Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 44

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. How Covenants Make Us (David Brooks, NYT): “A contract protects interests, Pally notes, but a covenant protects relationships. A covenant exists between people who understand they are part of one another. It involves a vow to serve the relationship that is sealed by love: Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people. People in a contract provide one another services, but people in a covenant delight in offering gifts.”
  2. When Religious Groups Do What the Government Won’t (Alana Semuels, The Atlantic): interesting throughout.
  3. Let’s Make Football A College Major (David Johnson, Aeon): I am largely persuaded. If a performance art can be a major, then why not a sport such as football? At least give athletes academic credit for the work they put in.
  4. Is It Time for American Christians to Disobey the Government? (David Koyzis, Christianity Today): the piece is much less alarmist than the title suggests. Worth reading.
  5. PIN Analysis (Nick Berry, blog): this is a pretty cool analysis of the distribution of four digit PIN codes.
  6. Finally, some articles by students in or alumni from our ministry. If you get something published, be sure to let me know!

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. Your suggestions are welcome.

 

 

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 43

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. Middle Knowledge and the Calvinist‐Arminian Debate (Craig Blomberg, personal blog): This is what I was talking about in my sermon this week. Also see the YouTube video where Dr. William Lane Craig explains it to a Sunday School class.
  2. What Apple’s Encryption Fight Has To Do With Religious Freedom (Chelsea Langston, Christianity Today): “[Apple’s] example reminds us of the broad importance of protecting organizations—both secular and religious, for‐profit and non-profit—from compulsion to act against their most foundational values.”
  3. How To Hack An Election (Jordan Robertson, Michael Riley, and Andrew Willis, Bloomberg Businessweek): this is a fascinating and unsettling article. ‘On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal. “I’m 100 percent sure it is,” he says.’
  4. Is Islam a Religion of Peace? A Former Muslim Weighs In. (Dargan Thompson, Relevant Magazine): “What I’m saying is the foundations of Islam—I’m talking about the Quran and the life of Muhammed—are very violent. Islam can be formulated in non‐violent ways, but to do so, you have to depart from its foundations, as many Muslims do.”
  5. Religion is the Foundation of Democracy and Prosperity (Clayton Christensen, Mormon Perspectives): the author, a Harvard professor, talks about a conversation he had with a friend, “I learned the importance of religion for the strength of democracy and capitalism in a conversation 12 years ago with a Marxist economist from China who was nearing the end of a Fulbright Fellowship in Boston. I asked my friend if he had learned here anything that was surprising or unexpected. His response was immediate and, to me, quite profound: ‘I had no idea how critical religion is to the functioning of democracy and capitalism.’ ”
  6. Personal Love and the Call to Chastity (Samantha Schroeder, The Public Discourse): there is a lot I like and a lot I don’t like about this article.
  7. Here’s Every Biblical Reference in ‘Hamilton’ (Alissa Wilkinson, Christianity Today): of interest to the Hamilton fanatics who seem to abound in Chi Alpha.

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 (you can also have your non‐Stanford friends sign up to receive them at that site)

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 40

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 KKK, White Power, and Racism (Chi Alpha’s Driving Diversity blog): “I woke up a little after midnight unable to sleep. On Facebook, an African American student from one of our Chi Alpha groups messaged me asking for my prayers and help. The KKK is handing out flyers in his town (more flyers).“
  2. An Evangelical Movement Takes On Climate Change (Tik Root, Newsweek): “Appalled, Keys founded a nonprofit called Jesus People Against Pollution in 1992, and for more than two decades that’s been her mission. She calls it her ‘kingdom assignment’ from God.“
  3. Defining Evangelicals In An Election Year (Anderson and Stetzer, Christianity Today): “The desire to survey white evangelicals to determine their political interests inadvertently ends up conveying two ideas that are not true: that ‘evangelical’ means ‘white’ and that evangelicals are primarily defined by their politics…. Broken out by ethnicity, 29 percent of whites, 44 percent of African Americans, 30 percent of Hispanics, and 17 percent of people from other ethnicities have evangelical beliefs.” Related: The Myth of the Evangelical Trump Voters (Darren Guerra, First Things): “the anti‐Trump vote amongst all evangelicals in the country might reach 80–90% once non‐Republican primary voters are accounted for.” 
  4. This Is A Good Story About Growing Up Evangelical (Laura Turner, Jezebel): “It is rare to hear someone in mainstream media acknowledge that they are glad to be or have been evangelical, even though about a quarter of Americans are evangelical.” The author is John and Nancy Ortberg’s daughter and is on staff with City Church in San Francisco.
  5. Remembering India’s Christian Martyrs Should Be a Church Priority (Thomas Allen, Crux): “In August, 2008, hostility toward the Christian “other” exploded in Kandhamal, leaving roughly 100 people dead, thousands injured, 300 churches and 6,000 homes destroyed, and 50,000 people displaced, many of them forced to hide in nearby forests where more died of hunger and snakebites.”
  6. The Obama Doctrine (Jeffrey Goldberg, The Atlantic): This is really long. Fascinating, but for political junkies only.
  7. As promised in the meetings, some sources to corroborate my claims about the beneficial impact of missions: The Defender of the Good News, Questioning Lamin Sanneh (an interview at Christianity Today), Sanneh’s books Translating the Message: The Missionary Impact On Culture (BV2063 .S23 1989), Abolitionists Abroad : American Blacks and the Making of Modern West Africa (DT476.S26 1999) and Disciples of All Nations: Pillars of World Christianity (available on reserve at the circulation desk and also available online), the works of Rodney Stark such as How The West Won (CB245 .S715 2014, also available online), The Triumph of Christianity (BR145.3 .S73 2011),  For The Glory of God (BL221 .S747 2003) and, of course, the article I always allude to: The Missionary Roots of Liberal Democracy (Woodberry, American Political Science Review)
  8. Quick Links:

