Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 36

On Fridays I share articles/resources I have found helpful recently in thinking about broader cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

  1. The Weight of Glory (C.S. Lewis): this is a PDF of the 9 pages of thoughtful goodness I referenced in my sermon this week. It was originally preached as a sermon and then printed in a theology magazine. Related: see the C. S. Lewis Doodle YouTube channel — it’s really good!
  2. Leave China, Study In America, Find Jesus (Han Zhang, Foreign Policy) — “U.S. universities are the first places that hundreds of thousands of educated young Chinese are exposed to different religious ideas, and invited to consider them freely. Sensing an opportunity, on‐campus Christian fellowships and churches have gone out of their collective way to help those fresh from China.”
  3. Uncovering the Assemblies of God’s Black Heritage (Darrin Rodgers, Vital Magazine): the Assemblies of God is Chi Alpha’s sponsoring denomination and the group with which I am ordained. Some neat anecdotes here.
  4. Why Nepal Has One of the World’s Fastest Growing Christian Populations (Danielle Preiss, NPR): my favorite bit, “a team were also in Nepal in October helping rebuild the earthquake‐damaged house that belongs to the family of Sumitra Pariyar, a young woman who believes she was healed from paralysis and seizures by her acceptance of Christ.” I find the choice of words funny: she “believes” she was healed from paralysis by Christ. I’m pretty sure she knows whether she was paralyzed or not. How about “a young woman who says she was healed from paralysis and seizures by her acceptance of Christ.” That’s just better journalism.
  5. Religious Freedom Keeps Us Strong (Barack Obama, Religion News Service): yes, this is by President Obama. The thing I am most pleased about is his use of the phrase “freedom of religion” as opposed to the much less expansive “freedom of worship.”
  6. What A Super Bowl Ad Reveals About Our Abortion Culture (Russell Moore, personal blog): this went in a different direction than I assumed it would. Recommended.
  7. Some humor:

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.

Past emails are archived at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 35

On Fridays I share articles/resources I have found helpful recently in thinking about broader cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

  1. The Grounds Of Our Assurance (D. A. Carson, YouTube): Dr. Carson is one of my favorite scholars. This youtube clip is definitely worth three minutes of your time.
  2. Hallelujah College (Molly Worthen, NY Times): “The thing you’ll run into with any of the campus activists that I’ve encountered is this idea that human nature is a collection of identity categories, that I as a human being am composed of a gender identity, a sexual identity, a racial identity and so forth,” he said. “Their perception of Christians, or of religious people more generally, is: ‘O.K., these are people who have this one identity category, religion, and the religion they identify as is overstepping its bounds. It’s telling my gender or sexual identity how to act.’ The Christian response has to be: There’s something more to what a human being is than just these collective attributes.”
  3. Pastor Of China’s Largest Church Jailed For Protesting Removal of 1,500 Crosses (Morgan Lee, Christianity Today). Note that he is the pastor of China’s largest official church — there are underground churches that are much larger. The Communist Party must be getting nervous about the strength of Christianity in China if they are oppressing the state‐sanctioned church as well.
  4. Christians In Latin America Are Numerous But Still Vulnerable (John Allen, Crux): a very strong article about Christian persecution in the western hemisphere. “Chilito was executed by a right‐wing paramilitary and Castilla by a left‐wing guerrilla group, proving that martyrdom in Colombia is an equal‐opportunity enterprise. Globally, the two women are chapters in one of the most widespread human rights scourges of the early 21st century, which is lethal anti‐Christian persecution. Though estimates vary widely, even low‐end counts suggest that one Christian is killed for motives related to the faith somewhere in the world every hour of every day.”
  5. Mainstreaming “Animal Personhood” (Wesley J. Smith, First Things): this is something you should do some thinking about. Start by reflecting on Genesis 1:26–30, Genesis 9:1–6, Numbers 22:21–34, Proverbs 12:10, Jonah 4:10–11, and Matthew 6:26.
  6. Meyer vs Nebraska: As Told By The Lawyer Who Won It (David Kopel, Washington Post): this story of a 1922 Supreme Court decision absolutely sucked me in. It touches on issues of parental rights, public education, religious liberty, and nationalistic prejudice.
  7. 3 Ways To Work For The Glory of God (Christos Makridis, The Rebelution). Yes, this is written by our very own Christos. Good thoughts, Christos!
  8. Some comics that amused me:

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.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 32

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, societal and theological 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:

