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Do you have a peace?

You need to make a difficult decision, and ask Christian friends for their input. They give some advice, then ask, “Do you have a peace about your decision?”

You’re having a difficult time working through something, and after someone prays for you, they want to know if you’re sensing God’s assurance, and ask, “Do you have a peace, now?”

You’ve just confronted a brother or sister about their sin, and aren’t sure how well the conversation went. To comfort you, a friend asks, “Well, do you have a peace about what you did?”

Do you have a peace about that? Or, to put it in more explicitly theological terms, has the Holy Spirit supernaturally imparted a unique, subjective sense of assurance about a given subject?

When the rubber meets the road

I’ve heard this phrase all my life. Somewhere in the last five years, it began to grate on me. I’ve sat quietly on this one for a while; I don’t want to become simply a pious doctrinaire who, like the grammar-hounds always nitpicking at people’s English, is always highlighting every minor theological imprecision in people’s language. However, I do believe that our words matter, and I am a bit perplexed by this particular phrase.

The phrase is extra-biblical, of course. That’s not necessarily a problem in and of itself; we have a great deal of verbiage that is extra-biblical, including in some important cases of orthodoxy. Much of our language for the Trinity, for example, is extra-biblical, from the word “Trinity” to our technical terms (“essence,” “person,” “subsistence,” “substance,” etc.). Being extra-biblical is no indictment of a phrase. When the phrase is an common part of our Christian idiom, however, we ought to make sure it is biblical in its sentiments even if not in its wording.

And here the tires begin to squeal a bit. I suspect the idea is drawn from passages like Philippians 4:6-7 or Isaiah 26:3, both of which promise peace to those who trust in God. We can hardly say, then, that God does not offer peace to believers. Clearly, he does! However, the application so many well-intended believers seem to be drawing from these passages is strangely absent from the rest of Scripture if indeed it is their intended meaning. I cannot find a single instance of someone making a decision or trusting more in God because of a subjective sense of peace imparted to his heart by the Holy Spirit – not one.

The other way around

Perhaps we ought therefore to ask: what does it matter if you “have a peace” about something? Does Scripture give us grounds to believe that subjective experiences of peace are a means by which the Spirit speaks?

Consider: Paul writes of himself as constantly in danger, as persecuted and resisted wherever he goes. You would think, then, that if a subjective sense of peace granted by the Holy Spirit were a part of his decision-making or assurance, it would appear in his writing or in Luke’s narratives in Acts. It does not. When Paul describes his apostolic hardships, describing his ministry to the doubting Corinthian church, he writes:

We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything. (2 Corinthians 6:3-10)

Note that of all the points Paul lays out, “a peace” does not make the list. You will find the same to be true throughout Scripture.

David was often in anguish, calling out for God to save him. Never does he mention subjective experiences of peace in guiding his decisions. Nor does “a peace” assure him of God’s faithfulness, or that circumstances will work to his favor. Likewise, Jeremiah’s righteous prayers for relief went apparently unanswered, his hopes for his countrymen were dashed on the rocks of the Babylonian invasion, and his obedience to God netted him only suffering. Read of his faithfulness in Jeremiah and his sorrow in the pages of Lamentations; you will find no trace of “a peace” – only trust in God’s righteous faithfulness.

Indeed, it is the other way around. Throughout Scripture, as in Philippians and Isaiah, peace is not the ground of the believer’s assurance, but the result of his trust. Our subjective experience of peace tells us one thing and one glorious thing only: God is with us. David did not have peace because God wanted him to know that he was doing the right thing; rather, he could rest in peace because he trusted God’s protection and believed his promises (Psalm 4:8; see the rest of the psalm for the broader picture).

A better peace

I recognize that this view butts up against many of our deeply held views and against experiences we may cherish. However, we are called to submit to the authority of Scripture. If Scripture gives us no reason to look for “a peace” as confirmation of right action, prayer, or hopes, we should look for no such thing.

Do not mistake me: I am not arguing that we do not at times enjoy a supernatural experience of peace. The Holy Spirit does sometimes grant us unique tastes of his presence. However, these are not measures of our faithfulness or the rightness of our walk with God. Nor are they indicative of whether we are making the right decision, or of how our present circumstances will turn out in the end.

