Things Glen Found Interesting, Volume 444

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 444, which is just the same digit repeated. I like that. Clean. Classy. Elegant.

Things Glen Found Interesting

  1. Rant About Worship Songs (Jeremy Pierce, First Things): “Here are some of the things I really hate in a worship song.”
    • This is brilliant, from back in 2010.
  2. Top OnlyFans creator making $300,000 a month turns to Christ, walks away from porn industry (John Knox, Not The Bee): “From what I can tell, Nala here isn’t going through a Lil’ Nas X ‘Christian era’ where she’s aging out of porn and wants to rebrand herself as a good girl again before pivoting to another grift. All I see is genuine joy, like the prostitute who wept and was forgiven at Jesus’ feet.”
    • Includes a video of her sharing her testimony. I love this part: “The devil can truly give you things in this life. He has a budget, though. He can only go so far.… The devil has a budget, but God does not.”
  3. Latinos Are Flocking to Evangelical Christianity (Marie Arana, The Free Press): “In fact, some researchers project that by 2030, half of the entire population of American Latinos will identify as Protestant evangelicals. Compare that growth with white evangelical Protestants, whose numbers have declined from 23 percent of the American population in 2006 to 14 percent in 2020. With the Hispanic population’s projected growth, in less than a decade, we may see forty million Latinos—a congregation the size of California—heading to American evangelical churches every Sunday.”
  4. Is Rome a True Church? (Chris Castaldo, Mere Orthodoxy): “Protestants tend to answer the question of Roman Catholicism’s status in one of two ways. Looking through the lens of the early creeds (i.e., Nicene and Apostles’), some understand it to be fundamentally orthodox. The rationale is simple: because the creeds uphold the basic tenets of Christianity, and Rome upholds those creeds, her apostolicity is affirmed. Roman Catholicism is thus regarded as ‘inside the pale.’ An alternative reading, one that probably informed the Facebook comment, is to view the Roman Catholic Church through the lens of the sixteenth-century Reformation in which the Council of Trent anathematized (pronounced to be cursed) the doctrine of justification by faith alone. Because such faith is recognized as the driving center of the biblical gospel, and Rome forcefully repudiates the doctrine, the Roman Church is therefore considered incompatible with biblical faith.  I recognize the logic in these positions, but in my opinion, both are incomplete.”
  5. Journalism Has a Religion Problem (Andrew T. Walker, National Review): “Journalism has a religion problem. More specifically, journalists are either unaware or unwilling to admit that their own views, presumably untouched by ‘religion,’ are nonetheless passionately held convictions grounded, well, somewhere. What do I mean by that? Well, journalism that touches on religion and politics tends to see religious viewpoints as carrying a special burden. It goes something like this: ‘Tell me, Mr. Pious, why a diverse population should accept your views on morality, considering they come from religion.’ ”
  6. Harvard Tramples the Truth (Martin Kulldorff,City Journal): “…as I discovered, truth can get you fired. This is my story—a story of a Harvard biostatistician and infectious-disease epidemiologist, clinging to the truth as the world lost its way during the Covid pandemic.… Two Harvard colleagues tried to arrange a debate between me and opposing Harvard faculty, but just as with Stanford, there were no takers. The invitation to debate remains open. The public should not trust scientists, even Harvard scientists, unwilling to debate their positions with fellow scientists.”
  7. How the Gaza Ministry of Health Fakes Casualty Numbers (Abraham Wyner, Tablet Magazine): “If Hamas’ numbers are faked or fraudulent in some way, there may be evidence in the numbers themselves that can demonstrate it. While there is not much data available, there is a little, and it is enough: From Oct. 26 until Nov. 10, 2023, the Gaza Health Ministry released daily casualty figures that include both a total number and a specific number of women and children.”
    • The author is a professor of statistics at the Wharton School, and I find his analysis compelling.

Less Serious Things Which Also Interested/Amused Glen

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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.