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94 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    Thanks to EricL for helping me with some of these links….

  2. Nonnie says:

    Glad to see others noting the need for churches to reach out to physically and learning disabled people in their community.
    I wanted to volunteer at a church service for learning disabled/special needs folks, but found that there were none in our city. Hubby and I prayed about it, and started one a few years back. A local Church of England church gives us their building, free of charge, each month for our service.

    Anyone interested can check out our website:

  3. Nonnie says:

    Sorry, I goofed the website. Can the moderator correct it. Should be

  4. London says:

    WTH is wrong with SW Baptist??

  5. I don’t know why people are into the Gospel Coalition in the firs place. I always looked at them as nothing more than a Reformed, book and speaker’ bureau clearing house – with everyone’s accolades and ‘peer review’ coming from each other.

    One farts and the others say “didn’t smell”

  6. Nonnie says:

    It is disgusting to know that Tom Randall continues to harass the whistle blowers. I don’t know what is going on, but I am very discouraged and saddened that Tom is taking this road, rather than just admitting that abuse occurred and he is grieved and wants to help. Wouldn’t it be better to use the money for the victims and their healing, rather than lawyers to fight against justice?

  7. Other than Paige Patterson strong arming people … which he always had done, going back in the WA Crisswell days, I don’t see the issue with the Muslim doing a PhD program at a Christian school.

    Are they afraid his dissertation is going to bring down the SBC?

  8. Tim says:

    I’m shocked to read the report about Southwestern Baptist Seminary & Paige Patterson. What possible reason could there be to admit a practicing & professing Muslim to a Christian seminary? Especially in light of the specific admission requirements to the contrary? Southern Baptists should be rightly outraged.

  9. Tim says:

    MLD –
    You don’t see a problem with it? Would you expect to see a Muslim enrolled in a Lutheran seminary? What about a Mormon – a JW – a Hindu? What about a Lutheran seminarian enrolling in an Islamic madrassa?

    If we can’t draw the admission requirement line at least at the basic gospel of Jesus Christ to enroll in seminary, where *can* we draw it?

  10. Michael says:


    I’ve been stunned by the story and by finding out that Randall has donors with deep pockets all over the world…and in my own back yard.

  11. gomergirl... says:

    Erunner… I just want to thank you for what you have done. When Dude and I walked that road, you were a great resource to help balance the reality of our situation, and the history we had in church. I pray for blessings and God’s grace and peace to you in your new chapter of life.

  12. Tim,
    So it’s a closed circle? Are you saying that folks outside of a discipline should be shut out? Perhaps he wants to be the one Muslim who can teach other Muslims what Christians really believe and not a cartoonish muslim version.

    Yes, I do wish that their were some Christians who studied the Koran at a Muslim school so we could get a straight story as to what they believe.

  13. Xenia says:

    The purpose of a seminary is to prepare men for the ministry. Therefore, no Muslim need apply.

  14. Nonnie says:

    Xenia, I agree! Also, from what I read, there were qualifiers as to who qualified for entrance to seminary… church membership, etc.

  15. Xenia says:

    To get into an Orthodox seminary, and I assume “o”rthodox seminaries, one is usually required to have recommendations from the parish priest/ minister, etc. and evidence that the candidate is a “Christian in good standing.”

  16. The article says the guy is a PhD student from Egypt and “When Ghassan finishes his studies, he will receive a Ph.D. in Biblical Studies with a major in archaeology from Southwestern Seminary’s School of Theology..”

    Perhaps the SBC school is renown for it’s archaeology program

    Many people who are already pastors do their PhD work at seminaries

  17. CrucifiED says:

    Reading about the conflict between the reformed at TGC, and reading the comments of the Presbyterian pastor, criticizing and warning us of Tullian’s law/gospel distinction in his preaching, makes me so glad I chose in these last few years to be a Lutheran.

    As much as I love and respect reformed theology, the ultimate reason I choose to go the Lutheran route over a reformed one is because of their law/gospel distinction in their preaching and teaching where it is most masterfully taught and protected from legalistic mindsets who act to corrupt this doctrine with moralism.

    This Presbyterian pastor was even warning us of Luther and the Lutheran church for being to extreme with their law/gospel distinction and preaching. That alone tells me I’m in the right place. I’d much rather be accused of too much Gospel.

