Wednesday, January 30, 2019

blog posts on the Reveal Study (out of Willow Creek a decade ago)

We write about the Willow Creek "Reveal" study for a chunk in Enough Horses in the Barn and Roll Up Your Sleeves.

But the arc of what I wrote is evident in some blog posts from years ago. You can always search SchansBlog, but if the article is more than X (5?) years old, it gets archived or something (and doesn't show up). Still, you can find the older pieces through a Google search-- here of SchansBlog and "Willow Creek". To put them in one convenient blog post, the four blog posts are here, here, here and here.

the pervasive influence Big 5 and the potential role of anti-trust

The first in a five-part series on the influence of the "Big 5" tech giants.

The econ anti-trust / monopoly angle is interesting for many reasons. When should we invoke anti-trust? How well does anti-trust work in practice (vs. merely in theory)? Or broadening out: Why does govt do **so** much more to increase monopoly power than to reduce it? (Related, why do so many self-styled "pro-choice" and "liberal" folks prefer arrangements with artificially high monopoly power?)

Running with the first question, the usual complaint is from customers who react to high prices, low quality, etc. But in the context of the Big 5, the services are often "free", with price = 0. Of course, even when p = 0, they're still making ample revenues-- from ads, tie-in sales, etc.. So, one can still complain about $, but it's at least unusual in this context. The more pressing matter is "information" and what they're doing with it, ethically and practically.

Tyler Cowen and Matt Ridley are excellent on these topics, if you want to read/think more.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

helpful research on "evangelical Christianity" vs. "supporters of" vs. "voted for" Trump

This work-- the op-ed version and the longer/better version-- is relatively good (and a big improvement over the usual nada) at measuring "support" for Trump-- by looking at primary voting (when GOP voters and many evangelicals had more choices) rather than voting in November (when the choices were limited and historically unenviable). 

Ideally, such studies would go further-- beyond mere attendance to other forms of religious practice or belief. But this is certainly an improvement on the common practice of lumping self-styled evangelicals into one basket.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Acts 2's Christian community done well

Prepping for tomorrow night, I just noticed 7 pairs that were passionately balanced in the wonderful Acts 2:42-47.

First, note the context: Peter is calling them to individual salvation and then to embrace a new community (2:37-41).

Second, this new community featured 42's "devoted" and 46's "every day". This was rich, robust, hard-core community.

But third, within their "serious" approach to worship and community, they were balancing seven pairs:
1.) 42's teaching and fellowship
2.) 42,46's meals and "the Meal" (Eucharist)
3.) 46's glad and sincere hearts
4.) 43's awe and 46's glad/gratitude
5.) 46's in the temple and in homes
6.) 44-45's owning and sharing
7.) 47a's God and man; vertical and horizontal