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 (you can also sign up to receive them at that site)

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 39

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. This is the research paper behind the story I shared in my sermon this week: Spontaneous Human Speech Mimicry By A Cetacean (Current Biology), a readable summary is The Whale Who Talked (Nature) and to hear it yourself, here is a one minute YouTube video about Noc. (the video describes his voice as kazoolike, which is apt).
  2. How The Church Helps Black Men Flourish In America (Wilcox and Wolfinger, The Atlantic): “The black church’s success validates the cultural arguments made by conservatives and the structural arguments made by liberals regarding race in America.”
  3. Who Are The Gay Evangelicals? (Molly Worthen, NY Times):  “In an era when gay marriage is legal and a range of gay Christians are modeling different ways to reconcile sexuality and faith, are the decisions of young believers like Lanira Postell still a result of coercion and confused self‐hatred? I asked her what she thought about those liberal critics who might think so. ‘I understand where they’re coming from, that to them what I’m doing doesn’t make any sense,’ she said. ‘That’s why being a Christian is not common. It’s weird. It is unnatural for me to deny myself what I desire, but I do it because of the love of God.’”
  4. Are You A Feminist If You Always Let Him Pay? (Amanda Fitzsimmons, Elle): definitely not written from a Christian perspective. I found it fascinating throughout and insightful at points. “…of all the myriad reasons I’ve entertained as to why a guy didn’t call me or a friend back (and, believe me, I’ve not lacked for creativity in this area), the fact that we didn’t offer to pay the bill never once occurred to me.”
  5. As the election draws ever closer, some stimulating content:

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 (you can also sign up to receive them at that site)

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 38

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. From The Theology Side:
    • Was Jesus Neither a Democrat Nor a Republican? (Michael Kruger, blog): Kruger argues that this is a misleading and trivially true statement.
    • The Mega Churches of Lagos (Andrew Esiebo, The Guardian): this is a collection of pictures. The third picture is mind‐blowing.
    • Transcript: Rev. Paul Scalia’s Eulogy for His Father Justice Antonin Scalia (Paul Scalia, USA Today): it’s rare to find a funeral sermon for a famous person that is this theologically rich. Being Protestant there are bits I would quibble with, but wow.
    • What Conservative Gay Christians Want (Dan Hitchens, The Spectator): a perspective rarely heard in mainstream media: “When Shaw writes in praise of the ‘real elements of beauty’ in gay relationships, or laments how the C of E’s ‘hypocrisy’ has ‘hurt a lot of people’, he sounds like a liberal Anglican. At other times, he sounds like anything but. Sex is ‘not a small issue that we can afford to disagree on’, he says; ‘marriage between a man and a woman, union in difference, sex within that’ is one of the most important ‘pictures of God’s love for us’. The Bible starts with a marriage in Eden and ends with a marriage between Christ and the Church. ‘It’s not just a couple of verses in Leviticus that we need to change,’ Shaw argues: reconstructing marriage would mean ‘ripping out the heart of almost every part of scripture’.”
    • Three Lies Every Campus Minister Must Silence (Paul  Worcester, Campus Ministry Today): this article has an amazing close. Even if you skim the article, devour the testimony at the end. You never know the impact you have.
    • An Economist’s Rational Road to Christianity (Eric Falkenstein, personal blog): one man’s journey to conversion. It’s a bit long. The author’s Ph.D. is from Northwestern University, he works in industry, and has published two well‐received books. My favorite line is “in the words of a famous short green deist, ‘Do, or do not, there is no try.’”
  2. From The Political Side
  3. God Loved Alexander Hamilton (Susan Lim, Christianity Today) — history nerds pay attention — there’s some good stuff here.
  4. Random Research

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 editions are archived at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links (you can also sign up to receive them via email at that site)

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 37

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.

Also, I normally include articles from a variety of sources, but this week I noticed that I’m including a bunch from GetReligion. I guess they’ve been on fire lately. 

