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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Knotical

Faraday Future is safe...for now

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I have been following this developing story for a little while.  Especially, since they were working toward opening a plant near the town in which I was living, which would help the local economy.  This latest news is good, but should be taken with a grain of salt.

 

ELECTREK.CO

Faraday Future, once seen as the main EV startup, had a tough 2018, but it announced that it closed out the year by settling its dispute with its main investor. Though it doesn’t mean that it…

 

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I take that Faraday is an electric auto company? Skimmed the article but other than the picture it hadn't said?

 

On the topic of car companies I've been following GM and Ford as the recent announcement by GM to lay off tens of thousands of people came as no surprise. Over a year ago GM announced they would reduce their entire car lineup to only two cars. I am amazed at how most publications are not saying exactly why. It has turned into GM being anti-American and refusing to do business here in America. They have very good reason, in my opinion for not doing business here. A year or so ago the Big Three began working together and using a universal transmission which would help them meet the EPA gas mileage requirements. The 10+ speed transmission is too costly for individual manufacturers to produce themselves. Other EPA standards are soon to take effect and there's no way the auto manufacturers are able to meet EPA requirements and turn a profit. Therefore, GM has like Ford announced to cut down the cars produced. I suspect the reason why GM will continue to make only the Camaro is to hold a place in NASCAR. Otherwise, their manufacturing will be focused on SUVs and Trucks, which by the way are not held to the same EPA standards. The current EPA standards many of which came into existence under Obama are forcing affordable gas cars off the showrooms and out of manufacturing.

 

 

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    • How to Brave the Wild Technological Future

      We live in a technology-saturated world, full of wonder and amazement about what will be developed next and how it will influence our lives. The rate of technological innovation is faster than ever, and it often feels like we’re just getting started. How should we respond to this whirlwind of change? In his recent book, Braving the Future: Christian Faith in a World of Limitless Tech, Douglas Estes helps Christians navigate these challenges by providing a theological and philosophical approach to technology. The main thrust of his argument is that technology is a tool Christians must learn to wield with wisdom. We need to develop a rich theology as we move into the new technological frontiers of virtual reality, autonomous machines, gene editing, artificial intelligence (AI), robots, nanotechnology, and cybernetics. Estes is an associate professor of New Testament and practical theology at South University in Columbia, South Carolina, a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s science channel, and the editor of Didaktikos, a journal for theological education. He is also a self-proclaimed tech optimist who believes that technology, when used properly, will improve our lives and lead to greater flourishing for our neighbors. Theological Approach to Technology Estes approaches technology as a tool, not an active agent that has the power to form culture, mold human choice, and shape the future (39–40). Using this instrumentalist view, Estes shows how Christian theology provides a coherent worldview to navigate emerging technologies. He does the reader a great service by explaining the often misunderstood concepts of materialism, pragmatism, humanism, and transhumanism in an accessible way using movies and stories to illustrate. Each chapter focuses on a single piece of technology, but his application often overlaps as he applies the doctrines of redemption, aseity, omnipotence, and omniscience to each. He also wisely points out that we should pursue technological development with thought to the consequences (77–78). We must evaluate how these technologies might be used in sinful and dehumanizing ways. While we won’t be able to account for all possible uses, we need to make wise judgments for the wellbeing of others. We’re responsible for how we use technology, and we need to use it to love God and our neighbors. Modest Critique While there’s much to commend in this book, there are also some areas of concern. Estes spends a good chunk of time on the controversial idea of the singularity. The singularity is a theory that artificial intelligence might become conscious or self-aware. Estes describes the singularity as “a possible event in the near future in which the power of technology approaches the infinite” (101). In theory, this general intelligence could become so powerful at such a rapid pace that it would take over our world and relegate humans to the dustbin of history. It’s still being debated whether the singularity is even possible. Estes’s focus on the singularity overshadows the real concerns and moral implications that technological innovations, like artificial intelligence, already pose in society. Discussions about AI shouldn’t be relegated to future theoretical debates; it’s a topic Christians must engage now, because AI already can be used for good or evil. From advanced prosthetics enabling amputees to walk and the Uber that picks you up for work to controversial drone warfare techniques and even implicit racism found in automated home loan applications, AI is already disrupting our society. Christians offer our neighbors a framework to engage these technologies based in the image of God and human dignity. If we wait until the singularity to honestly engage these topics, it will be too late. While Estes engages some of the current controversies surrounding artificial intelligence and emerging technology, the future-oriented nature of the book can give the false impression that the truly revolutionary technology is yet to come, instead of recognizing that it’s already sitting in your hand as you read this review. Dangerous Conclusion Near the end of his work Estes describes a future in which human beings have become so connected to technology that we will fundamentally become less human. The language of “becoming less human” is interesting because Estes spends so much time providing a rich theological vision for technology and how we engage it. In an ironic twist, he seems to betray he own assertion that human beings are created uniquely by God and that our fundamental identity is being made in the likeness of God. He describes this concept of “becoming less human” in his last chapter: The more we use technology, and commit to technology, the more it makes us a little less human. By the time that we reach the singularity, we will have consigned our bodies to a synthetic biology that literally changes who we are, from the outside in. We will look different, we will take in information differently, we will think differently. If it goes far enough, we will barely be human. (195) This passage took me by surprise, but it could be that he is describing our adoption of technology in a way that will shock the conscience into action. Regardless of intent, the assertion is false. No matter how advanced our technologies become, they will never be able to make us less human, because they aren’t able to change what God has created us to be, nor what he proclaims about our identity found in him. Being truly human is to exhibit the defining characteristics given by God in creation and to use our rational minds to create technology that enhances our lives, loves our neighbors, and glorifies God. Overall, Estes has assembled a helpful framework for Christians to navigate our technologically rich culture, which he underpins with a theologically robust foundation. There are few Christians engaging the debate surrounding technology, especially with artificial intelligence. But while there is much to commend in this work, the vision cast for what technology is doing to us as individuals is a dangerous line of argument that easily devolves into portraying us as advanced machines rather than divine image bearers. We might try to merge with the machines, download our brains to synthetic bodies, or reach the singularity, but nothing will change how we’ve been created and the irreducible dignity that comes from being made in the imago dei. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • ‘Joy to the World’ Helps Us Rejoice in Our Past and Future

