"Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ." - Jerome

Friday, October 31, 2008

Reformation rap

Aaron sent me this by email. Thought I would share some musical enjoyment and Reformation Pride. In the same vein as "The Reformation Polka," enjoy a Reformation rap: "95 theses and the Pope ain't one" to the tune of Jay-Z's popular song:

HT: The Corner

Calvin vs Theonomy

In reading Calvin, having first read Thomas Aquinas, I am fascinated by much of the continuity in thought. Thomas maintained a differentiation between natural law (always binding universal principles) and positive law (human laws derived from universal principles). A happy find for me, one who spent a year writing a thesis on Natural Law, for it to have legitamacy in the Reformed tradition! Such a distinction is important when talking to some in the Reformed community who are postmillennial theonomists, and modern evangelicals that try a direct application of the Old Testament and the law to modern states.

Calvin wrote against such measures advocated by Anabaptists in the 16th Century. Anabaptists were known for setting up a city in Munster that tried to do just that, with horrible consequences (When joined forces of Lutheran and Catholics liberated the city from the self-appointed theocrats at the begging of the population). Calvin here explains that laws are the product of culture, circumstance and prudence and vary from country to country with no sin in their mere diversity (sounding very Burkean!). The Law of Moses for Israel was not meant to be applied directly to another state, but to Israel. Here is the relevant quote from Calvin:

"The law of God given through Moses is (not) dishonored when it is abrogated and new laws are preferred to it . . . for the Lord . . . did not give that law to be proclaimed among all nations and to be in force everywhere. Rather we must make our laws with regard to the condition of times, place and nation…How malicious and hateful toward public welfare would a man be who is offended by such diversity [among the laws of nations], which is perfectly adapted to maintain the observance of God's law?…I would have preferred to pass over this matter in utter silence if I were not aware that here many dangerously go astray. For there are some who deny that a commonwealth is duly framed which neglects that political system of Moses, and is ruled by the common laws of nations. Let other men consider how perilous and seditious this notion is; it will be enough for me to have proved it false and foolish."

-John Calvin Institutes IV, xx

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Reformation Day: Thomas Cranmer

I thought I would use this opportunity to prematurely honor the church calendar of All Saints Day (which is Nov 1) and Reformation Day (October 31) in honoring a saint I have come to appreciate and love in the past year. This man was Thomas Cranmer.

Cranmer rose to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury during the reign of Henry VIII. Cranmer by that time had secretly married a German Lutheran girl, whose religious sympathies he shared. As Henry VIII called for a break with Rome, for fairly expedient and selfish reasons, Cranmer used the opportunity to bring Reformation principles to England. Traditionalists argued for keeping the Medieval Roman Catholic nature of doctrine in England, but Cranmer slowly and unperturbed fought for Reformation theology.

Imagine an era of the church when people came to a church service and could not read or understand the Latin service. What was worse was, these people were the clergy. It came to Cranmer’s attention how the clergy were left extremely uneducated, and he undertook the composition of the Book of Common Prayer, to educate the clergy and allow the worshippers to understand what was happening, being prayed and said in the service. Cranmer also wrote 42 articles of religion, 39 of which became the confession of the Anglican Church, including affirmation of justification by faith only, and the inefficacy of free will to save man.

After Edward VI died, Bloody Mary Tudor took the throne, and undertook her campaign to rid England of Protestantism. High on her enemies list was Thomas Cranmer. Cranmer was imprisoned and tortured until he recanted his faith, signing a document of recantation. His Catholic tormentors led him to make his recantation public. But when Cranmer was placed in front of the crowd, he instead preached salvation in Christ alone and renounced the Catholics. For reward, Cranmer was led to the stake to be burned. As the fires were lit, Cranmer extended his right hand, exclaiming that he wished it would burn first, for it had betrayed him.

