Thursday, March 31, 2011

Guest post by Mark Regier with reflections on Wallace's book summary - continuing the debate

"You are all Pelagians!" -Karl Barth (in conclusion of his tour of Britain)

Like women speaking in the congregation [CT's editorial comment: this is a guest post, folks!], it is normatively a disgrace for undergaduate students to break silence in matters of exegesis and theology. Which is why I (an undergrad in theology) was rather shocked when Chris asked me to write a guest post for his blog. Hopefully the aforementioned principle is not sullied in this procedure; hopefully the intelligentsia maintains its justifiable contempt for hot-headed young men who delight in their own opinions. I myself, in agreeing to Chris' request, have endeavored to break the rule for the sake of not being overrighteous.

Young fellas like me have had a hard go in theological education lately. Not only are we not adequately exposed to the reception geschichte of the New Testament documents, we are taught that this is a good thing. I don't know how many times I have been told by professors that a routine ignorance of the writings of say, Luther, should not negatively affect my understanding of, say, Paul. After all, what really matters is sola scriptura (here defined as an unquestioning acceptance of the writings of N.T. Wright for all matters of faith and practice). Speaking of N.T. Wright, the man is worshiped as a sort of God in the colleges, and woe to the Shadrach's, Mishach's and Abednego's who would think otherwise! But I digress. The above-quoted Karl Barth encountered a similar problem in his teaching days. So fatally toppled were the theological and exegetical structures of the previous century of German thought by his time, that students simply refused to submit to a thorough reading of Schleiermacher or De Wette or Ferdinand Bauer. Why all the fuss about what men thought and wrote so long ago about what I think and write about today? It never seems to dawn on us young 'uns that history is indeed capable of repeating itself, that whatever is has already been, and that- on occasion- what has been is capable of holding more weight than what is. Alas, says Koheleth, the wise man will not be long remembered!

Andrew Wallace freshly issued a guest post on this blog, and I think that a lot of his own concerns line up with mine. For starters, how does one relate the material of Paul to the rest of the New Testament? Surely this question is not foreign to the milieu of reception geschicte. Didn't Paul himself receive that which he passed on? Isn't Paul himself a part of the larger story set in motion by the man Jesus of Nazareth? Shouldn't the traditions of the earliest church and the subsequent Hellenistic movement have something to say about the way we read Paul? Even his soteriology? And what about the NT documents that reflect a reception of Paul's own material (be they the deutero-pauline literature, 2 Peter and- if you agree with E.P. Sanders and Luther- James)? Shouldn't these be studied and honored with exegetical authority? Though thoroughly secularized and dressed in modern technique, such concerns do adumbrate the Reformation practice of allowing scripture to interpret scripture. Secondly, Wallace shows a keen desire to understand the theological milieu of the "Ante-Nicene" writers. How often have these voices gone unheard! Precious few know about the bitchy old woman in the Shepherd of Hermas with her own peculiar spin on salvation, or the touching- if not rigorous- hortatory encouragements of 2 Clement, or the masterful weaving together of Pauline/Johannine/Matthean soteriological considerations in the surviving work of Ignatius. That Wallace wishes to give these writings a hearing as he wrestles with Paul is encouraging, and to be emulated. If for no other reason, this should give us an impetus to read Wallace's book.

I always shudder when, at this point, the poster or the reviewer or the criticizer re-calibrates the direction of his thoughts with a big "However" or "But." My friend and I used to joke about this, deeming "However" to mean something like, "Please dis-regard everything that has just been said and start listening now." I won't do Wallace this injustice. Rather:

Frick. Why the frick does he suggest that we are justified by faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus? How is that in the least the euangelion of our salvation? Tolstoy had to hide his gun so as not to blow his brains out after years of trying to keep the Sermon on the Mount alone in a relatively meagre fashion. Fortunately Tolstoy was selective. Had he widened his gaze to the sum total of the moral commandments of Jesus (be they expressed by his own lips or those of his apostles), the gun may have been kept in open view. Growing up in a Mennonite tradition, moral perfection and salvation have always been on friendly terms for me. With my congregation's adoption of fundamentalist eschatological concerns in the last 100 years, this has heightened to an anxiety over being left behind at the rapture due to moral failings. Later, when I studied at a Reformed college, I learned to channel these moralistic tendencies into a constant search for evidence of salvation. The Reformed folk have their own way of demanding justification by works: Saved by faith, so long as the behavior proves it. An older Puritan Divine by the name of Jeremiah Burroughs taught his congregation of 10,000 miserable souls to "strive to enter into a disposition worthy of the reception of God's grace," including the penitent discharge of good deeds. It is really the good deeds that matter.

