Worth Reading - 2/18

The U.S. Antarctic Program doesn’t fly over Antarctica during the winter, even between bases, because temperatures get below -50 degrees Fahrenheit, the point at which gasoline freezes. In the depths of winter, around the beginning of July, temperatures can drop below -100 degrees Farenheit. Compounding the cold is the altitude—the South Pole station is nearly 10,000 feet above sea level. In such conditions, even breathing can be painful. Many who attempt to join the 300 Club—a group that endures a 300-degree temperature change by heating themselves in a 200-degree sauna and then streaking naked to the pole and back in sub-negative-100-degree weather—will often wear a scarf, if nothing else.
As long as there have been online communities, beginning with bulletin board systems, there have been trolls. According to Whitney Phillips, a New York University lecturer, Usenet users first used “the word ‘troll’ to describe someone who deliberately disrupted online discussions in order to stir up controversy.” Whenever 4chan rose to prominence in the mid-2000s, users began to proudly describe themselves as trolls.

Since then, Internet users have had to deal with trolls in a number of ways, in nearly every corner of the internet. What have we learned from these experiences over the years? Here are 15 of these lessons.
I grew up playing and, in some cases, excelling at sports. Whether it was Park District soccer, Little League baseball, or street hockey with my friends (who had also screened D2: The Mighty Ducks one too many times), you could not keep me off of the field (or cement rink).

As young as the 4th grade, football was definitely my game. Growing up in the Chicago-land area, football was a big deal. As I’ve learned from folks who hail from states like Texas and Alabama, football was an even bigger deal down there. My good friend Matt who lives and dies with the Crimson Tide recently informed me that other than myself and a couple of family members, the only people he follows on Twitter are University of Alabama football high school recruits. That’s intense.

What would be more intense (and more than a little creepy)? For football scouts and college recruiters to be monitoring 12-year-old players.

4. For some reason, some folks have taken to arguing about the faith of the Egyptian Christians that were martyred by ISIS. Here is Scott Hildreth from SEBTS to bat that foolishness down:

As Southern Baptist leaders expressed Christian solidarity and outrage over the murder of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya, others began raising questions about the validity of calling these men Christian martyrs. Some of the confusion comes from the fact that the International Mission Board listed the majority of Egyptians (which would include many Coptic communities) as an unreached people group, those needing missionary focus. The question they raised was, “How can unreached peoples be considered Christian martyrs?”

To be honest, when I first heard this question I wondered why anyone could respond this way to an act the entire world was condemning. However, upon further reflection I thought that perhaps the question deserved a response from a Southern Baptist theologian and missiologist. I cannot judge the motive of those asking the questions. If anyone has less than honorable intentions, they may never be convinced. But those who are legitimately curious have a right to expect a theological and missiological answer from one who has ascribed martyrdom to the men.