Blogroll

I read blogs, as well as write one. The 'blogroll' on this site reproduces some posts from some of the people I enjoy reading.

Disclaimer: Reproducing an article here need not necessarily imply agreement or endorsement!

Clergy abuse under police spotlight in Hong Kong

Anglican Ink - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 02:32

Police investigating 2004 & 2007 abuse allegations known to Archbishop Kwong, but not reported to police

Polynesia rejects same-sex marriage

Anglican Ink - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 01:37

The General Synod has passed a resolution which notes that Tikanga Pasifika will not be voting for the blessing of same-gender relationships.

Update on Motion 29 debate

Anglican Ink - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 01:31

The General Synod spent all of Tuesday on Motion 29 - the motion on blessing same gender relationships. And after a slow start, we had a big finish.

Synod meeting in New Zealand debates authorization of same-sex marriage rites

Anglican Ink - Wed, 09/05/2018 - 01:26

Report on deliberations on Motion 29, allowing local option for dioceses on same-sex marriage

The Rise of Edge Compute: The Video

CloudFlare - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 22:28
 The Video

 The Video

At the end of March, Kenton Varda, tech lead and architect for Cloudflare Workers, traveled to London and led a talk about the Rise of Edge Compute where he laid out our vision for the future of the Internet as a platform.

Several of those who were unable to attend on-site asked for us to produce a recording. Well, we've completed the audio edits, so here it is!

Visit the Workers category on Cloudflare's community forum to learn more about Workers and share questions, answers, and ideas with other developers.

Visit the Community Forum Here »

Categories: Technology

When I am Afraid—Fighting Worries with the Word

Children Desiring God - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 20:30

I remember when every night was a struggle to get our daughter to bed. It was as if nighttime brought to her mind every possible catastrophic scenario. She was terrified! As parents, we were tempted to simply address her fears with simple, rational explanations: “See, there are no monsters under your bed.” “The dark can’t hurt you.” Etc.

Sometimes these explanations can be helpful, but they can never give our children unshakeable peace and assurance in the myriad of fearful situations they will experience both now and in the future. That’s why I am so excited about When I am Afraid, a new children’s resource from Truth78. A full-color picture book, When I am Afraid addresses one of the most common experiences of children: FEAR. It provides parents with a tool for helping their children look to God’s all-powerful Word to conquer fear and worry.

Through carefully selected verses, children are reminded of the character of God and His wonderful provision and protection of His people.

The book’s “Word to Parents” and “How to Use this Book” sections provide a strong foundation and context for going beyond simply reading the book to their child(ren). It encourages parents to use the illustrations and verses to engage their child’s heart in further spiritual discussion, points them to the Gospel, and shows them their need for responding in faith.

A mother wrote to share this story of how the message helped her guide her son:

My three children take turns sleeping with our toddler, so every third night our middle son must sleep alone, which creates overwhelming fear and sadness for him.

Last night was a night that son was asked to sleep alone. He broke down again. This time, we all read your book on fear. I think we could all feel our confidence in God build as we read through it together. His Word is so powerful. We all laid hands on my son who had been so frightened and each of us prayed for him and he went to bed – without tears!  It was a real victory!

This book is fantastic and not too young for anyone. I think I’ll try and use it when we teach the lesson on “Jesus Calms Fearful Sinners” in the kindergarten class…just perfect!

You can read more about the book, including sample pages, here.

You can also download here a PDF of the lesson “Jesus Calms Fearful Sinners” that is in the “Jesus, What a Savior” curriculum.

 

Categories: Christian Resources

Making high quality HTML email templates easy for everyone: behind the scenes at htmlemail.io

Postmark - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 15:35

We're excited to bring you an interview with Lee Munroe about his experiences building and growing the popular email template site htmlemail.io. Enjoy!

Tell us a little bit about the history of htmlemail.io. How did the idea come about? Why did you decide to start working on it?

A couple of years ago I created a simple responsive email template which I open sourced and put on GitHub. When I shared it with the community it got some traction and I realized that while just a simple template, this solved a big pain for developers. Over the next couple of years I open sourced a few more templates as well as my (Grunt) workflow for creating them.

Simple responsive email template

Then I started writing about what I had learned. I published blog posts about sending email, building email and responsive email (which I later accumulated in one long post for Smashing Magazine). These posts received positive feedback and I started getting requests to talk about email development at conferences. I had the opportunity to speak at several developer conferences including O’Reilly Fluent Conference in San Francisco and Litmus Email Design Conference in Boston.

Smashing Magazine post on building and sending email

I got to this point where I had shared a bunch of knowledge and open sourced a bunch of code. Thanks to the feedback (and website traffic) I felt I had a good amount of validation to “productize” a pack of email templates that would solve 80% of use cases for startups and developers. I invested some time in getting the templates up to a quality standard and testing them across the major email clients then launched HTML Email.

HTML Email templates for startups and developers What has the response been like from the email community?

