Meta-Blogging: November 2004 Archives

Christian Carnival XLVI Reassigned

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Christian Carnival #46 has been reassigned. If you sent an entry to the blog that was supposed to be hosting it, you'll need to send it again to the real host, which is A Physicist's Perspective.

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:

Best of Me Symphony LII

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The 52nd Best of Me Symphony is now up. For those who don't know, this is a blog carnival dedicated to highlighting the best posts of a blog over the course of its history, not allowing anything more recent than 60 days old. This edition has a Bill Cosby theme, and a few people actually submitted posts about Cosby. My Legitimacy in the Black Community argues that what Bill Cosby has been saying has been said many times before, and if it's true when Cosby says it then those who have ignored it because of who was saying it have been morally negligent.

Mike at ETalkingHead complains about the media attempts to portray Cosby's words as a tirade rather than a call to do what's best for black Americans, and he then points out that these words apply to all sorts of people, not just blacks.

La Shawn Barber shows up as well with The Hard Sayings of Bill Cosby, contrasting Cosby's statements with those of Jesse Jackson at an event at which both of them spoke.

Parableman is often obnoxious, similairly convinced in his own positions and righteously loud about it--and completely engrossing. I may not agree with many of his positions but this dear Christian brother can argue his point from philosophy and the

From The Bible Archive. I guess there was a space limit, and I'm assuming the next word was 'Bible'. Am I really often obnoxious? I'm not even sure how I could be loud without using all caps.

From Merriam-Webster:
Obnoxious: 1 archaic : exposed to something unpleasant or harmful -- used with to
2 archaic : deserving of censure
3 : odiously or disgustingly objectionable : highly offensive

loud: 1 a : marked by intensity or volume of sound b : producing a loud sound
2 : CLAMOROUS, NOISY
3 : obtrusive or offensive in appearance or smell : OBNOXIOUS

If I'm giving off this impression, it's a real surprise to me. I see this site as a way to have reasoned discussion on issues, to provide balance and a mediating position between extremes, and to give due time to arguments and positions I disagree with. That doesn't mean I don't express the views I do become convinced of, and I'll give arguments for those positions. I just don't see the harshness that kind of language implies.

Update: Well, it's been revoked as one of his "cute (or so I thought) observations and reviews of the sites that I recommend". This post has been described as "a due thrashing"! Anyone else ready for the cat-of-nine-tails? Don't worry, Rey. I was more at a loss to try to figure out what I was doing that came across that way than I was mad at you for saying that.

Christian Carnival XLV

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The 45th Christian Carnival is at CowPi Journal. My Universal Salvation and Universal Damnation is the best I could come up with this week. I don't want to limit the importance of the point I was making, but it isn't exactly the usual careful and comprehensive post I like to submit. I just didn't have the time this week with another hard drive failure and reinstallation on top of the kids throwing up on and off for three days, usually right when we were about to go to bed. I thought I'd already linked to this at some point, but I can't find it if I did. Rebecca Writes looks at Isaiah 10 and shows how it requires compatibilism about absolute divine sovereignty over human actions and absolute human responsibility for those same actions. I don't see how you can get around this conclusion. It doesn't show that God controls every event (though I think other things throughout the Bible show God's sovereignty over every event), but it does show that the main philosophical argument for Arminianism, which is really an argument for libertarian freedom, is one that Isaiah would not countenance. IntolerantElle makes an insightful but unpopular observation that our society's attitude toward women's armpit hair is opposed to the way God created us (and by 'us' I mean not just how God created women's armpit hair but how he designed men to respond to it). She concludes with some suggestions about other ways we concede to the culture around us that has rejected God's creation in various ways, all the while wondering how many other ways we may do this. I'm impressed by her care in showing what exactly she is saying and what she's not saying, wisely anticipating how some will unreflectively read her. Most arguments against genetic engineering I've seen rely on pretty awful arguments. Some necessary connection is drawn between the scientific process and some cultural effect, or the "playing God" non-argument comes up. Wallo World's post, however, seems to me to be raising the right issues in the right way. These aren't at all arguments against genetic engineering, of course, but what Bill is doing is raising the issues that will almost inevitably come up. If those who heed this kind of warning are careful, much of what he's predicting might be avoided, though some of it may be hard to avoid. I'm not against genetic engineering at all in principle. After all, it's as old as Jacob's selective breeding, just with different methods now. Bill's concerns are hard to resist admitting are real problems, though, and many of the reasons people want to use these methods of genetic engineering are at best suspect and at worst extremely dangerous.

