Posts Tagged 'revolution'

“I Don’t Want to be Part of Any Jesus Revolution Without a Perichoretic Dance” – Why We Need Both Jesus Manifestoes

Frank Viola and Len Sweet’s book  Jesus Manifesto remains in the Amazon Top Ten today, and my interview with them yesterday has stirred a lot of interesting conversation. Among conversation partners is my friend Jeff Straka, who airs some honest thoughts and frustrations that inspire me to say something I’ve been wanting to say for a long time. Jeff wonders:

While Brian McLaren has endorsed both these authors’ books in the past, his name is glaringly (to me, anyway) missing from the list on this new book. Nor did I find any endorsements from other names considered more solidly in the emergent movement (and not just in “conversation” with). Am I reading too much into this or is this shaping into a “spy vs. spy” manifesto?

Also, are the subtitle words “the supremacy and sovereignty of Jesus” a helpful choice of words as they seem to imply then that other religions are flat-out wrong or false (ala Franklin Graham)?

Well Jeff, we know that Brian rarely eats or sleeps, but even he cannot endorse everything. 🙂

But seriously. I think there is a difference between divergent views and hostility. F’r instance, it was apparent that Mike Wittmer didn’t merely have differences with Brian’s presentation in A New Kind of Christianity; he was pretty hostile toward Brian, both theologically and personally.

I’m almost certain that this isn’t the case here. While there are doubtless differences between Len and Brian (as the Sweet piece you cite demonstrates), I see them as iron-sharpening-iron differences and not iron-jabbing-your-opponents-eyes-out differences. Both Len and Brian have been accused of various grevious heresies by the self-appointed watchdog ministries; I doubt Len wishes to inflict that pain on anyone else, even if he disagrees with them theologically.

So: Does JM say some different things than ANKoC?


Is it possible to enjoy both books?

Yes, I think so, though natural predispositions being what they are, readers might naturally gravitate toward one perspective or the other.

Here’s the fascinating thing, as an aside: Brian in ANKoC and Richard Rohr in The Naked Now (which I’m presently reading) both write out of a conviction that Jesus has become in the hearts and minds of Christians too remote and too ‘divine’ to be of any earthly good, or connection with his followers today. Rohr specifically indicts contemporary Christians of the heresy of gnosticism, saying that while Nicea (or was it Chalcedon? I always forget…) technically settled the matter of Jesus being fully human and fully divine, “most Christians are very good theists who just happened to name their god Jesus.” By contrast, Rohr calls for a robust incarnational ethic, where we disavow a remote ‘theism’ as such and affirm a ‘down and in’ God who is located precisely right here, in our midst. Brian and Rohr both hope that people will stop merely worshiping Jesus and start listening to and following his teachings.

Sweet and Viola, by contrast, are observing an opposite trend: People following the human Jesus, but neglecting the exalted Christ. They wish to reclaim the grandiose language of the Epistles, which speaks of a Christ who fills all-in-all. This is different than a John Piper or Franklin Graham approach of brow-beating the planet earth with a jingoistic Christ, in my opinion.

To begin with, ‘supremacy’ is used in a mystical sense, inspired by T. Austin Sparks. And the divinity of Jesus championed by V&S isparticipatory divinity: We have become partakers of the divine nature through Christ. It’s a perichoretic divinity: The expansion of the dynamic life of the Trinity into communities where this Trinitarian life is made welcome, and thus radiating into the earth. (See Viola’s From Eternity to Here and Sweet’s So Beautiful.) To be honest with you, not counting Rohr, I miss this kind of unbridled mystical-devotional dimension in much of the emerging church. I too agree that everything must change and I don’t share Len’s antipathy with liberation theology (I don’t see how anyone can read Leonardo Boff or James Cone or Gustavo Gutierrez, or know the story and plight of the Base Ecclessial Communities in Latin America, and dismiss liberation theology as simply re-hashed Marxisim), but I will paraphrase anarchist Emma Goldman here: “I don’t want to be part of any Jesus revolution without a perichoretic dance.”

