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(37 posts)

How I Did It: YouTube

Monday··2007·06·11 · 11 Comments
Update: new, improved explanation. I’m no computer tech nerd. My web skills are really quite basic, gained largely through trial & error and by clicking "view page source" on web pages with interesting features. But I’m a fiddler and a tinkerer, so I can seldom just leave a newly-discovered function alone without customizing it. That’s not always a good thing. I’ve messed up a lot of perfectly good code by trying just one more modification. Sometimes though, I have a genuine "Eureka!" moment when I figure out something really good. Today, I want to share one of those "Eureka!" moments. The techies out there will be mostly unimpressed, but perhaps some of you will find this useful. I don’t like sending readers to sites with questionable content. For that reason, I prefer to embed YouTube videos rather than link to YouTube. However, embedded videos are one of the things that can cause your page to load slowly. Also, they clutter up the appearance of the page. I therefore wanted to make the video open alone in a popup window. First, I scavenged the code from a page containing a popup image. In this case, it was from my own site. (Movable Type allows you to choose "popup" or "embedded" when uploading a file, and writes the code for you, so yes, I had done it before without knowing how.) Then I trimmed out the attributes I didn’t need, such as scrollbars and the like. I then simply replaced the file URL with the YouTube video URL. This will not be the URL found in the address bar or to the right of the video on the YouTube page. It will be the URL found in the "embed" code directly below that, highlighted in red in this image. YouTube will not let you copy just the URL out of the "embed" code, so you will have to copy & paste the entire "embed" code and then copy the URL into your popup code. Just right-click on the "embed" code and click "copy." Then paste it into your blog post or any document. It will look like this: <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object> The URL is the part in red type, and is the only part you will keep. Delete the rest. The code you need, with the URL copied from the code above, looks like this: <a href="" onclick="’’,’popup’, ’width=425, height=350’); return false">Where I learned My Computer Skills</a> . . . and here’s how it works: Where I learned My Computer Skills Now, here’s another trick to give you further control over your content, this one thanks to the Desiring God blog. YouTube videos are automatically followed by a menu of related videos that you may or may not want appearing on your site. You can eliminate them by simply adding &rel=0 to the URL, like this: Finally, you can adjust the size of the video display by changing the width & height attributes, or go to full screen by simply omitting them. However, most YouTube videos are not of high enough resolution to display at full screen. As I said, techies will be generally unimpressed with this, but my little brain thinks this is very cool. I hope someone finds it useful.

Matthew 7:3–5

Wednesday··2007·10·03 · 2 Comments
This is one of those reactionary posts that I try to avoid. But I’m not avoiding this one. While I will refer to a particular blog post and blogger, I have refrained from identifying any individual because this is really addressed to a number of people who like to pit the pursuit of doctrinal precision against “what Christians are really supposed to care about”—the poor, etc. You could say I got up on the wrong side of the bed today. The irritation actually began some time ago, and came to a head a couple of weeks ago when a blogger I used to enjoy reading wrapped up the claims and insinuations of several others in one succinct, sanctimonious post. As much as I have tried to put it out of my head—after all, his screed was nothing new, just more abrasive than previous similar attacks—I woke up thinking about that post today. The point? That those who debate theology and are committed to doctrinal fidelity are really only interested in theoretical Christianity, that our religion goes no farther than the head, never reaching our hands. The following assertions—entirely unsupported—were made: We don’t pray for those who disagree with us. We don’t care for the sick, lonely, or widowed. We don’t evangelize. We don’t give to material needs. We are not hospitable. We don’t, in fact, make any difference for Christ in anyone’s life. We just sit around arguing. In the interest of honesty, the author claimed to be intentionally provocative in order to make a point. However, those assertions were the sum total of his post. They were not subtle insinuations. While I have condensed and slightly paraphrased them, he wrote exactly what you see here. And so I admit, I am angry. I’m not angry because I’ve taken this personally. I could, but that’s none of your business. I have enough trouble keeping from my right hand what my left hand is doing (Matthew 6:3) without putting it down in writing. Being accused of not doing those things doesn’t help in keeping me from thinking about it, either, thank you very much. I’m angry because these charges are patently false; because they distort the Gospel and the purpose of the church; they belittle the Biblical charges to “give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine” (1Timothy 4:13), to “Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee” (4:16), to “keep that which is committed to thy trust” (6:20), etc.; they slander a multitude of brothers and sisters who have demonstrated otherwise on countless occasions throughout my life. I’ve experienced some hard times the likes of which few of you will ever know. Through those times, God has been faithful to provide for me and my family, and he has done it through people, some of them being willing also to contend for sound doctrine. They visited me in the hospital. One of them even argued with me in the hospital, God bless him. They cared for my family in my absence. Some people, I know, made significant sacrifices for us. I couldn’t possibly remember all the kindnesses we’ve received, let alone list them here. I received the Gospel from teachers for whom doctrinal fidelity was paramount. I will never forget the day when a man who is now the head of a seminary took the time to come out to the backyard where I was playing, kneel in the dirt with my trucks and tractors, and talk to me about Jesus. I know that not everyone does what they ought. In fact, I know that no one does all that they ought. But I’m very tired of the kind of people who seem to think it is their calling to go about as self-appointed prophets, denouncing left and right, nagging others as though they know exactly what God wants them to do and when. There are Christians all over the world—yes, even among us evil American capitalists—who contend for sound doctrine, pray for those who disagree with them, evangelize, and care for the needs of those around them. They aren’t rare. They just aren’t writing blog posts bragging about it. So take your sanctimonious diatribes and—just for kicks—apply them to yourselves.* * In a clever twist of irony, I have inserted an unwarranted insinuation of my own.

