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Thread: Believing or Not Believing Because of Evidence

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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    But I see no evidence that that is so, and no Biblical justification for that view
    Except for the fact Scripture says that Salvation is for all men... If it in in fact not for all men but only for those selected to receive it, the Scripture lies does it not?

    I'm a fan of Lewis, so I'm not sure what you are speaking about. Or I could have forgot...
    The Great Divorce and The Last Battle (last book in the Narnia series) are the two that spring to mind...there's probably more I'm forgetting.

    OK
    Except I believe God is both Omniscient and Omnipotent, it is not either or. You believe there is a lot of stuff He just doesn't know. Literally ignorant on many matters...
    I believe He is both as well. But, you assume facts not in evidence. I believe (as most OVT's do) that God knows everything that it is possible to know. Now, you need to prove that the future already exists, FROM SCRIPTURE, in order for God to know it. Logically, if the future does not exist then God would only know for certain what He is going to do. Because He is Omnipotent, He can make it happen. Because He is infinitely more intelligent than us, He can certainly know how many things will turn out because of His knowledge of us and our world. That statement lines up with Scripture. If you read Boyd's book, you know that he cites multiple verses from Scripture that show God being surprised at peoples choices...or thinking they would do one thing and they do another.

    Absolute foreknowledge of all future events does not line up with Scripture...it is a Pagan, Greek metaphysical construct of Plato that was grafted into Christian theology.

    Just as with Omniscience, there are limits to Omnipotence, C.S. Lewis said it very well in "The Problem of Pain"
    “His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to His power. If you choose to say, ‘God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,’ you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words, 'God can.' It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.”
    Last edited by Littlejoe; 02-11-2019 at 01:34 PM.
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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    Except for the fact Scripture says that Salvation is for all men... If it in in fact not for all men but only for those selected to receive it, the Scripture lies does it not?
    It all depends on how you define all or world. For instance:

    Colossians 1:23: And do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.
    In Paul's time the Gospel has been proclaimed to every creature? Sound like hyperbole.

    The Great Divorce and The Last Battle (last book in the Narnia series) are the two that spring to mind...there's probably more I'm forgetting.
    I don't think Lewis was saying that men could travel from hell to heaven literally. You are correct about the Muslim in the last chapter of The Last Battle.


    I believe He is both as well. But, you assume facts not in evidence. I believe (as most OVT's do) that God knows everything that it is possible to know. Now, you need to prove that the future already exists, FROM SCRIPTURE, in order for God to know it. Logically, if the future does not exist then God would only know for certain what He is going to do. Because He is Omnipotent, He can make it happen. Because He is infinitely more intelligent than us, He can certainly know how many things will turn out because of His knowledge of us and our world. That statement lines up with Scripture. If you read Boyd's book, you know that he cites multiple verses from Scripture that show God being surprised at peoples choices...or thinking they would do one thing and they do another.
    Again, I don't not believe that God is constrained or limited by the temporal, you do. He exists outside of time. And why would God be surprised by peoples choices, since he knows us so well in your view. Would you be surprised if your son chose that Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream?


    Just as with Omniscience, there are limits to Omnipotence, C.S. Lewis said it very well in "The Problem of Pain"
    “His Omnipotence means power to do all that is intrinsically possible, not to do the intrinsically impossible. You may attribute miracles to Him, but not nonsense. This is no limit to His power. If you choose to say, ‘God can give a creature free will and at the same time withhold free will from it,’ you have not succeeded in saying anything about God: meaningless combinations of words do not suddenly acquire meaning simply because we prefix to them the two other words, 'God can.' It remains true that all things are possible with God: the intrinsic impossibilities are not things but nonentities. It is no more possible for God than for the weakest of His creatures to carry out both of two mutually exclusive alternatives; not because His power meets an obstacle, but because nonsense remains nonsense even when we talk it about God.”
    Except Lewis wrote a lot about God being outside of time and that he saw all events past present and future at once. That is not an intrinsic impossibility to God.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    Evolution is God's ID rogue06's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    It all depends on how you define all or world. For instance:



    In Paul's time the Gospel has been proclaimed to every creature? Sound like hyperbole.
    Interestingly several Church Fathers (including Augustine) held that it was impossible for humans to be living on the opposite side of the world based on Paul's remarks here and elsewhere (Rom. 1:8; 10:18; 16:25-26; Col. 1:6, 23; cf. I Tim. 3:16). They held that since none of the Apostles or their associates traveled to the antipodes then there couldn't be anyone there. Its the problem associated with taking some things overly literal.
    Last edited by rogue06; 02-11-2019 at 03:14 PM.

