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HolyGround >> ? for all the Universalist


8/12/11 9:37 AM
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CJJScout
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I'm going to do something to yall that I hate. I don't think it is really fair, but I'm going to do it any way.

What do you say about Matthew 25:46?

I know it is one verse in isolation and you don't build a theology out of one verse, but I came across this in a reading this morning and thought of you.
8/12/11 10:14 AM
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gord96
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i don't think there is any universalists here lately. just Grakman and he has been gone for a while.
8/12/11 12:13 PM
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reverend john
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Eternal meaning to the end of the age. There will come a day where everything is set right and all of the cosmos is redeemed. But until then there will be suffering and punishment even. A universal Salvationists does not believe there is no hell but that hell is redemptive ultimately

I would point out that Jesus almost exclusively says hell is destination of rich and powerful not sinners or in believing

Also Jesus is the salvation of the world he and he alone

Rev Phone Post
8/12/11 1:03 PM
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gord96
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reverend john -I would point out that Jesus almost exclusively says hell is destination of rich and powerful not sinners or in believing


very good point. Jesus came to save sinners. People forget that sometimes. Acknowledging your own sin and being humbled by it is a true sign of saving faith. It's surprising sometimes when you look around and other Christians look for signs of holiness (like you mentioned in your blog John). When the simple act of been humbled is the truest sign. Look at Job for example. Look at even King David. He was crazy and not very nice, but he admitted that and didn't act like he wasn't a bad guy.

Thanks for your post John.
8/16/11 9:09 AM
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CJJScout
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But doesn't "eternal" by definition mean without end?
8/16/11 12:09 PM
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reverend john
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no, in biblical language it means til the end of the age, or it means sometimes that its eternal in its consequence.

For instance, Sodom and Gamorah is said to have been burned with an eternal fire, but we know there is no fire there now.

rev
8/20/11 10:28 AM
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Workman
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CJJScout - But doesn't "eternal" by definition mean without end?


CJJScout, let’s see how the church scholars answer your question, and if they agree with you:

Barnes' Notes:

“Matthew 25:46 [Into everlasting punishment] The original word translated here as “punishment” means torment, or suffering inflicted for crime.

The noun is used but in one other place in the New Testament; this being 1 John 4:18: “Fear hath `torment.'“

The verb from which the noun is derived is used twice; in Acts 4:21, and 2 Peter 2:9.

In all these places it denotes anguish, suffering, and punishment.

It does not mean simply a “state or condition,” but absolute, positive suffering; and if this word does not teach it, no word “could” express the idea that the wicked would suffer.”?

“The original word aionion, is employed in the New Testament 66 times.

Of these, in 51 instances it is used of the happiness of the righteous:

Twice regarding the existence of God's

6 times regarding the church and the Messiah's kingdom

And 7 times regarding the future punishment of the wicked

If in these seven instances we attach to the word the idea of limited (or for an age) duration, consistency requires that the same idea of limited duration should be given it in the 51 cases of its application to the future glory of the righteous, and the two instances of its application to God's existence, and the six cases of its reference to the future reign of the Messiah and the glory and perpetuity of the church.

But no one will presume to deny that in these instances it denotes unlimited duration, and therefore, in accordance with the sound laws of interpretation and of language itself, the same sense of unlimited duration must be given it when used of future punishment.

Yup, Barnes agrees with you.


Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament:

Matthew 25:46 “But the same adjective aioonios (NT:164) is used with kolasin (NT:2812) and zooeen (NT:2189).

If by etymology we limit the scope of kolasin (NT:2812), we may likewise have only age-long zooeen (NT:2189).

There is not the slightest indication in the words of Jesus here that the punishment is not coeval with the life.” ?

“The word aioonios (NT:164) (from aioon (NT:163), “age,” “aevum,” aei (NT:103)) means either without beginning or without end or both.

It comes as near to the idea of eternal as the Greek can put it in one word.

It is a difficult idea to put into language. Sometimes we have “ages of ages” aioones (NT:163) toon (NT:3543) aioonoon (NT:163).

Yup, Robertson agrees with you.