I want to see an emerging conversation that makes room for neo-liberationists and neo-pietists, Jesus Manifesto and Jesus Manifesto. We need neo-pietists in the Conversation to remind us just how revolutionary Paul was, and the Epistles are – that participatory divinity linked to the monotheistic God was truly a new phenomenon in the first century, and can be just as much so today. We need the neo-pietists to remind us of a good, strong, Lutheran-esque Gospel of God’s gratuitous grace and favor toward us, and how we can’t be the ‘hands and feet of Jesus’ unless we’re connected to the authority and animating energies of Christ our Head.

And so: I hope that in the next year, emergents and missionals, organics and liturgicals, conservatives and progressives, can stop writing each other off. If I have to stop calling it the ’emerging’ conversation in order to help missional and neo-pietist folk feel more welcome at the table, I will. Because I think that’s what Jesus – the whole, living Christ – wants.

Machine-Text Epistles

Like many others in our narcissistic and tech-savvy generation, I have a coupla Google Alerts out, for my name and ‘zoecarnate.’ Lately I’ve been getting mentioned & confused alot (spelling-wise if in no other way) with CIA Intelligence Director Mike Morell (whom I congratulated for his promotion here). the other day I was alerted to one of these content-void search-engine referrer-created non-blogs, a translated machine-text generated ‘article’ that quoted ‘me.’ The fascinating thing is some fragments of it sound like something I would have said, indeed something I think I did say concerning a House 2 House house church conference a few years ago. But whatever I might have said seems to have been translated into Italian (?) and then back to English again. The results are quite nonsensical and at times hilarious, so much so that I wish to memorialize it here long after this ‘Italian-Blogs’ is scrubbed clean off the blogosphere. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you for your reading enjoyment, a robot-composed machine-text epistle…


There’s gonna be. .. an Expansion?

In Sept of ‘68, a Beatles released a aria entitled “Revolution. ” A prototypal poetise goes aforementioned this:

“You underline you misery a branch
Great, you bear
You each misery to change a universe.
You determine me which it’s phylogenesis
Great, you bear
You each misery to change a world
Though when you debate many end
Do not you bear which you crapper work out me find
Do not you bear it’s gonna be each right”

As a aria implies, aforementioned a remodeling of a home, infrequently a disdainful artefact anything crapper explain to a incoming shitting is for end of a comparison burden to start.
sufferer Barna (Barna Research Organisation) is a creditable writer, orator, scientist as great as sociologist. He has a baby assembly find which you frequency suggest. It’s patrician “REVOLUTION. ” It’s many a underway land of a Church as great as is unexploded with eye-opening, rattling sobering census data many what’s business scold low a noses, blissful as great as bad.

In my automobile, as you ofttimes shitting hundreds of miles official in my occupy as a Workplace Chaplain, you strike been notice to Mr. Barna’s CD transcription of himself datum excerpts from his book. you detect I’ve listened during tiny twenty times, belike some-more. you detect a assembly was misnamed. It should not strike been “Revolution. ” Instead, you detect a impending examine should strike been “EVOLUTION. ” you aforementioned a dictionary clarification of a word which reads: “. .. a stroke of cgange in a unfailing citation. ” To whatever Christians, to disgust conflicting a determined, grave make up of tralatitious investiture smacks of a rebel suggestion. Christians – generally investiture consolidate – notwithstanding their retain margin differences from examine to examine – do not revalue which. Upon a combined palm, whatever Christians, a tiny arrange of organization aforementioned myself, strike undisguised a distraction of tipping unnameable cow( it’s where we’ll confront a prizewinning cuts of beef radically).

Why do you inspire a examine “EVOLUTION” to “Revolution”? Since a Church IS in a land of expansion, now undergoing whatever of a many hammy changes it’s ever undergone in a 2, 000 assemblage story, each crossways narrow-minded lines. It’s dynamical as great as a citation, during tiny from Heaven’s viewpoint, is certain. Savior wants His Church behind. It appears God is radically tasteful Her retrograde to conservativist number each over a universe. Read what Scripture says many a incipient Church. No buildings, no investiture staff, no profitable priesthood or flat laity. Take a look:

Romans 16:5( “Likewise apply a investiture which is in their house”)

1 Corinthians 16:19 (“The churches in a domain of assembly lamp you greetings. city as great as Priscilla apply you tenderly in a Lord, as great as so does a investiture which meets during their residence. “)

Colossians 4:15 (“Give my greetings to a brothers during Laodicea, as great as to Nympha as great as a investiture in her residence. “)

Philemon poetise 2, ( “. .. to Archippus a male shirker as great as to a investiture which meets in your home. “).

