He is Sufficient have ceased blogging

I’ve just noticed that ElShaddai Edwards has decided to stop blogging at He is Sufficient. His comments have been turned off.

Forgive me if you’ve heard this song before, but I have decided to stop blogging at He is Sufficient. I truly appreciate all of the wit, wisdom and words of faith that you have shared with me over the past few years. I wish you well in all of your endeavors, whatever they may be and wherever they may lead you.

“God is sufficient for the needs of His people”. Amen!

ElShaddai, I also wish you well in all your endeavors.

A formal translation for my wife

Tonight, my wife asked me: “Which translation of the bible would be good for her to study from?”  I asked her whether she wanted a formal word-for-word translation or a dynamic translation for easier comprehension.  She said a word-for-word translation because she wants to do an indepth bible study.  I already know her favourite translation is the NLT and NIV, so this ruled out suggesting the NLT and TNIV.

I proceeded to my bookshelf and pulled out an ESV and an NRSV.  I gave her a choice and asked her which one she wanted.  She said “NRSV”.  I know her professor from seminary suggested the NRSV to her theology class.  I hesitated to give her a translation right away; but when she picked the NRSV, something clicked in me.  I realized that  the NRSV has some credibility, not that the ESV doesn’t.  Since she was a female, I thought the NRSV would speak to her best.  When given a choice, I think most women would probably go for the NRSV because of its gender inclusivity.

Some interesting posts in the blogworld

Peter Kirk (Gentle Wisdom) has an interesting series of posts on What Anglicans have not always held about Communion, parts 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.  He blogs about what the Anglican Church has held concerning Holy Communion and in light of the Thirty-Nine Articles.  He poses a scenario I never thought of:

if some consecrated bread and wine by accident find their way out of the church building and are eaten by an unbelieving beggar who doesn’t know where they came from, is the beggar in any sense receiving the body and blood of Christ? Roman Catholics would certainly answer “yes”, because for them the elements have objectively become the body and blood, and I think most Anglicans today would do as well. But my answer would be “no”, and that was clearly the answer of the author of Article 29 of the Thirty-Nine, based on no less an authority than Augustine of Hippo…

CD-Host (Church Discipline) is starting a series of posts on a King James Onlyist Interview.  It should be an interesting discussion.  I wonder how this debate will end up when the truth comes out.

TC Robinson (New Leaven) can finally get some rest after a long conversation on the complementarian vs egalitarian debate on the post  Complementarianism is Christian Too! Debates and conversations like that can really drain a person. I tend to avoid them.

Eph. 3:16-18 “I pray that…”

Ephesians 3:16 – 18:

that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will give you mighty inner strength through his Holy Spirit.
I pray that
, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit,
so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith that you, being rooted and grounded in love, And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts as you trust in him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvelous love. and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.
may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth,

For public reading of this particular passage, I would prefer not to read from the ESV because the sentence is way too long.  It is five verses long: v.14-19. It takes your breath away. According to English grammar, it might qualify as a run-on sentence.  Notice the ESV does not have the phrase “I pray that” while the NRSV, NLT, and TNIV translations do. Why?  I looked into this and learned that vv. 16 and 18 (in orig. Greek) contain a subordinate or dependent clause: “that“.   For clarity’s sake, the words “I pray that” were added in by the NRSV, NLT, TNIV translators because this clause “that” actually refers to what Paul said back in v. 14 (“I bow my knees before the Father”). So by adding “I pray that“, clarity to an otherwise, lengthy sentence was increased.

Since “I pray that” is not present in the original, you would think that the ESV would be more precise.  It may be more precise but it may not be as understandable.  Precision does not equal accuracy.

NewEpistles.com is now on WordPress

wp1volkswagenWell, it’s been done. I finally managed to make the switch to WordPress. I do find that finding my way around WordPress is a little more complicated than Blogger. I have to say that I do [like] the WordPress logo because it reminds me of the car I drive too.

Now when I learn how to use WordPress, I will have to add a blogroll and tweak some things.  I find that when I type in http://www.newepistles.com it automatically changes the address to http://newepistles.com. So now, the domain name seems to be with[out] the www. I don’t know why.

Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your pictures without your permission

Facebook has agreed to let third party advertisers use your posted pictures without your permission. Click on “Settings” up at the top where you see the “Logout” link. Select “Privacy”. Then select “News Feed and Wall”. Next, select the tab that reads “Facebook Ads”. In the drop down box, select “No One”. Then save your changes. Do it now. Help your friends…cut and paste this into your status.

Note, the “Facebook Ads” page is visible on Internet Explorer and Apple’s Safari, but not on Mozilla Firefox.

Switching over to WordPress…some day

Brian (at Living the Crucified Life) asked me:

“When are you coming over to WordPress? You can transfer everything over with no problems and get tons of more interaction!”

I’ve been thinking and thinking about moving over to WordPress for a long time but well, as a thinker who just keeps thinking about it but doing nothing about it, I ask myself “Will I ever get to it?” I see my friend Gary Zimmerli (Sundry Times) just recently switched to WordPress, and Better Bibles Blog also switched not too long ago too. I am slow. I have been a die-hard Blogger fan because it’s so easy to use. But I do know WordPress is really good. I will have to just do it and get it over with.

So, expect New Epistles to be on WordPress…someday.

Who really deserves the Honest Scrap Award?

Who really deserves the Honest Scrap Award? I have been tagged by TC Robinson who was in turn tagged by Polycarp (and I don’t know how much further back other taggers go?)

I’m supposed to tell you 10 HONEST things about myself and then nominate 7 other blogs that I think deserve to receive the Honest Scrap Award.

Here goes my ten honest things about myself:

  1. I drive a black Volkswagon Golf and would never want to switch to another car (except maybe for a Jetta someday).
  2. I never watch TV anymore because I don’t have cable or satellite, and I don’t regret it for one second.
  3. I like science fiction shows and movies, and also thriller dramas, and I do not like horror.
  4. I’m a thinker-type, as opposed to a feeler-type and so admit that I don’t have a lot of patience for people who don’t make any sense when they get angry or flustered. But I have to try since I am a pastor and a pastor is suppose to provide some pastoral care to people.
  5. I was ordained back in April 2009 in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.
  6. Preaching really turns me on.
  7. I’m a closet Calvinist but since I’m confessing this, I might as well call myself as a new Calvinist.
  8. Politically, I’m a conservative who likes Barack Obama.
  9. I have lived in three Canadian provinces (B.C., Ontario and Saskatchewan) and one U.S. state (Virginia).
  10. I have mostly been a city slicker all my life but I’m currently living in a small town and have lived in one other small town before my current town of Davidson, Sask.

Now I nominate seven nominees:

  1. Peter Kirk
  2. CD-Host
  3. Stan McCullars
  4. Timothy (Catholic Bibles)
  5. Rich (Exegete Reflections)
  6. ElShaddai Edwards
  7. Gary Zimmerli

I would like to be a Calminian, but I’m not convinced

Craig Blomberg has just posted on the Koinonia blog about the middle position between Calvinism and Arminianism, which he labels as “Calminian”. I am not sure about this position. When it comes down to it, it seems to end up sounding like a form of Arminianism to me. The scriptures he refers to are also used to defend the 5-points of Calvinism. I don’t claim to be an expert in the Calvinist-Arminian debate and I would like to do further study in this middle position he describes as Molinism (named after the medieval Jesuit priest Molina).

Aside from this debate, I love his understanding because his quote indicates his struggle in this debate:

“so many Bible-believing, godly evangelical Christians would have wound up on each side. The former wants to preserve the Scriptural emphasis on divine sovereignty; the latter, on human freedom and responsibility. Both are right in what they want and correct to observe in Scripture the theme that they stress.”

I can really sympathize with how Blomberg feels about this. He is right when both sides create caricatures of what the other side believes. I have seen and read it in books and I just laugh about it when I see it. These caricatures that Arminians are selfish and refuse to submit to the sovereign will of God is laughable. And the caricature that Calvinists are merciless and heartless souls who agree that God delights in condemning many to hell is also laughable.

Sometimes, I wish I was neither a Calvinists or an Arminian. But sometimes I take pride in the 5-points of Calvinism. And I also can sympathize with my Arminian brothers and sisters because I was one myself.