Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Do return here as I will be updating this page… this is just a draft. Any other resources then please tell me.

Postgraduate Trinity students are available to access a wide range of journal articles online in PDF format. To do this it is first neccessary to have registered at Bristol University Library (Arts and Social Sciences) and to have received a username and password. Once this has been done the easiest way to get things going is to change the proxy settings on your internet connection. This can be done for you automatically by clicking here. Once this has been done return to the bristol university library webpage and you should be asked to put in your username and password.  Your computer is now setup to access online journals. There are a number of ways to find appropriate journal articles. Some students use J STore. Alternatively you can just go straight to journal websites if you know what you are looking for. ie. Journal for the Study of the New Testament. Once articles have been downloaded they can be printed off. On my Apple Mac I use the free pdf software called Skim which allows you to take notes on PDFs and highlight the text.

Of the making of bibliographies there is no end. Thanks to bibliography software this task becomes signifcantly easier and less time consuming. Some people us the old favourite called EndNote which is great but is expensive. I use the free piece of software called Zotero.

Zotero requires that you have installed  firefox web browser. I reccomend downloading the beta version of zotero as this allows you to sync your library on mulitiple machines and means that if your computer breaks your zotero library is safe.  I highly reccomend this free piece of software. I would advise though that it better to import bibliography details from academic libraries (such as Oxford) rather than through amazon or google books.

Google Books and Google Scholar are powerful and growing websites  which can be searched. They are often my first port of call when lookign for books and articles in my research area.  If a book is quoted I often type the quote into google books and i can read the surrounding context of the citation.

There are a number of different options of Bible programs for the scholar. Some people prefer a free online Bible which works within your web browser. However, the best option is to download bible software onto your machine. This will allow you to use the program when not online. E-Sword is a free bible program which is pretty good (considering it is free) for general english bible searches and using it like a high speed exhaustive concordance. However, the best option (except it costs money) is to go with either Accordance (for Mac only I think), BibleWorks or Logos. Detailed review of these products can be found here. I use Logos and Trinity Students are able to receive a  significant discount by going through this link .  You can add books at a later stage and it is possible to buy such delights as Word Bib Commentaries, Anchor Bible Dictionary, Karl Barth’s Church Dogmatics, IVP Dictionaries.  It can be expensive (depending on what you get) but they do have a payment plan which can spread the payment over several months for only a few extra pounds. Please see me if you would like advise, a demo or anything else.

For those with a mac I do recommend taking a look at Scrivener

Here are a few random websites which I visit. Some are better than others….

I don’t use Word but use OpenOffice and NeoOffice instead. They are free.

Free Don Carson and John Piper Books

N.T Wright Articles,Videos and Mp3

Wayne Grudem offers an mp3 course through his systematic theology.

Spotify. If you like to listen to music but don’t have money to buy CDs.

For free theology and biblical studies lectures in Mp3 format try here, here and here.

Student Discount on a Mac

Free PDF version of decent English translation of the Septuagint

New Testament Gateway

For those interested in New Perspective on Paul

Free commentary by Don Garlington on Galatians

For those interested in Reformational Philosophy


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Yesterday I downloaded a free piece of software called SelfControl which allows one to block access to time-wasting websites for a set period of time. I have found that when I research, write reports, read with my computer inf ront of me I often waste tiem looking at facebook, twitter, blogs, etc. It happens like this. (1) slight distraction takes me off task (2) In this distraction I quickly and automatically check e-mail, twitter, facebook, etc (3) I often find an interesting link which I follow (4) A few minutes later I realize what I have done and get back on task. (5) Repeat process.

Yesterday was different as I would set the timer of self-control to 1 hour and would work without extensive internet distractions for this time. If I faced a slight distraction I would quickly get back on task.

One piece of research by University College of London has shown that the google generation develop the following habits when accessing online data.

Horizontal Information Seeking: A form of skimming where people view just one or two pages of an academic site and then leave. 60% of e-journal viewers look at 3 pages or less.

Navigation: People in virtual libraries spend a lot of time finding there way around. They spend more time getting their bearing as opposed to reading material.

Viewers: The average time spent looking at an e-journal or e-book is 4 to 8 minutes respectively. It seems that some people go online to avoid reading in the traditional sense.

Squirreling Behavior: Academic users have strong consumer instincts and research shows that they will squirrel away content in the form of downloads, especially when they are free. However, very little of this is actually read

Checking for Information Seekers: Users assess authority and trust for themselves in matter of seconds by dipping and cross checking across different sites and by relying on favored brands (eg. google).

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Elaine Storkey has a new piece over at the fulcrum website looking at what the future may hold for the Church and culture at large.  The closing paragraph ends with a call to action and cultural engagement.  I agree with this and simply want to comment that evangelical leaders are (aim to be) pretty good at consuming time, energy and resources from their congregation in maintaining and expanding the Church (church gathered, institutional church). We need a holistic missional ecclesiology in which the CHurch (dispersed,body) looks beyond the Church (gathered, institutional) and  seeks to shape culture and the world.

Unless Christians move out of their parochial concerns and address the issues which are dominant in the rest of our world, we will be increasingly marginalized, and our contribution to the events of the coming decade will be minimal. Not only that, but the way people hear the Gospel and the implications it has for the whole of life, will be blurred and confusing.

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I preached a sermon on the idolatry of science and technology last week. The audio can be found here, it is the evening service on 22/11/09

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The web is a powerful tool for research. However, websites do change and even dissapear. This can be a real pain. Trinity College, Bristol, requires that undergrads include printouts of any websites which are used.This is necessary but is also a pain.

However,  their seems to be a solution to this problem. Bible and Technology blog have called attention to WebCiteArchive which allows a static and permenant copy of the website to be saved with a permanent link to this.

WebCite®, a member of the International Internet Preservation Consortium, is an on-demand archiving system for webreferences (cited webpages and websites, or other kinds of Internet-accessible digital objects), which can be used by authors, editors, and publishers of scholarly papers and books, to ensure that cited webmaterial will remain available to readers in the future. If cited webreferences in journal articles, books etc. are not archived, future readers may encounter a “404 File Not Found” error when clicking on a cited URL. Try it! Archive a URL here. It’s free and takes only 30 seconds.

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My good friend Rocky (aka Mark Roques) who works with WYSOCS and Reality Bites has developed a series of entertaining and challenging podcasts on worldview. Anyone interested in worldview or looking for fresh ways to engage youth(or house group, or church) with important issues should check these out.

Click here for more details.

My particular favourite (so far) is ‘Having a pop at golfers in spain’. Rocky will be speaking at the Living at the Crossroads conference, which is to be held in Bristol on the 4th of April. Places are still available. Click here for more details.

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I am trying to see if there is a way of effectively putting powerpoint presentations on my blog which other users can download, modify and use themselves. This is a test run using slides for a presentation I will be giving later this week. I don’t know how useful this is as the fonts are skewed and program does not account for custom animation when text is placed over other text. I guess I could easily redo some of the slides

Whilst people are having coffee the following video will be running.

In the presentation we will also be looking at 5 worldview questions which I can use off-line by using this free program.

I actually don’t use microsoft powerpoint but the free and excellent open office.

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