Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 459

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 the 459th installation, a number I find interesting simply because 4 + 5 = 9.

I should probably mention that I’m not sharing any articles about last night’s presidential debate today because I want to wait and see how people are thinking about the race after a few days. The reactions right now are too raw.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. A slap in the face for psychobabble (Janan Ganesh, Financial Times): “I can’t be the only foreigner in the US who has been chided for not having a therapist by someone who — choosing my words carefully here — seems to be getting uneven results from theirs. If psychobabble were confined to actors going up to collect their big certificates, I’d leave it alone. But, like sand, it gets everywhere.”
    • Older but gold.
  2. Rebels with a religious cause: Meet New York’s avant-garde conservatives (Leonardo Bevilacqua, Christian Science Monitor): “Originally from Philadelphia, Salomé has been a devout Catholic since she was young. She wears a ‘Make America Great Again’ hat around town sometimes as an act of ironic defiance. And even though she’s a transgender woman, she prefers the term of an earlier age: castrato.  But first and foremost, she says, she’s a child of God.”
    • Interesting and full of surprises.
  3. A Partial Explanation of Zoomer Girl Derangement (Zinnia, Substack): “Why are young women today so deranged? Because no one is honest with them and they cannot be honest with themselves. Parents lie to you, teachers lie to you, friends lie to you, everyone lies to you. If anyone dares tell you the truth, they are ostracized. My teenage self could only find truth smuggled away in the dark recesses of obscure online communities; usually couched in layers of ironic (and sincere) bigotry. And while I did not enjoy the bigotry (at the time), I found value in engaging with the transgressive material I came across because I felt that it expressed truths otherwise unavailable to me. Today, truth lies within the domain of internet ghettos, siloed away from the rest of polite society. At best, what society tells you is entirely unhelpful: ‘You’re beautiful just the way you are.’ At worst, what society tells you is entirely destructive: ‘If you feel alienated by your body, you should maybe consider a mastectomy.’ ”
    • A bit vulgar in places, but interesting. Kinda long.
  4. Elite misinformation is an underrated problem (Matt Yglesias, Substack): “…all this sloppy work and misleading rhetoric is both more impactful than a lot of people realize, and also a lot less tactically savvy than those doing it think. The problem is that it’s about a million times easier to persuade a highly engaged member of your team of something than it is to persuade a swing voter (who is probably skeptical, cynical, and not that engaged with politics) or a member of the opposition (who instinctively assumes you’re lying about everything). So when you put something out there that’s false or misleading, you’re about a million times more likely to confuse people who are friendly to your cause than to actually persuade anyone worth persuading.”
  5. It Is Time for Radical Candor (Kevin D. Williamson, The Dispatch): “It’s another little Battle of Stalingrad: It’s a pity somebody has to win; all a decent person can do is pray for casualties.… Because we are governed by imbeciles and thieves and miscreants and degenerates and people who are willing to put up with all that imbecility and thievery and miscreance and degeneracy if it gets them even such a pathetic prize as a temporary seat in the U.S. House of Representatives…”
  6. How (and How Not) to Wait (Mark Vroegop, Crossway): “Focus. Adore. Seek. Trust. That’s how you wait on the Lord. It’s how you live on what’s true about God when you don’t know what’s true about your life.… Rather than allowing strong emotions to hold you hostage, you can embrace a strategy (FAST) that welcomes God’s grace into your uncertainty.”
    • Recommended by a student.
  7. I feel awkward sharing this, but I was interviewed for a podcast. I did not choose the title (nor even the topic): Why I am NOT a Calvinist: Breaking Down Everything from Calvinism, to Can We Lose Our Salvation (Kingdom Come Podcast, YouTube): one hour long.

Less Serious Things Which Interested Glen

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