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:
- C.S. Lewis Was A Secret Government Agent (Christianity Today, Harry Lee Poe): It’s not as exciting as the title sounds, but it’s still cool. C.S. Lewis did some work for MI6. That’s the same agency as James Bond. JAMES BOND.
- Why I worry experimental social science is headed in the wrong direction (Chris Blattman, personal blog). This is an excellent piece by a political science professor at Columbia.
- Utah Reduced Chronic Homelessness By 91 Percent. Here’s How. (NPR, Kelly McEvers). Props to the Mormons. It reminds me of an old piece by Malcolm Gladwell: Million Dollar Murray.
- Philanthropy Should Be Controversial (Bloomberg View, Justin Fox): Fascinating throughout — the last two paragraphs were quite surprising to me.
- John Kerry Should Recognize Christian Genocide (USA Today, Kirsten Powers): I’ve posted about this before and will likely keep doing so. The situation is insane.
- Why Christians Must Speak Out Against Donald Trump’s Muslim Remarks (Washington Post, Russell Moore). Related: Is An Immigration Ban on Muslims Unconstitutional? (Eric Posner, a law prof at U Chicago). Moore has been on a tear lately, see also his What We Lose When We Prayer Shame Politicians After A Mass Shooting (Washington Post, Russell Moore). “The first response to a word of our fellow citizens in peril should be a human response of empathy. For religious people, that means a call to pray for them, and to encourage others of like mind to do so…. When that becomes just another culture war battlefield, we’ve lost more than a set of policy proposals. We’ve lost the social cohesion we need to do anything.”
- How Obama’s Gun-Control Push Inverted the Politics of the No-Fly List (The Atlantic, David Graham): this is a depressing commentary on the polarization of American politics. See also Eric Posner’s comments: The Republican-Democratic Divide on Civil Liberties. Related — Partyism Now Trumps Racism (Bloomberg View, Cass Sunstein) and Political Identity Is Now Fair Game For Hatred: How Republicans and Democrats Discriminate (Vox, Ezra Klein).
- Quick Links:
- Seal Bearing Name of Judean King Found In Jerusalem (Times of Israel, Ilian ben Zion): this is cool. They found something actually touched by Hezekiah from 2 Kings 18–20. File under “the Bible is real history”
- The How Many Guide: what an ingenious design.
- A Fundamental Physics Problem Has Been Proved Unsolvable (Factor Tech, Lucy Ingham): This was prompted by an article published in Nature: Undecidability of the Spectral Gap.
- Study Confirms That Ending Your Texts With A Period Is Terrible (Washington Post, Rachel Feltman): Stop judging my good grammar!
- Convert me! Why proselytisers are good for civilisation (Aeon, Mark Oppenheimer)
- Is There Any Evidence Trigger Warnings Are Actually a Big Deal? (NY Mag, Jesse Singal)
- Christian. Conservative. Treehugger. (Politico, Chris Berdik)
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.
Also, remember that I’m not reporting news — I’m giving you a selection of things I found interesting. There’s a lot happening in the world that’s not making an appearance here because I haven’t found stimulating articles written about it.