    Although it is fun to ruffle their feathers like Tullian’s doing. My rebellious side is kind of jealous. : )

  18. Shaun Sells says:

    Allan, you have done a wonderful job over the years, thanks for your faithfulness.

  19. Tullian is going to be an interesting case. This man has drunk from the 200 proof gospel teaching of some good Lutheran teachers, and can’t shake it. However, he still has that TULIP thing which is no gospel at all – and an old historic Reformed church that he would need to pull along with him.

    It’s fun to watch.

  20. Michael says:

    The original vision of TGC as I understood it was that those with Calvinistic leanings from different traditions could come together under one banner for the sake of the gospel.
    It is now a corrupt, self serving band of Neo-Calvinist ideologues who wouldn’t know Calvin if he kicked them in the crotch.
    Calvin, above all other things, was a pastor.
    He would not have countenanced the cover up of child abuse or those who did so.

  21. Michael says:

    Tullian is a Steve Brown disciple…as am I.
    The TR’s hate them both.

  22. RiBo says:

    Joe Carter seems like a guy who needs some attention from RiBo. Right up my alley. I love dealing with a-holes like that.

  23. Dusty says:

    good morning PP hope you have a day full of joy

  24. Tim says:

    MLD –
    “Are you saying that folks outside of a discipline should be shut out?”

    Umm…yes. A *pagan* should not be admitted into a *Christian* seminary. I’m not certain why that would be controversial in the slightest. Different traditions within Christianity is one thing; outright false religion is another.

    I’m sure there are many secular universities renown for their archaeological programs. Certainly an Islamic PhD candidate could do all of his/her necessary scholastic work there, and get a tremendous education.

  25. Michael says:

    Good morning, Dusty. πŸ™‚

  26. Tim,
    What is the downside of this one particular individual studying among SBC seminarians? Is he going to derail their studies? Assuming the guy is a nice guy, good citizen and not a terrorist – where is the harm?

    I don’t know what an LCMS seminary would do – the 2 are usually broke, so they would probably accept the bucks. πŸ˜‰

  27. erunner,

    Good job, good run, good break.

    You are entitled to take a break and step away any time.
    You are also free to pick up, start writing and hit “PUBLISH” with the same freedom, any time, without apology.

    That’s the beauty of having your own blog and being a creative person, there isn’t anything or anyone stopping or prodding you other than you!

    Take care of your health, be strengthened in your sabbatical, be renewed, infused, revived and anything else you need.

    You are loved by this community, my friend.

  28. Papias says:

    It really bothers me that not one pastor from CLC or SGM has bothered to contact the victims of the SGM abuse and attempted to apologize or make amends. I realize that they may be afraid of civil actions against the church or group, but come on… we’re talking about people who trusted the pastors and they turned their backs on them. And now that the truth is out, they show that they never really cared about these victims or their families.

    Thanks for the links Michael. I hope that you are doing well.

  29. Tim says:

    MLD –
    It goes against the purpose and the charter of the seminary. Will other students be harmed? That’s hardly the issue. The issue is one of character and the gospel. I would never have someone serve at our church who did not confess Jesus Christ as their Lord & Savior – not even to hand out donuts. I realize there are some churches who hire unbelievers as musicians, etc., but personally I find that practice terrible. Those who serve in some capacity need to be believers, in order that they might minister to the congregation.

    Obviously, this is a local church, but a seminary is only different in the slightest ways. It is still an ecclesiastical institution, with the purpose of equipping people to minister to the body of Christ. (And yes, existing pastors go back to school to further their education, but that is still equipping them to serve better.)

    Does the young man need to be exposed to the gospel? Absolutely. He should be loved on, and ministered to. Here, we bar the doors to no one who comes through them. (As a matter of fact, we had a secular Muslim visit us last Wednesday night, and I hope he comes back. We had a tremendous discussion together, and I hope to continue sharing the gospel with him one-on-one.) But we don’t invite non-believers to serve in ministry. Neither should any seminary.

    On a different level – what about all those students who had to get recommendations from their pastors and churches just to be admitted into the school? What about their testimonies that they had to write out? (Typically a requirement of any seminary admissions process.) These were all told they had to be believers to be admitted. Is the requirement stricken for everyone now? Where is the line now to be drawn? Is the message to the students supposed to be that someone’s faith doesn’t really matter, as long as they’re willing to study?

