Thursday, August 8, 2013

All Around the Web - August 8, 2013

Andy Naselli - Diabolical Ventriloquism: A 1-Sentence Summary of Each of Screwtape’s Letters 
  1. Make him preoccupied with ordinary, “real” life—not arguments or science.
  2. Make him disillusioned with the church by highlighting people he self-righteously thinks are strange or hypocritical.
  3. Annoy him with “daily pinpricks” from his mother.
  4. Keep him from seriously intending to pray at all, and if that fails, subtly misdirect his focus to himself or an object rather than a Person
  5. Don’t hope for too much from a war [in this case, World War II] because the Enemy often lets our patients suffer to fortify them and tantalize us.
  6. Capitalize on his uncertainty, divert his attention from the Enemy to himself, and redirect his malice to his everyday neighbors and his benevolence to people he does not know.
  7. Keep him ignorant of your existence, and make him either an extreme patriot or an extreme pacifist who regards his cause as the most important part of Christianity.
  8. Make good use of your patient’s series of troughs and peaks (i.e., “the law of undulation”), and beware that the Enemy relies on the troughs more than the peaks.
  9. Capitalize on trough periods by tempting him with sensual pleasures (especially sex), making him content with his moderated religion, and directly attacking his faith as merely a “phase.”
  10. Convince him to blend in with his new worldly acquaintances.
  11. Understand the four causes of laughter (joy, fun, the joke proper, and flippancy), and shrewdly use jokes and flippancy.
  12. Don’t underestimate the power of “very small sins” because “the safest road to Hell is the gradual one.”
  13. Don’t allow him to experience real pleasures because they are a touchstone of reality.
  14. Make him proud of his humility; use both vainglory and false modesty to keep him from humility’s true end.
  15. Make him live in the future rather than the present.
  16. Encourage church-hopping.
  17. Encourage gluttony through delicacy rather than excess.
  18. Convince him that the only respectable ground for marriage is “being in love.”
  19. Understand that the Enemy does not genuinely love humans (but we don’t know what his real motive is).
  20. Don’t give up if your direct attacks on his chastity fail; try to arrange a desirable marriage.
  21. Convince him to use the pronoun “my” in the fully possessive sense of ownership (e.g., “my time,” “my boots,” “my wife,” and “my God”).
  22. Understand that the Enemy has filled His world full of pleasures and that you must twist them before you can use them.
  23. Encourage him to embrace a “historical Jesus” and to treat Christianity as merely a means to a political end such as social justice.
  24. Confuse him with spiritual pride for being part of an elite set.
  25. Replace “mere Christianity” with “Christianity And” by increasing his horror of “the same old thing” and thus increasing his desire for novelty.
  26. Sow seeds of “unselfishness” during his courtship.
  27. Twist his prayers.
  28. Guard his life so that he grows old because real worldliness takes time.
  29. Defeat his courage, and make him a coward.
  30. Capitalize on his fatigue, and manipulate his emotions with the word “real.”
  31. His end is inexplicable, but we must win in the end.

The Gospel Coalition - The Kind of Churches We Need in the South |

Our need for churches that are marked by humility and holiness.
Our need for churches that are serious about evangelism and conversions.
Our need for churches that are committed to diversity.
Our need for churches that embrace theological clarity.
Our need for churches that plant churches.

WORLD Magazine - Want your kids to be better off than you? |

Where you live plays a major role in your children's upward mobility. A new study compared today’s 30-year-olds against their childhood homes, charting what some are calling the most detailed picture of social mobility in the United States to date. 

Using millions of anonymous income records through tax data, researchers from Harvard and the University of California Berkeley recorded the chances for low-income children to rise into the middle class and beyond. . . . 

But that wasn’t all they found. The real story comes from the nebulous terms “social capital” and “family structure.” In other words, who your friends are matter, and single-parent families matter: “High upward mobility areas tended to have higher fractions of religious individuals and fewer children raised by single parents.” In other words, if a child lives in a two-parent family, he or she is much more likely to be better off as an adult. Forty-seven percent of children in Mississippi grow up in single-parent homes. 

