Meta-Blogging: June 2004 Archives

OK. 93 looks really funny in Roman numeral form. I just had to say that.

I've got a post in the most prestigious carnival of the blogosphere (or at least the most widely known), my post from last week on race and the death penalty. The Carnival of the Vanities is at quasi in rem this week. I haven't looked at the other entries, but since I'll probably get hits and maybe links off this, I should plug it myself to be fair.

Welcome to the 24th Christian Carnival. We've got a full house this time around, twenty submissions. I haven't been counting every week, but this may be a record. It's at least one of the top few. With more entries, it's getting harder to say something about each entry, so sometimes I've just given the person's own description. Sometimes I felt compelled to alter it for clarity or to add a comment based on my own response to the post.

I've found myself disagreeing fairly strongly with some submissions, but I've tried to be a good host and say as little in those cases, though I have trouble putting a link on my own blog to something I disagree with without saying something. I have to say that every post here is a worthy submission, and I think there's something of value in each one, even the ones I've expressed disagreement with. Please don't take my disagreements as anything other than a difference of opinion on matters not absolutely central to the Christian gospel. Now on the the Carnival...

Right on Race

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There's a new blog on race from a conservative position, Right on Race. This one allows posts from anyone, though any post will wisely have to pass a moderator's test for inclusion. I've submitted my post on Justices Thomas and Scalia. Thanks to Eugene Volokh for the pointer.

The 24th Christian Carnival will be hosted right here this coming Wednesday.

If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get read and possibly pick up readers in the process or highlight your favorite post from the past week.

To enter is simple. First your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. Then do the following:

Color Scheme

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I've been playing around with the color scheme, but I wasn't able to find anything I liked until Wink found a blog with colors that looked really good. I didn't have any distinction between followed and unfollowed links before, and I couldn't find another shade of yellow that looked right. The other colors I tried didn't look right with the background I had. It turned out I needed to darken the background a little to get other colors to look bright enough, but then I couldn't darken it all the way to black or the book and CD covers with black on the edges looked really amorphous. I also figured out how to get post titles into normal text (and not just capitals). Now I just need to figure out how to get my email address worked into my name under my posts with the proper spam protection.

Any thoughts on the new look?

I'm two days late getting to this, but the 23rd Christian Carnival is up at Randomness. My Divine Capitalization is there. No special recommendations from me this time for the following reasons:

1. Most people who read this blog who care about the Christian Carnival have already read it this week.
2. I didn't find any of the posts to be head and shoulders knees and toes above all the rest (sorry, I've got kids on the brain even after being physically separated from them for over 29 hours now).
3. The ones that I considered flagging all would have required lengthy comments, either to disagree with minor points that may not have been worth the time or to start what really deserves to be a lengthy dialogue that I really don't have the time for.
4. Dawn has already said something about every post. It isn't always what I'd say, but it's more than what most hosts do (which is simply to post the person's own description or to post a slightly modified version with pronouns and such things changed around).
5. If you haven't read this week's Christian Carnival at this point, you should get on over there and read it and not wade through what I have to say. Of course, this ridiculous list is serving as just as bad a distraction, so I'd better end it.


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Tim Challies raises some uncommon but uncommonly sane questions about raising hands in worship. As you might conclude from my comment, I don't agree with everything he seems to be suggesting, but these questions are worth thinking about. We usually don't think along these lines about this sort of thing.

Jollyblogger has a new post in his series on studying the Bible. I'd never gone back and read the early ones in this series. Good stuff.

The Limitless links to I seem to have lost where I found this, but here's a paper on a participatory model of the atonement. Since this is one of the things Wink has been working on, I figured I'd mention it.

A little while ago I read a review of Kenneth Kitchen's latest book on the reliability of the Old Testament. I had wanted to blog about it, so I was holding off, but I don't think I'm going to get around to it. It looks like an excellent book, though, so I really want to get it.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be hosted at Randomness.

If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get read, and possibly pick up readers in the process, or highlight your favorite post from the past week.

To enter is simple. First your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. Then do the following:

Email Dawn at

Provide the following:

Title of your Blog
URL of your Blog
Title of your post
URL linking to that post
Description of the Post

Cut off date is Tuesday by 9 PM EST

If you are reading this and are not a part of the Christian Carnival
mailing list please visit this link and join up:

*If you wish to host the Carnival in coming weeks email Nick at

Bug Me Not

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Don't you hate it when someone links to an article that they say is incredible, and you really want to read it, but it requires registration? I don't usually mind registering if it's a major site that I'll probably read again later (though there is the spam factor, but see below), but it takes time and effort to keep registering at sites. Well, someone's gone and devised a way to get you in without registering. At Bug Me Not, all you have to do is type in the URL of the main site, and it will give you a login name and password. Then you'll be able to read the registration-required material. Thanks to La Shawn Barber for the heads up.