Fantastic. In 18 months we have over 800 customers. On launch day we were the most hunted website on ProductHunt. Honestly I wasn’t expecting it to be as successful as that. Earlier in the process I had plans to make video tutorials, write a book, offer some more advanced tooling etc. and in the end I decided just to ship what I had, the email templates. Turns out all that stuff, while it would be nice to still offer these at some point, they weren't necessarily needed for launch.

HTML Email on Product Hunt

I think having the shared knowledge out there in blog posts as well as free templates has worked well as a channel. A lot of our referrals come from these blog posts and GitHub. Many developers will read the articles, try the free templates, and have faith that buying the more “polished” pack of templates are worth it. If they’d rather not spend the money or don’t have a budget they can invest a bit of time in looking at the open source workflow and figuring out how to make the templates themselves.

What has the project taught you about email development? Anything surprising or particularly challenging that stands out?

Over the years I’ve learned that 99.99% of developers do not like dealing with email. Cross client support. Inlining CSS. Using tables. Not something a typical developer has desire to deal with.

Of course all companies, apps, services send emails. So at some point someone has to set them up. Usually that someone wants to get in and out as quickly as possible. Sure there are companies that see the full potential and ROI of email and invest in a team. But most teams, especially early on, have a long list of other priorities and for email they want a quick solution that works.

So they’re not going to set up their own email infrastructure. They’re going to use an easy to use plug and play API solution like Postmark. Similarly they don’t want to spend weeks trying to learn how each email client renders HTML, what works and what doesn’t work.

That’s where HTML Email comes in, 10 high quality email templates that will get you up and running very quickly. Most customers say they’ll have their email templates live in less that 24 hours. It saves their developers days or weeks of pain staking agony trying to get their emails working and tested across the major email clients.

What’s next for you? What are your plans for the site and the templates?

The templates are doing great. I follow up with every customer to make sure they’re able to get the templates up and running and to listen to their feedback. One thing I realized early on is the website lacked a way to retain users so I’ve tried a couple of things to address this.

We started writing more content aimed at developers, in particular email service provider integrations. As well as a super post about integrating with Postmark you’ll notice we now have how-to tutorials for several other ESPs.

ESP integration guides for email developers

I also created a CSS inliner tool. I was never really satisfied with the standard of inliners out there so I made one to better suit the needs of email developers. It inlines in real time, offers a desktop and mobile preview and has some export options. This has seen returning users grow as email developers use it daily for their inlining needs.

CSS inliner for emails

In the future I plan to build out more developer and design tooling for email. It’s a niche area with a great community that I think most developers and designers would rather not have to deal with. It feels good being able to provide tools and content that enable these makers to produce emails of high quality quickly with minimal effort.

Categories: Technology

Happy Birthday Hayek!

Adam Smith Institute - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 14:33

On this day in 1899, in Vienna, Friedrich Hayek was born. He would go on to write about economics, philosophy, politics, psychology, and the history of ideas, and win the Nobel Prize in Economics. His 1944 wartime book The Road To Serfdom, which showed how easily social democracy could morph into totalitarianism, brought him fame.

The young Hayek was hired as an economist by Ludwig von Mises, and in 1927 the pair set up an institute to explore boom-bust cycles. They concluded that these cycles were caused by central banks setting interest rates too low—encouraging excessive borrowing, investment and spending. But low rates also discouraged saving, and when funds dried up, investments had to be abandoned and people were thrown out of work. 

In the 1930s, Hayek came to Britain, where he fought a long intellectual duel with John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946). But Keynes’s ideas prevailed, and Hayek turned more to social and political philosophy. His key insight here was the concept of spontaneous order. Human and animal societies, he observed, show obvious regularities. Yet nobody planned the society of bees or the operations of markets. They came about naturally, and grew and persisted simply because they were useful. Spontaneous orders (e.g. language) emerged when we followed certain regularities of action (e.g. grammar). We might not be able to articulate these ‘rules', but they contained the ‘wisdom’ that allowed us to thrive.

We did not design this system, but simply stumbled upon it. When people first started bartering and swapping goods, they did not know it would grow into a worldwide system of cooperation through trade and commerce. But when they did barter and exchange, prices began to emerge: and prices contain all the information needed for the system to work. High prices induce customers to economise and suppliers to look for new ways to satisfy them; low prices tell suppliers they should train their effort in some more useful direction. 

Freedom was critical to the working of these spontaneous economic and social orders. They needed new ideas in order to evolve and adapt—which is why free societies advance more rapidly.

Hayek saw justice as the framework that enabled social life to work. We do not invent the rules of justice: we discover them through trial and error. But while justice facilitates an evolving social order, what people call ‘social justice’ instead aims to deliver a preconceived social outcome. It required us to treat individuals differently; and once we began to do that, we were on the road to serfdom, with no obvious end point. A liberal government would merely create the conditions needed for the social order to function. Socialism—trying to design a social order—was a dangerous mistake. No socialist planner could ever match the creative genius of a free people.