      One of my favorite memories as a boy was singing with our church family on Christmas Eve. As the service would near its conclusion, the deacons would distribute candles while the lights grew dark. As we sang our final hymn, the room would flood with candlelight as voices announced the message of Christmas, “Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let earth receive her king.” I felt a foot taller while singing with full voice among my friends and neighbors thinking about the truth and mystery of the incarnation. The song that I sang as a boy has now been sung for more than 300 years as a beloved Christmas carol. “Joy to the World” was written by Isaac Watts (1674–1748), who is heralded as the “father of English hymnody.” While the hymn is often featured during the Christmas season, it was originally written to be sung year-round as a metrical version of Psalm 98:4: “Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth.” From the first time this hymn was published in 1709, to the pews of our churches today, its powerful call to “repeat the sounding joy” continues. The joyful theme we hear in this hymn is a two-fold: it’s a joy that looks back on the incarnation and one that also looks forward to the second coming of Christ. Joy Looking Back Isaac Watts understood all of Scripture points to Jesus Christ (Luke 24:44), so when it comes to his version of Psalm 98, he wanted to “make David sing like a Christian” by showing how Christ is the fulfillment of the passage. One of the themes we see in verses one and two explores nuances of the story of the birth of Christ. In the line “let every heart prepare him room,” we hear an echo of the innkeeper who had no room for the mother of Christ while labor was nearing (Luke 2:7). We rightly sing this lyric to our own hearts and sing it to others as an invitation to prepare room in each of us for the good news of the Savior’s birth. The second verse reminds us that the praise of God must be in our hearts and on our lips. We’re to employ our songs of the Savior and his rule and reign. Luke records four specific songs that provide a unique contribution to the songs of the savior’s birth. Mary magnifies and rejoices in the mercy of God (Luke 1:46–55). Zechariah sings a song of prophecy that Jesus would fulfill God’s promise (Luke 1:68–79). The angels “sing” the pronouncement of the coming of Christ (Luke 2:14). And Simeon sings a prayer confessing he can depart in peace now that his eyes have seen the coming of the Christ (Luke 2:29–32). Each of these accounts shows the resounding joy of singing the gospel of Christ. Joy Looking Forward The third verse of this text is often passed over because of its imagery of the curse. But without the presence of the curse (Gen. 3:16–19), the promise of deliverance loses its power (Gen. 3:15). These lines rightly point us to the day when God’s blessing (Gen. 3:17) flows as far the curse is found. We rejoice looking back on the God’s faithfulness, and we also rejoice looking forward to what God has promised in the future. We sing between what is and what will be, the already and the not-yet of our faith. With this glorious vision, we see all the earth is called to make a joyful noise of praise to God. While the sting of sin is great, there is a greater hope: Jesus Christ, who rules the world with truth and grace. This grace causes hearts dead in sin to come alive in Christ (Eph. 2:8–9). The final two lines of our hymn don’t tie up our story neatly, but call us to marvel in “the glories of his righteousness, and wonders of his love.” Let’s be a people who love and sing and wonder with this kind of unshakable joy (Phil. 4:4)! We rejoice in Christ by looking back and remembering his great faithfulness and love. We rejoice by looking forward to his coming again where on the shores of forever there is an even greater joy to come. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • UKIP-EXIT? Nigel Farage departure suggests uncertain future for party

