- - Friday, January 8, 2016

(1) Brave New World: The Future Is Now, by Anthony Esolen (Crisis)

***Esolen is one of my favorite book authors. Here he writes a fable…that will creep you out even as it makes a profound statement about bioethics and genetic engineering.

(2) Inside Graduate Admissions

***Reveals a strong bias against admitting conservatives and Christians.

What goes on behind closed doors when professors decide who should get chance to earn a Ph.D.? Author of new book was allowed to watch. She saw elitism, a heavy focus on the GRE and some troubling conversations.

…The applicant, to a linguistics Ph.D. program, was a student at a small religious college unknown to some committee members but whose values were questioned by others.
“Right-wing religious fundamentalists,” one committee member said of the college, while another said, to much laughter, that the college was “supported by the Koch brothers.”
The committee then spent more time discussing details of the applicant’s GRE scores and background — high GRE scores, homeschooled — than it did with some other candidates. The chair of the committee said, “I would like to beat that college out of her,” and, to laughter from committee members asked, “You don’t think she’s a nutcase?”

…At the end of this discussion, the committee moved the applicant ahead to the next round but rejected her there.

(3) Children who spend time with their fathers have a higher IQ (The Telegraph)

Strong fatherly involvement in their early life can also improve a child’s future career prospects, the research shows.

Academics at the University of Newcastle, who carried out the study, also found that men tended to pay more attention to their sons than their daughters.

The researchers warned that it was not enough for parents to live together, but that a father should be actively involved in a child’s life to benefit their development.

(4) Hunter S. Thompson’s son shocker: “Hunter was surprised and pleased that I actually grew up apparently sane” — Salon exclusive: Juan F. Thompson discusses Hunter’s wild times, suicide — and why he didn’t want his dad’s life

***I’ve always been fascinated by Thompson. Here’s a fascinating look at the man through the eyes of his son…who emphatically did not turn out like his father.

(5) What a Pastoral Church Looks Like, by James Kalb

***A Catholic reflects on the shepherding role of the church as a motivation for not letting spiritual and theological wolves into the flock.

“Pastor“ means shepherd, so we find what pastors should do by looking at what shepherds do, especially in the Bible. A pastoral Church, then, would be one that looks out for her members, protects, feeds, and fosters them, maintains a sheepfold, brings back those who stray, drives away wolves and bears, and is ready to sacrifice the personal interests of her pastors—for example, their worldly standing and reputation—to their flock’s well-being.

With that in mind, it’s hard to see why a pastoral church would primarily be one that rejects boundaries, is always going outside of herself, emphasizes openness to the world and dialogue with those who reject her, and wants above all to accompany people on their walk, wherever that may take them.

Some of those things have a function in some ways—the Church should offer what she has to those outside her, and speak respectfully, honestly, and substantively to them, and pastors should retain their concern for strayed sheep who show no interest in returning to the fold—but they cannot be central. What is central for pastors is the good of the flock, and, in particular, the specific goods entrusted to the Church for their benefit.


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