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.
- 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).
- 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.”
- 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.’”
- 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.”
- As the election draws ever closer, some stimulating content:
- Should Christians Vote For the Lesser of Two Evils? (Russell Moore, Christianity Today). tl;dr — no.
- What are the Core Differences Between Republicans and Democrats? (Tyler Cowen, blog): the author is an economist at George Mason University. Related: What A Divided America Actually Hears When Obama Speaks (Greg Jaffe, Washington Post). See especially the GetReligion commentary on the latter article.
- Why Exit Pollsters Desperately Need To Get Religion (Brian Kaylor, Washington Post).
- And because there is such a pervasive impression that evangelicals love Donald Trump, I feel compelled to share this quote “I did find one soft spot in Trump’s support. Regular, weekly church attendance — as measured by a standard Pew Research question included in my survey — predicted a statistically significant and substantive opposition to Trump” from The best predictor of Trump support isn’t income, education, or age. It’s authoritarianism (Matthew McWilliams, Vox). Related: 8 Charts On Which Evangelicals Will (And Won’t) Vote Trump on Super Tuesday (Christianity Today).
- Finally, Pearls Before Swine nails how many seem to be feeling.
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 emails are archived at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links (you can also sign up to receive them at that site)