Meta-Blogging: October 2004 Archives

Most Popular Posts

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Since this is post 750, I have virtually no time this week, and lots of posts recently have been comment-heavy, I decided to do a little site statistics for post 750. I'm ranking the most popular posts so far in terms of comments. I had thought I might also revise my top 15 posts or do a top 25 or something, but I'll save that for another time.

I was originally going to do the top 15, and then I saw that the first time I did this I had started with those having 13 comments or more, so I decided to see how many it would be if I started there this time. It turned out to be 29 (but if you don't count Wink's posts it's a nice 25). For comparison's sake, I left them all in. When there's a tie, older posts are listed first.

Christian Carnival XLI

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The 41st Christian Carnival finds its home at From the Anchor Hold. My Playing God is part of it. There are lots of entries this time around, but I'll highlight just two.

Julie Ann Fidler talks about her four years of marriage. It's been worth it despite being very hard. It's been worth it but not for any of the reasons she expected it to be worth it. I bet that's true of many Christian marriages.

The Crusty Curmudgeon reflects on the authority and sufficiency of scripture, presumably for the upcoming debut of the Carnival of the Reformation. It's a great overview of the issue. I'm looking forward to lots of great stuff on Monday. I just don't expect to have time to read any of it.

Philosophers' Carnival IV

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The fourth Philosophers' Carnival is at Doing Things With Words. It's got three posts from blogs I'm associated with. For Parableman, we have my post on how poor the Oxford English Dictionary definition of 'racism' is. OrangePhilosophy is represented by Ben Bradley's argument that the death of a baby is comparatively worse intrinsically than the death of a young adult, other things being equal. Prosblogion makes an appearance with Ted Poston's response to the problem of divine silence that belief in God doesn't need to involve a strong belief in any particular statements about God, which led to the interesting suggestion that any relational connection with God can in fact count as knowledge of God. Blogger has been acting up all day, so if a post doesn't work try it again later. Sometimes hitting reload or enter is all it takes. Sometimes that won't do it.

Christian Carnival XL

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Proverbial Wife hosts the 40th Christian Carnival, or at least the 40th one people submitted posts to. Marla put in a lot of work digesting each one and putting them into an order that really flows quite nicely. It's actually only the 39th to appear, since the one that was supposed to be the 39th is unfortunately delayed (or canceled?) because Adrian Warnock's real life is refreshingly more important than his blogging. My Abominations gets top billing in the Carnival this week. There's lots of good stuff, and I've selected eight posts to highlight, so it's going under the fold.

This is just a reminder that the first installment of Post-Tenebras Lux. the Carnival of the Reformation, is coming up. All submissions are due in by this Thursday, October 28 at 6:00pm EST. The Carnival will be posted next Monday, November 1. This is a themed carnival, and the theme is Sola Scriptura and each post should be a defense, exegesis, or application of the doctrine of Sola Scriptura and should be in line with the statements of the major reformed confessions on Scripture. Please submit entries to "reformationcarnival ATT spamex DOTT com". See here for more information, here for the original announcement with even more details, and here for links explaining Sola Scriptura in its Reformation context.

Christian Carnival XLI Plug

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This coming Wednesday, October 27th, is the next Christian Carnival, which will be hosted at From the Anchor Hold. 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. Second, please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival deadline, which was 10/19.

Then, do the following:

This post at Thinklings has led me to reconsider my decision to let my Abominations post stand without revising it but simply explaining as an addition what I really meant. Read below the fold for why.

Update: First I want to say that rethinking this as I revised that section of that post has led me to consider one thing that hadn't occurred to me originally or in all the responding to comments I've done. My original point was about the logic of the argument against homosexual sex. The logic is that God had ordained sex and marriage for one purpose: to reflect something about the relationship between Christ and his bride (the gathering of believers around God's throne in heaven, i.e. the church). That will be fulfilled in the resurrection and thus will no longer be in place to serve as a reason for anything like sex or marriage. Then I said that if there's something like sex it may not be restricted to male-female couples since there won't be any, and by the same reasoning it may not be restricted to male-female relations at all, since there might not be any of them either. Well, what occurred to me is that there are two scriptural grounds for male-female relations. One is the relation between Christ and the church. The other is the relation between Father and Son in the Trinity. This comes out most clearly in I Corinthians 11:3, though I see elements of it expressed elsewhere. Most of the other passages about marriage or sex distinctions don't deal with this, though, so I wasn't really thinking about it. Should this undermine what I said? I don't know. If it does, it also undermines the reason I gave for why Jesus said there won't be marriage in the resurrection. So I'm not sure if it changes anything because I'm not sure what to say about it at all.