We will experience fear and courage, sorrow and joy, loneliness and hope, and in all of these we may know God’s peace. We will make poor decisions and good decisions, pray in line with God’s will and not, see our hopes met and our hopes dashed, and in all of these we may know God’s peace. Thank God – what miserable people we would be if God’s peace were dependent on us or our circumstances! We are called to do one thing and one thing only: trust God.

This is a good thing. When we rely on these subjective impressions, we can easily become distraught if we are not experiencing the peace we associate with God’s favor. We begin to question whether we are walking in God’s will, or to wonder whether something is going wrong that we don’t know about, or whether we prayed the wrong thing. On the other hand, when we recognize that God’s peace is freely available to whomever trusts in him, we are freed from the tyranny of experience. We can rest completely in his goodness. We may trust that whatever comes, whatever we have done, and however we have prayed, he is working all things for good, and he will fulfill his promises. We can trust in him and rely on his character, regardless of what we feel. Would that we were all so free.


      • Eric Dorbin thought to say:

        Yes, well I don’t have a peace about this post…. *chuckle*
        In all seriousness though, this really made me start thinking, and, as you said, challenges a lot of thoughts and decisions. Through most of the reading I was pretty sure I didn’t agree that God doesn’t direct us this way, but the more I think about it, the more I think you’re right.
        Going back to what I read in that great little book “Just Do Something,” I think this “at peace” thing may be a sort of coping mechanism arising from the mentality explained in that book. In American Christianity we often have this subconscious idea that God’s plan/will is like a corn maze that He puts us in and says ‘figure it out’ and occasionally gives us hints to. Combined with the plethora of choices we have for everything from soap to spouses it leaves us paralyzed by the terror of making the wrong choice and going against God. I think the ‘at peace’ idea provides us a sort of placebo to be confident in our hard decisions. Instead, more often than not, God guides us in non-moral decisions by wisdom, knowledge and our own desires and as long as we are not defying the Word, we pursue what we want or what seems best and God will give us peace in it all. Only afterward do we see His hand in where we’ve gone and see why it was the ‘right path’ usually.

        Offer a rejoinder↓
  • David Krycho thought to say:

    Good thoughts regarding this common Christianese phrase.
    You reference a couple scriptures that may be attributed to where the phrase originates, another scripture which may be drawn upon is Philippians 4:10-12 NIV, in which Paul speaks of being content and that may also be perceived as being at peace. While obviously not explicitly the same, it does connote a similar sentiment.

    There are probably a several other similar phrases somewhat like this that we have learned along the way as we have been part of the the Christian community.

    Offer a rejoinder↓
    • Good point. It’s also interesting to note how that one is closely related to another commonly spouted phrase with little connection to the actual Biblical teaching on the subject: Paul’s comments that he can do all things through Christ his strength… that is, be content with much or little through Christ’s strength, not leap tall buildings in a single bound (or, more in our normal usage: win basketball games, score well on tests, do well in our jobs, etc.).

      As I noted in a previous post, the real danger in many of these phrases is that they reveal how we really think. In other words: we really do determine whether we should do something based on whether we “have a peace,” even though there’s no grounds for acting on that basis in Scripture. Most of us didn’t get there by careful thought; someone just asked us the question enough times that we internalized it a basis for decision-making, evaluation, etc. And then we’re left acting on feelings. But more on this in a future post.

      Offer a rejoinder↓
  • David Krycho thought to say:

    I’m thinking I didn’t quite get the href correct in the previous comment. It should have specified that the text for the hyperlink was Philippians 4:11-12.

    Offer a rejoinder↓
    • Sure! In general you can just put the reference in; I have a neat little Javascript tool that grabs the reference and turns it into a link and popup. Super handy. (I should probably drop a comment to that effect by the comment form.)

