"Christians and the Internet" newsletter CATI, Vol. 1, No. 44: November 3, 2000. _______________________________________________________________ TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. FREE NIV BIBLE--PLUS FREE SOFTWARE!--ON CD-ROM: AN UPDATE 2. HAVING A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW & SETTING BIBLICAL BOUNDARIES 3. THE 3RD COMMANDMENT AND A "SICK BIRD" JOKE ILLUSTRATION 4. SEARCH ENGINES: ANOTHER ADVANTAGE OF GOOGLE 5. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER _______________________________________________________________ Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved. For permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact Barry Traver at email@example.com. Permission is hereby granted, however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1) no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety. To subscribe, write to firstname.lastname@example.org, including "Subscribe to CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent. _______________________________________________________________ 1. FREE NIV BIBLE--PLUS FREE SOFTWARE!--ON CD-ROM: AN UPDATE Of the making of modern translations of the Bible there seems to be no end. Even if your favorite version is still the King James Version, you may want to use a modern translation as an aid to understanding the Elizabethan or Shakespearean English of the KJV. Some of the better English translations of the 20th century are the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the New International Version (NIV), and the New King James Version (NKJV). I find all of these to be helpful. Because of its importance, it is good to have a copy of the New International Version even if you ordinarily use another translation. Here is background on the NIV, taken from the "Preface" that appears in most editions: "The New International Version is a completely new translation of the Holy Bible made by over a hundred scholars working directly from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts.... [By "completely new" is meant a fresh translation from the ancient manuscripts rather than simply an attempt to modernize the language of the King James Version. --BAT] "The fact that participants from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand worked together gave the project its international scope. That they were from many denominations--including Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Brethren, Christian Reformed, Church of Christ, Evangelical Free, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, Wesleyan and other churches--helped to safeguard the translation from sectarian bias." In a previous issue of CATI I told you how you could get an absolutely free NIV on CD-ROM directly from the publisher. All you have to do is request their NIV brochure (also free): FREE NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION ON CD-ROM FROM ZONDERVAN! http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati39.htm#3 Here, again, are the details: "Obtain a copy of this brochure and you will receive with it a free CD-ROM containing the full searchable NIV and NIrV Bible texts. Order by calling 1-800-727-3480. When you order the brochure with CD, mention the ISBN number (0-310-99975-8) and the Source Code (270003)." http://www.zondervanbibles.com/NIVNIrV/cd.html I requested my copy, and I received it within a few days. If you have not yet requested yours, the offer at this time seems to be still in effect and you may want to take advantage of it, even if you already have a copy of the NIV. The reason for that is that not only do you get a copy of the NIV on CD-ROM that you can access with your computer, but also you get free Zondervan Reference Software to help you use it efficiently. The rest of this article provides an introduction to some of the things you can do using that software. It may or may not make much sense unless you've ordered the free NIV CD-ROM, so that may be another reason for you to take advantage of the offer
. By the way, the CD-ROM also includes a free copy of the NIrV (New International Reader's Version, which is "The NIV for Kids"), although I'm not particularly excited by that new translation, so the first thing I do when I load the software is to close down the "NIrV" window and the "NIRVINF" window so that they do not clutter up the screen. One thing you will want to do is to set up the program so that it will work with your favorite word processor. Here's how to do that, using the top menu bar. Click on "File," click on "Preferences," and click on "External Wordprocessor." You do need to know where your word processor is and what the name of its filename is. I'm using Microsoft Word. Its filename is WINWORD.EXE and it's located here on my computer: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\WINWORD.EXE I used the "Browse" button to get to that file, so I didn't have to type it in by hand. (If you need help in finding your word processor "EXE File," let me know, and I'll try to help.) For "Text in Title Bar" I simply used "Microsoft Word" (but without the quotation marks, of course), and I didn't put anything in the "Word Processor Paste Command" box. (Well, that's not strictly true. I did try something, but it didn't work, so I let the Zondervan software use the "default" value