State of the Blog

Monday··2008·11·17 · 8 Comments
As regular readers may easily observe, this blog has become little more than a journal of What Im Reading Now. I dont really know why I started blogging, but it has become for me a stimulus to thought, and for the last six months, as Ive posted every day, a means of disciplining myself to continue regular reading. I think this is a good purpose, and one Id like to refine a bit. Rather than simply rambling through one book after another, with no apparent rhyme or reason, Im thinking of devoting each weekday to a theme. For example, I have several books I want to read on such subjects as the Canon of Scripture, textual criticism, hermeneutics, etc, so one day could be devoted to Bibliology. Church history could be one, and current issues another (for example, I still need to finish The Courage to be Protestant). This is where you, gentle reader, come in. I will entertain your suggestions of possible categories or themes. What topics interest you? Leave your suggestions in the comments or email me here. Your input is appreciated.

State of the Blog Update

Monday··2008·11·24 · 2 Comments
Last Monday, I wrote a little about my intentions for the future of this blog. You offered some suggestions in the comments and via email, which I have considered, and I have decided on a schedule that I hope to stick to, more or less, for as long as it works. (Hows that for commitment?) For a while now, I have been reserving Mondays for posting my own thoughts on whatever has been on my mind, or blog notes (such as this post). That will continue. I may take up the challenge to write a series on How to Be a Christian. Hopefully, I can come up with a less scary title. Tuesday will be for Theology Proper, continuing with Knowing God for now. Wednesday, Ill tackle Bibliology, beginning, I think, with The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce. Thursday will Church History Day. Ive got a couple church history sets Id like to get into, as well as a few biographies and Iain Murray titles lined up, so well have no shortage of material there. Following the suggestion of Good Fridays, Im going to dedicate Fridays to Gospel-centered material. Now, at least, I know what soteriology is. Saturdays have been mostly frivolous to this point, and probably will still be at times, but I hope to give Saturdays to a mixture of other topics, such as current issues, and Church and Christian life. Thanks for your input. It is, as always, welcome and appreciated. Now, Ive got some reading to do.

The Ghost of Christmas Past

These are just a few links to what I have done in past years. 2005 Lord’s Day 51, 2005 Christmas Eve Lord’s Day 52, 2005 2006 We Don’t Even Have a Chimney Lord’s Day 52, 2006 Saturday Stupidity: Christmas 2006 2007 Have Yourself a Mercenary Christmas Infiltrated! And better yet , a few things others have done this year: Natural Law on Christmas Eve What Christmas Is All About The Christmas Story Could Mary have said “no”? The Death of Santa Did the Magi Follow an Angel? Is the Celebration of Christmas a Pagan Ritual? Merry Christmas Bad News: Santa Claus Is Coming to Town Gloria, in Excelsis Deo (sung by, I believe, an eskimo choir)
I was checking my stats last night, wondering if anyone is coming here when they should be spending time with their families, and I was truly surprised at the amount of traffic that continues to flow through. Shame on all of you. As long as you’re here, though, I’ll give you something to read, and you will see that it was like so totally not worth it to come here. These are some of the google searches that have led poor, lost souls to this site lately. These aren’t even as interesting as they sometimes are. dumb theologyWhat can I say? stan and doug christmas songsThey’re here. why is rick warren overweightNow, be nice. Everyone looks fat in a Hawaiian shirt. Well, maybe not everyone.