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  4. Amen seer amen'd this post.
  5. #84
    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    It all depends on how you define all or world. For instance:

    In Paul's time the Gospel has been proclaimed to every creature? Sound like hyperbole.
    Hyperbole is certainly possible.
    Other possibilities include: a) Paul was saying to the Colossians that same thing he said to Romans in Rom 1:19 , 23 except in a slightly different way here...(he did that often as you may recall)
    b) Also, if Jesus could feed 5,000 men (not counting the women and children) with only five loaves of bread and two fish; if He could allow the Peter to (miraculously)walk on water; if God could use Peter and Paul to raise the dead; if He could call “a man in Christ” (probably Paul) up into Paradise without killing him (2 Corinthians 12:1,6); if God could deliver His spokesmen from imprisonment and shipwrecks, and could miraculously ensure that the apostles could cast out demons, speak in tongues, and be unaffected by poisonous concoctions and venomous snakes, it may very well be that by the time Paul wrote to the Colossians the Lord had miraculously and providentially helped Christians spread around the globe with the Gospel. After all, this was the commission given to the apostles—“Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation” (Mark 16:15, ESV). But hey, don't let these things sway you into thinking it's possible with God...

    Now, answer this for me. If you redefine ALL or World, (or all men or whole world or all of creation) HOW do YOU define it?

    I don't think Lewis was saying that men could travel from hell to heaven literally. You are correct about the Muslim in the last chapter of The Last Battle.
    I know C.S. Lewis believed in a Purgatory so, I'm not so sure if it was Purgatory or hell he was describing in The Great Divorce...what was the point of the story in your opinion. FYI, the original working title Lewis came up with was "Who is going home?"

    Again, I don't not believe that God is constrained or limited by the temporal, you do. He exists outside of time.
    stop avoiding the question and answer me then. Why from Scripture you believe that. You do realize that the human authors of Scripture most likely would disagree with you? Hebrew/Jewish concepts of time were very different from the Greeks concepts. Which you view is based on. A pagan Greek philosopher name Plato. There's a direct line from Plato to Augustine for this concept being grafted into the church.
    Consider this, we see in the Greek that God is:
    timeless, in an eternal now, without sequence or succession, without moment or duration, atemporal and outside of time, not was, nor will be, but only is, has no past, has no future....but, NOT ONE of these phrases is from Scripture. I dare you to find one of these phrases in the Bible.


    In Scripture God is described as: is , and was , and is to come , Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting , Forever and ever , The Ancient of Days , From before the ages of the ages , From ancient times, the everlasting God, He continues forever, Remains forever, Eternal, Immortal, The Lord shall endure forever, , Who lives forever , yesterday, today, and forever , God’s years , manifest in His own time , Everlasting Father , Alive forevermore , Always lives , Forever , Continually , the eternal God , God’s years never end , From everlasting to everlasting , From that time forward, even forever , And of His kingdom there will be no end.
    Not ONE of these phrases mean Timelessness...they mean unending (esp. in Hebrew thought).

    And why would God be surprised by peoples choices, since he knows us so well in your view. Would you be surprised if your son chose that Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream?
    No, but I would be surprised if he chose the broccoli...and that's what seems to happen in Scripture. i.e. Isa. 5:3,7, Jer. 3:67; Jer. 3:19,20

    Except Lewis wrote a lot about God being outside of time and that he saw all events past present and future at once. That is not an intrinsic impossibility to God.
    Which of course was (and still is) a common theme of the day that he seems to have accepted...however, In "Surprised by Joy" he says: "“We debated whether the future was like a line you can’t see or like a line that is not yet drawn. I have forgotten which side I took though I know that I took it with great zeal” . Sounds like he wasn't always as confident as you make him out to be.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    Hyperbole is certainly possible.
    I'm glad we agree that it could be possible.


    Now, answer this for me. If you redefine ALL or World, (or all men or whole world or all of creation) HOW do YOU define it?
    I mentioned this before, all or whole world could be used in contrast with the idea that the Jews alone were God's people, only they enjoyed God's favor. Now even gentiles could be included.