and it worked fine.) Click on "OK" and you should then be in business. What's this do for you? Well, you can highlight text and then use the "Copy to Wordprocessor" command on the "File" menu to copy any highlighted text directly to your word processor at the place where the cursor is in your word processor program (which you should have running at the same time). A keyboard shortcut to do this is Ctrl-Shift-C if you prefer to do that instead of using the menu. (You can also, of course, copy highlighted text to the Windows clipboard instead in the usual way.) Incidentally, don't ask me why Zondervan decided to write "Wordprocessor" as one word or why they decided to use lower case for the "r" in "NIrV" when "NIV" is all in upper case. I guess publishers get to make their own rules about correct writing . Now here's an exercise that illustrates how to do some simple things with the Zondervan software. Right now the only window open in the program should be an "NIV" window. Let's open another "NIV" window. To do that, click on "File," "Open Text," and "New International Version." Now two "NIV" windows are open, but the screen is rather, well, not so neat. You could manually move and resize the windows, but there's a simpler way: Click on "Window" on the top menu bar and then click on "Tile." Now the two windows are very neatly placed side by side. Both windows are set to Genesis 1:1 (the default). Let's compare Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. Click on the title bar of the right window (that's called "selecting" the window) so that the software will know which window you want to work with. Now click on "Search" and then click on "Verses." (As an alternative to using the menu, you can press Ctrl-G.) We want to set the right window to John 1:1. Here's one way to do that: type "John" in the "Book" box, press the Tab key, type "1" in the "Chapter" box, press the Tab key, type "1" in the "Verse" box, press the Tab key, and press the Enter key. (Or, if you prefer, you can accomplish the equivalent using the mouse instead of the keyboard, but the procedure is a bit different.) Let's now search for the phrase "in the beginning." We'll search the whole Bible, even though we already know that two places where the phrase occurs are Genesis 1:1 and John 1:1. Click on "Search," click on "Words & Phrases," put "in the beginning" in the "Find:" box, put a check in the "Search in all open windows" box, and leave the "Range" box set to "Bible." Then click on "OK," and you'll see that the phrase "in the beginning" appears in five places in the Bible. In the left "NIV" window click on "PS 102:25" and in the right window click on "HEB 1:10." In this way in the left window you can see the Psalm quoted in the Hebrews passage in the right window. That's just a quick introduction to some of the things you can do with the free Zondervan Reference Software that comes with the free CD-ROM from Zondervan. (You don't even have to pay shipping and handling!) There is much more that you can do with the software, but I'll let you explore that on your own at this point. Two important parts of the program with which you should become familiar are the "Help" menu and the "Preferences" option on the "File" menu (which you can use to set display font and otherwise to customize the program to your own liking). Now that I've told you how to get the NIV (and useful related software) for free, I can tell you where on the Internet you can get (almost) for free the NIV Study Bible on CD-ROM (or at least all the NIV Study Bible book introductions and verse commentary plus other useful Bible study tools). But that will have to wait for a future issue.... _______________________________________________________________ 2. HAVING A CHRISTIAN WORLDVIEW & SETTING BIBLICAL BOUNDARIES In a previous issue of CATI I mentioned my future plans to review the book A Christian Parent's Guide to Making the Internet Family Friendly by Brian Lang and Bill Wilson, a book published by Nelson Publishers in 1999: WHAT'S IN A NAME (AN INTERNET DOMAIN NAME, THAT IS)? http://www.traver.org/cati/archives/cati41.htm#2 This is not that full review. More comments are planned for a future issue of CATI. In the meantime, you can also learn more about the book from Amazon.com (or even order a copy, if you'd like to do so): Brian Lang & Bill Wilson, A Christian Parent's Guide to Making the Internet Family Friendly http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0785275681/travertabletalk In spite of some idiosyncrasies and curiosities, this is one of the few worthwhile books for Christians about the Internet. I'll deal with the idiosyncrasies and curiosities in a future issue, but for now I'd like to give you a taste of some of the really helpful remarks in the book, looking in particular at its discussion of how important it is for parents to have a Christian worldview and to set Biblical boundaries in the area of the Internet. In order to keep within the boundaries myself (the boundaries of the "fair use" provision of U.S. copyright law), the quotes will be fairly short (you can see the book itself for a more thorough discussion), but they should give you a good idea of the helpfulness of the book. First, here is what the authors have to say about "Your Web Worldview": "Simply stated, a worldview