The happier pentecostal writings of John Bevere follow the same line, but on a happier note. God has saved us for relationship with Himself. "This is the easy part," says John. The hard part comes in the obedient working out of this relationship. Those who do not work likely will not be saved. An interesting two-tier view of justification, no?

All of this is emotional blabbering on my part. What matters for both me and these writers (and Wallace) is that in salvation we find moral transformation. But God help those (like me) who haven't! This is the catch 22 of all works-righteousness: moral transformation is a matter of salvation. God will help you. God will give you His Spirit of Grace in order that you may fulfill the commands. Even Pelagius spoke like this. It is sort of a way of back-tracking from the despair literally bursting out of all ends of the argument, a way of saying: "Yes, this looks impossible. But with God all things are possible." Fulfillment of the commands is a "datum," to use a word from N.T. Wright. Ok ok. But what if, somehow, the commands are still not fulfilled? Writers like Wallace and Bevere suggest that obedience is the condition of final salvation. What if obedience, scripturally defined, is not appropriately given? The answer is clear: damnation. On the principle of justification by faithfulness then, I can already accept the fact that I am going to Hell. Jesus has not given me the transformation spoken of so positively by writers like Wallace or Bevere. To be sure, I've taken all the steps laid out by these men and more. I've gone through all the agonous "purgative" periods of fasting, self-flagellation, despair, and endless striving. Conversely, I've gone through periods of quietism; delicately attending to those much-adored spiritual disciplines in the solitude of loneliness. I've gone on missions trips, preached the gospel to unbelievers, prayed till my lips turn blue, exercised forgiveness, attended church faithfully, helped out in bible studies etc.. etc.. ad nauseam. I've had schleiermacherian experiences that would blow the panties off of Santa. But you know what? It has been seven years of all this, and I’m still the same old ungodly wretch. You do not want to know what I thought this week about Angelina Jolie. My lips are still unclean, I'm still a lazy doofus, still ungrateful, still unkind. I am still hateful and spiteful and ruthless. I still disobey my parents, I still have slight thought's about God's grace. I still doubt in prayer, and at the moments of my most ecstatic feelings of charity and adoration of Jesus, I can still locate a brightly burning wick of spiritual pride and narcissism in my soul. Now a writer like Reinhold Niebuhr would step in and say, "It's ok Mark. God justifies based on intent rather than content." But my intent sucks! You do not want to know what I thought this week about Angelina Jolie. Furthermore, the types of sins I seem to habitually commit come under the purview of what the NT considers deserving of death. The Law of God works freedom for those who keep it. But for those who near the whole of it, but stumble even at just one point...."well," says James, "You've actually broken all of it." I think Paul would probably agree. Where then, can one truly boast of moral transformation? If the Law of God reckons one lawless on account of the breaking one or two points, can anyone really dare to say that personal morality stands? Not if the law has the final say for the judgment (cf. Jas 2:12; Rom. 2:13).

All of this is to say that Jesus did not step onto this earth to congratulate us with or for a moral potency to do good. The apostle Peter, for all of his long journeys in the various psychological stages of the ordo salutis, was still falling into condemnation and hypocrisy in the days of Paul (Gal. 2:11). Where is the moral transformation in that? Goodness, the final day must be one of mercy and grace if it is to be one of joy at all (1 Pet. 1:13; Jude 21). But mercy is a quality relative only to ungodliness and unworthiness.

