WeeklyTech #105

Why theology and ethics should be central in the Christian life: Herman Bavinck on a neglected discipline

A few years ago, I was introduced to the Dutch Reformed theologian and ethicist, Herman Bavinck. His works began to revolutionize the way that I thought about the rich relationship of theology and ethics. Throughout my life, I have always (and rightfully) heard how the church must see the study of theology as central to our pursuit of God because that’s how we learn the fundamental elements of the Christian faith. God reveals himself to us through Scripture. The structure of church theological training and discipleship programs, especially within wider evangelicalism, demonstrates this emphasis on theology. They are saturated with doctrinal studies including a heavy emphasis on systematic theology, biblical studies, historical theology, biblical theology, and more. But studying Bavinck’s work helped me to see that we often fail to similarly prioritize the study and centrality of ethics in our pulpits, classrooms, and programs — missing out on a crucial component of Christian discipleship.

The Rundown

Google to introduce increased protections for minors on its platform, including Search, Youtube and more – Sarah Perez | TechCrunch

Weeks after Instagram rolled out increased protections for minors using its app, Google is now doing the same for its suite of services, including Google search, YouTube, YouTube Kids, Google Assistant and others. The company this morning announced a series of product and policy changes that will allow younger people to stay more private and protected online and others that will limit ad targeting.

What We Lose When We Livestream Church – Collin Hansen | New York Times

Church leaders who pull the livestream plug will face stiff resistance. They will be accused of acting in self-interest, because they know livestream viewers are not likely to donate much money. And church leaders coming off the political, pandemic and racial divisions of 2020 through the first half of 2021 won’t be eager to pick new fights. It’s much easier to let the livestream status quo continue, even if it means fewer volunteers and fewer resources for already overburdened leaders.

Artificial intelligence could be used to diagnose dementia – Nicola Davis | The Guardian

It’s been used to detect eye diseases, make medical diagnoses, and spot early signs of oesophageal cancer. Now it has been claimed artificial intelligence may be able to diagnose dementia from just one brain scan, with researchers starting a trial to test the approach.

Facebook removes Russian network that targeted influencers to peddle anti-vax messages – Elizabeth Culliford | Reuters

The social media company said it had banned accounts connected to Fazze, a subsidiary of UK-registered marketing firm AdNow, which primarily conducted its operations from Russia, for violating its policy against foreign interference. Facebook said the campaign used its platforms primarily to target audiences in India, Latin America and, to a smaller extent, the United States.

Smartphones Won. We Can Ignore Them. – Shira Ovide | New York Times

But a lot of hoopla around new smartphones is an anachronism of the years when the devices were precious pieces of magic pitched hardest at tech enthusiasts. They’re not anymore. Smartphones are normal and for everyone. And that makes it natural for them to become less noteworthy.