Cranmer was a man that slowly plodded the soil for the gospel in England. The task required patience, diplomacy, and grace. His legacy? If you are an English speaking Protestant, beit Anglican, Baptist, Presbyterian, or whatever, you should take a minute to thank God for Thomas Cranmer, without whom, you may still be without the meat of the gospel.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What is a true church?

Can a Lutheran church be a true church? Are only Baptist churches true churches? Are only churches with the Westminster Confession real churches? Is the Roman Catholic Church a true church?

The real question in all of these is: What are the marks of the true church?

The latest White Horse Inn is a talk between Baptist, Reformed and Lutheran ministers on what makes up the signs of the true church. The minsters discuss the common Reformation idea of the church against the idea of the church in many other American churches. I had to laugh when the topic of a mixed congregation came up and finally the Reformed minister says to the Baptist: "I don't want to fight over baptism," as the Lutheran minister pipes in: "I do!" [don't worry, they didn't fight...]

The limits of Tradition

Custom without truth is the antiquity of error. [“Consuetudo sine veritate vetustas erroris est.”] On which account, let us forsake the error and follow the truth.

- Cyprian of Carthage (d. 258 A.D.) (Epistle 73.9)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

No matter who wins the election...It is God's Will

Whether McCain or Obama wins, God’s plan will not be thwarted, but it will be the plan of divine providence. As much as Bush’s election was seen by him (and many Christians) as “God’s will,” so too their election will be under God’s purposeful control. Our language of God's Will needs to include not only the standard of moral actions. Certainly a believer doing sin is never God’s will in an active sense. Yet, we forget that nothing happens apart from the Father (Matt 10:29). Sometimes, God might even fight against us, willing that the side we are on is defeated. We may sit up on election night with the words of Gideon: “If the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us?” (Judges 6:13)

This may have happened to us, partly, for our own good. This is because often our slogans are not realities. The American church has fought for a little slogan placed on our money that is rarely ever true in our lives: In God We Trust. Of course we don't believe it because we think everything is out of control when our preferred tax policy is not enacted or because we see injustice perpetrated by our government. We trust our efforts, our political philosophy, our leaders, our 401(k) (well, maybe not anymore). “In God We Trust” is the hardest reality to believe. The most seemingly false verse in the Bible is Romans 8:28: “for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”

If the man I want loses, I must say: "God, You give and You take away. Your ways are unknowable to me. I trust You against my own judgments that would criticize Your providence in this matter."

Derek Webb wrote a song playing on this irony and aiming for the ideal. Here, I would like to share his words from his album “Mockingbird”:

“In God We Trust”

in God we trust
and the government is on His shoulders
in God we trust
through democracy and tyranny alike
in God we trust
He uses both good and evil men

in God we trust
so we fight for peace and He fights for us
in God we trust
even when He fights us for someone else
in God we trust
even when He looks like the enemy

in God we trust
even though our hearts are bankrupt
in God we trust
for more than just the value of our dollar bills
in God we trust
but there’s no gold behind these notes of reserve

in God we trust
even through our great presumption
in God we trust
even though He favors no nation-state
in God we trust
even when the blessing is a curse

Monday, October 20, 2008

Christless Christianity

Michael Horton's new book "Christless Christianity" is definitely on my Christmas list. This is a great interview on Lutheran radio program Issues Etc. with Michael Horton taking on the problem of watered down modern American evangelicalism that may have a high place for the Bible, but doesn't always know what Christ or doctrine has to do with Christianity. Take a listen.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

We need a monarchy

"A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising them the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy."

-Dr. Alexander Tytler

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ignatius on Jesus Christ

In Apostolic Fathers, we are reading the Letters of Ignatius. I've read them before, but without as keen of attention to Christology. I love this section from Ignatius in his Epistle to the Ephesians chapter 18, that displays the view of the early church that Jesus was not only Christ and Lord, but God Himself:

"My spirit is a humble sacrifice for the cross, which is the stumbling block to unbelievers but salvation and eternal life to us. Where is the wise? Where is the debater? Where is the boasting of those who are thought to be intelligent? For our God, Jesus the Christ, was conceived by Mary according to God's plan, both from the seed of David and of the Holy Spirit. He was born and was baptized in order that by his suffering he might cleanse the water."

