Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Christian Carnival CVII - A Winter Olympic Preview

Welcome to the Carnival! I'm honored to have been asked to step in and host edition number 107 of the Christian Carnival. Since it's now February 2006, I thought I would take some of the best posts of the past week in the Christian blogosphere and organize them around the upcoming Winter Olympics, set to begin in 10 days in Torino, Italy. There are seven basic sports in the Winter Games, with each of these sports broken down into several disciplines with different events within those disciplines. Let's zip up the parkas, pull on the gloves, grab some hot chocolate, and head out to the various venues.

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Let's begin with a sport which doesn't get much television time, nor does it have throngs of fans awaiting results. Biathlon, an Olympic sport since 1960, was originally a tactic of survival rather than a sport. Northern Europeans skied to hunt for food and, later, skied with weapons to defend their countries. The word "biathlon" stems from the Greek word for two contests. Today it is interpreted as a joining of two sports: cross-country skiing and rifle shooting. Since this is the only winter sport utilizing firearms, this first group of posts will address political or social controversies. Keep your head down.

Jeremy from Parableman starts off the games with with abortion debate. Small restrictions of abortion over time have added up to reduce the number of abortions. Abortion Restrictions Reduce Abortions looks at two divergent responses to this.

The TOMO REPORT brings race into the abortion situation with clippings of a news report entitled, Abortion Destroying the Black Community.

After the recent "birthday" of Roe v Wade spurred a flurry of posts, Mark from Pseudo-Polymath tries to consider the gulf between the two opposing camps in Two Sides of Roe.

In End of the Spear: A Review and Assessment, Alex Jordan at Jordan's View takes into account the role of aesthetics and proper film appreciation, as well as the controversy over the casting of gay activist Chad Allen as its star, in assessing the ultimate impact of the new Christian-themed movie, End of the Spear.

Finally, Catez of Allthings2all gives us a summary and discussion on the key issues in the controversy surrounding The End of the Spear and the latest update on Every Tribe Entertainment's position in her post, The End of the Spear Controversy."

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An Olympic sport since 1924, Bobsleigh is considered the world's first sliding sport. Skeleton originated in the Swiss town of St. Moritz in the late 1800s. The first competition was held in 1884. Riders raced down the road from St. Moritz to Celerina, where the winner received a bottle of champagne. The sport took its name in 1892, when a new sled made mostly of metal was introduced. People thought it looked like a skeleton. More familiar is the aerodynamically engineered bobsled where teams of two or four attempt to navigate the run faster than their competitors. Here are a few posts to help smooth the run for you.

First time carnival exhibitor Chip Bennett of discusses what he sees as important distinctions of the Christian blogosphere with his post, Wherever Two or Three Are Gathered.

FMF details guidance the Bible gives us for budgeting and being good stewards in Stewardship Budgeting at Free Money Finance.

In Christian Retailers Feeling Left Behind, Richard from Give Your All For God discusses the "Wal-Mart Effect" being felt by Christian bookstores and possible solutions.

David from all kinds of time gives us an examination of what Jesus was saying about 'yourself' in "love thy neighbor as yourself" passage.

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The sport of curling has been a part of the Winter Olympic Games since 1924, but its origins can be traced back to 16th century Scotland, where games were played during winter on frozen ponds, lochs and marshes. In the early days of the sport, stones were taken from river bottoms. In the 1600s, stones with handles were introduced, allowing a delivery style similar to what is used today. Most Americans are mystified and amused by the sight of shuffleboard on ice with players sweeping to affect the slide of the stone. However, as afficianados know, it takes just the right touch to excel at curling. Touch is the theme of these posts -- how people touch the lives of others.

At Notes in the Key of Life, Cindy Swanson's Conversations With My Father considers how an article about Charlie Chaplin's daughter prompted her to remember conversations with her late father--and reflect on how much she really communicates with my heavenly father.