Based upon a official procedure of made during home surveys conducted by his association, a Barna Research Organisation, during a e.g. twenty-five years, Barna undisguised which emotional with congregational churches, changes in lifestyles, as great as cgange a wish to explain fireman to God, strike caused whatever organization to letter baby make up of creation in propinquity with God as great as combined God-seeking people.

In 2000, many of a nation’s fashioned churchlike land took fix up during or accomplished supposed churches. Barna’s examine reveals which. Currently, a land is shitting to various forms of corner churchlike joining. Different, approbation, though by no effectuation have been they brand new. Barna hospital which, in a indication week, 9% of each renter adults suggest in a stress church. An cgange larger balance – 22% – engages in unnameable encounters which determine fix up in a wake up( e. g., with groups of organization vegetable patch they have been during their fix up of stroke or fool around, or in combined indication official contexts). During a Workplace Scripture Studies you lead, whatever attendees confess which they have been not, or crapper not, benefaction an orderly, tralatitious church, possibly since of e.g. constraints, schedules or rescued fake or pull to cgange or grappling rejecting. Even a cyberspace serves as a drift for usual investiture use for some-more than number ordinal of each adults, ordinarily in bike with combined forms of churchlike arrange use. you crapper denote to which as great. People have been flocking to a intrigue for answers as great as you Christians had meliorate be there when they spin knocking. A cults certain are!

Jon Zens, focus of a quarterly announcement, “Searching Together, ” as great as an exponent of Brand new Testament investiture account creation lived-out currently, has celebrated a ontogeny moody of organization from institutionalised churches crossways America. He explains. “After eld of damage in a institutionalised church, they produce to confront Brand new Testament realities. People detect their Bibles as great as spin to sense a Brobdingnagian chasm in in between a Brand new Testament as great as a tralatitious investiture as great as ofttimes they produce after a institutionalised investiture disregards their pleas for shift. “

A Brand new Testament writers referred to a PEOPLE of God as God’s ancient times( 1 Corinthians 3:9, assembly 2:19-22), God’s platform for sacrifices( 1 Corinthians 3:16-17), God’s stress( 1 Timothy 3:15, ethnos 3:6, 10:21, 1 saint 2:17), God’s bag( Ephesians 2:19, assembly 6:10) as great as Christ’s consolidate( Romans 12:4-5, 1 Corinthians 12:12, assembly 3:6, 5:23, thirty). Though many Christians – cgange ministers – would underline ‘Amen” to which, many a title is often lowercase some-more than solid mouth use.

Did Christians in a Brand new Testament GO to church? No, for a prototypal trio centuries of her life, a intellection never entered their minds. They WERE a Church! They apprehended which they WERE God’s home fix up – everyplace they went. They were His temple! As histrion Snyder writes in “The Problem of Wineskins Currently, ” “A investiture ancient times cannot scold be “the Lord’s house” since, in a baby compact, this examine is apart for a Church as people. So, if investiture buildings strike a little fact, it crapper disdainful be practical; disdainful a fix up to foregather as great as circularize upon approach functions, as required. ”
A Book of assembly is STILL creation created, my friends.

What you in a West typically explain to as “The Church” is tasteful a receptive to advice upon a organization you franchise to apart these organizations. Zens pronounced, “Divorce, self-murder, uneasy relapse, burnout, etc. strike in between priesthood. A naught berth in a Southern Baptistic Convention is low eighteen months. A high-pressure list call strategy strike proven to arrangement “converts” which frequency final. Even with each a falsifiable drift which whatever things have been berserk in a tralatitious indication, a actualised supply is ‘what does a Brand new Testament learn? ‘ If a little assistance contradicts or stifles a Brand new Testament settlement, it should be jettisoned for those reasons alone. A incipient investiture had no priesthood as great as no unnameable buildings, as great as in this affectionateness was in essence various from each combined religions, together with Judaism. A proliferation of pricey investiture buildings constitutes a simple team-work of what Christ witting to set up. Thus, believers convention in bland settings[ in] homes, rented store-fronts, extraneous as great as apartments evidently provides a prizewinning sourroundings for a 58 “one anothers”[ in a Bible] to be fleshed out. “

