In the time of King David, the tribe of Issachar produced shrewd warriors “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chron 12:32). In a similar way, we need to become wise people whose faith interacts with the world.
To that end, I share articles/resources I have found helpful recently in thinking about broader cultural and societal issues (be sure to see the disclaimer at the bottom). May these give you greater insight, so that you may continue the tradition of Issachar. Past emails are archived at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links
- I am at a conference in Florida with spotty internet service, so there will be fewer items than normal this week (largely items from previous weeks I’ve been holding in reserve). Here are three quick insights from the conference that have stood out to me:
- Poor leaders seek attention, great leaders pay attention,
- You need both the power of God and the presence of God in your life. The power of God appears in a moment, but the presence of God is something we constantly pursue. We freak out when we are in an area with no cell phone coverage. We should be at least that desperate for the presence of God.
- Don’t hunt for greener grass — it’s probably just a septic leak anyway.
- From the eastern affairs department:
- China Is Tearing Down Crosses (Brendon Hong, Daily Beast): this comes from the recommendation of a student. An article that goes into more detail about the response of the church is China Sees Red: Christian Protest Puts Hundreds Of Crosses Back In Public (Sarah Zylstra, Christianity Today).
- Buddhist and Christian Interpretations of the Hong Kong Protests (Mariske Westendorp, Anthropology News): the umbrella protests last year had heavy Christian overtones (as noted by NPR — A Surprising Tie That Binds Hong Kong Protest Leaders — Faith and Christianity Today — Hong Kong Christians Lead Protests For Democracy among others).
- North Korea And Christianity — Uneasy Bedfellows (Stephen Evans, BBC ): the title of this article is weird and the situation is worse than he describes, but it is nice to see a news agency like the BBC commenting on the problem.
- From the every‐tribe‐tongue‐and‐nation department:
- Yes, Racism Is Rooted In Economic Inequality (Seth Ackerman, Jacobin): A Marxist analysis of American race relations.
- Implicit Bias, Fear Of Hoodies, and the Hypocrisy of the Political Commentariat (Jeremy Pierce, personal blog): Jeremy is a Christian who is also a philosopher of the metaphysics of race.
- Rage and Ruin: On the Black Panthers (Steve Wasserman, The Nation): this is an account of the Black Panthers which is both sympathetic and critical. It is more balanced than Whitewashing The Black Panthers: (Michael Moynihan, The Daily Beast) which is responding to a pro‐Panthers documentary. The latter article is worth reading, but you should know it is is pretty horrifying.
Chi Alpha is not a partisan organization. To paraphrase another minister: we are not about the donkey’s agenda and we are not about the elephant’s agenda — we are about the Lamb’s agenda. Having said that, I read widely (in part because I believe we should aspire to pass the ideological Turing test and in part because I do not believe I can fairly say “I agree” or “I disagree” until I can say “I understand”) and may at times share articles that have a strong partisan bias simply because I find the article stimulating. The upshot: you should not assume I agree with everything an author says in an article I mention, much less things the author has said in other articles.