Monday, 2008

As this is Monday, the day on which I endeavor to have something original to say for myself, I am here to say something original. Now, what shall I say? How about I mark the new year (right on time, as usual) with . . . a list! Lists! Yes, lists are a great way to start the year. Here are a few. Books completed in 2008John MacArthur, The Truth WarJohn Calvin, Sermons on the BeatitudesRichard Phillips, Jesus the EvangelistJohn Grisham, The Innocent Man—Non-fiction, and a very sad story.Joel Beeke, Heirs with Christ—This is an excellent, easy-to-read treatment of a neglected doctrine.Paul Williams, If You Could Ask God One Question—This is a good little book covering some basic theological questions. My only criticism is that it is written at such a low level that the average reader might feel a bit insulted. Set your vanity aside before reading this otherwise useful book.Mark Dever, What Is a Healthy Church—Distribute this little book in your church as a vaccination against Hybels-Warren Syndrome.Bonar/Haykin/Brooker, Christ Is All: The Piety of Horatius Bonar—I loved this book! Read it straight through in an afternoon, or use it as a daily devotional. (The same recommendation goes for this companion volume, Devoted to the Service of the Temple: Piety, Persecution, and Ministry in the Writings of Hercules Collins.)David McCullough, 1776Sinclair Ferguson, In Christ AloneStephen King, Cell—Yes, I read an occasional creepy novel.Grudem/Ryken/Collins/Poythress/Winter, Translating Truth—Read this book, toss your NIV.C. John Miller, A Faith Worth Sharing—This is an excellent, practical book on personal evangelism, and a quick, easy read to boot.David McCullough, John Adams—John Adams is my favorite founding father. He would not like what we’ve done with the republic he loved.R. C. Sproul, The Truth of the Cross—A great little primer on the atonement.Scott Smith, A Simple Plan—Published in 1994, this is not a new book. However, if you haven’t read it, and you like an occasional novel, I highly recommend this one. This is a parable, however unintended, of the doctrine of total depravity. Never has a secular novelist captured so well the potential of the sin that dwells within “good” men. This is fiction that could easily be true. Joseph J. Ellis, His ExcellencyDaniel DeFoe, Robinson Crusoe—Okay, I’ll admit that I didn’t finish this one. I had read it as a kid, but this time it just didn’t seem as exciting. Once he got off the island, I lost interest. I had forgotten that the story goes on after that. Still, this is a good story of God’s sovereignty, and one that ought to be read once, at least. Books began in 2008 (that were abandoned but will be completed eventually)Dever/Duncan/Mahaney/Mohler, Preaching the Cross—These are the conference sessions from Together for the Gospel 2006. I have watched them on DVD, so I have sort of finished this one. (You can download the mp3s here. Scroll down for 2006.)William Wilberforce, A Practical View of ChristianityHarold Greenlee, Introduction to Textual CriticismMark Dever, The Message of the Old Testament: Promises Made—A brief scan of this book, as well as its companion volume The Message of the New Testament: Promises Kept tells me that these are must-reads, and I seldom say that. Books began in 2008 (that I am presently reading)J. I. Packer, Knowing God (blogged on Tuesdays)—I’ve never read this before, and I’m glad I finally picked it up.F. F. Bruce, The Canon of Scripture (blogged on Wednesdays)Iain Murray, A Scottish Christian Heritage (blogged on Thursdays)—If I was stranded on a desert island with one author, I would choose Iain Murray. Then I would just sit there entranced while he rambled on.John Piper, God Is the Gospel (blogged on Fridays)—If you read only one book by John Piper, read this one.David Wells, The Courage to Be Protestant (blogged on Saturdays)—In a day when relevance is supposedly of premium value, this book ought to be read by every Christian. It is relevant in the truest sense of the word, and will be for quite some time to come. Stephen Ambrose, D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II—“Fascinating” is an overused adjective these days, but I’ll use it here: fascinating! Some plans for 2009Tentative blogging schedule:Tuesdays: Follow Knowing God with The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul.Wednesdays: Follow The Canon of Scripture with How to Read the Bible as Literature by Leland Ryken.Thursdays: Follow A Scottish Christian Heritage with The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors by Thabiti Anyabwile.Fridays: Follow God Is the Gospel with [?]Saturdays: Follow The Courage to Be Protestant with [?]Sundays: Finish blogging the Psalms in the Geneva Bible (Psalm 119 will be split up over the next several weeks) and begin blogging the Gospel of John (switching to the NASB), accompanied by J. C. Ryle’s Expository Thoughts on the Gospels.Mondays: Try to have something more clever to say than usual. Someone who shall remain nameless because marriage is difficult enough without dragging your dirty laundry out and blogging about it says I tend to be “dry.” I’m afraid this post is not contributing toward that end.Make more bulleted lists, and numbered lists whenever I can justify it.Meet last year’s goal (of which I fell woefully short) of averaging one book per week.Do more Bible study (vs. just reading).Read a lot of history, both church and world.Not go Calvin-crazy due to all the quincentenary exuberance all around the web. I will, however, be reading a Calvin biography and purchasing his commentaries and the Institutes. As you can see, there are a couple of question marks in the future plans. That, as you may have surmised, is because I don’t know what I will do in those instances. I hope you can tolerate the suspense.

Book Give-away: Caption Me

Monday··2009·01·12 · 20 Comments
THANKS to everyone who contributed their captions. After much deliberation, a winner was chosen late last night. The winner is J. Eric Lewis, whose winning caption can be found where captions belong, directly below the picture. Eric, if you will email me your mailing address, Ill get the book out to you pronto. Ive got a stack of books Ive been meaning to give away, but I keep forgetting to remember to not forget to do it; so today Im giving one away. Ive been trying, without much success, to think of creative and fun ways to select winners. I dont know how well todays contest qualifies in that way, but in the end, someone will get a book. Heres what you do: caption the following handsome image of yours truly. A panel of unbiased judges (seriouslynot just me) will choose their favorite caption. The winner gets a book. And that book is The Truth of the Cross by R. C. Sproul. Ill leave it open for a week, and update this post next Monday with the winner. So here you gocaption me. The winning caption: Good. Now, where is that bowl and those fiddlers? (I dont get it) Mrs Thirsty Theologians entry: Arent I pretentious?
Sorry, no real blogging going on here today. I just have one announcement. June 1st will mark two milestones for the Thirsty Theologian this year. It will mark the 4th anniversary of the blog, and the end of one year of daily blogging. Im only making note of this today because that will also be time for my biennial facelift, and Ive decided to go ahead with one of my planned changes today. Im doing away with the On the Web blog that youve seen in the sidebar, and replacing it with a bit of javascript that will bring you my shared items from my Google Reader. What that will mean to you is a simpler format, no excerpts or commentary from me, and no way for you to comment. The latter will make little difference, since few of you used that feature anyway. It will also mean that links will be limited to whatever comes through the RSS feeds I subscribe to. Speaking of RSS, those of you who have subscribed to On the Web through an RSS reader will want to subscribe to the new feed here (this will only effect On the Web subscribers. The Thirsty Theologian feed will remain the same). What this will mean to me is one-click linking, which means lots of time saved. I wish I had thought of this four years ago! Now that Ive mentioned the upcoming facelift, dont get too excited (yes, I heard your heart-rates increase). The new look will be dramatically different while remaining almost entirely the same. Now might be a good time to tell me what you dont like about the current design. Maybe Ill take your complaints into consideration. Or maybe not. Its not like I get paid to do this, after all. I also doubt Ill continue the daily blogging regimen after day 365. We shall see.
Happy blogiversary to me . . . Blogiversary is not really a word. I don’t really like the word blog, either, but there they are, proof that the internet is destroying the English language, and possibly the Canadian one, too. Anyway . . . yesterday marked the end of the 4th year, and the 365th consecutive day, of blogging here at the Thirsty Theologian. I was going to skip today and make a clean break at one year, but believe it or not, my wife said I shouldn’t. So if this turns into an addiction ? la Challies, it’s her fault. To celebrate, I’m rolling out my biennial blog facelift, which isn’t even a real redesign this time, but little more than a new color schemewithout colordemonstrating just how set in my ways I am. I don’t really change as I get older, I just see things more in black and white. I know what you’re thinking. Because two other guys are already using Curmudgeon in their blog title, that’s why.

