Mr. Standfast

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

July 21, 2004

Welcome to the Christian Carnival

For some reason I want to be singing that old Neil Young song: " . . . with the barkers and the colored balloons. . ."

But nevermind. On to this week's Christian Carnival postings. We've got a wonderful harvest of wit and wisdom here. I'm going to group them into three broad categories. There are, first of all, "The Pundits." These folks engage in cultural/political commentary. They are issue-oriented bloggers, often brilliant, always opinionated, never shying from controversy.

The second group I'll call "The Theologians." These write finely-argued articles on matters of theology and doctrine. I'm not suggesting that The Theologians aren't often pundits, of course, or vice versa. But for the purposes of the Carnival, I'm going to differentiate these two types of blog-posts.

Finally, there are "The Diarists." It's this aspect of blogging that I personally find most compelling. Their blogs are simply their personal diaries. Their posts are sometimes plainly confessional self-examinations, always rigorously honest. We've got a couple of them at the Carnival this week.

Okay, so here goes. First, The Pundits:

The astonishingly titled blog Brain Fertilizer has a few things to day about same sex marriage.

LaShawn Barber is a pundit alright, and of the first rank. She's writing this time on the question, "What's worth fighting and dying for these days?" The post is called Appeasing The Insane/Dying For Freedom. Hard and provocative truths here.

The always versatile Messy Crhistian is often a Diarist, also at times a Theologian, but her entry this week falls into the Pundit category. She responding to a NYT article on the subject of a particular form of convenience abortions. It's called I Just Feel Sick. Nuff said.

The following post could probably be filed under the "Diarist" category, but My Domestic Church is advocating for something that is quite controvertial in some circles, so it qualifies as an act of punditry in my book!. Oh, and what is the so-controvertial subject: Large Families.

Karen Marie, she of From the Anchor Hold (I just love that title), submits a post concerning the whole matter of whether a politician should be disciplined by his church because of his views on such issues as "pursuing unjust warfare, or allowing procured abortion, or suspending civil and human rights for some, or promoting the exploitation of embryos or the suicides of the ill and handicapped, or oppressing fatherless children and women alone." The post is called Excommunicating U.S. politicians: wouldn't be the first time, and she provides a link to an interesting historical precedent from the civil rights era.

Next up, The Theologians:

Uncle Sam's Cabin contributes a post entitled One Faith, One Hope, and One Baptism and inspired by the the lyrics to the old hymn "The Church's One Foundation." She quotes the song at length, commenting on the divided condition of Christ's church. Her last line says it all: "There is something very powerful holding the faithful together no matter how hard we push and pull at each other."

Jeff Doolittle weighs in with What Does the Lord Require?

Another Think
investigates the differences between the materialistic conception of human life and the Christian in a well-written piece called, Are We Spiritual Machines?

Marla at Proverbial Wife has written a post on the subject of Divorce, Adultery, Remarriage. It's right on the money, as far as I'm concerned. Much like Messy Christian, PW can be by turns the Pundit, the Theologian, and the Diarist, all within the same post. I think she's wonderful.

Lucy Rainbow keeps things very colorful over at Creative Christianity. The title of her post says it all: Fire Your Pastors.

In a timely post, Joe Missionary looks at The Tour de France and the Body of Christ.

Joe Cecil, who keeps a watch on the news from a "liberal catholic" perspective, submits a Very Brief Summary of Today's Readings. You'll have to scroll down to July 11, but take your time. There's lots of interesting stuff along the way.

Joe's a liberal catholic, but Julie is a Happy Catholic. Her post this time around is called Islam Examined. It's an interesting read.

Parableman, who is one of the more profound blogger-thinkers out there, has a brief post addressing some Questions from a Friend. Can hell be an expression of God's mercy?

That's an interesting question. Probably Prableman's friend should also read this week's entry from Rebecca Writes. She's blogging this time on God's Simplicity. In both cases the point is made that God is consistent. Good to know!

Finally, my favorite group, The Diarists:

Susan, who holds forth at What A Beautiful Day, is one of my favorite bloggers. She is as authentic as they come, with a streak of prophetic insight running through her blog. This time she's investigating the spiritual significance of locks. Check it out.

Then there's What If I Stumble? He's blogging about my favorite subject in My Point: Grace. This is a discovery for me. I think I'll add him to my bogroll.

Living on Both Ends
writes about Ambivalence of the Heart. Here's a quote: "My statement of faith is I want to follow Him, He has the words of Eternal Life, and I am human and thus, broken and wanting. But He loves me in my broken places, and I adore Him. That is what I know to be true, I also know that not every broken place always feels His life and Light."

Micah 6:8 has popped up more than once among these posts. King of Fools writes about the death of a beloved pet, and the effect it had on his family. This is a wonderful and intimate story of the true wisdom of the very young, called Art Therapy.

Beyond the Rim
blogs briefly about Small Things. He makes the kind of point that cannot be too often repeated. It is the small gestures, the every-day niceties and "little graces", that solidify personal relationships. So stop what you're doing right now and say thank you to somebody!

Finally, there's Dawn Xiana Moon. I place her post last because it doesn't really fit into any of the above category. She's the Creative Writer. Her post this week is simply An Excerpt from something she's been working on lately.

And there you have it. I even think I hear Neil singing, " . . . though you're thinking that you're leaving there too soon . . . you're leaving there too soon . . ."



Blogger gm2 said...

What a great list of sites! Thanks so much Bob... This one entry will keep me exploring for hours. I only hope that one day my meager offerings may make a list like it in whatever category.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Mr. Standfast, this is a great list of blogs to check out! I have checked out a few. Thanks for giving us a heads up on them!

8:00 AM  
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