Stylesheet Modifications

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I'm playing around with my stylesheet, so things may look strange for a bit as I figure out which names correspond to which parts of the blog.

Update (9 am): I guess I've got something workable for now with the silver background. Any thoughts?

About Me

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I've added an About Me section in my sidebar. I'm not sure exactly what I should put in it. If you know of any posts from the past of this blog that should go there, let me know. I'm thinking of a few that I don't want to bother finding right now, so it won't stay as it is, but there may be things I've posted that would go well there that I might not remember.

Best of Me Symphony LII

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The 52nd Best of Me Symphony is coming up, and it's going to have a Bill Cosby theme. I can't resist promoting that. Scroll to the bottom of the previous one for submissions instructions. This is a weekly carnival that collects posts that qualify as among the best of the blog. The only requirements are that you think it's one of your best posts and that it's at least two months old.

Christian Carnival XLV Plug

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This week's Christian Carnival will be hosted at CowPi Journal.

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:

The 113th COTV is at Food Basics. My Affirmative Action VII: Sidebar on Reparations is in it. I'm linking to a bunch of posts, with longer comments on a couple of them, so I've put it all in the extended entry.

Christian Carnival XLIV

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The 44th Christian Carnival is at ChristWeb and has a record 47 posts. My Inerrancy and Truth is in it.

Mark Roberts submits his 18th post in his truly excellent (despite my disagreement with some of his datings of NT books) series on Jesus' divinity. This time he focuses on Jesus' application to himself of the title 'the Son' (as opposed to 'the Son of Man' and 'the Son of God').

Wallo World weighs in on the red/blue state divide, with some surprising conclusions. Blue-staters may have lost the election, but they've been winning the culture "war", for reasons most red-staters don't understand. Many red-staters have also confused their own cultural values with Christian values. In the end, the only response worth any intense effort is not political change, which will at best be a temporary stop-gap for external behavior, but changing people's hearts, and that only comes with the gospel.

Off the top points out that everyone who votes is voting based on values. She also points out how stupid public signs and stickers are except to win a popularity contest. I'm not convinced that there's value in advertising one�s opinion on certain things in a general public setting. To do so is to go into "popularity contest" mode, something that is unnecessary and perhaps even destructive.

In a post on the Kansas City Prophets (which I know little about and have little experience with anyone who knows much about), 21st Century Reformation makes an important point even for those not involved with the lunatics he's criticizing. Does something historic have to happen for me to be equipped or do I need simply to understand and believe in what the bible already says? I need only to understand, through the preaching of the word and through community, to learn to live the story that is my inheritance according to the finished work of Christ. The bible neither teaches that all the holiness and power was used up in the 1st century and now we should expect little help from God nor does it teach that I need to wait for some end-times super apostle to come with the goods. It is vital to realize that in the immediate present, we exist in a dispensation of instantaneous access to all we need for both Power and Holiness. The present that I live in is dispensationally speaking exactly the same as the Apostolic age and will remain the same dispensation until Christ returns. Amen.

Philosophers' Carnival V

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The 5th Philosophers' Carnival is at Ciceronian Review. I submitted my latest post in the affirmative action series, my sidebar on reparations.

One newcomer this time is Metatome, a new blog about teaching philosophy. It looks excellent so far. I haven't been making any philosophy blogs regular reading, since I just don't have the time for the level of discussion required, but this may change that.

Christian Carnival XLIII

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The 43rd Christian Carnival is at Digitus, Finger & Co. My post Christians and Blue Counties makes an appearance.

Sidesspot helps clarify a Christian position on some matters related to the war on terror. We're not and never were a Christian nation, but Christian values should shape our policies, which means loving and praying for our enemies, protecting the rights of enemy prisoners, and a strong presumption against violence, though all that is consistent with engaging in combat in both Afghanistan and Iraq. I agree.

Reasons Why reminds Bush supporters that Kerry could easily have won, and if he had it would have been because God had wanted him to, just as God wanted Clinton to win both times. "Bush won only because it was within God's will for it to happen. If Kerry had won, it would be for the same reason. Not because some dark and terrible force had managed to overcome God's agenda for America. We need to learn that what God allows, or even designs, does not always match up with our view of what would be best."

Admiral Quixote has an excellent response to several standard pro-choice arguments. These are issues I almost never cover when I deal with abortion in my ethics classes, so it was nice to be reminded that they often come up, and I think these responses are all quite good.

