Wow! or HUH???

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Tom Reynolds | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 10 2010 6:24 PM

When the LXX translators did their work they similarly had to make those choices. When Paul chose to state in Galatians 3:16 "The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is Christ" he chose to understand the OT in a particular way that was foreign to anyone's prior assumptions. Obviously, the literal (Jewish) descendants of Abraham took both the Hebrew and Greek rendering as referring to them collectively as the seed but Paul understood that actually it meant the singular and was referring to Christ.

Did Paul misread the text or did he chose a better translation? Obviously, he understood what people thought it meant but he made clear what it 'really' meant. Jesus often did similar things. Today's translators have to take into consideration the fuller meaning imbued by the NT understanding of the OT text. Mary was a "virgin" who also happened to be a "young woman." How should we translate Isaiah 7:14? The NIV committee really had a go at this and Bruce Waltke has vigorously defended keeping it as "virgin." What will happen in the 2011 revision? What truly reflects the meaning of the text? This can't just be a discussion about words and paragraphs but has to take into account an entire history of translation and understanding of those translations.

Posts 405
Amy Leung | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 10 2010 7:09 PM

I suspect that Kelly cannot be entirely right here (I don't use Kelly; I use GKC), because this appears contrary to what I've seen in the bible.  Do you think the word זֶרַע is meant to be singular in Gen 15:13 or Gen 22:17? 

To investigate the matter I tried looking at all instances where the noun עַם is the subject taking a verb.  I looked at all הָעָם of Genesis and Exodus so far (no time for the whole bible Wink).  I may have missed one or two but the overwhelming instances of the verbs used by עַם is singular.  And most (12/16=75%) of the plural ones either have modifiers to the noun (min, kol) or follows a singular verb in the succeeding clause(s) after waw(s).  

Singular verbs: Gen 41:55, Ex 1:20, Ex 4:31, Ex 5:12, Ex 12:27, Ex 12:34, Ex 13:17 (one sing and one pl in the next clause after a waw), Ex 14:5, Ex 16:4 (one sing, one pl in succeeding clause after a waw), Ex 17:2, Ex 17:3 (x2), Ex 17:6, Ex 18:13, Ex 18:14, Ex 18:15, Ex 18:23, Ex 19:9, Ex 19:16, Ex 19:23, Ex 20:18, Ex 20:21, Ex 24:3, Ex 32:1 (x2), Ex 32:6, Ex 32:21, Ex 32:31, Ex 33:4, Ex 33:10 (x2), Ex 36:6.

Plural verbs: Ex 13:17 (see above), Ex 14:31, Ex 15:24 (sing in the App), Ex 16:4 (see above), Ex 16:27 (after min), Ex 16:30, Ex 19:8 (after kol), Ex 20:18 (1x after kol, 2x in succeeding clauses after a waw) Ex 32:3 (after kol), Ex 32:6 (in the succeeding clauses after a waw), Ex 33:8 (after kol), Ex 33:4 (2x both in the succeeding clauses after waws), 36:5

So my conclusion is that one cannot look at a singular verb and say that the noun is singular and cannot be collective.  This is not valid argument.  Though when a verb is plural then the noun is likely collective.  Of course one also has to take into account of other reasons whereby the number in nouns and verbs may not agree (poetic license etc).

Posts 1145
William | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jan 10 2010 7:19 PM

Please refer to my edited post above.  I guess I screwed up the first attempt.

Posts 191
Sharon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 1:54 PM

Dan DeVilder:
this "go to the word" thing

 Hi Dan,

Why did you put go to the word in italics and call it a thing?  (Not a rhetorical question - I really want to know)  It comes across to me as dishonoring to the Word of God, or as an insinuation that it is somehow different than what God has said to do--almost like it is strange doctrine..

Dan DeVilder:
That said, it could be perceived as a bit heavy handed to those (i don't feel it, however, myself) who don't know languages that much, if we badmouth their going to 2nd hand sources like commentaries or dictionaries to get at truth.

