We’ve all gotten them . . . the well-meaning envelope trying to notify us about an important upcoming event or to make sure we’re aware of the can’t-miss deal of the century. And you open the envelope (maybe) and pull out the letter and begin reading the message meant uniquely for you. “Dear Sir or Madam . . .”
If you’ve purchased anything in the last twenty or so years, you’ve almost certainly experienced it: that moment when you get to the register to purchase an inconsequential item, perhaps with exact change at the ready, and your dreams of a quick in-and-out transaction are dashed on the rocks of a series of questions:
“Can I get your phone number please? Hmm . . . you’re not in our system. Let me add you. What’s your name? Address? Email address? Phone number? Mother’s cousin’s oldest stepchild’s phone number?”
With the rapid-fire pace of web applications today, it seems there’s a new must-have product about every other week. Generally, these come and go and aren’t actually all that new or innovative, so I hope I might be forgiven for largely ignoring Slack when it first launched. It was, after all, little more than a glorified chat tool, and not something our team at CTSFW really needed.
At this point, though, I think I’m willing to concede that I might have been mistaken in my first look at Slack. Over the last few years it’s actually become an indispensable part of our team’s toolkit, finding a niche alongside apps like Wunderlist, Google Docs, and Gmail in the selection of apps that do one thing, do it really well, and don’t try to do anything else.
Happy 149th birthday, Concordia Publishing House! Of course, there’s a bunch of excitement about the big one-five-zero happening a year from now (and rightfully so!), but you only turn 149 once. Whatever the number, birthdays are a great time to remember, reflect, and celebrate—so here we go!
On May 25, 2018, Quantic Dream released their much anticipated seventh game, Detroit: Become Human. (Warning: Link launches trailer, which contains swearing.) After spending a week or so with the game, I’ve found it has much worth recommending to even your casual video game player. But, more importantly, Detroit continues a cultural conversation that’s only going to grow in coming years, and it’s one the Church would do well to get involved in. What makes us human, and what moral value do non-humans have? Is life found in the essence of a thing or in its behavior and appearance? Does it matter how we treat objects if they’re not alive? Detroit seeks to answer the question of whether androids are human, but I think the bigger question isn’t whether the android is human (it isn’t). It’s whether the android’s owner will remain human if he or she learns to behave in inhuman ways.
I’ve always enjoyed reading the annual blog posts and articles about predictions for the coming year. There’s something fun about seeing if they come true, although I rarely see follow-up posts detailing how many, if any, actually did come true. (Spoiler alert: most of them don’t.)
In the world of technology, it seems to be the trend to make big and bold predictions. Remember when tablets were going to replace all computers? Or when smart watches would be more useful than smart phones? More often than not, technology predictions are way off base, or just too early.
“Immortal God, what a world I see dawning. Why can I not be young again?”
The Dutch scholar Erasmus wrote these words in 1517, enraptured by the possibilities created by the Renaissance. The zeitgeist of the Renaissance was closely entwined with that of the Reformation, also dawning in 1517, as Europeans awakened to new ways of seeing the world and understanding their individual roles in it.
It was technology that enabled the ideas of the Renaissance and Reformation to spread like wildfire around Europe: Gutenberg’s moveable type printing press drastically increased the speed and accessibility of information. This technological innovation not only transformed the way ideas were spread, but also played a significant part in developing the ideas themselves, as more and more people were able to consider themselves readers, writers, and independent thinkers.
This expert was taken from the ebook Computer Security for Your Church.
When we think about the many ways our churches serve their members, we don’t often think about things like technology or data security. In today’s growing digital world, though, a robust awareness of data security can be one of the most important ways to safeguard the privacy of your users and their families. Just as we wouldn’t broadcast information given to us in confidence in day to day conversation, so too in the digital world we need to ensure that the information our members and visitors entrust us with is kept safe and secure from those who would use it to cause harm.
Imagine this scenario: You work in a church coordinating communications, among other responsibilities. One day, you receive a call from a lay leader, who tells you that a business client of his showed him a new software her church uses to communicate with and schedule volunteers. This member tells you that while he knows the price is high (or spendy, if this hypothetical church is in Minnesota), he’s willing to donate the funds to purchase this software.
As Christians we believe that God's Word is unchanging. Our God doesn't flip-flop or change His mind. When He gave us His Word, it was final and infallible. In contrast, we humans tend to change pretty much at the drop of a dime.
One week, we'll have an extreme opinion on a topic, but then the next we'll learn more and change our opinion. Some of us seem to change our careers every five years or so. Our tastes and style change every time the newest fad hits the market. One of the seemingly biggest changes to hit us most recently is the change in the way we learn.