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.
- 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.’”
- From The Political Side
- The Deliberator (M. Anthony Mills, First Things): A profile of a junior senator from Nebraska who thinks the Senate is becoming too efficient. I don’t think I’ve heard this perspective before.
- A good explanation of nonviolent protest (reddit): has an interesting example of how to end a zero-tolerance policy at a high school.
- In Battle of Gay Rights Vs Individual Conscience In Missouri, Here’s A Surprising Winner (Bobby Ross, GetReligion): a click-baity title, but a solid piece that explains the actual point of conflict better than most I have seen.
- God Loved Alexander Hamilton (Susan Lim, Christianity Today) — history nerds pay attention — there’s some good stuff here.
- Random Research
- Moral Symbols: A Necklace of Garlic Against Unethical Requests (Desai & Kouchaki, Academy of Management Journal). I’m not convinced, but I am intrigued.
- When Inputs are Outputs: The Case of Graduate Student Instructors (Bettinger, Long, and Taylor, Economics of Education Review): “Undergraduates are more likely to major in a subject if their first course in the subject was taught by a graduate student .… Graduate students who teach more frequently graduate earlier and are more likely to subsequently be employed by a college or university.”
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.
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)