Perhaps it is appropriate to conclude this long-winded post sans rhyme and sans reason with a passage from Barth's Romans:
"Any attempt to stretch the relation between concrete and temporal things to cover their eternal Origin ends in destructive and incurable skepticism. The claim that the law worketh the promise breaks down on the plain truth that what is concrete and visible is incompatible with the promise. The only conspicuous element in the promise is that it is not coterminous with the actual and moral impressions in the world of God's revelation....This inevitability of judgment affects all religions in so far as their reality is merely the reality of temporal and concrete things. It affects religion, even when it is upright and sincere and genuine, even the religion of Abraham and of the Prophets, even the religion of the Epistle to the Romans....In this context the word 'law' embraces all who set out to experience the infinite, all who venture upon its contemplation or description or representation. This is always transgression. Wherever men suppose themselves conscious of the emotion of nearness to God, whenever they speak and write of divine things, whenever sermon-making and temple-building are thought of as an ultimate human occupation, whenever men are aware of divine appointment and of being entrusted with a divine mission, sin veritably abounds (v.20)....No human demeanor is more open to criticism, more doubtful, or more dangerous, than religious demeanor. No undertaking subjects men to so severe a judgment as the undertaking of religion." (Römerbrief, 2nd ed. 135-136).

-Mark Regier describes himself as ‘an arrogant douchebag of a student who is completing his third year of undergraduate studies at Canadian Mennonite University. His qualifications for one day becoming a theologian are empty rhetoric, vainglorious desires to be new and creative, contempt for everything that has been written before him and most of what is being written around him, and the fact that he has read The Politics of Jesus



At 4/01/2011 1:44 AM, Blogger Doug and Cheryl said...

I am stunned. Wow. Thanks Chris for inviting Mark.

At 4/01/2011 7:41 AM, Blogger Butters said...

Thanks for that, especially for the personal honesty.

I've put some of my own comments on Andrew Wallace's post.

At 4/01/2011 11:58 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

I am thrilled that Mark has a great interest in many of the topics covered by my book. He rightly points out that many of these topics simply do not get the attention they deserve. We seem to have a great deal of agreement about what topics are important and how they should be studied.

Our parting of the ways begins, it seems, with the conclusion of my studies. I concluded after studying the very topics and evidences that Mark thinks are important that the early Christians held moral transformation to be the focal point of their Christianity. I also concluded that they believed we are justified by faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus. These were not beliefs I held myself, many years ago, when I began my studies. Rather, they were the conclusions I drew from the evidence as I studied these topics. So to answer Mark's question clearly and directly:
Q. "Why the frick does he suggest that we are justified by faithfulness to the teachings of Jesus?"
A. "Because I became absolutely convinced in the duration of my studies that the evidence overwhelmingly and decisively proved such a position."
The major purpose for my book is to systematically present the evidence that this view is what the early Christians believed. I sincerely hope I have done a good job in my book of presenting the evidence systematically and clearly.

It’s clear that Mark dislikes the idea that justification is by faithfully following Jesus’ teachings. My book, however, is about historical study of the doctrines held by the early Christians. Their beliefs are not a function of our likes and dislikes. They held the doctrines they held regardless of whether I or Mark or anyone else likes or dislikes those beliefs. My book aims to demonstrate that the early Christians held certain beliefs. One need not like those beliefs. One need not hold those beliefs if one does not wish to.

Crucial to Mark's discussion is the concept of moral "perfection". According to many popular gospel presentations, we could pass God's judgment if we were morally perfect. Severe stress is then laid on the idea that "perfect" requires absolute and complete perfection, and that everyone falls short of complete perfection and is therefore rightfully subject to God's judgment. This idea connecting morality and perfection is quite pervasive. Mark indeed writes "Growing up in a Mennonite tradition, moral perfection and salvation have always been on friendly terms for me...". So, let me clearly state that moral perfection and salvation are not on friendly terms in my book. My book actively denies that the Jews and early Christians saw moral perfection as a requirement for salvation: "They expressed strong confidence that God would judge them favourably... The doctrine of final judgment was to them a hope of salvation rather than a reason for fear. This reflected their belief that God did not require complete perfection. They thought they could and did meet the standards that God required." (pp. 313-314, emphasis added) The very small number of verses which are all too often misused to 'prove' the idea of God's perfect standard, such as James 2:12, are covered in my book.

At 4/01/2011 1:01 PM, Blogger Emerson Fast said...

Hey Mr. Wallace,

I hope you are not overly peeved at my cheeky post. Controversy is always a good thing for fresh publications!

A few things:

1. Moral perfection is not "crucial" to my criticism of your work. Note the divers strands of works righteousness I confront across that portion of the post, from the pentecostalism of Bevere to the "justified by intent" of Niebuhr to the maintaining of the sign of faith in the Reformed tradition. All of them, I believe, are soundly confronted by the New Testament witness. All of them are, I believe, pastorally untenable (a point of testing which seems to evade much modern scholarship of Paul: here being that Paul and co. wrote much of their soteriological work for the edification of the church rather than the neutral, un-confessional investigations of scholarship).

