June 9, 2017
It’s all yours today…
May 11, 2018
March 4, 2016
June 14, 2015
A little something to chew on…
“Real relationships with others, with all the challenges they entail, now tend to be replaced by a type of internet communication which enables us to choose or eliminate relationships at whim, thus giving rise to a new type of contrived emotion which has more to do with devices and displays than with other people and with nature. Today’s media do enable us to communicate and to share our knowledge and affections. Yet at times they also shield us from direct contact with the pain, the fears and the joys of others and the complexity of their personal experiences. ”
from reading Josh’s link
“7) I will avoid the preacher’s snares that too many get trapped by. We are not self-help gurus, politicians, psychologists, or entertainers. We are called to proclaim God’s Word!”
oh Lord, yes!!!
“11) I will put in the hard work necessary in the study. I will commit to a minimum of 10-12 hours a week.”
this is why i am constantly nagged by the “feeling” that we don’t organize our leadership in the most effective way… if not, perhaps, as God intends…
it seems to me that we have our pastors doing too much of what the congregation should be equipped to minister to each other and the management of the business of the church, if we want our pastor to also be our teacher… dunno … just a feeling, as i said – a ponder
At one time, I could probably affirm everything that link suggests…now,not so much.
“2) I have settled the issue of the Bible’s full and complete inerrancy, infallibility and sufficiency in my heart and mind. This was clearly the view Jesus had of the Bible (Matt. 5:17-18; Luke 24:25-27, 44-47; John 10:35; 17:17). If you believe it to be true, you will have something clear and true to give to people. On the other hand, If you doubt the full truthfulness and sufficiency of the Bible, it would be best for you to consider leaving the ministry.”
That’s a little over the top…I can believe the Bible to be “true” without demanding it be “inerrant “and infallible…
“9) I will work to plan my preaching weeks, if not months, in advance. There are many benefits and few, if any, drawbacks to planning ahead. The biggest obstacle is that we simply have to sit down and do it!”
I completely disagree. Completely. I have no idea what my church will need to hear in two weeks,let alone two months.
“11) I will put in the hard work necessary in the study. I will commit to a minimum of 10-12 hours a week.
12) I will utilize a minimum of 5-7 commentaries when preparing to preach. All of us need the help of good and godly men and women who are smarter than we are!”
These I can affirm…but I’m thankful I’ll be changing to a liturgical service where the emphasis isn’t going to be on how sterling a message I cook up.
I will put in the hard work necessary in the study. I will commit to a minimum of 10-12 hours a week.”<<<<
No no no.
Don't pastors go to seminary? Aren't they supposed to be masters of their craft? Don't they already know what the Scriptures say? Are they looking to find "nuggets" in a 2000 year old document that has already been mined to the depths by others before them?
How long does he plan to talk, anyway? For a 15 minute explanation of the day's Gospel or Epistle reading, a few hours the night before should be plenty.
Or is the pastor trying to avoid other pastorly duties, like visiting people?
Church secretary on the phone: "Sorry Mr. Jones, Pastor is studying. All afternoon. Every day."
Good comments, all. I appreciate the thoughts. I figured this place would offer a little variation.
From the link…
The list kinda seemed overwhelming to me. I’m assuming pastors in this tradition don’t do regular/weekly visits to the sick and infirm?
One nice thing about churches like Michael’s and mine with a liturgy is that it puts less pressure on the pastor to “deliver” something great each week. So if you’re having an off/bad week, it’s not really that bad.
10-12 hours over the course of a week seems reasonable for a 15 minute sermon. Of course, this is not lecture prep, but Law and Gospel prep for the soul care of the congregation. One doesn’t speak God’s Word, using His name rightly, without preparation. It’s a solemn matter, with a commandment attached to the use of His name. You are the mouth of the Holy Spirit, when you preach the Word.
I actually found this helpful. Others may not agree with me, but here is my take…
The sufficiency of scripture is a given. Inerrancy is a loaded term, as we have discussed.
The 10-12 hours is on the light side. For a 10-15 minute sermon, I considered 15 – 20 hours to be the minimum. Xenia is correct, we’ve been trained, but to present something that is compelling is a different matter. In a sermon my goal is to make people think, inspire and apply. When you preach to a group, large or small, it takes consummate effort. Liturgy does not let us off the hook. Every presentation of the gospel should be the best that we can do. What is in our hearts? What is happening around us? How does the gospel apply? What part of your journey can you share? And, most of all, how will you write? To present something that is effective, there are the quick and the dead… if you are not quick you will certainly be dead.