Categories: Current Affairs

Imunify360 3.1.4 bugfix release is here

CloudLinux - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 14:22

We are pleased to announce that a new updated stable Imunify360 version 3.1.4 is now available.

Fixes:

  • DEF-5058: fixed db migration 75.

To install a new stable Imunify360 version 3.1.4 please follow the instructions in the documentation.

The upgrading is available since Imunify360 version 2.0-19.

To upgrade Imunify360 run the command:

yum update imunify360-firewall

More information on Imunify360 can be found here.

Categories: Technology

The 3 Enemies of Rest

The Good Book Company - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 14:17

Would it surprise you to learn that rest is under attack?

If l were Satan, my goal would be to make sure Christians were as useless as could they be. I would set about trying to convince them of all sorts of great-sounding reasons to rarely (and hopefully never) get around to resting. Here are three ways he keeps us from entering the rest God offers and commands.

1. “I Am What I Do.” (The False Virtue of Busyness.)

One of the biggest lies the modern world has swallowed hook, line, and sinker is the belief that busier is better. In fact, we are addicted to busyness. When we say, “oh, I’m so busy this week,” what we really mean is “look how important I am.” We believe that if we weren’t doing all these things, the world would end.

The truth is, of course we’re busy, but busyness is not a virtue. In fact, it could very well become a vice in my life that Satan uses to keep us from God.

2. “God’s Given Me Too Much to Do!” (The Religious Achiever Reflex.)

For some of us, the idea of finding time to rest feels impossible, even if it’s for God. How can God command you to take a day off when you’re already trying so hard to do all the other things He’s given to you? It’s like Pharoah forcing the Israelites to make the same amount of bricks, but with no straw (Exodus 5 v 1-21).

The truth is, that mindset comes from a place of emotionally unhealthy spirituality. You might be using God’s instructions about productivity to hide from your direct relationship with God Himself. Even “good” activities, when they come at the expense of God’s invitation to rest with Him, derail us spiritually.

3. “If I Stop, Life Just Won’t Work Out.” (The Irreligious False Heaven.)

So many books, seminars, and techniques are designed to help you get the things in this world that seem they’ll bring you the restful paradise you’re longing for. Of course, none of those heavens exist.

Work, money, kids, health, sex, food, and drink—are good things. God made each of them. But pursued too much, for the wrong reasons, they don’t bring us rest. They burn us out.

Fighting False Rest

The refusal to stop and rest is a refusal to accept the way God created us. It is a subtle rejection of God’s ability to rule His world, rescue His people, and rejuvenate them along the way. Rest--a time holy to the Lord—declares who rules, who rescues, and who refreshes.

True Sabbath rest is about learning a new rhythm to life where we celebrate the sovereignty of God, enjoy the liberation of the Gospel, and truly trust the Salvation Jesus gives.
 

This is adapted from The Art of Rest by Adam Mabry. Discover the secret to real, realistic, non-rules-based spiritual refreshment with this helpful book as your guide.

Categories: Christian Resources

Beta: Imunify360 3.2.1 is here

CloudLinux - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 14:07

We are pleased to announce that a new updated Imunify360 beta version 3.2.1 is now available. This latest version embodies further improvements of the product as well as the new features. The most notable features are as follows.

Tasks

  • DEF-3013: implemented HTML form to submit support ticket through Zendesk API (UI part);
  • DEF-3050: nginx CAPTCHA is now integrated into web shield;
  • DEF-4238: added data sorting by columns in Malicious files table and in Malware Scanner → History table in the Imunify360 UI;
  • DEF-4477: On-demand scan progress is now displayed in UI (UI part);
  • DEF-4522: only nginx CAPTCHA is now available and enabled for all by default;
  • DEF-4655: added a possibility to store backups on the local backup server, when using Cloudlinux Backup;
  • DEF-4675: implemented searching across all IP lists;
  • DEF-4742: Malware History tab - Administrator side - added the 'owner' column and implemented searching by owner;
  • DEF-4744: implemented searching across all IP lists - UI;
  • DEF-4796: clock's humanTime is now updated each 10 seconds;
  • DEF-4823: implemented symlink check for inotify scanner;
  • DEF-4840: obsolete unused maldet package;
  • DEF-4888: agent now makes a number of retries when it creates rules during startup;
  • DEF-4889: automatic mod_remoteip installation is now supported on Plesk;
  • DEF-4912: dropped Imunify360 Firewall 32bit;
  • DEF-4950: updated protobuf file and Python module according to a new PHP module spec.