Obviously my "misuse" of James is certainly meant as a vituperation against moral perfectionism, but it actually (I suggest) stands as a bulwark against the latter just as much as it does the "easy-believism" of Niebuhr. Good intentions and relatively modest desires, if they are to be judged by the law that brings liberty, are still dead intentions and desires. In fact, if we set Paul in conversation with James at this point, good intentions and desires are simply un-esteemed by God for purposes of election and thus salvation (so Rom.9). Why? simple. God justifies the wicked, and the wicked do not have these things (Rom.3.9-20; 10:20).

It is often my suspicion that scholars "explain" AWAY James ch.2.10f. simply on account of its clearly impossible severity. Obviously it is not a favorable verse for c. nomism, or anyone who wishes to stand before the judgment of God and get off easy. But my concerns, however obviously confessional they may be, are that we first deal with the text in se before we proceed to acclaim it one way or another from our personal tastes. This is not impossible for a church which confesses the normativity of Scripture qua Scripture.

That being said, I am still glad you have honestly endeavored to let the New Testament speak rather than your own whims and fancies. This is what separates you, a writer, from me, an "arrogant douchebag" with too much time on his hands.

At 4/06/2011 12:39 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

Mr Regier,

My key point is really this:
It is quite possible, and realistic, to be faithful to Jesus to the extent that obtains positive final judgment. i.e. perfection is not required. If we do what is reasonably within our power to follow the teachings and example of Jesus, that is enough. God is reasonable, and loving and understands the failures of our human flesh. He does not expect or require of us a standard we cannot meet or a perfection beyond our power. He expects us to make an effort, to try to do his will. He knows we will often fail, and knows we will often succeed. God has real and true grace: When you make mistakes and mess things up sometimes, there's forgiveness. God doesn't need a scapegoat or penal substitute or anything, God's just says, "it's OK". God is fair and reasonable and do not require of humanity anything beyond our power.

Your complaint against systems of works righteousness seems to be that their standards are unachievable and that you in particular (and everyone else by implication) don't achieve them. I don't see that such a notion has any correspondence with what I am saying. I fancy that you have been influenced rather too much by the evangelical notion that God has a perfect standard which no one can meet and thus all fall short and need salvation by other means. But if God's standard is indeed something significantly less than perfection, then people can indeed meet it. Are prepared to argue that you (or all humans) are sooo bad that there is no possible moral standard by which you or others could be judged and found righteous? I doubt it.

As I see it, the real cause of your complaint is your beliefs about what the New Testament teaches. You see it as demanding a perfect standard of righteousness. I don't. That is an exegetical disagreement. When your interpretation of the New Testament as teaching a perfect standard is projected onto my idea of moral transformation and judgment by works, then yes everything falls apart because everyone falls short. But I don't for one second agree that the New Testament teaches a perfect standard.

At 4/06/2011 12:41 AM, Blogger Andrew said...

One of the simplest ways to realize that James could not have been advocating an unreachably perfect standard is to pay attention to why he says it. Looking over the whole of James 2, it is straightforward to see that it is written out of concern that needy people aren't being treated well by the recipients. James wants to encourage them to treat these poor people better. The genre of the chapter is obviously moral exhortation. Moral exhortation is about encouraging people to higher standards of behaviour. In such genres we naturally find very high standards of behaviour exhorted (cf Mat 5). The understanding is always that the audience can reach such standards if they make the effort – that is the whole point of the genre. For a moral exhortation to deny the possibility of reaching the moral standard being exhorted would be a self-contradiction. You cannot at the same time encourage attainment of a moral standard and deny its attainability. James cannot have thought he was advocating the attainment of an unattainable standard. Either he thought it attainable, or he wasn't writing moral exhortation. But he was writing moral exhortation - the chapter is undeniably trying to encourage better conduct toward the poor. In contrast we can conceive of James making a very different argument. He could have said "You can't meet God's perfect standard – it's impossible. Therefore don't be too bothered about your conduct toward the poor. Don't make the mistake of thinking that being nice to the poor is worth anything to you in terms of works-righteousness because you'll ultimately fail nonetheless." An unattainable standard is logically tied to an argument that moral effort is pointless, and of course that's exactly how some of the Reformers argued. Yet here in James a high moral standard occurs within a passage whose genre is moral exhortation, and the reason he makes the statement that anyone who neglects the poor falls short of the law is clearly to encourage his readers not to neglect the poor. If James had understood his standard to be unattainable it makes no sense at all to cite it in context of moral exhortation - citing it is counterproductive to his purpose of encouraging readers not to neglect the poor. Thus a reading of James 2:10 which interprets it as teaching an unattainable standard which no one can keep can be ruled entirely out of court before we even begin – it is a non-starter as an interpretation. Whatever James is saying, he cannot possibly be saying that!