Bibliology Breather

Wednesday··2009·09·09 · 5 Comments
I realized late last night that, having completed Disputations on the Holy Scriptures last week, I had no post ready for today. Wednesday has been bibliology day here since July last year. Since then Ive read Translating Truth by Leland Ryken (ed.), The Canon of Scripture by F. F. Bruce, How to Read the Bible as Literature by Leland Ryken, Scripture Alone by R. C. Sproul, and now Disputations on the Holy Scriptures by William Whitaker. Ill admit it: Disputations was a heavy volume, not just in its 718-page bulk, but in its content. Perhaps it was an ill-conceived idea to read it alongside Charnocks The Existence and Attributes of God. Im tired. I wont be picking up anything too heavy for a while (did I mention Im also presently reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 1245 pages, small print?). Eventually, Im sure, Ill want to pick up another book on The Book. Any suggestions?
Humble man that I am, I have my spam filter set to keep out any comments that might tend to puff me up. The following are examples: I love this site Very interesting tale Best Site Good Work perfect design thanks Cool site good luck good material thanks very best job Excellent work, Nice Design I’m happy very good site this post is fantastic You can see why I want to avoid all that flattery. Still, Id like to thank all the kind readers who left those encouraging comments. Thanks also for the many links you provided. I dont have time to check them out, but Im sure they are all very useful.    In case you didnt get thisand if youre not a blogger, you probably wontthis is completely sarcastic.
You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means. Inigo Montoya You already know what I think of Twitter. Ive already insulted a multitude of tweeters on that score. Yet I opened a Twitter account more than six months ago, and continue posting there for the reason given at the time. I consider myself a missionary to the grammatically impaired. Well, today Im here to tell you that slippery slopes really do exist, and one sin does lead to another. The proof? I joined Facebook yesterday. Now, Im not going to beat around the bush: my opinion of Facebook is several fathoms below my opinion of Twitter. Twitter, as most people use it, is shallow, narcissistic, pointless, and generally lame. What Twitter does to communication, Facebook does to human relationshipsand I despise that. I actually had a much longer diatribe on Facebook prepared, but I think Ill save it. Suffice it to say that everything I said about my use of Twitter will apply to Facebook as well, which means I probably wont friend you*. Dont take it personally, and dont get me started about the abominable perversion of a word I hold precious. If you really are, or want to be, my friend, drop me an email, write me a letter, give me a call, stop by for a visityou know, like a friend would. I dont know how profitable this venture will be. Honestly, the best way to follow this, or any other, blog is through an RSS reader. If you already do that, there is no reason to follow me on Twitter or Facebook. However, if this sort of thing interests you, Ill tell you what you can expect from me on Facebook. First, links to this blogs daily posts. Second, next to nothing. I spent quite a bit of time yesterday going through all the privacy settings, basically fixing it so no one can see anything but my posts, which, if I did it right, everyone can see, so you wont have to be my friend to get everything Ive made available to anyone. Sofor whatever its worth, here I am on Facebook. *Update: Okay, so what do I know? It seems you cant conveniently follow my Facebook posts unless you are my friend, so I guess Ill have to loosen up on that. But I dont like it! *Update 2: A kind reader informed your clueless host that a Thirsty Theologian Fan Page would likely serve him better and solve the friend dilemma. That advice has been gratefully accepted, and the link above has been appropriately modified. He asks you to accept his apologies for the inconvenience, especially to those of you who so eagerly clicked the friend button. *Update 3: Im not feeling too bright presently. For now Ill just say I goofed, and consequently, Ive deactivated my Facebook account. Ill explain later, and have it all straightened out soon. But now, Im going to bed. *Update 4: The Rest of the Story.
Its official: I am an idiot. As you may know, I joined Facebook yesterday. You can read my thoughts and intents on that here. As it turns out, I didnt know what I was doing. I knew what I wanted. I just wanted a Facebook presence that would feed this blog. I didnt want to go through all that phony phriend nonsense, so I declared right from the start that I wasnt going to do that. Then, after setting up my page and seeing how things worked, I realized that, even though it was open to everyone, only friends could get my notifications. I therefore relented and began accepting friends. Then, a reader advised me that a fan page might suit me better. I looked into that and discovered that he was right; that was exactly what I wanted, so I set up a page for The Thirsty Theologian. It was perfect . . . Except for one thing. See, when you create a fan page, you have to put it in a category according to its purpose. Looking over the available categories, the one that seemed to fit closest was writer. It was either that, or religious organization. Anyway, I thought, blogger/writer, close enough. But then, in the search results, I saw that I was listed as an author. Writer can mean a lot of things, but author implies legitimate published work. Im no author, and I was embarrassed to have anyone catch me misrepresenting myself. Having already acquired a few fans, and having already apologized to my friends for dumping them in favor of a fan page, I looked for a way to change the category to anything that wouldnt be a bald-faced lie, but to no avail. Someone will probably now inform me of an easy, obvious way to do that, but I couldnt find it. In the process, I discovered the category I had overlooked: website. Duh. I decided I had to start over, but it was late, so I simply deactivated my account to avoid accumulating any more fans, and went to bed. This morning (which, to my frustration, came at 3:15), I wiped the slate clean and started over. This time, I can say with a reasonable measure of confidence that I am finished, and that you can find my new Facebook page here. Again, I want to apologize to everyone who paid me the compliment of becoming my friend or fan, and hope you will give me a chance to redeem myself. Finally, Im still uncomfortable with the idea of having fans. If there was a way to avoid it, I would, so please, if you know how that can be done, and it involves redoing anything, keep it to yourself.