Given that Jesus spent time with sinners, what would he do with the issue of gay marriage? We have a start to an answer from promptings, though I didn't see anything about marriage. All I saw was good reason to think Jesus would spent a lot of time with gay people and that he would confront them with the central issues of their hearts (which may not at all be homosexuality, though it would eventually include that).

I've been enjoying a lot of what I've seen at Another Man's Meat lately. He's a Democrat from Kansas who voted for Bush, and his take on a Christian approach to politics could give some good balance to a lot of conservatives. This post analyzes the Christian-bashing in the election aftermath and concludes that Democrats should not increase their religious language to get votes, because voters will see through that. The ones who would be sincere in doing so (e.g. Joe Lieberman, Robert Byrd) already use religious language all the time. The others all look like fakes when they do so.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, which 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.

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. Then, do the following:

I've been plagiarized!

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Here's one of my latest referrals. Turnitin.com is an anti-plagiarism site that has the entire web as its database. You can submit a paper and then see if anything in its database is similar, using algorithms to see if the same keywords are there but rearranged. I've used it in the past, but I've found Google to be just as effective in catching plagiarism. This is a turnitin.com cache of one of my posts, with the plagiarized sentences highlighted in green. So someone wrote a paper, used those lines, and submitted it to someone who then checked it on turnitin.com.

This isn't the first time my blog has been plagiarized. One time it was by one of my own students. That wasn't very bright, was it?

Christian Carnival XLII

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I'm now a week behind on this, but events have conspired, and I've had less time to read these things than I would like. I am now done reading through last week's Christian Carnival, which returned for its 42nd edition to host #2, King of Fools. The first few Christian Carnivals rotated back and forth between Patriot Paradox and King of Fools before spreading on to other places, and the King does his best to add an interesting artwork theme despite the distraction of election-watching. I wouldn't have done any theme during that particular week, so I applaud his efforts. I lack the requisite skill to evaluate beyond a rudimentary level anything having to do with visual art, so I can't say much more than that it looks really nice.

My entry (also submitted to the first Carnival of the Reformation) was Scripture and Worship. Ideally I would have submitted an entry to each, but in a ridiculous grading week after getting a month behind in grading due to a new baby some things just have to take priority over writing additional blog posts for the sake of carnivals. I'm not the only one to double up, and I won't mention anything that I'd normally link to but already have.

IntolerantElle fisks Bill Maher on religion and Christianity, with some interesting results. A couple of his points are so insightful but just short of really getting it. One thing she says in response to the claim that too many Christians are hypocrites is worth quoting in full. People who are not Christian, and even some who are, don't seem to understand that people aren't sinners because they are Christian - they are Christian because they are sinners. You hear people say, "I'm not going to church, those Christians are a bunch of hypocrites and liars!" Yeh, pretty much. That�s why we get involved with fellow believers who can encourage us and guide us in the right direction. A church fellowship is like a hospital for the soul, but you don't hear people say, "I'm not going to the hospital! There are sick and injured people there!!" I think the same applies to those who consider themselves Christians but shun the "organized" church.

Pseudo-Polymath considers science and religion. Those within the intelligent design movement who attack evolution (which is not the entirety of the ID movement, I must point out) and those within science who attack Christianity are ironically committing the same blunder -- trying to claim that they have a theory that predicts something about the other and whose predictions turn out true, when the realitry is that they simply have a model that predicts nothing about the other view (which I must note is the case mostly because those models are entirely consistent with each other). Finally, the isue of evolution matters very little, practically speaking.

Another Man's Meat explains why, despite his agreement with most of the Republican party agenda, he will remain a Democrat, and it's on Christian grounds. There are some things that are too important that many Republicans have no ear for. The prophets repeatedly condemn such attitudes.

Back of the Envelope takes on The Economist's false claim that Bush's positions are derived from a small minority of Americans on the right, showing their lack of understanding of Christians who are conservative by their putting all people on the right who are Christians into the same camp and then claiming it's a tiny minority because the extremists are a tiny minority, yet all the position Bush has been willing to go to bat for are mainstream views.

Jollyblogger hosts the first Carnival of the Reformation (Post Tenebras Lux). This double name is going to get unwieldy, so I hope we settle on one or the other. Scripture and Worship is my contribution.