    If a seminary no longer wants to equip Christians to minister to Christians, then perhaps it should change its charter and its name.

  30. bishopdave says:

    The problem at Southwestern stems from a president who likes to dish out “executive orders” that override the charter of the institution. Maybe MLD is another of those who like it when a leader of a non-profit (or any organization) arbitrarily ignores the written guidelines/charter/constitution and makes decisions based on what he wants to do. This is the same school that fired the Hebrew grammar prof on the grounds that she was a woman. A woman who had tenure.

  31. Michael says:


    I agree…and I’m hanging in there.

  32. Bishop – if someone wants to make a case that it is against the rules, I have no issue there. I picked up that the flavor of the article had more to do with ‘do we let the Muslim in’.

    Look, I pointed out early on in the discussion that Paige Patterson is a hard ass knuckle dragger going back to his days as I remember working with that jerk WA Crisswell

  33. paigemom2013 says:

    My congratulations and kudos to Erunner for his wonderful blog that has been a help and blessing to countless! After the 6th year comes the Sabbath! Enjoy and be blessed.

  34. Michael says:

    I just added a very thoughtful link on heresy…

  35. Neo says:

    God bless Tullian, Michael Horton, and Steve Brown. May their tribe increase. So weary of protesting Protestants, though. Not really blaming anyone for this; it’s just kinda sad.

  36. I have been reading the series of articles from Wade Burleson for a few days now.
    MLD, I think someone in the comments sections of one of the articles actually pointed out that part of the admissions process is filling out a personal statement of faith in Jesus Christ.

    Oregon, welcome to the world of judicial tyranny. Arkansas had a good helping of that last week as have many other states. I think it is time for some judicial reform when the will of the people is trampled on in such an obvious way, time and time again.

    TGC seems to be acting like a bunch of thugs.
    Too bad, they have some voices worth listening to. Jared Wilson is one of them. I like him cause he is an ordinary pastor, not megachurch. I am reading a book of his right now. “The Storytelling God: Seeing the Glory of Jesus in His Parables”. Good book so far.

    I was sort of wondering if they were going to kick Tchividjian out for a while. They have been writing some very critical articles about him. I thought the articles made him seem a bit Lutheran. I have been listening to MLD too long. πŸ˜‰

  37. erunner says:

    Thank you for the mention Michael and to those that left encouraging comments.

  38. EricL says:

    Michael, I’m glad you found some of my suggested links helpful.

    If there is one thing these many articles impress on me is the need for a spiritual awakening in our country. May the Lord be merciful to us.

  39. “Can I Lose My Salvation”

    Well that article was fine as far as it went. Sin will not overcome grace and there is nothing one can do to ‘lose’ their salvation. So I agree about that. However, Bart Ehrman openly admits that he was a born again Christian and now is ensconced in unbelief as a historian of Christianity.

    Apparently that which cannot be lost can be laid aside.

    I know the tired argument about REEEALLY being saved and I will not rehash it. So, either we have no idea how to successfully lead someone to Christ who REEEEALLY wants to be saved or a really saved person can lay aside that which they have lost confidence in.

    There is no functional difference between an apparent apostate and a real one.

    I agree that if we are saved by faith we cannot be lost by works but I also acknowledge that apparently we can lose the faith, or at least the faith that we thought we had and that all the body of Christ thought we had.

    The apostates are piling up and the stench is too big to avoid. “Create in me a clean heart Oh God and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and DO not take your Holy Spirit from me.”

    David thought it could happen even when he was told otherwise. The liturgy still includes that passage and growing up even the Lutheran one had it.

  40. Here is another follow up article on the SWBT Muslim thingy.

    In it he gives SWBT’s requirements for admission.

    Southwestern’s stated policies and procedures require the prospective student (1). to possess mature Christian character, (2). give evidence of a desire for Christian ministry (shown through the application process), (3). have a record of active church service, (4). display a record of academic achievement, (5). and promise continued intellectual and spiritual growth.

  41. The key word in some of these is Christian.

  42. Babs,
    That is the exact Lutheran position – can’t lose it but you can hand it back. But I will say it it is hard to do … reject and give up your faith – but once you do, you do.

