Friday, February 5, 2016

Lord, Cleanse Me

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.



Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.  (Ps 51:10)


And in addition to what has been said, it is good with our head cleansed, as the head which is the workshop of the senses is cleansed, to hold fast the Head of Christ—from Him the whole body is fitly joined together and formed—and to cast down our sin that exalted itself, when it would exalt us above our better part.  It is good also for the shoulder to be sanctified and purified that it may be able to take up the Cross of Christ, which not everyone can easily do.  It is good for the hands to be consecrated, and the feet.  The former that they may in every place be lifted up holy, and that they may lay hold of the discipline of Christ, lest the Lord at any time be angered; and that the Word may gain credence by action, as was the case with that which was given in the hand of a prophet.  The latter that they be not swift to shed blood, nor to run to evil, but that they be prompt to run to the Gospel and the Prize of the high Calling, and to receive Christ Who washes and cleanses them.  And if there be also a cleansing of that belly which receives and digests the food of the Word, it would be good also, not to make it a god by luxury and the meat that perishes, but rather to give it all possible cleansing, and to make it more spare, that it may receive the Word of God at the very heart, and grieve honorably over the sins of Israel.  I find also the heart and inward parts deemed worthy of honor.  David convinces me of this, when he prays that a clean heart may be created in him, and a right spirit renewed in his inward parts—meaning, I think, the mind and its movements or thoughts.

Gregory of Nazianzus, Oration on Holy Baptism, 39

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.



Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.  (Ps 51:4)


I was the agent of many crimes in Your sight.  Now, this is also a proof of my wickedness as well as confirmation of Your goodness.  If we were called to account and judged with one another, and if Your doings were to be displayed, I would always emerge as the offender and You always the benefactor.  I would next be condemned as an ingrate in everything and liable to the punishment now befalling me, whereas You would emerge as justly imposing it on me, so that no claim of mine would be justly directed against You if You were not prepared to overlook my sins in Your habitual loving-kindness.

Theodore of Mopsuestia

Despite enjoying many wonderful gifts from You, I repaid the gifts with the opposite, being rash enough to commit what is forbidden by the Law.* … I brought troubles on myself, whereas your righteousness is conspicuous: if the judgment of this kind passed on me by You is brought into the open, and my crimes set alongside it, You would emerge both righteous and loving, while I would appear criminal and ungrateful.

Theodoret of Cyrus


*  Theodoret adds: By this he does not mean he did no wrong to Uriah—in fact, he wronged Uriah and his wife—but the greatest transgression was committed against God Himself, who had chosen him, who made him king in place of shepherd, rendered him stronger than his foes, and showered on him goods of all kinds.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Great Wounds Need Great Remedies

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with this Sunday’s Psalm study.



Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and cleanse me from my sin!  (Ps 51:1-2)


The severity of wounds calls for remedies of equal intensity, the person falling victim to a serious illness needs greater care, and the one guilty of great sins requires great loving-kindness.  This is surely why the mighty David implores that mercy be completely poured out on him, and the whole fount of compassion be shed on the wound of sin, there being no other way to blot out the traces of sin.
… He is saying,
You have already given me forgiveness through the prophet Nathan, and have brought to bear on me manifold calamities like varieties of cutting and burning.  But I still need purges, giving off as I do an awful stench of sin.  So wash me again, Lord, so as to remove all filth of sin.
Theodoret of Cyrus

Monday, February 1, 2016

Seeking for the Right Things

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with the Psalm series on Sunday.



One thing have I asked of the Lᴏʀᴅ,
    that will I seek after:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lᴏʀᴅ
    all the days of my life,
to gaze upon the beauty of the Lᴏʀᴅ
    and to inquire in his temple.  (Ps 27:4)

Now having enjoyed such goodness, he is saying:
I seek from my benefactor not wealth or influence, royalty or glory, but constant attendance in the divine temple, contemplation of the divine beauty there, and inspection of everything happening in accordance with law.  I have a feeling of benefit, in fact, having already secured salvation from that source and escaped the hands of my pursuers.
This the mighty David both asked for and received from the generous God.  He brought back the divine ark, erected another, more wonderful tabernacle, and assembled the different choirs of singers.