    I know C.S. Lewis believed in a Purgatory so, I'm not so sure if it was Purgatory or hell he was describing in The Great Divorce...what was the point of the story in your opinion. FYI, the original working title Lewis came up with was "Who is going home?"
    I think a lot of it was about contrasting the attitude of the saved and the damned.


    stop avoiding the question and answer me then. Why from Scripture you believe that. You do realize that the human authors of Scripture most likely would disagree with you? Hebrew/Jewish concepts of time were very different from the Greeks concepts. Which you view is based on. A pagan Greek philosopher name Plato. There's a direct line from Plato to Augustine for this concept being grafted into the church.
    Consider this, we see in the Greek that God is:
    timeless, in an eternal now, without sequence or succession, without moment or duration, atemporal and outside of time, not was, nor will be, but only is, has no past, has no future....but, NOT ONE of these phrases is from Scripture. I dare you to find one of these phrases in the Bible.
    You do know that Greeks like Aristotle did not believe that God had absolute foreknowledge, and neither did Augustine. And BTW - the Trinity is also a pagan concept, so do you also deny the Trinity because the word is not found in scripture? Again, the bottom line is that you believe God is ignorant in many cases, I don't. And of course God is outside of time, unless you think there are clocks in eternity.



    No, but I would be surprised if he chose the broccoli...and that's what seems to happen in Scripture. i.e. Isa. 5:3,7, Jer. 3:67; Jer. 3:19,20
    That makes no sense Joe, if God knew Peter so well that he could predict His denial, as you claimed, then where is the surprise? And after Adam sinned, God, in the garden, asked Adam where he was. Was God ignorant of Adam's whereabouts? Or is God merely condescending using terms and concepts that we can understand.

    Which of course was (and still is) a common theme of the day that he seems to have accepted...however, In "Surprised by Joy" he says: "“We debated whether the future was like a line you can’t see or like a line that is not yet drawn. I have forgotten which side I took though I know that I took it with great zeal” . Sounds like he wasn't always as confident as you make him out to be.
    No, he was quite confident.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I'm glad we agree that it could be possible.

    I mentioned this before, all or whole world could be used in contrast with the idea that the Jews alone were God's people, only they enjoyed God's favor. Now even gentiles could be included.
    but only those He chooses right? "All" only pertains to "all" He chooses to save. If you believe all pertains only to people groups, why then do you not see the people groups in Romans 9?

    You do know that Greeks like Aristotle did not believe that God had absolute foreknowledge, and neither did Augustine. And BTW - the Trinity is also a pagan concept, so do you also deny the Trinity because the word is not found in scripture? Again, the bottom line is that you believe God is ignorant in many cases, I don't. And of course God is outside of time, unless you think there are clocks in eternity.
    Well, Aristotle broke from Plato in several areas, but Plato was considered by most to be the master. Plato believed not only did God know everything, He was unchanging (constant state of not moving to move meant change and therefore imperfection) , impassible, immutable. God cannot feel your pain, that involves change.

    Do you have a cite for Aristotle's belief? I'm not seeing anything much different than Plato's....

    Augustine believed just as Plato did. You are 100% incorrect that Augustine didn't believe God had absolute foreknowledge. Augustine simply believed that God's absolute foreknowledge did not negate human freedom/free will. (And he had the devil of a time defending it)

    Here’s Augustine's view in his book "The City of God against the Pagans":

    Now God foreknew everything, and therefore could not have been unaware that man would sin. It follows that all our assertions about the Holy City must take into account God’s foreknowledge and his providential design; we must not advance theories which could not have become matters of knowledge for us, because they had no place in God’s plan. Man could not upset the divine purpose by his sin, in the sense of compelling God to alter his decision. For God in his foreknowledge anticipated both results: he knew beforehand how evil the man would become whom God himself had created good; he also knew what good, even so, he would bring out of man’s evil.”