      Offer a rejoinder↓
      • Mark Sims thought to say:

        the verse I’ve most often heard associated w/ “having peace” about something is Col 3.15, “let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts”. based on bad word study, typically, this “peace” is seen as an umpire which makes the call on the goodness/badness of a decision. but when a verse/passage/promise/command is decontextualized we not only end up hoping for the wrong thing, but are also robbed of what was originally intended for our good. thus, God’s promise of peace is not a rock for all believers, just the ones who make the correct turns inside the corn maze. well said

        Offer a rejoinder↓
        • Huh… I replied to this yesterday, but for some reason it doesn’t seem to have gone through. In short, I fully agree with you. I’m particularly a fan of your point that “when a verse/passage/promise/command is decontextualized we not only end up hoping for the wrong thing, but are also robbed of what was originally intended for our good.” This is one of the main points of a much longer essay on hermeneutics that I’m working on, which highlights that it’s worth it to dismiss bad interpretations and seek the right ones, because what God has for us is vastly better than what we typically settle for.

          Offer a rejoinder↓
  • Hmmmmmmm……..

    I wonder what you would think of a “Framian triperspectival” qualification of your rightly Scripture-centered view…one where Scripture and scriptural principles are the norming norm for all decision-making, but where a legitimate subjective sense of the Spirit’s leading gives existential assurance in sometimes complex specific situations…

    Something should also be said in those situations about the *local church* as a means of grace and guidance for believers, since the Spirit of truth works in and through other believers as one very significant means of grace in the Christian life of any one believer–still with Scripture as the highest authority and objective norm, of course.

    Even if you concede legitimacy to something like the above, though, I agree that people often have more subjectivistic, Scripture-ignoring meanings behind language like “having a peace about something.” I think similarly about how people refer to God speaking to them “in prayer” (despite the fact that “prayer” in Scripture never refers to God’s speaking to us), or when they claim that they have a sense of God speaking to them or leading them in some extrabiblical way.

    fwiw/still learning myself about this important matter!

    Offer a rejoinder↓
    • I think this is an important question. On the first point, well… I’m hesitant, simply because I don’t see anyone in Scripture relying on that sort of subjective sense of the Spirit’s leading. I’ve another post in the pipe on this, but for the moment suffice it to say that when the Spirit leads (in all of Scripture, New Testament included), his leading is always unambiguous – quite unlike the subjective approach embraced by modern evangelicals. I think Eric’s comment above hits on both why we tend this way and why it’s unnecessary.

      Moreover, I’m increasingly leaning toward something along the lines of the regulative principle of worship applied more generally to Christian living. If we don’t see it in Scripture, we should not expect it as a normal part of the Christian life. That is not to say that the Spirit never speaks, or cannot speak, in a subjective experiential way, only that it is not in any way normative. If it were, we would see evidence in Scripture. I think framing it that way keeps us from saying, “God cannot do this,” while still being sensible about what he ordinarily does and therefore what we ought to expect. But again, more on that in a future post, which will also look at how what I’m arguing doesn’t in any way militate against a continuationist view.

      I certainly agree with your second point, and that ties further with where I’m headed in that second post. I increasingly appreciate what the Reformers called the ordinary means of grace: the preached word, the Lord’s supper, and the communion of the saints. That last one in particular is, I think, overlooked as a means of the Spirit’s work in our lives. There’s a full, 3000+ word article coming sometime on that one, actually. In brief, given that God sustained his people faithfully over at least two and a half millennia of general illiteracy, we should recognize that corporate participation is at least as important as private reading of Scripture. (A shocking statement, I know.)

      Offer a rejoinder↓
      • Well said; looking forward to your next post on this topic.

        After studying Poythress’ view of cotinuationism/cessationism more, I should attempt to do a brief analysis…it’s quite interesting, and seems to try and answer the main concerns of both sides…we’ll see.

        Offer a rejoinder↓
        • Yeah, I’ve read that. I’ve found several fairly persuasive critiques of his view, and I’m inclined to agree with them. The idea that prophecy today, for example, would be vastly reduced in efficacy from Biblical times, doesn’t really make sense, and there’s no basis for that view in Scripture. The significant difference between Biblical examples of the exercise of spiritual gifts and the way we typically see them today is one of two main hesitations I have about continuationism at this point, the other being the pervasive view that the gifts had ceased throughout most of church history. Sam Storms argued at length against the historical position, though, and I found his arguments for (and, at least potentially, his approach to) continuationism the most compelling I’ve encountered so far. I do wish that series had involved a committed cessationist who would have pushed harder on the exegetical issues; C. Michael Patton is much too in-the-middle to provide a really helpful dialog or to push back hard enough on the weak points of the continuationist position.