Theodoret of Cyrus

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Of Whom Shall I be Afraid?

Continuing my posts of patristic texts coinciding with the Psalm series on Sunday.



The Lᴏʀᴅ is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lᴏʀᴅ is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me
    to eat up my flesh,
my adversaries and foes,
    it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me,
    my heart shall not fear;
though war arise against me,
    yet I will be confident.  (Ps 27:1-3)


And Christians have nothing to fear, even if demons should not be well-disposed to them.  For they are protected by the Supreme God, who is well pleased with their piety, and who sets His divine angels to watch over those who are worthy of such guardianship, so that they can suffer nothing from demons.  He who by his piety possesses the favor of the Most High, who has accepted the guidance of Jesus, the “Angel of the great counsel,” being well contented with the favor of God through Christ Jesus, may say with confidence that he has nothing to suffer from the whole host of demons.  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? … Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear.”

Origen, Against Celsus, VIII.27

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

I'm So Excited!

No, the title is not a reference to the 1982 song released by The Pointer Sisters, though I do remember when it hit the airwaves.  Instead, I would like to investigate the entire notion of getting excited for Christ being visibly exhibited both in worship and a fully committed life.  In 2010 David Platt introduced this idea with Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream which challenged Christians to eschew American values and rediscover the commitment of biblical discipleship.  In 2011 Kyle Idleman followed suit with his book Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus, wherein he compared a nonparticipant (fan) in sports or music with a participant (follower), encouraging the reader to be the latter.  While I appreciate both men’s desire to get Christians to reorient themselves and demonstrate faith by their works, they inadvertently put emphasis on the wrong thing.

Idleman, for an example, got his terms backwards.  The fully committed person, the one “all in,” is the fan.  What do I mean by that?  The word fan is short for fanatic.  Merriam-Webster (M-W) defines this: marked by excessive enthusiasm and often intense uncritical devotion, coming from the Latin fanaticus (inspired by a deity, frenzied).  In modern parlance, this person is in a spiritual and mental state more akin to demon possession than devotion, resembling the conduct of one confronted by Jesus:
He lived among the tombs.  And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces.  No one had the strength to subdue him.  Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones.  (Mk 5:3-5)
More appropriate might be a word used in the M-W definition above—enthusiasm—defined as:
  • 1 a : belief in special revelations of the Holy Spirit
  •     b : religious fanaticism
  • 2 a : strong excitement of feeling : ardor
  •     b : something inspiring zeal or fervor
These are divided between categories of religious and worldly, however, definition 1a is the sole New Testament use leaving the others to the realm of emotions.  It is within this latter sphere that most people use the word or its derivatives.  Looking at the history of the word, we see that “enthuse” comes from the Greek entheos (ἐνθεος: in god, or god within).  Simply put, an enthused person is one being driven by god-induced passions.  Most Christians I know will read this and think, “That’s right.  A believer needs to be passionate for the Lord.”  Actually, the reverse is true.

The ancient Greek understanding does not border on fanaticism as described above, but the degree of devotion towards a god or goddess drove followers to act out in irrational ways.  A biblical example of this type of behavior can be found in the Old Testament, wherein Elijah confronted the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel.  Notice their behavior:
And they took the bull that was given them, and they prepared it and called upon the name of Baal from morning until noon, saying, “O Baal, answer us!”  But there was no voice, and no one answered.  And they limped around the altar that they had made.… And they cried aloud and cut themselves after their custom with swords and lances, until the blood gushed out upon them.  And as midday passed, they raved on until the time of the offering of the oblation, but there was no voice.  No one answered; no one paid attention.  (1 Ki 17:26-29)
Driven by their fervor, the prophets performed all manner of invocation to get Baal’s attention to no avail.  While this is not a response from Greek idol worshipers, the passion exhibited is very similar to that employed in Athenian (and Roman) temples centuries later.

To be sure, there is a danger in giving undue consideration to etymological history over current usage, however background knowledge helps us understand that the enthused person is driven more by emotions than cognition.  For the Christian, this is particularly dangerous, since the resounding theme coming from most sectors of the Western church is the need for increased fervor by whatever means possible.  The two books mentioned at the beginning are examples of attempts to foment righteous fervor in the body of Christ.