    My point is that if Ehrman can’t be lost and he is an unbeliever, then we are stuck with the theology that unbelievers will be in heaven.

    But that was Chuck Smith’s view also – abiding faith – “stay under the spout where the glory comes out.” – all true Christians are Lutherans who use various AKAs πŸ˜‰

  43. MLD,

    I did not realize that was Martin’s position. Now I understand the liturgy better. Once again pleased with my Lutheran heritage. πŸ˜‰

  44. Well… I don’t know if it was Luther’s position – just because I have never checked, AND if you read in the Lutheran Confessions, the sections on conversion are very strongly slanted in the security side. This is because Lutheran teaching is very pastoral and the intent is to bring comfort to the troubled soul. So, one would tell someone who thinks they have sinned their way out of the kingdom to rest in assurance – and that is the way it should be.

    But when push comes to shove and a soul becomes hard and unrepentant, well, there is room for danger.

  45. Good …. I am glad it is a nuanced view … thought I was just dumber than I imagined.

  46. London says:

    Almost forgot my decent people doing good things assignment for the week…

  47. “What I am going to say now MIGHT BE A HERESY.” Time to shut up. Did Jesus make any mistakes? I thought it was delicious. Stupid but delicious. Confessing your sins is GOOD. Owning your mistakes is GOOD. Hiding behind the notion that Jesus made mistakes is a really big mistake. Using the idea that Jesus made mistakes to justify your own mistakes is a really stupid mistake. Editing out the mistake of accusing Jesus of mistakes is a bigger mistake because it looks like a cover up and suddenly your mistake has put you in SIN. Or at least it smacks of covering your asterisk.

  48. mk says:

    Hi Michael. Hoping you and Trey are well. πŸ™‚ When I saw your mention of you and Tullian being disciples of Steve Brown, I smiled. Since becoming a member of Tullian’s church a couple years ago, one of the perks is getting to hear Steve Brown speak from time to time when he visits our church.

    I really like going to church again – being challenged to think about and to also be encouraged by the gospel message. Tullian delivers a good sermon – well researched and delivered with conviction.

  49. sisterchristian says:

    E runner

  50. sisterchristian says:

    Erunner! Wow!
    I second Paigemoms kudos to you!

    6 years and now a well deserved sabbath rest!

    So fantastic to read thru the comments on your. Blog … of people who have been positively encouraged by your labor of love…

    Made me think back through the years,.. Of the online struggles debates., encouragements
    And then how you braved the leap of faith to begin your blog in hopes of helping people through difficult challenges bringing them hope and encouragement in The Lord

    Job well done my friend!!!!

  51. sisterchristian says:

    Nonnie ~

    SOO very encouraging to see your link to the Joy place! That’s beautiful!!!!
    May God truly bless and enrich as you teach and all who attend
    May you bear much fruit and fruit that remains a hundred fold times a hundred fold… And more ….May you all delight and increase in the truest riches of the kingdom of God

  52. sisterchristian says:


    Especially enjoyed watching that lovely video … It’s in Cambodia?
    Tell you… It really inspires me to contact her and see if its possible to go volunteer for awhile…

    After I go volunteer with Nonnie for awhile., that is πŸ˜‰

    So much good stuff here today

    And what a cute Shout out MLD

  53. “I hope my theologically inclined readers will weigh in.” He is an idiot. Nuff said.

  54. The GC has done Tullian a favor.

  55. Mahaney and Harris out at the Gospel Coalition… Instead of deserting a sinking ship, the “rats” are kicking others off the ship.

  56. Well, I have probably offended enough for tonight. Good evening. And blessings to erunner for his courage and commitment. It hasn’t been easy for him, but he remained faithful. God bless him for his dedication to those who suffer from that which the church all to often has considered an embarrassment – mental illness.

  57. ( |o )====::: says:

    Over 50 people remembered you in prayer tonight at the gathering. You are loved.

  58. With the advent of twitter, it seems we can watch a cover up in real time as it happens. It is actually sort of fascinating.

  59. When I was a teenager we had a rotary phone from ATT in one position on the wall that was a party line.
    You could use it mainly for local calls ’cause long distance was too expensive.
    I would never have imagined this world when I was a kid.