Giveaway: The Holiness of God (1)

Free RC! I have recently come into possession of several copies of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, which I will be giving away over the next several weeks. Winners will be chosen by lottery, and all you need do to enter is send me an email that includes your name andhere is the catchthat you follow this blog by one of three methods: RSS, Twitter, or Facebook. (If youre tempted to lie about it to win a copy, I wont be checking up on you, but perhaps you should read this excerpt before entering.) Just make sure the subject of your email says The Holiness of God Giveaway 1. Entries will be accepted through next Friday (April 2), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday (and the next, and the next . . .), so there will be multiple chances to win. Update: Important! You must include your subscription information, i.e. RSS, Twitter, or Facebook. If the subject line of your email does not say The Holiness of God Giveaway 1, I might miss it and it might not find its way into the drawing.

Life Interrupted

Friday··2010·04·02 · 6 Comments
Our regularly scheduled posts will be at least partially suspended for the next few days. Weve had a death in our extended family, and will most likely be traveling to a funeral in Wisconsin on Monday. I will still be announcing another The Holiness of God drawing tomorrow, but I will most likely not be updating Twitter or Facebook until things get back to normal next week. There are some unusually difficult circumstances involved in this situation, so your prayers are appreciated.

Giveaway: The Holiness of God (2)

Free RC! Last weeks winner has been drawn and notified, and now its time the next round. The rules are the same as last week. To win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, or Facebook The Holiness of God Giveaway 2 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (April 9), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday (and the next, and the next . . .), so there will be multiple chances to win.

Not a Real Blog Post

I want to thank those who offered prayers on our behalf in the last few days. We are back home safe and sound from a trip that went fairly well, all things considered. God continues to perform above my expectations. I should be getting back to my Gospel of John commentary reading program today, but were trying to get our ducks in a row so we can hit the road to Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday for the 2010 Together for the Gospel Conference. So I might as well face it: Im not going to get much meaningful reading or blogging done between now and then. I do intend to blog from Louisville, but I dont yet know what that will look like. It wont be anything like live-blogging ? la Challies. Im sure it will be something very new and exciting. Or not. Try not to fall off the edge of your seats in anticipation.

Giveaway: The Holiness of God (3)

Free RC! Last weeks winner has been drawn and notified, and now its time the next round. The rules are the same as last week. To win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or Kindle The Holiness of God Giveaway 3 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (April 16), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday (and the next, and the next . . .), so there will be multiple chances to win.

Giveaway: The Holiness of God (4)

Free RC! Last weeks winner has been drawn and notified, and now its time the next round. The rules are the same as last week. To win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or Kindle The Holiness of God Giveaway 4 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (April 23), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday (and the next, and the next . . .), so there will be multiple chances to win.

Giveaway: The Holiness of God (5)

Free RC! Last weeks winner has been drawn and notified, and now its time for the next round. The rules are the same as last week. To win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Kindle, link from your blog, bookmark, etc. The Holiness of God Giveaway 5 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (April 30), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday (and the next, until I run out), so there will be multiple chances to win.

Just Curious . . .

Friday··2010·04·30 · 7 Comments
Freedom Friday is on hiatus until I come across something that inspires me or puts a burr under my saddle in that area. I have recently made a few comments about people who pay to read blogs, this one in particular, that are available free of charge. In spite of my insinuation that it is silly to do so, I realize that convenience and other factors of which I am ignorant might make it desirable to pay 99¢.month to read via Kindle. The question behind my raised eyebrow was not so much why pay to read a blog? as why pay to read this blog? So you Kindle readers can relax and stop emailing me (about this); I dont really think youre foolish. Anyway, I recently exchanged a few words with a friend on things related, including tip jars, i.e. PayPal buttons by which readers may make donations. Now, I want to state one thing loud and clear; its important, so pay attention: I have no intention of setting that up here. I am not now putting out feelers in advance of such an enterprise. However, I am curious. If I did do that, would you ignore it, leave a token pittance and forget it thereafter, donate regularly (or at least semi-regularly), or give me a piece of your mind? Please be brutally honest. My answer, if I was in your shoes, would be a, and that is no faux humility. What Im really trying to learn by this is not whether or not I could make any money, nor am I fishing for compliments. I really just want to know if Im right about what I think your answer will be.

Meatballs and The Holiness of God

Saturday··2010·05·01 · 2 Comments
Earlier this week, when my wife answered my Whats for supper? with Asian meatballs, I couldnt help think of the recent cookbook goof calling for salt and freshly ground black people. [sigh . . .] Ill never think of Italian sausage and Swedish meatballs the same. Anyway . . . Its time for another Holiness of God drawing. Free RC! Last weeks winner has been drawn and notified, and now its time for the next round. The rules are the same as last week. To win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Kindle, link from your blog, bookmark, etc. The Holiness of God Giveaway 6 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (May 7), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday (and the next, until I run out), so there will be multiple chances to win.

A Calvinists Excuse

I would normally be posting something from John Calvin on the Gospel of John from John Calvin, but I was irresistibly drawn to do other things. I intend to persevere until I am finished. I dont even have time to figure out how to fit the whole tulip into this lame excuse. See you tomorrow, unless Im otherwise predestined.