          Offer a rejoinder↓
          • I agree whole-heartedly with what you said about the discussion at, as helpful as it was. There was no cessationist in the discussion, really, to speak of, and yeah some exegetical sparring would have been a lot more helpful. I did find a lot of Storms’ arguments very compelling myself though, too, especially regarding NT passages that seem to treat the entirety of the Messianic age as being characterized by prophecy, etc. (although being a preterist maybe I should read Acts 2, “before the great and glorious day of the Lord” a little differently than Sam would…BUT then again even preterist Kenneth Gentry, I believe, agrees that “the last days” often has in view the whole Church age before the Second Advent…idk).

            Anyway, would you have an initial response to Sam’s (and I believe Wayne Grudem’s) pointing to instances in the NT where the delivery of prophecy seems to be treated as fallible (even seems like it isn’t fulfilled one time, with no explicit disapprobation by the NT writers), and instances where we are instructed to test and weigh prophecies?

            Also, I was thinking about what you said about leaning toward a regulative principle of the whole Christian life…assuming you mean by that what the “RPW” typically means in contexts of corporate worship…and therefore assuming that you are suggesting that any *element* of living the Christian life as a whole (however we define that) for which we don’t have explicit commands in Scripture is therefore prohibited…how would you fit that together with Scripture’s teaching on adiaphora (like in Romans 14, 1 Cor, etc.)?

            One last thing…what would you say about Acts 15:28 (the “seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us” thing at the Jerusalem council)?

            I know that’s a lot! Feel free to postpone direct answers to these things until future posts, especially since you said you were probably doing another one on the Christian life soon. Just tryin’ to keep the discussion going, I suppose…

            I’m probably going to post about the section of the Baptist F&M on Man tonight. First big disagreement I have with the F&M, read a certain way…should be interesting. Cheers!

          • Tyler, I should clarify: I’m speaking rather loosely here of a “relative principle”. I’m not a fan of the usual RPW approach – at all, actually – but I can’t think of a term for norming our practice on what we see in Scripture, baselining it; generally it’s either “everything is forbidden” or “anything goes” and I think the right view is more that our practice should take the New Testament church as its standard but not a straight-jacket. In other words, we should recognize it as authoritative but not assume that it is exhaustive. Perhaps there is a name for that view that I simply haven’t encountered (“common sense”?).

            On apparently false prophecies – what do you have in kind? The only one I can think of that might be understood that way is Agabus’ prophecy to Paul, but that prophecy was actually fulfilled – it’s just that Paul didn’t mind its bring fulfilled (and indeed was quite willing to go even believing the veracity of the prophecy). Do you have another one in mind?

            Acts 15 will be covered in my next post, so I will leave it for that.

  • Eric Dorbin thought to say:

    Aaarg! Quit challenging my preconceptions! Well, don’t actually, tis good to think and challenge your beliefs. Anyway, it is common in some of the circles I’m in now to begin prayer with silence and after prayer to go around and see if anyone got an image from God and to see if any of said images applies to anyone there. While good things often come out of this and I know it is good to listen to God in prayer and prophesy is a real thing, yours and Tyler’s posts have got me thinking that maybe this shouldn’t be the norm. Hmmm, well I’ll have to study up on this, in the meantime, thoughts?

    Offer a rejoinder↓
    • More study indeed! I’ve heard of that practice before, but again I have a hard time justifying it from Scripture. I don’t see anyone pray that way or indeed any way remotely like that. In fact, the entire idea of “listening for God” seems more born of modern Eastern mysticism-influenced generic spirituality than anything we see in the Bible. God has spoken, unambiguously and clearly, through his word.

      If he continues to speak today through prophecy, words of knowledge, and so forth – the gifts delineated in the New Testament – then we should expect those to look like what see in Scripture as well, and what we see in Scripture is not much (or at all) like that, as far as I can tell.

      Tyler’s point that prayer in Scripture never involves listening is particularly important. We are to listen to God… but that primarily means listening to what he has revealed in his word, and then if the gifts continue, to the clear ways he speaks through them. You will not find an ambiguous case of prophecy, though: no one ever says, “I think the Spirit might be saying thus-and-such” in Scripture.

