Thursday, June 09, 2011

Morning Coffee - June 9, 2011

Some links to start the day:

The Atlantic: Sorry, Settlers of Catan Is Not The New Monopoly
Full disclosure: I am a regular Settlers player. At least twice a month I get together with two to five of my friends to "Settle," as the lingo goes. I first learned how to play in 2007, which I guess makes me part of the enclave that popularized the obscure German game with a less-than-marketable name. Since then I've been hooked. My college friends played when we were too lazy to go out. And when I first moved to D.C. I used it as a way to make friends in a city where I knew few people. I get the appeal. I'm just not so quick to call it the next Monopoly or Risk.

Baptist Press: How to Use Twitter to Communicate at #SBC2011
Include the official "#SBC2011" hashtag in your tweets so others can follow your conference updates. Share comments, quotes, photos and other bits of information. Just remember that you only have 140 characters to make it happen. And if you expect people to "retweet" your messages, aim at around 100-120 characters to be safe.

Baptist Press will be tweeting real-time coverage from the floor, sharing breaking news, news stories and photo highlights from an overall convention perspective. Be sure to follow @BaptistPress to track all the parliamentary action, such as motions, resolutions or votes.

Douglas E. Baker: Border Crossings: The SBC of the 21st Century
Trinity Church's membership spans the gamut from young professionals to college students skeptical of Christianity. Many members are not lifelong Southern Baptists, even though the church was established in friendly cooperation with the Southern Baptist Convention. McCullough isn't shy about being a Southern Baptist, but he is quick to point out that most members in his congregation know next to nothing of the infrastructure that comprises one of the largest denominational ministries in the world.

The small-town Alabama native (still a rabid Auburn fan) graduated from Boyce College (the undergraduate arm of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) prior to coming to Vanderbilt and works to minimize the work of the denominational machinery when it comes to the church's outreach. His attitude is not one of annoyance or ingratitude. The SBC, he happily admits, "allows us to do more together than we can do alone."

Ross Douthat: Dr. Kevorkian's Victims
We are all dying, day by day: do the terminally ill really occupy a completely different moral category from the rest? A cancer patient’s suffering isn’t necessarily more unbearable than the more indefinite agony of someone living with multiple sclerosis or quadriplegia or manic depression. And not every unbearable agony is medical: if a man losing a battle with Parkinson’s disease can claim the relief of physician-assisted suicide, then why not a devastated widower, or a parent who has lost her only child?

This isn’t a hypothetical slippery slope. Jack Kevorkian spent his career putting this dark, expansive logic into practice. He didn’t just provide death to the dying; he helped anyone whose suffering seemed sufficient to warrant his deadly assistance. When The Detroit Free Press investigated his “practice” in 1997, it found that 60 percent of those he assisted weren’t actually terminally ill. In several cases, autopsies revealed “no anatomical evidence of disease.” 

 TechLand: Sony Hack Reveals 'Seinfeld' as Most Popular Password
Randomness is also key to password strength. That means using something like “qp}Edhg!13evTOI” rather than “JustinBieberRocks”. So it's interesting that over a third of the passwords analyzed could be found in a common password dictionary. The most frequent passwords use included: seinfeld, password, 123456, purple, princess, maggie, peanut, shadow, ginger, michael, buster, sunshine, tigger, cookie, george, summer, taylor, bosco, abc123, ashley, and bailey.

Timothy Keller: Sinned in a Literal Adam, Saved in a Literal Christ
Many orthodox Christians who believe God used evolutionary biological processes to bring about human life not only do not take Genesis 1 as history, but also deny that Genesis 2 is an account of real events. Adam and Eve, in their view, were not historical figures but an allegory or symbol of the human race. Genesis 2, then, is a symbolic story or myth that conveys the truth that human beings all have and do turn away from God and are sinners.

Before I share my concerns with this view, let me make a clarification. One of my favorite Christian writers (that’s putting it mildly), C. S.Lewis, did not believe in a literal Adam and Eve, and I do not think the lack of such belief means he cannot be saved. But my concern is for the church corporately and for its growth and vitality over time. Will the loss of a belief in the historical fall weaken some of our historical, doctrinal commitments at certain crucial points? Here are two points where that could happen.

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