Quality Tech Writing

I’ve been thinking off and on about moving our site from WordPress to Drupal, which has some more advanced capabilities and would allow me to integrate a few more things on the site. I discovered this morning that, among its other features, Drupal possesses an incredible tech writer. Observe:

Drupal is a Content Management Framework. This is somewhat different from a Content Management System (or CMS) in that it is by nature geared more towards configurability and customization. Picture a range of measurement where the one end of the scale is labeled “specific” and the other end “abstract”. On the “specific” end of the spectrum, you would have something whose form is very specialized because it’s meant for a specific purpose – like, say, a hammer. On the other end of the spectrum, you would have something much more abstracted, that is available to be configured any way you like, for a variety of purposes – like some wood and a chunk of steel. You could make a hammer, or any number of other things with the wood and steel.

Of course, while chunks of wood and steel are more “configurable” than a hammer, they aren’t terribly useful because few people have the specialized knowledge to work with such raw materials. Drupal’s purpose is to sit in the sweet spot between the two ends of the scale, and create a sort of “builder’s kit” made up of pre-designed components that can be used as-is or be extensively reconfigured to suit your needs.

It keeps going on, building metaphor on metaphor like a John Donne love poem. Who knew programmers had such literary talent?

Good Post

This was a very good read and I thought that this in particular nailed it on the head:

All my life, the message I had heard loud and clear was that sex was for pleasure and bonding, that its potential for creating life was purely tangential, almost to the point of being forgotten. This mind-set became the foundation of my views on abortion. Because I saw sex as being by default closed to the possibility of life, I thought of unplanned pregnancies as akin to being struck by lightning while walking down the street—something totally unpredictable and undeserved that happened to people living normal lives….

I came to see that our culture’s widespread use and acceptance of contraception meant that the “contraceptive mentality” toward sex was now the default attitude. As a society, we had come to take it for granted that we are entitled to the pleasurable and bonding aspects of sex even when we are opposed to the new life it might produce.

Pneumasphere Review

[Rich Tatum](http://www.tatumweb.com/blog/), formerly a web designer at Christianity Today, has a penchant for organizing things. And being a Pentecostal blogger, he’s been organizing the “pneumasphere” for a while now, and providing a valuable service in the process. He’s got the most comprehensive list of quality charismatic bloggers available, and [any number of tools]( http://tatumweb.com/blog/2007/04/06/pneuma-stuff/) to filter through them. Most recently, he’s come up with a list of the [top 20 most influential pneumabloggers]( http://tatumweb.com/blog/2007/04/10/top-twenty/#top-20), based on [Technorati]( http://technorati.com/) rankings. No, I’m not in the top 20. But I was shocked to discover that I didn’t even *recognize* most of the people who are.

So I scanned through some of them, and found some interesting posts I thought I’d share:

**[The Gospel is Their Home](http://mymiscellanies.blogspot.com/2007/03/gospel-marriage-of-theology-and.html)**
Rob Wilkerson on Theology and Experience

**[One More Added to the Kingdom](http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/revivalblog/~3/101940453/)**
A story of the Holy Spirit working in a way that I really miss.

**[Dramatic Drop in Murder after Prayer](http://sprucegoose.blogspot.com/2007/01/dramatic-drop-in-murder-after-dc-prayer.html)**
In July of last year, the Christian Defense Coalition held a 24-hour prayer meeting in Washington, DC. Six months later, the murder rate is down 27%. Coincidence?

**[God of Bartlets](http://pen-of-the-wayfarer.blogspot.com/2007/03/have-you-heard-voice-of-god.html)**

If a human author wrote a book explaining, perhaps, his life, and then I were to call up this author and want to talk further with him about what he wrote, I would think it very bizarre if the author only answered me with quotes from his book,
never saying anything else, but finding little snippets to reply to me from the
published work. It would be very awkward and not very personal. I would wonder
about the author and how much he really wanted to interact with me.

I remember when some Russian believers emigrated to our neighborhood
from the old Soviet Union where they were persecuted. We “adopted” them but
when we first met we had no means of communicating with each other. The only way we figured out to communicate was to use each other’s bibles (theirs in Russian and ours in English) to point out our general intents and feelings. It was well-meaning, but limited. (We put a scripture citation on their birthday cake and they read it and cried!)

NT Wright on Miracles

Really quickly, because I’m behinder in everything right now:

Jollyblogger has been working his way through some of the writings of NT Wright lately, and he’s come across a different sort of perspective on Jesus’ miracles. Traditionally, we have thought of Jesus miracles as having to do either with some kind of “proof” that he was who he said he was, or with him doing individual acts of mercy on human suffering. NT Wright, Jollyblogger says, sees something different: the restoration of the lost to Israel, God’s people.

Apparently, the miracles that Jesus performed, according to Wright, were always specifically for the removal of ailments which made people “unclean,” things which severed them from right standing as one of God’s people. In restoring them to health, he was primarily restoring them to Israel. That is, his work of healing performed the same function as his work of forgiving sin. Furthermore, in healing gentiles and Samaritans, Jesus was extending the kingdom of God to people outside the nation of Israel. No wonder he caused such a stir!

At any rate, there are implications here for the arguments between cessationists and charismatics, because the arguments about the continuation of supernatural gifts and miracles turn hard upon the theological *purpose* of those miracles. Continue reading “NT Wright on Miracles”

Vending Machine God

Slowly catching up on my blog reading here. Last week Hobbes was discussing something I touched upon briefly in Saturday’s post. You can’t divide God into bite-sized chunks.

When we come before God in our private devotional times, we sometimes approach Him hoping to experience Him according to the particular attributes that we think we need at that moment. For example, yesterday I needed God to be my ‘Forgiver’. Today I need God to be Father to me. Tomorrow I may need Him to be my Healer. The next day I may need Him to be my Strength. God is clearly all of these. But, He is all of these things at the same time, and infinitely more! The danger is that we approach God with a vending-machine mentality. We put our prayer into the slot, and select the Divine Attribute we want to consume at that moment. We seek bits of God, rather than all that He is.

Read the whole thing (just a couple more paragraphs). He presents a profound understanding of what it truly means to worship God.

Castle Sands

A few months ago I had the strangest opening to what has become (I think) the beginnings of a very nice friendship: a guy gave me a book.

Okay, that doesn’t sound so weird. But the guy who gave me this book was approximately five time zones to the East of me (he lives somewhat North of London), and the book he sent me is currently retailing at around $100. This, I knew, was the beginning of a fast friendship.

Since then, I’ve been paying close attention to a guy who lets himself be known only as “Hobbes,” on the basis that he may soon be going into mission work in a hostile field, where having his religious thoughts easily searchable on the web might be a bad thing. Since I’m currently at the top of the list for Google and Yahoo! searches for “Kyle French.” I completely understand.

At any rate, I dig this guy. He says a lot of things that I agree with, but more importantly for me, he seems to think about things in the same sort of way that I do. That’s a rarity (as, no doubt, you can fathom). There are some disctinctions. You will note in *his* writing a much more stiff upper lip.

So I would recommend, to those of you who enjoy reading what I have to say, that you click over and take a peek at what’s going on at Castle Sands. You might enjoy it. But if you don’t, you may want to brace yourself. I suspect there will be a good deal of interaction between that site and this for a while.