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Re: Secular Art #1677
Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:16 AM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:16 AM
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Gerry,

Agreed...... a second time, for I wrote:
However, as Christians, being most surely indwelt by the Spirit who is sanctifying our minds, hearts and souls unto the most Holy God.
[img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/tongue.gif" alt="tongue" title="tongue[/img]

In His Grace,


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Re: Secular Art [Re: Jason1646] #1678
Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:39 AM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:39 AM

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[color:blue](Phi 4:8 NASB) Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.


[color:black]I totally agree Jason. I also think, too, that the reason Christians, myself included, listen to the music we do is because of the way it makes us feel or if we can relate to it. And with all the emotions and feelings that we as humans feel, many of us find that Christian music does not deal with those. And that is a problem. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/crybaby.gif" alt="crybaby" title="crybaby[/img]

Re: Secular Art [Re: Pilgrim] #1679
Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:48 AM
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Pilgrim,<br><br>How refreshing it is to hear men talk of holiness. I think of the verse, "Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus." <br><br> I also read a quote by Richard Baxter this morning that restates your thoughts, on the heart, "See that your chief study be about your heart, that there God's image may be planted, and His interest advanced, and the interest of the world and the flesh subdued, and the love of every sin cast out, and love of holiness succeed; and that you content yourelves with seemingly to do good in outward acts, when you are bad yourselves,a dn strangers to the great internal duties. The first and great work of a Christian is about the heart."<br><br>In His grip,<br>Linda

Re: Secular Art [Re: Pilgrim] #1680
Tue Mar 18, 2003 10:51 AM
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Pilgrim:<br><br>I knew there was SOMETHING I liked about what you wrote [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/laugh.gif" alt="laugh" title="laugh[/img].<br><br>Peace, <br><br>Gerry

Re: Secular Art #1681
Tue Mar 18, 2003 12:02 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 12:02 PM
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Let's be sure to realize that it is just as much an error to put an over emphasis upon the heart, or any part of man's elements, over another. There is no true life without the whole of man's being having been transformed in the image of the Lord Christ. If I had to choose one text from the Scriptures which teaches this necessary truth it would have to be this:
Colossians 1:9-10 (ASV) "For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray and make request for you, that ye may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, to walk worthily of the Lord unto all pleasing, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;"
Let us be cautious not to bifurcate that which God has created as one. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]

In His Grace,


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Re: Secular Art [Re: Pilgrim] #1682
Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:46 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 3:46 PM

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Pilgrim:

The point I'm trying to make is the same one that Calvin, Owen, Edwards, Philpot, Bunyan and so on make very clearly in their works. The reason that I make that point repeatedly, and will continue to do so, is that the church, and the teaching of the church, as a whole is OUT OF BALANCE on the issue, preferring to dwell on the truth in the mind and not insisting that the truth in the mind as a notion is not saving. In my opinion, this is the danger and this is not being emphasized enough in the writing and preaching of the church today.

The latest article you released on the Highway, by Pastor Coles, has an interesting reference to this problem which I quote as follows:

“I replied that I thought that I also put a strong emphasis on God’s grace as the motivation for obedience. But he responded that his wife couldn’t even relate to God’s grace — it went right by her. I was a bit taken aback, and so I said, “You mean that the many times I have spoken on God’s grace, she didn’t hear me?” He said yes, in her 20 years on Crusade staff, never once had she felt God’s grace and love on a personal level.

I thought about what he had said and asked some clarifying questions to make sure I understood him. Then I responded, “If your wife has never felt God’s love and grace, she is not converted!” I had been reading Jonathan Edwards’ classic, A Treatise on Religious Affections, in which he makes a strong biblical case that saving faith is not mere intellectual assent to the gospel, but that it affects the heart. This elder got very upset with me. But I stuck to my guns then and do so now, that if a person can sit in church for 20 years and never be moved by God’s grace and love as shown to us at the cross, then that person is not truly converted.”



This conversation is VERY REVEALING. Note how Pastor Cole stresses in his conversation that if she hasn’t FELT SOMETHING SHE ISN’T CONVERTED. Let me repeat that, IF SHE HASN’T FELT SOMETHING, SHE ISN’T CONVERTED. Notice how he says that he had "put a strong emphasis on God’s grace as the motivation for obedience". Ok, but had he ever made the point blank statement that he makes here about not being converted? I doubt it because he tells us he had to think it over in terms of what he had recently been reading from Edwards and had to "stick to his guns". Well, may be thats the problem. Maybe in expressing it as he had in those nice soft, but not too clear, words about "Gods grace as a motivation for obedience", which tend not to ruffle as many feathers as what he has finally said in private to one of his elders, maybe in so doing he had deemphasized the problem.

