Category Archives: Family

Episode 13: What We Learned from Reading the New Testament as a Family {Podcast}

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Families are always looking for ways to have Bible time with their kids. We are wrapping up a very interesting few months, in which we have read the entire New Testament with our children. In this episode, Adam and Leah discuss the joys and frustrations of this experiment, then talk about some other ideas for family devotionals you might want to try.

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“Object Lessons” (CD-Roms from Kaio Publications)

Discovery (Magazine from Apologetics Press)

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Bound volume of 15 years of the magazine

Egermeier’s Bible Story Book

Illustrated Family Bible Stories

One Year Children’s Bible

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Music Credit

Opening theme: “Josie Has the Upper Hand” by Josh Woodward

Closing theme: “Afterglow” by Josh Woodward


My 2015 Word of the Year

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For the past couple of years, there seems to have been a trend of people selecting a single word to focus on for each year. The word typically represents some area of life in which the person wants to improve, or at the very least, in which he/she wants to focus.

In late 2013, I thought about doing this for 2014, but (honestly) just never selected my word. I thought about it, but just did not put any real time into it, so I let it go.

However, as 2014 wound down and 2015 approached, I knew this was something I wanted to try. Moving and the holidays made it where I didn’t select a word until a few days into the year, but that’s okay. Today, I want to share my thought process and reveal the word I have chosen for 2015.

From the time I started thinking about my word for 2015, I had a general concept that I wanted to work on. Thinking of one word to convey that, however, proved more difficult than I thought.

In short, I want to improve on things such as manners and having a dignified spirit. I do not feel these are things I am woefully inadequate at, but they are areas I need to spend some time focusing on, for sure. Further, I see these ways declining in the larger society, and I would like to do what I can to buck that trend.

Knowing that, I narrowed my thinking down to three words. The were quite similar, but the one I chose seems to capture all of this the best. It may be a very specific word, but I think it puts in my mind what I want to be better at.

First, I considered the word “manners.” While manners are certainly part of what I want to improve upon this year, that seemed to not capture the dignity part of what I was thinking.

So, I moved to the word “gentleman.” I liked this word, and almost went with it, but I think this word has taken on such a double meaning (think “gentleman’s club,” for example) that it did not capture, in a focused way, what I wanted.

Finally, after a lot of thought and prayer, I have settled on this word for 2015:


That may be a very old-fashioned word, but it is what I feel is lacking among many men in our society, including myself. It includes having very good manners, but it also carries the sense of dignity that I want to have in my life.

I settled on this word for three reasons:

1. Spiritual. Some may think that a man who treats ladies properly and has great manners is a bit odd, but no one can think that a man who has chivalry is a stumbling block to knowledge of God. Honoring others through good manners and real dignity will mean that I do not stand in the way of people seeing Christ in my life.

2. Relational. Other people deserve to be honored. Most importantly, this goes for my wife, who deserves to be honored simply because she is a lady and she is my wife. But others deserve to be treated with true dignity. I am going to work on things like standing before those who are older than I am, saying “yes ma’am” and “no sir” more often, and trying to bring dignity to various conversations. This should be done for the simple reason that people deserve to be treated with dignity.

3. Parental. As a dad, I want my son to be a man who still is chivalrous simply by following my example. I want my daughter to know that this is how a real man treats ladies, especially the lady to whom he has pledged his life.

Will I be perfect at this? Certainly not! That is why I have chosen it for my word. I have a long way to go to be a man who has real dignity and decorum in all settings and who treats people with the respect and honor they deserve. But a few steps in that direction this year will be a great way to spend 2015.

Here’s to being a person of chivalry!


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Two Years of My Mentoring Group: What I’ve Learned

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In 2013, I began meeting monthly with a wonderful group of young men in what I call a “mentoring group.” After just a handful of meetings, I knew this was something that I was going to really enjoy doing. In fact, after just three meetings, I blogged about it in a post called “Inside My Mentoring Group.”

