Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 42

On Fridays I share articles/resources I have found helpful recently in thinking about broader cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

  1. Jesus of Nazareth, Whose Messianic Message Captivated Thousands, Dies at About 33 (Sam Roberts, Vanity Fair): What would Jesus’ New York Times obituary have looked like? Clever, well‐done, and Good Friday appropriate.
  2. Anatomy of Doubt (Ira Glass, This American Life): this is an amazing, disturbing story. There are companion print pieces as well, but listen to the podcast. 
  3. Do We Still Need Prisons? (Paul Kirby, Volteface): this article by David Cameron’s former director of public policy is full of creative ideas. Two related thoughts worth pondering: the Bible never commands a government to build prisons, and Jesus said He came to set the prisoners free.
  4. How well online dating works, according to someone who has been studying it for years (Roberto Ferdman, Wonkblog): this an interview with a Stanford prof.  “It’s kind of superficial. But it’s superficial because we’re kind of superficial; it’s like that because humans are like that. Judging what someone else looks like first is not an attribute of technology, it’s an attribute of how we look at people. Dating, both modern and not, is a fairly superficial endeavor.”
  5. A Dialog On Race and Speech at Yale (Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic): the columnist has a very insightful email interchange with a Yale undergrad.
  6. Banning Credit Checks Harms African‐Americans (Tyler Cowen): “In states that passed credit‐check bans, it  became easier for people with bad credit histories to compete for employment. But disproportionately, they seem to have elbowed aside black job‐seekers.” — read a more thorough summary at Wonkblog.
  7. A cluster of voices speaking about the religious freedom case recently argued before the Supreme Court:
    • Stanford professor Michael McConnell’s take on the oral arguments: “At a time of rising divisiveness and polarization, it would be greatly calming if the Court could unite in this case to protect the rights of many with absolutely no injury to anyone else, or to the public good.”
    • Religious Freedom Deserves Deference: Our View Editorial Board, USA Today): “To imagine that non‐profits whose very existence is tied to religion do not deserve more deference than for‐profit businesses is quite a stretch.”
    • Little Sisters, Big Case (Russell Moore, The Hill): “Over 100 million Americans don’t have health plans that must offer the government’s drugs. The government exempts big businesses such as Exxon and big municipalities such as New York City, and does so just to reduce administrative inconvenience for these entities. The government even exempts itself, refusing to require the U.S. military—the nation’s largest employer—to provide the same drugs they want to force the Little Sisters of the Poor to provide.”
  8. Quick Links

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.

Disclaimer

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).

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.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 35

On Fridays I share articles/resources I have found helpful recently in thinking about broader cultural, societal and theological issues. Be sure to see the explanation and disclaimers at the bottom.

  1. The Grounds Of Our Assurance (D. A. Carson, YouTube): Dr. Carson is one of my favorite scholars. This youtube clip is definitely worth three minutes of your time.
  2. Hallelujah College (Molly Worthen, NY Times): “The thing you’ll run into with any of the campus activists that I’ve encountered is this idea that human nature is a collection of identity categories, that I as a human being am composed of a gender identity, a sexual identity, a racial identity and so forth,” he said. “Their perception of Christians, or of religious people more generally, is: ‘O.K., these are people who have this one identity category, religion, and the religion they identify as is overstepping its bounds. It’s telling my gender or sexual identity how to act.’ The Christian response has to be: There’s something more to what a human being is than just these collective attributes.”
  3. Pastor Of China’s Largest Church Jailed For Protesting Removal of 1,500 Crosses (Morgan Lee, Christianity Today). Note that he is the pastor of China’s largest official church — there are underground churches that are much larger. The Communist Party must be getting nervous about the strength of Christianity in China if they are oppressing the state‐sanctioned church as well.
  4. Christians In Latin America Are Numerous But Still Vulnerable (John Allen, Crux): a very strong article about Christian persecution in the western hemisphere. “Chilito was executed by a right‐wing paramilitary and Castilla by a left‐wing guerrilla group, proving that martyrdom in Colombia is an equal‐opportunity enterprise. Globally, the two women are chapters in one of the most widespread human rights scourges of the early 21st century, which is lethal anti‐Christian persecution. Though estimates vary widely, even low‐end counts suggest that one Christian is killed for motives related to the faith somewhere in the world every hour of every day.”
  5. Mainstreaming “Animal Personhood” (Wesley J. Smith, First Things): this is something you should do some thinking about. Start by reflecting on Genesis 1:26–30, Genesis 9:1–6, Numbers 22:21–34, Proverbs 12:10, Jonah 4:10–11, and Matthew 6:26.
  6. Meyer vs Nebraska: As Told By The Lawyer Who Won It (David Kopel, Washington Post): this story of a 1922 Supreme Court decision absolutely sucked me in. It touches on issues of parental rights, public education, religious liberty, and nationalistic prejudice.
  7. 3 Ways To Work For The Glory of God (Christos Makridis, The Rebelution). Yes, this is written by our very own Christos. Good thoughts, Christos!
  8. Some comics that amused me:

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.

Disclaimer

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).

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.

Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 26

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.

To that end, on Fridays I’ve been sharing articles/resources I have found helpful recently in thinking about broader cultural and societal issues (be sure to see the disclaimer at the bottom). May these give you greater insight, so that you may continue the tradition of Issachar. Past emails are archived at http://glenandpaula.com/wordpress/category/links

On this half‐year mark, I give you the interesting things:

  1. Religious Liberty and Human Dignity: Tale Of Two Declarations (Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy, Kevin Hasson). This article from 2003 argues that religious freedom is the fundamental freedom. It starts slow as it lays a foundation, but picks up about halfway through.
  2. While you’re on Thanksgiving break, please register to vote if you have not already done so. I strongly suggest you register as a Permanent Vote‐By‐Mail Voter, which simply means that you will receive a ballot in the mail before every election. It gives you plenty of time to research the candidates and issues from the comfort of your dorm room with your ballot in front of you. If you prefer to vote in another state then visit http://www.brennancenter.org/student-voting). If you’re a citizen of another country, do whatever you’re supposed to do there. 🙂
  3. Some global perspective:
  4. More campus activism links: President Obama weighs in (really). See also A Crisis Our Universities Deserve (NY Times, Ross Douthat): this is a helpful big‐picture overview of the college scene. Also, Yale’s Activists Deserve Constructive Criticism (The Atlantic, Conor Friedersdorf).
  5. Are Non‐Religious Children Really More Altruistic? (Robert Woodberry) — this is probably the last thing I will post on this. I almost didn’t, but WOW what a smackdown. Woodberry is the author of that article I keep sharing about Christianity and democracy.
  6. Quick Links:

Disclaimer

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.