    Bold Emphasis Mine

    That makes no sense Joe, if God knew Peter so well that he could predict His denial, as you claimed, then where is the surprise?
    I never claimed God was surprised at Peters denial... You seem to have a hard time thinking through this logically. It seems to me, you don't really want to. You are locked into an all or nothing hermenuetic. The Bible is much more nuanced than that. It would behoove you to read some books on exegesis and hermenuetics. If you already have, you need to re-read them.
    And after Adam sinned, God, in the garden, asked Adam where he was. Was God ignorant of Adam's whereabouts? Or is God merely condescending using terms and concepts that we can understand. No, he was quite confident.
    Strawman point if I ever saw one.... God knows everything in the here and now, this is an example of a parental, type leading question....context Seer, CONTEXT!!! You seem to be dangerously in short supply of it.

    Seer, contrary to you're earlier statement, you are quite convinced of Calvinist theology, and no amount of answering you will help that. I'm not trying to change your mind or your faith, I just know that from my years of study, my training, that you're assuming a theology without evidence (God outside of time) because that's what you were taught early on, it made sense, so you believe it. That's ok for you, but not for me. You're ok with the Greek style immutable, impassible, unfeeling, meticulously controlling everything type God...unfortunately for you, that's not the God described in Scripture.
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    but only those He chooses right? "All" only pertains to "all" He chooses to save. If you believe all pertains only to people groups, why then do you not see the people groups in Romans 9?
    I didn't say what I thought of Romans 9...

    Well, Aristotle broke from Plato in several areas, but Plato was considered by most to be the master. Plato believed not only did God know everything, He was unchanging (constant state of not moving to move meant change and therefore imperfection) , impassible, immutable. God cannot feel your pain, that involves change.
    Do you think God can change, morally? That He could decide to lie for instance?

    Here’s Augustine's view in his book "The City of God against the Pagans":

    Now God foreknew everything, and therefore could not have been unaware that man would sin. It follows that all our assertions about the Holy City must take into account God’s foreknowledge and his providential design; we must not advance theories which could not have become matters of knowledge for us, because they had no place in God’s plan. Man could not upset the divine purpose by his sin, in the sense of compelling God to alter his decision. For God in his foreknowledge anticipated both results: he knew beforehand how evil the man would become whom God himself had created good; he also knew what good, even so, he would bring out of man’s evil.”
    Bold Emphasis Mine
    OK, re-reading this link it looks like they were splitting hairs. https://rintintin.colorado.edu/~vanc...eknowledge.pdf

    I never claimed God was surprised at Peters denial... You seem to have a hard time thinking through this logically. It seems to me, you don't really want to. You are locked into an all or nothing hermenuetic. The Bible is much more nuanced than that. It would behoove you to read some books on exegesis and hermenuetics. If you already have, you need to re-read them.
    Strawman point if I ever saw one.... God knows everything in the here and now, this is an example of a parental, type leading question....context Seer, CONTEXT!!! You seem to be dangerously in short supply of it.
    Hey wait Joe, you are the one referencing texts stating that God was surprised. If He knows us so well, then in what sense could He be surprised?

    Seer, contrary to you're earlier statement, you are quite convinced of Calvinist theology, and no amount of answering you will help that. I'm not trying to change your mind or your faith, I just know that from my years of study, my training, that you're assuming a theology without evidence (God outside of time) because that's what you were taught early on, it made sense, so you believe it. That's ok for you, but not for me. You're ok with the Greek style immutable, impassible, unfeeling, meticulously controlling everything type God...unfortunately for you, that's not the God described in Scripture.
    So you think there is time in eternity? What does that look like?
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    I didn't say what I thought of Romans 9...
    Ok, you started this line of discussion by suggesting you had never heard a good explanation of Romans 9 by arminian/OVT. That meant to me that you definitely lean(ed) toward the Calvinist/Reformed explanation was that wrong?
    Do you think God can change, morally? That He could decide to lie for instance?
    I would say I believe Scripture, not man made ideas. Change can be change without it being a moral change. The Bible clearly says "God does not lie". So, I believe God does not lie. The Bible says that God is always morally good, so I believe God is always morally good. I ALSO believe it also clearly says that God has changed His mind, that God can get angry/upset, experiences grief/sorrowful and of course Love.
    Hey wait Joe, you are the one referencing texts stating that God was surprised. If He knows us so well, then in what sense could He be surprised?
    God's only surprised when it seems He is, Peter doesn't seem to be one of those times... There are times that He does seem to be surprised or at least incredulous....that tell a different story. Though, I'm still not sure "surprised" is the right word...Is He "surprised" in Jer. 3:6 - 7 or Jer. 3:19 - 20. Isa. 5:3-7?
    So you think there is time in eternity? What does that look like?
    an unending procession of time...what does it look like from an outside of time/timelessness standpoint?


