Welcome to the 156th Christian Carnival. I usually put together a nice theme when I host, but even though I've been on break from teaching we've been both sick and busy at the Pierce residence, which left me without much time to put together anything interesting. As a result, I'm going with the old standby and putting all the posts exactly in the order they were submitted, with one minor modification. I've decided due to a fairly low turnout this week to add several of my own picks of good posts from Christian blogger who didn't submit posts this week. Those who submitted posts get first priority in the order I received them, and the sneak-ins appear after mine at the end. Given the low turnout, I will still consider late submissions, which I will add to the end if there are any. On to the Carnival...
Lingamish, a hopeless link-addict, explains his absurdly high Technorati rank and makes a pitiable plea for link-love reciprocity. [Note: Some might wonder what such a post is doing in the Christian Carnival. I have a bad excuse for including it. It does mention a few Christian bloggers. But there's also a good reason. The post has a very subtle undertone that I think amounts to a message that Christian bloggers ought to agree with.]
Ruth of Journal of Ruth shares some of her struggles with going to church: "The image in my head when I think about going to church is a sea of faces of looking at me in amazement. That image leaves me in a panic, and I want to bolt the room even though I’m not really there. So, fear is keeping me away."
Weekend Fisher struggles with forgiveness, getting rid of bitterness, and how to apply Christ's teachings to the problem of figuring out how to repay good for evil. Be sure to check out the chart!
Martin LaBar of Sun and Shield says: "Have you ever wondered whether there were bacteria or mosquitoes before the Fall? Whether Adam and Eve defecated before the Fall? Only a biologist (or a sick mind) would think about such things, I guess, but I have. I don't know the answers, by the way, but muse about these and related questions." See The Fall and the immune system (repost).
Laurie Bluedorn presents A Few Thoughts on Two Decades of Marriage by Mike Evans posted at Trivium Pursuit.
At Fish and Cans, we have Sin Begets Sin: "The sin of one man, leads to the boasting of sin in another man, which leads me to realize the importance of an open relationship with God, in the eyes of my child."
Chaos and Old Night offers Luther and the Postmodern Turn, which discusses Luther's relevance for postmodernism and explores both comparisons and contrasts of postmodern tennants with Luther's theology. The post argues that, since Luther shouldn't be characterized as either modern or postmodern, his theology is able to both critique and sympathize with both modernism and postmodernism.
Doug Payton of Considerettes says "This post covers my most recent bout with MS and how God has shown Himself through it." Check out God Is In Control (or "Why I Virtually Stopped Blogging and Why I'm Back").
Is God silent? Does He even exist? Look up! All Creation reveals God’s presence continuously and universally. Don Bosch at The Evangelical Ecologist has this meditation from Psalm 19 on the Word of God in creation and in God's law.
From Participatory Bible Study Blog, we have an introduction to The NeXt Bible, which is from the folks who produced the NET (i.e. the New English Translation or NET Bible), and it provides a wonderful set of utilities you can use wherever you can find a browser.
It's been said that 95% of all Christian fail the test of prosperity. In The Test of Prosperity, at Every Square Inch, Andre explores what the test of prosperity is all about and how to pass it by simply asking a few questions.
Should, as some say, the words 'repentance', 'justification', 'sanctification', 'propitiation', and 'flesh' be removed from the Bible because they are inaccessible and not theologically of sound reason? In Words and Relevance: Removing Repentance is Unjustified, at Allthings2all, Catez Stevens says no and discusses the cultural and theological utility of keeping them as they are.
This week's Parableman entry is In Christ, which responds to a post by Wayne Leman at Better Bibles Blog. The issue is how to translate expressions like the Greek one normally rendered "in Christ" in most English translations. Wayne thinks there's a strong need for rethinking how we translate such expressions, and I argue that current translations capture something that would be lost if we translate in a way that sounds like better English.
Continuing the Bible translation theme, our first unsubmission of the Carnival is Literal Is Not More Accurate If It's Unintelligible, by Rick Mansfield at This Lamp. Rick moves back in the other direction by arguing that archaisms in a translation make it inaccurate, which counts against the many claims made on behalf of so-called literal translations that they are more accurate. In some of these ways, they are less accurate.
Ultimately, I think anyone who holds a view on Bible translation ought to consider the arguments in all these posts. Unfortunately people on both sides of most of the disputes are grossly unaware of the reasons for the alternative position, often leading to immoral misrepresentations and condemnations of their fellow believers. I try to recognize that there are good arguments for both sides on most translation issues, and I think the posts in question are all good examples of other people who recognize that but still think one side has the better arguments.
Our third ringer is David Wayne's cumbersomely-titled Jollyblogger post Toward Hope: Do [North] American Christians too easily assume their surrounding culture is Christian?