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Welcome to the 255th Christian Carnival. For those not familiar with the Christian Carnival, it's a weekly collection of Christian bloggers' submissions of their best Christian-related posts from the previous week. I just finished my grading for the semester on Tuesday, but I'd been up almost the whole night and didn't finish until late in the day, and yesterday was a pretty busy day around these parts, so I apologize that this is up a day late, but I would have had to stay up later than I could coherently function if I were to have finished it last night.
As usual, please let me know if I missed anything or got any links wrong. I'm including the submitted posts in the order they were submitted, and at the end I've added a few other posts that weren't submitted that I would consider among the best posts of Christian bloggers in the past week. In the interest of getting this up without further delay, I decided to include authors' own descriptions of their posts if they provided them with their submission (occasionally slightly modified so as not to make it sound as if I wrote them myself), and otherwise I just have the title of the post and the blog name (except for the ringers at the end). Without further delay, let's proceed to the carnival!
Miracle gives us 5 Inspirational Bible Quotes To Enhance Your Day, posted at Inspirational Thoughts & Stories For The Spiritual Christian. Miracle says, "Because we all could use a little inspirational wake up call, I have decided to list 5 inspirational Bible quotes that will enhance your day. I hope these verses might help encourage your faith and remember that even though life can be mundane, every day is a beautiful gift from God."
FMF presents Free Money Finance: When Values and Profits Collide, on balancing return with principles, at Free Money Finance.
Paul gives thanks for the Thessalonian church and how they imitated Paul. They became great examples of Christian living to the Macedonians. Are we secure enough in our Christian walk to ask people to imitate us as we imitate Christ? We must, if our message of faith is to be effective. Michael presents We Are the Message at Chasing the Wind.
Diane R gives us The REAL Way to Be Missional/Emergent posted at Crossroads: Where Faith and Inquiry Meet. It isn't enough to simply criticize the current emerging methods with their gospel-lite/gospel-no content. We need to have a better answer too.
JCL looks at how to interact with friends and family or coworkers while fasting, given that so much around you is very food-oriented, in Fasting: Keeping It Secret In Our Culture Of Food In America at The Real Estate Investing Journey.
Collin presents Shoppers Kill a man to get in first for Christmas shopping! posted at Spirit Happy.
Weekend Fisher is building an end-of-year round-up to recognize peoples' efforts in Christian reconciliation. If you know of someone who has been working on Christian reconciliation, whether as a peacemaker or someone calling their own to account, drop a comment on this post for the end-of-year roundup. See Call for nominations: efforts in Christian reconciliation.
Drew Tatusko submits stoning same gender love at Notes From Off Center. Drew says, "The Bible clearly reveals to us frail human social structures that have a track record of consistent failure in their duty to reveal the grace of God. This includes how people of color, the poor, women, and even people who are attracted to those of the same gender have been treated. What needs to happen is an embrace of the frailty and mutable tentativeness of all of these structures in order to divine the greater purpose for which they are constructed."
Finally, as is my tradition when I host, I've got a few good posts from this week that weren't submitted but that I thought were worth a Christian Carnival mention:
In Crafting a Crazy King, Danny Pierce at Boston Bible Geeks gives a literary analysis of the end of I Samuel 17 in the overall context of the larger section it appears in, offering an explanation of a puzzling line that scholars have often treated either as a mistake in editing or a reordered chronology that's never signaled by the author. I've written about this issue before here, where I give a solution that's similar in some ways to Danny's. It will provide some background and a different presentation of the issues for those who want to look at the issue in more depth. Full disclosure: Danny is my second-cousin, but I've only met him once, and that was a long time ago with probably no real interaction.
Last but not least, posts in this Christian Carnival and (if I remember correctly) the previous one have looked at Lisa Miller's opinion piece disguised as a Newsweek cover story on homosexuality and the Bible, which completely ignored the arguments of the other side except to misrepresent them pretty badly. So I thought it would be appropriate to include a link to the response I've been most impressed with, which is by New Testament scholar Darrell Bock: Haircuts, Public Homilies, News Magazines, and Gay Marriage.