So what did James mean by it? E.P. Sanders helpfully points out in Paul and Palestinian Judaism pp. 133 – 141 that phrases of the type "do thing X right once and you'll get a positive judgment" and "do thing X wrong once and you'll get a negative judgment" seem to both occur with some frequency in ancient Jewish literature. The meaning of this idiom seems to be that even the smallest actions provides an opportunity for demonstrating one's heart. Even the smallest most insignificant good action can be a proof of repentance and thus shows a person deserving of a positive judgment. Equally, if one has rejected God, that rejection can lead to deliberate disobedience of the smallest of the commandments. Overall, Sanders concludes that the purpose of these idioms is a "way of urging people to obey the commandments as best they can and insisting on the importance of doing so." (p 141) Such a conclusion certainly seems to me to be the best reading of the idiom given the passages he cites. The notion of urging people to not neglect God's will in minor matters fits exactly with the purpose of James 2 discussed above. It makes perfect sense that a writer such as James, writing his work in the general style of Jewish wisdom literature, should use a typical Jewish idiom to exhort readers to not neglect God's will in minor matters when he is trying to encourage readers to treat the poor as well as they treat the rich.

At 4/06/2011 6:17 AM, Blogger Emerson Fast said...

Hey Mr. Wallace,

I will try to answer as succinctly as possible:

1. You said, "An unattainable standard is logically tied to an argument that moral effort is pointless, and of course that's exactly how some of the Reformers argued."

I'm not sure which Reformers you are referring to? Luther, Zwingli, Melanchthon, Calvin, the radical reformers, Martin Bucer.....all of them were quite serious (and quite severe) about what one may call "the Christian life." The Augsburg Apology makes repeated mention of the Christian's ability to keep or at least "begin" the Law of God subsequent to his/her justification (Cf. Concordia; Apology; Article V no.1, for instance). You will note similar trends of genuine "decalogue-keeping" in Martin Luther's "Treatise on Christian Liberty" and also his Larger Catechism's instructions on the Ten Commandments.

Even the so-called "anti-nomian" John Agricola spoke about "honoring" or "dishonoring" Christ.

My point is: I don't think it was the concern of any of the Reformers to abstain from moral effort, nor did they despair at such and call it "pointless." Pointless for salvation, yes, but not pointless in and of itself. The Reformers I am acquainted with spoke often and much about the "rewarding" nature of good behavior. They simply maintained a distinction between soteriology and ethics.

2. I agree that the style of James is paraenetic (protreptic? are the two interchangeable?); that it gives hortatory instructions. This does not lead me to believe that James cannot inculcate the Law's exacting, "perfect standard." Do you suggest that the standard of the law is not perfect? Or would you suggest that the Law makes compromises and concessions on account of human folly? Such assumptions seem to mix light with darkness, sin with holiness. They seem to lead one to inevitably think that God accepts blemished sacrifices. They seem to rob the Law of its ability to judge.

If I am reading you correctly, you seem to locate the pacifying of the Law's demands in a "try-your-best" attitude. But doesn't that once again place everything in the court of human subjectivity? Has not judgment here been wrested from the hands of the Law itself and made to fit a criterion of what WE deem to be "our best effort." I know what my best effort is; I know that at the points of my greatest moral achievement I have actually, in that very setting, WANTONLY violated some of God's other commands. The walls of Jericho come down but those shiny robes from Shinar stole my attention. The Amalekites were destroyed but gosh darnit I couldn't wreak ecological havoc on their livestock! I put to you that the Law is far more exacting, far more "perfectionistic" or "boundless" (if I may use a term from ps.119) and far more at odds with human behavior (James' congregation(s) only proves my point) than you allow.