      By American Media Institute - by AMI Newswire Nigel Farage is saying goodbye, again. The British political leader more responsible than any other for the Brexit vote to leave the European Union is now leaving the party he helped found after over 25 years. Farage announced this week that he was quitting the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) this week, claiming it has become too aggressive and anti-Muslim under the direction of its current leader Gerard Batten. The trigger was Batten’s recent selection of street activist Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) as a senior adviser this past month. Robinson founded the English Defence League (EDL) in 2009 before himself leaving the group claiming street protests were “no longer effective” and that the danger of far-right extremism loomed large. Batten and Robinson are expected to speak at a protest in London on Sunday, with the new UKIP leader Batten referring to Farage’s comments as “sour grapes.” Batten recently claimed to have “saved UKIP” following Farage’s departure, though party insiders have noted UKIP is no longer standing candidates in special elections across the United Kingdom, and the party continues to poll at just 4 per cent despite Prime Minister Theresa May’s unpopular Brexit compromise deal. Under Farage UKIP polled as high as 20 per cent. In his resignation message the man known as “Mr. Brexit” — also famous for posing in President Donald Trump’s New York penthouse just 2 days after the 2016 U.S. election — complained that the upcoming march may provide ammunition to opponents of the split from the EU. “Two days before the most important parliamentary vote of modern times and the image that will give of what Brexit stands for will is something that is enemies will use against us for perhaps many years to come,” said Farage. “Damaging UKIP is one thing; damaging the Brexit cause is even worse.” The long-sitting Member of the European Parliament is not the only one set to leave the party. UKIP’s former leader Paul Nuttall and David Coburn, its leader in Scotland, both resigned from the party since Robinson was appointed. The defections of Nigel and other senior UKIP leaders raise the possibility that Farage and his followers could launch a new party. Gawain Towler, the former spokesperson for UKIP, said “It would be the logical thing but, it is not planned. Nobody planned for UKIP to become the Tommy Robinson [party]. A lot will depend on what happens on Sunday and the damage they are doing to Brexit.” Raheem Kassam, a former senior advisor to Farage and a recent supporter of Robinson’s said “this is a disaster for everyone except Gerard Batten. He’s pushing Tommy to become a party political figure, which is a waste of his time and talents, and has effectively destroyed UKIP just so Gerard can get a few more publicity shots of him in front of a large crowd. It is not strategic. It is selfish”. British voters by a margin of 52% to 48% supported a referendum in 2016 that the United Kingdom should leave the European Union – an intergovernmental political and economic organization.  For Farage and others this vote marked an important victory. UKIP was founded in 1993 as an organization skeptical about the benefits of British membership in the European Union. As part of the European Union the United Kingdom is in a common market with the other members states and must allow free-movement and residency for citizens of other EU member states. On Tuesday, British parliamentarians are expected to vote on the Brexit plan proposed by British Prime Minister of Theresa May. A two-year transition period in which the UK will slowly leave the European Union is set to begin March of next year. However, Farage’s supporters and some members of the Conservative Party charge that May’s deal is a portrayal of the 2016 referendum as it fails to fully end the UK’s relationship with the EU. Farage lashed out at Batten in a speech announcing his departure from the party for not understanding why UKIP was started. “He seems to be pretty obsessed with [Islam]… UKIP wasn’t founded to be a party fighting a religious crusade”. Farage is not the only person associated with UKIP worried about the party’s direction, Towler added. “People are leaving UKIP, because of reputational damage caused by Tommy Robinson. I spoke to an elected member of the party this week who said ‘nobody elected me on a Tommy Robinson ticket. I was elected on a Brexit ticket.’ ” Farage is expected to speak at a gathering of American conservatives in Florida later this month. As the defections from UKIP mount, the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom could benefit if voters switch to supporting the Tories, though there is also the possibility of Farage urging his fans to support other movements. “With enthusiasm for the current withdrawal deal seemingly at an impasse, Brexit is in dire need of a positive image,” said Joe Ventre, of Conservative Friends of the U.S.A ”As Farage rightly recognized, UKIP marching on Whitehall with Tommy Robinson is unlikely to help.” Source: American Media Institute UKIP-EXIT? Nigel Farage departure suggests uncertain future for party is original content from Conservative Daily News - Where Americans go for news, current events and commentary they can trust. View the original full article

      in Political Conservative News

    • Our World Is a Mess. Our Future Is Bright.