Examine the text in the original language (for your own study and edification); what are the “relational” passages. Has this been referenced in a certain way in either sacred or secular writing? What is the main thrust of the message? How does this relate to the other readings for the day? Is there a particular doctrine that uses the passage as a foundation. What do the Fathers say?
Now, take all that you know and place it into a prose package of 10-15 minutes, using the marvelous gift of the English language with at least one memorable phrase that people can take with them. If you can manage that in 10 hours of prep, you’re a better writer than myself…
PS – Any pastor worth his salt, knows that it is a 60-80 hour a week job. You try to do what you can, in terms of preaching, in 20 hours or so. The rest is taken up with the rest – visitation, administration, counseling, etc.
PPS – I forgot the most important point… you read, or deliver, your sermon first to your wife, friend, significant other (in other words, some one you trust), and see if it makes sense before you place it before your church or congregation. They’ll tell you the truth.
I felt relieved today. I sent Chuck Smith’s CD series to the “dust bin of history,” along with several of his books. Next up is find a new home for the John MacArthur books I have. I will never read them again. I’m tempted to toss them in the trash, as well. Why would I want someone else to torture themselves with them?
Now if I could get my wife to allow me to expunge my library of Greg Laurie’s books, all the better. I have managed to avoid Harvest Crusades for the past three years.
I purged Smith, MacArthur, and Dave Hunt a few years ago too…I don’t have room for that stuff anymore in my house or my head.
I remember the day I tossed the entire Chuck Smith 5000 series of tapes in the trash….
You know, I feel kind of bad about that. He did his best according to what he thought was true. But I didn’t want to pawn them off on anyone else.
Because of my impending move, In the past 3 weeks I have taken at least 700 books to the dump. The biggest offender, the master of do it yourself sanctification Chuck Swindoll.
I also dumped 43 books from DTS professors.
It’s been quite a journey out of Calvary Chapel and Evangelicalism. Like I’ve mentioned, I’ve beat myself up pretty hard for falling into that trap. I fell hook, line, and sinker. My dad warned me, but at least he didn’t shun me.
I remember after I got “saved” at Harvest, I went all gung ho, and thought I’d do the Harvest style witnessing to my dad. Now, mind you, my dad was a criminal defense attorney, an astute student of politics, and one of the smartest men I ever knew. He listened to me, and then said, “I am not going to change my mind. You will eventually come around.” I said, “This is my life now.” His response, “We’ll see.” He was right it took almost twenty years but he was right.
At this juncture, as for my old CC friends, and the Evangelical community, I’m a “backslidden apostate.” You know, it did sting, when I started to back away, and got told I was “never saved,” or “not saved anymore.” You see, one of the problems with the Calvary I attended was that they were gleefully uninformed about doctrine, and theology.
One of the things that started to cause friction for me was when I did start to study Church History, and theology. What happened, as I studied, was that that legs of our Calvary Chapel started to give way.
1 – Church History. All they knew of Church History were a few 20th Century writers, and pastors. And, Chuck Smith saved Christianity.
2 – Theology. It was all about the Calvary Chapel Distinctives, which is actually just an admixture of various “theological” ideas thrown together. To me, the crux of the Calvary ideology is early Twentieth Century Fundamentalism wearing a Hawaiian shirt, and Khakis.
3- Eschatology. I think everyone here knows the CC eschatology well. Underlying the veneer of “it’s going to be great in Heaven,” was an effort to fill the seats by scaring folks into staying. There is a whole lingo involved. “We don’t know when were getting out of here,” “It could be today, it could be later,” we’re in spiritual overtime,” (whatever that means).”
4 – Community. Within the broader community there was a definite “us versus them” mentality. A kind of we’ve got it all together, and the rest of them (churches) don’t.
I don’t know if I can convey the sense of relieve when we left that. My son, and I attend a church that’s much more accepting. My wife doesn’t like it, but that’s another story. At this juncture she will find any “reason” to not go to a church. That’s for her to deal with.