      Offer a rejoinder↓
  • was def. ready to fight you on this, and as a tried to find a loop hole to my position, I have to concede. I always say that if I am wrong I am good, but man, kinda sucks to have your bubble burst! Thanks for helping my faith grow :)

    Offer a rejoinder↓
  • Good post. I would add the caveat that if you’re making a clearly wrong – as in, sinful – choice, you may not “have a peace” because the Holy Spirit is convicting you of that sin. As long as the Spirit is revealing unaddressed sin in your heart you will probably not be fully at rest until you deal with it.

    Offer a rejoinder↓
  • Nathan Hand thought to say:

    Hi Chris,

    I appreciate your thoughts on this matter and fully support your emphasis on the reliance on Scripture as God’s spoken word to us. While I’m still working out the idea of “inward peace” and its biblical groundedness, I did want to offer a few thoughts, especially on some of the above comments regarding hearing from God.

    First, it seems that Paul puts a great emphasis on believer receiving “words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.” (1 Cor. 2:13). It seems that believers, through the Spirit, have been given access to the very thoughts of God (vv. 10-12). While this would definitely apply to the illumination of Scripture, it does not seem to limit it to only that.

    Also, I’m not completely convinced of letting go of the idea of “listening for God” because we have the Bible. While there are times to act, I think there are also times to wait and listen. This seems to me to be the case in Acts 13:1-3 where the church at Antioch is in the process of “worshiping and fasting” when the Spirit tells them to “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them” (v. 2). Whether or not they were waiting specifically to hear from God about which members of their church they should send on an evangelistic endeavor, I don’t know. However, it does seem that they were spending an extended time before the Lord and were open and receptive to hearing from the Spirit in specific ways.

    I also think that the Spirit does speak to believers in specific ways regarding their specific plights. Paul seems to indicate this in 2 Cor. 12:8 where, after pleading to the Lord on multiple occasions, the Lord comforts him by saying, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” I don’t see any reason for why God could not respond with specific words to believers regarding their plights today.

    While I agree that many times in today’s world, God’s words to us spoken by the Spirit don’t seem as clear and straight-forward as the examples we read in the Bible, I think it’s important to keep in mind that the people usually described as having these kinds of revelations were not just infant Christians, but very mature believers. In addition, many of these clear-cut examples involved significant events in the life of the church. Therefore, I do not think it is reasonable to expect God to speak in extremely clear ways at all times and to all people. However, neither does not negate believers’ responsibility to cultivate their spiritual gifts, even if they do so imperfectly at first. This growth curve required before one is able to fully and confidently exercise their spiritual gift is evidenced by Paul’s exhortation to Timothy to “fan into flame” his spiritual gift (2 Tim. 1:6). I think churches should provide safe contexts in which believers can attempt to use their gifts (whether “charismatic” or otherwise) and so increase their ability and confidence in their use, and especially public use, of them.

    Finally, I’m not personally persuaded that any of the gifts had “expiration dates” on them. I fail to find biblical evidence for this and am compelled of the validity of their continued existence through multiple stories heard and personally experienced. A helpful book on this subject for me was “Surprised by the Voice of God” by Jack Deere.

    I hope you do not see me as in any way negating the importance of the written Word of God, for without this we would have nothing to test our subjective spiritual experiences against. However, just as we should not negate the Scriptures, I think it unhelpful to neglect those other ways in which God communicates to us. I believe that our goal as faithful men and women of God should be to be both deeply biblically grounded and deeply “charismatic.”

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts and I look forward to your responds.

    Congratulations on your pregnancy! I hope it’s going well.

    Your brother in Christ,


    Offer a rejoinder↓
    • Nathan,

      Thanks for stopping by and offering this thoughtful response. I appreciate your appeal to Scripture. However, I disagree with your interpretations in several key ways.

      First, I don’t think the flow of the text in 1 Corinthians really supports the interpretation you’ve supplied. Paul is talking quite specifically about the gospel he delivered to them, and the response of the human heart when that testimony is proclaimed (see especially vv. 1, 14-16). There’s a lot in this passage, obviously, but it has nothing to do with subjective experiences. Rather, Paul focuses on how he trusted the Spirit to empower his declaration of the gospel, not human rhetorical devices.