In other words, you can memorize large parts of the bible, and become conversant in many branches of theology and do many good works, like 20 years on staff at Campus Crusade, but still be dead in your sins. That is what I’m trying to say and because I keep saying it, you seem to think that I am out of balance in unduly stressing it. I don’t think so. I note much, much attention given, rightly so, in the conservative church, to charismatic error, but very little attention given to the errors in the conservative camp, which is this dry dead religion.

Pastor Cole makes some excellent points in his article, but in focusing on the errors of the Christian Psychology, he deflects the due error of the conservative church in contributing to the problem which is a singular focus on the mental and behavioral aspects of the assimilation of the truth.

Note how Pastor Cole, in the beginning of his article, rightly credits Edwards and Calvin with focusing him on this aspect of the teaching of the church which is neglected today, but then goes on to pin the primary focus on Christian Psychology. Didn’t he start out telling us that he was taught these errors in seminary? And doesn’t he say that he’d never read Calvin’s Institutes until he had been pastoring for years? Well, it seems pretty clear that if the emphasis had been on the Bible and Calvin and Edwards, and Philpot, and Gill and Bunyan, etc, men who taught the Bible, in the first place, perhaps it wouldn’t have taken him so long to sort all of this out.

I stress it because the church doesn’t and in fact the modern church minimizes it, I stress it because I’m trying to counter something that is out of balance, not because I’m out of balance or because the men I refer to were out of balance. Truth be known, if churches were stressing it as it ought to be stressed, there probably would be less false solutions like “Christian Psychology” running rampant today. People are looking for these things as a solution because they aren’t hearing the real solution from the pulpit. Swindol, Cloud, and Townsend are all Armenians theologically trained at DTS, where the Holy Spirit is denied, minimized, given lip service and quenched.

I was surprised to hear Pastor Cole say that he respected Swindol. Why, because he’s very intelligent and well read and because he has a huge following and has written many books and in the eyes of man he is a success? Don’t the scriptures tell us to be wary of these very things, especially if those that have them don’t teach the “faith once delivered to the saints? Is it any wonder that Swindol teaches what he does and is the kind of model he is if he “knows not the Spirit”?

Again, as Philpot, Edwards, Owen, Calvin, Bunyan and all of these men stressed in their teaching true religion starts in the Mind, Moves to the Heart, and Motivates the Feet and Hands and Lips. This is what these older preachers recognized as the missing part of the teaching of the church, it is what makes “irresistible grace” irresistible and keeps the doctrines of grace from becoming just another dry mental work of the flesh.
“The Letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”

One last thing, Pilgrim, I'm not saying you, or your position is out of balance. I don't know you well enough or your site well enough to say that. Frankly, based on what I've heard you say and the articles I've seen you post, it seems to me that you try to maintain a proper balance. What I am saying is that as I read church History, when Godly leaders saw an imbalance, or an error, they tried to address it in their preaching and their writing and I don't see the Conservative Church as a whole doing this, on the contrary, in my view they are part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

In His Grace,

Gerry

Re: Secular Art #1683
Tue Mar 18, 2003 4:08 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 4:08 PM

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I may be young, but I see where you are coming from. I may be only slightly educated when it comes to schooling, but I know the dangers first hand of having too much head and not enough heart. The passion goes away. The zeal fades. And you end up thinking Bible study and discussing your beliefs and even fighting for the Truth as work. Affections are not something to be over-emphasised, but neither is head-knowledge. So all I gotta say is AMEN [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/clapping.gif" alt="clapping" title="clapping[/img][img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/groovin.gif" alt="groovin" title="groovin[/img][img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/videogame.gif" alt="videogame" title="videogame[/img]<br><br>[color:blue]Psalm 150:1-6 (NASB)<br>Praise the LORD! Praise God in His sanctuary; <br>Praise Him in His mighty expanse.<br>Praise Him for His mighty deeds; <br>Praise Him according to His excellent greatness.<br>Praise Him with trumpet sound; <br>Praise Him with harp and lyre.<br>Praise Him with timbrel and dancing; <br>Praise Him with stringed instruments and pipe.<br>Praise Him with loud cymbals; <br>Praise Him with resounding cymbals.<br>Let everything that has breath praise the LORD. Praise the LORD!</font color=blue><br><br><br>