On that note, she keeps talking about becoming Roman Catholic. I have informed her that she will go down that road on her own.
Rant over. Thanks for reading.
BTW, I’m going to go toss all the MacArthur books today. Might as well finish the purge of the library. Or I could put the MacArthur books next to The Collected Works Of Lenin (please keep in mind that I’m a ABD in Soviet/Russian History). No, I’ll just get rid of them. Oh yeah, MacArthur is a cranky old man. HAHAHA
I’ve passed a few books on to my friend, Michael. It struck me the other day, when a book was written in the 1930s, first read by me in the 1970s, and then passed on to a friend in 2017, it must have something of the truth about it… or at least, it’s not about a theological fad.
Well, I tossed the Johnny Mac books, and a few others in the dumpster. Low, and behold the crazy assistant apt. manager is digging them out.
Duane, for Michael’s sake, Pieper? 🙂
I was in CC at one time. Thankfully not anymore.
I think of the leadership as Amish ex-hippies. Theology is very sectarian like the Amish. I guess they don’t take it quite as far.
“Theological Fad” is what happens.
I’ve railed a few times about Christianity being marketed by the big publishing houses. If one looks into who owns whom, it’s rather eye opening
Harper Collins is owned by News Corp (Murdock). Harper Collins owns Zondervan, Zonderkidz, Thomas Nelson, Tommy Nelson (Children’s), and W Publishing.
Hachette Book Group Formerly Warner Books (of Time Warner) owns Faith Words.
Pearson/Bertelsmann (aka Penguin Random House) owns Penguin Praise, Dutton, Waterbrook/Multnomah.
Simon and Schuster (CBS) owns Howard Books.
Here’s a very good blog post about this.
Christians are being bought and sold.
I’ll never forget a professor of history at UCR telling his classes. “If someone tells they have the ‘revealed truth’ and you know longer need to search for the truth, run like Hell, they are lying.”
Amish ex-hippies in Hawaiian shirts, and khakis.
Much, much to valuable… Although, the other day I spent two hours with Arthur Carl Piepkorn, Profiles in Belief… hard to believe haw much things have changed in such a short time.
Tell me about it! My book on the Martyrs has been under four different imprints… and that does not count the nine foreign translations. Now they want “assured sales” of 25K before they will even consider a book for a major house.
Pieper and I do not resonate…
Pastors and educators are the lowest paid people, a fact Duane illuminated for me a few days ago. Even less compensated are pastors (and faithful Christian educators) when one considers the volume of study hours, time in intercessory prayer and emotional toil of the nature of the job. I agree with much of that list. “He who desires to be greatest in the kingdom of God …”
Throw away books? Oh no! Write a note on the fly leaf as to your opinion of the content and send them to Goodwill or something ?
If you look up the salaries and benefits of educators in WA state after a couple years, I don’t think you’ll find their compensation too hard to take.
Anyone, best new books discovered or rediscovered?
Mine has been C.K. Barrett, The Gospel According to St. John. Barrett, by the way, was a life-long Methodist, but one of the most thorough scholars I’ve ever encountered.
I apologize in advance for this:
If one can’t believe that the bible is the inerrant word of God in its original tongues, then one must be of the belief they know better than God, and/or that God is just a shoddy editor.
“Did God really say…?”
What is true about the Gospel message carried from Genesis to Revelation is then relegated to the aversions and reinforcements of the particular personality reading it – as someone once said, looking to scripture to massage ones opinions. That should be disqualifying from any ministry.
Once someone claims that their sect is “the one, true, church” I check out…
“If one can’t believe that the bible is the inerrant word of God in its original tongues, then one must be of the belief they know better than God, and/or that God is just a shoddy editor.”
I assume you mean in the original autographs…which we don’t have.
Inerrancy is defined by too many people, too many ways.
Then you come to the issue of interpretation.
I can say the Bible is true and it is authoritative …without asking too much of an ancient and diversely interpreted text.
I hear you…
I have a bunch of books in process, mainly church history and Anglican theology.
For the blog, I need to finish Jason Stellman’s “Misfit Faith” and Ken Whytsma’s book on “The Myth of Equality”…
No soup for either Michael or Duane.
Sorry… read it, had to memorize part of it… still can’t buy the t-shirt…
For anyone interested, you can read the first four chapters of Barrett, here:
I’m sure he’s an able apologist for your tradition.
