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 390, which is the number of unique ways to sum up to 32 (in other words, 32 has 390 distinct partitions).
Things Glen Found Interesting
- Concerning Asbury:
- Asbury Professor: We’re Witnessing a ‘Surprising Work of God’ (Tom McCall, Christianity Today): “By Thursday evening, there was standing room only. Students had begun to arrive from other universities: the University of Kentucky, the University of the Cumberlands, Purdue University, Indiana Wesleyan University, Ohio Christian University, Transylvania University, Midway University, Lee University, Georgetown College, Mt. Vernon Nazarene University, and many others.… In previous revivals, there has always been fruit that has blessed both the church and society. For instance, even secular historians acknowledge that the Second Great Awakening was pivotal to bringing about the end of slavery in our country. Likewise, I look forward to seeing what fruit God will bring from such a revival in our generation.”
- a quirky but positive take on Asbury by Lyman Stone (Twitter)
- Another interesting take by a PhD student at Asbury Seminary (Twitter)
- A nonstop Kentucky prayer ‘revival’ is going viral on TikTok, and people are traveling thousands of miles to take part (Jake Traylor, NBC News): “The setup is simple. No projector screens or high-tech integrations, just wooden sanctuary chairs filled with people, and an open altar call with an invitation to prayer that still hasn’t ended. That equation has been a powerful recipe on social media. On TikTok and Instagram, videos hashtagged ‘Asbury Revival’ are racking up millions of views. At the time this article was published, the hashtag #asburyrevival had 24.4 million views on TikTok.”
- The Revival at Asbury (Thomas Lyons, Substack): “For what it’s worth, it’s my initial evaluation that this is the real deal. None of the hallmarks of manufactured revival are present. And I’m not alone in this evaluation. As Lawson Stone, an Old Testament Professor at Asbury Theological Seminary, recently stated on social media, ‘The old saints know.’ Arguably more significant for the evaluation of the revival’s authenticity than the opinions of revival scholars are the testimonies of the prior generations who were present at similar moves of God within the community.”
- The author is a scholar whose dissertation focused on revivals.
- No Hookups, No ‘Talking,’ and No Breakups: A Better Way to Date (Charles E. Stokes, Institute for Family Studies): “My wife and I have served as relationship mentors now for 10 years, and as a family scholar and professor, I’ve paid attention to every nugget of wisdom I could glean—not only from academics but from many of my students. I have been able to craft a better approach to dating that I believe improves the chances of success for singles desiring a lifelong monogamous relationship.”
- The author is a sociologist at Samford. I am deliberately not including his proposed solution in the excerpt because it’s worth reading in full. If you read his suggestion out of context you’ll probably form an opinion about it too quickly.
- ‘Honoring’ Your Father and Mother Isn’t Always Biblical (Karen Wong, Christianity Today): “But does the Chinese understanding of filial piety really mean exactly the same as the biblical description of honoring parents? And can an emphasis on obeying the fifth commandment overlook or even rationalize parent-child relationships characterized by contention, pain, disrespect, and suffering?”
- Not paywalled — I have unlocked it for you.
- Why America Needs Football. Even Its Brutality. (Ethan Strauss, The Free Press): “Modern life might be unfulfilling, but the fact remains you’re unlikely to die on a beach separated from your entrails. Still, the old imperatives remain. We have war within us, whether or not there’s one to wage. And the NFL gives Americans that war, as spectacle, week after week.”
- Recommended by an alumnus. I am still skeptical American football can survive moms pulling their kids out of the sport and directing them to safer athletic exploits.
- Contra Kavanagh On Fideism (Scott Alexander, Astral Codex Ten): “In a free society, at one or another point in your life, you’ll actually have to form your own opinion about something. You’ll do better at that if you have some practice forming opinions. When experts have strong opinions on something, this is a good opportunity to practice your opinion-forming skills, see whether you get the same result as the experts, and, if not, figure out where you went wrong. This requires people to have some tolerance for others doing this.”
- Started off quite uninteresting and then quickly ramped up. The question under consideration: how to balance deferring to experts with investigating things on your own.
- A follow-up Trying Again On Fideism (Scott Alexander, Astral Codex Ten): “I come back to this example again and again, but only because it’s so blatant: the New York Times ran an article saying that only 36% of economists supported school vouchers, with a strong implication that the profession was majority against. If you checked their sources, you would find that actually, it was 36% in favor, 19% against, 46% unsure or not responding. If you are too quick to seek epistemic closure because ‘you have to trust the experts’, you will be easy prey to people misrepresenting what they are saying.”
- McCullough’s Mistake, and Ours (Adrian Gaty, Substack): “As long as education stays true to its past and cultivates faith and virtue, McCullough’s mistake doesn’t matter. But once education becomes unmoored from its origins, once it becomes openly hostile to religion, we betray our own origins – and condemn our future – by continuing to ’emphasize’ schooling. Our founders, pioneers like the Reverend Cutler, spread the gospel of public education not for its own sake but because such education in turn spread the Gospel. To achieve that good government and happiness they envisioned, our task today is not to encourage public education as it currently exists – it is to remake it in His image.”
- Recommended by a student.
- This is a follow up to the also interesting This is… Science! (Adrian Gaty, Substack): “These are profoundly anti-life, anti-human movements – yet they advance by manipulating our humanity, our tenderness, our hatred of suicide. Spoiler alert: the doctors and ethicists making these claims about abortion and affirmation are 100% on board with doctor-assisted suicide (which killed over ten thousand Canadians last year). They don’t hate suicide, not in the least — but they know that you do. They are using your compassion to create a culture of death.”
- In Defense of J.K. Rowling (Pamela Paul, New York Times): “Take it from one of her former critics. E.J. Rosetta, a journalist who once denounced Rowling for her supposed transphobia, was commissioned last year to write an article called ’20 Transphobic J.K. Rowling Quotes We’re Done With.’ After 12 weeks of reporting and reading, Rosetta wrote, ‘I’ve not found a single truly transphobic message.’ On Twitter she declared, ‘You’re burning the wrong witch.’ ”
- The tide is turning on Rowling. She’s not where I am ideologically, but watching her be tarred and feathered for saying common sense things has been dismaying.
Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen
- Loyal To The Company (Dilbert)
- The Denominations Throw A Super Bowl Party (Twitter)
- Directions (SMBC)
- Wally’s Employee Award (Dilbert)
- Man Just Doesn’t Understand Why God Who Is Infinitely Wiser Than He Would Have Different Opinion From Him Sometimes (Babylon Bee)
Things Glen Found Interesting A While Ago
Every week I’ll highlight an older link still worth your consideration. This week we have Does the Bible Pass the Bechdel Test? A Data-Driven Look at Women in the Story of Scripture (John Dyer, personal blog): “So does the Bible pass the Bechdel test? This short answer is: yes, there are scenes where two named women have a conversation not about a man. The longer answer is more complex, but also, I think, richer.” This is REALLY well done. From volume 268.
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.