Now, it has (almost) been two years. My 2014 group will be having our final meeting in early January, as my moving led to no available dates in December. Still, we are all committed to meeting for the final time and growing closer together.

After a great year with my 2013 group and 2014 group, I want to share some of what I have learned. Keep in mind that confidentiality is a key component of the mentoring program, so I will not be speaking to too many specifics. Still, there are several reasons why I hope to do this again in the future.

I have learned that men need the support of other Godly men. While society says that men are supposed to be self-starters and self-sustainers, we need others who can “hold our hands up” and with whom we can share both triumphs and struggles. The support these men have given each other–both in meetings and throughout the year–has been tremendous.

I have learned that some men open up faster than others. Some are just quieter, or less quick to share that dreaded word: “feelings.” Still, with the knowledge that confidence is real and that anyone can share anything and will not be slammed, each person has opened up over the course of the 12 months about various areas of life. It seems that this grows as the year goes along, and for that I am grateful.

I have learned that some think the preacher is perfect. I had one great young man say he was worried about what he was getting into, because it was “the preacher” who was doing this. After I admitted to weakness and we all laughed a few times together, though, he said that was his major takeaway: that the preacher isn’t perfect, but just another man striving to do his best.

I have learned that men will read…if the books are interesting. While the mentoring group is not a book club, we utilize books each month to lead our discussion. Some of the books have not been as appealing as others, but some have really gotten the attention of all of us. In year 2, I changed out a few of the books, simply because the ones that were used in the first year were not as good as I had thought they would be for this purpose. Below is a comparison of each year’s list of books (the links are to Amazon, if you wish to purchase any of the books).

JanuaryCreating Your Personal Life Plan (Michael Hyatt)Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood (Dennis Rainey)
FebruaryStepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood (Dennis Rainey)The Conviction to Lead (Albert Mohler)
MarchWho You are When No One's Looking (Bill Hybels)Who You Are When No One's Looking (Bill Hybels)
AprilWhen Work and Family Collide (Andy Stanley)When Work and Family Collide (Andy Stanley)
MayFighting For Your Marriage (Markman, Stanley, and Blumberg)7 Men and the Secret of Their Greatness (Eric Metaxes)
JuneThe Barnabas Factor (Aubrey Johnson)The Barnabas Factor (Aubrey Johnson)
JulySex is Not the Problem...Lust Is (Joshua Harris)Sex is Not the Problem...Lust Is (Joshua Harris)
AugustThe Servant: A Simple Story about the Essence of True Leadership (James C. Hunter)The Servant: A Simple Story about the Essence of Leadership (James C. Hunter)
SeptemberPoint Man (Steve Farrar)Point Man (Steve Farrar)
OctoberThe Power of Full Engagement (Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz)Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes into Stepping Stones for Success (John Maxwell)
NovemberSamson and the Pirate Monks: Calling Men to Authentic Brotherhood (Nate Larkin)The Power of Full Engagement (Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz)
DecemberFinishing Strong (Steve Farrar)Finishing Strong (Steve Farrar)

I have learned that I love these men, and they will do great things in this world for the Lord. Not all have the same talents, but these men want to serve the Lord. They want to honor their wives. They want to be godly dads. They want to be Christian businessmen, teachers, preachers.

And they will, because their desire to serve God is remarkable. They have shaped my life far more than I have shaped theirs. I am a better man for having been part of these groups. My plan is to take 2015 off, due to moving and not having the time to look for those who will be in the group, but also to think through the program again so that, should I take it up again in 2016, it is even better.

To the 9 men who have been part of the mentoring program so far, thank you. Now, go Finish Strong!


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The Root of the Pornography Problem

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A few weeks ago, the national conversation–especially online–turned for a few moments to pictures of Kim Kardashian. The model had a series of photographs taken for a magazine (that I had never heard of), which showed her in various stages of undress. The shoot ended with fully nude photos of the star. (No, I have not seen them, and do not want to.)