The point is that the Word is preeminent and 2nd hand sources are as nothing compared to it.  In fact, 2nd hand sources are not actually sources, they are resources at best.  God's Word alone must be our source.  Lifting and exalting the Word of God is a righteous and necessary thing to do - not a heavy handed thing.  Keeping 2nd hand resources in perspective to the Word is our responsibility; no badmouthing was done, just "goodmouthing" the Word of God.  Magnifying the Word of God is in far too great demand these days.

No one NEEDS to know the languages to get at Truth.  We need the Word and God's Holy Spirit.  We need to sit at Jesus' feet and listen to Him in His Word- that is necessary, the only necessary thing.  We need to remember that the Word is more important than our necessary eating and drinking (Job).  We need to remember that we live by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God - we do not live by anything else.

God has magnified His Word together with His Name.  He tells me so in His Word.  He also tells me everything, absolutely everything that I need for life and godliness are found in the true knowledge of Him.  I believe Him.  The result of my belief is that I go to the Word first and foremost.  I don't negate tools, but I don't put them on the same level as God's Word.  I am not saying that you are doing this.  I say this because the "tools" have had their measure of praise filled to the brim and God's Word is far too often left neglected.  Things ought not to be this way.

God's Word is pure unadulterated Truth.  That cannot be said for any resource- not even one.  God promises to stand over His Word to perform it.  That cannot be said for any book or any man.  God declares that His Word accomplishes what He sends it for.  No other resource can give a guarantee like that.  Yes, God can use resources any time He wants, I am not saying otherwise.  I am saying that God's Word is being slighted by even being compared to them.  No one needs anything more that God's Word and His Holy Spirit to understand His Truth revealed in His Word.  He has promised to lead and guide us into all Truth and Jesus prayed that God would sanctify us in Truth - His Word.  I'm just saying let's ALWAYS start there and let's STAY there waaaayyyy longer before seeking help, confirmation, or contradiction from 2nd hand resources.

Most people do not really know the Word of God because they have listened to what others have said, in place of sitting quietly, and personally, diligently studying the very Word of God Itself for themselves. 

I am not upset with you Dan.  I want you to know that.  But I want to say that in the month or so that I have been using the forums to learn how to use my Logos 4 I have been amazed at the waves, sometimes even bristling, that seem to be caused by simply saying that God's Word is the only Truth.

It came across to me that you were trying to protect someone from my exaltation of the Word and my exhortation to study It more.  That could cause someone to believe that they cannot know the Word of God without 2nd hand resources.  I want people to hear and believe that they can study God's Word for themselves and know Truth for themselves.  (I, of course, am not advocating never checking yourself out with other godly believers, especially people with a teaching gift, whether in person or in a book.)

The problem isn't with the tools.  The problem is that people have believed a lie.  (I am not saying you, just speaking in general, and from experience with hundreds and hundreds of people through the years).  The lie is that they can't understand the Bible for themselves.  They believe the Bible is too big, or too confusing, or can only be learned or understood by a seminarian.  The truth is that you can know Truth for yourself if you study God's Word.  And you don't need a degree, a teacher, or even Bible software to do it.  Teachers are a gift that God has given to the church and I am so thankful to Him for His gift.  But they are not necessary - useful, but not necessary.

I commended Mike because it was refreshing to hear someone lift up the truth about studying God's Word.  I wanted to encourage him, hopefully, to do it again, and again, and...  Why?  Because in all truth, the forums of Logos (the last month's worth) are not lifting up the Name of the Lord as they should be.  And they are not friendly to those who do so.  There should not be any resistance to one doing so--the forums are in God's sphere - it's His universe, He owns it all and has all rights over it.  His Name is to praised from the rising to the setting of the sun - even in Logosland.  He will not share His glory with another.

Sharon

 

 

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 2:11 PM

Sharon Jensen:
No one needs anything more that God's Word and His Holy Spirit to understand His Truth revealed in His Word. 