Fixes

  • DEF-3623: fixed race condition in inotify scanner;
  • DEF-4107: fixed incorrect user_id generation;
  • DEF-4578: if IPv6 support fails, the system now falls back to IPv4-only and prints warning to logs;
  • DEF-4685: fixed IsADirectoryError: [Errno 21] Is a directory;
  • DEF-4764: fixed an issue when mod_remoteip check does not work for LiteSpeed;
  • DEF-4772: fixed an issue when YARA from EPEL caused segfault;
  • DEF-4776: fixed "Failed to detect strategy" error after restart an agent;
  • DEF-4822: fixed register by IP in deploy script;
  • DEF-4850: fixed minor support form issues;
  • DEF-4886: fixed an issue when csf lock is not held when creating rules during startup;
  • DEF-4900: fixed a typo in Eula message;
  • DEF-4910: fixed --skip-registration in deploy script;
  • DEF-4931: fixed CloudLinux 6 bug in restart Imunify360 Agent after cloudlinux-backup-utils was updated;
  • DEF-4942: fixed an issue when "config update" is not applied if executed right after reading the config;
  • DEF-4974: fixed MalwareScan.type migrations;
  • DEF-4981: fixed UnicodeEncodeError: 'ascii' codec can't encode character '\u0144' in position 71: ordinal not in range(128);
  • DEF-4781: fixed an issue with deadlock in MalwareScanner if stderr buffer is full (ClamAV vendor);
  • DEF-5007: reverted "Code CLN token in URL to access HardenedPHP repository".

To install a new beta Imunify360 version 3.2.1 please follow the instructions in the documentation.

Upgrade is available since Imunify360 version 2.0-19.

To upgrade Imunify360 run the command:

yum update imunify360-firewall --enablerepo=imunify360-testing

More information on Imunify360 can be found here.

Categories: Technology

Letters Have In Fact Arrived

Blog & Mablog - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 14:00
The Demeanor of Calvinism

I am very much in your debt for introducing me to C.S. Lewis’ English Literature in the 16th Century. The section from which you quote (pages 32-46) is one of the best pieces of historical writing that I have read. The awkward part, though, is that, when read in full, Lewis is warning against the theory you express here: “And here is the central point—this demeanor, this Spirit-given, Christ-exalting demeanor—is an essential part of the program.” I know that you recognize the danger, in other realms, of making “demeanor” the sine qua non of a philosophical system. The essential emotion that binds economic leftists together, from Karl Marx (whose 200th birthday is today) to Bernie Sanders, is compassion for the plight of the oppressed. This emotion is a good and noble one—but when they attempt to build a program centered upon that demeanor, as Lewis says (p 34), “very troublesome problems and very dark solutions will appear.” The “horrors” that ensue are very much not intended by the originators of the new system; nonetheless they are its inevitable “byproduct.”

John

John, thanks. I am not sure there is a clash. All I mean by this is that people who preach forgiveness should actually have received it, and be people who actually extend it.

Our Very Own Apology Tour

Doc Wilson, great article. In your disclaimer, you say this: “Clearly, they say, I must be a defender of sexual offenders because I believe in due process. This is entirely false. I have made this clear in many ways . . .” I wouldn’t even go as far as to say this. A statement like this already puts you in the corner with your hands up. “I’m not defending sex offenders! I swear! Please believe me!” It’s not unlike putting yourself in a position to deny being a racist—as soon you start talking about it, people see that little headline in their brain: “Man denies racism, begs for understanding.” A statement that, in my humble opinion, is more suitable to your position and the famous Wilson rapier wit goes like this: “Clearly, they say, I must be a defender of sexual offenders because I believe in due process. Here’s my response to those individuals: If you really believe that, then I probably can’t convince you otherwise and you won’t believe anything I say anyway short of a full recantation of every belief I’ve ever had. If that’s what you want to hear, you’re going to be disappointed. For the rest of you who like to think reasonably, let’s continue.” This puts your opponents on the defensive and give you the upper hand in the discussion. Just my opinion. Thanks,

Austin

Austin, thanks and let’s get right to the point. I think you are right

I continue to be thankful for your voice on such issues as so-called social justice and the cult of apology. But I mourn the fact that those soft folk who peddle these things in the name of Christ (should I name Russell Moore, David Platt, et al, or does everyone already know of whom I speak?) are unwilling to hear you, even if they do so only so they can formulate a rebuttal. But you have some clout, and I do hope you’ll make some concerted effort to have that influence bear fruit amongst the religious ruling class. The rest of us are banned, blocked, downvoted, unfriended, and called to repent, in order to kill our influence before it even begins. The conversation is controlled, and you’re one of the few who seems to have a chance of still having a voice.

Mike

Mike, thank you. I will keep on keeping on, as we used to say. But there are plenty of folks who want to put an embargo on all dissident voices, and then pretend that the silence is somehow consensus and unanimity.

When I read that Thabiti post on Gospel Coalition I said out loud—hashtag intersectionality. Evangelicals led around like a dog on a chain. How can it really all be this obvious and this boring? That funny Twitter post was a crack of light in the gloom.

Kat

Kat, thanks. And the dress really was cute—but only because it was in Utah and not here in Idaho.