    Again, seriously Seer, you arguments seem to be right out of the Calvinist Playbook. You seem pretty locked in to me, and not really open to at least considering my proposals...
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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    tWebber seer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littlejoe View Post
    Ok, you started this line of discussion by suggesting you had never heard a good explanation of Romans 9 by arminian/OVT. That meant to me that you definitely lean(ed) toward the Calvinist/Reformed explanation was that wrong?
    No it doesn't, I think there are a number of texts (many of which you posted) that I don't believe Calvinists have a good answer for.

    I would say I believe Scripture, not man made ideas. Change can be change without it being a moral change. The Bible clearly says "God does not lie". So, I believe God does not lie. The Bible says that God is always morally good, so I believe God is always morally good. I ALSO believe it also clearly says that God has changed His mind, that God can get angry/upset, experiences grief/sorrowful and of course Love.
    No Scripture actually says that God can not lie. I believe that God's moral nature is immutable, but I do not believe in impassibility, in the emotional sense. I also believe that God is perfect and infinite knowledge. Nothing takes Him by surprise.

    God's only surprised when it seems He is, Peter doesn't seem to be one of those times... There are times that He does seem to be surprised or at least incredulous....that tell a different story. Though, I'm still not sure "surprised" is the right word...Is He "surprised" in Jer. 3:6 - 7 or Jer. 3:19 - 20. Isa. 5:3-7?
    an unending procession of time...what does it look like from an outside of time/timelessness standpoint?
    No person would be any less open to God in real time than Peter. Like you said, God knew Peter better than Peter knew Himself, so no surprise. You do realize that time is an abstract, it is not something you taste, feel or see. Time depends on a physical universe. So I do believe that God is outside of time since God existed before the universe/time existed.


    Again, seriously Seer, you arguments seem to be right out of the Calvinist Playbook. You seem pretty locked in to me, and not really open to at least considering my proposals...
    No Joe, I'm just presenting what they would say about certain Scriptures. Like the "all" and "world" passages. They make a lot of good arguments, as the Arminian does. That is why I said early on that I am a Cal-minian - meaning I don't know who is right.
    Atheism is the cult of death, the death of hope. The universe is doomed, you are doomed, the only thing that remains is to await your execution...

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    Professor and Chaplain Littlejoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seer View Post
    No it doesn't, I think there are a number of texts (many of which you posted) that I don't believe Calvinists have a good answer for.
    Ok, my mistake.
    No Scripture actually says that God can not lie.
    Well, that depends on which version you are using. ESV says: "...God, who never lies..." NIV says: "...God, who does not lie..." I was going from memory but it has a semantic range apparently.
    [quoe]I believe that God's moral nature is immutable, but I do not believe in impassibility, in the emotional sense. I also believe that God is perfect and infinite knowledge. Nothing takes Him by surprise. [/quote]So, we are pretty close to the same here.
    No person would be any less open to God in real time than Peter. Like you said, God knew Peter better than Peter knew Himself, so no surprise.
    agreed.
    You do realize that time is an abstract, it is not something you taste, feel or see. Time depends on a physical universe. So I do believe that God is outside of time since God existed before the universe/time existed.
    completely unproven theory and assumes God did not willingly enter into time when he created it with no evidence. The Scriptural evidence says He did.
    No Joe, I'm just presenting what they would say about certain Scriptures. Like the "all" and "world" passages. They make a lot of good arguments, as the Arminian does. That is why I said early on that I am a Cal-minian - meaning I don't know who is right.
    OVT is really Cal-Minian at it's core. It posits that the future is as open as God wants it to be. That lets God meticulously control what He wants and needs to while giving man pretty much free will at all other times. ISTM it's the only explanation for every verse in the Bible whether it suggests God is ordaining something or letting man do the driving and sometimes being "surprised", dismayed etc at the decisions of man. It allows for a true testing of individuals without God lying (which we both believe God does not/cannot do)
    "What has the Church gained if it is popular, but there is no conviction, no repentance, no power?" - A.W. Tozer

    "... there are two parties in Washington, the stupid party and the evil party, who occasionally get together and do something both stupid and evil, and this is called bipartisanship." - Everett Dirksen

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