Adam Clarke's Commentary:

Matthew 25:46; “the same word is used to express the duration of the punishment, kolasin (NT:2812) aioonion (NT:164), as is used to express the duration of the state of glory: zooeen (NT:2189) aioonion (NT:164).

I have seen the best things that have been written in favour of the final redemption of damned spirits; but I never saw an answer to the argument against that doctrine, drawn from this verse, but what sound learning and criticism should be ashamed to acknowledge.

The original word aioon (NT:163) is certainly to be taken here in its proper grammatical sense, continued being, aieioon, NEVER ENDING. Some have gone a middle way, and think that the wicked shall be annihilated.

This, I think, is contrary to the text; if they go into punishment, they continue to exist; for that which ceases to be, ceases to suffer.

See the note at Genesis 21:33, where the whole subject is explained.”

Fausett dictionary states “the term for “everlasting” (aidiois) in Jud_1:6, “the angels who kept not their first estate He hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day,” is from a word meaning absolutely “always.”?Vine’s

Yup, Adam Clarke agrees with you.


Vine's Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words:

Expository Dictionary: “The predominant meaning of aionios, that in which it is used everywhere in the NT… may be seen in 2 Cor. 4:18, where it is set in contrast with proskairos, lit., “for a season”… Moreover it is used of persons and things which are in their nature endless… (in other words, it is never used for a limited or set period of time)… Aionios is also used of the sin that ‘hath never forgiveness’ (Mark 3:29), and of the judgment of God, from which there is no appeal (Heb. 6:2), and of the fire, which is one of its instruments (Matt. 18:8) and which is elsewhere said to be ‘unquenchable,’ (Mark 9:43).

Yup, the Vine's Expository Dictionary agrees with you.


Notes on Thessalonians, by Hogg and Vine, pp 232, 233.3. aidios 126; see EVERLASTING:

The use of aionios here shows that the punishment referred to in 2 Thess. 1:9 (Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power) is not temporary, but final, and accordingly, the phraseology shows that its purpose is not remedial, but retributive. ?

Yup, Hogg and Vine agrees with you.

To conclude, if hell is not experienced as eternal then neither is life.

Because the same word “eternal” is used for both the suffering wicked, and for the repentant sinners, who are reconciled to God.

If the “eternal” punishment of the wicked is only temporary, for an age, as those who erroneously and unbiblical say it is, then by the logical conclusion of their flawed theology, to be consistent, they must as well believe that one day, God will no longer exist.

Why? Because the same Greek term used for “eternal” punishment is used for the “eternal God”.

CJJScout, it appears that the Bible agrees with you.
8/20/11 11:18 AM
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Ridgeback
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 LOL.  It is sad when people without academic training attempt to navigate academic discourse.  The term "scholar" doesn't negate the fact that any particular scholar is prone to his own biases or that he doesn't support a particular theological school.   That is why I take things like "he is a Jesuit scholar" into consideration when I read a particular work.  More often than not, I will find the scholar in question is supportive of particularly Catholic theology (although others can be completely liberal and unorthodox in their interpretations).

The post above only demonstrates the anti-academic nature of Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism in the US.  When you spend some time actually working in academia you won't make the mistake of confusing your pet scholars from your own tradition with the Word of God.
8/20/11 1:23 PM
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Workman
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Ridgeback -  LOL.  It is sad when people without academic training attempt to navigate academic discourse.  The term "scholar" doesn't negate the fact that any particular scholar is prone to his own biases or that he doesn't support a particular theological school.   That is why I take things like "he is a Jesuit scholar" into consideration when I read a particular work.  More often than not, I will find the scholar in question is supportive of particularly Catholic theology (although others can be completely liberal and unorthodox in their interpretations).

The post above only demonstrates the anti-academic nature of Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism in the US.  When you spend some time actually working in academia you won't make the mistake of confusing your pet scholars from your own tradition with the Word of God.<br type="_moz" />


Ridgeback, I generally agree with your point when you said the following:

"It is sad when people without academic training attempt to navigate academic discourse. The term "scholar" doesn't negate the fact that any particular scholar is prone to his own biases or that he doesn't support a particular theological school. That is why I take things like "he is a Jesuit scholar" into consideration when I read a particular work. More often than not, I will find the scholar in question is supportive of particularly Catholic theology (although others can be completely liberal and unorthodox in their interpretations)."