Regarding “Sorry Not Sorry,” plus your recent interactions with Thabiti: As context, I appreciate your willingness to look asquint at the egregious apology culture, and to engage it critically. I particularly respect your insistence on two points: 1) Not apologizing for a gift, even a gift that “privileges” me over another; and 2) Questioning the value of “repenting” from complex or non-concrete sins. (also your pushing to define specific problems instead of the Blob of “racism”) That being said, I’d like to hear you address the following argument, because I think that’s what a number of these “soft evangelical Reformed left” types are really getting at: Premise 1: Most white evangelicals have not been directly racially proud or racially hateful toward brothers and sisters of other ethnicities. Premise 2: However, aggregated acts of racial pride, racial hatred, etc. have created a “system” that has historically held non-white men and women back politically, economically, etc. Conclusion: Whatever we might think about “repentance” as a right response to this, Christians should make efforts to restore men and women of color to more just positions in our legal system, our church leadership, etc. Granting that we have to further define “restore,” address specific circumstances, etc., would you agree with that conclusion in general? If not, why not?

Joseph

Joseph, of course the system needs to grow toward genuine color-blindness. But you cannot do this by cultivating a hyper-sensitivity to color, which is what we are doing now. Our task is to build as just a society as we can, and pulling people over for driving while black is not the way to do it. But putting our thumb on the opposite scale does not “make things even,” it rather sows the seeds of the next round of conflict. The civil rights movement in the sixties got as far as it did because what was being said resonated with the consciences of most whites. What is being said now offends the consciences of most whites, but they keep silent out of fear, and that is the precursor to a big mess—coming to town near you.

I’m nowhere near your level of cultural awareness, but I apparently have followed you long enough to recognize some things you are seeing. I posted the following to FB yesterday: // Me: Online Christian culture seems to be borrowing some plays from the militant progressive agenda. It’s become common to see a sort of piling on, even when we have no connection to a situation or incomplete information. The new norm is shrill outcries from afar, ungracious demands for public penitence, and in general, mob rule. And none of it is a good look for those desiring to advance the Kingdom. My brother’s reply: Going to translate for the lay-folks among us . . .  “Christians” need to stop with the self-righteous indignation and societal judgement on every issue and rather approach them with fervent conviction and love. Me: Certainly that, yes. But I guess I was thinking more broadly in terms of the culture we find ourselves in and who’s influencing who. Francis Schaeffer once said, “Tell me what the world is saying today, and I’ll tell you what the church will be saying in seven years.” Sadly, his timeline needs crunching for our setting. I would amend it to, “Show me the trending hashtags this week, and I’ll tell you what the ‘Online Christian Culture’ will be in a tizzy about next week.” (I know, not as pithy) But a tizzy it will be—sides will be taken, blogs will be written, fingers pointed, subtweets will fly, and in general, the OCC players (not all) will run around breathlessly trying to prove to the world that the church has a relevant message for that issue, too!

Andy

Andy, a hundred amens.

Sexual Pandemonium

Thank you for your post, Mr. Wilson. The sex change and dental work example was really insightful. But where can we get more information, i.e. books, about how to argue well for godly dominion? I didn’t grow up in this matter (most things were assumed), and am anxious to teach my small children these things.

Lindsey

Lindsey, start with Nancy Pearcey’s fine book Love Thy Body.

Regarding Biblicism and Natural Law, if you think back to right about the time Trump was elected, the whole Bruce/Kaitlyn Jenner thing and transgender bathroom laws were right at the front of the stove, bubbling over on high boil, with the sauce dripping down into the flames making spitting noises and generally stinking up the whole kitchen. Now, I’m not going to say this was THE reason Trump won, because that would be wrong. But, I do think the vast majority of the vast American Public recognized it for the load of horse biscuits that it was. (Yes, that was a very poorly mixed metaphor, but I’m going somewhere with this.) I think if the left wants to make this their soup du jour, all we have to do is lower our heads a bit, look over the top of our spectacles and calmly and lovingly say, “Well, God bless your heart, honey. I know y’all have your fantasies you think about late at night when you’re all by your lonesome, but honestly, if you have man parts and that XY chromosome thing going on, no matter how much you fantasize about wearing a bra and panties, you’re still a man cuz the good Lord made you a man. Now run along and stay out of the little girls’ room. And take off those heels. You’re gonna hurt yourself if you ain’t careful.”

Dan

Dan, think they’ll go for it?

As for “Starting in California”. . . well, it’s already started: link

J.P.

J.P. yes. It is a shame that Summit didn’t stay and fight though.

