Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 58

1 Chronicles 12:32 — they “understood the times”

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues, with a preference for content from academics and influential voices. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

Articles I Found Interesting

  1. China’s Christian Future (Yu Jie, First Things):  Wow. This is very much worth your time.
  2. The ISIS Correspondent (Isaac Chotiner, Slate): this is timely in light of the terrorist attack in Nice, France. “I think there is an enormous amount of misunderstanding about this question that we get asked over and over again: Does ISIS direct this attack or does ISIS inspire this attack? ISIS-inspired attacks are part of their strategy; are part of their design; are part of what they’re trying to do. That’s what people miss.”
  3. Ten Thoughts On Speaking (And Not) In A Digital World (Kevin DeYoung, Gospel Coalition): “A pastor does not have time to be a professional pundit. And even if he did, it’s fair to wonder whether he should be.” DeYoung’s thoughts parallel many of my own. If you wonder why I am often silent on social media, read this.
  4. How Highly Religious Americans’ Lives Are Different From Others (Michael Lipka, Pew Research): interesting — both the differences and similarities.
  5. Two Kinds Of Voting, Two Kinds Of Disruption, and Two Kinds of Righteousness (Senator Ben Sasse, Medium): “To us, voting is not merely about 1/130-millionth of deciding who should preside over 1/3 of the federal government from 2017 to 2021. To us, the act of voting is also a civic duty that tells people what we think America means, what we want to teach our kids about moral leadership, what face we want America to present to the world, and what sort of candidates we want more of in coming years.” I know nothing about Senator Sasse’s voting record — I just know this is an outstanding essay.
  6. When Correlation Does Imply Causation (Joshua Krisch, Vocativ): “Additive noise model testing is based on the simple assumption that there is always some statistical noise clinging to the key variables in any experiment—areas where the data becomes fuzzy and unreliable due to measurement errors. Regardless of any link, each variable will have its own unique noise signature, with one caveat: If X causes Y, then the noise in X will be able to contaminate Y, but the noise in Y will not able to do the same to X. Because a cause can affect an effect, but an effect cannot affect a cause (read that last line a few times). … The key, then, is to follow the noise contamination.” See the underlying paper.
  7. These essays by an English professor at Emory are full of practical advice for those of you considering academia. Read them regardless of your politics or your discipline.


Why Do You Send This Email?

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. I pray this email gives you greater insight, so that you may continue the tradition of Issachar.


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 (although if I strongly disagree with something in the article I’ll usually mention it).

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.

If you have a non-Stanford friend who might be interested in these emails, they can sign up at, and if you want to view the archives they are at

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