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:
- What Would Cool Jesus Do? ( Taffy Brodesser-Akner, GQ): this is a long and amazing piece. Jewish reporter goes to Hillsong in NYC, likes it but doesn’t buy it. Fun to read and interesting throughout.
- When Abortion Suddenly Stopped Making Sense (Frederica Matthews-Green, National Review): unusually insightful. Today is the 43rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade. Vaguely related: 43 years later, a look at Norma McCorvey, the Roe of Roe v. Wade, the pro-choice poster child turned abortion opponent (Keri Blakinger, NY Daily News). The latter article is a useful reminder that people are complicated.
- Is “Slave” A Good English Translation? (Andy Naselli, personal blog): there is a 4 minute BBC video embedded at this link which is worth watching about the complexities of Bible translation, followed by many good links for digging deeper.
- No Food Is Healthy. Not Even Kale. (Michael Ruhlman, Washington Post): People can be healthy. Food can be nutritious. This is a wonderful essay about how we misuse language to our detriment. If you’re surprised I included this, I believe that our culture has a quasi-religious relationship to health and to food, and I also believe that the use of language is profoundly moral and that our culture is a linguistic mess (to which I know of no finer guide than The Underground Grammarian).
- To The Person Who Tried To Pray My Disability Away (Madylin Ullmin, The Mighty): a minister friend of mine with cerebral palsy shared this on Facebook. He prays for the sick and has seen miracles. He added this when he shared the article: “I have also experienced more than a few times in my life where a person asked to pray for my healing and if it didn’t happen, they felt they had to explain to me why God didn’t heal me right there and then. It got to the point where the person praying for me was often more disappointed than I was , which made me wonder if the person cared about me as a person, or were more concerned about a certain result. I have no doubt almost everyone means well and wants to see God heal but the way that it happens is sometimes jarring for a person who needs healing.”
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.