Giveaway: The Holiness of God (7)

Because Im so busy . . . Free RC! Last weeks winner has been drawn and notified, and now its time for the next round. The rules are the same as last week. To win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Kindle, link from your blog, bookmark, etc. The Holiness of God Giveaway 7 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (May 14), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday. There are still several copies remaining, so if you havent won, keep trying.
Update: NGM Planet has been shut down. The domain was sold on eBay for $.06 on May 23. . . . or, as a friend with whom I shared the saga called it, goon meets curmudgeon (my friend shall remain nameless unless he wishes to name himself). In case youre wondering, Im the curmudgeon. I was surprised yesterday to be one of several victims of content theft. It all began Sunday night when I posted Monday mornings entry before going to bed. Since my post referenced a post at Between Two Worlds, I left a trackback there as well before turning in. That, my friends, is a big deal, because, as any blogger who watches stats and has ever had a link from that site knows, there is a Justin Taylor effect. That is, rather than the usual traffic, you will get approximately thirty-seven jillion hits. Taylor moderates his feedback, so I checked back in the morning to see if my trackback had been published. It had (I thought), but it looked . .  different. So I clicked through. To my dismay, I found my full post, image included, just like I expected to see it, but on a different site. (Check it for yourself. The only way you would ever know who the author was would be to click the Previous/Next post links at the bottom of the page (there is a blogroll-style list of contributors in the sidebar, also). Otherwise, the reader is left, intentionally or not, to assume that the site owner is the author of the post (the only exception being someone like Phil Johnson, who includes his name, along with multiple branded graphics, within each post). Consequently, my thirty-seven jillion hits are being hijacked by this aggregator site. Though the site owner claims to be push[ing] viewers back to the original sites, his URL (site address) has never, to my recollection, turned up in my stats. So I shot off a polite, if annoyed, email: To Whom It May Concern: Last night (May 9) I posted an article on my site (Prayer for the Unknown on The Thirsty Theologian). I then posted a trackback at Justin Taylors blog, Between Two Worlds. Imagine my surprise when, this morning, I discovered not my trackback to my site, but one to NGM Planet where I found my full post and The Thirsty Theologian listed as a contributor in the sidebar. What is the meaning of this? I have no wish to judge your motives in this; Im sure you mean nothing untoward. However, I must ask that you discontinue hijacking my content. If you wish, you are welcome to post short excerpts with links back to my site. That is a normally accepted practice. Thank you, David Kjos The Thirsty Theologian . . . and the following exchange ensued: Mr Kjos: If you would note on the about page (, we do not "hijack" anyone’s content, we aggregate and point to the originals for proper attribution of the authors. We do not collect comments/etc there, but push viewers back to the original sites for further discussion, etc. Perhaps you are familiar with other "planet" sites (using either the FeedWordPress plugin we use or the python-based Planet tool ( which also aggregate RSS feeds into one central source, linking back out to the originals for conversation, etc. I will happily delink you from our aggregator if you prefer. -Warren Myers Mr, Myers: Really, now, who do you think you’re fooling? Surely, you must see that few people will ever find their way to the sites from whom you re-appropriate (to be kindly euphemistic) your content. Why would they? And what indication is there that they should? The plain fact is that I have never, to my knowledge, ever received any traffic from your site. No one who has read my work on NGM Planet knows who wrote it. I checked with another, much more popular blogger whose work you siphon, and he has never heard of NGM Planet. None of us are benefiting from your use of our content. As it now stands, your trackback at Between Two Worlds is depriving me of considerable traffic. The links you provide are inconspicuous and unnecessary to the reader. Each post is, to all appearances, original to your site. De-linking me from your aggregator is not enough. Nothing short of a public statement giving credit where credit is due, and a cessation of current practices, will do. If you are, indeed, a follower of Christ, you will take this bit of correction and mend your ways. David Kjos Following that, wondering who this Warren Myers was, I investigated his personal blog. Searches for words like Jesus, gospel, grace, faith, and scripture produced little to indicate even a nominal religion, so maybe I was presumptuous in appealing to his conscience. Time passed, and I found myself happily de-linked from his aggregator. I expected no further communication, which was fine with me. But what followed later was not fine. Mr Kjol, The trackback you reference should not be pointing to - it should be going directly to "The Thirsty Theologian". I am unaware as to why it would show our aggregator rather than the original site - I am investigating that behavior with other blogs we aggregate to see if it does that with them as well. It should not, as you point out. (If you did click that link however, you would see that the "Next" and "Previous" links go straight to you, as it is merely importing data from the RSS feed made publicly-available from your blog. I presume you will also ask that people who follow your blog via RSS will cease, as that is also depriving you of traffic.) We do have public statements indicating we do not write anything, but rather aggregate from other places. Kindly note the top of the page that reads "Christian blogs of interest" and, as already pointed-out in my previous email, our "About" page: - "Welcome to NGM Planet, a service of This is an aggregation point for a variety of Christian blogs weve found to be of interest. If you would like you blog to be considered, please email the site admin at ngmen[at]ngmen[dot]net with your sites name, your name, and well review it. Thanks for stopping by! -the ngm team" We are an aggregation point and nothing more. I am sorry this has upset you, as certainly that is not our goal. I will have your syndication removed from our site shortly, and will no longer link others to it. There is nothing on our site which makes it look like we have written everything - if for no other reason than the volume per day of newly-syndicated entries going back to the original posters, along with, of course, the linked authors for each post and the RSS feed linking back to the original sites as well. Again, I am sorry you are upset we are aggregating from your site. Have a good day. Regards, -Warren Myers I can tolerate stupidity and, in its place, ignorance. But the intentionally obtuse are beyond excuse. At this point, I stop arguing. Psychoquacks call that passive-aggressive (a nonsensical term if ever there was one); I call it recognizing the difference between conversing with a human being and a brick wall. Of course I will not also ask that people who follow [my] blog via RSS will cease. They intentionally subscribed to my feed, and know who I am. The readers of NGM Planet may or may not. I say, most likely they do not; the previously-stated fact that I have received no resulting traffic ought to be proof enough of that. I began the day without any assumption of unethical motives. Now, I am not so sure. I cant imagine that the few ads on the aggregator site yield enough to make that the purpose of the site, but who knows? Or maybe he really just wants to share content he likes, but is too lazy or uncaring to do it right. Either way, its got to stop. As I told Mr. Myers at the outset, if he wanted to post short excerpts with proper, conspicuous, credit and links to the source, that would be fine. We all do that; in fact, we hope others will do that for us. But to lift whole posts, removing the need to visit the source, and leaving it unlikely that anyone would ever be aware of the source, is theft. And to stubbornly continue when you are offered an ethical alternative exposes a willful disregard for anything but your own will. Dont be that way; dont do that. And if you do, dont pretend to be a disciple of Christ. Other contributors to NGM Planet are: 10 Million Words 20 Times Around the Block Blog ali’s african adventures Answers in Genesis Articles antipaucity Atheist Central — Ray Comfort’s Blog Blog entries Capitol Hill Baptist Church Cerulean Sanctum Challies Dot Com – Informing the Reforming Church Matters: The 9Marks Blog Desiring God Blog ESV Bible Blog Eternal Perspectives (Randy Alcorn’s blog) Feed Your Faith GalatiansC4V16 Grace to You Blog Grace to You: Drawing Near Daily Devotional Head Heart Hand J. Mark Fox’s Blog Journey Deeper Into God’s Word kerux noemata Ligonier Ministries Blog Next Gen Men Parchment and Pen Practical Shepherding Pyromaniacs Reformation21 Blog Samaritan’ – Featured Shepherds’ Pie Take Your Vitamin Z The Blazing Center The Fishermen The Gospel Coalition Blog The Walker Report Together for the Gospel (T4G) Toronto Pastors Fellowship Veritas Aequitas Wrestling with an Angel