The Gospel: Witness or Sale?

[a post I wrote awhile ago elsewhere, reposting here]

What if the way we communicate the gospel is wrong?

Within Evangelical circles, I think it is safe to assume that most people think of sharing the gospel with an Arminian view. The models for sharing the gospel tend to be sales, persuasion, and manipulation. It is so ironic that a person can tell you one minute that conversion is the work of the Holy Spirit, not methods, and then the next minute talk about evangelism primarily as knowing certain methods..


Two methods tend to be popular with Evangelicals currently. The first is cold-turkey evangelism. This is handing a tract to someone on the street and trying to get a decision (sinners prayer, ask Jesus into your heart, etc.) The two people (the evangelist and the potential convertee) know little or nothing about each other before the encounter.

The next popular method of evangelism is "friendship evangelism." This method consists in getting to know a neighbor or friend a little before trying to get a decision (sinner's prayer, ask Jesus into your heart, etc.). The two people know a little about each other before the person is asked to become a Christian.

After selling mobile phones for two years, I can tell you these methods seem to have more in common with two books I read in preparation for outside sales (Closing Techniques, and Cold Calling Techniques) than they do with Biblical or historic evangelism. Selling a product has a limited time where you educate the customer about the product (all the good parts, none of the bad parts) and get them to hand over the cash, or sign the contract. Yet, the marketplace tends not to be the main Biblical model for the Christian experience.


The relationship between Christ and the Church is frequently described as analogous to a Groom and his Bride. If we thought about this as our model rather than sales, our approach to non-believers would be entirely different. Instead of thinking of Evangelism as selling a product, we would look at it as courting towards the goal of betrothal.

We can immediately see a difference between giving enough information (all the good stuff) looking towards a sale; and giving (or the person learning) all the information (the comforting and the hard stuff) during a courtship. Also, as a salesman, I normally only had to use my words to convince someone to buy a product. I may tell the person I am concerned that they get the right phone and the right plan, and in fact I may even care that the customer does get the best deal. But the customer has no assurance that I am not just selling them a phone to get a better commission (which was more often the case).

Yet as a boyfriend and then husband, I had to demonstrate my love (more than concern) for my wife by my actions. The actions may range from symbolic (flowers), to being present, to listening, to helping her move, to doing other things that take away from my comfort or time to add to her well-being.


James writes in his second chapter that you show your faith by your works and therefore are "not justified by faith alone." I truly believe Calvin was right when he distinguished between James' justification before men and Paul's justification before God. James is here talking about how our faith is shown to be right before men, not how we are declared right with God. Yet, many evangelicals will stop there without truly exploring what justification by works is, and what is demanded by it.

If our faith is justified before men by works, then an evangelism by only words is not only ineffective, but Biblically lacking. Both Peter and Jesus tell us that people should "see our good deeds and praise God." ( Matt 5:16, 1 Peter 2:12) In fact, I have made the case elsewhere that this is how the Early Church understood James and evangelism.


The natural objection so far is that the gospel is a matter of the word. Paul makes this very clear in Romans 10, does he not? I do concede this willingly. Yet, if the gospel is a matter of words, why perform baptism or the Lord's Supper? Because the gospel is closely associated with the sacraments.

According to Augustine, sacraments are outward signs of an inward reality. I submit that good works themselves have a sacramental quality. Though the word is primary and the sacrament is void without the word, still the sacrament proclaims the gospel with the word. Consider how Paul describes the Lord's Supper: "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes." (1 Cor 11:26) The Lord's Supper is a physical reminder that Christianity is not a mere mystical religion, but is concerned with the physical and the reality of the present world as well.