I don't have much to say about The Crusty Curmudgeon's look at what scripture says about itself, but it's worth reading. A Physicist's Perspective puts what he has to say into a series, including more on what scripture says about itself and a whole post on applying it. He also deals with the circularity objection (which I've dealt with along different but complementary lines here). The links to all the posts in the series are in the initial introductory post, so I've just linked to that.

Rebecca Writes gives a surprising argument that KJV-onlyism violates Sola Scriptura. I would never have thought about it in these terms, but she's right. It's one thing to have a view that is neither confirmed or contradicted by scripture that one gets elsewhere, e.g. that electrons and protons repel each other. It's quite another to build such a view into your statement of faith and then claim your statement of faith is based on the Bible. Nowhere in the Bible do we see the kinds of claims that are given in support of KJV-onlyism.

Wheat and Chaff argues that Postmodern Christianity is neither postmodern nor Christian. I think he's right that the two are irreconcilable, and those in this movement are trying to have it both ways. I don't think it's all-or-nothing, though. If it were, being neither of the two would mean not being on a cxontrinuum between the two, so I'd prefer to describe it as follows. To the extent that it's pomo, it's not Christian. To the extent that it's Christian, it's not pomo. (Keep in mind that we're not talking about people here but ideas. Ideas can be more or less Christian if they have some Christian elements.) I would say similar things about Viewpoint's post along the same lines.

Finally, in arguing that scripture along will give us joy (which he can't really mean, because God alone should bring us joy, but I'll let that slide), Jollyblogger provocatively suggests that the old standby distinction between joy and happiness should be blurred! I think he's right, but you'll have to read the post for his reasons.

The next Carnival of the Reformation will appear December 20. Submissions will be due Dec 16 at 6pm EST. Jollyblogger announces: As this is just in time for Christmas I am requesting submissions on the theme of Solus Christus - Christ alone. Please send in your submissions on this theme, and again, I am looking for posts which conform to the standard reformed confessions on the person and work of Christ. Theological treatises, exegetical work and applications of this theme are requested. I would also love to publish some testimonies of what Christ has done in your lives. Maybe Wink will give us his view on the atonement if he can argue that it conforms with standard reformed confessions. That ought to ruffle some feathers!

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival and will be hosted at Digitus, Finger & Co. 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.

NOTICE FROM NICK: "DUE TO AN OVERSIGHT AT PATRIOT PARADOX, NOT UNCOMMON IF YOU KNOW ME, I FORGOT TO SWITCH THE DATES ON MY SITE. IF YOU HAVE SENT TO CHRISTWEB THEN PLEASE RESEND TO NEIL. CHRISTWEB IS HOSTING NEXT WEEK, THE 17th OF NOVEMBER! PLEASE EXCUSE MY BLUNDER! STEPHEN WILL SHOOT ME NOW. :-)"

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. Secondly please send only one post dated since the last Christian Carnival. Then, do the following:

This Week's Carnivals

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In the interest of promoting non-election-related blogging (not that I'll stop talking about the election, but I'd like to promote non-election stuff also), I've decided to break with my usual practice of not linking to a carnival until after I've looked at all the posts and decided which ones I'll highlight. I've read none of the posts in either of the following carnivals except for any I happened to read independently of either carnival. I'll do a post on each one individually once I've done that to do the usual highlighting thing, but I wanted to link to them now to contribute toward moving the blogosophere quickly into normalcy beyond the election. It's going to take me a while before I really begin going through them anyway due to having a serious grading deadline on Friday, so I might as well post the links now.

So here we are. The 1st Carnival of the Reformation (Post Tenebras Lux) is at Jollyblogger, and the 42nd Christian Carnival (Non Nominem Longum et Latinum Habeat) is at King of Fools. My Scripture and Worship is in both, primarily because I didn't have the time to write another Christian-related post worthy of a carnival for the Christian Carnival. That's what happens when you have jury duty on top of all your other responsibilities, which include being a month behind on grading, a new kid around the house without quite being used to having more kids than people to take care of them, normal teaching responsibilities, etc. Oh, well.

This coming Wednesday is the next Christian Carnival, and will be hosted at King of Fools. 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.

NOTICE: THIS CARNIVAL MIGHT BE LATE DUE TO THE ELECTION! PLEASE KEEP
THIS IN MIND, AND BE UNDERSTANDING. ALSO PLEASE REMEMBER TO PRAY FOR GOD'S WILL IN THIS ELECTION.

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. Then, do the following:

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