Giveaway: The Holiness of God (8)

Free RC! Last weeks winner has been drawn and notified, and now its time for the next round. The rules are the same as last week. To win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Kindle, link from your blog, bookmark, etc. The Holiness of God Giveaway 8 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (May 21), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday. There are still several copies remaining, so if you havent won, keep trying.

Bigamy and Holiness

. . . and I win the prize for Most Deceptive Title on a Blog Post. Have you ever wondered, Dear Readers, Where does this guy come up with some his weird ideas? Well, heres your answer: a brain that runs open-source software and short-circuits every now and then. Heres a small window into the mind that is mine. When this article came through my RSS reader, the headline read More women earning more than hubby. Scanning quickly as usual, I read Women earning more than one hubby. I thought, earning? Like, say, earning a trip to the woodshed? Naturally, I was then reminded of the Addams Family episode in which Morticia (one of the hottest babes ever to grace the small screen, if you ask me) asks, Gomez, do you know what the penalty is for bigamy? to which Gomez replies, Of coursetwo wives. Speaking of two wives (not really, but I have to segue somehow), it is time for another The Holiness of God giveaway. The rules remain the same. To win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul, just send me an email that includes Free RC! Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Kindle, link from your blog, bookmark, etc. The Holiness of God Giveaway 9 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (May 28), and the winner will be notified by email. Another giveaway will be announced next Saturday. There are still a few copies remaining, so if you havent won, keep trying.

Freedom Friday, sort of

Our Fridays are (usually) dedicated to the promotion of liberty. It just occurred to me this morning that I passed a couple of blog anniversary dates this week. Tuesday, June 1st, was the fifth anniversary of this blog. It also marked two years of daily blogging. Thats 730 days straight without skipping, or 733 through today. Thats nothing compared to 2,408 days, but its a moderately big deal to me. So how is this sort of a Freedom Friday post? Its like this: I began daily blogging as a kind of discipline to push me to read more and better, and it served that purpose quite well. But Ive gotten tired. What used to be a good thing has become a burden, and its not really working any more. Consequently, Im thinkingonly thinking at this pointof liberating myself from the obligation. If I cant put my heart into my blogging so that it once again becomes a sharpening tool, you may see a cessation of daily activity here. Dont worry, it wont mean Im dead. Then again, maybe it will. You never know. I was also supposed to have my biennial facelift up this week. I started work on it several weeks ago, and then completely forgot about it. Ill get it done eventually. Or maybe Ill just go with this one.

Holy Contractions, Batman!

. . . and thats how I combine another The Holiness of God drawing with this: I have delivered babies. Six of our children were born at home, two with a midwife, and four without, so I know a bit about childbirth. Im also a pretty good inventor. If I need something that isnt readily available, Ill usually figure something out and create it. If it sounds like Im going somewhere scary with this, youre right. But you have no idea how scary. Just so theres no mistake, this isnt my invention; crazy as my Mrs. thinks I am, I never would have thought of Birth by Centrifugal Force (those currently with child might want to brace themselves before clicking). Alright, then! Everybody still with me? Now its time to give away the penultimate copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul. To enter, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Kindle, link from your blog, bookmark, etc. The Holiness of God Giveaway 11 in the subject line Entries will be accepted through next Friday (June 11), and the winner will be notified by email. Another drawing, the final one this time, will be announced next Saturday.

Last Chance for Holiness

Today brings your last chance to win a copy of The Holiness of God by R. C. Sproul. To enter, just send me an email that includes Your name How you follow this blog, i.e. RSS, Twitter, Facebook, Kindle, link from your blog, bookmark, etc. The Holiness of God Giveaway 12 in the subject line Due to the fact that international shipping rates are about twice the value of the book, I wont be shipping outside the U.S. Entries will be accepted through next Friday (June 18), and the winner will be notified by email.
After pursuing one method of fixing the internal server error problem, and having no success, I am breaking down and doing the job Ive been avoiding for some time: rebuilding. For the first time, pressed by necessity rather than desire, Im starting with no clear idea of how I want it to look when Im done. The comments below will accept your complaints and suggestions; who knows, I might even consider them. This may take me a while, so expect some (more) odd behavior in days to come. Thanks for your patience (if, indeed, you are being patient).