      “It doesn’t always get better.” “Sometimes things don’t improve.” “We aren’t living our best life now.” It’s hard to say such sentences, for we’re accustomed to a positive-thinking approach to life. Small wonder why—we’re living in a time when much does go right. We have great health care. The world isn’t currently embroiled in global war. Since the Industrial Revolution, life expectancy has doubled in many countries. But even with these genuinely positive developments, we haven’t figured out a way to end suffering. Death looms over us all, try as we might to end its reign. So do sickness, financial challenges, and the trials of aging. For all the positive thinking around us, there sure is a lot of hardship and pain. Grappling with Limitations All of the above is true for me (and you) as a human being. But I feel these things keenly as a father, too. In that sense, I’m not unlike a man who wrote to his child more than 260 years ago. Jonathan Edwards was concerned with Esther, his daughter. A young mother living far from her childhood family, Esther had fallen quite sick in 1753. Her famous father wrote to encourage her: Though you are a great way off from us, yet you are not out of our minds: I am full of concern for you, often think of you, and often pray for you. Though you are at so great a distance from us, and from all your relations, yet this is a comfort to us, that the same God that is here, is also at Onohquaga; and that though you are out of our sight and out of our reach, you are always in God’s hands, who is infinitely gracious; and we can go to him, and commit you to his care and mercy. What a surprising letter. Jonathan Edwards had a high view of God. He is the man who literally wrote a “dissertation” mapping out “the end for which God created the world.” Beyond his soaring theology proper, Edwards was a man of action. He didn’t just pray for revival; he preached for it, refusing to accept spiritual defeat. The life story of Jonathan Edwards is a ceaseless whirl of ministry, discipline, and commitment. He was no perfect man, but he was an active man, to be sure. Yet we see in this touching letter from father to daughter that Edwards knew his limitations. He was “full of concern” for Esther, for she was out of “sight” and out of “reach.” In human terms, he could do nothing to help her. Though he prayed hard, he was powerless. The truth of the matter is that Esther had less than five years to live, and so did Jonathan. Edwards already knew what he would soon experience: he couldn’t carry his daughter into eternity. He couldn’t shepherd any of his family members across the river Jordan. This work was out of his hands. Right Where He Wants Us Whether we want to admit it or not, we’re all where Esther was. There is no pill that can cure our terminal condition, and no parent who can guarantee our well-being. Though this sounds foreboding, we’re in truth right where God wants us to be. Like Esther, we who are in Christ are “always in God’s hands.” No one can snatch us from the Father (John 10:27). Nothing can happen to us that will derail the will of God for our lives (Rom. 8:31–39). Life is uncertain, and we don’t know how long we have on this earth (James 4:13–17). Yet even though we could not possess any less certainty about our earthly future, we cannot possess any more certainty about our heavenly home (1 John 5:13–15). How encouraging this is for us all. The father or mother who feels so weary in this life will enjoy total rest in the age that awaits. The child battling loneliness will rise to join their true family, the family of God, in eternity to come. The pastor struggling to shepherd an unruly flock will walk into a perfected realm where there is no hostility of any kind. In Adam, things do not get better. But in Christ, the future is impossibly bright. This hope is anything but vague and general. It’s specific and personal. It’s cosmological and Christological. We have a lasting home, the new heavens and new earth, a work of new creation already begun in Christ (Heb. 12:18–29). There is a chain, an invincible ladder, of divine providence that stretches from the beginning of history to the end, and none can knock us off it. Our salvation began in the Father’s will, was secured by the Son’s death, and has taken hold in us through the Spirit’s indwelling presence (Eph. 1:15–20). What emerges from divine foreknowledge, predestination, and election will conclude in future triumph, praise, and exaltation. You could say it this way: in the crucified and resurrected Son of God, hope is so grounded that it’s barely hope anymore. In Safe Hands All this is because the Christian is never lost. We’re never abandoned. We’re always God’s; God is always ours. The work of Christ isn’t incomplete; it is finished (John 19:30). It couldn’t be more accomplished than it is. How heartening this is for us as we face death. Soon, we will cross the river Jordan, as Jonathan and Esther Edwards did before us. We stand now on the stormy banks of the river, but we see the other side. Until we go there, we face great trials and considerable challenges. Things may not improve here in earthly terms. Hardship may bedevil us. But we don’t lose heart. We will make it to the New Canaan. God will not abandon us. This is our hope, hope grounded in the eternal plan and accomplished work of Christ: come what may, we’re always in God’s hands. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

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