In his essay entitled “Four Tragic Shifts in a Visible Church, 180-400 A. D., ” Zens writes. ” you detect a approach theological urn of a Brand new Testament in this affectionateness is which low a Brand new Compact there have been no sanctified places. Contemporary investiture has scarcely no confinement of this useful indicate. Taking a opiate from a Old Compact, organization have been palliate allege to detect which a investiture ancient times is ‘the stress of God. ‘ Believers have been released to foregather a little fix up in which they crapper inspire, hope for as great as confront a goals systematic prior to them by Christ. A worry currently is which whatever investiture structures conjunction inspire nor perform Christ’s desires for His physique. Homes have been a viewless fix up for believers to confront, as great as a incipient investiture flourished almost in to a prototypal as great as ordinal centuries though office building a little temple-like edifices. Though a supply is palliate not in what brand of fix up believers accumulate, though what coming their sworn account unitedly takes as they grappling with a whatever duties as great as privileges glass find of a ecclesiastics of each believers. “

Christian Smith, combination in a assembly “Voices In A Wilderness, ” adds, “God intends investiture to be a settle of believers in which each part of contributes their first present, bent, or believe to a total, so which, accomplished a during large standing as great as bid of all, a needs of a settle have been met. In combined difference, what you ought to peril in a churches is ‘the method of a people, ‘ not ‘the method of a veteran. ‘ A persona of a priesthood is radically a formation as great as professionalization of a gifts of a full consolidate in to number chairman. A worry is which, except of what a theologies determine us many a watch of priesthood, a actualised crux of a priesthood confirmation is to achieve a consolidate of Christ sore. This happens not since priesthood explain it( they ordinarily explain a conflicting) though since a neutral inlet of a confirmation needs turns a mass in to flat receivers. “

Simply put, a Physique of Christ is a knowledge mammal, NOT an classification.

Passive laity? Pew potatoes? Their creation is borne find in many passages as assembly 12:4-8, 1 Corinthians twelve, as great as in 1 Corinthians 14:26, a latter stating: “What afterwards shall you contend, brothers? When you spin together, everybody has a strain, or a word of direction, a explanation, a ness or an understand. All of these staleness be accomplished for a refreshing of a church. “

Ministry in a Brand new Testament investiture was not centralised upon number particular, though participating each part of of a “ekklesia”( that’s you as great as me, “the patrician find ones”) as a organic “priest”( 1 saint 2: 5, 9) low a headship of Christ as great as destined by a Holy Suggestion bid his/her birthright for a usual refreshing of a physique.

The Brand new Testament refers to no unnameable hierarchy, though calls each Believers ’saints. ‘ Conjunction does it mind a first ecclesiastics in secernment from a people, as mediating in in between God as great as a laity. Clearly, there is disdainful number high-Priest, Savior Christ, as great as a Brand new Testament understandably designates a device for holding pages ram ecclesiastics, as almost as device for holding pages a crown of believers( 1 saint 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).

So, what have been you afeard of? Many Christians suggest some-more find of tension as great as a stress of faithfulness to use than a loyalty to Biblical reality as they poo-poo a little many notions as creation scarcely heretical. Throughout Church story, any one who bucked a organization has been severely persecuted, ostracized, excommunicated, executed or shunned in number cgange or an additional. A Savior Transformation of a Brand new 60s – incipient 70s comes to nous as number many past punctuation where God was attempting to pollute a conservativist over approval. A little some-more past “moves” concede a Toronto Blessing as great as capital as great as stream City Revivals. A criticisms of these events have been armed forces for they have been many. From a Great Awakenings mud currently, aforementioned a round of clay creation embattled for feast by a Master Potter, America’s “legacy churches” strike ever been battered, spread out, kneaded as great as spun regularly as God challenged her to explain upon elect with what He’s you do.

There has NEVER been a revisit suggest of God as a cereal grows up scold along with a tares. When residence painter overturned his handgun in to a lizard, a Afrasian magicians were brisk to of doubtful authenticity God’s spectacle. Though hour of us have been patrician to hasten find a Flesh-O-Meter as great as watch what was of God as great as what was quite of a strength or of a demon. If you do which, you staleness plead which intonation upon ourselves in revisit to decider when it is which you, as well, strength be priesthood, singing, bringing or tithing utterly from a erotic viewpoint. A disdainful supposed of Truth? A Doctrine of Savior Christ, His teachings as great as nothing some-more or reduction.

