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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:21 am 
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Denise Dee wrote:
theJack wrote:
First, your argument proves too much. If you're going to rely on the "you might be wrong" trope, then YOU might be wrong about there being a hell. Therefore, by your reasoning, if I might be wrong and therefore ought to fear hell because I MIGHT be wrong, then you ought to fear hell because you, too, MIGHT be wrong.

But beyond the logical consistency...


There is absolutely no logical inconsistency. The point is not about being wrong, it is about the consequences of being wrong. You believe that God condemns many people to suffer in hell for ever and ever, but you are certain that you will not be one of the unlucky ones.

So, you could be wrong about your belief that God condemns people to suffer in hell for ever and ever, universalists could be correct, and if so, if you are wrong, no big deal, in fact that would be great, so there are no dreadful consequences if you are wrong, nothing to fear if you are wrong about that aspect of your belief.

But if, as you firmly believe, God condemns many people to suffer in hell for ever and ever, you could be wrong in your belief that you will be one of the lucky ones whom God doesn't condemn to suffer in hell for ever and ever, and if you are wrong, which you could be, then the consequences would be more dreadful for you than I am able to express.

You saying to me "You could be wrong too" doesn't help you at all, it is irrelevant to whether or not you could be wrong, and so I'm just asking you, as you could be wrong (as I could be too), why aren't you terrified?

You can ask me similarly why I am not terrified (to which I can give you a very good answer), but that doesn't answer the question I asked you.

So there is no logical inconsistency whatsoever in asking you why aren't you terrified if you believe God sends many people to suffer for ever in hell, why aren't you terrified that there is nothing special about you, and therefore if God condemns many good people to suffer in hell for ever and ever, how can you be sure that you won't be one of those good people whom God condemns to suffer in hell for ever and ever?

I'd be terrified if I believed what you believe. I would find it impossible to have enough confidence to avoid feeling terrified. What's special about me, what's different about me, how am I any more deserving, so why would I have total confidence that I wouldn't also be condemned to suffer in hell for ever if I believed that many good people suffer in hell for ever?

You say you have zero fear of eternal hell based on this logic:
theJack wrote:
1. Jesus said, "Whoever believes in Me has everlasting life."
2. I believe in Jesus
3. Therefore, I have everlasting life.

I do no care one bit what you or anyone else thinks about the argument. As far as I read it, Jesus said it, and I'm not interested in entertaining people who want to say Jesus was wrong regardless of how polite or well-intentioned they make their accusation of Him as liar sound.

That may sound harsh to you or others. It isn't. Hear closely the context. You asked how I, theJack, could be so sure. That's how. Because when it comes to what I know, the question is only what I know, what I am absolutely persuaded to be true in my heart of hearts. I'm being as honest as I can be. So I have absolutely zero fear of hell. As far as I'm concerned, if I'm wrong, Jesus is a liar. But Jesus is not a liar, and therefore, I'm not wrong.
But I can very clearly point out here and now that your logic is incorrect: You have quoted a verse from the Bible and then "logically" (incorrectly) concluded that there are only two logical possibilities: EITHER (a) you are not wrong and Jesus is not a liar, OR (b) you are wrong and therefore Jesus is a liar.

But logically those are clearly not the only two possibilities. I can immediately think of two other very obvious logical possibilities, neither of which suggest that "Jesus is a liar" but suggest that you could be wrong.

If you can't see these other two obvious logical possibilities yourself, I can spell them out for you, if you need me to.

So I don't think that your immense faith in your own logic is justified, but I also don't think that you should be terrified of suffering in hell for ever, because I don't think anyone should, but I think you are not terrified for the wrong reasons, but that's better than being terrified. I'm just saying that if I believed what tiu believe, I'd be terrified to tge extent that I couldn't function, couldn't love, couldn't feel joy, couldn't have peace of mind.

Absolutely none of this has any relevance to what I said. I suggest rereading my words. I'm not terribly interested in repeating and reexplaining myself.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 11:48 am 
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As for why I am not terrified that I MIGHT be wrong and therefore could end up suffering for ever in hell, it's like this:

If I was a child in a family with four sisters and a father who frequently came home drunk and violently physically, psychologically and sexually abused three of my sisters but NEVER violently physically or psychologically or sexually abused me nor my youngest sister but in fact told us that he would give us a wonderful life at some time in the future as long as we believed in him and loved him, would I be afraid that he might someday turn on me too? Of course I would be afraid, I'd be terrified. If he would cruelly mistreat and torture three of my sisters, how could I have much confidence that he wouldn't do the same to me someday? I would be absolutely terrified and my health would suffer as a consequence.

