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.


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

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