Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 114

On Fridays I share articles/resources about broad cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom. I welcome your suggestions. If you read something fascinating please pass it my way.

Things Glen Found Interesting

First, let me say this has been a heartbreaking week. The racism on display in Charlottesville was wicked, and if unrepented of will lead its practitioners to hell. Most of this week’s links are related:

  1. Charlottesville: Race and Terror (VICE News, Youtube link). This video is worth watching, but be warned that this is disturbing footage. The first two minutes are compelling.
  2. White supremacy angers Jesus, but does it anger his church? (Russell Moore, Washington Post): “One of the many remarkable things about the picture we get of Jesus in the Gospels is how relatively calm he is. When his disciples are panicking in a life-threatening storm, Jesus is asleep. When villages reject the message, the apostles are angered but Jesus is not. Threatened with arrest and even execution, Jesus meets his accusers with tranquility. The Scriptures show us two things that make Jesus visibly angry: religious hypocrisy and racial supremacist ideology.”
  3. After Charlottesville, black pastors are confronting how political to get (Jeff Stein, Vox): “The bloodshed has reinvigorated those pastors’ calls for their fellow clergy to preach about political issues, rather than just salvation.”
  4. ‘Jews will not replace us’: Why white supremacists go after Jews (Yair Rosenberg, Washington Post): “When white supremacists are viciously attacking Jews as nonwhite impostors, then any anti-racists worthy of the name must be there to defend them. They cannot impose their own definitions of whiteness on Jews and sidestep their plight.”
  5. Is America Headed for a New Kind of Civil War? (Robin Wright, New Yorker): “Mines concluded that the United States faces a sixty-per cent chance of civil war over the next ten to fifteen years. Other experts’ predictions ranged from five per cent to ninety-five per cent. The sobering consensus was thirty-five per cent. And that was five months before Charlottesville.” In response, read Our House Divided (Ross Douthat, New York Times): “…our divisions induce a particular anxiety because each of our two main factions reigns supreme in one particular arena. Conservatism is (somehow) politically dominant, with control of the legislative and executive branches and a remarkable power in the states. Meanwhile liberalism dominates the cultural commanding heights as never before, with not only academia and the media but also late-night television and sportswriting and even young-adult fiction more monolithically and — to conservatives — oppressively progressive. So both sides have reasons to feel threatened, disempowered and surrounded; both can feel as though they exist under a kind of enemy rule.”
  6. Political Parasites (Pete Spiliakos, First Things): “[Trump] is obdurate. He saw that his political enemies were calling for a condemnation and, in his defiance and arrogance, had to show them that they weren’t going to write his scripts.”
  7. The Rise of the Violent Left (Peter Beinart, The Atlantic): “If you believe the president of the United States is leading a racist, fascist movement that threatens the rights, if not the lives, of vulnerable minorities, how far are you willing to go to stop it?”
  8. Unmasking the leftist Antifa movement: Activists seek peace through violence (Sara Ganim and Chris Welch, CNN): “Antifa members also sometimes launch attacks against people who aren’t physically attacking them. The movement, Crow said, sees alt-right hate speech as violent, and for that, its activists have opted to meet violence with violence.”
  9. Extreme Protest Tactics Reduce Popular Support for Social Movements (Feinberg, Willer, and Kovacheff, SSRN working paper): One of the authors, Robb Willer, is a professor of sociology at Stanford. “The activist’s dilemma – wherein tactics that raise awareness also tend to reduce popular support – highlights a key challenge faced by social movements struggling to affect progressive change.”
  10. Trump Is More In Touch Than You Think (Rod Dreher, The American Conservative): “The news media have been seriously distorting public reaction to Trump’s handling of Charlottesville. Whether this is a matter of only seeing what they want to see, or a matter of the talking heads being concentrated among coastal elites of both parties, is a matter of conjecture.”
  11. Facing Our Legacy of Lynching (D. L. Mayfield, Christianity Today): “More than 4,000 African Americans were lynched between 1877 and the rise of the civil rights movement in the early 1950s. Lynching was a brutal public tactic for maintaining white supremacy, frequently used with the tacit blessing of government authorities. It was a part of my heritage I had never been taught…” Note that this piece is independent of the events in Charlottesville.

Things Glen Found Entertaining

Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago

Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have This Is What Makes Republicans and Democrats So Different (Vox, Ezra Klein): I was skeptical of this piece based on the title, but it’s insightful. (first shared in volume 32)

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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