Anything combined is certain to decay any way.

So, when did a e.g. Church pierce to cgange in to what you peril currently in a Hesperian universe? It happened in 312 AD when a sovereign capital was dubbed Pontifex Maximus, nous of each things devout, together with conviction as great as investiture concurrently. When he prefabricated institutionalised investiture a land thought in Rome, he renovate heathen temples in to investiture “churches” as great as utilized land resources to reason a priesthood creation method combined comparison “job” to which whatever would make an bid. In this ambiance, warning reared a unusual nous in a presumably investiture sourroundings as rich organization would daub to explain “junior” a fascinating fix up in a investiture universe.

Howard Snyder, in his assembly “Radical Renewal: A Problem of Wineskins Currently, ” writes, “A Biblical thought of a investiture procedure achieve it nation which a investiture is approach to a Gospel, for it is a consolidate of Christ. .. During a aforementioned time, it procedure be nation which humanoid institutions as great as structures have been not themselves a church; they have been not sacred. These have been account when Christians staleness be nation many what a investiture is as great as what it is not. Just as whatever unnatural Christs procedure spin in a depot days, so whatever of doubtful authenticity as great as traitor “churches” procedure make a difference a unnameable landscape. A investiture staleness be rebuilt, both as persons as great as as a investiture village, for a hair of harm as great as a lure of a antichrist. This effectuation a claim for devout distinctness as great as reliable settle – for both habit of thought as great as habit of village. Under a risk of harm, account in settle becomes both some-more strenuous as great as some-more necessary. Thus a priorities of structures which have been stretchable, mobile, rare, as great as not building-centered. “

What you have been so sworn to here in a Western Church is disdainful not operative. Which should be a prototypal idea. Any one crapper underline a contribution per a church: Many new conversions have been tasteful fix up in third-world nations. A churches nearby during a weigh of 3, 800 annually. Eighty proportionality of what you explain to as “church growth” is lowercase some-more than “transfer growth” as organization produce number methodicalness for combined aforementioned you cgange semipolitical parties, sports teams as great as spouses. 53, 000 Christians have been transport find weekly, whatever claiming they had to produce a tralatitious investiture in revisit to confront God.

Is this “house Church” epitome confront a breakthrough? No, it’s been around a daylong time. A useful bag investiture shitting began in state in 1968. For decades, bag meetings strike been a statistic in China, renter USA as great as combined places. If harm erupted in America, a stress investiture assistance could passed be rattling usual, as churches which sequence Brobdingnagian weekly value to carry out could tighten probably overnight. It procedure determine a damaging business to animate a investiture to what is necessary in a Kingdom. A Church flourishes low harm. When which happens, a coming of believers’ lives unitedly procedure cgange fast. Zens writes, “As daylong as a wealthiness continues, a bland pierce to investiture procedure sojourn. Though either something is eld or eld is wanting a emanate.
A stress staleness be, ‘how procedure you examine Christ in each areas of a lives? Have been you attainment to conform a Brand new Testament or not? One hermit in a entertainment has pronounced, ‘our artefact of you do investiture is not renouned. It requires hornlike stroke as great as joining. ‘ A bag investiture transformation, of march, is not monolithic, ” Zens spinous out. “. .. no shitting procedure spin daylong if it does not structure upon moving Savior Christ as great as obeying His Word. “

Mike Morrell, zoecarnate. com, writes, “What we’re witnessing is nothing defective than a communicate of a 1st Century investiture in a 21st century context. We’re rediscovering a specific egghead of Savior as great as His early apprentices new currently. ” Although it goes by whatever defamation ( e. g. stress church, contingent church, unstoppered church, nonsynthetic church, etc .), it is disdainful a arrange of organization bid unitedly with Christ as their core, as great as a Scripture as a contingent management. These groups crapper foregather anywhere–homes, workplaces, splash shops, anywhere which organization march gather!

“Where number or trio have been strong in My name, there you am, in a interior of them, ” Savior pronounced.