Looking at works sacramentally does not mean we "go into the world and preach the gospel and if we must, use words." All works need the word to infuse them with meaning. With the proper sacraments, we do this and proclaim Christ's death. In our works, we carry the proclamation of the Kingdom. In feeding the hungry, we proclaim "in the kingdom there will be no hunger." In housing the homeless, we proclaim "in the kingdom, there is shelter for the weak." In visiting the imprisoned, we proclaim "in the kingdom, there is freedom." Christ's reign is the proclamation of our works. Our works become a means of grace for others, and perhaps even for ourselves. In our works, what if we demonstrated grace, rather than merely talked about it? Is it not telling that the pagan Emperor Julian once complained of Christians in the fourth century:

"These impious Galileans not only feed their own poor, but ours also; welcoming them into their agapae, they attract them, as children are attracted, with cakes...Whilst the pagan priests neglect the poor, the hated Galileans devote themselves to works of charity, and by a display of false compassion have established and given effect to their pernicious errors. See their love-feasts, and their tables spread for the indigent. Such practice is common among them, and causes a contempt for our gods."

What if we were accused of the same today, that Christians not only fed their own poor, but the pagan poor as well, stealing converts? What if we showed the gospel to be carrying a cross, in all its difficulty of putting others' needs above our own, rather than showing the gospel to be a sales offer?

If our gospel has been reduced to "accept this offer, its a good deal," then have we missed the fullness of the gospel?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Athanasian Creed

The Athanasian Creed was not written by Athanasius, but is a good summary of Christological and Trinitarian theology that comes from the first Four Ecumenical Councils. I post these creeds (other than not having much time for original posts) because the more I study theology, the more I find Christology and Theology Proper to be essential to the coherence of the gospel. The Early Church knew the gospel was a story of the Person and Work of Christ. Soteriology flows from Christology. Without the theology of the creeds, we cannot rightly communicate the gospel:

Whoever wants to be saved should above all cling to the catholic faith.

Whoever does not guard it whole and inviolable will doubtless perish eternally.

Now this is the catholic faith: We worship one God in trinity and the Trinity in unity, neither confusing the persons nor dividing the divine being.

For the Father is one person, the Son is another, and the Spirit is still another.

But the deity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one, equal in glory, coeternal in majesty.

What the Father is, the Son is, and so is the Holy Spirit.

Uncreated is the Father; uncreated is the Son; uncreated is the Spirit.

The Father is infinite; the Son is infinite; the Holy Spirit is infinite.

Eternal is the Father; eternal is the Son; eternal is the Spirit: And yet there are not three eternal beings, but one who is eternal; as there are not three uncreated and unlimited beings, but one who is uncreated and unlimited.

Almighty is the Father; almighty is the Son; almighty is the Spirit: And yet there are not three almighty beings, but one who is almighty.

Thus the Father is God; the Son is God; the Holy Spirit is God: And yet there are not three gods, but one God.

Thus the Father is Lord; the Son is Lord; the Holy Spirit is Lord: And yet there are not three lords, but one Lord.

As Christian truth compels us to acknowledge each distinct person as God and Lord, so catholic religion forbids us to say that there are three gods or lords.

The Father was neither made nor created nor begotten; the Son was neither made nor created, but was alone begotten of the Father; the Spirit was neither made nor created, but is proceeding from the Father and the Son.

Thus there is one Father, not three fathers; one Son, not three sons; one Holy Spirit, not three spirits.

And in this Trinity, no one is before or after, greater or less than the other; but all three persons are in themselves, coeternal and coequal; and so we must worship the Trinity in unity and the one God in three persons.

Whoever wants to be saved should think thus about the Trinity.

It is necessary for eternal salvation that one also faithfully believe that our Lord Jesus Christ became flesh.

For this is the true faith that we believe and confess: That our Lord Jesus Christ, God's Son, is both God and man.

He is God, begotten before all worlds from the being of the Father, and he is man, born in the world from the being of his mother -- existing fully as God, and fully as man with a rational soul and a human body; equal to the Father in divinity, subordinate to the Father in humanity.