    We still don’t have flying cars though and that is unforgivable! πŸ˜‰

  60. Tony Jiang says:

    Hey Mike i am curious have you heard of a christian website/radio show called stand up for the truth? and what do you think of them exactly? (sorry i dunno were else to put this question)

  61. Michael says:


    I’ve heard of them and seen some of their work.
    They are a “discernment” ministry…and that’s not my cup of tea.

  62. Michael says:


    If I get the time I’ll expand on your thoughts tomorrow…

  63. Tony Jiang says:

    when you put discernment in brackets are you saying that they are sorta like witchhunters/inquistors?

  64. brian says:

    Michael I am out of my element when it comes to understanding the reformation. This was recommended by some folks I was wondering what you think of the book. “The Reformers and Their Stepchildren (Dissent and Nonconformity)” It is somewhat expensive and non kindle which means I have to read it by eye.

  65. Michael says:


    That’s an old book…mainly an apologetic for Anabaptists.
    I would say that it’s a good read only if you identify closely with or are researching the Anabaptists.
    Theres a lot better, newer material if you want to understand the Reformation overall…much of it on Kindle or audiobook.

  66. Michael says:


    If you’re a little more specific I may even be able to lend you stuff from my Kindle library…I have a few things on the Reformation and Reformers… πŸ™‚

  67. brian says:

    More focused on how the Early reformers dealt with clergy sin compared to how modern “protestant” neo reform might deal with sin in the camp, sort of along those lines.

  68. Michael says:


    There is very little that has been written on that topic to my knowledge.
    We do have a growing number of consistory records from Geneva that have been translated that give us some insights on how the system worked under Calvin, but there is little on that topic even there.
    I can sum it up for you and save you a couple hundred bucks…Calvin and Co. would have defrocked an elder quickly for refusal to repent of any known sin…and excommunicated and banished them if they completely refused.
    If you’re interested in later (1600’s) Reformed views on how ministry should work, I highly recommend Richard Baxters “The Reformed Pastor” which is available both on Kindle and audiobook.

  69. Michael says:

    I would attend a Christian bratfest…for the food. πŸ™‚
    Wearing earphones…

  70. WenatcheeTheHatchet says:

    Randall, TGC has apparently suspended the entire sermon archive at least for now.

  71. brian says:

    Ok thanks Michael I do appreciate it.

  72. brian says:

    Actually Michael I am in the midst of coming to grips with some of my ghosts either perceived, made up or real about the Church and the Christian faith, I cant leave God knows I have tried. But it is unhealthy and even rather prideful to remain in a constant state of anger at things I have come to understand have little understanding for. So I started with reform theology and the neo reform folks because they make me the angriest. So I am going to their sites, reading their books and trying to understand their worldview, sort of a walk two miles in their shoes kind of project. It is quite healing I no longer wish godzilla to attack the team pyro blog and that is quite a bit of progress for me.

  73. Nonnie says:

    Randall Slack, I always appreciate reading your thoughts. Keep writing.

  74. London says:

    It’s not a Christian bratfest. It’s a regular bratfest that just happens to have Christian music as one of the options.
    I think it’s a cool gesture…as long as no rap music is involved then it’s all good. πŸ™‚

  75. “We still don’t have flying cars though and that is unforgivable!” Yes, the future isn’t what it use to be.

  76. WTH: It is the same old thing. They profess his innocence, but when it appears that the verdict will prove his guilt, they begin to distance himself. When they are found guilty, they will eventually deny any support and actually condemn them for their involvement.

    By the way, I love your writing. Keep it up!

  77. Mahaney, Driscoll and the others have left a trail of blood behind them (those they threw under the bus to get ahead, to coin a phrase). They have stumbled who knows how many and many they have driven from the faith.

    They have failed to understand that your sin will find you out. I never did care for Bob Coy’s ministry; however, I have far more respect for him because he came forward, confessed his sin. Mahaney and Driscoll continue to try to hide theirs. Yet the more they try to cover, they more that is uncovered. I (unfortunately) suspect that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg regarding their scandal.

    May God have mercy on us all.

  78. Okay, I must go to work now. See you all tonight… Grace and peace…

  79. Jim says:

    Good Steve Brown piece. It is impossible to lose or “lay aside” one’s adoption. The Bible doesn’t speak of new creations becoming old creations.