If you ever have to give email but won't ever have to read what they might send you, give them a Mailinator address. Even if you have to read one message and respond to it, this will do. It deletes the mail after a couple hours, so you have to check it soon after they send something to you.

Christian Carnival XXII

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The Christian Carnival is now fully up at Belief Seeking Understanding. Because this is the biggest one so far (20 entries), he wasn't able to get it all done at once, but the second post with the final nine entries now joins the first post with the first eleven entries.

I have to mention my post arguing biblically that any prioritizing of anything above God is idolatry and Sam's What Would Jesus Eat? I'll highlight two others, both from blogs I haven't spent much if any time on before.

Matt Hall's Restless Experientialists has some choice words for what I think is one of the biggest problems in the church of Jesus Christ in the United States today. Part of my appreciation of this post is that I've been on the receiving end of those who assume extroverted excitement at tangential things is crucial for Christian maturity while ignoring the long-term character of the fruit of the Spirit and reinterpreting the fruit of the Spirit as overt and temporal happiness.

Writing to Understand shows how easy it is to let misimpressions of someone color your every interaction with them.

The Conservative Brotherhood is a group of right-thinking or right-leaning African American bloggers, or something like that anyway. These things admit of borderline cases in both criteria. I already had all these sites on my blogroll except one, which I've now added, but I figured it was worth drawing attention to this. I'm not quite sure why they didn't include Sam, since she was in on the initial discussions.

Update: She's been added.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be hosted at Belief Seeking Understanding. If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get read and possibly pick up readers in the process or highlight your favorite post from the past week.

To enter is simple. First, you post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. Then, do the following:

email Douglas at

Provide the following:

Title of your Blog
URL of your Blog
Title of your post
URL linking to that post
Description of the post

Cut off date Tuesday before 12 Midnight EST (which would really be Wednesday morning).

Another Roundup

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I've got too many things to blog about again, so here we go.

Jonathan Ichikawa has a nice post at Fake Barn Country about obesity and determinism. I think I agree with everything he says. (It's also at his own blog, but there aren't any comments there yet. If you're interested in looking at all possible comments, it's worth checking both.)

Tiger! Tiger! has a great post on arguments for atheism. The author is an atheist but is acknowleding the insufficiency of the best arguments for atheism. I think I agree with every word up to a certain point. At the end, there's an appeal to a hermeneutic of suspicion as a final method of arguing for atheism, but I wonder if again this is at best at argument for agnosticism, since of course you can apply a hermeneutic of suspicion to the atheistic framework as well (and the atheistic explanations of evidence and experiences pointing to theism) by explaining the atheistic worldview in terms of Romans 1 and the fall of humanity.

Saddam's doctor gives some inside dirt. (via The Limitless)

Stuart Buck puts Brian Leiter in his place with a careful examination of a new poll that shows the overall increasing mistrust of the media from both political parties. Leiter was trying to use it to show that Republicans are stupid for not trusting C-SPAN and that Republicans are simply mad at the press for questioning Bush and no longer groveling to him (as if they ever did). Stuart points out that the poll shows that Democrats are growing distrustful of all the media sources, that the Wall Street Journal is the biggest drop in trustworthiness according to Republicans, that Democrats and Republicans trust both Fox News at nearly statistically equivalent rates to each other, and Democrats are distrusting enough of C-SPAN that they fall prey to his charge of stupidity if Republicans do (not that the charge applies anyway if you understand what they are distrusting, on which see his argument).

Eugene Volokh, as far as I can tell, is a standard pro-choice libertarian, but he's willing to acknowledge that, even though both sides of the abortion debate are guilty of euphemistic and dysphemistic language, the mainstream media really do show a bias toward the euphemisms and dysphemisms of the pro-choice side of the debate.

Donald Sensing at One Hand Clapping notices how Bush's order in 'women and men' sends a strong signal to Muslim practices that marginalize women. It's little things like this that show that Bush really isn't like a lot of Republicans of the past (or at least of the era since the 60s when Republicans were the civil rights party). The Bush Administration consciously thinks about things like this.

