Tuesday, August 13, 2013

All Around the Web - August 13, 2013

HT: 22 Words

Eric Metaxas - Purple - and Uncivil - Prose |

A few years ago, Lanny Davis, former strategist for Bill Clinton, called on members of Congress to sign a civility pledge. “I will be civil in my public discourse and behavior,” the pledge read. “I will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them. I will stand against incivility when I see it.”
Well, I have to wonder whether Davis signed the pledge himself, because just a few days ago he wrote some deeply uncivil things in his column, titled “Purple Nation,” about people who don't share his opinion about same-sex “marriage.”

Davis was responding to a letter by N. Michael Nunn, a member of the Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. Nunn wrote that for the Temple to officiate over unions of homosexual couples and call such relationships “sanctified” “is unacceptable to a sound mind.” “Homosexuality,” Nunn added, “is explicitly condemned in Scripture.” It “has been categorically and passionately rejected by all classical Jewish legal and ethical thinkers as a cardinal vice in the same category as incest, murder and idolatry.”
Nunn addressed this letter to fellow Jews who oppose allowing same-sex “marriage” ceremonies to take place in their Temple.

Well, in his column, Davis called these comments “shameful” and “obscene.” He even compared Nunn's words to the writings of the fanatic Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini! That in itself is out of bounds, because Nunn and many of his fellow congregants are Persian Jews, some of whom may have been persecuted by the Khomeini regime.

Biblemesh - Can Archaeology Help Confirm the Bible? |

–In the late 1800s, critical scholars regarded the Hittites as an Old Testament fiction. Except for references in the Bible, there was no evidence they existed. Then archaeologists discovered some 10,000 Hittite and Akkadian texts and over time concluded that Hittites were the dominant power in Asia Minor until 1200 BC.

–Skeptics once regarded as ludicrous the claim that Moses wrote the first five books of the Bible, since writing was thought not to have existed in his day. But thanks to archaeology, we now know that full-fledged phonetically spelled writing existed as early as 2400 BC, well before Moses.
–Critics once claimed the Hebrew exile to Babylon was a myth. Over time though, scholars of the ancient Near East realized, according to archaeologist William Albright, that “there is not a single known case when a town of Judah proper was continuously occupied through the exilic period.”
Genesis 10:21 names Eber as a main figure in the line of Shem, producing the Hebrews, the Joktanide Arabs, and some Aramean tribes. Numbers 24:24 calls these people groups “Eber” collectively. For years, critics said the name Eber had no historical basis. Then archaeologists discovered in 1976 15,000 clay tablets in Syria, some of which mentioned Eber by name.

Justin Taylor - The Friendship of Tolkien and Lewis |

Book Riot20 Books You Pretend to Have Read | I must admit, I use the "Catch 22" phrase all the time without having ever read the book.
  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (85 mentions)
  2. Ulysses by James Joyce
  3. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
  5. The Bible
  6. 1984 by George Orwell
  7. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
  8. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  10. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  11. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
  12. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
  13. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  14. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
  15. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  16. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  17. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  18. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  19. Harry Potter (series) by J.K. Rowling
  20. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (21 mentions)

Christianity Today - A Post-Website World |

It's a post-website world, but you still need a website. A church website is still essential, but the primary ways your church will interact with people are through numerous streams of communication, including e-mail, texting, and social media. Some will find your church through its website, but more than likely, they'll find it through a friend on Facebook or Twitter who recommends the church, points to a video or story on the church's website, or some other form of word-of-mouth communication.

Mobile matters. More people are doing their computing on smartphones and tablets, and the inflection point is nearing for when mobile computing will surpass the traditional computing done from a desktop or laptop. This means your church's website must work on small screens. Run your website on a mobile device and see if you're satisfied with what it looks like.

Churches should be cautious before pursuing mobile apps, which often cost several thousand dollars to develop. The return on those can be pretty low. Many times, a different approach based on your congregation's preferences can do the job, such as a texting campaign combined with a mobile-friendly website.

22 Words - Go from no piano skills to faking piano skills in just 2 minutes

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