 

Sharon,

sister...respectfully, I agree that w should study the word  and do as well as we can before just taking the word of every commentary we have, but if we need nothing more than just the book and the Holy Spirit...then we've all spent a lot of cash for nothing. Big Smile

I'm trying to get at what you're saying so i don't misunderstand you....

You're not saying that (for example) I can open my English translation and just read it, study it...and the Holy Spirit will just "give the the real interpretation" of the passage?

I'm trying to understand what you are saying. I've met many people who say we don't need anything but the word and God will tells us what his word means....by "impressions" "feelings" or " "confirmation."

 

Can you elaborate or be more precise about the sentence above?

Robert Pavich

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Posts 390
Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 2:57 PM

I am as theologically conservative as they come, but we need to be careful here when we speak of “sticking to the word”

If all you need is the text and the Holy Spirit, then you should be able to take the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and have a blessed bible study even if you have never heard of those languages.

The moment you admit that you need help understanding what was writing in the original languages (the function of an English translation), it is the moment you should also realize that you also need help understanding other aspects behind the meaning of the text (grammar, history, culture, parallels, and so on).

Having Scripture interpret Scripture is a very good principle (and a must) and one should be careful not to endanger the supremacy of the word of God.

I have been in seminary for the greater part of the past decade, I am about to obtain the terminal degree in my field but to be honest, the more I learn the more I realize how little I know and how much help I need from the Holy Spirit and from those who have studied the Bible.   

How is reading a commentary any different from asking a question in this forum or asking a question to a pastor. In many cases it is a better solution since the one writing the commentary has spent more time pondering the issue than your average forum user or pastor.

The Bible acknowledges that believers will need help from others when it comes to understanding the Word of God (that is why teachers are number three in the pecking order in the Church (1 Cor 12:28)).Good commentaries or similar works serve the same function as the teachers in the Church. The only difference is that is it primarily through writing.

Of course, one must use discernment when receiving teaching (in the Church, during a Bible study, in commentaries and so on) and some of what is given will be simply worthless. But let us not denigrate the importance of the teaching ministry in the Church (despite the various forms it might take).

Reading what more learned persons have to say is also important in order to rescue us from our own limitations, bias, and blind spots. We tend to read the text to confirm what we already believe, works like commentaries (if used with discernment and judiciously as part of our own effort to wrestle with the text) are very helpful to force us to examine aspects that we might have overlooked, to give us background information leading us to understand the text like the original audience would have.

The question is not whether or not one must take advantage of what others have to say (including in commentaries), the question is what kind of persons are we listening to  (or reading ) and whether or not what is written honors the Word of God and contributes to a better understanding of its message.

What appears to be respect for the word of God (by distorting the right meaning of the “Bible” alone), can easily turn into arrogance and contempt for the Word if we stubbornly refuse the insight of those that are more learned and therefore negate the impact of the ministry of teaching in the Church.

This is why I need to carefully compare my interpretation with what others have said or written and see if I got too much or too little from the text and if I did not less my personal experience and preferences override what the Word has to say.

It is in no way a pleasant experience especially when it causes you to reevaluate your beliefs, but there is no better way to honor the Word of God (after obeying it of course but to properly obey you need to have the proper understanding of what is written )

 

 

 

No man is an island, especially not when it comes to the study of the word of God

Alain

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 3:19 PM

Alain Maashe:

No man is an island, especially not when it comes to the study of the word of God

Alain

Thanks Alain, your comments are appreciated and well received by me. As usual a blessing.

 

Ted

 

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Robert Pavich | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 3:32 PM

Ted Hans:

Alain Maashe:

No man is an island, especially not when it comes to the study of the word of God

Alain

Thanks Alain, your comments are appreciated and well received by me. As usual a blessing.

 

Ted

 

 

I agree...I wish I could have said it so clearly.

 

 

 

Robert Pavich

For help go to the Wiki: http://wiki.logos.com/Table_of_Contents__

Posts 191
Sharon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 5:00 PM

Robert Pavich:
I'm trying to get at what you're saying so i don't misunderstand you....

 Thank you.  I want to bring Him glory by speaking His Truth.  I don't want you to misunderstand me at all.

