Friday, May 17, 2013

All Around the Web - May 17, 2013

Public Discourse - The Feminist, Pro-Father, and Pro-Child Case against No-Fault Divorce |

How appropriate that Justice Alito brought up cellphones in the recent Supreme Court hearings on the marriage cases. Because these days it seems like it is easier to get out of a marriage than it is to get out of a cellphone contract.

It is no secret that marriage is in a state of severe crisis in America. And while academics, statisticians, and pundits may quarrel about the exact divorce rate or its causes, no one would deny that the widespread legalization of no-fault divorce beginning in the early 1970s saw an explosion of divorce in this country.

Yet as social conservatives, and even many liberals, wring their hands about marital and familial breakdown, few seem to question whether our experiment with treating marriage like a restaurant experience—order what you like and send it back if you change your mind—is worth reconsidering.

Instead, no-fault divorce has become an assumed feature of the landscape of unbridled American freedom. Whereas once freedom in this country meant the right to live a good life, the ability to be a moral agent in the human enterprise, the chance to chase happiness, it now increasingly appears to mean the right to do whatever you want whenever you feel like it, regardless of whom you destroy in the process.

Liberate - How Does Jesus Sympathize with Our Suffering? |

Practical Shepherd - What can I pray when praying for the sick in the hospital? |

When all else fails…pray the gospel. . . . 

I decided to pray the gospel for this dying woman, her husband, and this room full of non-Christian family.  I did not pray for God to spare her.  I did not pray that God would heal her.  I did not pray some manipulating request that God would receive her (which is what I think they expected me to pray).  I prayed that the gospel was her only hope in such a way that God could let every person in that room know it was their only hope also.  Praying the gospel does not have to be complicated, just simple and faithful.

God taught me an invaluable lesson that day in the hospital room that has had a profound impact on me and my ministry.  When the gospel is prayed, the gospel is heard. When I prayed the gospel in the room that day, it was for this dying woman moments from facing judgment, her Christian husband, and her lost family members to hear.  If we truly believe that faith comes by hearing (Rom. 10:17), we should never leave a hospital room, nursing home, rehabilitation center, or home of a sick person (or healthy person for that matter) without praying the hope of God in Christ.

Chuck Lawless - Ten Signs of Hope for a Declining Church |

  1. The leader is preaching the Bible.
  2. Somebody is praying.
  3. Leaders are willing to face the truth.
  4. The leader takes responsibility for growth.
  5. The leader still has a vision for growth.
  6. Somebody is evangelizing.
  7. The leader is investing in someone else
  8. The church is still reaching out to the community.
  9. Somebody has a global vision.
  10. Leaders refuse to give up.

The Economist - Who Really Runs Wikipedia? |

LATE last month Amanda Filipacchi, an American writer, discovered that the editors of Wikipedia, a crowdsourced online encyclopaedia, were re-categorising female American authors from "American Novelists" to to "American Women Novelists". No corresponding "American Men Novelists" subject area existed at that time. The process seemingly happened sub rosa, through the actions of several editors. After she published an article in the New York Times pointing this out, Ms Filipacchi found that her own Wikipedia entry was edited numerous times for spurious and sometimes vindictive reasons. "Wikipedia is created and edited by its users," she observed. But when it comes to recategorising novelists, or vetting changes to individual pages, who actually makes the decisions?

Wikipedia advertises itself as a bias-free encyclopaedia which allows any internet denizen to contribute well-sourced facts or modify existing entries. In reality, however, the site has only about 35,000 English-language and 70,000 total active editors (as every contributor is known). With few exceptions, any visitor may edit the text of an entry so long as he follows the formatting, style and editorial form. Changes typically appear immediately, but modifications or entire entries may be rejected by other editors. That in turn may lead to consensus-driven votes and lengthy discussions. A common point of contention is whether a topic or person doesn't meet Wikipedia's detailed test for "notability". Editors who register an account, and who contribute regularly and in a manner that conforms to the nature of Wikipedia, gain implicit authority. Some editors become "administrators"—about 1,400 are at the moment—able to freeze or delete entries. Administrators have a big technical stick to ensure that when "edit wars" erupt or inappropriate changes are continuously applied, they can prod or truncheon users. Users may be banned or put under strictures, while administrators themselves can have their actions overridden by any of the 41 demiurges known as "stewards", a 12-member Olympian arbitration counsel, or the site's founder and chief deity, Jimmy Wales.

Randy Alcorn - The Most Important Thing About Us |

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