Glen Davis
Glen, an ordained Assemblies of God minister, is the adviser to Chi Alpha Christian Fellowship at Stanford University. He blogs and maintains a database of quotes.

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Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 456

Fri, Jun 7th 2024

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.

This is volume 456, a very satisfying number: each digit increases and I like it.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Holy Haggling: Learn to Pray like Abraham (Justin Dillehay, The Gospel Coalition): “We’re often ready to write off an otherwise good church or organization because of a few bad apples within it. But Abraham is the exact opposite—he asks God to spare an entire city of bad apples for the sake of a few good apples within it.”
    • Recommended by a student.
  2. The Nonprofit Industrial Complex and the Corruption of the American City (Jonathan Ireland, American Affairs): “Whoever came up with the idea of calling these organizations ‘nonprofits’ was a marketing genius on the level of Steve Jobs. When someone hears the word nonprofit, they assume that such an organization is working for the public good; that it serves the homeless, protects the weak, exists for the benefit and the betterment of society at large.… Consequently, nonprofits receive a benefit of the doubt that would not be granted to any other form of private corporation. Yet nonprofit organizations are frequently the exact opposite of what they appear to be.”
    • Stunning stories in here. 100% worth your time.
  3. Why the Pandemic Probably Started in a Lab, in 5 Key Points (Alina Chan, New York Times): “Ultimately, a never-before-seen SARS-like virus with a newly introduced furin cleavage site, matching the description in the Wuhan institute’s Defuse proposal, caused an outbreak in Wuhan less than two years after the proposal was drafted.…”
    • Unlocked. Emphasis removed for readability. The author is a molecular biologist at a joint MIT/Harvard institute.
  4. Men Only Want One Thing (Nathan Beacom, Comment): “Over a hundred years ago, William James, the father of American psychology, argued that men need a ‘moral equivalent of war.’ To retain virtue, James thought, men needed the soul-shaping force of military life without war’s destructive consequences.”
    • This is a solid article, especially recommended for guys. Ladies, you can eavesdrop if you like.
  5. Why No One Will Save Sudan (Cameron Hudson, Persuasion): “For those tracking events in the country, a seemingly endless thread of headlines and editorials lament this ‘forgotten conflict.’ But this is the wrong framing. The crisis in Sudan is neither forgotten nor ignored. It is de-prioritized. And that is worse.… Over the past several weeks, a new Benghazi-like slaughter has been taking shape in the North Darfur city of El Fasher. With nearly one million internally displaced already taking refuge there and more than one million more awaiting a coming onslaught by the Rapid Support Forces militia, which has promised to take the city and complete their takeover of all of Darfur, the specter of genocide once again hangs over the region. Egress out of the city has been cut off, as have aid flows into the city, leading analysts to refer to the city as a ‘kill box.’ ”
  6. Does Divorce Make You Hotter? (Kat Rosenfield, The Free Press): “…[celebratory stories about divorce are] a product of a popular ‘woman empowered by everything woman does’ paradigm, where all choices made by women are a product of liberation, hence feminist, hence good. There is no error or disappointment that can’t be yass-kweened away.… It’s only women who are seen as requiring this particular brand of cheerleading, who are relentlessly encouraged to reframe all their negative experiences as the best thing they ever did.”
    • Straight fire throughout. Recommended.
  7. Speech Under the Shadow of Punishment (Jeannie Suk Gersen, New Yorker): “…administrators have become accustomed to using punishment as a go-to solution rather than as a last resort. The emphasis on disciplinary action became particularly pronounced in the twenty-tens, when universities were under urgent pressure to address campus sex discrimination and harassment.… [furthermore] some students may have been disciplined not merely for participating in an encampment but for violating discrimination, harassment, or bullying policies. The pressure to enforce those policies cannot be overstated. In the twenty-tens, the Department of Education investigated many schools, including Harvard, for failing to adequately address allegations of sexual misconduct; universities today are once again under federal scrutiny, which threatens their federal funding and tax-exempt status, for failing to address allegations of antisemitism.”
    • The author is a law prof at Harvard.

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

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In the time of King David, the tribe of Issachar produced shrewd warriors “who understood the times and knew what Israel should do” (1 Chron 12:32). In a similar way, we need to become wise people whose faith interacts with the world. I pray this email gives you greater insight, so that you may continue the tradition of Issachar.


Chi Alpha is not a partisan organization. To paraphrase another minister: we are not about the donkey’s agenda and we are not about the elephant’s agenda — we are about the Lamb’s agenda. Having said that, I read widely (in part because I believe we should aspire to pass the ideological Turing test and in part because I do not believe I can fairly say “I agree” or “I disagree” until I can say “I understand”) and may at times share articles that have a strong partisan bias simply because I find the article stimulating. The upshot: you should not assume I agree with everything an author says in an article I mention, much less things the author has said in other articles (although if I strongly disagree with something in the article I’ll usually mention it). And to the extent you can discern my opinions, please understand that they are my own and not necessarily those of Chi Alpha or any other organization I may be perceived to represent. 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 this was forwarded to you and you want to receive future emails, sign up here. You can also view the archives.

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Paula Davis
Paula, a licensed minister with the Assemblies of God, also serves with Chi Alpha.

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