In addition, not necessarily talking to you here Ridgeback, but for anyone who believes that I am appealing to educated men for the purpose of interpreting the Bible, this was not my intention.

Rather, I am simply providing a few examples from what I believe to be theologically sound explanations to the term "eternal", as used in Matthew 25:46.

I think that it is perfectly fine to disagree with the scholars that I've cited, but it would probably be more pertinent to explain what it is that you disagree with, regarding their viewpoints on the topic.
8/21/11 2:23 AM
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reverend john
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The bible says God is love

The bible says God is a jealous God

The bible says love is not jealous

So does that mean that God is not love? or that God is not jealous? or that that love is jealous?

No, it means that contextually, we understand the difference between God, and other things. When the bible says that Sodom was destroyed with and eternal fire, we know that it is not still burning now. The word eternal meant, eternal in its consequence, not in its duration. Does that mean God is not eternal? of course it does not. When the bible says hades is eternal, yet then says hades is thrown into the Gehenna, which is the "second death" we see that hades in fact is not eternal. Contextually, you must look at each word. And having a preconceived understanding of what you are looking for, makes it easy to come to the conclusions that you lay out.

When Jesus said, "there are those of you here that will still be alive when this comes to pass" talking about the destruction of the temple and the coming of the kingdom, he actually meant that some of the disciples would still be alive, and some wouldn't. But being that people want to believe in the dispensational rapture theory, they read "the kingdom come" into the transfiguration. Yet contextually, this is not what it meant at all. But why do they think this? Because their theory of dispensation will not work if all of the disciples are dead, as they quite obviously are. What they fail to perceive however is their improper hermeneutic, doesn't make sense of the fact that all of the disciples were still alive at the mount of transfiguration.

If you want to find hell as eternal torment for ever and ever you will.

If you want to find hell as temporary and redemptive you will.

The question then becomes, not what does the bible say, because you can make a case for both. The question becomes, what view best exemplifies Jesus. The same Jesus that said forgive 70 times 7, and love your enemies, and do good to those that do bad to you. This Jesus, and His loving Father, does not uphold an ideology of suffering eternally.

you have two options, annhilationism, or universal salvation in my opinion. With another view also possible that I would say was a variation of the universal salvation view, which is that heaven and hell are the same place, but those that do not receive Jesus life, will suffer in the same presence of God that we glory in.

rev
8/21/11 10:54 AM
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gord96
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reverend john - which is that heaven and hell are the same place, but those that do not receive Jesus life, will suffer in the same presence of God that we glory in.


thats been my view for many years. there is no escaping God.
8/23/11 5:39 PM
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toelocku
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46And these shall go away to punishment age-during, but the righteous to life age-during.'

here in youngs literal is a 'better' translation save the 'punishment' part. this word means to prune as in farming. smart farmers prune big as this will increase yeild by much.

God is a farmer(thats in the bible)he prunes us for our benefit.

'hell' is a bogus word...there are four words given in the kjv sheol,gehenna,tartarus,hades all with distinct meanings and used in combination produce the meaning of whats under discussion. hell in 1611 didnt mean what it does today...look it up for yourself.

age-during or age abiding(my preference) is the proper transtion of the word aion or in english eon. it means an age that is explained in scripture by the doctrine of 'is was and will be' basically all three tenses 'at once'.

1Tim 4:9stedfast [is] the word, and of all acceptation worthy;

10for for this we both labour and are reproached, because we hope on the living God, who is Saviour of all men -- especially of those believing.

11Charge these things, and teach;



all doesn't mean some...
11/8/11 7:42 AM
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CJJScout
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Ridgeback - 
The post above only demonstrates the anti-academic nature of Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism in the US.  When you spend some time actually working in academia you won't make the mistake of confusing your pet scholars from your own tradition with the Word of God.