Robert Pavich:
I'm trying to understand what you are saying. I've met many people who say we don't need anything but the word and God will tells us what his word means....by "impressions" "feelings" or " "confirmation."

Oh, my, my, no!Surprise  I said nothing whatsoever about impressions or feelings. ( I think I can picture the "type" of your "many people".  I have met them too, way too often, if we indeed are talking about the same persuasion and I assure you that I am not in that category at all.)  I am talking about studying the whole Bible, in its context, book by book, looking for clear, repeated doctrine methodically, meticulously, carefully, observing tell you are cross-eyed Wink, observing some moreIndifferent, praying the whole time that God would open your eyes to behold wonderful things from His Word, inductively studying whole-part-whole rythym, eventually doing more and more cross-references, then word studies, then commentaries and other lexical aids, all the while continuing to observe the Word prayfully and diligently; lining everything up with the Word.

If I find that I have come up with some new-fangled doctrine contrary to 9 out of 10 scholars, then I would need to go back to the beginning of the study process and start over, not missing a step, and asking God to show me where I was wrong.  (Although I can tell you that if you seek Him in His Word, listening to every word He speaks, keeping each word in its context, prayerfully guarding the Treasure, that will be an almost impossibility to come up completely at the other end of the spectrum.  Notice I said almost an impossibility to be completely wrong.  Meaning, careful observation of the text will get you Truth - not the corner on Truth - but a handle on Truth.  Do you see the difference in what I am saying?)

To elaborate on the sentence you quoted:  Let's say you were on a desert island, stranded there without hope of rescue.  If you had the Bible and the Holy Spirit, you would have all you need.  His Word is Truth.  The Spirit is Truth.  The Spirit will lead you into all Truth.  If you were truly seeking Him, He would teach you Himself- through His Word and His Spirit.  The same is true if you were providentially rescued from your island - you would still have all you need in His Word and His Spirit.  However, once you are back among the populace you now have access to a plethora of tools (some of Satan, some of the flesh, and some of the Spirit).  Will you avail yourself of these?  Surely, I think, although with much discernment and prayer - lining each word of them up to the Word of God.  What doesn't line up - throw it out.  What lines up, consider it and if pertinent, even perhaps make a note of it in your Bible.  Do you think we can agree so far?  I hope so.

Okay, here's where I think you have misunderstood me, and where I obviously need to explain more fully.  If, once you had access to your tools, would it be possible to forget that all you really needed was His Word and His Spirit?  Would it be possible to place the tools on the same level as the Word, either by elevating the tools to high, or lowering the preeminence of His Word, or both?  I think it's possible and in fact, I think it's probable that many, many people do just this. They think the answers are in the tools.   The foundation, the context, if you will, must be determined by the Word of God.  And rightfully without the tools until their proper timing.  If you remember, I said in my earlier post that the tools are useful, just not needed.  The Scripture is needed and useful.  All Scripture is profitable, only some tools are profitable and none can compare with the claims made by the Word.

Perhaps I need to explain "me" a little so you may understand I do not speak flipantly or judgmentally in my defense of the honor of the Word above all other resources.  I guess maybe I am wondering if you all think I am a flake because I am disturbed that the Word is not receiving its rightful place in these forums.  I have spent the last 20 years studying the Bible by the simple inductive method alluded to above.  Every week of those 20 years I have spent approximately 50-60 hours per week seeking God in His Word, asking HIm to open my eyes so that I might behold wonderful things in His Word, asking Him to open my ears so that I may clearly hear Him, asking Him to open my mind that I might fully understand His Word, and laboring in my studies above and beyond my own strength and even health sometimes, in order to know Him, in order to handle His Word accurately, in order to teach His children very carefully, in order to please Him in all I do. 

Isn't it interesting that you brought up feelings and impressions?  That is not even a little of what I am about...

I think if you will go back and read my earlier post, perhaps you might find you hear a little more of what I am trying to say.  You know, just simple observation...Wink

Really, in all honesty, I appreciate your post because you asked to understand.  Let me know if you do.