Let me state that I am not opposed to passion and fervor.  A quick review of godly individuals in Scripture will attest to their zeal for the Lord’s things.  My complaint is with the means being used to stir up hearts.  Over and again, preachers and conference teachers will do their best to guilt believers into doing more for Christ out of duty: get with the program and help reach the world, or some part of it, for Christ; get to work in some ministry; do more for Christ’s kingdom.  While these imperatives are true, they will not sustain me.  In the end, I believe the attempts to stir the rank and file are closer in their rhetoric to a political campaign than to disciple-making.  We do not want to be caught up in the excesses.


Living in Iowa during the campaign season, I am bombarded early and often with slogans ad nauseum about how this candidate or that is a better leader, is more Christian in conduct, is attuned with Midwestern values, etc.  The advertisers make their appeal to a “typical Iowan” (whatever that may be) hoping to motivate voters to actively support their candidate and get involved, all of which sounds eerily like a typical preacher any given Sunday:
The culture is rotting around you.  You need to get to work.  Get out, and make a difference.  If you give you all, you’ll be taken care of.
The difference between Jesus and a political candidate, though, is infinite.  I don’t know about you, but I am not in any shape to “make a difference for Jesus” simply because I have nothing to give.  The Lord was (and is) God incarnate.  He willing went to the cross and died for my sin and the sin of the world, then rose from the dead and ascended into heaven until He returns.

How does passion get ignited?  How does zeal grow?  How do we get excited for Christ?  The answer is in the faithful teaching of God’s promises in Christ Jesus.  I have heard more than one message decrying doctrine as a lifeless edifice that must be removed for God to move, but the truth is that doctrine is what motivates people to share the good news of Jesus.  The faithful communication of the Lord’s precepts, commandments, statutes, and promises are those things in which the psalmists continually ask the congregation to rejoice.

Do you want those under your tutelage or within your sphere of influence to be motivated for the work of the kingdom?  Do not resort to behavior modification, brow-beating, or dangling carrots.  Give what they need—the full, undiluted Gospel.  Give the fullness of Christ and Him crucified.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Make Me Whole for Your Mercy's Sake

Our pastor is teaching through some of the Psalms, so I thought it might be helpful to post some patristic reflections about the texts being used.



My help is righteous, coming from God who saves the upright in heart.  (Ps 7:10 LXX)

The offices of medicine are twofold, on the curing infirmity, the other the preserving health. According to the first it was said in the preceding Psalm, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am weak;” [Ps 6:2] according to the second it is said in this Psalm, “If there be iniquity in my hands, if I have repaid them that recompense me evil, may I therefore fall by my enemies empty.”  For there the weak prays that he may be delivered, here one already whole that he may not change for the worse.  According to the one it is there said, “Make me whole for Your mercy’s sake;” according to this other it is here said, “Judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness.” … According to the former it is said, “Make me whole, O Lord, according to Thy mercy:” according to the latter it is said, “My righteous help is from the Lord, who makes whole the upright in heart.”  Both the one and the other makes men whole; but the former removes them from sickness into health, the latter preserves them in this health.  Therefore there the help is merciful, because the sinner has no desert, who as yet longs to be justified, “believing on Him who justifies the ungodly;” but here the help is righteous, because it is given to one already righteous.  Let the sinner then who said, “I am weak,” say in the first place, “Make me whole, O Lord, for Your mercy’s sake;” and here let the righteous man, who said, “If I have repaid them that recompense me evil,” say, “My righteous help is from the Lord, who makes whole the upright in heart.”  For if he sets forth the medicine, by which we may be healed when weak, how much more that by which we may be kept in health.  For if “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, how much more being now justified shall we be kept whole from wrath through Him.” [Ro 8:35, 38-39]

Augustine of Hippo

Monday, January 25, 2016

Lord, Judge Me

Our pastor is teaching through some of the Psalms, so I thought it might be helpful to post some patristic reflections about the texts being used.



