Christian Carnival XLV

Welcome to this week’s Christian Carnival (#45), an eclectic collection of submitted writings from Christian weblogs.

The following 37 articles are loosely organized around the idea that there are three dimensions to spirituality: vertical, horizontal or outward, and inward. Each of these dimensions are illustrated in the following quote:

In the evening of our life, we shall be judged by love, namely, by the sincerity of our love for God, for our neighbor, for our soul. — St. John of the Cross

All three of these dimensions are interconnected, but each of the following articles seem to focus more in one of these areas than the others. Some level of balance, different for each person, is needed to live an authentic Christian life.

Vertical — the connection between you and God

Birth Control and God: Is Contraception Bad? by Jay at Deo Omnis Gloria: Does God permit the use of birth control? What does the Bible say? This post examines Scriptural evidence surrounding Contraception and talks about the practical and theological reasoning behind birth control.

Santa, Rudolph and Christmas: What’s a Christian Parent to Do? by Jay at Living Catholicism: In a secular society, how do we as Christians keep our families focused on the real meaning of the season, Jesus Christ? This article provides some tips my family and others have used successfully.

Now Thank We All Our God by Phil at Brandywine Books: Jill Carattini, writing for, gives context to the hymn, “Now thank we all our God,” whose words were penned by a Lutheran minister who relied on God’s grace to get through the valley of the shadow.

Jesus Prayer by Leo at Notes: The Jesus Prayer, Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner displayed in several languages via a Java applet.

Remove Your Sandals by The Bloke at in the outer: Meditating on God’s instruction to Moses to remove his sandals during the Burning Bush incident is instructive on the invitation of the Holy God for us to draw near to Him.

Examining the Job Narrative by Andrew at Philosophical Poetry: Job is held up as the book of suffering; it is the book to which we are told to turn in those times of trouble. Having read through Job recently, I have once again realized that this perspective on Job is completely inaccurate. Job is not so much a book about the suffering of man as it is a book about the sovereignty of God.

The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King by Donna at Quenta Nârwenion: A selection from a sermon by Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman dealing with Christ’s Kingship

Isaiah 10 and Reconciling Friends by Rebecca at Rebecca Writes: This post looks at Isaiah 10 to see what it can tell us about God’s sovereignty and human responsibility and how they might fit together.

Treasure Hunt by Rodney at The Journey: A small boy’s “treasure hunt” helps us realise that seeing life from God’s point of view helps us to live the life the creator has designed for us.

The Spiritual Man - And What’s My Spirit For, Anyway? by Douglas at Belief Seeking Understanding: Another post in the series on Watchman Nee’s book The Spiritual Man, thinking about the roles of the human spirit, conscience, intuition and communion.

Universal Salvation and Universal Damnation by Jeremy at Parableman: Some universalists think Calvinist principles lead to universalism, since Calvinism allows God to change people’s hearts without possibility that they’ll resist. This post explains what’s wrong with that kind of argument.

Open Theism by Dick at Viewpoint: Taking a profile of Greg Boyd which appeared at Evangelical Outpost as our starting point, we post a brief discussion on the controversial theological view called Open Theism.

Horizontal/Outward — the connection between you and other people

Foaming at the Mouth by Funky at Ales Rarus: This is the beginning of a blog-to-blog debate with an atheist. It’s basically about Christians imposing their morality via politics. The discussion continues here and here.

Prosperity by Diane at Crossroads: What is true prosperity teaching? Are the Word of Faith teachers going wrong on this subject? This is the fifth post in a series on Word of Faith teaching.

The NBA, the NFL and the ‘Works of the Flesh’ by Theophilus at Notes From the Front Lines: A former sportswriter muses on the shocking events in the world of pro sports last week and wonders how, as a Christian father, he can respond appropriately for his two young sons.

Not a subject of mixed company by Elle at IntolerantElle discusses a subject that makes many squirm. She has been “…questioning the socialization I’ve received by a world that hates God.” It makes a Christian think and wonder.

Being at the Fringe by Messy Christian: It seems lately that I find it difficult to relate to aspects of Christian culture, out of sync, somehow, to the beliefs I once held.