Re: Secular Art #1684
Tue Mar 18, 2003 4:37 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 4:37 PM
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Gerry,

Perhaps you will be open to some counsel? I surely do not take issue with the "rightness" of your perceptions of what has happened and continues to be taught in many modern churches, not excluding conservative and reformed. Many times on this Board have I pointed out these same things, long before you arrived here. And I am just as sure that you would find many here who would agree with these things. HOWEVER, the way in which you bring forth these things and the singular focus of your prescribed remedy may be misconstrued and thereby some may tend to think that your stress on the experimental truth is unbalanced.
Again, as Philpot, Edwards, Owen, Calvin, Bunyan and all of these men stressed in their teaching true religion starts in the Mind, Moves to the Heart, and Motivates the Feet and Hands and Lips. This is what these older preachers recognized as the missing part of the teaching of the church, it is what makes “irresistible grace” irresistible and keeps the doctrines of grace from becoming just another dry mental work of the flesh.
“The Letter kills, but the spirit gives life.”
The highlighted part is that to which I give full affirmation. And, that is why I quoted Col 1:9, 10. All these men made sure that these tripartite elements of true religion were made known; not just one in isolation from the others. When I was in seminary it was impressed upon me that as Calvinists we may have the tendency to fall into two "evils". 1) Wanting to overly stress the sovereignty of God due to the near total lack of present churches to either teach it aright or to even acknowledge it at all, some are given to preaching this one truth to an extreme. In doing so the twin truth of man's responsibility is lost. 2) Making "apology" in every text that is preached which speaks of man's responsibility and constantly adding God's sovereignty to it with the purpose of "guarding" that sovereignty. Both of these pitfalls do injustice to these two truths. Thus, we must guard ourselves from stressing one truth so much that it minimizes another. Or, not letting one truth have its all by always countering it with another.

Thus my replies have tried to stress that when the Spirit regenerates a sinner, the whole man is regenerated; mind, emotions and will. Sandamanianism is an insidious error and a lie. But so is Pietism. So, please don't take offense at my words of caution as they are only intended to preserve that biblical balance and prevent any unnecessary confusion on the part of some. There is a wide variety of individuals who read these messages and thus we must be prudent in our presentations, especially when it is a truth most needed. A pastor has a great advantage when he is preaching to his congregation for his audience is mainly one which will hear him several times per week, week after week, month after month. Thus the maintaining of that balance is much easier done than it is here. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]


In His Grace,


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simul iustus et peccator

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Re: Secular Art [Re: Jason1646] #1685
Tue Mar 18, 2003 4:54 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 4:54 PM

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Whew![img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/yikes.gif" alt="yikes" title="yikes[/img] When I got home from work this evening and saw all the replies I thought I said something wrong [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/ohno.gif" alt="ohno" title="ohno[/img]. Thanks for everyone's comments.

Re: Secular Art [Re: Pilgrim] #1686
Tue Mar 18, 2003 5:30 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 5:30 PM
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[color:red]Well Stated!

Your comments here "[color:red]Wanting to stress the sovereignty of God due to the near total lack of present churches to either teach it aright or to even acknowledge it at all, some are given to preaching this one true to an extreme. In doing so the twin truth of man's responsibility is lost. 2) Making "apology" in every text that is preached which speaks of man's responsibility and constantly adding God's sovereignty to it with the purpose of "guarding" that sovereignty" ring so true. Some every-time they preach are looking for the 5 points of Calvinism in each word (a Calvinistic bush behind every tree), much less each verse. I have seen some mighty unhealthy twisting, turning, and tampering of the Holy text just because the speaker desired to relate the 1-5 points of Calvinism against Arminianism. I see this as especially true of recent converts to Calvinism as they have limited knowledge of "all" the facts. Proper balance is a MUST.

Ethics, Preaching, and Biblical Theology, by John M. Frame


Reformed and Always Reforming,
Re: Secular Art [Re: Pilgrim] #1687
Tue Mar 18, 2003 8:31 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 8:31 PM

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Pilgrim:

Thank you for your counsel. I believe I am open to good counsel. You are correct in pointing out that I have only participated on this board for a few months, and you are clearly in a better position to judge whether or not what has been presented here since it’s inception clearly and consisting and in a truly balanced way presents the discriminating truths with the same force and rigor in the same way that these men of the past presented it.