    I think the belief in salvation lost or laid aside is the most experiential doctrine, as we all know someone who….

  80. Tim says:

    London –
    Thank you so much for that video from Cambodia. I was just in Cambodia last October (primarily in Phnom Penh, but also briefly in Siem Reap & Svay Rein), where I was helping teach at a small Bible college. Like many places around the world, the level of poverty in some areas is quite breathtaking. It’s so good to see the good work being done there in feeding the children. You might check out this other video, from Water of Life in Cambodia. God is doing wonderful things through their ministry.

  81. Jim says:

    Funny that Tullian is one of my ex sgm pastor’s favorite authors. Good for him for saying what everyone knows about CJ.

    I’m surprised that anyone considers his law/grace view radical. Is the church so confused that we celebrate (or cast stones) the simple and pure Gospel because it’s no longer the message of the church?

    i don’t get it.

  82. Jim, Your confusion comes in the fact that very few understand what we mean when we speak of the proper distinction between law and gospel (and I will agree that it is almost uniquely Lutheran – the guys over at the White Horse Inn get it and now Tullian has become a disciple) – it has a particular meaning that is not tied up in the word “Law” or “Gospel – but in the term the proper distinction..
    When Paul said to rightly divide the word … this is what he meant.

  83. Bob says:


    “When Paul said to rightly divide the word … this is what he meant.”

    Sometimes (Ok more than sometimes) I admire you for your tenacity and faithfulness to the doctrines and understanding of the Lutheran way, but I just don’t get how you so often can take a scripture bite like “rightly dividing” from 2 Tim 2:15 and ignore the context and surrounding words and direct teaching around them.

    Paul (a Roman name BTW) was teaching a man about the struggles he would encounter as the leader of a small religious group in a treacherous and historically center of religious and spirituality thought and practice. Somehow I think many ignore the trustworthy statement which precedes your quote;

    “It is a trustworthy statement:

    For if we died with Him, we will also live with Him; If we endure, we will also reign with Him; If we deny Him, He also will deny us; If we are faithless, He remains faithful, for He cannot deny Himself.”

    He the goes on to tell say:

    “Remind them of these things…”

    Which things? “It s a trustworthy statement…”

    It isn’t about law and gospel and where the two separate, it is about dying with Him, living with Him, enduring with Him, and reigning with Him!

    Timothy lives, and will teach, in a center where it was accepted to discuss, charge, and have conversations about religions and faith, to “wrangle” with these subjects. But there was one line that must not be crossed and leads to the ruin of the hearers;

    This is the line, the place of cutting, the precision Paul is instructing about! Do we die, live and reign with Him or do we deny Him?

    That my friend is “rightly dividing the word” and there are some who visit PP who deny that line.

  84. Bob,
    Nice story.
    Look, God has spoken to man in his 2 words – the law and the gospel. If you mix them up and misapply them, you have not only missed God’s message, but you have caused others to do the same.

    Your type of wrangling, as you put it, leads to no distinction between law & gospel and can best be described as Golawspel – mixture and confusion.

    I can tell that you have never been exposed to this truth just by your statement “It isn’t about law and gospel and where the two separate.” It’s not a separation, it’s not the end of one and the beginning of the other – it is the distinction.

    But hey, it’s this realization and teaching by Tullian that has all of his friends in an uproar. πŸ™‚

  85. Bob says:


    Who said it was a “truth?”

    I pastored for a denomination which called their statement of beliefs “The Fundamental Truths”. So just because you call it a truth does it make it so?

    Paul states what is true in his words to Timothy and the line of demarcation. Do you deny that line?

    Or are you wrangling with words to deny the truth he states? I think the latter is true and we stand on the same side of the divide.

  86. Bob says:

    PS MLD

    I do not mix anything BTW. Just one line and many try to straddle it.

  87. Bob says:


    Just so there is no confusion:

    We stand on the side of the “trustworthy” statement of the divide together.

    The intent of my pits to you is your error in using Paul’s instruction to Timothy out of the context it was intended.

    Regardless of where we differ in doctrine and practice it is still on the same side of Paul’s divide. If you care to insult me I will take it as a brother and not an enemy of Jesus, our Messiah and Lord

  88. Bob says:

    Thanks for link Michael

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