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
Without further ado, I give you the interesting things:
- There was a shooting at a college in Oregon yesterday. There’s a religious angle to this story, but the details are still not clear.
- Before reading the news articles, read this great article from The New Republic about processing breaking news called A Skeptic’s Guide To Media Coverage of Mass Shootings.
- Joe Carter at The Gospel Coalition has a helpful summary of some of the religious angles to the story: FactChecker: The Umpqua Community College Shooting
- NY Post: Oregon Gunman Singled Out Christians During Rampage
- Washington Post: Ore. Shooter Left Behind Online Portrait Of A Lonely Youth WIth A Grudge Against Religion
- According to one eyewitness quoted in the LA Times, “If they said they were Christians, they were shot again”: Oregon college shooting updates: Gunman Chris Harper-Mercer killed 9, had 13 guns
- Oregon Live: Gunman in Oregon college shooting executed classmates, saying ‘I’ll see you soon’ according to an eyewitness in this story he did ask students about their faith before killing them, but did not specifically target Christians.
- By contrast, the NY Times article Oregon Shooting At Umpqua College Kills 10, Sheriff Says does not even mention the word Christian or God, nor does Inside Higher Ed’s Tragedy at Umpqua.
- For completely different news, read Googling For God (NY Times, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz): file under “interesting but not that surprising” (although I am surprised at the relative positions of questions 1 and 2 — I assumed they were swapped)
- Pope Francis and the Not-Quite-Secular West (NY Times, Ross Douthat): Secularism’s grip on America is weaker than it appears.
- Stop The Robot Apocalypse (Amia Srinivasan, London Review of Books): the title is misleading — this is an insightful critique of the effective altruism movement from the left.
- Huh. The Correlations Between Arts and Crafts and a Nobel Prize (Rosie Cima, Priceonomics).
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.