But suppose instead that I and my four sisters were always loved and cared for wonderfully well by a very kind and loving father, every single day of our lives, and then after several years someone as logical as theJack said to me "You believe that your father is always going to treat you very well and lovingly, as he always has up to now, and you believe that he always will, but you MIGHT be wrong about that and he MIGHT change into a sadistic monster and start to frequently come home drunk and and violently physically and psychologically and sexually abuse you and cruelly mistreat you", I might acknowledge that logically it's theoretically possible, but would I feel terrified that it might happen? Clearly not, the theoretical possibility wouldn't worry me in the slightest. And that's how I feel with the God of pure love I have a relationship with.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:21 pm 
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Jack3 wrote:
Im not denying the Council said it, but can you give a source for the first part (moral assurance), please?

Sixth Session (my emphasis):

Quote:
CHAPTER XII.

That a rash presumptuousness in the matter of Predestination is to be avoided.

No one, moreover, so long as he is in this mortal life, ought so far to presume as regards the secret mystery of divine predestination, as to determine for certain that he is assuredly in the number of the predestinate; as if it were true, that he that is justified, either cannot sin any more, or, if he do sin, that he ought to promise himself an assured repentance; for except by special revelation, it cannot be known whom God hath chosen unto Himself.

CHAPTER XIII.

On the gift of Perseverance.

So also as regards the gift of perseverance, of which it is written, He that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved:-which gift cannot be derived from any other but Him, who is able to establish him who standeth that he stand perseveringly, and to restore him who falleth:-let no one herein promise himself any thing as certain with an absolute certainty; though all ought to place and repose a most firm hope in God's help. For God, unless men be themselves wanting to His grace, as he has begun the good work, so will he perfect it, working (in them) to will and to accomplish. Nevertheless, let those who think themselves to stand, take heed lest they fall, and, with fear and trembling work out their salvation, in labours, in watchings, in almsdeeds, in prayers and oblations, in fastings and chastity: for, knowing that they are born again unto a hope of glory, but not as yet unto glory, they ought to fear for the combat which yet remains with the flesh, with the world, with the devil, wherein they cannot be victorious, unless they be with God's grace, obedient to the Apostle, who says; We are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh; for if you live according to the flesh, you shall die; but if by the spirit you mortify the deeds of the flesh, you shall live.

CANON XVI. If any one saith, that he will for certain, of an absolute and infallible certainty, have that great gift of perseverance unto the end, unless he have learned this by special revelation; let him be anathema.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:24 pm 
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theJack wrote:
1. Jesus said, "Whoever believes in Me has everlasting life."
2. I believe in Jesus
3. Therefore, I have everlasting life.

That's very simplistic. If it was as simple as that, the New Testament would be much shorter. If it's as simple as that, what do you suppose all the rest of the Bible is about?

I don't even know what "believe in" means, not really. If I say "I believe in Santa Clause", or "I believe in fairies", it means I believe Santa Claus exists, or that fairies exist. I understand that meaning of "believe in", but I don't understand what "believe in Jesus" means.

Does it mean trust? If so, trust is not a yes or no question, there are degrees of trust. Some days I trust (whoever or whatever) more than others. It's not something you say once and then that's it, you fully trust forever. Life's not like that.

Does "believe in" mean "have confidence in"? Again that's a matter of degree. How much confidence do you need to be saved from eternal hell?

There are different interpretations of what believing in Jesus means, and what it means to believe in Jesus. TheJack, your interpretation is different from mine, you may believe with total certainty that your interpretation is definitely correct because you are smarter than I am or more blessed than I am, or whatever, and I won't try to argue with you that you're not smarter than I am, but we can both agree that Fr Obi is very intelligent and yet his interpretation of the Bible is different from yours, so you may think that your interpretation of Scripture is correct and therefore that gives you total certainty that you won't end up in the eternal hell you believe in, but Obi is as intelligent as you are, so intelligence is no guarantee of the correct interpretation of the Bible because at least one of you is wrong. So I think your certainty is based on something you can't be sure about.

I can't be totally sure about my interpretations of the Bible either but I am not afraid of eternal hell because I do not and could not possibly believe in two things that are contradictory: God's love and mercy, and eternal damnation.


Last edited by Denise Dee on Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:25 pm 
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My emphasis

Quote:
CHAPTER IX.

Against the vain confidence of Heretics.