Death Panels Really are a Deal:

Death panels: In agreement with the article and the previous letter from the physician in regards to the angle of lack of personal responsibility driven via third party payers, I like to add another perspective. Given that my veterinary degree required, among other excruciating experiences, a lot of the same textbooks as those of a “real doctor” (i.e. MD) I feel at peace to claim authority on the subject of medical intervention and my opinion is that the whole “death panel” issue will only get worse. Of course in veterinary medicine most clients do not have insurance for their pets. This means that it is common that though I do know a solution to a pet’s problem because of price the owner will opt for euthanasia instead. Bottom line it is a cost-analysis decision; spend $4k on cancer treatment (or whatever) or $350 to euthanize and then another $300 for a new puppy. This is reality and I can live with that. What is also reality, and harder for me to live with, is another angle on this that is just as pervasive—yes, pervasive, as in very common. In this case, the owners come in and the vet either knows what’s wrong but realizes that the care will be very time-consuming and if they charged what it ought to cost (in terms of time value) that the owner would probably think of them as someone who “did not care about the animal but just about the money,” or that even with appropriate care the patient might not do well and then the owners blame them for “not getting them better.” Other times the vet is clueless about what the problem is but does not want to admit it or does not want to take the time to figure out what is going on (very common), so instead they just take a WAG and throw out some sort of problem that “is terminal anyway” and recommend euthanasia. I hear this all the time: “yeah, took Fido in to dr. so-and-so and he said it was ___________ (cancer, organ failure, etc.) and so we put him down.” Never mind the fact that Dr. so-and-so didn’t do a single diagnostic test to confirm this. The point is that euthanasia becomes a cop out for the doctor. It becomes a way for them to seem like they are “doing what’s best for the patient” while in reality they are just being lazy, greedy (only wanting to do the easy money/high return procedures or cases), or covering their own tail (pun intended) when they don’t know or care what is going on. And this is only possible because euthanasia is an option . . . dead dogs tell no tales. So, now that euthanasia of people is an option, what do you expect—them not to use this cop-out?

B.C.

B.C.—in other words, veterinary medicine has been kind of a pilot project.

Slavery, Of Course

Your blog is always enjoyable and thought provoking. Today I’m referencing your “Salvation & Slavery” post. I’m an elder at a local RCA church in Lynnwood, WA (there are orthodox RCA churches, I am glad to report!) and I preach about once a month as well as directing worship. I have a query, and just for context at the outset, I’m fully convinced of the authority, inspiration, and inerrancy of scripture. This last year I’ve done some independent study on the biblical rationales that were provided by both opponents and adherents of American slavery. I’ve read some southern Presbyterians that were “pro” and also “anti” pastors/theologians like George Bourne. Additionally, I’ve read the accounts of many slaves, like Douglass, and they are truly heartbreaking. Especially with the accounts that often highly religious slaveowners seemed as bad or worse than non-religious slaveowners. Ugh. I’m wondering if you have a recommendation for any books (current or older) that provide a solid exegetical case against chattel slavery, and adequately take into account the go-to verses for those that were historically pro-slavery. I know the Bible, taken as a whole, clearly presents the truth of all men created in the image of God, and that there is at the very least an implied trajectory from OT to NT of freedom in Christ and the beneficent treatment of all human beings in our care and sphere. I guess I’m just looking for help on more knotty passages like the one you cited in Leviticus 25:44-46 and such, that appear at first blush to be permitting SOMETHING, even if not to the degree of chattel slavery. I see many parallels, sadly, between chattel slavery and abortion—the primary connection being the treatment of other people as less than fully human. And so I want to be girded with as much apologetic armor as possible both for my own edification and the edification for those I teach. Any help you can render would be appreciated. Blessings to you as you continue your work!

Ben

Ben, this is not exactly what you asked for, but I would recommend Mark Noll’s book The Civil War as Theological Crisis, Eugene Genovese’s book A Consuming Fire, and my book Black & Tan, in that order.

Thank you so much for this article. So very timely and needed. I will say that you might want to take a look at the concept of indentured servitude a bit more as in some areas such as Scottish and Irish indentured servants they were often treated worse than regular slaves being worked to death before their contracts were up. Owned slaves were property that you took care of to keep the value up. A minor quibble though that does not change your message. That said, you have a glaring typo in the last paragraph, or at least I hope so. “They might be crapitalistic greed.” I assume you mean “Capitalistic greed.” Thank you again! Sincere regards, you brother in Christ,

Lee

Lee, thanks and point taken about indentured servitude. And no, that was not a typo. Crapitalism is my name for crony capitalism, as distinguished from genuinely free markets.

The post Letters Have In Fact Arrived appeared first on Blog & Mablog.

Categories: People I don't know

From London to Dubai

Has Blog - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 12:02
Both my self and Sonali are going on tour. Sonali is our Field operative for wholesale, and is hugely talented and uber coffee professional, will be kicking of the tour in London at The Gentleman Baristas this week in the first of the series Marco meets Marco Meets is a series of events that aims…

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Categories: Coffee

Text Patterns in Exodus 20

Peter Leithart - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 12:00
There are Ten Words, but they are grouped in several different ways. The first two commandments stand out from the rest. Only in the first three commandments does the Lord speak in the first person (FW Farrar): “I am Yahweh your God . . . thou shalt have no other gods before My face”; “for […]
Categories: People I don't know

Food and drink production is a trivial portion of the economy

Adam Smith Institute - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 07:01

One of our regular complaints around here is that people tend not to have a useful sense of proportion. Despite Douglas Adams' injunction that this is something a human cannot have in the face of the size of the universe we're insistent that, at least when designing public policy, it's essential.

