Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 121

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom. I welcome your suggestions. If you read something fascinating please pass it my way.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. The Exchanged Life (J. Husdon Taylor, a letter to his sister): “It little matters to my servant whether I send him to buy a few cash worth of things, or the most expensive articles. In either case he looks to me for the money, and brings me his purchases. So, if God place me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance; in positions of great difficulty, much grace; in circumstances of great pressure and trial, much strength? No fear that His resources will be unequal to the emergency!” (brought to my attention by a student, highly recommended)
  2. The news from Las Vegas is so heartbreaking. Here are a few pieces about it and also about the issue of guns more generally.
  3. A Brief History of Cessationism (Thomas Kidd, Gospel Coalition): “In the 1700s and 1800s, suspicion of claimed miracles was connected to anti-Catholicism. Protestant critics saw the Catholic tradition as riddled with fake claims of miracles. Ridiculing the fake miracle claims of Catholics (such as icons bleeding a liquid that turned out to be cherry juice) became a staple of Reformed polemics against the Catholic Church. So when seemingly miraculous events happened in Protestant churches, even sympathetic observers warned against the threat of bogus miracles.”
  4. The Limits of “Diversity” (Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker): “It is possible that ‘diversity’ will ultimately prove too weak a term to do all that is asked of it. Contemporary advocates sometimes emphasize, instead, “inclusion,” a less neutral concept, and one that gestures at the political agendas that inevitably shape these debates.”
  5. ‘Panicked’ London train commuters force open doors, flee onto tracks when man reads the Bible aloud (Douglas Perry, Oregon Live). I’ve said it before – our culture has replaced the fear of God with the fear of religion. It’s a poor trade.
  6. Why the rule of law suffers when we have too many laws (Ilya Somin, Washington Post): “Because of the vast scope of current law, in modern America the authorities can pin a crime on the overwhelming majority of people, if they really want to. Whether you get hauled into court or not depends more on the discretionary decisions of  law enforcement officials than on any legal rule…. the rule of law has largely been supplanted by the rule of chance and the rule of executive discretion. Inevitably, political ideology and partisanship have a major impact on the latter. For example, federal law enforcement priorities are very different under Trump than they were under Obama.”
  7. Roy Moore is a fascinating figure with a compelling story. He’s the guy you might know as “that Ten Commandments judge from the South.” He is running for a seat in the US Senate and he just won the primary election and seems on track to win the general election. There are interesting times ahead as a result.

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 62

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, with a preference for content from academics and influential voices. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

A Quote That Grabbed Glen’s Attention

“I really only love God as much as I love the person I love the least” – Dorothy Day

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. California Lawmaker Drops Controversial Proposal to Regulate Religious Colleges (Sarah Zylstra, Christianity Today): this was a goofy bill and I’m happily surprised it has been substantially amended. For one influential take on it, see www.sb1146discriminates.org
  2. Every Place Has Detractors. Consider Where They’re Coming From. (Megan McCardle, Bloomerg View): “There is grave danger in judging a neighborhood, or a culture, by the accounts of those who chose to leave it. Those people are least likely to appreciate the good things about where they came from, and the most likely to dwell on its less attractive qualities.” Bear this in mind when listening to conversion testimonies (both secular and religious).
  3. In Defense Of The Gun Emoji (John Brownlee, Fast Co Design): “They’re sending a symbolic message about gun control through emoji. The problem, though, is that messing with the way that people communicate with one another isn’t symbolic. It’s deeply literal.”
  4. What’s Missing From The Conversation About Transgender Kids (Jesse Singal, New York Magazine): this one is an important read – the pro-LGBT author is concerned with the way science is being ignored when trying to help kids who think they were born the wrong gender. I shared a related article by the same author back in volume 50.
  5. It’s O.K., Liberal Parents, You Can Freak Out About Porn (Judith Shulevitz, NY Times): “Left-leaning parents shy away from a cause they identify with right-wing culture warriors, but I challenge any parent to affirm that it’s O.K. for her kids to become digital porn consumers at 11, the average age of a child’s first encounter.”

Something Glen Found Amusing

  • What I Love About The Olympics (Ultra Spiritual Life): this is a video. 3.5 minutes of brutal commentary. “Race walking. Now this is a sport that makes sense. Who can go the fastest at not going their fastest? It’s like who can be the best at mediocrity. So paradoxical. I love it.”

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.

If you have a non-Stanford friend who might be interested in these emails, they can sign up at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/subscribe, and if you want to view the archives they are at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 54

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.

A QUOTE I COULDN’T GET OUT OF MY HEAD

“I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” – Cardinal Francis George (1937-2015)

Including a quote may or may not become a recurring thing. Feedback welcomed.

LINKS WHICH CAUGHT MY INTEREST

  1. Some helpful articles about processing the mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando:
  2. A History of the Second Amendment in Two Paintings (Ezra Klein, Wonkblog): In the wake of Orlando, a lot of people are talking about guns. This brief article from a few years ago is still one of the most insightful things I’ve read about firearms in America. The Yale professor interviewed, Dr. Amar, also wrote a lengthier article about this for Slate.
  3. Why there is a “gay ban” on blood donations (reddit): also something people are talking about since Orlando. This is a very simple explanation. The comments are informative. I find it particularly interesting that describing the situation accurately practically forces a focus on behavior and not orientation. The fact-driven explanation winds up framing things similarly to the way evangelicals talk when discussing LGBT issues.
  4. Epic Correction of the Decade (Steven Hayward, Powerline): the authors of a widely-reported study about personality types and political affiliations accidentally coded their data backwards. Their real results are the literal opposite of what you remember seeing in the news. Regardless of your political propensities, this is kinda hilarious. More at RetractionWatch.
  5. Study: schools that give away condoms see more teen births, not fewer (Sarah Kliff, Vox): “A new research paper suggests that [giving away condoms] may have backfired. It finds that access to condoms in school led to a 10 percent increase in teen births.”
  6. The Sphinx Was Disappointed In Them (G.K. Chesterton): “Now the mistake of critics is not that they criticise the world; it is that they never criticise themselves. They compare the alien with the ideal; but they do not at the same time compare themselves with the ideal; rather they identify themselves with the ideal.” Chesterton was one of the most important Christian intellectuals of the 20th century. This almost became the quote of the week.
  7. 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.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 19

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. There was a shooting at a college in Oregon yesterday. There’s a religious angle to this story, but the details are still not clear.
  2. For completely different news, read Googling For God (NY Times, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz): file under “interesting but not that surprising” (although I am surprised at the relative positions of questions 1 and 2  – I assumed they were swapped)
  3. Pope Francis and the Not-Quite-Secular West (NY Times, Ross Douthat): Secularism’s grip on America is weaker than it appears.
  4. Stop The Robot Apocalypse (Amia Srinivasan, London Review of Books): the title is misleading – this is an insightful critique of the effective altruism movement from the left.
  5. Huh. The Correlations Between Arts and Crafts and a Nobel Prize (Rosie Cima, Priceonomics).

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.