Where superlatives go to be purified

I have learned to love hyperbole
To exaggerate purposefully
It is the language of love glowing
Bubbling, brimming, overflowing

And with a little two-word qualifier
I can take any superlative
Any galaxy
Any solar system
Any star
And fit it in my pocket

My wife is the best cook
In the universe
For me

My son is the smartest boy
In the galaxy
For me

My daughters are the sweetest little women
In the world
For me

But God is where all superlatives go to be purified
In the fire of literal perfection
Where all limiting qualifiers are stripped
Where all exaggerations become understatements
Where all poets speak as children
Before the un-exaggeratable
Most High

What is the Gospel?

God created the world good, but humanity plunged into sin. We deserve everlasting abandonment and punishment.

But the “Word became flesh and dwelled among us”, experienced suffering with humanity, and paid the price on the cross for humanity’s sin. Showing he was the true Son of God, and showing that his work was finished and his words were true, Jesus Christ rose from the dead. He even ate fish with his disciples.

Now, anyone who stops trusting in themselves or false gods, and instead trusts in Christ alone, is given the free and immediately-starting gift of eternal life, forgiveness, justification, rebirth, the indwelling Holy Spirit.

Their life begins anew and God transforms them to love their enemies and to forgive as they have been forgiven. Now they are to go throughout all the world declaring the authority and work of Jesus Christ, awaiting his return.

Notifying a Screenreader User in Browser Applications

According to the spec, aria-live “indicates that an element will be updated, and describes the types of updates the user agents, assistive technologies, and user can expect from the live region.” But if an element is rendered by JavaScript shortly after page load (even 25ms), or on a transition, then screenreaders will not reliably notice content added to it.

To be clear: aria-live is evidently useless for late elements.

The solution is to have two elements either outside the application root element, or immediately rendered in the application element, dedicated to both aria-live=”polite” and aria-live=”assertive”. You can populate these elements in a number of ways, but the important thing is that these elements are picked up by the screenreader almost immediately at page load.

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Thanks to Ryan Florence & Aaron Cannon for bringing this to my attention.

Want to achieve web accessibility? Ignore HTML5’s outline algorithm

“Warning! There are currently no known implementations of the outline algorithm in graphical browsers or assistive technology user agents, although the algorithm is implemented in other software such as conformance checkers. Therefore the outline algorithm cannot be relied upon to convey document structure to users. Authors are advised to use heading rank (h1-h6) to convey document structure.” (HTML 5.1 nightly)

Read more about the drama here and here.

What Firm, Bible-Believing Christians Share in Common With Assertive Atheists

“I want to live in a world of a marketplace of ideas where everybody is busted on their [crap] all the time because I think that’s the way we get to truth. That is also what respect is. What we call tolerance nowadays, maybe always—I’m always skeptical about the “nowadays” thing. I don’t think things get that much different. What we call “tolerance” is often just condescending. It’s often just saying, “Okay, you believe what you want to believe that’s fine with me.” I think true respect… it’s one of the reasons I get along so much better with fundamentalist Christians than I do with liberal Christians because fundamentalist Christians I can look them in the eye and say, “You are wrong.” They also know that I will always fight for their right to say that. And I will celebrate their right to say that but I will look them in the eye and say, “You’re wrong.” And fundamentalists will look me in the eye and say, “You’re wrong.” And that to me is respect. The more liberal religious people who go “There are many paths to truth you just go on and maybe you’ll find your way”… is the way you talk to a child. And I bristle at that, so I do very well with proselytizing hardcore fundamentalists and in a very deep level I respect them and at a very deep level I think I share a big part of their heart. I think in a certain sense I’m a preacher. My heart is there. (Penn Jillette, “Why Tolerance is Condescending”)

The Logic of Peace: Rachel Held Evans vs. Paul the Apostle

Rachel Held Evans essentially argues that:

1. If God is retributive, then we should be too.
2. We ought not be retributive.
3. Therefore God is not retributive.

For Paul the apostle, the logic was the exact opposite:

1. If God will have vengeance, then we ought not avenge ourselves.
2. God will have vengeance.
3. Therefore we ought not avenge ourselves.

“Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'” (Romans 12:17-19)

Jesus on Eunuchs and Marriage

“Most people looked down on eunuchs for their impotence or effeminity”, but Jesus uses them as a metaphor to teach “some would indeed be better off not marrying”:

> If… we read the text [Matthew 19:1-12] in sequence, the disciples are concerned about the danger of marrying without an escape clause, and Jesus responds to their question (Carson 1984b: 418–19; France 1985: 282). Ancient marriage contracts typically included arrangements in case of divorce (e.g., P. Ryl. 154.28–33), though this was normally expressed as a “just in case”; it was naturally not the outcome for which parties entering a marriage hoped (cf. P. Oxy. 1273.25, A.D. 260). If a marriage did not work, divorce was a relatively simple option (Terence Lady of Andros 567–69; Keener 1991a: 50–52). Many sages considered it a duty to divorce a “bad” wife (e.g., Sir. 25:26; b. ʿErub. 41b; Yebam. 63b; p. Ketub. 11:3, §2; Gen. Rab. 17:3; Lev. Rab. 34:14); Plutarch ridiculed a man who failed to divorce such a wife as cowardly (Plut. Virtue and Vice 2, Mor. 100E). Parents arranged marriages, and according to tradition, in Galilee at least, one could not spend time alone with one’s prospective spouse until after the wedding (Safrai 1974/76b: 756–57; Finkelstein 1962: 1:45); one could not always know in advance what one’s spouse would turn out to be like. To marry without the possibility of divorce in a painful marriage seemed worse than not marrying at all! Responding to this objection, Jesus replied that some would indeed be better off not marrying; perhaps because of the intensity of their callings, it would be difficult for true disciples to find compatible spouses who would share their commitment (cf. the story of Crates and Hipparchia in Keener 1991a: 64; cf. Mt 10:35–37).

> Jesus’ remark about celibacy is graphic and would certainly seize the attention of Jewish listeners; the first two eunuch images prepare the reader for the “eunuch for the kingdom” (Malina 1981: 5–6). Jewish teachers could distinguish those who were born without sexual organs and those on whom an operation was performed (Manson 1979: 215; cf., e.g., t. Yebam. 10:3; Sifre Deut. 247.1.1–3; p. Yebam. 8:5, §1), but Jewish people were horrified by castration (e.g., Test. Jud. 23:4; Ps-Phocyl. 187; Jos. Apion 2.270–71; p. Yebam. 8:1, §11), and those who “made themselves eunuchs” were viewed as morally depraved (Jos. Ant. 4.290). Most people looked down on eunuchs for their impotence or effeminity (cf., e.g., Juv. Sat. 1.22; Epict. Disc. 3.1.31; Ps-Lucian Affairs of Heart §21; Babrius 54.4; Lucan C.W. 10.133–34; Jos. Ant. 4.290–91) and recognized that their desires would never be fulfilled (Sir 20:4; 30:20); some recognized that eunuchs were at a disadvantage (Phaedrus 3.11.4–5) but through no fault of their own (Phaedrus 3.11.6–7; cf. Aul. Gel. 4.2.6–8). “Eunuch” (lit. “half-man”) could function as an insult (Virg. Aen. 12.99). Whereas some Gentiles equated Jewish circumcision with a form of castration (cf., e.g., Herr 1978; Pesiq. Rab Kah. 3:6), Jewish people did not allow eunuchs into the covenant, based on Deuteronomy 23:1 (though cf. Is 56:4–5).

> The figurative sense of celibacy in which Jesus means the language (cf., e.g., Ach. Tat. 5.22.5; 6.21.3) would have been less jarring, but nonetheless offensive, to most of his contemporaries (see especially Tannehill 1975: 136–37). Although some pietists in the wilderness may have preferred celibacy (Jos. Life 11; War 2.120; Ant. 18.21; Philo Hypothetica 11.14; Pliny of such shame and sacrifice testifies to the value of the kingdom of God for which anyone would pay such a price (Tannehill 1975: 138–40); by embracing both shame and self-control, Joseph to a lesser extent models the nature of this demand (1:25).

Keener, C. S. (2009). The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary (471-472). Grand Rapids, MI; Cambridge, U.K.: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.