Although he is God and man, he is not divided, but is one Christ.

He is united because God has taken humanity into himself; he does not transform deity into humanity.

He is completely one in the unity of his person, without confusing his natures.

For as the rational soul and body are one person, so the one Christ is God and man.

He suffered death for our salvation. He descended into hell and rose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

At his coming all people shall rise bodily to give an account of their own deeds.

Those who have done good will enter eternal life, those who have done evil will enter eternal fire.

This is the catholic faith.

One cannot be saved without believing this firmly and faithfully.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

My position on rewards

"My God and my all! What more is there that I can want?...When will that blessed and most desired of hours come when You will fully satisfy me with Your presence, and be all in all to me? As long as this is not granted me, my joy will not be full."

-Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Book 3, Ch. 34

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Definition of the Council of Chalcedon (451 A.D)

Perhaps fewer Christian know the Chalcedonian Definition. Yet, it is extremely important in distinguishing right Christology:

Therefore, following the holy fathers, we all with one accord teach men to acknowledge one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, at once complete in Godhead and complete in manhood, truly God and truly man, consisting also of a reasonable soul and body; of one substance with the Father as regards his Godhead, and at the same time of one substance with us as regards his manhood; like us in all respects, apart from sin; as regards his Godhead, begotten of the Father before the ages, but yet as regards his manhood begotten, for us men and for our salvation, of Mary the Virgin, the God-bearer; one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, recognized in two natures, without confusion, without change, without division, without separation; the distinction of natures being in no way annulled by the union, but rather the characteristics of each nature being preserved and coming together to form one person and subsistence, not as parted or separated into two persons, but one and the same Son and Only-begotten God the Word, Lord Jesus Christ; even as the prophets from earliest times spoke of him, and our Lord Jesus Christ himself taught us, and the creed of the fathers has handed down to us.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Nicene Creed

I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible.

And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God; begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.

Who, for us men and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Spirit of the virgin Mary, and was made man; and was crucified also for us under Pontius Pilate; He suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven, and sits on the right hand of the Father; and He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.

And I believe in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life; who proceeds from the Father and the Son; who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; who spoke by the prophets.

And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; and I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Apostles' Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
the Creator of heaven and earth,

And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord:
Who was conceived of the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended into hell.
The third day He arose again from the dead.

He ascended into heaven
and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty,
whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Theology by Music: Control

I love music. I also love finding Theology in music. That's part of why I love Johnny Cash and his display of total depravity in people through song. I wrote this short piece for a class, and since I am too busy right now to write an original post, I thought I would offer this piece now. I was hit anew by the deep truth of it while listening to the album while studying. The piece analyzes Pedro the Lion's 2002 album "Control.":

Pedro the Lion was a popular indy band early in the decade. Often drawing cult followings of “abnormal” Christians. I attended a concert by them at a liberal Christian fellowship on the campus of the University of Illinois. The event surprised me, as the “liberal Christians” loved this prophet of sin. I had always been taught that liberals did not believe in the inherent sinfulness of man. Yet, in conversations of those around me, this very theme connected with these college Christians. They gathered in corners, talking about religious topic like whether angels have free will (seriously!) and none of them wanted to hear a contemporary Christian band sing about how great everything already was with Jesus. Instead, they listened to the themes below and nodded in agreement.

The Universality of Evil, Fallenness.

“Control” is a concept album focusing primarily on a married couple. The album opens with the couple, seemingly happy, walking holding hands. Then we invited into the thoughts of the man, thinking, “I could never divorce you, without a good reason.” Later in the album we discover the fact that the man is having an affair. The adultery finds descriptions echoing religious themes “I hear the angels singing” and vulgar terms.

The next song describes the same man being fired from his corporate job. Bazan does not describe a evil man living in a good world, taking advantage of good people. Rather, Bazan focuses on evil men in an evil world. The man is fired from his job because
“if it isn't making dollars then it isn't making sense;
if you are not moving units then you're not worth the expense.”