The point isn't that we can't live up to the Law and therefore shouldn't. The point is that we can't live up to the Law even though we SHOULD, and that this offense is not somehow removed from the ekklesia of Christ that they may cease living by faith and start treating righteousness as an immanent possession. Luther was brilliant in recognizing this; the Law's essentially damning opposition to the flesh even after conversion. James recognized this as well, hence his presentation of the Law (and with it, the Lawgiver) and its condemning nature. There is no question that it brings liberty (to those who keep it). Paul said as well that it is "intended for life" (Rom.7). The problem is that the ekklesia of James is not keeping it; humanity on a whole is STILL not keeping it (nor is James, so 3:2a; I take it that "stumbling in many ways" implies "stumbling at one point" and thus implies "breaking all of the law" and thus "judgment").

At 4/06/2011 6:17 AM, Blogger Emerson Fast said...

I think James is presenting a perfect Law with perfect standards to beat down the arrogance of the community(s) he writes to; an arrogance which has manifested itself on this concrete occasion as social prejudice. "God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble." As long as the ekklesia lives under the vast judgment of the Law, its "belief" in the "glorious Lord Jesus Christ" will be heavily appreciated (2:1).

The exegesis of E.P. Sanders at this point does not impress me. The point James makes is not that the smallest point of disobedience reveals that one is actually a lawbreaker. The point is that the smallest act of disobedience NULLIFIES the genuine keeping of the rest of the law. James proves this by saying, "IF YOU DO NOT COMMIT ADULTERY but do commit murder, you have become a lawbreaker." In other words, you may genuinely have kept God's demands for sexual propriety, but if you stumble at the point of murder, the previous is of no benefit to you.

At 4/25/2011 3:45 AM, Blogger Poe said...

Look, I am not here to say whether Andrew or Mark is winning this argument. Far be it from me to be the judge of that. That said, Mark is winning this argument.

Here is why..

[Disclaimer: I hereby declare the intention of this comment is for the sole purposes of heightening my own personal throne come eschaton.]

There's been a lot of pixelation put to the page heretofore, thus my comments will be brief, succinct, to-the-point, without digression, and narrow in scope, viz., perspicuous.

Paraphrasing Paul, is the law sin? No. It is rather "good" and "holy." Thus, how can something substantively holy and good, now fulfilled by Jesus, be suddenly castigated from the overall soteriological model of the church's commission in these the Last Days? Damn, Israel got us this far didn't they? To say law/works now has no place in salvation efforts of faith is a kind of reverse legalism.

There. I win. The age old debate between law and faith spanning over two millenia has been solved by me. Thank you. Good day. (btw, I want my throne bedazzled, bitches).

At 4/26/2011 3:49 AM, Blogger Poe said...

-- Er, damn I forget to add a crucial point about my winning argument regarding the "holiness" of law -- and it was actually the point which was supposed to align with Mark and his defeat the dark dominion of Andrew and co. (had I said it in the original post, I may have very well issued in the eschaton).

Regarding the "boundless" nature of law, this is where I think Mark offers up a more robust view of law than does Andrew, for if the the law is good and holy, and if it pertains to yet is not limited by the human realm, then law is something which is very, very old and which governs the fabric of kosmos. In other words, it is a blessing to have law insofar that it is a creative effort, boundless in scope. Moral transformation with a try-ur-best attitude allows for a very real threat to narrow the meaningfulness of law via God and his creation:

Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works...

...The Lord exists for ever;
your word is firmly fixed in heaven.

Your faithfulness endures to all generations;
you have established the earth, and it stands fast.

By your appointment they stand today, for all things are your servants.

Psalm 119: 27; 89-91

Indeed "all things" are your servants -- does this verse not allude to Paul's argument in Colossians? Via Christ God is "to reconcile to himself ALL THINGS" (Col. 1:20). This isn't just broken humans but all of the created order being redone, recreated, patched up (ta panta).

At 4/29/2011 2:40 AM, Blogger Butters said...

I recently googled Wallace & Rusk's book to see if there was any more discussion about it anywhere. There doesn't seem to be much yet but I couldn't help noticing that references to the book have suddenly appeared in various wikipedia (and other similar websites)articles on themes such as Atonement, Faith
,and Original Sin.

Has Andrew or Mr.Rusk been editing such pages?


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