Combing the Net – 5/21/2012

Are You Neglecting Your Kids Because of Your Smartphone? — Another convicting parenting article! Ever since we got the Internet switched back on in our home a couple months ago, I have found myself having to resist the urge to “check out” on the laptop or my smartphone when I should be spending time with the kids.

Could a 21st Century USS Enterprise Really Fly? — Time to unleash my inner Trekkie! In this article, Wired magazine investigates whether one anonymous engineer’s plan to build the Enterprise (or at least something very much like it) in the next 20 years is actually feasible.

Reagan’s Answer — To a letter sent by a 7th grade boy asking for federal funds to clean his room.

How to Thrive in College — Congrats to all the recent high school graduates! Here’s a great article about the challenges faced by Christian students who go off to college. If you find this helpful, you should check out the author’s book: Thriving at College: Make Great Friends, Keep Your Faith, and Get Ready for the Real World!

How to Smartly Engage With the Young Doubters in Your Midst — Good counsel for Christians and churches that want to reach out to those who have doubts and questions — particularly students.

One of the concerns young people commonly voiced in the study is that church feels unfriendly to doubters. This particular critique has less to do with a polemical topic—be it sex or science—and more to do with whether the church welcomes dialogue in the first place. It encompasses all other concerns by asking the question, “is there even a safe context for us to talk about doubts?”

Thirty-six percent of young people surveyed said they didn’t feel free “to ask [their] most pressing life questions in church.” That’s a problem. Providing a space for open intellectual inquiry is essential for maintaining healthy conversation with people on the margins. Your guests won’t come in for dinner if you send pit bulls to the door. So how can Christian communities create a congenial environment that’s open to doubt and doubters?

How to Be Political but Not Partisan — Audio of an eight minute conversation between The Gospel Coalition editor Collin Hansen and New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, author of the recent book Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics.

How do we measure the universe? The Royal Observatory Greenwich explains:

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