Web Roundup 2015-01-22

This is a new type of post on my blog: A simple list of other articles and items I have come across on the web and which I find interesting.

Stuart Dauermann, In Praise of Being Wrong — Evangelical Christians may prove through their hermeneutic method that Jews who accept Jesus as the Messiah don’t need to (and should not) continue to obey those aspects of the Mosaic Law (Torah) which mark them out as Jews. Stuart concedes that by their hermeneutic, they may be right, but says he prefers to be wrong and he calls Messianic Jews to renewed Torah observance — not in order to be saved, but because they are saved.

Der Papst, ungefiltert — Jan-Christoph Kitzler, reporting from Italy for German radio network ARD, describes how the Pope’s informal in-flight press conferences work. (in German!)

My Friend, Marcus Borg and Remembering Marcus — Two comments on the death of New Testament scholar Marcus Borg, best known for his participation of the Jesus Seminar. Borg died yesterday after a prolonged illness.

TCKs and UCIs: Bridging the Gap — MK/TCK advocate Michèle Phoenix writes about the need for Third Culture Kids (TCKs) to avoid incidents of Unintended Cultural Irrelevance (UCIs) in order to build better relationships. Interesting reading for anyone involved in cross-cultural relationships and living.

Church must avoid becoming Fight Club to attract men — Helen Coffey, writing in The Daily Telegraph, argues against proponents of “manly Christianity” as a way to attract more men to church.

Why Conserve? — Peter Leithart argues that biblically speaking, we conserve in order to care for the vulnerable; we defend tradition because, and insofar as, tradition is an instrument to defend the rights of the weak.

Why the Gospel is Stupid — C. Michael Patton of Credo House argues that the gospel is too far-fetched a story to be a lie: “In fact, it is stupid. What I mean is that it is not really believable, it does not make sense, and it is incriminating (from the perspective of the culture to which it was first delivered). You see, for adults to make up a story so extraordinary is curious to say the least.”

When Internet Authority Trumps Church Authority — Doug Bursch writes, “Like one great big public-bathroom wall, the Internet has become a place where anybody can communicate whatever they want, whenever they want. And, like the bathroom walls of eras past, there is even room for a sort of “Jesus Saves” religion. But as my still-preteen mind was able to comprehend, there is a dubious authority to words that are written in a forum where there are no editors or gatekeepers, no arbiters of taste and civility, where even the rules of grammar and spelling do not necessarily apply.” He laments the fact that today, many Christians give the “bathroom graffiti” of the internet more authority and credence than they give the church and its officers and teachers. Worth noting: this article of his is also just that: internet graffiti.

Original Sin is Problematic — In First Things, Alan Noble notes that Atlanta Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran was fired because of a conflict between two notions of sin: While Christians believe that all humans are sinners, and that therefore sin is not a reason to discriminate, secular society believes that if you regard someone a sinner you will inevitably sooner or later discriminate against that person. For this reason, Cochrans’ belief that homosexuality is sinful disqualified him as a manager: he would, sooner or later, discriminate against homosexual subordinates, or, even if not, they would have reasonable cause to fear such discrimination.

N.T. Wright’s Holy Impatience — Scot McKnight on N.T. Wright’s holy impatience with people who reduce the gospel and the death and resurrection of Jesus to a message of personal salvation, minimizing and ignoring implications of the kingdom of God which has arrived in the person of Jesus. Here is a quote from Wright’s new book, “Simply Good News”: “His death is a vital and central part of how that is done. We cannot bypass it. We cannot downplay it. We cannot underemphasize it. But it makes the sense it makes within this picture: of the love of God, the covenant of God, the plan of God for the fulfillment of the whole of creation, not its abolition, and above all, the coronation of Jesus as the world’s rightful king and lord. Many times, when people preach the gospel and talk of Jesus dying in our place, you would never guess at any of these things.

Under Pope Francis, American Catholics see the ‘pro-life’ label as broader than abortion — Michelle Boorstein writes in the Washington Post that “Nearly a year and a half after Pope Francis set off a firestorm by warning Catholics to stop ‘obsessing’ about abortion, there are signs that they are following his advice — in a sense.” She recounts how several issues other than abortion are now seen by U.S. Catholics as pro-life issues, including such things as immigration reform, the death penalty, and human trafficking — a positive development, if you ask me. Now all we need is a robust pro-life movement among Evangelicals. Further to this same topic, First Things magazine has reposted a 2008 speech from Richard John Neuhaus which he delivered to National Right to Life convention, and which Robert P. George has called “the greatest pro-life speech ever given”: We shall not weary, we shall not rest

Je suis a mother in the age of terror — Jewish mother Candy Schulman writing in the Washington Post describes her fears as she sends off her 20-year-old daughter to study in Paris — just days after the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Coucher terrorist attacks and five hours after the terrorists were killed.

Here are a number of interesting articles on the upcoming Windows 10, in the wake of Microsoft’s event on Jan 21:

Microsoft unveils the Windows 10 January Preview with new UI, features and much more

These are Windows 10’s new desktop features

Microsoft officially announces Project Spartan, its new web browser for Windows 10

And WhatsApp has released a web application for Chrome/Chromium browsers which provides a Desktop interface to your phone’s WhatsApp messages. The article talks about Windows 8 and Google Chrome as requirements, but it works on my Macbook with OSX Maverick and the open-source Chromium (Iron) browser. It does not work on the Chrome for Android browser — it complains about a “Redirect Loop”.

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