begins with the parents' interpretation of the world and how to apply it to life. Worldviews are promoted by television, movies, churches, and now the Internet. Naturalism, or human secularism, is a popular worldview.... A naturalist promotes science and evolution as the centerpiece of knowledge and morals, and believes that God is irrelevant. This is the complete opposite of Christian theism, which places God at the center of all things--the Creator of the universe, the Savior of mankind, the provider of guidelines for moral conduct, and the spiritual source of man's purpose. It is critical that parents and family members have a clearly defined worldview, as your beliefs will impact the Internet and be challenged in return." --Brian Lang & Bill Wilson, A Christian Parent's Guide to Making the Internet Family Friendly, p. 27. But it's not enough to have a Christian worldview. It is important to go on to create a family policy related to the Internet, including the setting of Biblical boundaries. So here is some of what Lang and Wilson have to say about "Creating a Family Policy": "... A successful family policy begins with setting online boundaries (the borders you establish for yourself or your family to protect each of you from harmful behavior and influences).... Most areas of the Internet are fine for family travel, but others should obviously be off-limits .... In addition to where your family is allowed to travel online, there should be guidelines for what information they are allowed to give out while chatting online." --Brian Lang & Bill Wilson, A Christian Parent's Guide to Making the Internet Family Friendly, pp. 28-29. Here, greatly abbreviated, are their suggestions related to "Typical Internet Rules" that a family might set up: "The are five criteria you should consider when establishing family boundaries on the Internet: "1. Understand what you are up against. A healthy respect for what can happen on the Internet if you're not careful is the beginning of a good boundary.... "2. Establish an honest Internet persona.... One boundary ought to be that you will be the same person in the virtual world that you are in the real world. You may have a different nickname, but you should exhibit the same personality on the Internet.... "3. Language is the currency of the Internet.... Using correct language when online does not end with just discouraging vulgar talk.... The language in chat, discussion threads, or in E-mail should not be different from the language you normally use. "4. Monitor the time spent online. Just as the amount of time is limited for family members using the telephone or watching television, there should be limits on the time spent on the Internet.... "5. Set biblical boundaries...." --Brian Lang & Bill Wilson, A Christian Parent's Guide to Making the Internet Family Friendly, pp. 30-33. Their discussion of setting Biblical boundaries is especially helpful: "As a suggestion, start by reviewing the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17. Then stop at Deuteronomy 27:15-26 and read the curses for not obeying the Word of God. Move on to Galatians 5:16-25, where walking in the Spirit is distinguished from lusts of the flesh. Then read Ephesians 5:1-21 about being imitators of God and children of light .... And last, study Ephesians 6:10-20 to learn how to protect yourself with the full armor of God. "Write these into your computer. Print them out for each member of the family. Study them together. Frame them and put them over the computer. There is nothing on the Internet that these verses in the Bible do not address. If you and your family ... follow these 'biblical boundaries,' you will have a clear sense of right and wrong and a clear set of boundaries to guide you while in cyberspace." --Brian Lang & Bill Wilson, A Christian Parent's Guide to Making the Internet Family Friendly, p. 33. These somewhat extensive quotations from the book may show why I made my earlier statement that in spite of a few peculiarities, this is one of the very few worthwhile books currently available for Christians about the Internet. If you're interested in purchasing a copy, check your local bookstore. If you can't find it there, you can get it through Amazon.com, as I mentioned earlier: Brian Lang & Bill Wilson, A Christian Parent's Guide to Making the Internet Family Friendly http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0785275681/travertabletalk Enjoy! _______________________________________________________________ 3. THE 3RD COMMANDMENT AND A "SICK BIRD" JOKE ILLUSTRATION Quick question: Without looking up the answer in Exodus 20 or Deuteronomy 5, what is the third commandment in the list of the Ten Commandments? Many Christians profess allegiance to the Ten Commandments, but few can actually name them (particularly in order). So if you had trouble, you're not alone. (My son was able to answer the question because of a song he had learned about the Ten Commandments as a child, but that's another topic for another time.) Here's the third commandment: "Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain ...." (Exodus 20:7, KJV). And here's what question #99 of the Heidelberg Catechism, a historic Protestant creed, has to say about it: "Q. 99: What is God's will for us in the third commandment? A. 99: That we neither blaspheme nor