice is focused on the end result and not the process
  5. The advice is emotionally charged
  6. The advice ruffles your instincts

A leading happiness researcher says we’re giving our kids bad advice about how to succeed in life

Many widely-held theories about what it takes to be successful are proving to be counterproductive.
Sure, they may produce results in the short term. But eventually, they lead to burnout and—get this—less success. Here are a few of the most damaging things many of us are currently teaching our children about success, and what to teach them instead.

Town reduces pedestrian-vehicle accidents at dangerous crosswalk to zero using this one simple move

A once-dangerous intersection hasn’t had a single pedestrian-motor vehicle accident in the past year after beginning use of an all-red phase traffic signal — stopping traffic in all directions for 26 seconds every few minutes.

Thousands sign up to clean sewage because they didn’t read the small print

Do you read the terms and conditions? Probably not. No one does. And so, inevitably, 22,000 people have now found themselves legally bound to 1000 hours of community service, including, but not limited to, cleaning toilets at festivals, scraping chewing gum off the streets and “manually relieving sewer blockages”.

Links To Go (July 13, 2017)

Five “Fake News” Stories That People Believe about Early Christianity

  1. Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene.
  2. The divinity of Jesus was not decided until the council of Nicea in the fourth century.
  3. Christians did not have a “Bible” until the time of Constantine.
  4. The “Gnostic” Gospels like the Gospel of Thomas were just as popular as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
  5. The words of the New Testament have been radically changed and corrupted in the earliest centuries.

12 Principles on How to Disagree with Other Christians

  1. Welcome those who disagree with you (Rom. 14:1–2).
  2. Those who have freedom of conscience must not look down on those who don’t (Rom. 14:3–4).
  3. Those whose conscience restricts them must not be judgmental toward those who have freedom (Rom. 14:3–4).
  4. Each believer must be fully convinced of their position in their own conscience (Rom. 14:5)
  5. Assume that others are partaking or refraining for the glory of God (Rom. 14:6–9).
  6. Do not judge each other in these matters because we will all someday stand before the judgment seat of God (Rom. 14:10–12).
  7. Your freedom to eat meat is correct, but don’t let your freedom destroy the faith of a weak brother or sister (Rom. 14:13–15).
  8. Disagreements about eating and drinking are not important in the kingdom of God; building each other up in righteousness, peace, and joy is the important thing (Rom. 14:16–21).
  9. If you have freedom, don’t flaunt it; if you are strict, don’t expect others to be strict like you (Rom. 14:22a).
  10. A person who lives according to their conscience is blessed (Rom. 14:22b–23).
  11. We must follow the example of Christ, who put others first (Rom. 15:1–6).
  12. We bring glory to God when we welcome one another as Christ has welcomed us (Rom. 15:7).

Seven Costs to Being an Evangelistic Leader in Your Church

  1. It is spiritual warfare.
  2. You will be viewed as narrowed minded.
  3. Something else must be sacrificed when you are an evangelistic leader.
  4. Some of your members will complain.
  5. New converts will be seen as threats or inconveniences in your church.
  6. Discussing theology is easier than doing theology.
  7. You will have to break out of your holy huddles.

We Are Saved By Feelings Alone

To be clear, I don’t want to dismiss the importance of emotions in spirituality. Joy, peace, wonder, and gratitude are all hugely important. But love, generosity, hospitality, kindness and peace-making are behaviors. My concern here is the feeling/action divorce which allows many Christians to feel loved but who aren’t very loving.

In search of the minimum viable audience

The solution is simple but counterintuitive: Stake out the smallest market you can imagine. The smallest market that can sustain you, the smallest market you can adequately serve. This goes against everything you learned in capitalism school, but in fact, it’s the simplest way to matter.
When you have your eyes firmly focused on the minimum viable audience, you will double down on all the changes you seek to make. Your quality, your story and your impact will all get better.

Rural and urban gun owners have different experiences, views on gun policy

Rural and urban gun owners, in particular, differ in many ways. Three-quarters of those in rural areas (75%) say they own more than one gun, compared with 48% of urban gun owners. And while protection tops the list of reasons for owning a gun among both groups, gun owners in rural areas are far more likely than urban owners to cite hunting as a major reason they own a gun (48% vs. 27%, respectively).

Sharp Partisan Divisions in Views of National Institutions

A majority of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (58%) now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on the country, up from 45% last year. By contrast, most Democrats and Democratic leaners (72%) say colleges and universities have a positive effect, which is little changed from recent years.

Human chain of 80 saves family from drowning off Florida beach

Strangers on a Florida Panhandle beach formed an 80-person human chain to rescue nine members of a family who had been caught in a riptide and pulled too far from shore.

