Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 391

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.

This is volume 391, which is a product of two of my favorite prime numbers. 391 = 17 * 23.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Facts Don’t Care About Your Healings (Samuel D. James, Substack): “Historically, ‘justice’ is about law. There’s an objective givenness to it that transcends personal narrative or experience, which helps to explain why justice historically has been right-coded. But this is no longer true. ‘Justice’ is left-coded because it has become narratival. Justice is what people talk about when they talk about their personal experiences. Justice is the subtext of people speaking their truth.”
    • This is an exceptionally acute bit of cultural analysis. Recommended for its core insight.
  2. America’s Culture Is Booming. Really. (Ted Goia, The Free Press): “Consider the fact that there are now 36 YouTube channels with more than 50 million subscribers—each of these has far more reach than any record label or newspaper.… Can all this transform our culture? The simple fact is that it already has. And it will continue to do so at an accelerating rate.”
    • There are some shocking stats in here even if you already know the broad outlines. Recommended.
  3. The Bitter End of “Content” (Freddie deBoer, Substack): “So long as advertising is the dominant funding source of the online world, any and every creative platform will be a race to the bottom. People will find ways to abuse the system to receive attention and money based on nothing more than manipulation.”
    • This essay is built around a really important insight. It’s worth reading.
  4. More on Asbury. I find it interesting that the New York Times, CNN, and the Washington Post all published relatively solid articles about it.
    • ‘No Celebrities Except Jesus’: How Asbury Protected the Revival (Daniel Silliman, Christianity Today): “By evening the crowd had grown to about 3,000, and the university had to set up overflow rooms. At the same time, an uncoordinated infrastructure of support began to appear. An Asbury student set up a table and started handing out tea and coffee. She said Jesus told her to. A woman in Indianapolis baked chocolate chip cookies for a full day and then drove down to give them away. A professor went and got cases of bottled water. Pizza appeared, unbidden, along with homemade potato soup, cake, a table of protein bars, and what one volunteer called ‘all the Chick-fil‑A.’ Someone volunteered to start organizing housing and put up signs with QR codes that people could scan to start the process of finding a place to sleep.”
      • I’ve unlocked the paywall for this one. Recommended for the behind-the-scenes info. Also, the “all the Chick-fil‑A” line made me chuckle.
    • ‘Woodstock’ for Christians: Revival Draws Thousands to Kentucky Town (Ruth Graham, New York Times): “The university estimates that the revival has drawn more than 50,000 people to Wilmore, a sleepy town of 6,000 people where the grocery store hosts a weekly Bible study and police cars read ‘In God We Trust.’ Asbury was founded in 1890, and its roots are in the Methodist and Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, which has a historical emphasis on transformative movements of the Holy Spirit.”
      • I have unlocked the paywall for this article. Includes details that are not in other articles I have read.
    • Why Students in Kentucky Have Been Praying for 250 Hours (Olivia Reingold, The Free Press): “It all started on Wednesday, February 8, when Zach Meerkreebs, a volunteer soccer coach who had addressed the student body only twice before, gave an improvised sermon about love.… In a final, kind of corny throwaway line, he said: ‘I pray that this sits on you guys like an itchy sweater, and you gotta itch, you gotta take care of it.’ Meerkreebs told me he was certain that he had ‘totally whiffed’ the sermon, and immediately got off stage and texted his wife, ‘Latest stinker. I’ll be home soon.’ ”
      • What a wonderful anecdote.
    • A nonstop worship gathering at a Kentucky school echoes an old Christian tradition (AJ Willingham, CNN): “The Asbury Revival, as it has been called, has captured the attention and imagination of every possible circle in the expansive Venn diagram of Christianity. Among their endless debates are some questions likely shared by those on the outside, looking in at the commotion: What in the world is going on here? And what, exactly, is a Christian revival?”
    • Opinion: What is Revival—and is it Happening at Asbury? (Craig Keener, The Roys Report): “Calvinists dominated the First Great Awakening, the Hebrides Revival, and the West Timor Revival. Wesleyans dominated the Second Great Awakening, the Azusa Street Revival, and the 1950 and 1970 Asbury Revivals. Witnesses from the West Timor Revival reported a sound like a rushing wind. Witnesses from the revival at Pandita Ramabai’s orphanage in India reported tongues of fire. Miraculous signs accompanied evangelism in the Shandong Revival. Why should an infinite God fit our boxes?”
      • Keener is an eminent New Testament scholar at Asbury Seminary (and, I might add, a graduate of my own seminary — AGTS).
    • Nonstop worship service at a Kentucky college is spreading through TikTok (Amber Ferguson, Washington Post): “Asbury University is no stranger to revivals but thanks to social media the latest gathering has sparked both national and international attention, attracting groups of students from at least 22 colleges and universities to descend upon its campus, and even gaining the support of former vice president Mike Pence, who tweeted his support of the movement.”
      • Pence apparently got saved while visiting Asbury years ago.
      • Also, the byline is surprising. She’s not one of their religion beat specialists.
  5. Time to Think by Hannah Barnes review – what went wrong at Gids? (Rachel Cooke, The Guardian): “Hannah Barnes’s book about the rise and calamitous fall of the Gender Identity Development Service for children (Gids), a nationally commissioned unit at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust in north London, is the result of intensive work, carried out across several years.… As Barnes makes perfectly clear, this isn’t a culture war story. This is a medical scandal, the full consequences of which may only be understood in many years’ time.”
    • Not much new here if you’ve been following. But the info is becoming more and more widespread.
  6. Selling a Positive Culture War Message (Richard Hanania, Substack): “The high-status way to oppose wokeness runs away from conspiracy theories, which are not only false and stupid, but have the added effect of portraying one’s opponents as extremely smart, successful, and competent. High-status opposition to wokeness is not only better electorally, but will bring higher quality individuals to the cause that will be willing and able to focus on making important policy changes.”
    • Mostly about presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, but also about larger issues of politics. Quite interesting.
  7. Do masks work? (Katelyn Jetelina & Kristen Panthagani, Substack): “The scientific ‘arc’ of mask discovery is ongoing. Science is always evolving. Do not let anyone convince you of a one word answer to the question: Do masks work? It depends.”

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago

Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have New Research Shows Religious Liberty Drives Human Flourishing – And Why This Matters Now More Than Ever (Christos Makridis, Real Clear Religion): “…religious liberty is an integral prerequisite for democratic governance, aiding the process for civic engagement and women’s empowerment and reducing the potential for public and political corruption.” Christos is an alumnus of our ministry. From volume 270.

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). And to the extent you can discern my opinions, please understand that they are my own and not necessarily those of Chi Alpha or any other organization I may be perceived to represent. 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. If this was forwarded to you and you want to receive future emails, sign up here. You can also view the archives.

Leave a Reply