misuse the name of God by cursing, perjury, or unnecessary oaths, nor share in such horrible sins by being silent bystanders. In a word, it requires that we use the holy name of God only with reverence and awe, so that we may properly confess him, pray to him, and praise him in everything." --Ecumenical Creeds and Reformed Confessions (Board of Publications of the Christian Reformed Church, 1979), p. 49. This should be our guideline, on and off the Internet. We should be careful about our own language, and -- when the situation warrants it -- we should gently rebuke others when they break this commandment explicitly or implicitly. Here's an example illustration of a wife's correcting her husband in this area from a "sick bird" joke sent to me by JokesEveryDay.com (whose goal is to supply people "with clean and enjoyable humor"): "A happily married man had only one complaint, his wife was always nursing sick birds. "One November evening, he came home to find a raven with a splint on its beak sitting in his favorite chair. On the dining room table there was a feverish eagle pecking at an aspirin while in the kitchen his wife was comforting a shivering little wren that she found in the snow. "The furious spouse strode over to where his wife was towering down the cold little bird. 'I can't take it any more! We've got to get rid of all of these darn...' "The wife held up her hand to cut him off in mid-curse. 'Please, Dear,' she said, 'Not in front of the chilled wren.'" http://jokeseveryday.com/ That was painful, especially for those who find it difficult to endure the punishment of such puns. (One such person responded by saying "I thought there was something ill eagle about sick bird jokes." ) But the story does illustrate the importance of taking care with our language, not necessarily because of the presence of the "chilled wren" present, but because of the presence of the omnipresent God whose eye is on the sparrow (Matthew 10:29) and who calls us to trust in His name and to mount up with wings like eagles (Isaiah 40:30-31). It's not enough not to curse: Christians must praise God and bless His name in all places (and that includes the Internet and the World Wide Web)! _______________________________________________________________ 4. SEARCH ENGINES: ANOTHER ADVANTAGE OF GOOGLE Using search engines on the Web to find information is a topic that has been discussed in previous issues of CATI: FINDING INFORMATION ON THE WEB: USING SEARCH ENGINES http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati12.htm#3 FINDING INFORMATION: FAMILY-FILTERED SEARCH ENGINES http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati13.htm#3 SAFER SEARCHING OF THE WEB WITH GOOGLE'S SAFESEARCH http://traver.org/cati/archives/cati43.htm#2 As the last article mentioned, my own favorite first choice for a general Web search engine at the moment (and the first choice of many others) is Google. Although not the "Editor's Choice" of PC Magazine, Google was listed by them among their "Top 100 Web Sites," and PC Magazine had this to say: "Google started out as a Stanford University project designed to find the most relevant Web pages for a search by assigning a higher weight to those pages that have the most links to them from other high-quality pages. Itís an excellent idea. Google has an uncanny knack for returning extremely relevant results. Try it just once, and youíll see how different the search results are from those you get using other search engines." http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/stories/reviews/0,6755,2395176,00.html Well, here's another advantage of Google, mentioned in the October 16, 2000 "Internet Search" newsletter from "Dummies Daily": "Most search engines include the first line or two from each page it lists so that you can get some idea of what's actually on the page. That information can help you mentally reject any irrelevant listings. Google goes one better by including the stretch of text that actually contains the searched-for words, not just the first sentence on the page." Try it (especially using the SafeSearch feature mentioned in the previous issue of CATI): I think you'll like it! _______________________________________________________________ 5. SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION FOR THIS NEWSLETTER This is the forty-fourth issue of a free newsletter devoted to "Christians And The Internet" ("CATI," pronounced "Katy," but spelled with a "C" and an "I" for "Christians" and the "Internet"). To subscribe, write to email@example.com, including "Subscribe to CATI" in the Subject line and including in the body your real name and the email address to which you wish CATI sent. Past issues: you'll find archives of past issues of CATI available online at http://traver.org/cati/. ("It's not a pretty site," but hopefully it may be a useful one.) ________________________________________________________________ Unless otherwise indicated, all material in this newsletter is Copyright (C) 2000 by Barry Traver, All Rights Reserved. For permission to reproduce material from this newsletter, contact Barry Traver at firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission is hereby granted, however, to pass along this issue to others, provided that (1) no changes are made and (2) it is passed along in its entirety.