I just have always found the sectarianism of confessional Lutheranism to be completely beyond my own belief structure.
Em, I wanted to write on the flyleaf of all my DTS books – “to be used only for research of heretical doctrines only” – but Michael is teaching us to be kinder Christians – so I tossed them.
I gave some of my old stuff to Goodwill…but I thought I’d be judged by God if I spread Dave Hunt’s nonsense about…
I don’t have the energy this afternoon to look it up, but my recollection is that Pieper would say (1) there is one true Church, which is axiomatic for just about all traditions, and (2) that there is one true Gospel of Jesus Christ which saves all those who trust in it.
Pieper is a “systematic” theologian. Systematic theologians in most, if not all, traditions probably define their doctrines and loci very carefully and exclusively.
I do recall specifically, however, that Pieper does say that there are saved souls in other traditions. But the way he puts it is that they are saved by faith through hearing the Word of God read or preached, and by not trusting in any false teaching that may accompany the pure Gospel which they hear. Of course this is not ideal and is dangerous, but is entirely possible and we assume it happens in many churches who disagree with us on a variety of points of doctrine. But I assume that Pieper’s position is par for the course among the systematic theologians in the Reformed, EO and RCC traditions.
What say you and Duane? Can a Lutheran go to heaven? 🙂
When I exiled from So Cal to the PNW, tossed everything written by CC writers, Piper, Stanley, all theology, church history ( they’re huge and take up so much space!)etc, The only books I didnt toss actually were EO, which I took to a local EO parish. I got down to 2- 3 boxes of boooks to fit with other necessary belongings to start over in my Ford Focus. Once settled I was 2 blocks from a huge library and 8 from Powell’s books which not only has a 4 stories and blocks worth of new & used books, but buys books as well. Saves me a lot of space and dusting. I can find any references I need for fact checking or refreshing my memory re: history or doctrine easily on line. The only books I’ve kept are treasures from beloveds which include a certain author who also happens to host this blog ❤️
Of course. 🙂
I’m an ecumenist at heart and in practice…I couldn’t sign off on the Reformed confessions either.
The one true church has a number of traditions practicing in it…
I’m truly honored… thank you. : )
when i was a kid we had a copy of “Mein Kampf” – i remember discovering it and being shocked – i don’t know who in the family had acquired it, but i was told that it had value in understanding an evil mindset…
perhaps, one should be aware of the impact a book might have on the mind when picked up by an innocent party – which, evidently many of the PhxPeeps have been at one time 🙂
Em, I will confess like all others who bought and read those DTS books to having a negative impact on my brain. Then I became a Lutheran, through the Holy Spirit who then saved me by washing my brain.
Absolutely… but you’ll likely be surprised at who you meet there!
BTW – None of the church history or theology books were very good examples of either category, lest any readers were appalled. Any of value were from and went back to EO parish. Most of post reformation that I’ve found valuable over the years has been recommended by Michael and I’ve either accessed online or at libraries.
Let’s be honest here.
Those books we tossed and the writers and institutions that produced them have also produced generations of faithful Christians.
Their salvation is every bit as assured as those with more refined theologies…
Can I see your honesty and raise you a “verily, verily I say unto you” honesty?
Those heterodox books that may have contributed to the salvation of generations of Christians, also most likely contributed to the damnation of generation of others.
Orthodox books do not lead people to damnation, ever!
I don’t think DTS or CC led anyone to damnation.
In fact, I would stridently argue the opposite.
All these fall within the broad definition of orthodoxy…
It is only authoritative if the Word of God is as He is, perfect. If it isn’t, it’s just another book.
As with all things lost throughout human history, such a the Ark of the Covenant, the 10 tribes, manuscripts, etc
God knows exactly where they are.
If one can believe in something so incredible as the Presence in the Eucharist, it is not too much to believe that God knows where the manuscripts lay, has preserved them for us in the Canon through time and space from the original manuscripts, and yet allows for our mistakes, given they are not completely heretical. Declaring what one can’t see as dubious is like saying we didn’t see Christ resurrect, thus it is a dubious claim, but still authoritative, because though it isn’t THE word of God, it’s in there somewhere. Makes no sense.