Just looking at old threads and saw this. Surely you can't be serious about this sweeping claim, Ridge. Plenty of freaking smart, academic intellectuals in evangelicalism.
11/8/11 3:06 PM
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Grakman
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It's interesting to me that, to the non-Universalist, the word eternal always obviously means 'eternal' as in forever, but when the Bible says 'all ' as in God will save 'all' men somehow all doesn't always obviously mean 'all'. There is more room in my opinion to equivocate upon the word eternal (ainos) than there is the word 'all', but some must have their eternal Hell no matter what. Phone Post
11/9/11 12:23 PM
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toelocku
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u are correct sir...

there pastor,priest,etc says its that way so thats how it is...right?...they couldn't be wrong could they?



11/14/11 7:31 PM
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5pointer
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reverend john - no, in biblical language it means til the end of the age, or it means sometimes that its eternal in its consequence.

For instance, Sodom and Gamorah is said to have been burned with an eternal fire, but we know there is no fire there now.

rev


couldnt this just mean that those in S and G are still being burned in an eternal judgement?
11/14/11 8:32 PM
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reverend john
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I don't know how to read ancient Hebrew, but what I understand from what I read is that it was referring to the cities specifically not its inhabitants

rev
11/22/11 2:59 PM
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Ridgeback
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 The only good objection to Universalism is that people themselves, through their own free will, may choose to reject communion with God.  If you posit a God that actively punishes souls through eternity, or refuses to forgive a repentant sinner despite telling his disciples to endlessly forgive their enemies, then you posit a god all out of reckoning with Jesus.  So I don't understand any Christian who at least doesn't share the hope that "all men be saved" and come to know the truth.  I don't think we can say for sure if all will be saved in the sense of entering communion with God, but a lot of people seem to resent the thought that they might.
11/22/11 3:38 PM
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gord96
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Ridgeback - So I don't understand any Christian who at least doesn't share the hope that "all men be saved" and come to know the truth.  I don't think we can say for sure if all will be saved in the sense of entering communion with God, but a lot of people seem to resent the thought that they might.


I agree. I think any Christian should desire all men to come in communion with God and experience the joy of knowing the Lord.

And of course we cannot say for sure if all will be saved. Going by scripture I would have to say no. But what a joy if all did come to know and praise God. I do believe everyone will KNOW God one day. Whether that will be pleasant for them or not is another question. I think myself and you Ridge have a similar view of hell, unless your view has changed in the last few years.
11/25/11 11:00 AM
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Ridgeback
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gord96 - 
Ridgeback - So I don't understand any Christian who at least doesn't share the hope that "all men be saved" and come to know the truth.  I don't think we can say for sure if all will be saved in the sense of entering communion with God, but a lot of people seem to resent the thought that they might.


I agree. I think any Christian should desire all men to come in communion with God and experience the joy of knowing the Lord.

And of course we cannot say for sure if all will be saved. Going by scripture I would have to say no. But what a joy if all did come to know and praise God. I do believe everyone will KNOW God one day. Whether that will be pleasant for them or not is another question. I think myself and you Ridge have a similar view of hell, unless your view has changed in the last few years.

 Once I read "The River of Fire" I never went back.  I made so much more sense to me and also made sense of the apparently contradictory verses in the New Testament that simultaneously appear to say that all men are saved by Christ and yet there is a real Judgment and a real Gehenna.  Even though the actual essay "The River of Fire" is a bit over the top when it comes to how it views "Western" traditions, the basic teaching behind it I believe to be nothing more than what the Orthodox Church holds to be true.  On the way out of the nave of our temple the icon of the Last Judgment is written on the back wall.  My priest had the "River of Fire" added for me to it knowing my strong attachment to that teaching.  I would say it was the seed that led me to Orthodoxy.  BTW, I wouldn't just call  it an EO teaching either.  I think it is the most scriptural, but that is one and the same to me.
11/25/11 9:45 PM
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CJJScout
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Ridgeback -  BTW, I wouldn't just call  it an EO teaching either.  I think it is the most scriptural, but that is one and the same to me.

Since when? You've always said that the church is higher than Scripture, not equal, and when they disagree whatever the church says is right. Right?

And you didn't answer my earlier question.
11/27/11 10:01 PM
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Ridgeback
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CJJScout - 
Ridgeback -  BTW, I wouldn't just call  it an EO teaching either.  I think it is the most scriptural, but that is one and the same to me.

