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Technology
The percentage of emails opened on a mobile device has risen from just 4% in May 2009 to 20% in May 2011 while desktop client usage has declined by 11%. Webmail has shown the least change over two years, with a 4% decline. via Users abandoning desktop email clients for mobile, study reports – Mobile. Is this true for you? I have to say… it probably is for me.  I check my email all the time on my phone. Very rarely do I respond to email via my phone, unless: 1.  It’s urgent; or 2.  I will be away from my desktop/laptop for an extended period of time. How about you?  Do you rely more and more on your mobile device when it comes to email communication? Todd
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Controversy
Jonathan Dudley writes, Growing up in the evangelical community, I learned the Bible’s stance on homosexuality is clear-cut. God condemns it, I was taught, and those who disagree just haven’t read their Bibles closely enough. Having recently graduated from Yale Divinity School, I can say that my childhood community’s approach to gay rights—though well intentioned—is riddled with self-serving double standards. I don’t doubt that the one New Testament author who wrote on the subject of male-male intercourse thought it a sin. In Romans 1, the only passage in the Bible where a reason is explicitly given for opposing same-sex relations, the Apostle Paul calls them “unnatural.” Problem is, Paul’s only other moral argument from nature is the following: “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?” (1 Corinthians 11:14-15). Few Christians would answer that question with a “yes.” In short, Paul objects to two things as unnatural: one is male-male sex and the other is long hair on men and short hair on women. The community opposed to gay marriage takes one condemnation as timeless and universal and the other as culturally relative. I also don’t doubt that those who advocate gay marriage are advocating a revision of the Christian tradition. But the community opposed to gay marriage has itself revised the Christian tradition in a host of ways. For the first 1500 years of Christianity, for example, marriage was deemed morally inferior to celibacy. When a theologian named Jovinian challenged that hierarchy in 390 A.D. — merely by suggesting that marriage and celibacy might be equally worthwhile endeavors — he was deemed a heretic and excommunicated from the church. via CNN Belief Blog Take a moment to read the whole article. What do YOU think?  Does Jonathan make some valid points, or is he just a victim of liberal Yale Divinity School theology? I’d love to hear what you think on this…
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Current Events
Southern Baptists recently called hell an “eternal, conscious punishment” for those who do not accept Jesus, rebutting a controversial book from Michigan pastor Rob Bell that questions traditional views of hell. Citing Bell’s book “Love Wins,” the resolution urges Southern Baptists “to proclaim faithfully the depth and gravity of sin against a holy God, the reality of hell, and the salvation of sinners by God’s grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, to the glory of God alone.” OK… I get it.  Affirming hell.  A good thing. But did anyone question whether Southern Baptists didn’t believe in Hell?  I’ve definitely never heard anyone say that. So, the statement, to me, seems to be totally reactionary to one book published by someone not in your tribe. Which begs the question to me… who was this statement for? If it was for Rob Bell, then I’m not sure what it accomplishes, other than to say that you have profound impact on the Christian community, especially our own SBC pastors. If it was for the SBC pastors, then it says that you need to preach against hell.  Most do, as far as I can tell. If it was for the SBC congregations, that’s good, but I don’t know that Rob Bell’s book was read by tons of congregational people.  Their too busy reading Stephen King and John Grisham. And if it was for the public at large, I don’t know that it will have much of an effect.  It could be seen as ‘we still believe in hell and we still believe you’re going there’. I’m not trying to be too harsh… I’m just wondering what the real purpose of the resolution was.  Was it necessary?  And should resolutions by such a large body be made over one isolated published work? You tell me. More here… Todd
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Trends
In a new Harris Interactive survey of 2300 adults, it was found that 74% say that the phone is still how they primarily keep in touch with friends.  And 81% said that the phone is their preferred method for keeping up with family members. 13% use video chat (ala Skype) to talk with family members, 9% to talk to friends, and just 6% to talk with their significant other. When it comes to work colleagues though, the preference is email:  43% like email for that use, 33% use voice, 12% would text, and just 6% use social networking sites to correspond with co-workers. So… what’s your preferred method of communication? My guess is that if they skewed the study to 13-20 year olds, it would have a vastly different outcome.  I think texting and social media (ala Facebook) would be tops. What do you think? Todd
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