Daily Archives: May 9, 2013

Christians and Birth Control

How are we to approach matters, like the use or non-use of birth control, if they’re not directly addressed in the Bible nor lending themselves to short and simple answers? We must think carefully about what the Bible says and does not say. In other words, proceed with the classic formula of affirmations and denials.

http://www.affectedbytruth.com/christians-and-birth-control/

Psychic Who Said Amanda Berry Was Dead Silent After Berry Is Found Alive

A year after Amanda Berry disappeared in Cleveland, her mother appeared on “The Montel Williams Show” to speak to a psychic about what happened to her daughter.

Psychic Sylvia Browne, who has made a career of televised psychic readings, told Louwanna Miller on a 2004 episode of the show that her daughter was dead, causing Miller to break down in tears on the show’s set.

“She’s not alive, honey,” Browne told Miller on the show, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer newspaper. “Your daughter’s not the kind who wouldn’t call.”

http://gma.yahoo.com/psychic-said-amanda-berry-dead-silent-berry-found-212849667–abc-news-topstories.html

DOJ: We don’t need warrants for e-mail, Facebook chats

The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI believe they don’t need a search warrant to review Americans’ e-mails, Facebook chats, Twitter direct messages, and other private files, internal documents reveal. Government documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union…show… Justice Department prosecutors and investigators privately insisting they’re not legally required to obtain search warrants for e-mail.

http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57583395-38/doj-we-dont-need-warrants-for-e-mail-facebook-chats/

FBI To Internet Providers: Spy For Us Or Face A $25,000 Fine

A new FBI proposal would compel internet communications companies to hand over information–or pay a fine. Existing wiretap law is almost 20 years old and doesn’t capture the nuances of modern internet use. The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act was first authorized in 1994, and it ordered “telecommunications carriers” to comply with court orders to assist in intercepting communication. Since then, communication online has taken off, while the landscape of what we know has telecommunications carriers has drastically changed.

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-05/spy-fbi-or-face-fine

40+ And The Church / Beyond Sunday Morning Church Attendance

However, the larger theme among those who took the survey appears to be that those over 40 do seek to maintain a connection with a local church. At the same time, they are less inclined to let that church’s menu of study and service opportunities define them or be the main source of their personal spiritual growth. As I mentioned here, many churches function as spiritual destinations (“Come to church”) rather than spiritual launching pads (“Go be the church”), though precious few would use that language of themselves. Those at midlife seem to recognize the church is meant to be a launch pad, even when church leaders don’t.

Many churches focus on the spiritual tasks of the first half of life, which syncs remarkably well with the focus many have on programs and projects for growing families. It takes a different kind of commitment from a church leader to nurture and cheerlead growth in those in the second half of their lives than it does to put together a whiz-bang children’s program. This commitment may mean leaders need to acquaint themselves with helpful models of spiritual growth and development in order to affirm that those in their second adulthood people are in search of a spiritual life that can sustain them to the end – less crisis/decision/rule-based faith, more valuing of process.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/pilgrimsroadtrip/2013/05/40-and-the-church-beyond-sunday-morning-church-attendance/

Spurgeon’s Sermons in the Book of Job

Scripture Thoughts

Common teaching through the book of Job, at churches with superficial teaching, may include pointing out the general and obvious teaching in Job: the legalism of Job’s three friends, assuming that Job is suffering because of his wickedness, along with general observations about how Job at the end intercedes for his friends, like how Christ intercedes for us.

But for real depth and meat in the book of Job, I have recently been finding many great treasures there, from a handful of Spurgeon sermons.  As mentioned here previously, Spurgeon was a textual preacher, who preached more in some books than others.  Spurgeongems.org reveals that Spurgeon preached 99 messages from texts in Job, and from 34 of the 42 chapters.  Three of these I have read recently, in Spurgeon’s volume 7 of sermons (#352, #404  and #406).  The book of Job, and sermons from it, provides…

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Early May 2013 Presuppositional apologetics links

Are All Telephone Calls Recorded And Accessible To The US Government?

The real capabilities and behavior of the US surveillance state are almost entirely unknown to the American public because, like most things of significance done by the US government, it operates behind an impenetrable wall of secrecy ……. Click here for full story

How Automated License Plate Readers Threaten Our Privacy

Photographing a single license plate one time on a public city street may not seem problematic, but when that data is put into a database, combined with other scans of that same plate on other city streets, and stored forever, it can become very revealing. Information about your location over time can show not only where you live and work, but your political and religious beliefs, your social and sexual habits, your visits to the doctor, and your associations with others. And, according to recent research reported in Nature, it’s possible to identify 95% of individuals with as few as four randomly selected geospatial datapoints (location + time), making location data the ultimate biometric identifier.

http://gizmodo.com/how-automated-license-plate-readers-threaten-our-privac-493400783

Sneering at Parents, Hiding Behind “Science” – The Emergency Contraception Controversy – Albert Mohler Jr

Last month, Judge Edward Korman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York handed down an order forcing the Food and Drug Administration to make emergency contraceptives, sometimes called the “morning-after pill,” available without a doctor’s prescription or parental permission to girls without any restriction on age.

In his most recent article, “Sneering at Parents, Hiding Behind ‘Science’ – The Emergency Contraception Controversy,” R. Albert Mohler Jr., considers the argument of those who appeal to “science” in an effort to make emergency contraceptives available to all females without age distinction.

You can read his full article here.