While these pictures were considered “soft core” pornography, they did lead to some conversation over the nature of the entire pornography industry. There can be no doubt that our society is far more sexualized than it was even just a few years ago. That manifests itself in everything from immodest dress to pornography addictions, and many things in-between.

What, though, would lead to Kardashian taking such pictures? What would lead to people gawking at images and films that are meant to do nothing but bring a few moments of seduction for hours on end?

In other words, what is at the root of the pornography problem that is running rampant in our world?

In one word: selfishness.

The woman who would allow for these pictures or videos to be taken is selfish. She is selfish for attention. She is selfish for money. She is selfish for recognition.

At the other end of the lens, those who produce this material are selfish. They will use anything–no matter how sordid–to make a buck. They will treat the women on film like they are something special, then dismiss them as soon as they lose their looks.

And, on the consumer end, those who view pornography are selfish. By clicking on the pictures, buying the magazines, or watching the videos, they are saying that their own sexual “thrill” is all that matters. There is no regard for a spouse (or future spouse). There is no thought about the soul of the person in the images.

…and there is no thought about God and His standards by anyone involved.

I think it is safe to say that the main reason we have seen such a growth in the “adult” industry is because we have also seen a growth in the amount of selfishness in our society. No one is the standard but ourselves. I get to choose for myself what I want to do, and I shouldn’t have to deal with any consequences if what I choose is unwise. The only thing that matters is what brings me a few bucks or a momentary thrill.

That is the very definition of selfishness, and it is what leads to the ever-growing problem of pornography in our world.

If we ever thought of other people as eternal souls bound for eternity, pornography would never be an issue. Sadly, too many are only thinking of themselves and one more day on this earth with a few sensual pleasures.

Every actor and actress, every producer and director, and every viewer and consumer of pornography has a soul. Will we reach out to them with the Gospel? Will we see every person in that light and fight back against the plague of pornography simply by kind words and good deeds?

Or will we be selfish, too, but selfish with the Gospel?


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God Has a Plan

God has a plan and it is different than yours. The sooner you get over this fact the better. While you are accepting this please remember  – God is eternal and He has been about this plan for literally forever. So He has thought it through and since all wisdom begins and ends with Him you can be sure His plan is superior to yours.

Abraham never planned to leave home, but that was God’s plan for Abraham. Abraham never thought he would have children, but God’s plan included the Seed coming through Abraham. After Abraham was told by God what was going to happen, when it did not come soon enough Abraham tried to invent a plan on his own. It was not a very good plan. In fact it was downright deplorable, and all of this from “the father of the faithful.”  In the meantime God’s plan prevailed.

Look back on your life to this point and think about some of the plans you have made that never were realized. What about the person you did not marry that you once thought would be your spouse? What about the occupation you were pursuing, the city you were thinking about making your hometown, or the things that you assumed would still be a part of your life that are now gone? It is humbling to examine where you are and what you are doing and who you are doing it with and compare all of those things with your original plan. It will remind you that you have far less control than you think.

This week marks the ten-year anniversary of my cancer diagnosis. That was not in the plan. This year was the 18th consecutive year I have lived in the south. Being from California I can tell you this was never in the plan. We have three wonderful children – again, not in the original discussion.  I am working with a church which a few years ago I never knew existed, in a town I had never visited before, and now it is home and I know of no other place at this moment I could call home this side of heaven.

While we know the providence of God is working in those who love Him (Rom. 8:28), I do not believe for one moment that my choices had nothing to do with where I am today. Some things are chosen for us, because life throws curve balls. Some things we choose ourselves, because we have free will. But through it all we need to let go and let God. We need to understand that our plans are feeble and imperfect. But God’s plans are perfect and if we will accept them He will always work them out to our best eternal interest.

