Christian Carnival XLVII

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The 47th Christian Carnival is at The God Blog. I submitted Christian Conviction, the Law, and Real Virtue. Read on for some highlights.

Rebecca Writes does an excellent job explaining why the doctrine of definite atonement (AKA limited atonement, particular redemption) does not require saying that there isn't also a free offer to all. I've argued this myself here and here. Her post goes in an entirely different direction to make the same point, with an example that in many ways is very helpful (though with all examples might be taken to say some things it wasn't intended to say if you take it too far). See also the submission by The Crusty Curmudgeon for an argument that Calvinism in general doesn't entail that God isn't genuine in his offer.

Beyond the Rim... is working on a series on capital punishment in the Bible. I have a feeling he's just getting started. The first post is here, and the second is the Carnival entry he submitted. It looks to be a good series. This post looks at the command to Noah to begin implementing the death penalty for murder, God's use of a death penalty at Sodom, the command to sacrifice Isaac, and Moses' capital offense and forgiveness by God.

A Physicist's Perspective gives a whole slew of reasons to be a part of a local congregation and not to use hypocrisy, past hurt, or some other imperfection among imperfect human beings as an excuse not to "go to church". I hadn't seen it this way before, but I think his argument that it's also stealing from God is quite on target and well-supported by the passage he's talking about. He doesn't say this, but it would also, more directly from that context, count as stealing from your Christian brothers and sisters.

Pseudo-Polymath takes on an intriguing task. What kind of government should we have if we had Christians controlling the government but citizens of all types, many not Christian? He says it would be a government that would encourage Christian virtues, most prominently faith, hope, and love. His thoughts on how to encourage hope (and how not to!) are worth pondering, even if you're not interested in his governmental thought experiment, because every Christian parent has to think about that sort of thing. How do you promote hope in a child short of making their life awful to show them that it can only get better? When it comes to faith and love, he has a harder time thinking of what it could look like besides perhaps simple recognition of those who have shown great faith and/or love. My one concern is that much of his discussion has been on what the government would not allow, and that didn't come up here. I'm curious how this shift in emphasis affects that sort of thing.

Cerulean Sanctum says American Christians are bored. He lists lots of symptoms and postulates lots of possible causes. This post is both suggestive of lots of further reflection and insightful in a number of its observations. I wouldn't have described a couple of the things as boredom but would instead have simply called them distraction from the things of God, but there might be something to both descriptions.

Off the Top continues in her series on contraception, this time arguing that Natural Family Planning violates principles articulated by Pope Paul VI in his encylical Humanae Vitae that forms the basis of the current Roman Catholic view. I agree wholeheartedly, as I expressed in my own post on contraception some months ago. Her arguments are much more in-depth than mine, but I think the simplest way to put her point is that NFP has exactly the same intent as artificial contraception, one declared illicit by the Pope's arguments against artificial contraception. NFP thus goes against what he so clearly stated Christian virtue requires.


Thanks for pointing out my Death Penalty series. Now I will have to finish it... ;-)

Thanks for the link to the church post. I think the point is an important one since as Americans we tend to be awfully individualistic: It's easy to have our main concern be, "What do I get out of it?" (which, of course, was why Kennedy's quote about what we can do for our country was so profound). So my hope was to point out that the reason we should attend church goes far beyond this individualism.

I like your weekly Carnival roundups. You always point out things I'm interested in that I didn't notice when I looked through it myself.

Thanks for the feature, Jeremy. I meant to tell you that previous times as well.

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