Take this from The Guardian:

Food and farming is one of the biggest economic sectors in the world. We are no longer in the 14th century, when as much as 76% of the population worked in agriculture – but farming still employs more than 26% of all workers globally. And that does not include the people who work along the meat supply chain: the slaughterers, packagers, retailers and chefs.

In 2016, the world’s meat production was estimated at 317m metric tons, and that is expected to continue to grow. Figures for the value of the global meat industry vary wildly from $90bn to as much as $741bn.

Although the number of people directly employed by farming is currently less than 2% in the UK, the food chain now includes the agribusiness companies, the retailers, and the entertainment sector. According to the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, in 2014 the food and drink manufacturing sector contributed £27bn to the economy, and employed 3.8 million people.

We agree that food and drink production is important of course. Without the first we'd be dead and without some forms of the second we'd be unable to be merry. However, we still need to examine that biggest economic sector claim.

Global GDP is of the order of $80 trillion (nominal). Global meat production is therefore under 1% of the economy even at that largest valuation. And 0.1% or so at that lower. The UK's GDP is of the order of £1.8 trillion, meaning that the food and drink manufacturing sector is some 1.3% of our own economic activity.

Again, we insist that these are important things but they're not a large economic sector, certainly not one of the largest, in this modern world. Thus any changes to them at the margin are of marginal importance to that economy as a whole, aren't they?

Categories: Current Affairs

Thoughts on my birthday: extra time

God Gold and Generals - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 06:52




Today is my 55th birthday! Thank you for your kind birthday wishes. 
I am so happy and thankful to be alive. I honestly never thought I would make this day, given three years ago I was told I had 18 months to live. Every single day now feels like “extra time” — a wonderful gift from God, especially when it's such a beautiful day as the last few have been. What's more at the moment I dont even feel ill. I do when I go through chemotherapy, but the last bout was at the end of last year and I have pretty much fully recovered. Certainly my hair has regrown, though sadly not blond and curly.  
A story in the bible come to mind, about someone who also got "extra time". You can read it below. Here is a summary. A man called Lazarus was a great friend of Jesus, as were his two sisters Martha and Mary. Yet, when Lazarus was critically ill, Jesus waited and waited...until he died. Gods timing and Gods plans are far beyond our understanding.  When Jesus went eventually to their house, both sisters, in different ways, reproached Jesus for not being there. Jesus shows in response to sickness and death both anger (literally "he snorted with indignation" or "became angry in spirit and very agitated") and grief (he wept). Why? Because even though we all deserve death because we have all sinned and are in a fractured relationship with God, God Himself (i.e., Jesus) recognises the mess we are in and feels deeply for our broken state. Death is not the way its meant to be. 
Whats more Jesus is about to do something about it. He will shortly amazingly bring Lazarus back to life, make him walk out of the grave. Thus proving he is God. But Jesus is trying to teach them all — and by extension us — something even more profound. To have faith in the Son of God is far more important to me than to have health and comfort in this life, yes even than having life itself. (Though I am very happy to have that!) For faith leads to eternal life ,as this miracle will show. Faith is both a gift and something that can increase from a tiny beginning, for here Jesus is talking to those who have believed in him already, and yet he says this miracle is "so that you may believe." A commentator writes "Each new revelation is taking the disciples nearer to the ultimate revelation in the most extremely scandalous event, the cross--the ultimate revelation of God's light and life and love and thus the ultimate manifestation of God that faith must grasp hold of."  The disciples didn't have faith because they were religious or good people. Rather their faith was because when they heard the voice of God they believed him (to some extent) and responded despite having many doubts, issues and questions. If we take the first faltering step of faith homewards, God meets us with 10,000 coming the other way
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Lazarus heard Jesus voice calling him by name and came out. As pictured above, he could see the light and he went towards it. He could have stayed where he was in the darkness!  This journey from death to life is available to anyone who when they hear Jesus calling their name (which he does to all) similarly respond and exit the tomb. Lazarus came out awkwardly because he was bound up in the grave clothes which were mummy like wrappings. But he came as he was, encumbered with all sorts of things, because he believed the voice of God was calling him to life. Thats what I believe and I hope that you will (despite all the doubts and “mummy like wrappings” which we all have) will do the same. 