But, although it is necessary to believe that sins neither are remitted, nor ever were remitted save gratuitously by the mercy of God for Christ's sake; yet is it not to be said, that sins are forgiven, or have been forgiven, to any one who boasts of his confidence and certainty of the remission of his sins, and rests on that alone; seeing that it may exist, yea does in our day exist, amongst heretics and schismatics; and with great vehemence is this vain confidence, and one alien from all godliness, preached up in opposition to the Catholic Church. But neither is this to be asserted,-that they who are truly justified must needs, without any doubting whatever, settle within themselves that they are justified, and that no one is absolved from sins and justified, but he that believes for certain that he is absolved and justified; and that absolution and justification are effected by this faith alone: as though whoso has not this belief, doubts of the promises of God, and of the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ. For even as no pious person ought to doubt of the mercy of God, of the merit of Christ, and of the virtue and efficacy of the sacraments, even so each one, when he regards himself, and his own weakness and indisposition, may have fear and apprehension touching his own grace; seeing that no one can know with a certainty of faith, which cannot be subject to error, that he has obtained the grace of God.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:26 pm 
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By the way:

Quote:
CANON VIII.-If any one saith, that the fear of hell,-whereby, by grieving for our sins, we flee unto the mercy of God, or refrain from sinning,-is a sin, or makes sinners worse; let him be anathema.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:29 pm 
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Denise,

A quick comment about your last sentence:

When a person is called before the Lord (death) to be judged, and they don't want to be with God they go to be without Him. (hell)

I won't go back and forth on this....it has been said in this thread. Others have attempted to explain.

Peace and all good,

Dorothy


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:08 pm 
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Pro-Zak wrote:
Anyone who thinks all Protestants have no life in them must be willfully blind.


You’re completely missing my point.

That’s my fault, but I’m not sure how I could have made it clearer.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 4:09 pm 
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theJack wrote:
Pro-Zak wrote:
Jack3 wrote:
TheJack interprets "eat my flesh" to mean "believe", I think.


Indeed.

https://www.desiringgod.org/articles/wh ... t-my-flesh

Indeed.

viewtopic.php?p=2730276#p2730276


Oh, so when Christ literally says “Believe” it means “Believe”.

But when Christ says to “Eat my Flesh” and that “My Flesh is true food”, those aren’t literal.

Thank you for making my point.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:11 pm 
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Peetem wrote:
Oh, so when Christ literally says “Believe” it means “Believe”.

But when Christ says to “Eat my Flesh” and that “My Flesh is true food”, those aren’t literal.

Thank you for making my point.

Of course, obviously.

What, do you really think that I'm somehow inclined to hold that everything Christ said was literal? Do you really think non-Catholics are stupid? I take the literal literally and the figurative figuratively, and both always in context.

"Eat My flesh" and "My flesh is true food" are metaphors. "Believe" is not a metaphor. The referent for the word "believe" is its denotation, and so it is interpreted and taken as such. The referent for "eat my flesh" is "believe," with the salient feature of the comparison being the means of attaining what is necessary for life (eating food / believing in Christ), and so it is interpreted and taken as such.

You are free, I suppose, to argue that "believe" is a metaphor. I'm not sure why you would adopt such a view or what exegetical grounds you would have for pursuing it, but I doubt either one of us is terribly concerned about your exegetical warrant for that interpretation. I've provided mine in sufficient detail in the link.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:39 pm 
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Dorothy B. wrote:
Denise,

A quick comment about your last sentence:

When a person is called before the Lord (death) to be judged, and they don't want to be with God they go to be without Him. (hell)

I won't go back and forth on this....it has been said in this thread. Others have attempted to explain.

Peace and all good,

Dorothy

Peace to you too, Dorothy.

You are saying that when a person dies he or she must choose either eternal bliss or eternal suffering, and after that point they are never allowed to change their decision, and some people choose eternal suffering, and God says "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose eternal suffering rather than eternal bliss, I won't try to enlighten you, and you'll never be allowed to change your crazy decision". That doesn't sound plausible, if God is pure love and infinitely merciful.

If my daughter in 15 years from now decided to become a prostitite and take hard drugs, and I said "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose to become a prostitute and take hard drugs, I won't try to enlighten you, and I'm now completely washing my hands of you and I am going to make sure that you are never able to contact me again, no matter how much you may suffer", what kind of mother would I be? Loving? Forgiving? Compassionate? Merciful? Or cruel?

And yet God is supposed to be infinitely more loving, forgiving, compassionate and kind than I am.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:54 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:

You are saying that when a person dies he or she must choose either eternal bliss or eternal suffering, and after that point they are never allowed to change their decision, and some people choose eternal suffering, and God says "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose eternal suffering rather than eternal bliss, I won't try to enlighten you, and you'll never be allowed to change your crazy decision". That doesn't sound plausible, if God is pure love and infinitely merciful.

If my daughter in 15 years from now decided to become a prostitite and take hard drugs, and I said "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose to become a prostitute and take hard drugs, I won't try to enlighten you, and I'm now completely washing my hands of you and I am going to make sure that you are never able to contact me again, no matter how much you may suffer", what kind of mother would I be? Loving? Forgiving? Compassionate? Merciful? Or cruel?