The Lᴏʀᴅ judges the peoples;
    judge me, O Lᴏʀᴅ, according to my righteousness
    and according to the integrity that is in me.  (Ps 7:8)


“Recognize my worthiness of a share in your help, clearly aware that it is most fair that I should beg the assistance of your defense.  After all, though I personally did nothing wrong to anyone, I am oppressed by others’ wrongdoing.”

Now the fact that he says my righteousness, whether speaking in his own person or in someone else’s, suggests that he is right to demand God’s help against his enemies, having been harmed by them.  Nowhere does he make reference to his own righteousness in such a way as to appear to attribute it to the zeal of his own life.  It teaches us as well that at the time we are placed in a hostile situation we can attract the attention of the divine hearing and regard if when suffering from others’ wrongdoing we still serve the cause of justice.  Hence, he goes on in the same vein And according to my innocence over me.  By innocence it is not simplicity he is referring to, but not doing any wrong.  So his meaning is: Just as I am not badly disposed to them, and yet am ill-treated by them, so judge me as someone wronged without cause and suffering unjustly.

Theodore of Mopsuestia

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Seek Not Your Own Glory

Our pastor is teaching through some of the Psalms, so I thought it might be helpful to post some patristic reflections about the texts being used.



O Lᴏʀᴅ my God, if I have done this,
    if there is wrong in my hands,
if I have repaid my friend with evil
    or plundered my enemy without cause,
let the enemy pursue my soul and overtake it,
    and let him trample my life to the ground
    and lay my glory in the dust.  (Ps 7:3-5)


The pursuit of human glory, we maintain, is forbidden not only by the teaching of Jesus, but also by the Old Testament.  Accordingly we find one of the prophets, when imprecating upon himself certain punishments for the commission of certain sins, includes among the punishments this one of earthly glory.  He says, “O Lord my God, if I have done this; if there be iniquity in my hands; if I have rewarded evil unto him that was at peace with me; (yes, rather, I have delivered him that without cause is my enemy;) let the enemy persecute my soul, and take it; even let him tread down my life upon the earth, and set my glory up on high.” [Origen’s wording]  And these precepts of our Lord,
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink.… Look at the birds of the air (or behold the ravens): they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?… And why are you anxious about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field;” [Mt 6:25-28]
—these precepts, and those which follow, are not inconsistent with the promised blessings of the law, which teaches that the just “shall eat their bread to the full;” [Le 26:5] nor with that saying of Solomon, “The righteous has enough to satisfy his appetite, but the belly of the wicked suffers want.” [Pr 13:25]  For we must consider the food promised in the law as the food of the soul, which is to satisfy not both parts of man’s nature, but the soul only.  And the words of the Gospel, although probably containing a deeper meaning, may yet be taken in their more simple and obvious sense, as teaching us not to be disturbed with anxieties about our food and clothing, but, while living in plainness, and desiring only what is needful, to put our trust in the providence of God.

Origen, Against Celsus VII.24

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Whose Reflection Do You See?

Consider the following question: When the congregants of your church gather at the appointed time for worship on a Sunday morning, who or what is reflected?  The answer will vary and include, but not be limited to, such admirable attributes as love, acceptance, truth, and mercy.  The format will vary along a spectrum of formality from highly structured to chaotic with art and accouterments displayed or eschewed in a manner consistent with a particular style.  All this occurs in the name of reaching unbelievers or “unchurched” with the gospel in whatever way that is envisioned.  I wonder, though, if the truth is not more accurately represented by a well-known line from a Brothers Grimm fairy tale:

Queen:  Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall,
Who in this land is the fairest of all?

Mirror:  Thou, O Queen, art the fairest of all.

In other words, are we are simply telling ourselves what we want to believe in order to rationalize or legitimize our self-made plans, notions, or traditions?

