Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 77

1 Chronicles 12:32 - they "understood the times"
1 Chronicles 12:32 — they “understood the times”

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. White Christian Apocalypse? (Philip Jenkins, The American Conservative): Jenkins is a well-known historian. “On one critical issue, though, contemporary debate and theorizing really is trespassing on my areas of expertise.” Jenkins unpacks some long-term trends and their implications for America’s demographic destiny.
  2. The End of Identity Liberalism (Mark Lilla, NY Times): One of the more insightful things I’ve read lately. It’s inspired by the recent election, but is about something much broader — some intrinsic weaknesses of identity politics. For a very strong reaction against it, read Making White Supremacy Respectable. Again. (Katherine Franke, LA Review of Books). Both authors are professors at Columbia, which will no doubt make for tense times in the faculty lounge.
  3. Yes, Trump will build his border wall. Most of it is already built. (Peter Andreas, Washington Post): “It is important to remember that Trump’s predecessors carefully avoided calling any new border barriers a ‘wall.’” Wow. I did not realize how much of the southern border is already barricaded. It would be helpful if reporters periodically brought this fact up for context.
  4. Trying To Think Through The Logic Of Abortion Rights (Justin Taylor, The Gospel Coalition): Taylor summarizes the arguments of two philosophy professors. For me, meditating on Luke 1:39–45 has been important when thinking about abortion. 
  5. Everyone should have the right to assisted suicide — or no one should (Felicia Nimue Ackerman, Vox): “a society that ‘pathologizes’ suicidal feelings of indignity and degradation in rape victims while endorsing them in the terminally ill is, I contend, engaging in a horrifying, odious form of bigotry.” The author is a philosophy professor at Brown.

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.

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