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Topic: Technology

In Which Planned Parenthood Plays Victim

Let me start by giving my credentials. I am a Linux/UNIX guy, which is the operating system that, last I checked, about 60% of internet servers run on. I’m not a Linux/UNIX expert, but I used Linux exclusively for about two years and I now run UNIX full time (okay, it’s a Mac). I also run my own Linux web server.

I’m by no means an “expert,” but I do suspect I know a bit more about these sorts of situations than your average Facebook commenter (no offense is intended to those who make comments on Facebook). Actually, my primary field of work is front end web development, so what I’m about to talk about is above my pay grade—but not by too much.

Planned Parenthood has accused an unnamed group of people who want babies to stop being murdered of something called a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack on their servers. These allegations are being called into question by a number of conservatives. I’d like to explain the issue in a bit more detail, then offer my opinion. • • • Read More • • •

SCOTUS, God’s Rod, and the Church

While I generally make some effort to avoid Facebook, the recent decision in favor of gay marriage has left me quite interested in what people have to say. Major historical events such as this one are very polarizing and I find it fascinating to read what, regrettably, will likely serve as source materials for future historians. #Historythroughhashtag

As I read, I have generally noted that while my more secular friends are quite excited about and pleased with this decision, Christians have generally been angry, sad, afraid, or some combination of the three. None of these emotions is surprising or even out of place. Anger at sin is something that Christians ought to feel (Psalm 97:10; Proverbs 8:13; Romans 12:9, etc.), despite the portrait we are often given of a hippie-Jesus with long, flowing locks who never gets angry. Sadness is also appropriate because, if we love people, we want what is best for them—which is not sexual slavery. • • • Read More • • •

Tools I Use: Linode

I host about a dozen websites. Some of these are hosted for friends and a few are hosted for myself. This site and the my podcast website get the most traffic by far and have grown in popularity to the point where they would likely make any shared hosting service rather sluggish.

When I first started making websites, shared hosting was about the only optio. At times of high traffic, even with a reliable host, my sites would often slow to a crawl. I had looked into hosting on a dedicated server, but the cost was far too high. But things have changed in the last ten years. • • • Read More • • •

Tools I Use: Backblaze

If I grabbed your computer and jammed it into the turbine of a running aircraft, I might die and I’d certainly get in a lot of trouble. But don’t weep for me just yet. What would happen to your data?

If you’re like most people I know, you probably don’t have a backup solution. That’s all well and good if you have absolutely no data that you care about preserving whatsoever. However, even if that is the case, you probably have friends who have data they wouldn’t want to lose who also don’t have a backup solution. • • • Read More • • •

The Great Commission: Mission and Promise

The world is going to hell in a hand basket. The church isn’t doing her job and it’s only a matter of time before she’s altogether vanquished by the democrats, the Muslims, or perhaps even Fox News. That’s what many Christians will tell you if you ask them how humanity and the church are doing. Things are going from bad to worse quicker than you can say “Satan is alive and well on planet earth.”

Much of this comes from a low view of man’s moral condition, which is a good sort of view to have. We shouldn’t expect man to solve his own problems anymore than we should expect pigs to suddenly realize their repulsive reputation, bathe themselves, and start drinking tea with their little piggy pinkies extended. Man’s nature is hopelessly sinful. Biblically-oriented Christians recognize that. • • • Read More • • •

A Pantheon of Angry Link-Deities

I want you to imagine trying to have a conversation with a friend who has a tendency to speak very quietly, so quietly that you almost have to strain to hear him. Now I want you to imagine someone—no, three someones—shouting at you while you try to have this conversation. Last, imagine that a fourth person walking right up to you, between you and your friend, and trying desperately to sell you something you will probably never be interested in.

Putting it mildly, we might call this situation aggravating. But if these obnoxious people were a normal part of every conversation, we’d probably find a way to get used to it. We’d develop ways of quickly dismissing the interrupting salesperson and we’d learn to tune out the shouting. Maybe we’d even develop specially designed hearing aids so we could better hear the one person we’re actually trying to talk to. But I think we can all agree that this scenario would be less than ideal. • • • Read More • • •

The Apple Watch: Purpose and Pricing

Let’s start by ignoring the $10,000 elephant in the room, shall we? Before we evaluate the most expensive Apple watches, we should start by asking why Apple is making a watch at all and if it’s a good idea. Only with that foundation will we be able to make sense out of their decision to make expensive watches. Actually, before we start talking about the Apple watch, let’s talk about watches in general. • • • Read More • • •

The New Macbook: a Tiny Laptop with Only One Port

I’ve written a handful of blog posts on Apple-related topics and it would be easy to come to the conclusion that I’m an Apple fanboy. But if volume of words is a metric for judging who is and is not an Apple fanboy, I think the people most violently opposed to Apple would be more easily presumed fanboys.

