Christian Carnival XLVI

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The 46th Christian Carnival is at A Physicist's Perspective. My Christ's Divinity in Romans 9:5 is right below the editor's choice, which really means nothing other than that I sent my entry in earlier than most. Sam's Great is Artemis and Allah akhbar is also present.

King of Fools takes on someone who apparently doesn't know any real evangelicals Religious Right = Wrong? Near the end of the article he fisks is the following statement: "Maybe those people are out there, but I don't see them." That pretty much illustrates what I've been saying since the election. The initial claim is that the religious right is not very Christian and basically throws out the Jesus of the gospels. I agree that those who see their Christianity as tied to a political mindset have in fact rejected what Christianity says about itself. Still, it's hard to read the Bible honestly while fully understanding American evangelicals without concluding that the main reasoning behind why many conservatives hold their views is perfectly consistent with biblical themes, provided you understand that some who hold those views hold them for different reasons, ones not as easily consistent with Christianity. Virtually everything the King has to say shows how the author he's fisking does not at all understand evangelicalism or conservatism, which highlights what I was getting at in my above-linked post.

Proverbial Wife raises an interesting ethical question about linking blogs with questionable content. I don't agree with everything she says, but you can see my comment for that. I won't repeat it here. (I do want you to read her post first, after all!) Also see her followup post.

Jollyblogger continues his series on the five points of Calvinism with point three, limited atonement (or particular redemption), the most controversial of all five points. In some ways it's much better than my own post (though my post has more detailed argumentation in a number of places) arguing for pretty much the same view, that Christ's death really isn't intended to be a mere potential offering, given for whoever might respond to the offer of salvation but without regard to who those people might be. At the same time, David follows Hodge, Dabney, and others who, I think in the spirit of Calvin to begin with, emphasize that denying a merely potential offer does not require denying any potentiality to the offer. The biblical language seems sometimes to reflect the particularity of redemption, but at other times it seems to be getting at the universal offer. One way to describe this is that the atonement is sufficient for all but efficacious only for the elect. Some people take this view and therefore conclude that they reject limited atonement. They're wrong. This is what limited atonement says. Anyone who is not a universalist believes in limited atonement, which means it should be the least rather than the most controversial of the five points. Some people take the second part of this formula and assume it means the first part is false, but that's a philosophical mistake that requires denying actual biblical language or using exegetical feats of wonder to explain away otherwise obvious statements.

Finally, 21st Century Reformation has some helpful thoughts about why the recent discussions among Reformed bloggers about the five points of Calvinism have some practical value. I don't agree that something needs to have an immediate explanation of its moral value or of some practical thing to do as a result for its discussion to be worthwhile, but I do think it's a good now and then to talk about why this stuff is important.

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