I am sure that I have been overzealous and imperfect in my attempts to bring forward what I believe is a signal problem in the church today. I have no doubt, that being human, I will continue to err in those efforts. However, I believe that the source of our divergence of views in this matter stems from more than my error and infirmity. Perhaps you will indulge me to try and explain a little further?

I believe that the source of our divergence of views on this issue has to do, in large part, with a differing opinion of how to correct an imbalance that we both seem to agree exits. I believe that the imbalance that exists today, and has existed for some decades now, has both a qualitative and a quantitative component.

With respect to the qualitative component, I mean that the quality of the preaching and writing of the men I have mentioned from the past was much more direct, heart searching, and discriminating with respect to true and false conversions, and the full range of evidences that a person was to use to examine themselves to determine whether or not they were “in the faith”. In my view, these men did not limit the experimental part of religion to the emotional component and thus they were more willing to address clearly and directly such things as worldliness, as manifest in a love of things and money rather than God

With respect to the quantitative component, I believe if one examines the whole of their writings and their sermons one finds a balance in terms of the amount of time or words devoted to each of these three components. So, for example, it is true, that taken as a whole, these men’s teachings are examined one will find nearly equal effort expended on the mental, emotional and behavioral aspects of true religion.

Therefore, it seems logical to me, that if you agree that there is an imbalance, and you have repeatedly stated that you do, it would seem necessary, in order to bring things back into balance, to begin to stress that which has been neglected. Could this approach be “misconstrued” as a “singular focus” on the “experimental” as a “prescribed remedy”? Yes, indeed it could. In fact, I have no doubt that it will.

Let me bring the argument into sharper focus by using a specific example. By using Pastor Coles, I mean no disrespect, for, in fact, I respect his honesty and willingness to be open about his errors and the need for change and to share this with others. I admire and respect this very much and think we need more of it. My purpose, therefore, in using his church as an example is because he has graciously brought before us an example of the precise problem in both it’s quantitative and qualitative components.

For example, when I read the sermons and writings of the men you agree were more balanced I find a willingness to state clearly from the pulpit that those who have never felt the love of God to be unconverted. I find sermons that dwell on this subject and don’t simply mention it in passing. I find the subject is not couched in words that might lead the unconverted to rely on a false hope, but fully developed and clearly and unequivocally presented. Is Pastor Coles willing to do these things? Is he now willing to emphasize this area because it was so long neglected? In other words, it would seem to me that taken as a whole, his teaching and his hearers need some “imbalanced” teaching for a while in order to correct an existing imbalance.


I have gone back and read most of the letters, memoirs, histories, and sermons and writings of the authors (with the exception of Owen) I have mentioned and while it is true that taken as a whole these men taught the “whole counsel” of the Word of God, and their writings were balanced overall, there clearly were times in their ministries that they addressed an imbalance in the way I describe above. There were times when they believed that their people were “asleep” and needed an “awakening” and they set about to do that in the way I have described. And when they perceived that there was some necessary balance reestablished, then they returned to a more normal balanced approach to their preaching, as you seem to be suggesting.

I also notice that each of these men were criticized for being too experimental, for being too “enthusiastic”, that their prescribed remedy was misconstrued by the “conservative church of their day”.

So, it would seem to me that you believe the existing imbalance needs to be addressed differently than I do. I respect that. And I respectfully disagree.

Finally, not with standing what I have said above, I have gone back and reviewed all of my posts on this site and I think a fair review would find that, while I have emphasized a “heart” religion, to imply that I have not also stressed the effects of such a religion in the walk or fruit in the life would reveal a bias.
In His Grace,

Gerry


Re: Secular Art #1688
Tue Mar 18, 2003 8:41 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 8:41 PM

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K2P:<br><br>Thank you. <br><br><br>In Him, <br><br>Gerry

Re: Secular Art #1689
Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:13 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 9:13 PM
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Gerry,

I appreciate your candor and again agree with your assessment that some churches, particularly in those of the Reformed tradition, are sadly lacking in preaching the whole counsel of God. I would also agree that the majority of contemporary churches are stuck in the mire of a mindless religion and whose members have been deceived into thinking that they are united to Christ, due to this incipient Sandamanian "gospel". So, there we are in full agreement.