John 11

'A man named Lazarus was sick. He lived in Bethany with his sisters, Mary and Martha. This is the Mary who later poured the expensive perfume on the Lord’s feet and wiped them with her hair. Her brother, Lazarus, was sick. So the two sisters sent a message to Jesus telling him, “Lord, your dear friend is very sick.” But when Jesus heard about it he said, “Lazarus’s sickness will not end in death. No, it happened for the glory of God so that the Son of God will receive glory from this.” So although Jesus loved Martha, Mary, and Lazarus, he stayed where he was for the next two days. Finally, he said to his disciples, “Let’s go back to Judea.”But his disciples objected. “Rabbi,” they said, “only a few days ago the people[b] in Judea were trying to stone you. Are you going there again?”Jesus replied, “There are twelve hours of daylight every day. During the day people can walk safely. They can see because they have the light of this world. But at night there is danger of stumbling because they have no light.” Then he said, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but now I will go and wake him up.” The disciples said, “Lord, if he is sleeping, he will soon get better!” They thought Jesus meant Lazarus was simply sleeping, but Jesus meant Lazarus had died.So he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. 15 And for your sakes, I’m glad I wasn’t there, for now you will really believe. Come, let’s go see him.”Thomas, nicknamed the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let’s go, too—and die with Jesus.”When Jesus arrived at Bethany, he was told that Lazarus had already been in his grave for four days. Bethany was only a few miles down the road from Jerusalem, and many of the people had come to console Martha and Mary in their loss. When Martha got word that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him. But Mary stayed in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that God will give you whatever you ask.”Jesus told her, “Your brother will rise again.”“Yes,” Martha said, “he will rise when everyone else rises, at the last day.”Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”“Yes, Lord,” she told him. “I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.” Then she returned to Mary. She called Mary aside from the mourners and told her, “The Teacher is here and wants to see you.” So Mary immediately went to him.Jesus had stayed outside the village, at the place where Martha met him. When the people who were at the house consoling Mary saw her leave so hastily, they assumed she was going to Lazarus’s grave to weep. So they followed her there. When Mary arrived and saw Jesus, she fell at his feet and said, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died.”When Jesus saw her weeping and saw the other people wailing with her, a deep anger welled up within him, and he was deeply troubled. “Where have you put him?” he asked them.They told him, “Lord, come and see.” Then Jesus wept. The people who were standing nearby said, “See how much he loved him!” But some said, “This man healed a blind man. Couldn’t he have kept Lazarus from dying?”Jesus was still angry as he arrived at the tomb, a cave with a stone rolled across its entrance. “Roll the stone aside,” Jesus told them.But Martha, the dead man’s sister, protested, “Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” So they rolled the stone aside. Then Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, thank you for hearing me. You always hear me, but I said it out loud for the sake of all these people standing here, so that they will believe you sent me.” Then Jesus shouted, “Lazarus, come out!” And the dead man came out, his hands and feet bound in grave clothes, his face wrapped in a headcloth. Jesus told them, “Unwrap him and let him go!" '
Categories: Friends

Gratitude & Update

Blog & Mablog - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 04:34

So I am sitting in a hotel across the street from the hospital, typing with my forefinger on my trusty iPad. The fact that I am doing so means that the surgery turned out to be an outpatient procedure, which is what we in our household call “ fun beans.” I didn’t have to stay in the hospital overnight.

The tumor came out readily, and the surgeon didn’t have to take out any lymph nodes, which is also a good thing. I wanted to keep all my lymph nodes. I was using them.

We will find out within a week or so, when a fuller pathology report comes back, whether any additional treatment (e.g. radiation) might be needed. So the prayer request at this point would be that we could just be done with this little distracting episode, and I might go back to the much more gratifying task of using perfectly reasonable sentiments to cause certain constituencies to start barking at the moon. But as fun as that might be, we were not put into this world for pleasure alone.

I want to make a particular point of thanking God for having everything go so smoothly. He answered many prayers. I wanted to thank Nancy, who has been a marvelous trooper throughout. She has written on the grace and discipline of contentment, and she really practices what she preaches. I want to thank Dr. Brian Mitchell for his steady hands and lucid explanations, along with the very competent and cheerful staff at Sacred Heart in Spokane. Everybody was great. I also want to make a special point of thanking all the saints at Christ Church who have been ladling prayer over the top of this thing, all the folks from all over tarnation who have been praying for me also, and our friends at Christ Church Spokane who thoughtfully delivered a bag full of nutrients. I really have felt prayed for. In fact, I felt like there was so much prayer that Dr. Mitchell might have been able to perform the surgery with a couple of popsicle sticks, not that we would have thought of asking for it. That would have been testing God, in my view. And last, I want to thank my kids who came up to keep Nancy company in the waiting room, and who were an enormous practical help in a number of ways. All said, from the beginning of this paragraph to the end of it, I love my people.

And if you all don’t mind, I will update you further as events warrant.

The post Gratitude & Update appeared first on Blog & Mablog.

Categories: People I don't know

Kenyan archbishop says "no" to gay marriage

Anglican Ink - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 04:05

Excluding procreation from the marital bond, makes marriage a mockery

CoE liberals voice outrage over Nye letter

Anglican Ink - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 03:23

Open letter to the TEC Task Force on the Study of Marriage from CoE progressives distancing themselves from the church's position on marriage

New bishop for Gippsland "We should 'rejoice' at same sex marriage"

Anglican Ink - Tue, 08/05/2018 - 02:24

David Ould asks "How can other bishops consecrate [Treloar] when they now know for sure he does not genuinely believe and support “the doctrine of our church and the teaching of Christ” in this key matter?

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