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
- The Exchanged Life (J. Husdon Taylor, a letter to his sister): “It little matters to my servant whether I send him to buy a few cash worth of things, or the most expensive articles. In either case he looks to me for the money, and brings me his purchases. So, if God place me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance; in positions of great difficulty, much grace; in circumstances of great pressure and trial, much strength? No fear that His resources will be unequal to the emergency!” (brought to my attention by a student, highly recommended)
- The news from Las Vegas is so heartbreaking. Here are a few pieces about it and also about the issue of guns more generally.
- After Mass Shootings, Americans Turn to Four Bible Verses Most (Kate Shellnut, Christianity Today): John 16:33, Psalm 34:18, Romans 12:19, and Psalm 11:5.
- What Is God Saying About Las Vegas? (Jared Wilson, Gospel Coalition)
- 3 Ways To Pray For Las Vegas: It’s a Powerful (Not Political) Act For Christians (Ed Stetzer, Christianity Today)
- After Sandy Hook we said never again. And then we let 1,518 mass shootings happen. (German Lopez, Ryan Mark & Soo Oh, Vox). The title is very Vox, but the statistics inside are quite interesting.
- I used to think gun control was the answer. My research told me otherwise. (Leah Libresco, Washington Post): “By the time we published our project, I didn’t believe in many of the interventions I’d heard politicians tout. I was still anti‐gun, at least from the point of view of most gun owners, and I don’t want a gun in my home, as I think the risk outweighs the benefits. But I can’t endorse policies whose only selling point is that gun owners hate them.”
- From way back in volume 48 I posted a thoughtful debate between two pastors on guns — it’s worth re‐reading.
- A Brief History of Cessationism (Thomas Kidd, Gospel Coalition): “In the 1700s and 1800s, suspicion of claimed miracles was connected to anti‐Catholicism. Protestant critics saw the Catholic tradition as riddled with fake claims of miracles. Ridiculing the fake miracle claims of Catholics (such as icons bleeding a liquid that turned out to be cherry juice) became a staple of Reformed polemics against the Catholic Church. So when seemingly miraculous events happened in Protestant churches, even sympathetic observers warned against the threat of bogus miracles.”
- The Limits of “Diversity” (Kelefa Sanneh, The New Yorker): “It is possible that ‘diversity’ will ultimately prove too weak a term to do all that is asked of it. Contemporary advocates sometimes emphasize, instead, “inclusion,” a less neutral concept, and one that gestures at the political agendas that inevitably shape these debates.”
- ‘Panicked’ London train commuters force open doors, flee onto tracks when man reads the Bible aloud (Douglas Perry, Oregon Live). I’ve said it before — our culture has replaced the fear of God with the fear of religion. It’s a poor trade.
- Why the rule of law suffers when we have too many laws (Ilya Somin, Washington Post): “Because of the vast scope of current law, in modern America the authorities can pin a crime on the overwhelming majority of people, if they really want to. Whether you get hauled into court or not depends more on the discretionary decisions of law enforcement officials than on any legal rule…. the rule of law has largely been supplanted by the rule of chance and the rule of executive discretion. Inevitably, political ideology and partisanship have a major impact on the latter. For example, federal law enforcement priorities are very different under Trump than they were under Obama.”
- Roy Moore is a fascinating figure with a compelling story. He’s the guy you might know as “that Ten Commandments judge from the South.” He is running for a seat in the US Senate and he just won the primary election and seems on track to win the general election. There are interesting times ahead as a result.
- The Resurrection of Roy Moore (Eric Velasco, Politico): “That period about sums up Moore’s long career in Alabama: He throws jabs at the system; then, when the system counterpunches, he somehow springs back up—stronger.”
- Covering Roy Moore: Is it impossible for many reporters to write fairly about him? (Julia Duin, GetReligion): “I interviewed Moore years ago in Gadsden, Ala., and was struck by this man’s adherence not so much to the Bible (which he definitely holds dear) but to the Constitution. That’s what many reporters seem to not understand about this man. He is manic on obeying the letter of the law…”
- Roy Moore disrupts U.S. Senate race in Alabama — and prepares for new level of defiance in Washington (Michael Sherer, Washington Post): I was very impressed with this piece.
Things Glen Found Amusing
- Ryan Hamilton, Happy Face (Netflix): he’s a clean, funny standup comedian. Highly recommended.
- Signs You’re Ready to Graduate (Ph.D. Comics)
- Local Christian Proud Of Himself For Loving People Who Are Exactly Like Him (Babylon Bee)
- The Perils of Dating Apps (Dilbert)
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.