Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 443

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, volume 443, is a prime number.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Four Ways of Looking at Christian Nationalism (Ross Douthat, New York Times): “…to chart the supposed reach of Christian nationalism, a survey from the Public Religion Research Institute asks respondents whether they agree with the formulation ‘U.S. laws should be based on Christian values.’ But someone who says yes might just be agreeing with King’s ‘Letter From Birmingham Jail’ or the Declaration of Independence, not endorsing a legal code based on Deuteronomy.”
    • Unlocked.
  2. Related: If It Were Me, I’d Try Not Helping the Christian Nationalists (Jake Meador, Mere Orthodoxy): “A democratic life is not the highest thing or the best thing. But as a way of living amongst our neighbors and seeking to live a life of conscience under the law, it is a very good thing. The Christian Nationalists, with their strong man politics, support for revolutionary violence, and obsession with racial solidarity would destroy all of that. What worries me now, though, is not the Christian Nationalists themselves. Frankly, many of them are too reckless, undisciplined, and reactive to be able to accomplish the revolutionary change they seek. What worries me is that there are a great many socially conservative evangelical voters who love the democratic life who are constantly being called ‘Christian Nationalists’ by the likes of Heidi Przybyla for believing things that are utterly unremarkable in Christian history. If our secular media outlets continue to tell them that ‘Christian Nationalism’ is the belief in things virtually all Christians across history have believed, I fear they will listen. And they will find these ethno-nationalist totalitarian aspirants and, not realizing what they are doing, they will make common cause with them.”
    • This is one of the most helpful pieces I’ve seen on Christian Nationalism. It’s a bit long, but easily skimmable to zero in on the parts you find most interesting.
  3. What happened after a man got 217 coronavirus shots (Rachel Pannett, Washington Post): “Going into the study, the researchers had speculated that having so many shots could cause his immune system to become fatigued. Vaccines create immune memory cells that are on standby, ready to rapidly activate the body’s defenses in the event of an infection. But in fact, the researchers found that the man had more of these immune cells — known as T‑cells — than a control group that had received the standard three-dose vaccine regimen. They also did not detect any fatigue in these cells, which they said were just as effective as those of people who had received a typical number of coronavirus shots.”
  4. Albania to speed up EU accession using ChatGPT (Alice Taylor, Euractiv): “The Albanian government will use ChatGPT to translate thousands of pages of EU legal measures and provisions into shqip (Albanian language) and then integrate them into existing legal structures, following an agreement with the CEO of the parent company, OpenAI, Mira Murati, who was born in Albania.… on 13 December, at the EU summit in Brussels, he will present the project and a successful test of ‘the Albanian model of artificial intelligence for the interposition of the legislation totalling 280,000 pages of legal measures of the EU.’”
  5. I spend £8,500 a year to live on a train (Steve Charnok, Metro): “While the 17-year-old does indeed live on trains, he does so entirely legally. And with a surprising amount of comfort. Lasse travels 600 miles a day throughout Germany aboard Deutsche Bahn trains. He travels first class, sleeps on night trains, has breakfast in DB lounges and takes showers in public swimming pools and leisure centres, all using his unlimited annual railcard.”

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

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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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