A La Carte (June 7)

Today’s Kindle deals include quite a few to consider adding to your collection.

Become a Patron

Westminster Books is moving to a new warehouse, so is selling off a lot of books at great prices.

We are now offering memberships at Visual Theology; check it out and see if it’s a good option for you!

(Yesterday on the blog: Isn’t This Just The Carpenter Guy?)

Will Supreme Court Cake Ruling Actually Help Christian Businesses?

“The case of a Christian baker refusing to design a cake for a same-sex wedding became, in the eyes of many, the most-anticipated Supreme Court decision of the year because justices had a chance to finally resolve America’s ongoing struggle to balance sincerely held faith convictions and LGBT protections. But in Masterpiece Cakeshop Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, the court’s 7–2 ruling did not establish a new precedent outright allowing or barring Christian business owners from serving customers based on their faith convictions. Instead, the narrow decision favored baker Jack Phillips over a state agency that the high court ruled had demonstrated an unconstitutional hostility toward his Christian beliefs. CT asked religious liberty experts to weigh in on what the complicated ruling actually means for conservative Christian business owners in the wedding industry:”

How Do Apple’s Screen Time and Google Digital Wellbeing Stack Up?

It’s nice to see the big companies adding options to help us better manage our devices an apps. This article compares the two big ones. (See also Tech Addiction and the Paradox of Apple’s ‘Screen Time’ Tools.)

Is Cloning Ethical (Video)

‘Is cloning ethical? Dr. Kenneth Magnuson answers in this new episode of Honest Answers.

New Euthanasia Code Illustrates Dutch Slippery Slope

“Doctors in the Netherlands are getting mail. Every single general practitioner in the country – some 14,000 – will receive their own copy of the new national code of practice for euthanasia. An updated edition of the code was published in May by the Dutch committee that oversees euthanasia. The committee reviews each reported instance of euthanasia to ensure the doctor followed the law. This new code of practice is supposed to help doctors understand how they will be evaluated. However, the new code also illustrates how quickly the Netherlands has gone down a slippery slope”

The Odd Reality of Life Under China’s All-Seeing Credit Score System

“In the UK, credit scores are mostly used to determine whether people can get a credit card or loan. But in China, the government is developing a much broader ‘social credit’ system partly based on people’s routine behaviours with the ultimate goal of determining the ‘trustworthiness’ of the country’s 1.4 billion citizens. It might sound like a futuristic dystopian nightmare but the system is already a reality. Social credit is preventing people from buying airline and train tickets, stopping social gatherings from happening, and blocking people from going on certain dating websites. Meanwhile, those viewed kindly are rewarded with discounted energy bills and similar perks.”

Why Forcing Cyclists to Wear Helmets Will Not Save Lives (Video)

“Bicycle helmets are compulsory in countries such as Australia and New Zealand, among others, but as the Guardian’s Peter Walker explains this does not help save lives. Despite a series of helmet promotion campaigns in the UK, a growing amount of evidence suggests forcing people to wear protective headgear leads to greater risk-taking and can even put people off cycling altogether, exacerbating the crises in obesity and inactive living.”

Always Reforming?

Craig Troxel writes, “The Latin phrase semper reformanda–usually translated ‘always reforming’–is the widely known slogan of the Reformed tradition. It has become quite popular. Authors conjure it. Theologians cite it. Trendsetters love it. But I have become suspicious. And my suspicions stem from seeing the phrase appear at all too convenient times for a person’s point or agenda. My fear is that it is now regularly used as an excuse for novelty and innovation.” The article is a wee bit dated, but still rather important to understand.

Flashback: The Whole Christian Life Every Sunday

On Sunday we give believers what they need not just on Sunday but on every other day as well. In this way our services are the training ground, the place where believers are equipped to live the Christian life every day.

Sometimes God chooses to demonstrate his power by supernaturally changing our circumstances. And sometimes he chooses to leave us in hard, difficult places, but gives us his sustaining power. —Crawford Loritts