Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Morning Coffee

Some links to start the day:

Carl Trueman: Geoff, Bob and Godly/Churchly Ambition
Aberystwyth is a small town of 18,000 people, 9,000 of whom are students, a university town divided into town and gown, further divided into two languages, Welsh and English, what has been dubbed the cultural capital of Wales. There I have built two churches, our own, and the one everyone goes to. You understand that there were lines that I couldn't cross, ethical lines, theological lines, ecumenical lines, liturgical lines. Others were happy, indeed zealous to cross them, but for me there were issues through which a salvation all of grace in its conception, continuance and consummation would have been compromised if I had crossed those lines, as would have been a worship which must be characterized by reverence and godly fear, for our God . . . our God . . . is a consuming fire.

Church Matters: Baseball Phenoms and Your Flaw Lines
It's true in baseball and it's true in life. We all like to do things that we're good at.  We all play to our strengths and away from our weaknesses.  But it's the weaknesses that limit us and bring us down. If you can hit fastballs but not curveballs, you're going to be seeing a lot of Uncle Charlie.
Tomorrow marks my sixth year as pastor of my church.  And while I'm not a Bryce Harper-style phenom, I can say that life (Satan?) has attacked me at my flaw lines.  In fact, I've learned that a lot of leadership consists of knowing your weaknesses and having the humility and strength to acknowledge them and get help with them.

Forbes' SportsMoney: Ohio State is Tressel-ized: The Lessons and the Future
But I say an insightful attribution of blame for a problem should start with root causes of the problem. The problem didn’t start with the players. It didn’t start with Tressel. Of course both made bad decisions but it starts with a failure of the NCAA in not giving adequate living expenses to players who work nearly full time, without real chances to make separate income.  Would the players have been so tempted to barter property for pocket change, or for rent, to help pay a car note, if they were just given fuller living expenses?  Realistically, they cannot even work for pay during the summer if they wanted to put in an honest day’s work and get paid like any other college student. The NCAA has known for years this was a problem.

NYT Book Review: The Man in the Rockefeller Suit
In the real-life story recounted in the journalist Mark Seal’s fascinating but weirdly incomplete new book, “The Man in the Rockefeller Suit,” one Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter arrives in America from Germany at 17 and over the years assumes a succession of identities, eventually passing himself off as Clark Rockefeller, “reluctant scion of the family with the country’s most famous name.” He finagles jobs with a succession of Wall Street firms; marries a woman named Sandra Boss, who quickly ascends the corporate ladder at the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company; and insinuates himself into the privileged world of prep-school-and-Ivy-League-educated, upper-crust New York and Boston.

PCWorld: Why Facebook's Facial Recognition is Creepy
Obviously, we can't stop the world of technology from moving toward the development of accurate facial recognition software. But so far, no facial recognition software has really been a threat to our privacy, because nobody has that huge database of people and photos required. Oh wait, except Facebook totally does.

Yeah. So not only should you opt out of Facebook's facial recognition technology by going to Account > Account Settings > Privacy > Customize Settings > Things Others Share and disabling "Suggest photos of me to friends," you should also upload random pictures of trees and animals and stuffed toys and tag them as yourself.

Russell Moore: Are You Smarter Than Anthony Weiner?
As Christians, we believe that temptation isn’t merely biological. There’s something wild and wicked afoot in the universe. These beings have an ancient strategy, and part of that is to shield us from the future. Desire gives way to sin, James tells us, and “sin when it is fully grown brings forth death” (James 1:15). Temptation only works if the possible futures open to you are concealed. Consequences, including those of Judgment Day, must be hidden from view or outright denied. That’s why in humanity’s ancestral sin the serpent told our mother Eve, “You will not surely die” (Gen. 3:4).

Spurgeon: On the Folly of Preaching too Long
The speaker's time should be measured out by wisdom. If he is destitute of discretion, and forgets the circumstances of his auditors, he will annoy them more than a little. In one house the pudding is burning, in another the child is needing its mother, in a third a servant is due in the family; the extra quarter of an hour's prosiness puts all out of order.

WSJ Book Review: Those Guys Have All the Fun (oral history of ESPN)
By contrast, relatively little attention is given to the conflicts inherent in a network being the largest promoter of sports, the most powerful partner of sports leagues and the largest journalistic shop covering them. A curious reader might want to hear why the quantity and quality of coverage of such sports as soccer and hockey seems to vary depending on how deeply their parent leagues are partnered with the network. But to wrestle with such questions would require introspection from ESPN's key players and a realistic appraisal of the integrity and quality of their product. You won't find much of that here.

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