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 407, which is the sum of the cubes of its digits: 43 + 03 + 73
Things Glen Found Interesting
- Is Religion Good for Your Health? (David DeSteno, Wall Street Journal): “Ongoing surveys like these, as well as more targeted studies, show a strong link between religion and better physical and mental health. Of course, this doesn’t mean that religion should be prescribed as a medicine, either in addition to or in place of other established treatments. The choice to be spiritually active is a personal one, and religion is only one of many factors that affect health. Nonetheless, it’s time for health sciences to take religion seriously and consider what it offers the body and mind.”
- The author is a psych prof at Northeastern. In this essay he alludes to Tyler VanderWeele’s research which I have spotlighted on many occasions.
- Richard Dawkins’ Ex-Right-Hand Man Comes to Christ! (Living Waters, YouTube): fifty-five minutes long (nearly an hour!). Recommended by a student. The testimony itself kicks in at 37 minutes in.
- Trump’s Justices Didn’t Doom Affirmative Action. Demography Did. (Christopher Caldwell, New York Times): “The arrival of large numbers of immigrants over the past half-century has upset the logic of affirmative action in several ways. For one thing, white Americans no longer dominate the educational system. (They make up only 22 percent of the Stanford class of 2026, for instance.) Early on, affirmative action was also extended to Latinos, whose numbers continue to grow. In addition, African and Caribbean immigrants and their children now account for more than 40 percent of the Black enrollment in the Ivy League, which risks crowding out the people that affirmative action was originally intended to help.”
- Paywall is unlocked.
- Should Women Preach? Huge Majorities of Evangelical Think They Should (Ryan Burge, Substack): “I don’t know how many ways I can show this: the support for women preaching on Sunday morning from behind the pulpit is strong among evangelicals. Even among those who say that the Bible is literally true and attend church every week, 74% are in favor of women preaching.”
- Emphasis in original.
- Universities Shouldn’t Be Ideological Churches (Robert P. George, The Atlantic): “If academic units are permitted to make statements on political issues, then the following will be the case: When considering a job or tenure candidate, voting faculty members will anticipate that he or she, if appointed, will vote on future political statements. So they will perfectly reasonably want to know, and will take into account, the candidate’s ideological leanings and political views and affiliations in deciding whether to support or oppose the appointment.… After all, voting on political statements—if departments were to be authorized to do so and chose to act on that authorization—would be one of the things a faculty member is, as a practical matter, hired to do.”
- Robbie George is a gem.
- I would post more content from The Atlantic but I don’t have a subscription and their paywall is pretty limiting.
- How Assisted Suicide Destroys the Loved Ones Left Behind (Jonathon Van Maren, First Things): “The simple, central argument of the suicide activists is that the right to bodily autonomy includes the right to suicide, and that legalization is necessary in order to reduce suffering in society. The reality we see unfolding tells a very different story. Far from reducing suffering, assisted suicide has become the catalyst for spreading it. In many if not most cases, a death by lethal injection transfers temporal suffering to heartbroken loved ones who struggle to process what has taken place.”
- The illusion of moral decline (Adam Mastroianni, Substack): “…two well-known psychological phenomena can combine to produce an illusion of moral decline.… Biased exposure means that things always look outrageous: murder and arson and fraud, oh my! Biased memory means the outrages of yesterday don’t seem so outrageous today. When things always look bad today but brighter yesterday, congratulations pal, you got yourself an illusion of moral decline. We call this mechanism BEAM (Biased Exposure and Memory), and it fits with some of our more surprising results.”
Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen
- Dance (SMBC)
- Jael Lists Her Camping Gear As ‘Gently Used’ (Babylon Bee)
- Be Yourself (Pearls Before Swine): not funny, just facts
- ‘All Are Welcome Here,’ Says Sign in Neighborhood Where Average Home Costs $2 Million (Reductress)
- Failure (Pearls Before Swine)
- Transformation (The Far Side)
- Free Books (Pearls Before Swine)
- Narrative (SMBC) — human nature
- How to crack eggs perfectly (Twitter)
Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago
Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have What Christian Citizens Owe Government Leaders (George P. Wood, Influence Magazine): “In this new year, with a new presidential administration, let us renew our commitment to praying for our government officials, to sharing the gospel with them, to obeying the law and respecting the lawgivers, and to holding them accountable while giving them our good example! These are the basic duties of Christian citizenship.” This is an excellent summary. Disclaimer: the author is an acquaintance of mine. From volume 285.
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.