Links To Go (July 8, 2017)

Understanding Israel’s 10 Commandments

Everyone knows that God gave the Israelites the 10 Commandments. Some of you may even be able to list them from memory. But do a search for the phrase “10 commandments” in your Bible and you might be surprised to find that it actually never appears anywhere. (Your translation may supply a subheading at the beginning of these sections that says “The 10 Commandments,” but there is no such subheading in the original Hebrew.) And, for those who have memorized them, which list—of a possible three—is it that you’re reciting? Further, even if we agree on the list, how do you count them to arrive at 10?

It’s Not Just Mike Pence. Americans Are Wary of Being Alone With the Opposite Sex.

Many men and women are wary of a range of one-on-one situations, the poll found. Around a quarter think private work meetings with colleagues of the opposite sex are inappropriate. Nearly two-thirds say people should take extra caution around members of the opposite sex at work. A majority of women, and nearly half of men, say it’s unacceptable to have dinner or drinks alone with someone of the opposite sex other than their spouse.

Mexican Lawful Immigrants Among the Least Likely to Become U.S. Citizens

Based on Pew Research Center estimates using the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data available, two-thirds (67%) of lawful immigrants eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship had applied for and obtained citizenship by 2015. This is the highest share since at least the mid-1990s. But among Mexican lawful immigrants eligible to apply, only 42% had applied for and obtained U.S. citizenship by 2015, a rate little changed since 2005 and one of the lowest among all immigrant groups when it comes to country of origin.

Americans Have Mixed Feelings About Sex and Religion

When faith and sexuality clash, which side should prevail?
Americans can’t decide.
About half of Americans (48 percent) say religious freedom is more important in such conflicts when faith and sexuality clash, according to a new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research. A quarter (24 percent) say sexual freedom is more important. A quarter (28 percent) aren’t sure.

3 Reasons Preachers Shouldn’t Publicly Contradict a Bible Translation

  1. We are putting down people our sheep need to trust.
  2. We may be overestimating our abilities.
  3. We are withholding God’s gifts from our people

A Higher Minimum Wage Is Not Doing The Bad Things Critics Said It Would Do

One common critique of higher minimum wages is that they also raise the cost of living. But last year, an initial study from the University of Washington found that retailers, despite having to pay their workers more, weren’t raising prices. Another is that higher pay will lead to fewer shifts and fewer jobs. And while those same UW researchers are analyzing the data, other researchers at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) used an innovative model to prove that the city’s increased minimum wage has had no negative effect on job availability.

Jack Ma, China’s richest man, was happier earning $12 a month than he is as a billionaire

After graduating in 1988, Ma worked as an English teacher at a local university in his hometown of Hangzhou, China. He only made $12 a month, according to the documentary about his life called “Crocodile in the Yangtze.”
When speaking at a luncheon with the Economics Club of New York on Tuesday, Ma referred to this period as the “best life I had.”

My 400-Person Company Has A Great Work Culture, And We All Work Remotely

When we think of “culture,” so much of that is tied to a physical location. And that’s just as true of work cultures as urban ones. But here at Goodway Group, a digital marketing company with over 400 U.S.-based employees, we have a work culture that’s earned high marks on Glassdoor and kudos from Fortune‘s Great Place to Work initiative and the Society for Human Resource Management—and we all work from home. In fact, around a dozen of our team members live in RVs.

Time Has Only Strengthened These Ancient Roman Walls

Any seaside structure will erode and eventually crumble into the water below. That’s how things work. Or at least that’s how they usually work. Scientists say the ancient Romans figured out a way to build seawalls that actually got tougher over time. They published their findings in the journal American Mineralogist.

Links To Go (June 23, 2017)

Served or Serving: Curing the Sickness That’s Killing The Church

But what might happen if we thought of the church, not as a set of structures, programming, goods, and services, but as a meal? The question we have to answer together is whether this meal is more like going to a restaurant or sharing a potluck. If it’s a restaurant, our tastes matter. We can pick and choose from the menu and request our salad dressing be served “on the side.” We can rightly regard the pace, kindness, and delivery of service. Our needs and perceptions matter at a restaurant. If we like the “experience,” we can leave a tip.
A potluck is different. If church is a potluck, we know to arrive with an offering and prepared to serve and be served. We demonstrate gratitude to the others who have come equally prepared to provide a feast for all.

I Am the Center of the Universe

I can only come to one of two conclusions about my frustration over this inevitable fact of life: either I am the center of the universe and you all don’t know, or — I am not the center of the universe and I am upset that you all know.

Most Hispanic Christians Ambivalent Toward Israel

Among Hispanic Christians who support Israel’s right to exist, few cite the Bible (7 percent) or Bible prophecy (11 percent) as the reason for doing so. Instead, 55 percent say Israel has a right to exist because every nation has a right to exist.

