Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 69

1 Chronicles 12:32 - they "understood the times"
1 Chronicles 12:32 – they “understood the times”

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. How To Pray A Psalm (Justin Taylor, Gospel Coalition): prayer life need a boost? Give this a try. 
  2. A College Is A Community But It Cannot Be A Home (Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic): forget college. This whole world is not your home – 1 Peter 2:11; Hebrews 13:14.
  3. Is Plagiarism A Sin? (Gervase Markham, personal blog): this is well-argued and raises issues I had not considered before.
  4. Split Over Donald Trump and Cut Off by Culture Wars, Evangelicals Despair (Laurie Goodstein, NY Times): an unusually perceptive piece from the often oblivious-to-religion New York Times.
  5. Science Denialism: Pot. Kettle. Black. (David Heddle, personal blog): a nuclear physicist gives an stimulating summary of cosmological fine-tuning and how both theists and skeptics often misunderstand it.
  6. Economic Freedom and Religion: An Empirical Investigation (SSRN): “Our cross-sectional dataset includes 137 countries averaged over the period 2001-2010. Simple correlations show that Protestantism is associated with economic freedom, Islam is not, with Catholicism in between.”
  7. Can Islam and Liberalism Coexist? (Isaac Chotiner, Slate): an absolutely fascinating interview with Shadi Hamid. “During the course of our conversation… we discussed why liberals have trouble taking religion seriously, the future of Islamist politics in Turkey and Egypt, and what the rise of Donald Trump has meant for American Muslims.”

Things Glen Found Amusing

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Archives at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 68

1 Chronicles 12:32 - they "understood the times"
1 Chronicles 12:32 – they “understood the times”

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Missionaries are struggling to work under new Russia law banning proselytizing (Michael Alison Chandler, Washington Post): “A month after the restrictions went into effect on July 20, at least seven people had been charged under it…  The list includes a Baptist preacher from the United States who was charged with holding religious services in his home and advertising them on public bulletin boards. He was convicted and fined, but he is appealing the case.”
  2. ‘Hillsong’ Casts a Secular Lens on an Evangelical Band (NY Times, Joe Coscarelli): “Hillsong’s creative director… described embracing the rock-star exposure as ‘trying to draw attention to yourself for the sole premise of drawing attention away from yourself’ — to God.”
  3. 7 Books on the White-Black Racial Divide You Should Read (Ivan Mesa, Gospel Coalition): because you don’t have enough books to read at Stanford.
  4. We Gave Four Good Pollsters the Same Raw Data. They Had Four Different Results. (NY Times, Nate Cohn): “Well, well, well. Look at that. A net five-point difference between the five measures, including our own, even though all are based on identical data. Remember: There are no sampling differences in this exercise.” I didn’t know this at all. Wow. We know less about the election than we thought.
  5. “If you are a very talented person, you have a choice: You either go to New York or you go to Silicon Valley.” (Peter Thiel said it, and this link is to an op-ed by Aaron Renn in a Chicago paper defending it.) For a contrary take, read this comment from Marginal Revolution.
  6. No, We Shouldn’t Start Worrying About Global Inequality – Poverty’s The Problem (Forbes, Tim Worstall): “[Reducing inequality is] a bad goal. One reason being that rich people getting poorer reduces inequality. And if inequality reduction is our goal then we should therefore welcome such things as recessions.” Found on a student’s twitter feed.
  7. What If Evolution Bred Reality Out Of Us? (NPR, Adam Frank): reading this called to mind something Chesterton observed way back in 1908:

    It is idle to talk always of the alternative of reason and faith. Reason is itself a matter of faith. It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all. If you are merely a sceptic, you must sooner or later ask yourself the question, “Why should ANYTHING go right; even observation and deduction? Why should not good logic be as misleading as bad logic? They are both movements in the brain of a bewildered ape?” The young sceptic says, “I have a right to think for myself.” But the old sceptic, the complete sceptic, says, “I have no right to think for myself. I have no right to think at all.” – Orthodoxy, G. K. Chesterton

Things Glen Found Amusing

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Archives at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 67

1 Chronicles 12:32 - they "understood the times"
1 Chronicles 12:32 – they “understood the times”

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Icebreakers Are Terrible. They Also, Unfortunately, Work Really Well (Cari Romm, NY Magazine): “Is there any value to making a roomful of people miserable with false cheer? Psychologist Anton Villado is adamant that the answer is yes, and that icebreakers don’t have to be pleasant to be effective.” Relevant for the start of the school year.
  2. Religion in US ‘worth more than Google and Apple combined’ (Harriet Sherwood, The Guardian): “the sums spent by religious organisations on social programmes have tripled in the past 15 years, to $9bn. Twenty of the top 50 charities in the US are faith-based, with a combined operating revenue of $45.3bn.” There’s some excellent commentary on this at Crux.
  3. The First Country to Officially Defend Christians Persecuted by ISIS (World Watch Monitor at Christianity Today): It’s Hungary. Hungary’s Minister for Human Resources said, “Today, Christianity has become the most persecuted religion, where out of five people killed [for] religious reasons, four of them are Christians…. In 81 countries around the world, Christians are persecuted, and 200 million Christians live in areas where they are discriminated against.”
  4. Why Not a College Degree in Sports? (Roger Pielke Jr., NY Times): “Beyond our cultural biases, what really is the difference between a Shakespeare play, an orchestra concert and a basketball game? Each performance requires some high-level combination of physical ability and mental acuity, developed through years of training and study, and for which only a select few reach elite levels.” There is a similar article back in issue 44.
  5. Time For A Realignment (NY Times, David Brooks): “There’s a good chance many of you will be switching political parties over the next 15 years.” This is true both for the reasons Brooks mentions and also because some of you will change your minds.
  6. The world will only get weirder (Steven Coast, personal blog): “We fixed all the main reasons aircraft crash a long time ago. Sometimes a long, long time ago. So, we are left with the less and less probable events.” The piece is a few years old so the examples are dated, but it remains very intriguing.

