Category Archives: links

Links To Go (April 23, 2019)

The 1 Thing I’d Say to Christians about Politics and Public Life

But now what I’m worried about is that we will emphasize the need for cultural reform to the near exclusion of our need for revival. If we manage to score short-term political victories—and thus short-term reform of legal institutions, educational laws, and business practices—but do not experience revival, our cultural reform will be for naught.


More

The worry is that if we make things important they become necessary, and if they become necessary they become lines in the sand that create rifts of fellowship, locations of judgmentalism and exclusion. So in my tradition, for example, the worry is that if we start making baptism mean more we’ll drift back toward our traditional sectarian stance. And since we don’t want that, we just downplay the importance of baptism.


When a Group Leaves the Church: Five Perspectives

  1. The exit usually takes place when the pastor’s leadership becomes clear and established.
  2. Hurt exiting church members do not often leave well.
  3. Those often neglected are the members who remain.
  4. The recovery period usually takes months.
  5. The other side is a place of hope.

A New Tool for Teaching Textual Criticism to English Speakers

Of course, I don’t want to be in the business of figuring out how many variants can be introduced before doctrine changes, but I’ll observe that the Holy Spirit has already entered that business. The reason I can’t bring myself to believe that there is a “doctrine of perfect preservation” is both that it misinterprets various Scripture passages and that every jot and tittle is every jot and tittle. Unless we not only have every last stroke of the pen but have perfect confidence in which strokes belong and which don’t (even if one prefers the TR, what does he do with its variants?), God has not given us a world in which the Bible has been perfectly preserved. That is the standard Jesus sets up in Matthew 5:18—if indeed his words are talking about preservation at all, and not efficacy. Naturally, I take the latter view. The Spirit gave us a remarkably but not perfectly pure NT textual stream. I choose to be thankful rather than to demand better.


What I Learned From Learning How to Say No

This type of learning, like nearly everything else, takes practice. When I realized that I needed to get better at saying no, I started with extremely low-stakes situations, such as telling an acquaintance that I couldn’t meet up for drinks. When I realized that saying no in a single situation didn’t cause a chain-reaction of unwanted consequences—like, the acquaintance didn’t hate me forever, we saw each other at another social event and it was fine—I practiced saying no to close friends. Still fine. Miraculously, our friendship survived the great “I don’t feel like tacos tonight” incident of 2016, which prepared me for more difficult decisions like “I won’t be able to join the big friend trip this year.”


The compass and the map

Happy endings come from an understanding of the compass, not the presence of a useful map. If you’ve got the wrong map, the right compass will get you home if you know how to use it.


Understanding Facebook’s Algorithm Could Change How You See Yourself

Ultimately, we need to remind ourselves that the platforms analyzing our online behavior are only interested in aspects of ourselves that they can monetize. We should treat their depictions of us with the same wariness and suspicion we’d offer any human salesperson aiming to manipulate us.


Mark Zuckerberg leveraged Facebook user data to fight rivals and help friends, leaked documents show

The documents, which include emails, webchats, presentations, spreadsheets and meeting summaries, show how Zuckerberg, along with his board and management team, found ways to tap Facebook’s trove of user data — including information about friends, relationships and photos — as leverage over companies it partnered with. In some cases, Facebook would reward favored companies by giving them access to the data of its users. In other cases, it would deny user-data access to rival companies or apps.


Michelin restaurants and fabulous wines: Inside the secret team dinners that have built the Spurs’ dynasty

Says one former player: “I was friends with every single teammate I ever had in my [time] with the Spurs. That might sound far-fetched, but it’s true. And those team meals were one of the biggest reasons why. To take the time to slow down and truly dine with someone in this day and age — I’m talking a two- or three-hour dinner — you naturally connect on a different level than just on the court or in the locker room. It seems like a pretty obvious way to build team chemistry, but the tricky part is getting everyone to buy in and actually want to go. You combine amazing restaurants with an interesting group of teammates from a bunch of different countries and the result is some of the best memories I have from my career.”


