Here’s to two weeks in a row:
I. I’ve really liked reading Ross Douthat’s book The Deep Places: A Memoir of Illness and Discovery. If you want to see and feel what it’s like to live with a chronic illness, read this book.
2. I liked reading Sophia Lee’s interview with Tim Keller. There are two parts, so go here and here, if you’d like to read it. At one point, Lee asks him: “A lot of pastors are struggling, particularly after the various shifts during the pandemic. People are leaving churches over pandemic restrictions, the election, racial injustice, political differences, etc. Many pastors are leaving ministry. Have you ever dealt with something like this during your ministry, or is this something unique to our time today? How did you navigate tricky political/ideological waters?” Keller responded:
In virtually every church there is a smaller or larger body of Christians who have been radicalized to the Left or to the Right by extremely effective and completely immersive internet and social media loops, newsfeeds, and communities. People are bombarded 12 hours a day with pieces that present a particular political point of view, and the main way it seeks to persuade is not through argument but through outrage. People are being formed by this immersive form of public discourse—far more than they are being formed by the Church. This is creating a crisis.
The words in italics struck me as true.
3. In line with Keller’s point above, I liked Daniel Henninger’s point in a recent article, where he noted that social media has democratized neurosis. See Daniel Henninger, “Zuckerberg Defeated Biles,” Wall Street Journal (August 5, 2021): A17.