For right now, Apple is one of only a handful of companies striving to do great design work. Moreover, the design work they put into their platforms (especially iOS) has created an ecosystem of well-designed apps that doesn’t exist anywhere else. That may be my favorite thing about them: the apps other people develop for their platforms. I also like Apple products because they’re high quality, well designed, and they work exceptionally well for my specific purposes. If something better comes along, I’m more than happy to jump off the bandwagon.

All of that said, Apple has announced two products recently that have a lot of geeks up in arms because they seem like awful decisions: the new Macbook with only one port and the Apple Watch. I’d like to share some thoughts on each of these, both from a design perspective and the perspective of a potential user. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 3.8

After seven straight articles about predestination in chapter three of the Confession, the Westminster Divines thought it wise to clarify how the doctrine is to be used.

The doctrine of this high mystery of predestination is to be handled with special prudence and care, that men, attending the will of God revealed in His Word, and yielding obedience thereunto, may, from the certainty of their effectual vocation, be assured of their eternal election. So shall this doctrine afford matter of praise, reverence, and admiration of God; and of humility, diligence, and abundant consolation to all that sincerely obey the Gospel.

Westminster Confession of Faith: 3.8

The notion that Calvinists are jerks is a common one today because many have not heeded this article. Predestination is a doctrine that needs to be handled carefully. It should result in assurance of salvation, humility, hard work, and worship for those who believe it. Calvinists who make Balaam’s donkey appear to be a more amiable messenger have done something wrong. They do not know what Spirit they are of.

The doctrine of predestination teaches us that we had nothing whatever to do with our salvation. It teaches us that we were so bad, only God could save us. It humbles us by telling us that we could never even have a part in our salvation, then it reassures us by teaching us that the whole of it has already been accomplished for us. Let’s pray that God will use this doctrine to move us to worship and humility.

Tools I Use: Hover

A poor craftsman blames his tools, but I think it’s safe to say that a good craftsman values them. The tools we use can make our jobs a lot easier or a lot harder. They can frustrate us or they can delight us. This post is the first in a series that will discuss the tools I use. If you have a use for them, give them a try. They might make your job a lot easier. • • • Read More • • •

Redemptive History: A Covenant of Grace

Redemptive history is the history of how God has redeemed man. There are two ways to understand this history. You can swallow it whole, slurping it like an exceptionally long piece of spaghetti; or you can take it as a multi-course meal, eating one thing at a time, washing the balsamic dressing on the Genesis 3 salad down with a glass of water so it doesn’t affect the way you taste your Revelation 22 desert too much. • • • Read More • • •

Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 2.2

This week we’re looking at article two in chapter two of the Westminster Confession of Faith:

God has all life, glory, goodness, blessedness, in and of Himself; and is alone in and unto Himself all-sufficient, not standing in need of any creatures which He has made, nor deriving any glory from them, but only manifesting His own glory in, by, unto, and upon them. He is the alone fountain of all being, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things; and has most sovereign dominion over them, to do by them, for them, or upon them whatsoever Himself pleases. In His sight all things are open and manifest, His knowledge is infinite, infallible, and independent upon the creature, so as nothing is to Him contingent, or uncertain. He is most holy in all His counsels, in all His works, and in all His commands. To Him is due from angels and men, and every other creature, whatsoever worship, service, or obedience He is pleased to require of them.

Westminster Confession of Faith 2.2

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Covenant of Creation: Life and Death

In my last post, I spoke metaphorically of the necessity of recognizing the characteristics attributed to ducks by Scripture, and the importance of being able to thereby identify otherwise unnamed waterfowl. If an animal looks like a duck and quacks like the same, we ought to understand that Scripture is telling us that the animal is, in fact, a duck. That is, we need to be able to read Scripture holistically and identify things in it by their description, even though they might not be directly named for us. • • • Read More • • •

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