Sharon

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Posts 191
Sharon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 5:52 PM

Alain Maashe:
I am as theologically conservative as they come, but we need to be careful here when we speak of “sticking to the word”

Alain,

I did not use the phrase you quote, did I?  I talked about going to the Word first and staying there longer.  However, Paul tells us to guard the Word and as disciples we are to "adhere to" Jesus' teachings, so perhaps you did not mean anything negative by it.  I believe, in the context of the Word, we need to stick to it as closely as we can though.

Alain Maashe:
f all you need is the text and the Holy Spirit, then you should be able to take the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek and have a blessed bible study even if you have never heard of those languages.

Are you saying you can only have a blessed Bible study if you know the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek?  Are you saying the Holy Spirit is not able to bless me by showing me Truth in an English version as close to word for word that I can acquire? No, I don't believe you really are, but if I took your statement and remanufactured it to an "if..then" scenario, that is how it might look.   Alain, your rhetorical remark is not edifying.  I did not state an absolute statement without context.  You took it out of context and added additional erroneous reasoning to it in order to conquer.  That is not needed.  There is no fight here.

Alain Maashe:
The moment you admit that you need help understanding what was writing in the original languages (the function of an English translation), it is the moment you should also realize that you also need help understanding other aspects behind the meaning of the text (grammar, history, culture, parallels, and so on).

Again, I did not say that original languages were of no help, in fact, I believe if you will reread both of my posts you will find that I did say they were helpful.  What I also said is that they are not necessary. Robert asked me to elaborate on that and I did, if you will be so kind as to read my third post in this thread. 

No man is an island, especially not when it comes to the study of the word of God

Alain

I won't comment on the rest of your post except for your last comment.  In the context of this thread, you have insinuated several things.  Your comment about arrogance combined with the island quote are seen as intended arrows.  I in no way tried to state or imply that all I needed was ME.  I said all anyone really needs is the Word of God and His Holy Spirit because that is what God says in His Word - so it's true. I stated in an earlier post that it amazes me to see  the waves caused by lifting up the Word of God as He, Himself has done.  Once again, I am amazed.  I will not, however, cease to praise Him for Who He is and what He has done-and that includes His Word.  I wrote in my earlier post that I commended Mike because I wanted to encourage him to continue to encourage others to study the Word first.  And no matter how unfriendly these forums are to lifting up the Word of God, as long as God has me here learning how to use Logos 4, I will continue to encourage everyone to study the Word first and foremost. Sharon

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Posts 191
Sharon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 5:58 PM

Robert Pavich:
sister...respectfully, I agree that w should study the word  and do as well as we can before just taking the word of every commentary we have, but if we need nothing more than just the book and the Holy Spirit...then we've all spent a lot of cash for nothing. Big Smile

BTW Robert,

Having invested in Logos for almost 20 years, which is no little amount of cash. Smile I still say that if I had none of it all (Logos, that is) , I still would have everything I needed for life and godliness in the true knowledge of Him found in His Word through His Spirit.Wink 

Sharon

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Ted Hans | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 6:10 PM

Sister Sharon, i hope you do not take this the wrong way. I think you have read too much into Alain's comments than is warranted.

He was simply bringing balance to the conversation by putting the other side of the argument. I took his remarks as a general comment for consideration, and you will notice he did not quote anyone.

Again, you are not the only one on this thread who has mentioned in paraphrased words stick to the Word. So i do not believe you should think all his remarks are directed at you.

I am glad though you have clarified your position. Every blessing

 

Ted

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Sharon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 6:55 PM

Ted,

I took Alain's comments to refer to me because, other than Mike's original comments, no one else had commented.  Perhaps I missed a page.  If others had commented as well, then I surely would not have considered the remarks to be referencing me.

I did notice that he did not quote anyone using the "quote tool", yet the first remark was an obvious reference to my words rather than to Mike's.  I will ask him rather than speculate.

Thank you, Ted.

