It's been quite a while since my last entry, I know.
The past six months have been devoted to study, research and work. I'm preparing to qualify for a Chapter Directorship for a Reasonable Faith Chapter here.
Add to that, finally making a move to another congregation for the sake of my girls - they needed more than the usual and we found a great congregation that were taught exegetically. The pastor, Earl Norman Opinion has become more than just a regular acquaintance and we look forward to spending more time with him in the days to come.
The wonderful thing about continuing the exegetical study is that you realize that many an error in doctrine (still prevalent in the majority of present day ekklesias both in the West and here in our own hometown) continue to be perpetuated by simply not looking into the translations a bit more intently.
Small wonder why the Reformation took off with quite a lot of banging on the doors of the Wittenberg church by Martin Luther, posting his 95 theses - and this, after he read the hurriedly done and erroneous first edition of the Greek New Testament by Erasmus - what we now identify as the Textus Receptus, and discovered firsthand that salvation was a matter of grace and nothing else.
Of course, Martin Luther still wasn't immune to committing errors in his interpretation of doctrine ( his own version of "replacement theology" was a result of his frustration with the Jews not responding to his evangelizing overtures) and started his own grave errors as well, resulting in the persecution of the Jewish people.
However, with the availability of resources online, it's not too difficult to get back to the original texts in the manuscripts and derive the meanings as they were intended by the New Testament writers.
My own recent discoveries of these resources - including Netbible.org, the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts ( csntm.org) and other resources (Dr. Daniel Wallace's lectures on biblicaltraining.org and the video lectures on iTunes) have enriched my study of the new testament very greatly.
However, these have just made matters a bit more difficult for myself. I now find myself re examining my positions on various issues - including the matter of "once saved, always saved" - resolved: it's conditional; Take a look at John 10:28 on Netbible.org and look at the greek word for perish - it's apolwntai and in the subjunctive mood. Meaning, it's conditional. The previous ou me denotes a double negative. Absolutely no one can take Jesus' own from Him - except when they choose to go their own way.
So - reset the mind again. Follow the evidence to where it leads.
Now, I'm studying the position on the rapture. However, though the scriptural references are less for the pretrib position, they seem to be more solidly evidenced than that of the other position.
Our dear friends, Joey and Mary dropped by today to see what was going on and why we were enjoying the teaching. However, as they comprise the minority of American English speakers among Cebuano followers of the Lord Jesus, a lot of the great teaching today somehow got lost in translation as well.
Oh well, at least we know that some of it was greek to all of us.
Blessings to all of you. Makarios ones.