This issue of the Lutheran Carnival is dedicated to Niels H. Abel, a Lutheran mathematician of Scandanivian descent 'cause you know I'm all about those of my adopted heritage.
Birthplace: Island of Finnøy, Norway
Location of death: Froland, Norway
Cause of death: unspecified
Executive summary: Studied elliptics and hyperelliptics
Norwegian mathematician, born at Finnøy on the 25th of August 1802. In 1815 he entered the cathedral school at Christiania, and three years later he gave proof of his mathematical genius by his brilliant solutions of the original problems proposed by Bernt Michael Holmboe. About this time, his father, a poor Protestant minister, died, and the family was left in straitened circumstances; but a small pension from the state allowed Abel to enter Christiania University in 1821.
His first notable work was a proof of the impossibility of solving the quintic equation by radicals. This investigation was first published in 1824 and in abstruse and difficult form, and afterwards (1826) more elaborately in the first volume of Crelle's Journal. Further state aid enabled him to visit Germany and France in 1825, and having visited the astronomer Heinrich Schumacher (1780-1850) at Hamburg, he spent six months in Berlin, where he became intimate with August Leopold Crelle, who was then about to publish his mathematical journal. This project was warmly encouraged by Abel, who contributed much to the success of the venture.
From Berlin he passed to Freiberg, and here he made his brilliant researches in the theory of functions, elliptic, hyperelliptic and a new class known as "Abelians" being particularly studied. In 1826 he moved to Paris, and during a ten month stay he met the leading mathematicians of France; but he was little appreciated, for his work was scarcely known, and his modesty restrained him from proclaiming his researches. Pecuniary embarrassments, from which he had never been free, finally compelled him to abandon his tour, and on his return to Norway he taught for some time at Christiania.
In 1829 Crelle obtained a post for him at Berlin, but the offer did not reach Norway until after his death near Arendal on the 6th of April. The early death of this talented mathematician, of whom Legendre said "quelle tête celle du jeune Norvégien!" (American: "What a head is on that young Norwegian!"), cut short a career of extraordinary brilliance and promise.
Under Abel's guidance, the prevailing obscurities of analysis began to be cleared, new fields were entered upon and the study of functions so advanced as to provide mathematicians with numerous ramifications along which progress could be made. His works, the greater part of which originally appeared in Crelle's Journal, were edited by Holmboe and published in 1839 by the Swedish government, and a more complete edition by Ludwig Sylow and Sophus Lie was published in 1881. (Reference).
Even a prize is named after him!
On with the entries!
1. (Who else do you think I would put first? Jesus? Pietist!) "Whatever Happened to Self Respect?": In this post, Mrs. T. Swede gives her view as to why our nation's youth are so misguided, disrespectful and irresponsible. She points out that children whose parents spend more time with them and are more involved in their lives are less likely to experiment with alcohol, drugs, premarital and promiscuous sex, and smoking. She may not be a mother yet, but she's thinking ahead about how she might deal with these vices when she is a mother, and uses the text from her pastor's Epistle reading from Jan. 15 as an example.
2.1 "Grizzly Feast": In this post the Deaconess goes to the movies and discovers that the boundaries between man and beast are good. Bears think humans are food, and cannot be dissuaded from that notion. Living too close with the bear means sometimes he eats you. There is a lesson to be learned in that according to Formula of Concord X.
2.2 "Butting Desks": The Deaconess then goes back into the classroom in "Butting Desks." This time she finds a way for two of her pugnacious boys to learn to make peace with each other.
2.3 "Beer With the Masters, Pt. 1": By way of introduction into the world of Confessional Lutheran blogging, the Deaconess enters "Beer With the Masters, Pt. 1" at the Cantor's Padded Balcony. With a blog and a post title like that, what more need be said?
3.1 "Book Report: The Fire and the Staff by Klemet Preus": Dan at Necessary Roughness examined a fine book that shows the relation of doctrine in practice. The Fire and the Staff by Klemet Preus shows that when either doctrine or practice is changed, the other follows soon behind.
3.2 "What’s In A Verse?": Some kids' devotions consist of a nice moral tale with a Bible verse at the end. Given what little time people have with their kids, they should maximize that time focusing on the Law and Gospel behind the verse, to strengthen their faith. Suggestion by Dan at Necessary Roughness.
4.1 "Saint or Sinner or both?": One thing that caused Mrs. K. of Be Strong in the Grace to leave American Evangelicalism in search of a true Bible-based church was her utter despair at realizing that she was not becoming the kind of Christian that Ted Haggard and Bill Bright said she should be. She was being taught that after several years of Christianity, the sin in her life should be decreasing. In fact, she was taught she was no longer a sinner; she was saved! Something magical should have happened to her, if she was truly saved, and she should look more like a saint at her age. How depressing! [Swede commentary: You look wonderful, Mrs.K.]
4.2 "Eminem and Dylan": Along with the filth and slander, Eminem apparently knows what the right thing is to do as a husband and father. That is the impression that he has given Mrs. K's nephew, Dylan, and she's thankful for that. It can't be denied that Eminem has become a cultural icon and will be remembered by the generations that have listened to him, but will family values be his legacy or filthy lyrics? Mrs. K supposes that is up to him. As for her, she will supplement Dylan's education from Eminem with Scripture.
5. "Persecution Makes You Stronger": Dan the Geologist shares his thoughts about the type of persecution he encountered in Utah.
6.1 "Vocation and Penance": After reading a post at Hot Lutheran on Lutheran Action entitled Thoughts on Penance, Kung Fu Master Aardvark responded with some thoughts of his own. He cautions against being enslaved by the Law but rather relishing the Gospel freedom to truly love our neighbor, including the one against whom we've sinned.
6.2 "Life Marches On": In this post, Kung Fu Master Orycteropus Afer of Aardvark Alley reflects on 33 years of Roe vs. Wade and encourages Christians to fulfill their vocations by remembering to confess the Lord of Life by speaking out on life issues in the Kingdom of the Left Hand.
7.1 "Good Christian; Bad Christian": Kung Fu Master Snyder of Ask the Pastor deals with a woman's questions about her relationship with the father of their child and the woman's concerns about their relationship in light of his faith in Good Christian; Bad Christian.
7.2 "Meat to Idols": Kung Fu Snyder interprets 1 Corinthians 8 and gives contemporary application, especially as regards participation in the Lord's Supper at Ask the Pastor.
7.3 "The Small Catechism" and 7.4 "Handling the Word of Truth": This Carnival includes the first entries from the brand new Luther Library, a collaborative blog dedicated to encouraging "the reading of good books by confessional Lutheran pastors, church workers, and lay people through regular reviews and recommendations." Pastor Snyder posted the first review, The Small Catechsim, and detailed some of the improvements made with the new printing of the 1986/1991 translation while also offering criticism of a few perceived weaknesses. Dan at Necessary Roughness followed with an evaluation of John Pless's summary of Law and Gospel, Handling the Word of Truth.
8. "How to Approach Holy Communion": Via the Swede, CPA shares more of Luther on the Lord's Supper as a promise to receive and not a work we do. Very deep.
Enjoy the Carnival. Thanks for coming!
BTW, I originally requested Lutheran Carnival DCLXVI! (666! which is a very huge number indeed - almost as big as me) but was misread as 'XVI'. (Look at the last comment.) I do have a fascination of 666 - and love the coincidence. Ask Dan the Geologist or Mrs. Swede. Another reason I love 666 is I love to poke fun at people's superstitions.
Here are some posts of mine that include the 666 'theme': here, here and here.