Before the foundation of the world, God had a plan (Eph. 1:4). This included Calvary and a Man hanging on a tree. It is the most beautiful story ever told. It is the theme of the everlasting kingdom of heaven. When you think of any plans you are making, always think of the cross. It will remind you that no matter your goal, God’s plan for you is even greater. Pray and plan within His will. His will is going to be done either way. And it is your choice to be in His will or not.

The Bible is God’s written will for man. God’s providential care is God’s unwritten will for those who follow the will that has been written. God’s plan is that we obey the first and trust in the second. When we do this, somehow everything turns out better than we could have ever dreamed.

“There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the Lord’s counsel—that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21).


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Bible Study Basket: A Great Christmas Present Idea

Last year, we shared some links for a Christmas shopping list, and many of you took advantage of some of the ideas. [If you want to see that list, here’s the link.]

This year, instead of tons of different products, we thought we’d give you one idea that you can build in your own way. This is a great idea for all those holiday parties or for that one hard-to-buy-for person on your list, because it is flexible and something that is actually important.

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It is a Bible Study Basket!

The idea behind this gift is obvious: it is a collection of items that helps someone with their Bible study. It is all those “little” things that someone never seems to have on hand right when they need them, all in one place.

Of course, this gift assumes the person already has a Bible they like to use for their own personal study. In case they don’t, however, here are 4 that might be a great gift to help them get started with their own Bible study.

English Standard Version Wide Margin Reference Bible

The MacArthur Study Bible (New King James Version). [Note: We do not endorse every study note in this study Bible, but it is good overall.]

New American Standard Bible Side-Column Reference Wide-Margin Bible

…and the ultimate, if you have a lot of money to spend: New American Standard Bible Wide-Margin Reference Bible (goatskin cover)

Now that we know the person has a nice Bible to take notes in, let’s start building the basket! Here are some things to include in the gift for the Bible student on your list:

1. A Companion Book. We suggest one of the following two options, depending on your budget.

Grasping God’s Word: A Hands-On Approach to Reading, Interpreting, and Applying the Bible by Scott Duvall ($28.90). We have not read every word of this book, but it is a great tool to helping you work through serious Bible study without being so technical that it will bore the reader.

A Study Guide to Greater Bible Knowledge by Wayne Jackson. The link provided is just to show you the book. Likely, you can find it in a bookstore less expensively by calling around. I know, for example, that Gospel Advocate keeps it in stock most of the time. This is a wonderful little book that helps someone get started with how to study the Bible.

2. Two kinds of pens. Serious Bible students are crazy about selecting a type of pen or marker. Honestly, I have never tried tons of kinds, but I have found the ones that follow to be the best of those I have used, and several articles and videos online agree. These are a must-add to the basket.

Pigma Micron Pens. These archive-level pens have a very small tip and almost never bleed through the page. I love them, and use them for a lot more than just marking in my Bible. Depending on your budget, mix and match these different packs:

6-color pack ($13.12)

An extra black pen ($5.83)

Crayola Twistables. No, I’m not kidding! Highlighting is a staple of Bible study for a lot of people, but regular highlighters bleed through the pages terribly. These crayon sticks rarely bleed through and, personally, I like the color more than a regular highlighter, which is too bright. Admittedly, I have only tested these, but I like the results. If your Bible student is a fan of highlighting, they will love these! Pick up at least one pack, and depending your budget, you may want to add two or three packs.

Crayola Twistables, 18-pack ($5.69)

3. Straight edge. For those who like to make sure their notes and underlines are perfectly straight, an edge is really helpful. Again, we offer two options, based on your price range.

Helix Stainless Steel 6-inch ruler ($6.38). This may seem a bit pricey for a ruler, but the metal ruler will stay in place as you work better than lightweight plastic.

Oxford Half-Sized Index Cards ($1.79). These 3 inch x 2 1/2 inch cards serve a dual purpose. They help keep a straight edge for underlining or writing, and they serve as notecards for those who want to use them for extra notes or memorizing verses. The price above is for a pack of 200 cards.