Now, as to your slight criticism of pastor Cole. From the little correspondence I have had with the man, I cannot speak with any assurance that he is guilty of what you have suggested. However, I do believe you have allowed your zeal to blind you to certain things. Pastor Cole's article was written to address a specific issue; i.e., "Christian Counseling". And it is to that issue he devoted himself. It was never meant to be a full orbed dissertation of the entirety of his ministry nor of his views on preaching. I might be prudent, if you are duly concerned about the "imbalance" you fear he might have in his preaching, that you e-mail him personally. Just click here to do so: scole@safeaccess.com.

Lastly, you again refer to the "old writers" and how they were bold in their preaching and addressed the very important issue of self-examination so that those who professed to believe on Christ could discern whether or not they actually had been united to Him by faith. Two points I think, you should bear in mind. My library contains many, many Puritan works. I am very familiar with most of the more popular writings and some of the not so well known ones. Without doubt the space which my library not is housed could be filled 10 times over with such works. However, what we must realize is that what works we have in writing are but a very small representation of all that these men preached. They are but a sampling which were considered worthy of preserving for posterity. Thus, you and I will never read the mundane sermons they preached, nor of their errors they held to, for the most part. The Holy Spirit, in regard to His book, the inspired Scriptures only chose those things which He wanted us to know.
"And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen." (Joh 21:25)
Thus, it must not be assumed that what we do have available in writing is representative of every sermon and/or lecture that these men gave. Secondly... As I tried to make note of before, there is a distinct difference between the audience you are seeking to gain attention and a congregation which attends worship and hears the same man several times weekly. A Pastor often will take weeks and even months to preach through a series or a book of the Bible. This must be taken into consideration. I hope you can appreciate the uniqueness between these two situations. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]

In truth, I think that for every "conservative" church you find where there exists a "dead orthodoxy", you will find 10 more "evan-jelly-cal" churches that are steeped in emotional "feel-good" religion. As anyone who has been in the ministry for any length of time will surely tell you, it is not one or two issues that need to be address, but all things are in need of attention. Many of us have been overwhelmed by the myriad needs of those who we have been given charge. Yes, some are in need of more expediency than others. But the greatest need is that the whole counsel of God be set forth in a clear way.


Peace,


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Re: Secular Art [Re: Pilgrim] #1690
Tue Mar 18, 2003 10:01 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 10:01 PM

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Pilgrim:<br><br>Thanks for your candor also. <br><br>As to Pastor Coles. I thought I made clear in my post that I was using his church as an example to make a point. It seems to me that he is in the quite capable hands of the Holy Spirit with respect to his errors, which I did not, as you state, bring forth, he did. The questions I asked about correcting those errors, as I stated, were for illustrative purposes only.<br><br>As to rest of your arguement about us not having all of the writings of any individual man. This is, of course correct, and I am aware of this, not blind to it. I have not read as much as you have, but I too have read very widely and vastly on the subjects of which I speak and do not consider myself to be a novice in these things. <br><br>I don't believe that my characterization of the ministry of the men that I have pointed to (and I purposely did not include all "of the older writers" because some of them were just as much in error as the men of this day) is inaccurate with respect to their desire to correct the deadness of the church of their day, and their approach in doing so, as I have described it, because they themselves in their writings stated it clearly and plainly, as did the editors who put together their works. See the preface to Owens' works on the Holy Spirit and Edwards and Philpots letters to friends and fellow pastors, etc. So, sorry, that arguement just doesn't wash. Would you care to address the arguement I made, and these men themselves made, in their letters and writings and their editors made directly?<br><br>As to the incredible job facing a pastor, I have nothing but the most profound respect for the position and it's difficulties and the men who have undertaken this most solemn and sacred undertaking at the calling, teaching and sending of the Holy Spirit. I have thought off and on for about 40 years whether or not I was called to the ministry and have taken some seminary training, but have come to the conclusion that I am not called to the Gospel Ministry. Having said that, I don't think it inappropriate to bring to light the needed improvement in those in the ministry and those considering it, nor do I believe that if one does so he should be considered insensitive to the demands of the office.<br><br>Respectfully, <br><br>In Him,<br><br>Gerry

Re: Secular Art #1691
Tue Mar 18, 2003 10:27 PM
Tue Mar 18, 2003 10:27 PM
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<blockquote><font size=1>In reply to:</font><hr>[color:"blue"]Would you care to address the arguement I made . . .</font><hr></blockquote><p>Not really at this point. But thanks for asking. [img]http://www.the-highway.com/w3timages/icons/grin.gif" alt="grin" title="grin[/img]<br><br>In His Grace,


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