The Time the U.S. Government Planned to Nuke Alaska

In 1958, the AEC and physicist Edward Teller proposed the first step in this bold new direction: Project Chariot. The plan was to detonate a 1-megaton H-bomb near Cape Thompson in Alaska along with several other, smaller explosions to create a crater 1000 feet in diameter and 110 feet deep. The resulting deepwater harbor would facilitate mineral mining and fishing access. The U.S. government rhapsodized about the idea in the media, claiming the then-contemporary weapons had low fallout and would create a port that would be nothing but a net gain for Alaskans.


Death by PowerPoint: the slide that killed seven people

Typing text on a screen and reading it out loud does not count as teaching. An audience reading text off the screen does not count as learning. Imagine if the engineers had put up a slide with just: “foam strike more than 600 times bigger than test data.” Maybe NASA would have listened. Maybe they wouldn’t have attempted re-entry. Next time you’re asked to give a talk remember Columbia. Don’t just jump to your laptop and write out slides of text. Think about your message. Don’t let that message be lost amongst text. Death by PowerPoint is a real thing. Sometimes literally.


School daze: Contractor misspells crosswalk

Links To Go (April 17, 2019)

Reaction of the rich to the Notre Dame fire teaches us a lot about the world we live in

The next time someone tries to pretend like you need to choose between homelessness or immigration, nurses’ pay or a tax cut, a children’s hospital or a motorway, remember this moment. The money is there at a click of a finger. It just isn’t in our hands.


Five Things That Masked the Death of a Church

  1. The church had money.
  2. Members still had their friends in the church.
  3. Guests still came to the church.
  4. Mission giving was still good.
  5. Meetings were well attended.

Enemies of the Cross Defeat Themselves

Conversely, where the gospel of Christ has been faithfully and humbly presented hospitals have been built, orphanages created, lives saved, marriages renewed, children fed, homes built, clean water delivered, addictions treated, the environment repaired. Children and adults have been educated, medicine has been delivered, infant mortality has decreased while deaths associated with childbirth have dropped. Works of visual and musical arts that have stood the test of centuries have been created, and are still being created. The pain of natural disasters has been assuaged. The list could go on.


Are You a Pain Or a Joy?

  • Coachable leaders get the concept of spiritual authority.
  • Coachable leaders are action-oriented.
  • Coachable leaders are humble.

On Graying Toward Glory

I will keep my hair appointment because the cracks in this earthly jar are showing and I want to pretend, for a little while longer, I am more invincible than I am. But I think someday I will go gray, let the white tendrils of age grow or turn and prove I am not what I once was and by God’s grace I will not be tomorrow what I am today.


5-star phonies: Inside the fake Amazon review complex

Amazon did not respond to our request for comment. But days after The Hustle sent emails to the company, thousands of the fraudulent reviews were taken off the site.
Among them were the 3,971 5-star reviews for the charger I purchased. The product now has 11 reviews and holds a rating of 2.5 stars.


People were extremely disappointed when a local library clarified it’d be having ‘snacks’ and not ‘snakes’ at its anti-prom event

A library in Pflugerville, Texas, will be hosting an anti-prom event on Friday. But ahead of the festivities, the library had to issue a correction after a misprint in a local newspaper said that there would be snakes at the event, BuzzFeed News first reported.


Texas woman allegedly attacks husband after getting silence when she asked if she’s pretty

Ramirez’s husband said he didn’t respond — as he didn’t hear her — which upset Ramirez, and prompted them to leave the theater.
During their ride home, Ramirez’s husband claimed she allegedly hit him repeatedly. At their home, she allegedly continued to hit him and even assaulted a family member who tried to intervene, according to the news outlet.


Links To Go (April 15, 2019)

When the Bible Confronts Your Confirmation Bias

Proverbs 18:17 forces us to stay silent until we know the truth. This means doing something counter-cultural in the social media era–don’t share stories or your opinion about a story until you have investigated its truthfulness. “This sounds true to me” is not enough. “I’ve heard of other stories like this” will not suffice. Allow the story to be cross-examined. Hear the other side of the story so clearly that you can articulate it yourself. Only then should you speak up and Solomon has plenty to say about how you do.


Must women really keep silent in the churches?

Paul does not want anything to happen during corporate worship that would upset the headship principle that he so carefully exhorted them to obey in 1 Cor. 11:2-16. For that reason, he enjoins women in this context to refrain from the judgment of prophecies. He’s not commanding an absolute silence on the part of women. Indeed he expects them to be praying and prophesying.