The Death Penalty by Marla at Proverbial Wife: Questioning capital punishment from a personal and Biblical standpoint.

Love Us or Hate Us? by Sozo at Reasons Why: A look at how we should expect the world to respond to us as Christians.

Challenges I Face in My Walk by Mark at Sidesspot: Some questions arising out of the existential angst of a modern American Christian.

It Was Good, It Just Wasn’t Christian by Misty at Tin Can: Christianity has a distinct claim that the world needs to hear. If the sermon is instead wasted on a self-help lecture, that is an opportunity lost.

Laguna Beach and the Schullers by Joshua at In the Agora: Famed televanglist ministers Dr. Robert H. Schuller and Dr. Robert H. Schuller II have out of control children and they’re broadcasting it all over MTV.

On the Modern Christian Ascetic Movement by Mark at Pseudo-Polymath: In early Christian times, a strong ascetic movement developed. Between St. Paul’s writings praising celibacy, and Christ’s admonitions to poverty, the early Church through to the Renaissance had a strong ascetic culture. Additionally, the early Christian ascetic movement was a reaction to the sensual culture of pagan Rome. Well as for that ascetic feeling, it’s gone today. I examine why.

Today’s Printing Press by Dory at Wittenberg Gate: This post compares the historical impact that the printing press had on the church with the potential impact the Internet could have on the church today.

Why Philosophy is Important—The Story of Stanford in the Late-80s by Brad at 21st Century Reformation: This post is part two of “What is Post-Modernism?” and tells the story and implications of Stanford’s shift in the 15 unit freshman Western Culture requirement from “Western Civilization” to “World Cultures”. This helps us understand the real implications of the post-modern world view.

Thomas Chatterton by Sherry at Semicolon: A short piece on the English poet, Thomas Chatterton, who committed suicide at the age of seventeen but nevertheless produced some great poetry in his short life.

New Gallup Poll has Some Interesting Bits by David at A Physicist’s Perspective: The latest Gallup poll gives some interesting statistics on religion and morality in our country: A plurality of people think religion has too much influence on politics, while at the same time a majority think that it has not enough influence on morals, and 3 out of 4 people think the moral condition in our country is fair or poor. I discuss how the church itself may have contributed to the disconnect between religion and morality.

Politics Through an Evangelical Prism by Donald at One Hand Clapping: A response to The New Republic’s assertion this week that “the Christian Right sees politics through the prism of theology, and there’s something dangerous in that.”

Designer Children and the Future of Discrimination by Bill at Walloworld: Genetic modification holds the prospect of institutionalized discrimination, especially for those who object to the idea.

Your Faith Helped All of Us Tonight by Ray at Ray Pritchard—Crosswalk Blog: A few days ago we met to pray for a young mother with cancer. It was simple and beautiful. I thought to myself, “This is what the church was meant to be.”

The Bereft by Bob at Mr. Standfast: I simply try to paint a picture of the refugee homeless in a time of war. A poetic attempt to place myself in their shoes.

Katya’s Hopeful Story by Violet at promptings: A glimpse into the life of a brave five-year-old.

Boys and Moving Earth by Hal at The Great Separation: With the urge to remove the enamel from his pearly whites one day last week, Hal also had a great urge to write. So he blogged his frustration and recounts blessing from the Lord that day. ‘But Hal?’ you ask. ‘What’s boys and earth moving have to do with it?’ Read on.

Inward — the connection with yourself

Nancy Means Grace by Phil at Another Man’s Meat: Some reflections on love and marriage using some personal snippets as the vehicle from which to view them.

Obedience by Lisa at Brain Smog: Thoughts on obedience in our Christian walk.

Not So Forsaken by Liesa at But God Said…: Personal testimony of how I came to God, and how I realized that everything in my life was under His watch and guidance, even when I didn’t realize it at the time.

Jesus’ Tears - No. 2 by Mark at 3:17: Three times we read of Jesus weeping. What caused our perfect Saviour sorrow? What can we learn for ourselves? This is the second in a series of three posts.

May God’s love, peace, and energy touch you in faith…

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