Five Overcorrection Mistakes Churches Make

  1. A different kind of pastor.
  2. A different emphasis on evangelism or discipleship.
  3. A different emphasis on reaching newcomers versus taking care of the members.
  4. A different kind of leadership structure.
  5. A different kind of system to oversee financial controls.

Are Your Teachers VIPs?

Too often, however, our teachers receive no or few expressions of thanks. This shouldn’t be. In the strongest possible way, I want to encourage churches to do more to thank their teachers. Here are a few ideas.

Worth being afraid of

It turns out, though, that the one who usually lets us down is us.
Our unwillingness to leap, to commit, to trust our own abilities.
It’s the internal narrative that seeks disaster just as much as it craves reassurance.
That’s the one we ought to be vilifying, fortifying ourselves against and frightened of.

Millennials are the most likely generation of Americans to use public libraries

A new analysis of Pew Research Center survey data from fall 2016 finds that 53% of Millennials (those ages 18 to 35 at the time) say they used a library or bookmobile in the previous 12 months. That compares with 45% of Gen Xers, 43% of Baby Boomers and 36% of those in the Silent Generation.

Gangs of aggressive killer whales are shaking down Alaska fishing boats for their fish

The orcas will wait all day for a fisher to accumulate a catch of halibut, and then deftly rob them blind. They will relentlessly stalk individual fishing boats, sometimes forcing them back into port.

The reason Manu Ginobili means so much to San Antonio

He’s commonly known as a man of the people. It’s not unusual to catch him in the middle of a conversation with a random fan. In a city where most residents literally speak his language, one could argue he’s more loved as a person than Tim Duncan, who is the godfather of the team, but an undisputedly distant one.

Links To Go (June 20, 2017)

Is the ESV Literal and the NIV Gender Neutral?

The point of this blog is to encourage all of us to use exact language. The ESV is not “literal.” (Note that the ESV does not claim to be “literal” but rather “essentially literal.”) The NIV is not “gender neutral.” (The NIV claims to be gender accurate.) But people commenting on these translations are often not as nuanced.

Southern Baptists and the Alt-Right: On Being in the Room Where it Happened (by Nathan Finn)

At no point and in no way was the resolutions committee being “soft” on the Alt-Right or other forms of white supremacy. At no point were Southern Baptists debating whether or not we ought to denounce these demonic impulses. At no point did Steve Gaines or anyone else force Southern Baptists to do something they didn’t want to do. At no point were Southern Baptists wringing their hands over how we would look in the media if we didn’t do something. At no point were we trying not to offend Trump voters—or any other voters, for that matter. None of that happened, and folks who suggest it did are either speaking out of ignorance or out of malicious intent, period.

Your Short-Term Trips Have Not Prepared You For Long-Term Missions

One of the keys to adjusting to a new culture is holding loosely to your expectations. Unfortunately, STM trips can actually make that worse by creating a false picture of what your new life will look like. I still love short-term missions trips when they are done well, but it’s important to understand their limits in preparing you for long-term service. Don’t be surprised if you need to un-learn some of what they taught you.

The Number One Reason Missionaries Go Home

Toward the end of the 20th century the World Evangelical Alliance released a significant study that found “conflict with peers” the top reason North American missionaries leave the mission field.

The Uniqueness of Early Christian Baptism

What many Christians are unaware of is the fact that baptism, or a variation thereof, was a practice of most religions in antiquity. When in Hebrews 6:2 the author mentioned “baptisms,” notice that he used the plural form of the term. Later on in the writing, he also mentioned “washings” (Hebrews 9:10), again a plural usage. Jews participated in baptisms—often named as “washings,” “purifications,” “lustrations,” or “ablutions”—frequently and for a variety of reasons (e.g. Leviticus 15:5–6; Numbers 19:7–8).


The Simple Menu Innovations That Science Says Can Get People To Order Vegetarian Options He sees language and marketing as a way to help change how Americans think about healthy food. “We may not only choose vegetables more when we think of them this way, but we might actually enjoy the experience when we eat them, too,” he says. “There’s some evidence that shows that being in an indulgent mind-set while you’re eating is actually better physiologically than when you’re in a mind-set of restriction. And then there’s other research that shows that if you make a healthy decision but you feel deprived you may eat more later on anyway. So here we really want to start changing this restrictive messaging around healthy food.”

Chocolate milk is too confusing for nearly half of American adults, survey finds

A full 7 percent of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows, Food & Wine reports. That figure comes from an Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy survey of more than 1,000 people conducted in April.
When extrapolated, it means approximately 16.4 million Americans — or roughly the population of Pennsylvania — are hopelessly misinformed about chocolate milk, according to the The Washington Post.
Overall, the survey found 48 percent of US adults aren’t sure where chocolate milk comes from (though 29 percent use their kids as cover to buy it for themselves).