On Fridays (Saturdays when I feel ill on Friday) 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.
412 is the sum of twelve consecutive primes: 13 + 17 + 19 + 23 + 29 + 31 + 37 + 41 + 43 + 47 + 53 + 59
Things Glen Found Interesting
- If Satan Took Up Marriage Counseling (Tim Challies, personal blog) : “If Satan took up marriage counseling, he would want people to believe marriage is so risky that it is best to postpone it almost indefinitely, that it is so significant and perilous an undertaking that people should not even consider it until they have completed their education, begun a career, and become well established in life. He would especially want young people to anticipate it with a sense of dread instead of excitement.”
- Recommended by a student. Well worth your time.
- Spirits of the Cloud: A Demonology of the Internet (Thomas Harmon, The American Mind): “…there is much wisdom that can be gained by turning to ancient sources to understand how these mysterious forces operate and how to resist them. In brief, they operate by preying on our imaginations and desires, which are oftentimes obscure even to us, especially when we try to penetrate the veil between present and future or between human and divine by some sort of magical or technical means. James Lindsay zeroes in on this aspect: ‘Demons influence people through their emotions and their interpretations of features of their lives.’ Since they are airy, and proud of their elevation over our earthiness, they have a weakness: humility and an embrace of our earthbound bodies (as a matter of fact, the word ‘humility’ is derived from a Latin word meaning ‘dirt’ or ‘earth’, humus).”
- The author is a Catholic theologian.
- Many on dating apps are already in relationships or aren’t seeking actual dates, new study finds (Angela Yang, NBC News): “Hopeful swipers looking to find their next partners on dating apps have grown increasingly disillusioned in recent years, and a new study reveals the potential root of their difficulties: Many dating app users aren’t seeking romantic meetups at all. Half of nearly 1,400 Tinder users surveyed said they weren’t interested in actually finding dates, according to research published last month. Nearly two-thirds reported they were already in relationships, and some were married while they were using the app.”
- Just meet someone cute and flirt with them in real life. Like, say, in your campus ministry or church.
- What’s Wrong With the “What’s Wrong With Men” Discourse (Conor Fitzgerald, Substack): “…men find therapy and the therapeutic worldview alien and unhelpful. Even the flimsiest male specimen has psychological needs related to accomplishment, strength, usefulness and capability; an atmosphere of unconditional empathy and unrestrained emotional disclosure can be poisonous to those things. Whatever the reason, men understand that therapy (the practice) is mostly just the medical codification of a typically female worldview as objectively true and correct. Most men aren’t going to be interested in joining a conversation conducted in that spirit.”
- This is very well put. The whole essay is interesting. Ignore the typos and dig in!
- Related: Gender crisis is really a marriage crisis (Inez Stepman, Tribune-Democrat): “…women with few or no ties to the opposite sex in the form of marriage and family are diverging sharply not only from the views of men, but also from those of their married sisters. Married men, unmarried men and married women are registering primarily the same political preferences, with only small gaps in voting patterns between them, while single women are running fast in the opposite direction from the rest. For example, a poll in the past round of midterms found married people of both sexes and single men all going for Republicans by majority margins within a handful of points of each other (52% to 59%). Single women, on the other hand, went strongly Democratic by a landslide of 68% to 31%.”
- Stanford President Will Resign After Report Found Flaws in His Research (Stephanie Saul, New York Times): “Dr. Tessier-Lavigne, 63, will relinquish the presidency at the end of August but remain at the university as a professor of biology.”
- Tessier-Lavigne matter shows why running a lab is a full-time job (H. Holden Thorp, Science): “I had seen many researchers who had taken big administrative jobs struggle with overseeing their research group. Many incidents similar to those involving Tessier-Lavigne arose because the principal investigators were too busy attending to their other high-profile jobs. David Baltimore had to resign as president of Rockefeller University when scientific misconduct in his laboratory was uncovered (he later became the president of the California Institute of Technology, and like Tessier-Lavigne, was not found to have direct knowledge of the misconduct). In a different set of problematic interactions related to research, José Baselga resigned as head of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center because he failed to disclose (intentionally or not) industry relationships in papers published by his research group. These examples reflect how tending to a major administrative position and running a laboratory at the same time are simply too much for one person.”
- Richard Saller to take over as interim president in September (Oriana Riley, Stanford Daily): “Stanford University is a huge operation with a $9 billion budget — about 10 times larger than the first Roman emperor Augustus had for the whole empire,” Saller wrote. “I have a steep learning curve ahead of me.”
- Religion as a Cultural and Political Identity (Ryan Burge, Substack): “People like the *idea* of religion, without the actual trappings of said religion. They are the kind of folks that talk about concepts like biblical values without every stepping foot inside a church. They want (primarily) Christian values to be protected, but they don’t actually want to spend much time understanding the theology around the values. For them, religion has become a social and cultural marker — not a spiritual one. It’s basically become another cudgel in the culture war. So, when the debate heats up over issues of sexuality, gender, or abortion these are the kind of folks who will post memes on Facebook that include references to scripture verses, despite the fact that they themselves never read the Bible.”
- Emphasis in original.
- The Consuming Fire of Love (Peter J. Leithart, First Things): “God isn’t terrifying because he’s unloving. He’s terrifying because Love is terrifying—undiluted love, love that refuses compromise with evil, love that will not negotiate away the good of the beloved by allowing the beloved to set the terms of her love, love that promises a good and a future beyond all the beloved can ask or imagine.”
Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen
- Rebellious birds make nests out of anti-bird pins (Naturalis): “It started with the discovery of a huge nest in Antwerp, in the courtyard of a hospital, which was spotted by one of the patients. High up in a tree, magpies made a huge nest of up to 1,500 metal spikes. For this particular nest, birds have pulled as many as 50 meters (150 feet) of anti-bird pins from the eaves. ‘An impregnable fortress’, says Hiemstra, ‘because the magpies appear to be using the pins exactly the same way we do: to keep other birds away from their nest.’ ”
- ‘This Is An Oldie, But A Goodie’ Says Worship Leader About Song From 2021 (Babylon Bee)
- Circumcised Galatians Really Wishing That Letter From Paul Had Come Sooner (Babylon Bee)
- Strange Increase In Volume Of Congregational Singing Noted When Worship Leader Slips In Old Hymn (Babylon Bee)
- “I’m a Barbie girl” again, but in the style of 6 classical composers (Josep Alonso, YouTube): six and a half clever minutes of a pop tune as if composed by Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann, Schubert, Chopin, and Ravel.
Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago
Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have The “Majority-Minority” Myth (Andrew Sullivan, Substack): “Most demographic estimates of the ‘white’ population are based on the Census definition: ‘non-Hispanic white.’ But what of ‘Hispanic whites’ — those whose lineage may come from South or Latin America in ethnicity but who also identify racially and socially as white? If you include them in this category, America remains two-thirds ‘white’ all the way through 2060 and beyond.” A fascinating read. From volume 289
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.