Incoming Links

Monday··2011·04·04 · 13 Comments
I used to have a list of links to those of you who linked to this blog. I had compiled it by watching my stats and adding any site that put a permanent link to this blog on their home page. I no longer keep very close tabs on my stats anymore, so I’m not likely to notice any new links. I still want to recognize those of you who are kind enough to link in, so I’ve opened the comments of this post for you to link to yourself. I’ve put a permanent link to this post on my front page. Here is how you should do it: Place a link to The Thirsty Theologian ( on your home page. Leave a comment here linking to your site, following these instructions: Don’t put your name in the name field. Enter your site or blog title instead. As usual, enter your URL in the URL field. Provide a very brief description (13 lines should be plenty) of your site in the comment field. This is your ad space. Ive posted a link to myself as an example. Your site need not be a Christian site per se. Even if all you post is meatloaf recipes or hotrodding tips, you are welcome. Be warned that outright heretics or otherwise unacceptable sites will be deleted. Otherwise, all comers are welcome, provided your site links to the Thirsty Theologian. If you like, you may use one of the following banner images. These are transparent png images, so they should look good on any color background. 400?81 300?61 200?133 200?47 --->

Grumpy over Google

Thursday··2011·11·03 · 4 Comments
I am not a fan of open letters, but when the intended recipient hides behind layers of so-called Help forums, what can be done? Dear Google, I wish I could contact you directly, but you dont seem to want any direct feedback from your users. If you did, you would post a conspicuous contact us link somewhere. No thanks, Im not interested in going to users forum and complaining to strangers who are not the cause of my problem and can do nothing for me. I want you, because you threw the monkey wrench in the works. I want you to fix it. Google+ is a good idea. The circles make it what Facebook is not, a social medium that recognizes that not everyone I know is my friend, that friends and family do not share exactly the same space, and there are things I would like to share with one group (or individual) that I wouldnt share with everyone else. But youve really screwed up with your attempt to herd your users into the Google+ corral and close the gate. I refer to the removal of the share button from Google Reader. Now, Im supposed to +1 links I want to share, to be seen only by Google+ users. That doesnt work for me. Since the beginning of this blog, I have shared links in the sidebar (front page). This has been a key feature of this site. About two and a half years ago, I discovered a widget that allowed me to put my Google Reader Shared Items there. That was a great discovery, because it allowed one-click sharing and saved a lot of valuable time. I wont be going back to the old way of manually linking. Its just too time-consuming. So, unless I can find another way to do what you used to do, that part of this site is dead. Thanks a lot. David Kjos Now, if any of you smart folks know of any solutions to this problem, Im all ears.
I got involved in a project that took my entire day. Plans for the blog went like this. The rest of yours will, too, if you click that link. (Thanks: @CruciformPress)

Dueling Banjoes

Roses are red, Violets are blue; I’m schizophrenic, And I am, too. A while back, I wrote a disgruntled open letter to Google for dumping the share button in Google reader, effectively sabotaging my ability to efficiently add links to my sidebar. After some consideration, I decided to embed a Twitter feed in place of the former Google Shared Items, which is not quite efficient (four clicks/link vs. one), but has worked out okay, I guess. This change has had a couple of undesirable consequences, however. Formerly, the Google feed contained only links to things that were informative or entertaining, and hopefully, edifying. Now, everything I do there, no matter how inane or irrelevant to the general audience, shows up in my sidebar. Like the day I got sucked into that #ReplaceFilmsTitleWithDeacon meme and posted sixteen entries of my own. Sure, they were brilliant and exceptionally witty, but not really what I want the Thirsty Theologian to look like. I like to link to political and cultural issues as well as theological, but have begun to hold back on those because I’d like the links on this blog to be more First Kingdom focused (see here). Furthermore, Twitter is often the internet equivalent of smog. I’d like to at least give my followers (Oh, how I hate the sound of that!) the ability to filter their feeds. For those reasons, I’m going to experiment with something new. I’ve decidedIRONY ALERT!to create another Twitter account. @TheThirstyTheo will still appear in the sidebar here, linking First Kingdom items almost exclusively. Second Kingdom items, stray thoughts, and general goofiness will be confined to @David_Kjos. If that interests you, you can follow me there, or display your spiritual superiority by simply ignoring it. Good idea? Bad? We’ll see. Your feedback is welcome.

Things You Don’t See in Your RSS Feed

Sorry, I have nothing of great importance for you today. Just a brief blog note: A reader who follows this blog via RSS reader was surprised to learn that I am on Facebook. That’s something you wouldn’t see without actually visiting this site, not that you need to know that; I very seldom post anything on Facebook that isn’t in this column, and therefore available to RSS readers. But for the interested few, here are all the marvelous ways by which you can partake of the wonder that is me: RSS: Just this column. Kindle: Just this column, but you get to pay 99¢/month to read it on your Kindle. I don’t know why you would do that, but I’m flattered that some do. Facebook: Mostly just another feed to this site, with occasional links elsewhere. Google+: Same content as Facebook. Twitter: This is where you’ll find everything I publish on the web, links to this site and whatever interests me elsewhere. I promise I’ll hardly ever bore you with What I’m Eating Now or similar poppycock. For Twitterphobes, this feed can also be accessed via RSS. If you still need more of me (and who doesn’t), you can also get Official Thirsty Theologian memorabilia from The Thirsty Theologian Shop or give a listen to my Pandora stations. This Public Service Announcement has been brought to you by me. Now, back to your regularly scheduled whatever it is you regularly schedule.


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