Christian Carnival XL Plug

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We're still waiting for the 39th Christian Carnival to appear due to personal life interfering with Adrian's ability to post it. While you're waiting, you can submit your post for the 40th Christian Carnival, which will be held at Proverbial Wife.

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 absolutely exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. Second, please send only one post dated since the deadline for the last Christian Carnival (roughly a week before this week's deadline). Then, do the following:

I was wondering why I've been getting so much traffic from Pro-Life Blogs. I guess it's because there are only twelve blogs in it so far. I had assumed it had been publicized fairly well, but I guess not, so I'm doing my share.

Their requirements for membership:

1. Have a weblog or pro-life web site.

2. Subscribe to the sanctity of human life and pro-life principles (human life is precious and life begins at conception).

3. Blog, at least in part, on pro-life related issues such as abortion, adoption, embryonic stem cell research, or euthanasia. The theme of your blog can be politics, social issues, theology, etc. as long as there is some expression of your pro-life stand. Naturally, your blog cannot contain any objectionable material, such as calls to violence, racism or profanity.

4. Promote ProLifeBlogs and/or a ProLifeBlogs web site [see the site for more specifics on this].

While we're on the topic, check out Volokh's surprisingly pro-life-friendly post this morning. I have to disagree with him on one thing. Seeing abortion as the moral equivalent of muder doesn't require attacking abortion clinics or giving women who have abortions the death penalty, because it's not legally murder, and many pro-life people are Christians who believe in submitting to the laws of their government even if they disagree with them. Also, many pro-life people realize that abortion is often heartlessly pushed on young women by their parents and boyfriends or in some cases by what they expect those people would do or say. The rest of Volokh's comments are worth heeding, particularly if you're Andrew Sullivan. I'm seriously contemplating removing my link to him, not for the first time.

This week's Christian Carnival will be at Adrian Warnock's UK Evangelical Blog.

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 absolutely exclude posts that are political (or otherwise) in nature from a Christian point of view. (Some that aren't really Christian-related have been slipping through, so remember that this is the Christian Carnival. Also be aware of Adrian's current distaste for political posts and try to spare him the suffering. Posts about other things are highly encouraged.) Second, please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival. Then, do the following:

The 38th Christian Carnival is at Belief Seeking Understanding. As he's done before, Doug has split it into two posts. Parableman is represented, as usual, in Mark Tidbit 2: Jesus' Anger.

Nicene Theology has an excellent summary of Augusting on Justification.

hungry 4 God has a helpful reminder that one of the key elements in good apologetics isn't the thinking involved. The post focuses on a case where Christians are ridiculed for being unintelligent or anti-intellectual, and it points to some important scriptural guidelines that aren't normally associated with apologetics but really are relevant to this sort of issue. The one thing I like less than apologists who give bad arguments for conclusions I agree with is apologists who have a nasty attitude while giving their defense of Christianity. Sometimes it's much better to listen and say little, asking key questions and not arguing for much, than it is to mount a defense whose content would be quite impressive but with a manner that would cast much darkness on the content through insulting the hearer.

21st Century Reformation learns some lessons from Jonathan Edwards' life about commitment to developing godliness and character.

A Physicist's Perspective offers some insightful thoughts on harm principles in ethics. Specifically, the argument is that some people try to avoid calling certain actions wrong because of their lack of harm. This post provides some interesting ways to show that there may well be harm anyway. I'm not endorsing every detail, but I think this sort of general approach is extremely important, because it just isn't true that harm principles automatically will allow what most people want to argue that they allow. My favorite example is incest. I think sexual relations between a brother and sister are harmful, but I can't think of a good secular argument why they should be harmful in principle as long as there's no chance of conception, and both parties are consenting adults. That complicates such discussions, and both sides have something to learn from thinking carefully about that sort of thing.