4. A bag to put it all in. Here is where you can save even more money. Instead of buying an actual basket to put all these things in (that may or may not get used again in the future), why not get your Bible student a nice bag to put their Bible study material in, and give the gift in the bag! Obviously, this is an optional part of the gift, but it might make a nice touch for someone on your shopping list.

Mead Five-Star Stand and Store Pencil Pouch ($9.78). This bag is small, but the best part about it is that it stands on its own while someone is using it, so the Bible student can see all his or her pens, rulers, etc. at a glance without cluttering up the workspace. It also makes studying when a big workspace is not available much easier, since everything is together.

So, there you have it. A customizable gift that will actually be helpful. Hope you enjoy this little idea, but more than that, we hope the gift of Bible study helps someone you know and love prepare for eternity!

QUESTION: What did we forget? Put your suggestions for items to include in a Bible study basket in the comments below!


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Thanksgiving Proclamation

This Thanksgiving Day, I would hope that all of us would take some time away from parades, meals, football, and preparations for ‘Black Friday” to reflect on how this unique holiday got started. It is interesting to me that, both the Congress and President Washington were involved in this proclamation.

It seems to me that, while we may have made a lot of progress in a lot of  areas during the past 225 years, we might be well advised to “return to our roots” when it comes to our acknowledgment of, and dependence upon, God.   — Jim Faughn


Thanksgiving Proclamation

Issued by President George Washington, at the request of Congress, on October 3, 1789

By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.

Go. Washington

The Memories of a House

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Tomorrow, they start packing and Friday we move out. For about 6 1/2 years, one address has been the place we called home. It has been a wonderful house.

Still, it is made up of wood, concrete, vinyl siding, carpet, metal and other material “stuff.” Through the designs and work of people with different skills than I have, all this “stuff” becomes a beautiful and functional place to live. When looking for a place to live, we think about if our couch can go here or if all our pots and pans can fit in there; we consider if this room will work for an office or den or if that room will be the bedroom for one child or another. It is utilitarian.

…and then you live there awhile.

That back yard is where we put our child’s first swingset. It was cold, so her first ride on the swing was in a coat and gloves.

The oddly-laid-out living room has been the home of countless family devotionals, movie nights, and games.

The red dining room (that we liked at first, then thought we would change until we decided to move) has hosted scores of people and helped us connect with so many individuals. It is also where we put together puzzles and tried to teach manners.

In that light green room upstairs, I watched my daughter start to pick out her own clothes (sometimes), fix her own hair, and dress her dolls. I picked her up for our daddy dates at the bottom of those stairs.

In the blue room, I wrestled on the bed with my son, and watched him gain a love for reading about God’s world. I saw him make train tracks in the floor and caught him flexing in his mirror a time or two.

In another room, I continually saw my wife grow in her beauty and grace. From getting ready in the morning to reading Anne of Green Gables after I had turned off my lamp, she continually amazes me and fascinates me. We have cried so many tears over people we know who are hurting, and have laughed at so many inside jokes in this room.

It is just a house, but in those four walls, life happened. Too rapidly, at times, but it happened. Mistakes were made, triumphs were celebrated, tears were shed, and lots of laughs were shared. Meals were enjoyed, friends were entertained, and a few storms–literal and figurative–were weathered. We even had our mailbox destroyed once.

…oh, and the bare spot on the front yard? That’s just from kids being kids.

…and the front porch? I have read more books to my children out there than I can count.

…and our first day of homeschool? It was in the room that was listed as an “office.”

And on and on it goes.

It’s just a house, but memories are everywhere. It is hard to leave it behind.

Until I remember that the home isn’t made of the material stuff. It is the three special people who have helped make all the memories throughout the years. You see, we are leaving a house behind, but we are taking a home with us.

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Photo background credit: ME! The picture is from the day we moved into our house in Hermitage. Needless to say, all of us have changed (the kids have gotten bigger, I have lost some weight, and Leah has only gotten more beautiful).