May I ask you...  What do you mean "the other side of the argument"?  Are we not on the Lord's side?  To exhort others to "Listen to God's Son" as God commanded us to do should elicit "Amens!"  Why is encouraging others to study the Word of God more considered an unbalanced conversation, rather than the dead center of God's will?

Sharon

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Sharon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 6:58 PM

Alain,

Was your post in response to any of my words?

Sharon

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Greg Hoerter | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 8:19 PM

Amen Alain!  The sin of Pride sometimes makes us think we can interpret the Word better than the 2000 years of Fathers, Doctors, Theologans, and Saints that have handed down the truth for our benefit.  Always test, but if your interpretation is an unfounded interpretation, chances are your test is not valid!

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 8:24 PM

Sharon Jensen:

Was your post in response to any of my words?

Sharon

Excuse me for butting in at this point but if one replaced "Alain" with "Martha", I would find this post mildly offensive. If I had written the post written by Alain, it would have been carefully written to not name any names but to have individuals recognize for themselves whether intentionally or unintentionally their post might have been a stimulus to the post. Because we do not hear the inflections nor see the bodily language, it is easy for threads to devolve into flame wars. Neutrality of language and removal of accusatory language is necessary for forums to work. For this reason, I would not be pleased if this post were directed to me. I butted in because for Alain to respond this way could be inflammatory, for me - I have no vested interest.

 

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 191
Sharon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 8:58 PM

MJ. Smith:

Sharon Jensen:

Was your post in response to any of my words?

Sharon

Excuse me for butting in at this point but if one replaced "Alain" with "Martha", I would find this post mildly offensive. If I had written the post written by Alain, it would have been carefully written to not name any names but to have individuals recognize for themselves whether intentionally or unintentionally their post might have been a stimulus to the post. Because we do not hear the inflections nor see the bodily language, it is easy for threads to devolve into flame wars. Neutrality of language and removal of accusatory language is necessary for forums to work. For this reason, I would not be pleased if this post were directed to me. I butted in because for Alain to respond this way could be inflammatory, for me - I have no vested interest.

 

Alain,

I asked whether your post was in response to any of my words because Ted thought it wasn't, whereas I thought it was.  I want to know so I can address anything that might be unclear between our posts.  I asked you directly because that is the right thing to do.  When Ted voiced his opinion, I listened to him and I wanted to find out if I was wrong, so I went to the source.  What has been taken as mildly offensive was not intended to be.

Sharon

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Alain Maashe | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 9:34 PM

Sharon Jensen:

 

Alain,

I asked whether your post was in response to any of my words because Ted thought it wasn't, whereas I thought it was.  I want to know so I can address anything that might be unclear between our posts.  I asked you directly because that is the right thing to do.  When Ted voiced his opinion, I listened to him and I wanted to find out if I was wrong, so I went to the source.  What has been taken as mildly offensive was not intended to be.

Sharon

 

Sharon,

Ted was right on!

I was not responding to any post in particular, I was not targeting or quoting anyone. Reading the thread merely brought to mind some past conversations I had with some people and I wanted to bring some balance to the issue (between the negative critical approach and a naïve (and erroneous) view of what faithful bible interpretation is all about).

I was speaking in general against a position (or attitude) that is regrettably far too common among evangelicals.

As such I did not distort or misrepresent your posts since I was not responding to them.

If you take yourself out of the equation (as in “it was not a response to your posts”) and consider a more general audience, my point becomes clear.

I am going to leave it at that and just see the whole thing as a big misunderstanding due in part to the intricacies and limitations of online communication (if anything, the whole situation made me smile).

Let us just get a good laugh out of the whole thing and think nothing of it Stick out tongue

 in Christ,

Alain

 

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Sharon | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jan 11 2010 10:02 PM

Thanks for the response Alain!

I appreciate it.

Laughing, huh?Stick out tongue

Sharon

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 12 2010 12:27 AM

Sharon Jensen:

What has been taken as mildly offensive was not intended to be.

Sharon

Excellent. Kudos to both you and Alain for working this out ... and not needing me to butt in.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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