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, on Fridays I’ve been sharing 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
Without further ado, I give you the interesting things:
- I heard a moving Radiolab episode: Gray’s Donation. If you’ve never listened to Radiolab before, I highly recommend the episodes Colors and Oops. If you’re into podcasts, check out a list of thoughtful Christian podcasts I compiled a while back.
- ’A Tour of Burned Churches’ Explores Race, Resilience, and Religion in America (Huffington Post, Christopher Mathias): an interview with a podcaster about a series he did on the burning of black churches in America. I have not listened to the series, but the interview was good.
- Data about Adults Who Do Not Believe In God (Pew Forum) — one of the charts makes me think of a funny clip about atheism as white privilege [the whole thing is worth watching, but you can jump to the sound bite at 5:45]. There is a good summary of some of the takeaways at GetReligion. On a related note, there is a study in Current Biology: The Negative Association Between Religiousness and Children’s Altruism Across The World. The comments on reddit are interesting (more interesting to me than the study itself).
- A somewhat contrarian piece: Liberals Are Losing The Culture War (Molly Ball, The Atlantic). A semi-response piece: This Isn’t A Culture War, It’s A War On Culture (The Federalist, David Harsanyi).
- File under sad: The State Department Turns Its Back on Syrian Christians and Other Non-Muslim Refugees (National Review, Nina Shea)
- The story I alluded to in my sermon: How Prop 47 Helped One Man Keep His Job (KQED, Sara Hossaini). This is an illustration of what justification involves — a legal decree that exempts you from penalties the law would otherwise apply (when I quote stuff in my sermon I try to remember to share it here).
- Quick Links:
- A Comic About Heaven (the same comic has a vaguely related strip here)
- Darth Jar Jar: this would be awesome.
- Why a negative times a negative is a positive. Some rando redditor illustrates this very succinctly.
- The War Between The Barbates: Facial Hair of the Commanders of the United States Civil War.
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.