      The testimony Paul imparted did not originate with Greek philosophers, but with the Spirit of God. Paul understood his testimony to be delivered to him not subjectively, but objectively in two ways: first, through the Old Testament, and second, through his unmistakable and unambiguous experience of the Risen Christ. The Spirit taught Paul; but we see no evidence in Scripture that this teaching involved subjective emotional states.

      On Acts 13:1-3, I think that passage actually validates my view. First, as you note, there’s no suggestion that they were “listening;” fasting and prayer were simply regular parts of early church life (as, I would suggest, they should be of our church life! But that is a different post). Second, it is difficult to read that passage and see any subjectivity or internal “sense” involved. The Spirit spoke in such a way that it was unambiguous to the whole group.

      Similarly, when God spoke to Paul as referenced in 2 Corinthians 12:8, it seems to have been an unambiguous verbal declaration to him.

      In neither case do we know exactly what this looked like, but I think it clear it was not some sort of nebulous, internal, not-sure-if-that-was-the-Spirit experience. The Spirit’s instruction was clear.

      You write, “I agree that many times in today’s world, God’s words to us spoken by the Spirit don’t seem as clear and straight-forward as the examples we read in the Bible…” and your further comments notwithstanding, I just can’t see any justification in Scripture for the idea that they should be otherwise. The difference is not one of degree, but one of kind. It is not that they heard more clearly and we hear less clearly, but that they heard and we sense. As I have said to some friends: I am far more likely to believe that the Spirit spoke audibly to someone about something than that he is using some subjective sense. Why? Well, the former is something he showed us in Scripture that we can expect him to do. The latter is not.

      Moreover, as you note, the instances of the Spirit speaking in these ways nearly always have to do with significant events in the lives of his people, whether Israel or the Church, and not with the mundane decisions of individuals. Note that I’m not saying either that those mundane decisions are meaningless or that God does not care about them. I am simply saying that Scripture doesn’t show us examples of the Spirit speaking to them, and especially not with subjective “leadings.”

      If we affirm the sufficiency of Scripture – if we affirm that the Spirit gave us everything we need for the Christian life – then the fact that he did not provide us with examples of ambiguous senses, or of those senses somehow being tied to his direction for our lives, should strike us with some force. If it is not in there, why do we keep making it such a big part of our spiritual lives?

      Put bluntly: are we willing to let Scripture shape our view of what is normative in the Christian life, or not?

      One final point before I close: you make a leap that many do, associating this with the spiritual gifts. It is unfortunate that these two have been associated in our church culture, because I don’t think they actually go together.

      I am ready to embrace prophecy, tongues, words of knowledge, healing, etc. But this does not require that I think the Spirit has decided to normally work in the lives of all believers in ways that he never gave us a hint that he would! Yes to the gifts. Yes to the word of God in Scripture. Yes to the Spirit working through the church. Yes even to audible verbal communication! But no to subjective senses and peaces and ambiguous interpretations of our own emotional state, when the clear revelation the Spirit gave us in Scripture gives us no warrant for that view.

      On the pregnancy – thanks, but actually I’m not pregnant; my wife is. :p (Seriously: thanks.)

      Offer a rejoinder↓
  • Nathan Hand thought to say:

    Hey again,

    Thank you for your thoughtful responds. I think I have a better understanding what you are arguing for and against. I was taking your phrase “subjective experience” to include any forms of spiritual revelation including dreams, visions, words of knowledge, and prophecy that are received and relayed by a single individual (versus revelation received by a group- i.e. auditory words). I agree that using feelings of peace in making major life decisions does not have much, if any, basis in the Scriptures and should not therefore be used as a primary means of interpreting God’s will for one’s life.

    Thanks again for your thoughts, it has served to sharpen my view of these matters!

    Congratulations again on your wife’s pregnancy!


    Offer a rejoinder↓
    • Nathan, thanks in turn for forcing me to clear things up a bit. It’s always good to be clear in writing, and your comments helped me think about how to address this topic more clearly.

      I hope my intended humor at the end of the last comment came through; I was attempting to be funny. (That often doesn’t work as well as I might hope.)

      Offer a rejoinder↓

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