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Archives at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 66

1 Chronicles 12:32 - they "understood the times"
1 Chronicles 12:32 – they “understood the times”

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. “Me too” social science is not fighting inequality (Kevin T. Leicht, Work in Progress): an article about how academics can improve society. The author is a sociologist at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
  2. U.S. investigating potential covert Russian plan to disrupt November elections (Dana Priest, Ellen Nakashima and Tom Hamburger, Washington Post): “U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies are investigating what they see as a broad covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the upcoming presidential election and in U.S. political institutions, intelligence and congressional officials said.” The 2016 elections will make an amazing television series a generation from now. 
  3. The Idle Army: America’s Unworking Men (Nicolas Eberstadt, Wall Street Journal): the author doesn’t say it here, but video games and pornography are huge enablers of this phenomenon. This is one of those trends that everyone will be talking about in 10-15 years.
  4. You are not your brain: Why a head transplant is not what you think it is (Charles Camosy, Religion News Service): this was mind-blowing. Pun intended. With me, the pun is always intended.
  5. How A Cakemaker Became An Enemy Of The State (David Harsyani, The Federalist): “Christians are regularly compared to Southern segregationists and racists, when in reality the comparison is best reversed. Yes, the power of Jim Crow reflected popular will, but it was sanctioned by the state. The Colorado Civil Rights Commission is similarly empowered by the state to use its arbitrary power to destroy the reputations, businesses, and lives of those who happen to offend their sensibilities.” See also the alarming comments of the US Commission on Civil Rights Chairman.
  6. Reverse Voxsplaining: Drugs vs. Chairs (SlateStarCodex, the author is a doctor who writes under pseudonym). This was a stimulating piece about the EpiPen controversy to which Vox had a rejoinder to which the author offered a surrejoinder.  Informative and full of provocative statements such as “prescription drug price regulation would cost one billion life-years, which would very slightly edge out Communist China for the title of Worst Thing Ever.” For an interesting unrelated-yet-related companion piece, see the brief Two “The Rest of the Story” Stories (Alex Tabbarok, Marginal Revolution).
  7. What Does The Bible Say About Transgenderism? (Kevin DeYoung., Gospel Coalition): “We understand that following Christ means dying to ourselves (Matt. 16:24), being renewed in our minds (Rom. 12:2), and no longer walking as we once did (Eph. 4:17-18). Being ‘true to ourselves’ is always a false choice when it means going against God’s Word.”
  8. Porn Is Bad (Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry, The Week): “It took decades to recognize smoking for the public health disaster that it is, and to finally get a grip on it societally. Although porn doesn’t cause cancer, there’s good evidence that it does destroy lives and families.”

Things Glen Found Amusing

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Archives at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 65

1 Chronicles 12:32 - they "understood the times"
1 Chronicles 12:32 – they “understood the times”

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. The health effects of religious service attendance (reddit AMA): the researcher, Tyler VanderWeele, is a Harvard professor and a believer. You can see his Veritas talks here.
  2. If you’re not a sports person, you may not know that the San Francicso 49’s quarterback recently refused to stand for the national anthem because America is unjust. Controversy ensued. Two alumni shared relevant articles: Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery and the saltier Why I’ll Never Stand Again For ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’. Doug Wilson offered good insights at The Seated Colin KaepernickSee also Be Useful (A Post About Colin Kaepernik) by Scott Adams and Insulting Colin Kaepernick Says More About Our Patriotism Than His by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. For a contrary view, see Colin Kaepernick, Meet Henry Johnson (David French, National Review).
  3. Framed. (Christopher Goffard, LA Times): this is one of the craziest things I have read all year. Highly recommended. Heads up: there is a Stanford connection in the story and it is not a positive one.
  4. What science really has to say about sexuality and gender (Joe Carter, ERLC): this is a readable summary of a 144 page PDF written by Paul McHugh (a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins) and Lawrence Mayer (an biostatistician at Arizona State). From the original article: “Sexual orientation and gender identity resist explanation by simple theories. There is a large gap between the certainty with which beliefs are held about these matters and what a sober assessment of the science reveals.”
  5. How The Catholic Church Documented Mother Teresa’s 2 Miracles (Tom Gjelten, NPR): “The group reasoned that if Duffin, as an atheist, found there was no scientific reason the woman should have recovered, who could doubt it was a miracle? In fact, after her investigation of the woman’s recovery, Duffin agreed that the woman’s healing was — for lack of a better word — miraculous.” The Pope and I disagree about a lot of things (including saints), but I have long been impressed with the way the Catholic Church critically evaluates miracles.
  6. FBI Says Foreign Hackers Penetrated State Election Systems (Michael Isikoff, Yahoo News): I am convinced we are way more vulnerable on this front than most people know.
  7. The Sneaky Program To Spy On Baltimore From Above (Conor Friederdorf, The Atlantic): “In reality, unlike in 1984, Big Brother may watch for awhile without revealing that there is a Big Brother.”
  8. Waiting To Die (Michael Patton): well worth your time.

Things Glen Found Amusing

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.

Disclaimer

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.

Archives at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links.