People use other people as objects for gratification. The woman with whom the affair is committed is used for sex and left when the act is finished, and the company uses the man for profit and discards him when he is no longer profitable. The world values self advancement over any inherent worth in persons.

At this point, Bazan allows for a glimpse of common grace. When arriving home, the man’s children “hug his neck, unaware of their inheritance.” We see, briefly, that there are glimpses of better motives and love unconcerned with their personal advancement. This short glimpse of children as innocent may reveal a view of evil as learned rather than inherited.

The next song, however, explores the evil of the children. “Progress” describes multiple technological wonders, intended to make life easier. This leads the mother to conclude that this extra time will allow:
“the children to instead;
Grow into your molding;
Heed more of your scolding;
Go early to their new self-making beds.”

Instead, at the end of the song, the mother finds that there is no technology that fixes:
“A husband bent on cheating…
A child who's always bragging…
A wife's persistent nagging, though;
We're equipped to live though it were.”

Instead, technology merely makes us more efficient sinners.

Bazan refuses to leave the subject with us thinking evil exists in “evil people” but not good. Near the middle of the album, in the song “Magazine” Bazan distinguishes between
“on the one side; The bad half live in wickedness;
And on the other side,..The good half live in arrogance.”

The perception of good and evil becomes a self-label, both reacting in sin to their own title, one resigned to their evil, the other proud they are not like the sinners (much like the proud Pharisee in the gospels).

Act 2 - Everything Dies

The second part of the album focuses on the eventual discovery of infidelity by the husband. The wife has many reactions, first anger at the lies of her husband in the song “Rehearsal.” Then the wife tries to settle for “second best” in a song by the same title. In the crescendo of the musical flow of the album, the wife cries “after all, what’s wrong with second best?!” With only two songs left, an option arises of how to deal with evil in the world: accept it. The wife sees evil and tries to accommodate it, to live with evil.

The album does not end with a grand solution, a reconciliation or even with the option of settling. Instead, paramedics arrive after the wife has stabbed the husband. The husband screams: "oh my God, Am I gonna die?” The paramedics are there to help, but “as they strapped his arms down to his sides in times like these they've been taught to lie ‘buddy just calm down, you'll be alright.’" This next to last song is called “Priests and Paramedics.” My favorite, this song captures what many priests and pastors have told people in a fallen world in the present day. “They’ve been taught to lie,” to say everything is alright. The next scene is at the man’s grave. The man was going to die, but those who came to help were not honest about his situation.

The final few lines of the album summarize how shocking, but necessary, is the truth of men being essentially and unchangeably bad and the world being a Fallen mess. The only person who speaks the truth in the album is the priest at the funeral. Even though the people wanted a comforting answer, Bazan says, The priest saw
“the assembly craved relief but
…he offered them this bitter cup:
‘you're gonna die, we're all gonna die,
Could be 20 years, could be tonight,
Lately I have been wondering why;
We go to so much trouble;
To postpone the unavoidable;
And prolong the pain of being alive.’”

Everything is not ok. The people should not be told the world is as it should be and that there are words of comfort from this world on which to hold. Bazan ends the album with an eerie and short song that bluntly states:
“Wouldn't it be so wonderful?
If everything were meaningless?
But everything is so meaningful;
And most everything turns to sh*t.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!”

Bazan offers hope in the album, but only after all hope of goodness, salvation and beauty from this world are destroyed. But the final song says that it wouldn’t be so bad if everything were meaningless, but everything on earth has meaning. But everything on earth dies (as Bazan vulgarly states). The end of this world, the end of pain and loss, the end of “the pain of being alive” leaves the songwriter rejoicing.

The hopelessness of the world, however, is a true observation of this album. We should not disapprove of this observation, but offer an affirmation to the last song. The world of pain, evil and the prostitution of persons will die. Rejoice. Rejoice. Rejoice.