  1. This Is What Makes Republicans and Democrats So Different (Vox, Ezra Klein): I was skeptical of this piece, but it’s insightful.
  2. Recognition: How A Travesty Led to Criminal‐Justice Innovation In Texas  (New Yorker, Paul Kix): this is a powerful article with a heartbreaking story at its center.
  3. North Korea Gets Competition: The Top 50 Countries Where It’s Now Hardest To Be A Christian (Christianity Today, Sarah Zylstra). Sobering and sadly unsurprising. “2014 was the world’s worst year for the persecution of Christians in the modern era. Until 2015 surpassed it.”
  4. College Party Culture and Sexual Assault (NBER, Lindo, Siminksi, Swensen): “We find significant and robust evidence that football game days increase reports of rape victimization among 17–24 year old women by 28 percent. Home games increase reports by 41 percent on the day of the game and away games increase reports by 15 percent.” They propose parties associated with the game as a causal mechanism.
  5. Inside Graduate Admissions (Inside Higher Ed, Scott Jaschick): if you plan to apply to grad school, read this. There is one revealing anecdote about how an admissions committee treated an application from a Christian college student. My takeaway: the professors tried to be fair but found it hard to do, and their stated concerns were mostly about the quality of the institution rather than the faith of the applicant. Troubling nonetheless.
  6. Shorter Pieces:

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.

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.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 30

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:

  1. A Carved Stone Block Upends Assumptions About Ancient Judaism (NY Times, Isabel Kirshner): I find the title amusing (the finding lines up perfectly with my assumptions about Judaism before the destruction of the temple).
  2. Jesus’ Leftward Bias (Pacific Standard, Tom Jacobs): warning — this is not about what you think it probably is. It is based on the study Did Buddha Turn The Other Cheek Too? A Comparison of Posing Biases Between Jesus and Buddha and weaves together art, selfies, and the role of emotions in Christianity. Really.
  3. Shutting Down Conversations About Rape at Harvard Law (New Yorker, Jeannie Suk): a Harvard Law prof comments on how campuses should handle rape accusations, and points out that a rigid “believe the accuser” stance will result in great injustice against black men.
  4. American Christians Could Take A Lesson From Angela Merkel (Religion News Service, Guthrie Graves‐Fitzsimmons): I did not know Merkel (German Chancellor and Time Person of the Year) was pious. See the comments for clarification about what tribe of Christianity she belongs to. As always, take claims about the faith of public figures with a grain of salt, especially when they are from another culture. I was also interested by Multiculturalism Is A Sham, Says Angela Merkel (Washington Post, Rick Noack)
  5. Beyond Fight or Flight: $1 Million Reveals How Christians Cope with Persecution in 30 Countries (Christianity Today, Sarah Zylstra): Fascinating research on what Christians actually do when they face intense persecution. Related: Globally, Religious Persecution is Christian Persecution (Crux, John Allen): I appreciated the selection of stories in this article. They avoided the crazy, gory stories that make you put this into a special place in your brain and chose much simpler anecdotes that make you see what this is a like on a day‐to‐day basis in certain parts of the world. See also, The Biggest Apology For Christian Persecution of Other Christians Ever. (Christianity Today, Sarah Zylstra).
  6. Quick Links

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.

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.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 29

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Philanthropy Should Be Controversial (Bloomberg View, Justin Fox): Fascinating throughout — the last two paragraphs were quite surprising to me.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.”
  7. 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).
  8. Quick Links:

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.

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.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 26

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

On this half‐year mark, I give you the interesting things:

  1. Religious Liberty and Human Dignity: Tale Of Two Declarations (Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Kevin Hasson). This article from 2003 argues that religious freedom is the fundamental freedom. It starts slow as it lays a foundation, but picks up about halfway through.
  2. While you’re on Thanksgiving break, please register to vote if you have not already done so. I strongly suggest you register as a Permanent Vote‐By‐Mail Voter, which simply means that you will receive a ballot in the mail before every election. It gives you plenty of time to research the candidates and issues from the comfort of your dorm room with your ballot in front of you. If you prefer to vote in another state then visit http://www.brennancenter.org/student-voting). If you’re a citizen of another country, do whatever you’re supposed to do there. 🙂
  3. Some global perspective:
  4. More campus activism links: President Obama weighs in (really). See also A Crisis Our Universities Deserve (NY Times, Ross Douthat): this is a helpful big‐picture overview of the college scene. Also, Yale’s Activists Deserve Constructive Criticism (The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf).
  5. Are Non‐Religious Children Really More Altruistic? (Robert Woodberry) — this is probably the last thing I will post on this. I almost didn’t, but WOW what a smackdown. Woodberry is the author of that article I keep sharing about Christianity and democracy.
  6. Quick Links:

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.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 24

News News News 98/365In 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:

  1. 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.
  2. ’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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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).
  5. File under sad: The State Department Turns Its Back on Syrian Christians and Other Non‐Muslim Refugees (National Review, Nina Shea)
  6. 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).
  7. Quick Links:

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.

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