Can We Touch?

The research is clear on that fact that people both need and react well to physical touch—in controlled environments. There is no evidence that people like to be touched any less than in previous generations, only that negatively received touch is more openly vocalized. What’s new is that people who didn’t appreciate being touched in previous decades, or who were always made uncomfortable by it, especially from people in positions of power, are empowered to process the fact that it’s not something they need to put up with. They have platforms for speaking up, channels for recourse, and supportive listeners to cushion the blowback.


The Democratic Electorate on Twitter Is Not the Actual Democratic Electorate

In reality, the Democratic electorate is both ideologically and demographically diverse. Over all, around half of Democratic-leaning voters consider themselves “moderate” or “conservative,” not liberal. Around 40 percent are not white.


Why airlines make flights longer on purpose

In the 1960s it took five hours to fly from New York to Los Angeles, and just 45 minutes to hop from New York to Washington, DC. Today, these same flights now take six-plus hours and 75 minutes respectively, although the airports haven’t moved further apart.


7-Eleven owner sends shoplifting teen home with food instead of calling 911

As Singh’s employee called 911 and had a dispatcher on the phone, the boy told Singh why he was stealing. “He said, ‘I’m stealing for myself. I’m hungry, and I’m doing it for my younger brother,'” Singh told ABC 13.
Singh asked his employee to hang up.
“I said, ‘Well that’s not food. You’re stealing gum and candies. That’s just something for munching,'” Singh, who has owned the store for five years, told CNN. “I said, ‘If you’re hungry, ask me. I’ll give you food.'”
According to a user on Facebook who witnessed the scene, Singh packed up chicken wings, sausage rolls, a whole pizza and a 2-liter bottle of soda for the teenager.


Links To Go (April 12, 2019)

It Turns Out that Sexual Liberation Isn’t All that Liberating

The collective message that’s been delivered is something like this — singleness is exciting, religion is oppressive, and marriage is where you “settle down” (sometimes for good, sometimes for ill).
In reality, singleness is often stressful and lonely, religion provides community and purpose, and married people enjoy the excitement of more sex and the joys of unified child-rearing.


Privileged

But in many ways the more dangerous form of racism isn’t that loud and stupid kind. It isn’t the kind that announces itself when it walks into the arena. It’s the quiet and subtle kind. The kind that almost hides itself in plain view. It’s the person who does and says all the “right” things in public: They’re perfectly friendly when they meet a person of color. They’re very polite. But in private? Well….. they sort of wish that everyone would stop making everything “about race” all the time.


Kyle Korver privilege post: Lessons from Jazz guard’s article on racism

I’m not trying to be rude or sound overly critical, but Kyle, as a person 14 years younger than you who has seen you interact with black people in intimate and intellectual ways the majority of white people never experience, it’s a little disheartening to see you are just now deciding to acknowledge the racist history of the United States.


“Where Are You From?”

Therefore, I have adopted a new identity: Citizen of Heaven. As my identity is found in him, and as my eternity will be found there also, I rest in the assurance that I do have a home. That home is wherever I am in his presence, wherever I remember his all-encompassing and never-ending love.


Why are We Losing the Next Generation?

I know I am not perfect and that like you, I slip up from time to time, but when our only consistency is our inconsistency in these and other areas do we really want the next generation to follow where our footsteps are leading? If we are talking out of both sides of our mouth, can we expect them to become anything different?


Africa is set to be the global center of Christianity for the next 50 years

The rise of Christianity in Africa is also captured outside the continent. In a reversal from nearly five centuries ago when Christian missionaries first brought the religion to to African communities, African preachers, led by “reverse missionaries,” are increasingly taking charge of the gospel in England, as Quartz Africa has reported.
In comparison, while there were three African countries (Nigeria, Egypt, Algeria) among countries with top ten largest Muslim populations in 2015, that number will be reduced to two (Nigeria and Egypt) by 2060.


The Biggest Wastes Of Time We Regret When We Get Older

  • Not Asking for Help
  • Trying to Make Bad Relationships Work
  • Dwelling on Your Mistakes and Shortcomings
  • Worrying Too Much About Other People

Exercise makes you happier than money, according to Yale and Oxford research

According to the study, three to five training sessions, each lasting between 30 to 60 minutes, are ideal per week. The mental health of those participants who exercised for longer than three hours a day suffered more than that of those who weren’t particularly physically active.


