Month: June 2010

Great Link: Does the Internet Make You Smarter?

While reading The AppsLab, I came across this article:

The Wall Street Journal: Does the Internet Make You Smarter?

I agree with Jake in that this was an interesting article.  One of the other patterns that I saw in Clay Shirky’s examples is that the technology breaks monopolies.  The printing press helped break the monopoly in the church world.  Now, we have the freedom to choose the church or Denomination that we think is correct.  We are not longer to restricted to only the ideas of the Catholic church.

The same is true with telephone service.  When I was younger, we had only one option.  For us, it was Verizon.  When they would bill us for the first half of the month ahead of time and make adjustments for the next month, we had to put up with it.  Then, as cellphones became more mainstream, people began to use them instead of their main telephone number at home.  Next, IP phone services such as Vonage and Skype came into play.  Now, we have a number of options.  First, I can either choose Verizon or Brighthouse and include phone service with our Internet or Cable service.  Or, I can simply use my cell phone all the time.  Or, I could sign up for Internet service only and use one of the IP services to call over the Internet.

I like what Clay said about the training part.  We had to train our children to read and take advantage of the books.  The same is true with the Internet, telephone service, or any technology.  We need to train our children to use these tools correctly.  I believe the key is family.  Schools, churches, and organizations can take some that training task, but the family is the most effective.  We should do all we can to support families and make them effective in providing that training.

To me, the fun part is seeing what all that innovation brings.  Thinking back on my grandparents’ lifetimes and the changes in technology they must have seen is amazing.  I have already seen a good number of changes in my lifetime, and I am excited to see more.  Maybe I will even get the opportunity to influence some of those changes.

Bible Study: Isaac’s Faith

In Sunday School, we are studying how Jacob tricked his brother Isaac for the blessing.  In attempting to let Bible interpret Bible, I was searching for any New Testament references to the story, and I found this verse in Hebrews 11:20:

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

The amazing thing here is that God attributes that blessing to faith.  The natural question is how is it faith when Isaac tried to give the blessing to the oldest son even though God prophesied that the youngest son would get it?  You can see that prophesy in Genesis 25:23:

And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

I agree the Gill’s commentary in that it was his faith in giving the blessing:

but yet notwithstanding this, Isaac might do it in faith, believing that the person he blessed would be blessed, though he was mistaken in him; and which he confirmed when he did know him,

God had promised Abraham that he would make a nation out him, and remember that God is very vocal about Abraham’s faith in believing this promise.  If you look at Isaac’s blessing, he is passing along this promise of creating a nation along.  Here is Isaac’s blessing to Jacob from Genesis 27:28-29:

Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

You can find that blessing that Isaac was passing along in Genesis 12:1-3 where God was promising the blessing to Abraham if he would follow God to that promise land:

Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

I noticed two points of similarity.  First, both blessings speak of nations.  Second, both blessing speak of God’s treating others the way they treat Abraham or Jacob or Israel: blessing for blessing and cursing for cursing.  God was crediting Isaac with this faith that God would keep his word in building a mighty nation out their decedents even though Isaac would never see it in his life time.

The most encouraging part of Hebrews 11 is that God never mentions the part that Isaac was about to give the blessing to the wrong son.  Instead, it is all about the faith to pass along such a blessing means that Isaac believed God would keep his promise.  This fact encourages us because it reminds us that God will put our sins as far as the east is from the west.  Now, Isaac and Rebekah did suffer the consequences for the mix up between Jacob and Esau, but as far as God is concerned, that is past and forgotten.  The same is true for our sin.  Once we put our faith in Jesus, our sins are past and forgotten.  God is concerned about our faith in Him.