The third Philosophers' Carnival is at Philosophical Poetry. My 5th affirmative action post on reparations is part of it, as is my co-blogger (and host) Matthew's Prosblogion post on problems with the incarnation.

Doing Things With Words has a great post on tolerance. His major claim is that tolerance in general doesn't require being tolerant of everything (i.e. true relativists), and it doesn't require being tolerant of those who tolerate everything (presumably because we should insist on some genuine moral claims). The upshot is that you can possess the virtue of tolerance while being intolerant of someone. That seems right, and it seriously undermines the argument I hear regularly that advocates of tolerance are inconsistent when they're intolerant of the intolerant. It's a problem for those who say they're tolerant of everything, but those with a principled tolerance of certain things can be intolerant at times without being inconsistent.

Best of Me Symphony XLIV

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The 44th Best of Me Symphony is at The Owner's Manual. My Who Killed Jesus? post is part of this week's Seinfeld edition.

For those who don't know, the Best of Me Symphony is a blog carnival with the peculiar theme of focusing on the best posts of blogs, requiring only that each entry be at least two months (60 days) old. It defeats the purpose of sending in the best posts of a blog if you submit things every week, so I don't enter too often, but it happens every week, so it's never too late to enter for the next one. Subimission info is at the bottom of the post.

This week's Christian Carnival will be 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, 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. Second, please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival. Then, do the following:

Mark Tidbits

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I'm part of a Bible study group working through the gospel of Mark right now, and I've decided that from time to time I'll post a little tidbit from that study. I've already written a discussion on Jesus' preaching to repent and believe, so that's retroactively now the first post in this series. I have three more already planned, and we've only gotten through Mark 2:13 so far in the study, so this may be a regular feature for a while.

Update: As I go, I'll list and link to all the posts in the series. It will eventually get long, so I'm putting the list in the extended entry.

The 106th COTV is at Last One Speaks. My fifth affirmative action post on the reparations argument is part of it.

I don't know a lot about the estate tax (AKA the death tax) issue, but it comes in pints? knows a bit about it, and one argument sticks out to me. The estate tax hurts the middle class because property counts as part of an estate, and smaller estates are mostly illiquid property, such as a family's house. If you don't have the resouces to pay the tax because it's all in the house, that's not good. Those who favor this tax think it's a tax on the rich, and rich people do have to deal with this tax, but those who aren't that rich can really be harmed by it.

RoguePundit discusses a non-addictive painkiller derived from a mutated poppy. In other words, it's non-addictive opium. I guess want to know if it gives a high and muddles thought processes. If not, this is great. People have been working for a while to synthesize some of the chemicals in marijuana that have the medical effect but not the high or the other undesirable effects (well, some people find them desirable, but I don't understand that at all). This may be a natural way around that problem.

I'm not happy with all the harshness of Key Monk's treatment of the voter fraud issue in Florida and Missouri, but I think his points are pretty much right (with a few exaggerations perhaps). I hadn't heard about the fourth-grade class who had no problem with the Florida butterfly ballot. It didn't look that hard to me either. The most interesting stuff, though, was on black disenfranchisement, including the hoax of the black felon purge (which, to whatever extent it occurred, was mostly white) and the backfiring effect these charges have had on convincing black voters to stay home from the polls in 2002. This conspiracy theory has been shown false (thanks to this Watcher of Weasels post, also in this COTV, for that last link), and it's insulting to black voters to keep perpetuating it.

A couple lines at the end of this post on gay marriage at Let's Try Freedom seem to me to be full of real foresight. I would prefer to see the judiciary bow out. Gay marriage is something that should come to pass, if it comes to pass, because a significant and permanent majority of people want it to happen, and go to the trouble of pressuring their legislatures to enact it. Otherwise it will turn out to be abortion all over again - judicial fiat overriding democratic debate, and creating a permanently festering wound in the body politic. Since it is clear that the judiciary will NOT bow out, then I favor tying their hands. The FMA was a bad idea, because it took power away from the states; jurisdiction stripping leaves power in the state legislatures (and the populace, in states with the referendum) while cutting the courts out of the equation. I can see the similarities to abortion, and I think that's exactly where this is going to go.

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