Worth Reading Today – November 16 – What the Midterms Meant, How Bad Data Spreads, and Vernon Grounds

Worth Reading Today – November 16 – What the Midterms Meant, How Bad Data Spreads, and Vernon Grounds November 18, 2010

A few items worth reading today:

1.  Steven Malanga is an excellent writer for the Manhattan Institute’s City Journal.  He’s also an editor for RealClearMarkets, where he reports on the extensive amount of research he’s done into municipal debt.  We speak a great deal of federal debt and state debt, but Malanga tells us that the problem runs deeper.  “Cities Face a Deepening Fiscal Crisis.”

2.  The American Enterprise Institute has a detailed break-down of the midterm election exit polls and what they tell us.  “What the Voters Actually Said on Election Day.”

3.  Thomas Friedman describes the history of bad data – in this case the claim that Obama’s trip to India was costing $200M daily.  The claim originated with an anonymous Indian official, and was quickly circulated into the conservative media sphere.  It was apparently false, and by a wide margin.  Bad data is bad data, whether it’s used in support of conservative or liberal causes.  Our commitment to the truth requires that we be careful with our claims, and certify their accuracy.  Friedman is selective in his outrage, to be sure.  If you doubt that the same kind of misinformation is circulated through the liberal echo chamber, you’re fooling yourself.  But the point is nonetheless valid.  “Too Good to Check.”

4.  Christianity Today’s portrait of Vernon Grounds, who passed away after seven decades of involvement in church issues, puts the lie (although this point is not really fleshed out) to the claim that evangelicals have only recently discovered “social justice” issues.  “A Man for All Evangelicals.”

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  • Dr Grounds was a remarkable man. I had the privilege of taking a class from him in the 1980s – when he was in his early 70s – and even then was impressed with both the breadth and depth of his knowledge – and his seemingly inexhaustible energy.

    What made him remarkable, though, was that he always had time for any seminary student that was brazen enough to ask him to lunch. He was accessible to all, viewing each of us as equally important.

    I asked him once why he was not caught up in the integration of psychology and theology, it being all the rage at the time in the counseling department. He said that he was far more interested and involved in “incarnational psychology”: it was his prayer that any client (he maintained a small caseload even while doing everything else) would leave the session feeling as though he or she had had a small glimpse of Jesus while there.

    That five-minute exchange with him completely changed my thinking on what it meant to be a Christian counselor and, 26 years later, it still guides and directs my work with people suffering in, through, and from life.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Thanks for sharing your recollections, Dr Mike! Great to hear them. i know how sometimes the right conversation at the right time — even a very brief conversation — can change the trajectory of your life in a significant way. That’s a powerful testimony to the importance of wisdom.

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