Praying Together

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One recent religious survey noted that the average minister only prays three minutes each day. I found this astounding. I do not know if it is accurate, but if this is true, is it any wonder why the church is not growing?Hey wait a minute…maybe we should ask ourselves how much we are praying? It’s not that there is a required amount, but rather it has to do with where we are in our spiritual lives. Prayer is key. Prayer can change everything.

I am finding that one of the most important things I can do to change and improve my own prayer life is to pray with others. When we pray with our spouses it changes our marriage. When we pray with our family it brings God into our home in a greater way. When we pray with our friends we share our lives together and our friendship grows. When we pray with the church we have more confidence in our spiritual journey.

Here are a few suggestions that I believe will enhance your prayer life:

1. Have a prayer list.

  • Sit down and think of all the people who have special needs and all the problems people are facing. A prayer list helps you focus on issues others are struggling with and humbles you. You will realize how many people need prayers, and you will be reminded about how many blessings you have.
2. Pray more in your Bible classes.
  • It would be a good idea for each of our Bible classes, if we started and ended with a prayer. It will change the way you study. It will allow God to be present with those who are looking into His word.
3. Make a regular time each evening to pray with your spouse.
  • When couples communicate with God they also communicate with each other. If you have never heard your spouse pray, you are missing out on knowing them as well as you could.
4. Teach your children how to pray, and help them to pray regularly.
  • There is nothing more rewarding then listening to your child as they learn to pray. As they improve, you are developing in them a relationship with God that they will never regret.
Prayer is not a job, it is a privilege. We desperately need to pray.
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” ~ James 5:16
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Zager & Evans Miscalculated Slightly

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Those of us “of a certain age” may remember an unusual song recorded in 1969. Among the things that were unusual about it were the following:

  • It was recorded by a folk-rock duo from the state of Nebraska (of all places).
  • It held the #1 position on the record charts longer than any other record of that year (even though such notables as Elvis Presley, The Beatles, The Fifth Dimension, The Temptations, and others also had #1 hits that year).
  • It has no chorus. It just sort of progressed through an imaginary future timeline.
  • It had a unique (and unusual) subtitle; Exordium & Terminus (Beginning & End).

For those who are not “of a certain age” and for those who are, but who may have forgotten this unusual song, I have in mind is In the Year 2525 by (Denny) Zager and (Rick) Evans. (No, I did not remember or even know their first names. I had to look them up.)

Anyway, here are some of the lyrics of that song:

In the year 6565

Ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need no wife
You’ll pick your son, pick your daughter too
From the bottom of a long glass tube

Folks, we are there! In fact, if my math skills haven’t completely deserted me, we are there 4,551 years earlier than the song predicted.

As evidence of that, consider the following headline from the online edition of The Washington Post of October 2, 2014:

White Woman Sues Sperm Bank after She Mistakenly Gets Black Donor’s Sperm

The opening paragraph of the article states:

An Ohio mom and her same-sex partner are suing a Chicago-area fertility clinic for sending sperm from a black donor instead of the white donor’s sperm that she ordered.

A little further in the article, the reader learns this information:

After poring over pages of donor histories from Midwest Sperm Bank three years ago, Cramblett and her partner, 29-year-old Amanda Zinkon, selected donor No. 380, who was white. Cramblett used the sperm to get pregnant and, months later, the two decided to reserve more sperm from that donor so Zinkon could one day have a child related to the one Cramblett was carrying.

During that process, the couple learned the truth: An employee at the fertility clinic allegedly misread a handwritten order — and Cramblett had been inseminated by donor No. 330, who was black.

So, having a child is no more than a business transaction now. I can’t help but wonder what sort of “return policy” there would be on something like this.

God’s design was and is for one man to marry one woman. Together, they were and are to bring children into the world and nurture and train them.

He is eternal. His will is binding; Zager & Evans and Crablett & Zinkon notwithstanding. For that matter; the government, social pressures, liberal theologians, etc. notwithstanding.

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