I'd like to thank all those who wrote posts for the fifth installment of the Christian Reconciliation Carnival. In an effort to increase our readership and authorship, I ask each person reading or writing to invite at least one friend to write for or read future installments of the Carnival. (I could get ambitious and request two friends each. The population of the Earth is around 6 billion, so if one person tells two people, and those two people tell four people, and those four people tell eight people, then somewhere between the 31st and 32nd set of people, the whole world would know about this Carnival!)
If math is not your preference, then perhaps Pseudo-Polymath is more up your alley. Mark, an Eastern Orthodox (OCA), writes on this Carnival's topic in sharing with us his Ecumenical Reading Lists. The topic, if you remember, was on how your understanding of the divisions in Christianity has changed after you read books or articles by Christians of another denomination and found yourself agreeing with much of the author's content. Mark asks "how could one restrict one's reading to just that produced inside one's denomination?" and goes on to share his own experiences with literature that answered some questions (and asked more).
Mark also tells us What He'd Pay To See. He describes an intelligent, calm, and Socratic approach to debating. Hat-tip to Anne who asks, "Anybody interested in picking a topic and giving it a try?"
Tim, the God-Fearin' Fiddler, addresses the topic as well, in his post Jesus and the Victory of God. Tim, a Roman Catholic, talks about the book of the same name by the Anglican scholar N. T. Wright (also the Bishop of Durham). A friend of Tim's, an elder at a nearby Presbyterian Church of America, had recommended Wright for Tim's reading list. In writing about Wright's quest to find both a historical and Scriptural Jesus, Tim says "it is refreshing to see such a well studied and respected scholar put all of these secular fantasies firmly to rest".
Bonnie, from the group-effort blog Intellectuelle, shares a post she wrote on an early May event that attracted a great deal of attention in the Christian blogging circuit. In Francis Beckwith has returned..., she writes (from a Protestant perspective) on the reaction to Dr. Francis Beckwith's return to the Catholic Church after several decades away from it; his return ended his presidency of the Evangelical Theological Society, and sparked some hot debates. Bonnie asks, among other things, "why must someone be Protestant to be considered an Evangelical?"
At her blog, Proto-Catholic where she chronicles her ongoing journey to Catholicism, Gretchen writes on this month's topic about her experiences with Catholic literature from her Protestant perspective. In The Lost Presence, she muses on her own prodigality in relationship to the Lord's Supper. She also copied one of C. S. Lewis's poems from Spirits in Bondage entitled In Praise of Solid People. I've abducted it for the Carnival.
Darrel (Dr. Platypus) also writes on this month's topic in his post on Morton Kelsey's Ecumenical Appeal. Darrel, who describes himself as "mostly Baptist", explains how Kelsey's book Healing and Christianity "expanded my horizons by allowing me to find common ground with whole swaths of Christian tradition", "helped me to articulate my own beliefs about divine healing", and "challenged my assumptions about what a 'Christian worldview' might look like".
Anne, the Weekend Fisher, also addresses this month's topic, in which she introduces us to The Wider Church on My Bookshelf. Having read her blog, Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength, for some time now (probably a year at least), I can attest to her love of J. R. R. Tolkien, especially his masterpiece The Lord of the Rings. In her post for the Carnival, she talks about how her first Lutheran pastor introduced her to the works of Thomas Merton and encouraged her to read C. S. Lewis. This pastor "had a vision of the Church that transcended divisions". She also relates to how her own transition within the Lutheran church -- from a more liberal church to a more conversative one -- affected her perception of the differences that exist between us: "I discovered that each side misunderstood the other badly, misrepresented the other badly, and resisted the idea that it was behaving unjustly and uncharitably toward the other."
Guess on which topic I, Jeff, your host for this month, wrote? Yes, the topic of the month. Here on The Cross Reference, you'll find a post about C. S. Lewis and Ecumenism. I lay bare (some of) the ignorance I had in my youthful Catholicism of the entirety of the Christian body: "I knew that Lewis was not a Catholic [...] that meant he was 'a Protestant', which in turn meant he was 'a Baptist or something'." My post is primarily about the effect mere christianity had on me; I praise it as "an ecumenical work [...] with which so many Christians can identify [and] a foundation on which to build more serious, more intelligent, and more charitable dialogue" for Christian reconciliation.
In addition to the proferred posts above, there are also some "drifters", posts that our readership (ok... Anne) has come across this past month that may pique our interest. In no particular order, here they are:
My Flesh Is True Food, in which an "Augsburg evangelical" presents his view of Christ's real presence in the Eucharist.
Encounters with Tradition, a new series by Ben Myers, at Faith and Theology.
In How to Begin to Live as a Saint, Mark Roberts discusses the God-centered holiness, faithfulness, and love to which all Christians are called.
Two articles related to Scot McKnight. At his blog, Jesus Creed, he reviews Pope Benedict XVI's book Jesus of Nazareth. Meanwhile, the Internet Monk interviews Scot on Evangelical Christians and Mary.
Proclaiming Softly has an article, Falwell and Fire, which comments on Jerry Falwell's passing and the strong reactions it drew.
Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost discusses the strict teetotalism of the Southern Baptist Convention in his article What Would Jesus Drink?: Alcohol, Ethics, and Christian Liberty.
Lastly, with a hat-tip to Hyperekperissou's Patristics Roundup, we find an article from The Way of the Fathers titled Hindu Traditions of St. Thomas, which comments on lesser-known evidence of St. Thomas the Apostle's missionary journey to India.
If you leave a comment on the "guest articles", please let them know you found their blogs through the Christian Reconciliation Carnival, and offer them an invitation to become regular (or at least witting!) contributors.
Finally, if you are interested in hosting next month's Carnival (and I know you are), please contact Anne from Heart, Mind, Soul, and Strength (or me, but I'll probably just forward it to Anne). That email address is: email@example.com. That's also the article-submission email address.