‘Shark Tank’ recap: A door-lock demonstration hilariously trips up Nashville entrepreneurs

“How much (do) you sell the deadlocks for?” Cuban asked sarcastically as five kicks came and went without producing the desired result. Bertelli backed up and charged, his body bouncing off the door.


Links To Go (April 3, 2019)

Delighting in Authority: How to Create a Culture of Happy Complementarians

It’s time for the church to create space in its local assemblies for strong females who happily affirm authority (e.g., male headship and eldership) while advocating for more opportunities for women to flourish according to their gifts and qualification. Imagine how the gospel could be displayed to the watching world if churches were filled with biblically-minded women who embraced God-ordained authority as a blessing rather than a burden? This counter-cultural impulse would offer continual opportunities to share the gospel with a world that’s desperate for truth.


You Believe the Prosperity Gospel

Here are 4 ways ordinary evangelicals like you and me sometimes fall prey to a kind of prosperity gospel in our thinking:

  1. We equate struggles with weak faith.
  2. We equate circumstantial blessings with spiritual maturity.
  3. We promise blessings in exchange for works.
  4. We equate suffering with punishment.

9 Common Trends in Church Worship Services

  1. Choirs are disappearing.
  2. Dress is more casual.
  3. Screens are pervasive.
  4. Preaching is longer.
  5. “Multi” is normative.
  6. Attendees are more diverse.
  7. Conflict is not increasing.
  8. More worship attendees are attending larger churches.
  9. Sunday evening services are disappearing.

If Everyone in Your Church Is Just Like You, You Have a Problem

Our society has made “preference” a synonym of church. Not only are we segregated racially, but in age as well. And we encourage it! First service is for those who prefer hymns while second service is for those who prefer upbeat, modern music. The older, wiser people head to first service while the younger, brasher people head to the second and everyone suffers the death of segregation. If we can’t agree on a way of doing church together, we’ll just host multiple churches inside of one.


Because There’s No Gospel All Day

I was prepared to wrap things up when I posed one simple question to her based upon what we’d read and discussed. “Why do you think we need to come back to the truth of the gospel every day? Why do we need to read the Bible tomorrow if we already read it today?” Expecting something along the lines of “it’s the right thing to do” or “so we’ll know God better,” her actual answer floored me.
“Because there’s no gospel all day.”
I urged her to go on.
“You get up in the morning, maybe you read the Bible. Then go to school all day and there’s so many bad messages you’re getting from friends and social media and television and everything. You need to read your Bible because you’re not going to get what you need anywhere else.”


Clay seal of King Josiah’s aide is found in the remains of an ancient office burnt down by Babylonians in 586 BC – adding weight to proof that the king really existed

A rare clay seal found in Jerusalem may help to firm up the existence existence of the Old Testament’s King Josiah.
Nathan-Melech, a high-ranking official in the court of King of Judah, is named in the inscription of one of the tiny clay seals.


How To Repent Of Slander In A Digital Age

Much of the online slander I have seen happens because we think another person has sinned. In such contexts, we sometimes post slanderous comments because we wrongly believed a false report and then passed it on. At other times, we come to realize our own evaluation of the situation was wrong or that we were unfair in how we characterized someone’s position. In either case, our motivation was often to try and put a stop to sin. Hatred of sin is of course a good thing! But the real test of our hatred of sin is seen in whether we publicly repent of our own sin of public slander. Let us hate the sin of slander as much as any other.


Couple married 82 years says no secret to long life together: ‘Just be nice to each other’

A North Carolina couple celebrating their 103rd and 100th birthdays may have the secret, or lack thereof, to a long-lasting relationship.
The couple, D.W. Williams, 103, and Willie Williams, 100, celebrated 82 years of marriage, as well as their milestone birthdays, on Sunday.


Pop, Tim and Tony give their favorite Manu Moments

Believe it or not, Manu Ginobili’s jersey retirement ceremony is tomorrow (!!!) [March 28], and the Spurs have released another round of “Manu Moments,” including Gregg Popovich, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan. Pop’s might make you cry, and Tim will make you laugh: right in line with the wide range of emotions that I’m sure we will all be feeling tomorrow.