October 20, 2004

Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends

Christian Carnival XL is now up at Proverbial Wife (paradoxically beating out Christian Carnival XXXIX - apparently personal stuff has gotten the better of Adrian and CC39, hopefully nothing serious). My contribution this week was my review of C. S. Lewis' novel Out of the Silent Planet.

This week there was a whopping 34 entries, a lot of them very good. Here's my picks for the most notable.

Sometimes the points of continuity and discontinuity between the Old and New Covenants can get confusing. In a theologically heavy post, Jeremy Pierce tries to draw a distinction between the abomination of eating shellfish and the abomination of homosexual relations:

Jesus' declaration of an abomination (shellfish) to be clean must mean that whatever an abomination is it's the sort of thing that can in principle be declared clean. Something's being an abomination doesn't mean it's inherently unclean. There may be some abominations that are inherently unclean but not in virtue of being abominations, or shellfish couldn't be declared clean. That doesn't mean that all abominations not declared clean by Jesus or elsewhere in the NT are permanently unclean. The only way we should conclude that is if we think of the NT as superceding the OT, as if it somehow vetoes or cancels it. Some have artificially tried to fit the Torah into their little organizational box, saying that some parts of the Torah, i.e. the civil and ceremonial parts, are canceled, while the moral law stays. Theonomists modify this by keeping the civl as well. Both view use categories not in scripture and oversimplify the OT-NT relation for the sake of a coherent and comprehensive system. All Jesus says is that he came to fulfill the law, not one iota of which will pass away. Nothing is canceled. All is fulfilled. It's just that some aspects are fulfilled in different ways. It would take forever to say more than that, but I don't want to assume that any part of the Torah is canceled.

[Read Abominations]

On the same subject, Rocky at Chapter and Verse argues why he, as an ex-gay, cannot support gay marriage:

No, we cannot endorse or support the joining of two people of the same sex in a lifelong covenant and at the same time, pray for their freedom from sin and bondage. Our duty to God, as part of His family, as citizens of His kingdom, is that His ways become our ways. Man may try to argue that marriage is a civil right for gays, but the saints of God cannot agree.

[Read Why Christians cannot support gay marriage]

Bonnie of Off the Top posts some reflections on why Christopher Reeve's untimely death was such a tragedy:

I’m the first to admit I can’t imagine myself going through what Reeve did, nor having his courage should the same fate (quadriplegia) befall me. Yet his story stands as a contrast to the testimony of Joni Eareckson Tada, who dealt with her quadriplegia in quite a different way.

[Read Notes on Christopher Reeve]

Although I do blog politics occasionally when the fancy strikes me, I find myself in agreement with Brad at 21st Century Reformation when he explains why his refusal to do so is a matter of priority:

I find that in blogdom, very few bloggers address directly the real problems facing our communities, our homes, our churches and our lives. I respect all these people with valid, well informed, and well articulated opinions on politics, theology, church culture, music, and all the things people blog about. But what is most vital and indeed most urgent? What is the real need that the church and the pastor is called to provide solutions for?

Is not the church called to bring people into a purer life of worship and moral action? This process of teaching and learning is called discipleship. The church is called to bring to people of every culture and every language and every season in life the answers to the human desire to live a more morally beautiful and spiritually abundant life."

[Read Why I Personally Do Not Blog Politics]

I've blogged a few times about C. S. Lewis and found him to be a real crowd-pleaser with God-bloggers. But my personal favourite is Francis Schaeffer, whom Jollyblogger cites in this excellent piece on relational apologetics:

Another good historical anecdote on the primacy of the relational apologetic comes from the ministry of Francis Schaeffer himself, with L'Abri. No one was better at the practical use of presuppositional and evidential apologetics than Schaeffer. But what intrigues me is that L'Abri wasn't merely a preaching station or a lecture house or academic hall. Students of L'Abri were invited into a community where they worked and shared life together. I've never been to L'Abri, but my guess is that the community life was as instrumental in it's success in evangelism as was the intellectual arguments of Schaeffer."

[Read Relational Apologetics]

Speaking of relational apologetics, Tom Reindl of Effortless Grace posts about being salt and light in his own small corner where the language isn't the politest. To him, I say, "Eff yeah!"

It appears that all adjectives and adverbs have been replaced in the English language, at least the language found at a construction site. We used to use the word big to describe something that was large. When we wanted to measure something, we would describe it as long, or short, high, or low. In the cases of color, we had striking colors, plain colors, hot colors, and cold colors. . . .

Do we need any of these adjectives or adverbs anymore? I like to think we do. However, I am at a jobsite where all of them have been replaced with one word. Can you guess what that word is? Do I have to type it? Alright, we’ll use a replacement. Let’s call the word "effing". So, from here on out in this post, when you see the word "effing", you will know what I am referring to. If you do not know what word I am really referring to, email me, and I’ll tell you.

[Read HAND ME THE EFFING ADJECTIVE]

There's a special thrill I get from handling the Word of God in a language other than my own, especially when that language is receiving the Scriptures for the first time. That's the main reason I appreciated Charlie's post:

The dream that burst from the ground as a tender shoot in 1978 matured, flowered and bore fruit. On August 7, 2004, in a public fiesta that attracted as many as 600 Tepehua men and women (and uncounted children), the New Testament was formally presented to the Tlachichilco Tepehuas. One by one, men and women came to the dais and took turns reading Scripture verses aloud or quoting from memory to the enthusiastic crowd. One by one they nodded, smiled, and pronounced the words good. For many Tepehuas, whose understanding of Spanish is extremely limited, it was the first time they had understood that God's Word is meant for them, too."

[Read Beautiful Feet]

Come inside, the show's about to start!