Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Christian Carnival for Wednesday, November 17 (UPDATE: Late Submissions!)

Hey y'all, welcome to this week's Christian Carnival! I'm afraid I'm on a 1:30-10:00 PM schedule this week (the next few weeks) and I haven't really had time to read all the entries, but what I've read, I like.

ON the other hand, deo gratias, I got a job!

Spiel, shamelessly copied from the Google Group:

The Christian Carnival is open to Christians of Protestant, Orthodox, and Roman Catholic convictions. One of the goals of this Carnival is to offer our readers to a broad range of Christian thought.

Posts need not be of a theological topic. Posts about home life, politics, or current events, for example, written from a Christian worldview are welcome.

As the goal of this Carnival is to highlight Christian thought in the blogosphere, entries will be limited to blogs that share that goal. Blogs with content that is focused on a business, that has potentially offensive material Christians may not want to link to on their sites, or has no reference to distinctively Christian thought may not be included in this Carnival. There are other Carnivals that would be a more appropriate venue for that material. I realize that this will be a judgment call on the part of the Carnival administrator, and being human she may make mistakes. However, as the Christian Carnival is getting quite large, and it is sometimes questionable whether the entrants are seeking to promote Christian thought, I find this necessary.

We also expect a level of discourse that is suitable for a Christian showcase. Thus entries may be refused if they engage in name-calling, ad hominem attacks, offensive language, or for any similar reason as judged by the administrator.

Ali presents Christians, Entitlement and Political Action. posted at Kiwi and an Emu.

annette presents November 11, 2010 - A Lesson posted at Fish and Cans.

Matt Rawlings presents If Some Christians are Blue like Jazz, then I?m Red like Metal posted at Pastor Matt.

Madeleine Flannagan presents Bovine Faeces and the Sexual Proclivities of Rocks at MandM.

Scottyi presents An Ideal Life posted at Sacred Raisin Cakes.

Russ White presents First Things First posted at Thinking in Christ.

Tom Gilson presents The Truth Holds Us (Short Version) posted at Thinking Christian.

Ridge Burns presents Revelation 2:5 posted at Ridge’s Blog.

Jeremy Pierce presents NIV 2011 and the singular "they" posted at Parableman.

FMF presents If You Want to Be Wealthy, You Need Understanding posted at Free Money Finance.

And I present an audience-participation-mostly post here called Canon Without the Canon. Please feel free to join in!

A Late Submission (or at least, I got it late):

Fadi presents Modern Day Prophecies posted at INSPIKS.

A Very Late Submission (Post was dated in October)

CChisholm presents God’s Existence: Proof from Biological Information | The Chisholm Source posted at The Chisholm Source.

Canon Without the Canon

An old theology professor of mine used to talk about the "canon within the Canon"--those books we prefer implicitly over others in the Bible. Anyone out there have a "canon without the canon"--books they un-prefer over others? And willing to say what it is in comments?

Mine's Romans. Could also be said to be certain OT books, but that's mostly for lack of having read the OT all the way through in a comprehending fashion.

Monday, November 8, 2010

"You're Going to Hell"

Most Christians should meet somebody who will tell them: "You are going to hell."

I say most because I don't know if we're all strong enough to handle it, but I think it would be healthy if we got a taste of how it is to be on the other side of our own beliefs about the afterlife.

I have many friends who are atheists or agnostics of some kind from college, and all through college I held to pretty conservative views of salvation. Still do. Now they've been tempered for a long time by a more inclusivist strand of thought, and an emphasis on not judging anyone's individual salvation. Still, I can't imagine I never inadvertently insulted anyone simply by believing what I did, which boiled down to, qualifiers or no, all other things equal: You're going to hell.

Don't get me wrong, I'm well aware that there are people who think I will spend my eternity in torment because I am a Christian. Oddly enough, though, the more memorable times I've actually gotten a full, realization kind of taste of it, have been on the Protestant-Catholic divide. The first time was back in high school when one of my Catholic friends made some comment (which did then, and still does, strike me as kind of theologically simplistic) that it would be necessary for salvation to believe that the Eucharist was really the Body and Blood of Christ.

And now that I am a Catholic, and I do believe all this nonsense about the Eucharist and Communions of Saints, etc., it's not even so much a moment, but merely having a friend who desperately tried to talk me out of it (actually, someone close to him did, but I don't think he disagreed), and whose church would seem to be teaching him--if it mentions the Papists at all--that my salvation is dubious. Now granted, that's just part of the divide that is a consequence of choosing communion with Rome. I should say that I am grateful and touched that he, and his friend, were loving enough and caring enough about my spiritual health, to say what was said. But it introduced a palpable divide that I can feel every time I see him, an awkwardness introduced into all those situations, that wasn't there before. And the phrase "you're going to hell" was never even used, or even necessarily implied. Just there, under the surface, a highly uncomfortable possibility for me in the theology of the other.

Now I always felt a little bit awkward if I knew I'd said anything directly to any of my non-religious friends about the afterlife. But I do wonder whether the way I feel around my friend now is the way they sometimes felt around me. It's a feeling of being on the other side, of knowing someone is seriously concerned about the state of your soul (in a way they wouldn't normally be, that is a healthy concern after all.)

And I wonder if maybe it's not a good healthy experience that most Christians should have, to go out and meet someone who makes them realize--not just know in some academic sense, that someone believes they are going to hell.