It's amazing the way certain people influence a person. In that spirit, Rev. Bill gives a touching tribute to his Dad.

David at Disciple's Journal says that because it's often overlooked, he tries to write on missions once a week. This week's installment is simply a compilation of missionary quotes, some well-known and some not, to encourage, inspire and remind us of what really matters. Some great thoughts are included in From Mary Slessor to Nate Saint, in their own words.

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How about some ice hockey, eh? The word “hockey” comes from the old French word "hocquet", meaning "stick". The origins of ice hockey are unclear, but it is widely accepted that the British are responsible for bringing hockey to North America. Soldiers stationed in Nova Scotia, Canada, played the earliest games. In 1879, a group of college students at McGill University in Montreal organised competitions and developed the first known set of hockey rules. The sport migrated south to the United States during the 1890s. The first known hockey games took place between Johns Hopkins and Yale Universities in 1895. There is no word on when the first hockey fight broke out. However, this next bunch of posts step up to the face off circle to do battle in the interpretation of Scripture.

Starting at The View from the Firehouse, Don writes from personal experience as he speculates on the accuracy of Scripture and tries to answer the question, "How Did Judas Die?"

How are we to understand the scientific language of the Bible? In Science in the Bible and the Culture of the Times, Martin at Sun and Shield looks at the way scientific information was presented to a culture which could not understand in the same way we do today.

Black words or red words? Barbara from Tidbits and Treasures found some interesting perspectives on the difference between the words of Jesus and the other words in the Bible. Her thoughts are contained in What Is More Important - Black or Red?

Did Mark and Matthew rewrite Luke's Gospel account? Richard from dokeo kago grapho soi kratistos Theophilos describes The Problem of Allusions and Synoptic Solutions. It's all in one's viewpoint, he claims, using an an illustration of a plumbing problem in his residence.

When God's specific guidance is needed, should we expect to hear His "still, small voice" or instead do what seems most rational? Dan of Cerulean Sanctum discusses how God speaks to us today in Hearing God.

Reader's Digest has nothing on Vegetable Soup's Kathleen. Ever want things boiled down to the basics to help you see the whole picture? That's the point behind The History of the World...and the Book of 1,000 Words or less.

And an audio post from Peering into Darkness with a fresh look at end times prophecy. The interview is with author Peter Goodgame, who has combined prophecy with Egyptian myth and Sumerian history. His conclusion? The Antichrist of the Apocalypse will be a resurrected Nimrod, of Tower of Babel fame!

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Luge is the French word for sled, and historical findings point to the existence of sleds, as early as AD 800 with the Vikings who are believed to have had sleds with two runners, which resemble the modern-day version. The first international sled race occurred in 1883 in Switzerland, with 21 competitors. This sport, which became an Olympic event in 1964, today resembles a barely-controlled downward slide. Strangely enough, our Christian walk can turn into the same wild ride if we don't come to terms with sins which can fester in our hearts. This next group of posts deal with these sins.

Katy from brings us part one of an interview with author Mary DeMuth about godly parenting in Are You a Pioneer Parent? Part One.

Ever find yourself jealous of another church's ministry or building or members? Read along as John of A Preacher's Journey comes to terms with feelings of jelousy over another church's youth ministry in Jealousy in Ministry.

BK at CADRE Comments has a reflection on reading C. S. Lewis which should hit home for all apologists of the Gospel entitled, A Sin Apologists Need To Beware.

The Christian tendacy is to condemn while we are reluctant to forgive. Walt explores the need for Exposing Sin, Applying Grace at View From the Pew.

I'll slip an entry of my own in here because I think the topic is important. When you can, please read To Forgive Really Is Divine. I thank you.

