Welcome to issue 104: this is my two-year anniversary of these (kind of — I’ve taken a few weeks off along the way). In case you’re reading for the first time, every Friday I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues.
In honor of the two year milestone, I’m doing a special edition: instead of linking to specific articles that caught my attention recently, this week I want to highlight thinkers I consistently find helpful. I don’t always agree with them, but I find their writing stimulating.
Authors Glen Regularly Finds Interesting
- Russell Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention. When you don’t know what I think about something, see if Russell Moore has written about it. Odds are we’re on the same page. Here are a few things I’ve linked to from him before:
- Little Sisters, Big Case (The Hill, March 2016)
- Is Pro-Life Rhetoric Deadly? (personal blog, December 2015)
- Evangelicals Won’t Cave (First Things, October 2015)
- There’s a well-done (although slightly snarky) profile of him in the New Yorker (November 2016)
- Tyler Cowen — an economist at George Mason University. Cowen is a libertarian and an atheist and I frequently disagree with him. But I love reading his blog. Here are some posts I’ve highlighted before:
- The Culture of Guns, The Culture of Alcohol (blog, April 2013)
- What are the core differences between Republicans and Democrats? (blog, March 2016)
- Why Brexit happened and what it means (blog, June 2016)
- Doug Wilson — a pastor in Moscow, ID. This guy is super-controversial and I love reading him. Even when I disagree with him I usually learn something. Here are some things I’ve highlighted from him:
- American Jesus (blog, January 2016)
- Six articles about guns (blog, May 2016)
- A Fight In The Leper Colony (blog, October 2016)
- There’s a 2009 profile of him: The Controversalist (Christianity Today)
- Megan McArdle — a journalist for Bloomberg View. I always find her views insightful. She’s more politically wonky and theologically confused than the other entries on this list, but she’s got intriguing opinions about almost everything. Things she’s written that I’ve featured before:
- Verily I Say Unto You: Christians Care About the Poor (May 2015)
- What We Don’t Know About False Claims of Rape (June 2015)
- Tallying Right-Wing Terror vs. Jihad (June 2015)
- Mollie Hemingway — an editor at The Federalist who is increasingly doing television spots. She’s a devout Lutheran and is endlessly entertaining to me. These caught my eye:
- 4 Recent Examples Show Why No One Trusts Media ‘Fact Checks’ (February 2017)
- Kentucky Clerk Didn’t Follow Christianity Before Converting To It (September 2015)
- Media Want To Make Sure You Never Hear About ‘The Little Sisters Of The Poor’ (May 2016)
- There’s a profile of her at the Independent Women’s Forum
- Scott Alexander — this is the pseudonym of a psychiatrist who blogs prolifically at Slate Star Codex. He is an atheist with complicated political views. Always fun to read. Here are a few things I’ve linked:
- Some Groups of People Who May Not 100% Deserve Our Eternal Scorn (February 2017)
- Book Review: Seeing Like A State (March 2017)
- Silicon Valley: A Reality Check (May 2017)
- He also wrote an internet novel called Unsong. It’s got a clever, explicitly religious setup.
- I’ve left out a lot of other people such as Matthew Lee Anderson, Jeannie Suk Gersen, David French, Rod Dreher, Freddie DeBoer, Ross Douthat, Conor Friedersdorf, Justin Taylor, Kevin DeYoung, Joe Carter and more. If you’re ever bored, search for their names and see if you find them as intriguing as I do.
Things Glen Often Finds Amusing
- Babylon Bee — a Christian satire site
- Would I Lie To You? A panel comedy show on the BBC
- xkcd — a nerdy webcomic (sometimes I need explain xkcd to get it)
- SMBC — a webcomic of special interest to academics
- Basic Instructions — a now defunct webcomic on rerun
- Dilbert — a comic
- Pearls Before Swine — a comic
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.
Archives at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links.