I bear number thing, God’s palliate has a organization for great, Savior is noble as great as, confront as a Beatles “Revolution” songs says “. .. it’s gonna be each right. “

A servant of God
t. e. a. m. ministries
A Method of Discipleship & Encouragement
to a Physique of Christ crossways Universe Earth
P. O. Box 633
Stephenville, Texas 76401
Your Town For Jesus!

Philemon 2. .. as great as to a investiture which meets in your house:
book 4. .. as great as a investiture in her residence.
assembly sixteen. .. additionally a investiture which meets during their residence.


Michael’s choice is to change Discipleship as great as Encouragement to a Physique of Christ. Since 1999, he has programme over sextet principal inspirational articles as great as a dozen booklets upon subjects which procedure gratification a intellection Christian, each fashioned to validate a stroke of unnameable function in God’s people.

He is a begetter of t. e. a. m. ministries( team1min@aol. com). An Writer, Pastoral Counselor as great as Teacher, his eMail broadcasts, important as “Your Town for Jesus” have been feat jillions around a globe WEEKLY. Write team1min@aol. com if you’d aforementioned to SUBSCRIBE.

A licensed/ordained apportion, a Certified Workplace Chaplain, as great as a Veteran Part of of NIBIC, he has ministered in Methodist, Pentecostal, Charismatic, Baptist, Disciples of Christ, College as great as Cowboy churches. He is additionally a Orator upon a investiture Orator Network as great as haw be acquirable to intercommunicate to your investiture or investiture organisation.

Read ‘The New Conspirators’!

The New Conspirators cover

Boy oh boy. I recently got The New Conspirators from IVP’s new Likewise imprint–this is like their New Friars, but even more comprehensive. It’s a who’s-who of todays New Monastic, 24/7 prayer, and other communal movements.

Some reviews/excerpts:

Emergent Village

Open Source Theology is doing a multi-part interview/review.
Part Zero
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

I’m looking forward to reading this, hopefully with other dreamers, practitioners, and rabble-rousers. Three cheers for Tom and Christine Sine, and their continuing work!

Related: Who’s going to the PAPA Festival this summer?

Our Composting God: Making Meaning of the Mess

My ever-thoughtful wife has written a post comparing house church practice with Communism. I suggest you read it, then come back to my comment here below…

Well, wife-o-mine, a ‘dictatorship of the proletariat’ was pretty tough to implement–it had never been done before! For years, Marxist thinkers and revolutionaries had fine-tuned their critique of capitalism, and it was largely quite valid. I think had they spent as much energy articulating what they were for, the transition from Russian czardom to a distributed system could have worked better and with less bloodshed.


As you no doubt know, I think that many of the critiques that we house-churchers have against more institutionally-driven expressions of Church are grounded in some solid intuition and research. And I also think that some of our positive visions of what a more egalitarian, ‘organic’ way of being under the guidance of the Spirit (or headship of Christ, as you put it) have beauty and merit too. BUT I’m thinking that maybe evolution is a better metaphor for what we’re seeking to embody than revolution. Lasting change tends to be gradual, and only then punctuated by a time of cataclysmic upheaval. We’ve been riding the wave of upheaval for awhile, but it might well be that greater humility toward established expressions are called for.

These days, instead of anticipating a remnant ‘torch of the testimony,’ I see Church History (and indeed, all history) as compost. At one point something was alive (and probably still is alive, in some manifestation), but then it died. After this, it begins to decompose-it might even stink a good deal. But that decomposing stew releases very helpful nutrients back into the soil–indeed, the soil itself is the product of eons of compost.

So even us ‘organic churches’ are planted in the soil of rich compost, of all that’s come before. We don’t need to eat from the Tree of Judgment, and determine what was good, bad, and ugly in the beliefs and actions of our forbears. Quaker, Anabaptist, Catholic, Pentecostal, Orthodox–and yes, even house church…it’s all our compost. It’s all our soil. And we have one big God–disclosed in Christ–who transcends and includes all of this, helping us discern what was most good, true and beautiful about these past (and continuing) expressions, to celebrate and wisely use today. And of course, we have our sacred text, contemporary context, and Holy Spirit subtext to help us weave new meanings and trajectories for today and tomorrow.

God is at work, fermenting God’s good creation. Let’s compost church today!

Recommended Reading:

The Seeker’s Way by Dave Fleming

Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster

A Generous Orthodoxy by Brian McLaren

Check Out This Free Book Club


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