The research team made it clear it could only draw correlations with these factors, but they still show the liberal social gospel can’t work alone. Children who grow up in healthy, two-parent families and network with like-minded, religious families tend to fare better.

Sounds a lot like the biblical recipe for family.

Brian Croft - Is Your Child a Christian? 

1. Does my child appear to truly love Jesus, or is he or she just telling me they do because I said so?
2. Does my child independently seek to know God's Word?
3. Does my child demonstrate greater understanding of deep spiritual truths?
4. Is my child demonstrating spiritual fruit contrary to his personality?
5. Is there independent remorse for daily sins?

Mark Driscoll - What is the Bible?

What does the Bible say about itself?

The doctrine of verbal plenary inspiration is simply our way of trying to express what the Bible says about itself. Here are a few of the deeply meaningful insights that Scripture reveals about itself:

Make a Living Writing - 7 Simple Fixes for the Writing Mistakes that Brand You an Amateur

  • Word repetition. Yagoda says this is the comment he writes most often on school papers. We all have little words we tend to overuse — mine’s “really” — so be on the lookout and cut them out.
  • Cut that out. Hunt and kill filler words such as “that.” If the sentence still makes sense without it, that’s a sign the word should go.
  • Extra prepositions. If your writing feels choppy, count the number of prepositions you’ve got in a sentence, and then try to cut the number nearly in half, Yagoda advises. Prepositions are a weak part of speech, and the more they clutter up the sentence, the duller it is to read.
  • Word use. There are a long list of these, such as affect/effect, like/such as, your/you’re, and whether it’s hearty or hardy, baby’s or babies. If you aren’t sure which it is, find out. These small gaffes tip off an editor that you’re not a pro.
  • Fake quotes. Quote marks have a way of popping up around phrases where they don’t belong, as in: Then it got “hot and heavy.” Remember, quotes belong around things people said.
  • Semicolons and parentheses. Particularly online, these punctuation marks don’t work very well. Sentences should be short, not strung together with semicolons, which many writers don’t even know how to use properly. “If you feel like using a semicolon,” Yagoda says, “lie down until the urge goes away.” And if you open a parenthetical phrase, be kind enough to remember to give us a closing parenthesis, too.
  • Comma confusion. You’d think we could master this simple piece of punctuation, but many writers will splice two sentences together with one, or insert commas where they don’t belong, sometimes changing the sentence’s meaning. Others omit commas where they’re needed. Apparently, relying on our gut instinct of when it feels right to use a comma isn’t working. Learn the rules — and when in doubt, ask an editor what their publication’s style demands.
  • Starting and ending sentences with prepositions. This is more acceptable than it used to be, particularly ending with a preposition, but don’t overuse. And if you start a sentence with a preposition like this one does, don’t put a comma after the initial preposition. That’s just silly.
  • Subject/verb disagreement. Remember, a singular noun needs a singular verb. Don’t let modifying clauses confuse you. You can’t say, “A bucket of worms were on top of the bench.”
  • Identity crisis. If you’re using a pronoun such as “he,” make sure there aren’t two men in the sentence and a confusion about which one you mean.
  • Misplaced modifiers. A favorite of mine from high school English is, “Running down the hall, my jacket caught on a locker.” Your jacket didn’t run down the hall by itself, so don’t do this.
  • Random capitalization. This is a particular plague in business writing, where marketers tend to start writing that they are Director of the Logistics Division. Of course, random all-caps words online denote yelling, though not everyone seems to know it.
  • Bold/underline/italics. These are overused by writers too lazy to build the emphasis into their prose. Yagoda’s rule is not to use bold unless it’s a heading. When you write online, be particularly aware that underline usually denotes a clickable link. Don’t use it for anything else — you’ll just confuse your readers.
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