Christian Carnival LIX

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The 59th Christian Carnival is at Crossroads: Where Faith and Inquiry Meet. My Slavery and Christianity post finds its place there under the category of Days of Our Lives (yes, Diane finally did the unthinkable and used soap operas as the theme for the Christian Carnival). I was hoping for The Young and the Restless, because that's the one Tyr Anasazi is now on. I saw him on it last week when flipping channels, and he's just not the same without the hair or the Nietzchean bones protruding from his forearms. At least Days of Our Lives was in Bill and Ted's first movie, in the same scene with Kansas and Socrates, so it keeps good company.

Rebecca Writes offers a corrective to what seems to me to be one of the worst offenses of evangelicalism, that it ignores the main bulk of what our fellow believers have written over the millenia and cares only about what's going on now. This shows itself in many ways, but she offers a number of important ways our fellow believers, who are one with us in Christ, stand as a history for us to learn from, have produced a body of work for our own growth, etc. Lots of people now dead are part of the body of Christ, the temple being built on the same foundation as what we see of the church, this dwelling place of the Spirit of God. It's shameful how dismissive we tend to be of anything more than a few years old in our worship, in what we read for spiritual growth, and in many other ways. Even those who will focus on times of old back to the Reformation seem to ignore the richness of Christian tradition through the 1500 years between the New Testament and Martin Luther. These are our brothers and sisters. Let us engage in fellowship with them through what they've left behind.

The bloke in the outer gives a nice summation of where our heart should be while praying. My one hesitation is in a comment there, so I'll say no more.

The Bible Archive presents an incredibly powerful argument that we should worship on mountains. If you know Rey, then you're probably a little taken aback at that, but you should be relieved to know that the post is a parody (and quite a good one) of the standard evangelical topical sermon. He seems to think this is somehow deductive rather than inductive, which he thinks is better, but I don't see how those terms are even related to this. I do remember enduring a few InterVarsity Bible studies as an undergrad that were like this, and they called those inductive, not deductive, but even then I couldn't see the connection. I'm not sure what this has to do with whether an argument is formal with guaranteed conclusions from clear statements or whether it just relies on loose, somewhat reliable but not absolutely sure reasoning. Oh, and notice that he ignored John 4, which specifically talks about worshiping on mountains. I'm assuming this was deliberate.

For an excellent example of how Christians should interact with nonbelievers online, see this Northern 'burbs blog post, which responds to four questions from an agnostic and then deals extremely carefully and well with comments.

Jim Jewell posts a nice list of things to be expected of evangelicals in the public arena. I may have phrased a few things differently, I think there's more to be said on capital punishment (see my comment), and I think the way he worded the bit on war isn't clear (for instance, someone can say all that and still have endorsed the invasion of Iraq, e.g. me, but I can see how someone reading it might think it's a statement against that, because some of those things are common statements, almost code words for being anti-Bush on the issue, among those who opposed it. Still, it's a good list that I think challenges evangelicals of different political persuasions to come together and not just identify with party doctrine but especially with party priorities. These priorities don't line up with either party's, and I think that accurately reflects both the current state of most evangelicals I know and what the Bible says about what we should value.

At In the Agora, Josh Claybourn shows hard numbers supporting what I've claimed in the past. A majority of evangelicals support taking care of the environment (though a bare majority). Actually, I don't think I even claimed that much, but it's 52%. This doesn't mean evangelicals who recognize the biblical mandate to care about creation will take all the environmentalist views of liberal environmentalists, but it does mean more evangelicals are recognizing that moral obligation.

I had to highlight this line from Viewpoint's post about intelligent design: there is something very peculiar about the mind which thought up the near- incomprehensible implications of the theory of general relativity admitting that it cannot imagine individuals surviving physical death or conceive of a deity which possesses certain traits similar to those which humans possess. These are conceptions, after all, which mere mortals of average intelligence have been conceptualizing for thousands of years with little difficulty.

Ales Rarus posts a review of Clint Eastwood's Oscar-sweeping film Million Dollar Baby, and this review gets it right for a change. People who weren't thinking very carefully about the film have accused it of being a pro-euthanasia or pro-suicide movie, but that's just false, and enough elements within the film show that. According to Clint Eastwood's own words, the priest's perspective is the one the film is supposed to confirm, and he's against the act in question. It looks like the Oscars actually did something right for a change.

Wallo World post:
Wallo World argues against someone claiming that Christians might want to consider not watching movies, largely because of the negative effect it might have on them. Bill makes a number of good points, but the most significant argument for me is that you have to leave the world in the way Paul explicitly said he didn't mean we should. Otherwise, you'd never achieve the effect not watching movies would bring. Bill makes the mistake about Clint Eastwood's movie that everyone else seems to be making, but since everyone else is making it we'll cut him some slack. I tried to leave a comment on this post, but it got eaten, and I got diverted to Google news or something strange.


Hey Jeremy -

Sorry your comment got diverted, I'm not quite sure why. Other comments seem to be working fine; I'll have to test it out.

As for Million Dollar Baby, I understand your concern. I wasn't suggesting that the film was overtly pro-euthanasia, although I know there are those who think so. I was concerned that in terms of its theme, it didn't present the "contrary" viewpoint in such a way as to maintain a real dialogue or tension between opposing viewpoints. I'm far more concerned about making sure that what Robert McKee describes as "the other" is fully represented in a story.

Which actually makes a further examination of Million Dollar Baby appropriate; if the "priest's perspective" is supposed to be the transcendent theme, the question becomes how validly the film represents the "other" argument is portrayed. Clearly, Eastwood portrayed that "other" argument fairly well, because people seem to be assuming it is the theme of the film.

Geez, now you've got me going on another post topic here . . .

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