Archive for the ‘Google’ Category

A weekend non-fiction fun read as a break from heavy theological reading: Because Pastors need a break also!

Franklin Foer.  World Without Mind: The Existential Threat of Big Tech. New York, NY: The Penguin Press, September 12th 2017. 272 pp.

4 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

When people talk about the danger of Big Tech what exactly do they mean and how serious is it?  With a book that has the subtitle “The Existential Threat of Big Tech” author, journalist and newspaper editor Franklin Foer wrote this book to talk this specific issues.  Having finished reading this in early 2021 in which some of the national conversations include concerns about Big Tech and social media this book is quite relevant though it is written in 2017 and also the fact that Foer who is entrenched in the media establishment brought up the same concerns that I hear from political conservatives shows that the issues and problems with Big Tech really should transcend partisan party politics.


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A  special weekend non-fiction reading review, especially with everything going on in 2020!  A break from heavy theological reading: Because Pastors need a break also!

Scott Galloway.  The Four: The Hidden DNA of Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google. New York, NY: Penguin Group, October 3rd 2017. 320 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon

Increasingly people are realizing that there’s not only a good side to Big Tech but also a negative side.  Want to read a book on the four biggest technology company today with both its good and also its bad?  This book is worth the read and I highly recommend it.  It looks at Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Google and note its strengths and weaknesses and also serious concerns for the four.  Most fascinating is the book’s exploration of the tension between these four companies and competition with each other.  The author is Scott Galloway and I appreciate that in chapter one he tells us who he is: He is a NYU school of Business professor of marking, consultant, public speaker and entrepreneur.  I think his background is impressive but he’s also very real with his readers about his mistakes, what he’s learned firsthand in the world of entrepreneurship and also about what his personality is like.  But don’t take his honesty as weakness: what he has to say in this book is truly mind-blowing and educational.


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Note: This is a guest post since presently I am overseas.  This is by Todd Clay.  He is no stranger to some of you who read this blog.  His blog be found here and he tweets here.


Ever wonder what people think about God?


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In continuing with our week long series on how Google Books is a great resource for the Christian apologist, tonight I want to pick up where we last left off last night on Veritas Domain concerning the subject of Old Testament Higher Criticism.

Many times critics of the Bible package the Documentary Hypothesis as if it’s a new thing, that Christians have not been able to handle.  Certainly, JEDP is a mantra among professors in state run public universities, and assumed to be unanswered by Christians.

Those who are aware of their historical theology knows that this is not the case, that there were men who addressed this issue and refuted it such as those from Old Princeton.  Rather than reinvent the wheels, we must know what those have gone before us has contributed in their response so as to allow us to be inform of the historical arguments given.  In the 21st century, Old Princeton speaks from the grave, thanks to Google books.

1.) “The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch”- by William Henry Green, professor of the Old Testament in Princeton Theological Seminary.  This 1895 work runs under two hundred pages, and was one of the early responses, first published in 1895.

2.) “The Unity of the book of Genesis”— by William Henry Green, professor of the Old Testament in Princeton Theological Seminary.  Similar to “The Higher Criticism of the Pentateuch”, this work was published in 1895, but is more specific since it addresses Higher Criticism concerning the book of Genesis.  The work is almost six hundred pages!

3.) “Is the Higher Criticism Scholarly?”— By Robert Dick Wilson, professor of the Old Testament in Princeton Theological Seminary.  Wilson later went on to be one of the founding faculty of The Westminster Seminary under Machen.  This 1922 short work considers the question that became it’s title, and was written primarily for the General reading audience.

4.) “Studies in the Book of Daniel”— By Robert Dick Wilson, professor of the Old Testament in Princeton Theological Seminary.  Written in 1917, this work is four hundred pages long, and some might be surprised at how detailed responses were already published back then!


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In this week’s series on Google Book’s resource for the Christian apologist, I thought it would be appropriate ter’so balance out the apologetics with also the pastoral ministry, since most of the grass level engagement of apologetics occur among those who are in some capacity as Pastors.

Richard Baxter’s “Reformed Pastor” is available online on Google Books for viewing here.  This book can also be downloaded as a PDF file.