  1. Death, The Prosperity Gospel, and Me (Kate Bowler, NY Times): This piece is moving and funny and also not quite right… despite her study she still misunderstands some aspects of the Charismatic and Pentecostal world. All in all well worth reading. “No word of a lie: I once saw a megachurch pastor almost choke to death on his own fog machine. Someone had cranked it up to the Holy Spirit maximum.”
  2. Think Pieces on Justice Scalia, Funeral Sermons, Humility, and the First Amendment (Terry Mattingly, GetReligion): Scalia was such a fascinating man.I like what one of our lawyer alumni posted on Facebook: “Justice Scalia! You wrote your opinions with so much life, I guess I thought you’d never die. The world has lost a great grumpy conservative. Rest easy.”
  3. Why Is The Atlantic Surprised That Early Pro‐Lifers Were, Uh, Liberals? (Julia Dulin, GetReligion): This is an article about some articles about a book. Meta but fascinating.
  4. Little Sisters of the Poor on Supreme Court case: Why we can’t “just sign the form” (Constance Veit, Catholic Review): Mother Theresa’s compatriots explain their conscientious objection in their own words.
  5. Vote For Trump! Vote For Hilary! Vote For Jesus At This Racially Diverse S.C. Megachurch! (Bobby Ross, GetReligion): Interesting. Also, a reminder that reporters’ perspectives on churches often miss significant details.  “None of the roughly 1,300 words in the Times report is ‘Jesus.’”
  6. Causes and Consequences of the Protestant Reformation (Becker, Pfaff & Rubin, a working paper): There’s a lot here. Recommended for social scientists. One cool bit: “They argue that the spread of university students from Protestant strongholds (Wittenberg and Basel, the intellectual homes of Luther and Zwingli) and orthodox Catholic strongholds (Cologne and Louvain) had a significant impact on whether a town ultimately adopted the Reformation.” Which is a very fancy way of saying God uses university students.
  7. On the random side:

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 34

Here are some things I found interesting this week. See the bottom for context.

  1. On The Viability of Conspiratorial Beliefs (David Robert Grimes, PLOS One): Oxford physicist Grimes came up with an equation that shows how likely a conspiracy will be to succeed under ideal conditions. Of particular interest is the chart on the bottom of page 11, showing that a conspiracy with more than 502 people has a 95% likelihood of exposure after just 25 years. Reading that puts 1 Corinthians 15:3–6 in a new light: “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.” Please note that there are all kinds of assumptions in the paper that are subject to challenge… but if one of your friends brings this study up you should mention this passage to them. 🙂
  2. Certitude And Seeking The Truth (Peter Wehner, Commentary). Recommended by an alumnus (the recommendation was actually for a blog post excerpting this article, but I thought the whole thing was worth reading — it aligns nicely with my disclaimer at the bottom).
  3. My Major, Myself: (Olga Khazan, The Atlantic). What does your major reveal (probabilistically) about your personality?
  4. Why Humans Find It Hard To Do Away With Religion (John Gray, The New Statesman): Gray is himself an atheist. My favorite line: “The inveterate human inclination to religion is, in effect, the atheist problem of evil.” This isn’t quite right but it is amusing.
  5. People Can Be Convinced They Committed A Non‐Existant Crime In Just Three Hours (Bec Crew, Science Alert). Disturbing. This is a summary of the findings of an academic paper: Constructing Rich False Memories of Committing Crime (Shaw & Porter, Psychological Science).
  6. How Religion Is Shaping the 2016 Presidential Race (Pew Research). If politics is your thing, this article will be interesting.
  7. Are Academics Disproportionately Gay? (Colleen Flaherty, Inside Higher Education). The tl;dr version is yes.

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.

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). 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 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 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 28

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. Paying, Praying It Forward (Houston Chronicle, Maggie Gordon): an inspiring story — also not very long. If you just want a boost as finals draw near, read this one and skip down to the quick links.
  2. San Bernadino Victim Was Upfront About Politics and Religion — With Farook Too (LA Times, Veronica Rocha): one of the shooting victims had been witnessing to one of the shooters in the days before the carnage. See some reflection on this issue at Another First Amendment Ghost: Did Debate With Evangelical Trigger Farook? (GetReligion, Terry Mattingly).
  3. Why The Pro‐Life Movement Opposes Violence (NY Times, Ross Douthat). “Given anti‐abortion premises, why is it not obviously reasonable to take up arms against abortion providers? Why isn’t the pro‐lifer who shoots an abortionist just like a man or woman who uses deadly force against a would‐be child murderer — a vigilante, yes, but also a heroic one?” See also Russell Moore for a more theological approach in Is Pro‐Life Rhetoric Deadly?
  4. Related to the stories that inspired the pieces in the two previous bullet points: How Many Mass Shootings Are There, Really? (NY Times, Mark Follman). It turns out that there’s not a commonly accepted way to quantify the data. I found this piece fascinating. Follman is the national affairs editor of Mother Jones.
  5. Who Influences Whom? Reflections on U.S. Government Outreach to Think Tanks (Brookings Institute, Jeremy Shapiro): this is an engaging peek behind the curtains at a world some of you will wind up entering.
  6. Why The Public Can’t Read The Press (The Atlantic, John Heltman): this piece is a bit long for my taste, but the subject is important. There’s a lot of good journalism you will never be given the chance to see.
  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.

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.