Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Another One Bites the Dust

Sadly my favorite online Christian discernment resource has been shuttered. Ingrid Schlueter's website Slice of Laodicea experienced a catastrophic deletion event sometime last week on or around Thursday 9/6/07. Apparently the site went down, and as Ingrid later discovered - and describes in her own words below - Slice was not only down but was also "out".

Slice of Laodicea was the reason I began blogging my thoughts on Christian life in general and the state of the church in particular. I was exhorted and inspired to expound the unchanging truth of the Holy Writ and the unalterable sovereignty of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through reading the godly counsel at Slice. Furthermore I was introduced to giants of the faith such as Dr. Greg Bahnsen and Cornelius Van Til through the Slice meta, whose edifying manuscripts I have voraciously devoured.

It may seem strange to some of my readers - as it seems a bit strange to myself - but there are a few life altering, course changing events in our lives that act as signposts upon the paths the Lord has set before each of us. Most of us can probably point to a few of these significant moments in our life and identify them as having a profound effect on our future choices and decisions. Well, for me Slice was one of those "signpost moments", and I pray that it has affected my small sphere of influence for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in the same way it has affected my personal walk with Him.

In honor of Slice my sidebar link to that site will be changed to direct readers to the Internet Way Back Machine's Slice archives and I have requested permission to post old Slice articles here for the edification of the Christian blogosphere, and to serve as a witness to and bear testimony against the broader unbelieving world at large.

Solo Dei Gloria.


A Statement from the publisher of SliceOfLaodicea.com

Last week I attempted to take a few days off, but Thursday morning I learned that Slice was inaccessible for some reason. After days of attempting to learn what the problem was from the hosting company, iPower, after hours on hold and even with the help of several people, we finally learned today that Slice's database was deleted by the company. There's nothing left of it. The countless hours of work I put into the writing on that site are lost. I would warn anyone who uses iPower as a hosting company that this could also happen to you. I owned the copyright on the material and they never even checked with me before taking the word of another person that the site was gone and deleting it. Worse still, I could not even get a straight answer on what had actually happened for days. Whatever you think of Slice, it is very difficult to lose the work that you spent so much time doing. I will not be starting over. I want to thank every single reader who added to the important discussions about the church.

The sole motivation I had in publishing Slice was to show readers why the church has gone off the rails and to point them back to the Scriptures. I know that something terrible has happened to the American church because I have witnessed all on a very personal level. I was never cynically writing about things, I believed with all my heart every word that I wrote. I don't believe that the old paths are right because they are old. The old paths spiritually are right because they were rooted in Holy Scripture. I long and yearn for more churches like this, where men of God stop pandering to the fleshly desires of carnal men and begin once again to preach with utter confidence in the Holy Spirit and His work through the Word. Publishing Slice has been a learning experience. I have never in my life had worse insults hurled at me at a personal level and from men who claim that they love Jesus. Women, as a rule, were respectful in their disagreement. The men were vicious. I will always remember one comment on a hate site. One of the contributors had dared to say something kind about a post I had put up. A commenter by the name of "Rick" wrote, "finding a good article on Slice is like finding a nickel in a spittoon." When you pour your heart and soul into something and this is the response from "fellow Christians", cheap shots that ignore the countless sermons, devotionals, hymns and encouragement posted, it can be devastating.

But I have seen something else in publishing Slice--believers all over the world who truly care about truth. There are still so many who truly love Jesus Christ and who care about the purity of the Gospel. They don't want to be part of the lukewarm compromised evangelicalism that abounds today. This is what encourages me that all is not lost. There will always be those who spit at you. Look what they did to the Lord of glory! My advice to all who love truth is to persevere and don't give up because of the hatred that comes at you. Just carry on each day, doing what the Lord puts in front of you to do, however mundane or simple it is. The Lord rewards faithfulness. The Lord bless all of you, and may our love for Him be a shining light in the darkness. I will continue blogging at my personal site, A Quiet Place, for those who need respite and occasional encouragement. (www.ingridschlueter.wordpress.com.)

Ingrid Schlueter
Christos Kurios

What Happened?

The original shutdown of Slice occurred when the discovery was made that that Ipower was incorrectly billing Tim Challies, my former webmaster, for the hosting that began in March. Ipower did not establish new account information when Slice restarted in March of this year and instead began billing Challies again, who did not notice until last week. Challies incorrectly believed Slice was defunct as of January and told them the site was no longer in existence. Nobody checked. What destroyed Slice was what Ipower did, or did not do when they tried to bring Slice online. My current webmaster explains:

"Ipowerweb made a weak attempt to restore the website. However, the attempt failed because they did not properly install Wordpress and allowed the WordPress installation file (install.php) to be publicly available for any anonymous user to re-install WordPress. Thus, this allowed the database to be overwritten with new (empty) tables. The result of this careless mistake is that all the contents (articles, posts, comments) of the tables was lost. The original error of shutting down the site was compounded by a careless restoration attempt on the part of the host. It may still be possible to restore from a backup point prior to the shutdown of the site, however; after several phone calls and emails with Ipowerweb tech support I have not received an answer or any further help of any kind. The original shutdown was not their fault, but the poor support that followed is solely their responsibility."

- Core Web Solutions