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Since 1908, skating has been a part of the Olympic Games. These days it is a major television draw, where originally ice skating was simply a rapid form of transportation across frozen lakes, rivers and canals. The Olympic Winter Games present three disciplines of skating: Figure Skating, including singles for Men and Ladies, pairs (a man and a lady) and ice dancing, Speed Skating, and Short Track Speed Skating for Men and Ladies. But it's the figure skating which will be televised at every opportunity. And how seriously can a man take a sport where the scored are announced while the competitors sit in a place called the "Kiss and Cry"?!?!? Give me the penalty box any day! Anyway, these posts deal with the beauty, artistry and elegance of a life lived with Christ Jesus.

Can Family Movie Night at home turn spiritual? MicahGirl from Musings of MicahGirl says "YES!" after learning a lesson on Eternal Friendship while watching Finding Nemo.

John at Light Along the Journey asks what would be the consequences if we were to wake up one morning with Lance Armstrong's DNA, and what greater gift God has already given His children in his post, All Things New.

The simple process of breathing intrigued Sharing Spirit's Kim as during her morning run one particular day, she found herself more interested in the grass, trees, and the inhaling and exhaling of air. Find out why in I Breathe.

We plan. God plans. Guess who wins? At The Common Room, the Headmistress knows whose plans take precedence, and she describes a time when she discovered that Life Is Better Than We Planned.

Ron from Northern 'burbs blog discovered that the truth is simple, and is most powerful when stated simply. He states it with great Eloquence.

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Finally, the sport of skiing has been a part of the Winter Olympics since 1924. Skiing itself has been around for at least 6000 years as a way to move quickly through deep snow out in the wild. It has been a way of life in colder countries since that time. The Olympic Winter Games present five disciplines of Skiing: Alpine, Cross Country, Ski Jumping, Nordic Combined, Freestyle as well as Snowboarding. To compete in these various disciplines one needs to master speed, endurance, dexterity, and determination. To run the race marked out for us as Christians we need to master a dependence upon Christ in our everyday life. This final grouping deals with getting through life as a believer.

Good grief? Certainly! Penitens of A Penitent Blogger reflects upon the death of Coretta Scott King, David's grief at the death of Absolom, and Grief and the Christian Faith.

One of those random "autopilot" moments in life that became anything but for Jules of Faith or Fiction as she vividly describes in A Moment of Clarity.

David of Pilgrim Scribblings asks "Are we enjoying and thanking God for the power to live dynamic, Christian lives or are we just sputtering along?" He expounds on that thought in Firecracker or Dynamite?

Systematic Theology. To some those words bring back nightmares of college while to others the words have absolutely no meaning. Matt of Random Acts of Verbiage brings us the words of one of the great theologians in Warfield on Systematic Theology.

Meanwhile Hammertime from Team Hammer's Musings reminds us that Theology Matters with a reflection on the place of theology in our spiritual and practical lives.

Finally, thank you for the sports information and the wonderful pictures to the International Olympic Committee site. The XX Winter Olympiad begins in Torino (Turin), Italy on February 10.


Mattithyahu said...

Thanks for the post rev! Well done! :)

Derek said...

Excellent use of the Olympic theme. And without the pagan imagery of the opening ceremony at the Athens games a couple years ago!

Kim said...

This looks really great. It's nice that you hosted the carnival after getting your new template up and going.

rev-ed said...

Well, according to some, it's still not exactly "up and running" for many Firefox users, but...

Thank y'all. Yes I'm still trying to work out the tech bugs.

R. Stewart said...

Ed, if I'd known you'd be organizing in this theme, I'd have written something else. Preferably something to put me into the hockey category instead of the figure skating one. Something about challenging a Minnesota boy's, um, masculinity:)

Seriously, great job! Thanks for putting this together.

Carol said...

Great job, Ed! This is the one I should have submitted to, isn't it? I love the theme.n (And that blue!)

Bill said...

Great Carnival -- great theme -- great new look to blog! Thanks!

rev-ed said...

Ron - That's funny, I've always pictured you as a figure skater... :p

R. Stewart said...

Ha! Very nice:)