And yet God is supposed to be infinitely more loving, forgiving, compassionate and kind than I am.


Now who's being simplistic? That is no way reflective of how God is toward His children. In fact, it is the complete opposite.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:57 pm 
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I've already linked to Feser on this.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:03 pm 
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Denise Dee seems to forget that we have Christ as Mediator.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:07 pm 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:

You are saying that when a person dies he or she must choose either eternal bliss or eternal suffering, and after that point they are never allowed to change their decision, and some people choose eternal suffering, and God says "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose eternal suffering rather than eternal bliss, I won't try to enlighten you, and you'll never be allowed to change your crazy decision". That doesn't sound plausible, if God is pure love and infinitely merciful.

If my daughter in 15 years from now decided to become a prostitite and take hard drugs, and I said "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose to become a prostitute and take hard drugs, I won't try to enlighten you, and I'm now completely washing my hands of you and I am going to make sure that you are never able to contact me again, no matter how much you may suffer", what kind of mother would I be? Loving? Forgiving? Compassionate? Merciful? Or cruel?

And yet God is supposed to be infinitely more loving, forgiving, compassionate and kind than I am.


Now who's being simplistic? That is no way reflective of how God is toward His children. In fact, it is the complete opposite.

That makes no sense to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:08 pm 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
Denise Dee seems to forget that we have Christ as Mediator.

That also makes no sense to me.

I honestly don't understand what point you are trying to make.


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:17 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Dorothy B. wrote:
Denise,

A quick comment about your last sentence:

When a person is called before the Lord (death) to be judged, and they don't want to be with God they go to be without Him. (hell)

I won't go back and forth on this....it has been said in this thread. Others have attempted to explain.

Peace and all good,

Dorothy

Peace to you too, Dorothy.

You are saying that when a person dies he or she must choose either eternal bliss or eternal suffering, and after that point they are never allowed to change their decision, and some people choose eternal suffering, and God says "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose eternal suffering rather than eternal bliss, I won't try to enlighten you, and you'll never be allowed to change your crazy decision". That doesn't sound plausible, if God is pure love and infinitely merciful.

If my daughter in 15 years from now decided to become a prostitite and take hard drugs, and I said "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose to become a prostitute and take hard drugs, I won't try to enlighten you, and I'm now completely washing my hands of you and I am going to make sure that you are never able to contact me again, no matter how much you may suffer", what kind of mother would I be? Loving? Forgiving? Compassionate? Merciful? Or cruel?

And yet God is supposed to be infinitely more loving, forgiving, compassionate and kind than I am.


Denise,

The person does not make the choice after their death.....they had time to make their choice in their lifetime. The Lord is always there with open arms to take us back to Him when we repent.

None of us seem to be able to explain to your satisfaction about hell. I won't try anymore. I do suggest that you pray persistently for wisdom and understanding....gifts of the Holy Spirit. The Lord loves you infinitely.

Peace,

Dorothy


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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:39 pm 
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Denise Dee wrote:
Signum Crucis wrote:
Denise Dee wrote:

You are saying that when a person dies he or she must choose either eternal bliss or eternal suffering, and after that point they are never allowed to change their decision, and some people choose eternal suffering, and God says "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose eternal suffering rather than eternal bliss, I won't try to enlighten you, and you'll never be allowed to change your crazy decision". That doesn't sound plausible, if God is pure love and infinitely merciful.

If my daughter in 15 years from now decided to become a prostitite and take hard drugs, and I said "Okay, if that's your choice, if you're really that stupid to freely choose to become a prostitute and take hard drugs, I won't try to enlighten you, and I'm now completely washing my hands of you and I am going to make sure that you are never able to contact me again, no matter how much you may suffer", what kind of mother would I be? Loving? Forgiving? Compassionate? Merciful? Or cruel?

And yet God is supposed to be infinitely more loving, forgiving, compassionate and kind than I am.


Now who's being simplistic? That is no way reflective of how God is toward His children. In fact, it is the complete opposite.

That makes no sense to me.


You don't understand what "opposite" means? Get a dictionary and look it up.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:50 pm 
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Signum Crucis wrote:
Denise Dee seems to forget that we have Christ as Mediator.

I think it's more fundamental than that. The reason she can't make chicken soup (understand eternal damnation) is not just that she has added too little salt (the role of Christ). It is that she pours lots of maple syrup (univocal love) and yogurt (conversion after death). Lack of salt is the least of the soup's problems. You can't repair or redeem that soup by adding more salt because she has poured maple syrup and yogurt into it.

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 Post subject: Re: Response to an Orthodox Critic on Hell and the Fathers
PostPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 8:59 pm 
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Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore;
fecemi la divina podestate,
la somma sapïenza e 'l primo amore.

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Nos autem in nomine Domini Dei nostri

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