Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Christian Carnival CX (110): The Education of the Soul Edition


Welcome to Christian Carnival CX (110). This is my second time hosting, and I'm pleased and privileged to present the writings of Christian bloggers of various backgrounds. In this Carnival you will find, for your enjoyment and edification, fresh inspirations culled from a week's worth of blogging.

Last time I hosted, I chose the theme Applying the Gospel to All of Life, as it seemed to me to fit the overall thrust of many of the posts. This time, as I have perused through the submissions and wracked my brain trying to see if there is any common theme among the various articles, my first thought was "education of the soul". And so, with your kind indulgence, I will use this as my theme.

The 110th Christian Carnival: The Education of the Soul

As Christians we are supremely fortunate to be in the hands of the infinitely wise Teacher, the One whose knowledge is without limit regarding all the vast intricacies of the universe He created, but even more amazingly, One who knows each of us as individuals-- by name. Picture Jesus speaking to Simon and naming him Peter (meaning Rock), as He spoke forth the destiny of the man. He foresaw that Peter would someday deny Him three times, yet be restored to become a builder and pillar of the church. Or remember when God spoke to Jacob saying, "Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed."

Yes, God knows us, and He still speaks to the souls of men, women and children today through His Word, by His Spirit, and most of all, through His Son. When I use the word "soul" here, I'm using it in the sense of "a person's total self". I think that God creates each person with purpose, and I'm using the phrase "education of the soul" to signify the process by which the Lord teaches our souls--first by drawing us to himself and making us His children, then by conforming us to the image of Christ, each becoming a unique reflection of the Son. God's "education of the soul" --as I mean it here-- entails "the salvation of your souls (1 Peter 1:9)", which Peter said is the outcome of our faith in Christ.

If the soul is the "total self", then His plan for educating our souls probably includes a large number of areas of development (fortunately for me, so I may fit the wide range of articles submitted this week into my chosen theme). But seriously, I think every aspect of our lives, brought under submission to the Lord, develops us into the kind of people that reflect and bring glory to God, albeit with all our weaknesses and imperfections. So that is how I have divided up the posts for this Carnival-- each article falls under a category of things God uses to teach our souls. The categories/articles are not presented in any particular order of importance, and of course in real life, many of these categories overlap with one another.

Grappling with Ethics and Morality

In On missions: Updates on the persecuted church, Dave Taylor at Disciple's Journal presents news about a case of three Indonesian Sunday school teachers and how a legal glitch could lead to Burmese Christian refugees being labeled as terrorists.

David Gross of The Picket Line gives us a look at one man, Ammon Hennacy: Christian Anarchist, "One Man Revolution" who said, "Study the Sermon on the Mount, and the lives of such dedicated men as St. Francis, George Fox, Tolstoy and Gandhi. Try to make whatever you do coincide with Christ’s teachings. Ask yourself whether returning evil for evil in courts, legislatures, prisons and war is not denying Christ. If your answer is yes, then stop doing it."

DeputyHeadmistress at the The Common Room was Too Baffled to Be Outraged by the recent court ruling that considers nativity scenes to be religious, and therefore banned, but finds Menorahs and the Islamic Crescent are secular symbols, and therefore acceptable.

Children, Community, Peace and Relationships

At Habakkuk's Watchpost, Tyler Simons, a seminarian and intern at an Episcopal church, tells a story about teaching on Forgiveness at the Children's Chapel he led on a recent Sunday. "One of the kids, I hope, learned a little bit about the forgiveness of Jesus. It almost seemed like no one had ever forgiven him before."

Spunky at SpunkyHomeschool considers the calling of the homeschool mom and offers her thoughts on what the great commandments would be in The Ten Commandments for Homeschooling Moms.

This week at Light Along the Journey John Hollandsworth discusses the vital nature of Christian community in his post The Importance of "Together".

Dana Hanley at Principled Discovery presents Motivation and Self Government, which explores motivation and the spiritual needs of the child, and begins a discussion into how to encourage intrinsic motivation in our children.

Rev Bill speaks of the challenges of living peacefully in his "piece" titled Monday's Monk: Merton On Peace.

Funky Dung of Ales Rarus confesses "When it comes to the kind of acerbic and caustic blogging that I believe is poisoning the Body of Christ, and the rest of the world for that matter, I too am guilty." He offers Have Christian Bloggers Lost the Plot? to help remedy the situation.

In The Allure of Toys: You May Want to Play With Them, But They Don't Want to Play With You, Shaun Nolan at Postscript Posthaste suggests that parents take a greater role is deciding which toys our children play with.