Here is my review of the book:

First published in 1656, Richard Baxter’s “The Reformed Pastor” remains a classic even today. The reasons why it is still read is because the truths that Baxter communicates is still relevant today. I will highlight some of these points here.
The book has much to say about the pastor’s duties. Due to the nature of the book, Baxter also addresses regularly the laziness of the minister. I enjoyed how the book tells us the duties of the pastor (and what’s required of that duty) and also cover the motives for fulfilling those duties. This was helpful, as the reason why we do ministry is also just as important as what we do in ministry.
The book is very conscious of the Christian’s duty of sharing the gospel. As an extension of this, Baxter believes the pastor’s duty to share the gospel is even greater: “Every Christian is obliged to do all he can for the salvation of others; but every minister is doubly obliged, because he is separated to the gospel of Christ, and is to give up himself wholly to that work” (196). In fact, the purpose of evangelism serves as a constant motive for Baxter to do the full work of a pastor.
As a result of this evangelistic outlook, Baxter is adamant that a pastor’s responsibility goes beyond just “preaching.” In fact, if Pastors were not obedient to the duty of evangelistic visitations of one’s congregation, Baxter found it unacceptable of one who “tell them of such a glory, and scarcely speak a word to them personally, to them to it…” (207). Throughout the book, Baxter has observed of how private meeting and conversation with one’s congregation has proven to be more fruitful than public preaching alone. This observation is still a true description of the ministry today. The contemporary application is obvious: Pastors are to visit members of the church today, for the purpose of effectively sharing God’s Word and the gospel in private meetings.
In considering the motivation for the work of doing the ministry in terms of sharing the gospel to the lost, Baxter soberly warns us, “Oh what a dreadful thing is it to answer for the neglect of such a charge! And what sin more heinous than that betraying of souls? Doth no that threatening make you tremble…” (199). There is an urgency in Baxter’s writing of the need to do the work of sharing the gospel for the salvation of sinners from the fate of Hell. I found it moving when Baxter wrote, “One would think that the very sight of your miserable neighbours would be motive sufficient to draw out your most compassionate endeavours for their relief” (202-203).
The objections and answer format towards the end of the book was great. It allowed for an organized and easy to follow format for readers to track with the author—something that seems to be typically hard for many puritans writers to accomplish, given their love of having sub-points to the various main-points format in their writing. This portion of the book was refreshing, as much of the objections given against biblical pastoral ministry today was also given back in Baxter’s time.
Furthermore, the book overall was quite helpful in the application of what was taught. These practical principles are useful today and the wise pastor will put them into practice. As a side note, I was delighted to find the book discussing about the importance of exercise, especially in an era before our contemporary fad with health and fitness. Baxter was quite balance, seeing exercise as good for the health. Moreover, there is a spiritual dimension that he pointed out, of how exercising is a form of mortification of sin by practicing Godly discipline.

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Continuing with our week-long posting on great resources on Google Books for the Christian apologist, tonight’s full view resource is “The Christian View of God and the World”.

Before Gordon Clark’s “A Christian View of Man and Thing”, a young Gordon Clark read James Orr’s “The Christian View of God and the World” in his father’s library.

As a result of this influence, decades later, an older Gordon Clark would deliver his lectures at Wheaton that would form the book “A Christian View of Man and Thing”

Now you can enjoy James Orr’s work also as well by clicking here

For Presuppositionalists, this is wonderful to see an influential work that laid the foundation for Presuppositionalism.

For those who are more bent towards historical theology, what’s great is that Google Books have other editions of this book online, just check out the right side after you click on the link

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I’ve been extremely impressed at the ideas and innovations they come up with: Google Docs & Spreadsheets let’s you upload files that can be modified by multiple users at the same time; Google Calendars let’s you share and collaborate as a family, church, etc.; Google Maps merges looking for directions with searching for an address when you don’t know directions (I used to text message google for directions and even weather without internet phone costs); Image Google offers an awesome catalog of images simply by typing in text. What else are they gonna think of???

Another new product I was thinking about a few months back was a good way to save all the great stuff you find while surfing the net- especially for students or writers doing research. Enter Google Notebook.

I can’t believe it. Gmail is introducing Gmail Paper, which will print out email and photo attachments for free, with no shipping and handling cost.

How? Advertisements on the paper:

Is it free?

Yes. The cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements, which will appear on the back of your Gmail Paper prints in red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica. No pop-ups, no flashy animations—these are physically impossible in the paper medium.

This really beats them all. Free printing. If anyone tries it out, leave me some feedback. It seems to good to be true.

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