From my POV and experience I can see how CC was used to draw many back into a church environment and give them an interest in studying the Bible. Beginning with the communal ministries until leaving almost 10 years ago, it was very rare to find someone especially in my age demographic who hadn’t been baptized as an infant or youngster in a more mailine church and were often rebelling against perceived hypocrisy of the previous generation (a somewhat persistent part of our culture). I know that dynamic has changed though within the following generations of course. I still always found it a bit odd that at most altar calls, concerts, etc most were recommitments or had been raised in or at least exposed to Christianity in their youth.
Hmm, I just recognized and realized that my personal bias colors not only that perspective but anything further I was almost tempted to add so I wii stand back and continue to enjoy others conversation. Lots of new thought provoking voices as well as many old friends keep me coming back. Peace.
If what we had was ‘perfect” there would be only one translation and one set of manuscripts drawn on.
It would also be read only in the Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.
That’s not how it has actually worked…
Those books are just that – books. For me, they represent a pop faith that I want nothing to do with now. And, most of them are sitting on the top of the trash in the dumpster, so if anyone wants them they can be take them.
#s 46 and 52 have me thinking…
I would think, guess I DO think, that the Bibles we now use are quite adequate to equip us to
renew our minds – wash our brains – some brains use Lutheran soap, some Presbyterian –
Greek Orthodox use. good old fashioned basic lard and lye , but most of us today have added ingredients – the Baptists are heavy on moisturizers ? sorry, couldn’t resist
You know God is perfect, his Word is perfect. His will is perfect, and He said not one jot or tittle shall pass away. He has preserved it perfectly.
Our interpretations are not perfect. I think he allows for this within reason. Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater 🙂
So can you tell me which set of manuscripts is perfect?
Which have been perfectly preserved from the original?
I trust that God knows where those manuscripts are and has preserved them perfectly, if not in physical form then in his mind. He has allowed variation in our Canon within reason. If you were to most verbatim translations next to what God knows, I think you would find he has preserved what we have almost exactly to what the Holy Spirit wrote so many thousands of years ago.
Can you tell me God hasn’t done this?
Do you consider him incapable of it?
We have around 550 manuscripts…if you are to claim “perfection” one of those has to be perfect.
We know better.
Do we still have the Word of God?
Yes…but let’s not make demands on it that what we have can’t fulfill.
I find these arguments about the original autographs tiresome and somewhat irrelevant. Not only do we not have the originals, but we don’t even know for sure whether an author, such as Luke, may have written more than one original, which may have had some variations.
At this point, I think the more important issue is: “What does the text mean?” What do the words mean? What is God saying to us?
That is wisdom. We have to deal with the “given”. The “given” has been established in the canon, approved by the Church; the Rule of Faith and the historic tradition of interpretation have likewise been handed down to us. The inerrancy camp is still looking for “Q”, but would not know what to make of it if they found it…
I understand your argument, but it veers towards the speculative and the unknowable. The great mystery is that God through his word has revealed Himself to us… not in whole but in part., for we cannot know the totality of God’s nature. Yet, we demand absolute certainty in every word so that it can be analyzed and contested as to interpretation. I’m content to let God be God and give thanks for what has been given to us in the revelation of Christ. I do not demand an inerrant body of writings, which we have to speculate might be hidden or kept from us. Moreover, if tomorrow the original autographs miraculously appeared, do they change our faith? Do they alter 2000 years of Christian faith and tradition? I’m sorry, but this is more of the Dan Brown school of theology than Christian orthodoxy…
Perhaps the need to declare our Scriptures inerrant (the revelation of the will of God for us IS clear IMO) is so intense due to the popular scoffer’s argument that the Bible can’t be a book from a Supreme all knowing and omnipotent being as it “has been proven to be full of errors?”
Yes, you may have a point here, but I think we make less of the Bible rather than more, when we buy into that level of argument. We need to invite people to see the grandeur of Scripture, not narrow arguments which cannot be proven.
“It has God for its author, salvation for its end, and truth, without any mixture of error, for its matter. Therefore, all Scripture is totally true and trustworthy.” from the Baptist Faith and Message.
#s 66 and 67 Amen
I could sign on to a good portion of that statement, but first I would need to know exactly what it is defining… KJV, original autographs, textus receptus?
Ready to move and do a book dump myself lol. Spend 20 hours in study for a 15 minute message? Without prayer preparation how could this profit anyone? ;?