Theology, Intellectual Growth and Sharing Our Faith

In a post that lives up to the name of his blog, John Howell at Brain Cramps for God discusses Natural Law: Objections and C.S. Lewis's Tao.

Meanwhile, Kyle at Neumatikos is trying to be controversial with a new line of thinking about why the analogy between circumcision and baptism might be a point against infant baptism, in Circumcision and Infant Baptism

The term 'Arminian' gets thrown around a lot, and people get put into the category when they wouldn't label themselves that way. So what does it take to be an Arminian? Jeremy Pierce, Parableman, tackles this subject in his post Definition of Arminianism

In Open Mind, Insert What?, Sherry Early at Semicolon shares interesting reflections on her phone conversation with a Mormon elder.

Mark Olson at Pseudo-Polymath presents a short defense of what he thought were incorrect accusations about how Christian doctrine instructs us to deal with those not sharing our beliefs, in Rowing a Leaky Boat.

In the ongoing Muslim protests over the publication of cartoons, ten more people are dead in Libya, and a mob in Pakistan was met with police gunfire. All the dead in Libya are Libyans--a tragedy for their country and themselves. What kind of "sword" was it that Jesus brought, and how does it relate to this situation askes Tom Gilson at Thinking Christian, in his post More Rioting Over the Cartoons: What About Religious Violence?

Cultural Discernment (reading the "signs of the times" biblically)

Tyler F. Williams at Codex: Resources for Biblical Studies Blogspot provides a list (with discussion) of fourteen Essential Films for Theologians: The "Director's Cut".

In my Carnival entry for this week, I argue that there are times When Being Nice is Wrong, even for Christians, as I present further analysis of the End of the Spear controversy and why I think it significant for Christian communicators of the gospel.

The Physical Body (Confronting Mortality)

In Perfect Problems, David Knowles of all kinds of time writes on how physical short-comings daily remind us of a physical perfection to come.

Jesus always healed those with faith who came to Him. Why is it that people with faith are not always healed today? rev-ed at Attention Span asks, "Is it fair to tell them they lack the faith to be healed?" in his post, "When God Doesn't Heal".

Handling Worldy Riches

Many Christians excuse themselves from giving because they think they don't have enough to give. They think "What good would my little amount do?", and as a result miss the joy and privilege of giving to help others. But this attitude is contrary to what the Bible teaches, says FMF in the post The Gift is Acceptable According to What One Has.

Finding Our Life's Work

We often think about calling in terms of the extraordinary, but in Neglected occupation, Martin Labar at Sun and Shield quotes Paul and writes, "'He will render to each one according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life (Romans 2: 6-7, ESV)'. This patience in well-doing includes lots of ordinary work, I think."

Becoming Spiritual
In My Women's Sunday Sermon, Karen at The Thomas Institute speaks on learning to take leaps of faith in trusting God. This is her first submission to the Christian Carnival. Welcome, Karen!

Kim at Sharing Spirit describes the origin of her post Jars of Clay, this way: During this nutty week one day I received two emails, nearly back-to-back about being the teacup or the potter’s clay. I laughed out loud because I KNEW of course that the Lord was telling me, “Kim remember I’m in control, you’re the vessel but I’m the Potter, so chill out.”

Kathleen Dalton of Vegetable Soup would like to challenge women to stand out (for the right reasons) in An Uncommon Woman.

Penitens, The Penitent Blogger offers a reflection about the path out of disorder and conflict in Disorder.

The Bloke at in the outer asks Can We Learn Anything From Judas? According to his article, rethinking our view of Judas could actually be profitable spiritually.

At Back of the Envelope, Donald Crankshaw begins a conversation with Some thoughts on demons, about the nature of the believer's protection from demons, or lack thereof, expanding on thoughts expressed by one of the characters in a novella he wrote.

The School of Life

Some lessons we learn only through life experience. In Abortion affects men too!, Lennie at Cross Blogging writes on the "Empty Swing syndrome"-- the feelings of regret that men who have been part of an abortion may feel. He suggests "Maybe we as pro-life people should be taking a real good hard look at this! This may be our way to way to get legislation to pass some laws in our country/states to save some of these babies and Mothers! Maybe we need to put a lot of focus on the Dads’ rights."

Finally, Dory of Wittenberg Gate writes about mourning in Grieving Like a Christian.

Thanks for visiting and I hope you enjoyed this 110th edition of the Christian Carnival. Blessings to you in Christ.

Alex

This Carvival entry is listed in the √úberCarnival:
http://www.truthlaidbear.com/ubercarnival.php

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