Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 400

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.

Volume 400… it’s big and round. It’s also a square number. Much to like about 400.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Treat Students Like Future Parents, Not Just Future Employees (Mary Frances Myler, The Public Discourse): “Even though students may not always think of themselves as such, it is fully reasonable for universities to treat them as future spouses and parents. Indeed, it is odd that universities instill the knowledge and habits that empower a student to climb the corporate ladder after graduation but ignore the virtues proper to familial vocations.… The difficulty of balancing the pursuit of a career and having a family is nothing new; it just isn’t talked about at universities. Starting the conversation would help the students who already know that they desire marriage and a family, and it would open a new horizon to those who haven’t considered these possibilities for their future.”
  2. Demons be gone: meeting America’s new exorcists (Elle Hardy, The Guardian): “There are only three things you need to get Satan out of your life: a bucket, a pen and Brother Mike’s two-page questionnaire. Unlike those megachurch preachers and their plastic smiles, Brother Mike Smith doesn’t make outlandish claims – not in his mind, at least. He’s not peddling ‘crap’, he says. As the leader of a modest ministry he calls Hardcore Christianity in downtown Phoenix, Arizona, he only claims that he can set you free from demons 100% of the time – if you follow his instructions to the letter.”
    • This article is a wild ride. Definitely a jaw-dropping moment with Don and Lily at the end.
  3. They’re the Happiest People in America. We Called Them to Ask Why. (Aaron Zitner, Wall Street Journal):“America’s happiest people have a few traits in common: They value community and close personal relationships. They tend to believe in God. And they generally are older, often in their retirement years.” Recommended by a student.
  4. Great News for Female Academics! (Alex Tabarrok, Marginal Revolution): “In an extensive survey, meta-analysis, and new research, Ceci, Kahn and Williams show that the situation for women in academia is in many domains good to great. For example, in hiring for tenure the evidence is strong that women are advantaged. Moreover, women are advantaged especially in fields where they have relatively low representation (GEMP: geosciences, engineering, economics, mathematics/computer science, and physical science).… It should be noted that the Ceci, Kahn and Williams paper is an adversarial collaboration”
  5. After Fasting Deaths, Kenyan Police Find Dozens Buried on Preacher’s Property (Christianity Today): “In the forest compound owned by the founder of Good News International Church, Kenyan police have discovered dozens of starving people and 65 bodies buried in unmarked graves. They arrested two people who weren’t starving: the church’s leader, Paul Mackenzie, and Mackenzie’s ministry partner, pastor Zablon Wa Yesu.… The [National Council of Churches] called on citizens to avoid churches that do not have a proper governance structure, refuse to meet in the open, or rely on a pastor to pray for members instead of being encouraged to pray to God themselves.”
    • The difference between a quirky church and a flat-out toxic church is not so subtle as some people suppose.
  6. Elite Law Schools Boycotted the U.S. News Rankings. Now, They May Be Paying a Price. (Anemona Hartocollis, New York TImes): “Last week, U.S. News previewed its first rankings since the boycott — for the top dozen or so law and medical schools only — and now, it seems, many of these same schools care quite a lot about their portrayal in the publication’s pecking order.… ‘The level of interest in our rankings, including from those schools that decline to participate in our survey, has been beyond anything we have experienced in the past,’ U.S. News wrote on its website, explaining why it was delaying the release.”
  7. Lean Into Negative Emotions. It’s the Healthy Thing to Do (Melinda Wenner Moyer, NYT): “Avoiding or suppressing feelings can be counterproductive, too. In a small clinical trial, researchers asked people to put one of their hands into an ice water bath and to either accept their feelings of pain or to suppress them. Those who tried to suppress their feelings reported more pain and couldn’t endure the ice water for as long as those who accepted their discomfort … If we aren’t focusing our time and energy on critiquing our feelings, we have more time and energy to better our lives and change the world.” Recommended by a student.

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 How To Get Out Of The Friend Zone (Aaron Renn, The Masculinist): “Friendships between men and women have the characteristic that they often evolve into asymmetry of intent, which is exploitative if it persists…. remember, just as no woman is under any obligation to go out on a date with a man such as you, you are under no obligation to be a friend to women.” Every once in a while I like to toss out something sure to rile people up, just to make sure you’re all paying attention. From volume 277

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.

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