None of that answers the simple yes or no questions I asked. Oh well. Dropping it.
Prayer is certainly a part of the preparation -“What is in our hearts? What is happening around us? How does the gospel apply? What part of your journey can you share?” – all this is part of prayerful preparation….
To answer your questions in the way you desire one has to first accept your presuppositions.
I don’t…and that’s why you can’t answer mine.
It’s the old question in theology classes, “Can God create a rock that’s too large for him to lift?”
It is pitting God omnipotence over against Himself. The question is not about what He can do, but what he has actually done.
Ahh, DR. Duane, there is an answer to that old question: yes He can but He is too smart to do so -at least that was my late husband’s answer ?
So, perhaps His omnipotence can create a book with errors that does all that He intends it to do ? ? ?
“Anyone, best new books discovered or rediscovered?”
I’m reading through “The Silk Roads – A New History of the World” by Peter Frankopan. It’s a non-Eurocentric survey of World History. It’s focus is on the interconnectedness of the world through Central Asia. Of course it antagonized a lot of white conservatives, which is all the better.
I love reading well written World History surveys. I was teaching at Cal State Fullerton, and several So Cal community colleges during the shift from Western Civilization to World History in the early 1990s. Those were exciting times. A lot of argument about changing to the World History view. I love teaching World History. It covers such a broad scope. Even now, at the continuation high school where I teach, I get to spend a lot of time making global connections.
“On Tyranny,” by Timothy Snyder. He’s a History Prof. at Yale, and stone cold the leading authority on totalitarian movements in the 20th Century. Very readable, too. Also very sobering….
I must be a less complex or less inquiring person. I am reading the newly released biography of Casey Stengel. 🙂
late to the party…I used the Left Behind series (all 4,200 of them 😉 ) as a white elephant gift at a Christmas party…fun to watch the interaction over them and got rid of the drivel all at once.
On the less theological tip, I am going thru 2 books on the Python programming language.
Still praying for you filbertz
Still praying for you dan
That was the answer we were taught…
“We need to invite people to see the grandeur of Scripture, not narrow arguments which cannot be proven.” amen
reminds me of a wedding gift we received from a very elderly relative – how she managed to do it at her age, i don’t know – she made us a lovely king size patchwork quilt (very welcome gift as we were too poor to buy a bedspread) – a woman i invited in to admire it got her nose down close, looking for missed stitches or poorly spaced stitches and proceeded to pick the thing apart totally missing it’s beauty…
The Book is a stunning miracle beyond human ability to compile and our puny and presumptuous critiquing will someday embarrass us – of that i have no doubt
You got it….
What a great analogy.
A funny thing happened at the gym today. A couple from the church we attend we’re at the gym. My son was wearing the church tee shirt and hat. I wasn’t, and will not. Wife asked why I wasn’t wearing the garb (it was all innocent, but amusing). I explained that my gym attire is generally rock n roll tee shirts, or heavy metal tee shirts. She just laughed and went about working out. What a refreshing difference from the CC folks who walked away mumbling in disdain.
I really like the book of Galatians.
The Galatians sought to be justified by the Mosaic Law because of the Judaizers. In contrast, Paul presented his argument that justification comes to people by faith in Jesus Christ, not by their works under the Law.
A lot of truth spoken by the group here.
I like Michaels attitude.
We all do well to learn our Church history and it’s doctrines etc.
Ultimately my faith in Jesus Christ will prevail in Justification of my soul according to Paul. I like that. Not gonna throw away my book of Galatians, its a keeper for sure…
Your Calvary Chapel description rings all too true. There are some within its ranks who are very aware of a lot of what you have pointed out and are making effort to alter some of your points.
I would caution you to not allow bitterness to abide in your heart over the unjust things that you have had to endure before leaving CC.
Thank God at least you are here where it is more of an open setting and you can speak your mind.
May you, “But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.”
2 Peter 3:18
“On that note, she keeps talking about becoming Roman Catholic. I have informed her that she will go down that road on her own.”
Sounds like your in for some rough times ahead David. Will be praying that you have peace.
This just in…
I wasn’t bitter as much as disappointed.
My wife is not very likely to actually become RC. It’s been an eye opener for her to watch many of the folks she respected sell out to politics.
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