Joanne Jacobs connects talking to kids (including to babies), grades/test scores, class, and the racial achievement gap. I don't think everything she says follows from the data, but it's fascinating stuff. My comment there is sufficient to show where I disagree.

Jollyblogger has an excellent post on metaphor and whether Harry Potter can be morally redeeming for a Christian who believes the occult is evil. It's one of the best defenses of popular fiction with elements hyper-fundamentalists would reject that I've seen in a long time, using the examples of Hosea's marriage to a practicing prostitute and Isaiah's walking around "naked" (both commands from God) for an interesting point. He didn't say what I thought was the most obvious thing to say, which is that magic in Harry Potter isn't what's condemned in the Bible, since it's a natural ability of the characters in that fictional world rather than a supernatural ability not of one's own but sought out through practices involving demonic beings.

My list of favorite posts is getting fairly long, and I've decided to remove some of the earlier ones. I still want to have a link to them, so I'm linking to them in this post, and then I'll put this post in the list of favorite posts. That way the list will be shorter, but I'll be able to find them fairly easily without having to search the whole site.

New low for racist left looks at a poster making fun of National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice that I believe to be racist. I explain why in the post, and somehow some slack-jawed yokels found the post, completely ignored my reasoning and everything about me that a quick look around my site would reveal, and proceeded to call me a racist. It was probably the most commented-on entry in the history of my blog, and the comments are quite characteristic of the average response to the kind of point I was making, which is simply to ignore it and change the subject, to charge me with things I never said and don't believe, and to take everything I said in the most uncharitable way possible.

Pacifism links to my fairly comprehensive teaching notes on arguments for and against pacifism, including both philosophical and biblical arguments.

Personhood and Abortion summarizes some of my views on abortion, in response to some statements by Senator Sam Brownback (R, KS). Careful-thinking people realize that personhood is the central issue in the debate (not life or humanity), but personhood by itself itself doesn't decide the issue one way or the other, giving pro-life and pro-choice reasons for thinking that. I offer two considerations that should also come into play, one having to do with violence and the other from the fact that we view very early miscarriages as unfortunate but not as bad as losing a child at a later developmental stage.

Update: I've removed some of the posts originally in this entry and put them into a topical one on apologetics, because they belong there. This one's a little haphazard themewise.

Update 2: I've moved more into Christian Ethics Posts. This post is getting smaller and smaller.

Maybe someone ought to come up with a term for this sort of thing. I'm now the number one hit on Google for Reagan's Remains (excuse the Google bomb, but the current top search link is the main page, and it's worth increasing the status of the actual entry, which has now moved down a bit). I doubt anyone will get much of what they're looking for here, though.

Somehow just the comments page on my Review of Bible Translations is coming up at the number one hit for a search on those terms. The post itself isn't listed. Hmm.

The 21st Christian Carnival is over at ChristWeb. I'm not highlighting any particular posts this week except to mention that my own post on the biblical way to misrepresent your opponents is part of it.

I guess I've been discovered by the Mormon blogging community, and some three sites have linked to me. Mormon Metaphysics is a philosophy and theology site. Clark, who runs it, has already been interacting here in the comments a bit. Dave's Mormon Inquiry and Northern Lights (which seem to be run by the same person, but I'm not sure) deal with theology, Mormon apologetics, religion in the news, and other more general stuff. Of course, my Mormon friend who is a philosophy professor at Southern Virginia University told me that Mormon theology is an oxymoron and that there's a book called Mormon Doctrine that isn't any such thing. I'll let the bloggers on these sites take it up with him.

I have two items to highlight at Northern Lights. First is an excellent exploration of what would have happened if there had been a constitutional clause prohibiting the government from passing any laws respecting the establishment of a free press. The result is an excellent parody of the constitutional revisionists who haven't figured out that 'respecting' was merely a synonym of 'regarding', with the intent to protect religion from laws restricting it.

Second is a hilarious suggestion for solving the pledge problem without removing any words at all: "One nation, under God, or not, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all." Even stalwart believers in God can say this truly, for two reasons. The first reason is that adding a disjunct to any true sentence will keep a true sentence. For example, 'George W. Bush is the president' is true, as is 'George W. Bush is the president or the moon is made of green cheese.' The second reason is that one might really find it completely non-misleading to describe this nation as both under God and not under God. Insofar as we're under God's sovereign watch, we're under God. Insofar as this nation has rejected God, we're not under God. OK, enough ruining a good punchline by defending it.

I suppose this is a good opportunity to mention for those still reading what my link policy is, since one of these sites included a hope for a link from me.

