Christian Carnival XXXVII

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The 27th Christian Carnival is up at IntolerantElle.com. I finished up my post on contraception exactly an hour before the deadline and sent it out seven minutes later, but for some reason it's under the category of fashionably late. Sam sent her Battle Ready two hours earlier, which is three hours early, but it was also labeled late. Go figure. I've sent in genuinely late entries to carnivals before, almost always with a gracious acceptance anyway, and I get one in on time only to have it marked late!

Adrian Warnock has a nice explanation of how the same policy can be put in lefty terms or righty terms, each offending the other party. In this case there's a biblical motivation to begin with, so it's the sort of thing biblically-minded Christians should believe, and their resistance to the other side's way of putting it is therefore quite revealing.

Rebecca Writes reminds me why I don't try to write comprehensive, systematic stuff on one large topic unless I teach it in a class setting at least a couple times first (as with my current affirmative action series). This sort of series takes a lot of work, perseverance in continuing to work at it one post at a time, and a willingness to cover the parts of it that are less interesting to the author. Her post on God's goodness (i.e. God's benevolence, not God's righteousness, which she already covered in an earlier post) is fairly comprehensive and is a nice addition to her overall series that by the end will be extremely systematic, just as her series on the purposes of Christ's death turned out to be. It also includes a number of things that I wouldn't have bothered to think of that are absolutely worth including, another reason why I stay away from this sort of comprehensive treatment of anything.

Beyond the Rim... has some suggestive reflections on the Greek 'metanoia', which is usually translated as repentance but involves as much a change in mind than in behavior. He explores how radical the change from the natural mindset to the Christian mindset really is.

At blogicus, there's a link to a good World Mag treatment of the problem of churches not preparing students or giving them the resources to deal with the kind of biblical scholarship they're going to find in college religion classes. I think this is one of the biggest inadequacies in youth ministries today, and even campus ministry staff aren't usually well-equipped to deal with this sort of thing. As a side note, I've noticed that Christians who are more willing to see the Bible as authoritative and reliable for historical informationa are generally inclined to present the alternative positions in classroom settings, whereas those who just assume the liberal orthodoxy on these things don't often worry about conservative arguments. I've also noticed that Christiansb who teach introductory courses in philosophy go way out of their way to avoid the perception that they're biased in favor of positions more favorable to Christianity. I've known quite a few fellow instructors who don't have any trouble seeing their course as an apologetic for the naturalistic position that they would say we've all come to see is true and now needs to be shown to college students to be true.

4 Comments

Your last paragraph is interesting for me. I've started teaching high school Sunday school, and I'm keenly aware of what the kids will have to deal with later. I hope I can be of some use in preparing them. In my particular case my big concern is just that they aren't very knowledgeable about the Bible at all, so I'm trying to do some big picture stuff to remedy that. This is a good reminder for me to think about my responsibilitites towards them.

We did talk a couple weeks ago about issues of textual accuracy, so that was good stuff to have tucked away, even though they had little idea of what the relevance was during the lesson.

It might be helpful to clue them in to some of the major theses that biblical studies professors will claim and then show them how there isn't really any good support for them without assuming something that really makes the argument circular. Then they'll have an idea of what the point is.

I appreciate your insight on my little article on perspective. You are correct that to focus on repentance alone is to miss the larger meaning. I personally think that repentance comes out of the larger change in perspective. The sinner must agree that what they are doing is sin. While that is relatively easy in the conversion context, since the change is so dramatic, much of the work in sanctification is convincing believers of their ongoing sin which requires a real change in perspective, an overhaul of viewpoint.

Thanks for the link and the kind words.

I feel good just knowing that someone else might recognize how much work those series posts are.

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