Here are a few articles and podcasts for the quarantine:
“On Reading Well After Virtue” - Karen Swallow Prior, Church Life Journal
Reading isn’t just about gaining information; it’s an aesthetic experience. Since she published, On Reading Well, Karen Swallow Prior, previously a professor of English at Liberty University, has been at the helm of a revival in Christians’ interest in classic literature. What I like about Prior is that she emphasizes the virtues of reading, the attention to form and content, beauty, imagination, and to the skill of the master authors. To summarize her, “And because literature is by definition an aesthetic experience, not merely an intellectual one, we have to attend to form at least as much as to content, if not more. Form matters.” This is a dimension many of us have grown used to ignoring. This essay is an adaptation from her book and captures some of her more salient and surprising points about reading and virtue.
“The Empirical Case Against ‘Conversion-Therapy’ Bans” - Paul Dirks, The Public Discourse
Banning “conversion therapy” is getting more popular across the country, and while these measures are usually styled as protecting children, the research shows this is not the case. Most children grow out of gender dysphoria and benefit from the patience and wisdom of their parents and medical professionals. Additionally, mental health statistics for the LGBTQ community are staggering and cannot be explained away by the narrative that they’re simply being oppressed and driven to suicide. This is an extremely helpful and clarifying article from Paul Dirks and one every person should read and become familiar with.
“The Bloomberg Whisperer” - Todd S. Perdum, The Atlantic
The Bloomberg campaign was one of the most unique campaigns in history, led by one of the most unique campaign managers. Perdum looks inside the campaign and into Bloomberg’s right-hand man Kevin Sheekey. Despite the campaign failure, I would expect Sheekey to play a big role in Democratic politics throughout 2020 and beyond.
“Gospel Bound” - The Gospel Coalition
Collin Hansen is hosting this new podcast from the Gospel Coalition and in the first two episodes, he interviews Tom Holland on his book, Dominion, about the rise of Christianity, and Ross Douthat on his new book, The Decadent Society, about how the decadence of America might give way to revival. If you’re looking for a couple of good books and a couple of good interviews, check these out.
If you want the far right view of things, Bannon and crew are doing a masterful job covering the spread, bringing in experts and former White House staff to talk about the medical and political realities, and they’re on every day of the week.
“The Week Covid-19 Changed Everything with Malcolm Gladwell” - The Bill Simmons Podcast
Besides being endlessly interesting, Gladwell has studied several pandemics, most notably the Spanish Flu of 1918 in his article, “The Deadliest Virus Ever Known.” This discussion moves seamlessly from the virus to sports to politics. They’re not complimentary of Trump’s response to the outbreak, but most of the discussion touches topics and insights you won’t hear in other coverage.
“Ezra Klein” - The Ben Shapiro Show, Sunday Special
So much of American political and social commentary exists in a vacuum, echo chambers of people who believe the same things talking to each other and demonizing their opponents. While both Ezra Klein and Ben Shapiro have been accused of this, this interview is the kind of exchange we should have more often. These guys represent two dominant perspectives on the opposite sides of nearly every spectrum, and they have a really interesting and civil discussion. I was glad to see this and pleasantly surprised to listen to it.
“In Our Time” - BBC
If you’re looking to learn a little bit during the quarantine, check out this podcast from Melvyn Bragg and the BBC. Each week, they get some of the world’s leading experts on a topic and spend 40 minutes giving you an overview. They have a massive archive of episodes on their website with top ten lists in several different categories. Recently, the episodes on Tutankhamun, Alcuin, Lawrence of Arabia, and the history of coffee have all been excellent.
“Pro Rata” - Axios
This short podcast aims to address issues in tech and business in under 10 minutes a few times a week. Their episodes this week on the healthcare system and the recession risks were both really informative. Among the overwhelming volume of news sites, I really like Axios and I think their journalistic standards might be the highest and most balanced of any major news outlet.
I’ve been hoping Charles would start a leadership podcast for a long time, and even though the podcast hasn’t fully launched yet, he’s already putting out great content. He’s the VP for Institutional Relations at Midwestern Baptist Seminary, a godly leader and a great friend of mine. You’ll really enjoy this new podcast on Christian leadership.
“War and Peace: Go and Restore” - Crossings Community Church
Andy Rauschkolb is doing a series on conflict resolution right now at Crossings, and if you’re looking for great content, worship, and an interactive livestream where you can get into contact with a pastor, pray with someone, or find a group to discuss the sermons, check this out!
“If Someone Should Rise from the Dead” - Buckrun Baptist Church
Hershael York is one of my favorite preachers and his series through Luke has been phenomenal. This sermon on the rich man and Lazarus is really good, and the archive for this series will walk you through all of Luke if you’re looking for a book study.
Send us some of your favorite messages and livestreams and we’ll put a list together this week!