Since when? You've always said that the church is higher than Scripture, not equal, and when they disagree whatever the church says is right. Right?

And you didn't answer my earlier question.

 Saying that the Church is "higher" than scripture points to an error in thinking.  Even so, you could argue that the Church is higher based on what the scriptures say about it (St. Paul calls it the ground and pillar of the truth).  But that is not really an accurate description.  The scriptures are part of the whole experience of the Church so by saying one is higher and one is lower it is really just another way of saying they stand apart.   I also don't see where the scriptures "disagree" with whatever the Church says.   I became Orthodox in part because Orthodox experience made sense of the fullness of the scriptures, not just the pet verses that were underlined in fundamentalist and evangelical Bibles.  This was a big hint to me that this was the Church that wrote the NT, preserved it, and lived it.  You really can't start using the scriptures "against" a tradition until you have the concept of sola scriptura in the first place.  It is roughly the equivalent of taking Saulo Ribeiro's book on jiu-jitsu and then telling the people who are training at his school that they are wrong in how they are doing their training.  

As far as answering your question, why would I need to?  I am not a universalist in the sense that you are arguing about.  I have been pretty clear about all of that.  Unless you mean the thing about intellectualism and evangalicalism.  As far as that goes, it is from other Evangelicals and Fundamentalists that I saw this view take root.  Both traditions have been pretty poor when it comes to the academic side of things although the Evangelicals (depending on how you define that word) obviously have done a better job.  It all depends on who we are talking about though.  Evangelicals in America today have a real habit of co-opting the minds of men who they would have never let step foot in their own churches.  An Evangalical talking about Luther or Calvin is just too much.  Both of those men would have rent their clothes to see a modern American Evangelical service.  
11/28/11 8:24 PM
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CJJScout
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I actually like that explanation about you joining the orthodox church. Don't think I agree with all of it (of course), but I appreciate it. Don't really get your "pet" verses jab, but whatever.

I was talking about the academic evangelicals. I think you're way off base here. I think of the Plantingas, Mark Knoll, and John Frame as some recent examples. Nancy Pearcey is doing some really interesting work, even if I don't agree with everything she says. Going back a little further you have all the old Princeton theologians that did a lot of great academic work in and outside of biblical studies and we can't forget about America's foremost philosopher Jonathan Edwards.
11/29/11 8:43 PM
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Ridgeback
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CJJScout - I actually like that explanation about you joining the orthodox church. Don't think I agree with all of it (of course), but I appreciate it. Don't really get your "pet" verses jab, but whatever.

I was talking about the academic evangelicals. I think you're way off base here. I think of the Plantingas, Mark Knoll, and John Frame as some recent examples. Nancy Pearcey is doing some really interesting work, even if I don't agree with everything she says. Going back a little further you have all the old Princeton theologians that did a lot of great academic work in and outside of biblical studies and we can't forget about America's foremost philosopher Jonathan Edwards.

 Plantinga is Reformed, which I hold to be a different tradition from the Evangelicals or Fundamentalists.  I am happy to agree that Reformed theology has had a pretty intellectually robust tradition.  American Evangelicals and Fundamentalists have been pretty weak along those lines and many current scholars from those traditions will be the first to admit it.  

Keep in mind that I was raised in fundamentalist and evangelical churches so I am not trying to take a jab.  I am pointing out that while the accusation is always leveled at Catholics and Orthodox that they put the Church above the Bible when fundagelicals only emphasize certain verses and ignore others they are putting their own theology against the wholeness of scripture themselves.  The people who tend to claim that they are only loyal to what the Bible says tend to be the most narrow when it comes to what parts of the Bible they emphasize.  I would just like everybody to admit that they interpret the scripture through the lens of their tradition and that is why there are so many different interpretations.  The scriptures mostly stay the same, but the interpretations are now all over the map.  I believe traditions started to rapidly expand right about the time that people started thinking that they alone were reading the Bible the right way.  
11/30/11 10:19 PM
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gord96
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Edited: 12/01/11 3:01 AM
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Edit. Wrong thread.

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