The email address in my Christian Carnival plug for this week was wrong. I've corrected it now. If you already sent in an entry, please do so again. Stephen probably didn't get it.


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I was planning to write something really cool for my 400th entry, but I wasn't planning to get around to it today, and Wink has forced my hand by posting his excellent comment-generating entries (which also conveniently allowed me to forbear from posting anything at all yesterday without a gap in days on the blog), so we're now at post 400. Still, circumstances conspired to generate something even better for entry 400.

Prosblogion, the philosophy of religion blog that I've been talking about, is now up and moving along at full pace. The name comes from Anselm's famous Proslogion, in which he presents the ontological argument for the existence of God. We have two faculty members and three graduate students from various locations involved so far, and Matthew Mullins (as administrator of the site) has some feelers out to some other philosophers of religion to see if they're interested. The level of discussion is already higher than I'd hoped to see within the first few weeks. Our two resident faculty have intitiated with a few great posts on the possibility of more than one perfect being and on the topic of God's sovereignty and human freedom, and I've just posted a sort of solution to the vexing problem facing Leibniz about how he can have contingency and freedom in God while still endorsing the Principle of Sufficient Reason.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be hosted at ChristWeb. If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get read, and possibly pick up readers in the process, or highlight your favorite post from the past week.

Read on to find out more!

Update: I've fixed the email address. The one Nick originally had in here was wrong. If you sent in an entry, please do so again. Chances are pretty good that Stephen didn't get it.

Weekend Roundup II

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Here's some more stuff I've been catching up on from the weekend away:

The universe has been expanding faster than the speed of light (via Volokh).

Poliblogger links to a story about three washed-up action hero actors playing three washed-up action hero actors who open up a private investigtor firm. The actors? William Shatner, Robert Wagner, and Lee Majors. I'd watch that.

King of Fools points out that John Kerry is now advocating unilateral engagement with North Korea. He's also got a good post on lust and objectification that picks up on themes I blogged about recently.

Bill Hobbs gives a mini-roundup of connections between Saddam and al Qaeda (link from One Hand Clapping).

Rebecca Writes gives some helpful reflections on the moral implications of Philippians 2:1-8, including just what it is about Jesus' giving of himself that Paul is telling the Philippians to imitate. This post got a mention on Blogs4God.

The Big 20 is here. I was originally supposed to host this one, but it's fitting for Patriot Paradox to have it as the founder, especially now that he's got his real blog back. My post about Arminian misunderstandings of Calvinist thought is in it. Also check out Jollyblogger's post on how to engage in Christlike argumentation.

Weekend Roundup I

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While I was in New York City for the weekend I was able to do a little writing for posting when I went online with an incredibly slow connection, but I couldn't do much that involved looking around at other blogs and blogging about them, so it's time for another roundup.

Stuart Buck has a helpful post about cable companies and bundling packages. A number of conservatives and libertarians have been arguing that cable companies should charge by the channel, and then people would only pay for what they watch. As much as I'd like not to have to pay for ESPN or any other sports channel, since those will never be watched in my household unless my dad or Sam's dad is around, this sort of proposal doesn't make much sense once you learn a little more about how cable companies work.

Stuart also has a good quote from philosopher C. Stephen Layman that I think shows two things. First, a lot more arguments beg the question than most philosophers will admit. Second, begging the question isn't always all that bad. Many good arguments are question-begging. See my comment on Stuart's post for a little more on why I think this, if you can't see the reasons from Layman's quote.

At Digitus, Finger & Co. we have a striking diversity of feminist responses to Abu Ghraib.

I've got eight windows open now full of other things to read more carefully before deciding if they deserve linkage, but I'm too exhausted now to do more. We've been up late every night, partly from kids not sleeping due to the unfamiliar location, and I have to tutor football players at 8am, so I need sleep. To be continued...

Update: Nick has extended the deadline to 9am tomorrow (Wednesday) morning.

Patriot Paradox is back online after having to move to a temporary location for a week or so. Tomorrow he's hosting the Big 20 for the Christian Carnival.

If you have a blog, this will be a great way to get read, and possibly pick up readers in the process, or highlight your favorite post from the past week. There's still time left, and since he may extend has extended some grace if you plead with him and tell him you get your information about the Carnival from me and say that I was away all weekend and just got back to read my email about where the Carnival is located. Actually, just send him the information he asks for. He probably doesn't want to read all that.

To enter is simple. First your post should be of a Christian nature, but this does not exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. Then do the following:



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