Jonathan Aigner raises a warning flag in his examination of the trend towards multiple worship styles by noting nine points that run counter to the work of the local assembly:
  • • It divides otherwise healthy congregations.
  • • It often segregates along demographic lines.
  • • It establishes a false “old vs. new” dichotomy in congregational song.
  • • It teaches different theologies.
  • • It equates music with worship.
  • • It assumes that historic elements of Christian worship are optional.
  • • It reduces corporate worship to an activity of individualistic self-expression instead of a gathering of covenant people.
  • • It creates a self-centered atmosphere.
  • • It bows at the altar of American consumerism.
While Aigner’s post is aimed at the large church attempting to have multiple styles over their worship services, these points apply to groups moving towards or engaged in what Mike Livingstone coined as “worshiptainment.”  In other words, we feel that we need to entertain in order to get people into the worship service.  He posits three points that strike at the heart of the issue:
  • • Who or what is the spotlight really on?
  • • What message are we communicating?
  • • How are lives changed?
These are important questions for every local assembly to consider.  At the root is what I consider to be the prime question: Should not worship reflect God’s glory?  YHWH establishes his rightful place in relation to his people in the commandments given to Moses:
I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.  You shall have no other gods before me.  You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.… You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. (Ex 20:2-7)
Honor, glory, and adoration were requisite responses of first importance so that, at the end of the wilderness wandering, Moses gave instruction governing all personal and corporate life.  Torah was to be considered as if physically attached to the body governing all personal and corporate life (De 6:5-9).  This included very definite, explicit instructions for proper worship (Ex 25:9, 40; De 12:13-14) that carried serious, even capital, punishment when neglected (Le 10:1-2; 2 Sa 6:6-7) or rationalized for seemingly good reasons (1 Sa 15:15-19).

With the passing of the Old Covenant, the move has been to increasingly explore new and trendy practices with the idea that there is freedom to explore possibilities.  However, when we take up personal tastes and assumptions of worship practice, we are left with an incoherent and chaotic pattern that serves no one, as the below graphically shows.

HT: Rich Futrell

Alec Satin points out the trend of God’s people to replace reverent worship with irreverent.  He demonstrates through the simple act of applause that churches are following the massive shift away from reverence in society at large.  Those things once held sacred by cultural understanding are now deconstructed and employed in common ways to stimulate base desires or in crude ways to shock sensibilities.  As the envelope continues to be pushed, the limits of credulity are extended until they are paper thin or vanish altogether move from questionable forms and culturally-attuned doctrinal statements to aberrant forms and teaching—the chief goal of the protagonist, Satan.  By placing the sensibilities of the world or ourselves above the Lord’s, we disgrace His name as Martin Luther put forth:
From this every one can readily infer when and in how many ways God’s name is misused, although it is impossible to enumerate all its misuses.… But, the greatest abuse occurs in spiritual matters, which pertain to the conscience, when false preachers rise up and offer their lying vanities as God’s Word.  Behold, all this is dressing one’s self up with God’s name, or making a pretty show, or claiming to be right, whether it happens in gross, worldly business or in sublime, subtle matters of faith and doctrine.
Large Catechism, I.53-55

A scoffer may ask, “Has any local assembly really gone off the rails into that much confusion? That seems far-fetched.”  Some are mentioned in Scripture with Corinth the chief among them.  Matters were so bad that the apostle Paul had to deal with multiple internal issues, not least of which was their meeting practice (1 Co 11:17-14:40).  Clement would later send a non-canonical letter to this same body of Christians because they had inappropriately dismissed their elders—a grievous situation causing the need for an envoy to correct the matter.  Beyond that example are seven churches in Asia Minor from the book of Revelation.  Compare the warning given to the church of Laodicea (Re 3:14-22) with the canons from the Synod of Laodicea, and note that the sinful attitude highlighted by the Lord through John ran rampant 350 years later.  Today, little to no Christian testimony exists because they did not repent of those things that Jesus had warned them to correct.

How do we correct course?

Luther offers a beginning in the subsequent point of his catechism:
Here, then, let us learn and take to heart the great importance of this commandment, that with all diligence we may guard against and dread every misuse of the holy name, as the greatest sin that can be outwardly committed.  For to lie and deceive is in itself a great sin, but is greatly aggravated when we attempt to justify it, and seek to confirm it by invoking the name of God and using it as a cloak for shame, so that from a single lie a double lie, nay, manifold lies, result.
Large Catechism, I.56

In order to guard against the misuse of God’s holy name in worship, we must examine the instructions He gave for worship.  Multiple chapters of the Pentateuch are given over to the exact construction of the structure, utensils, sacrifices, and timing of worship.  This function in the life of the elect is of paramount importance.  Proper worship must be in accord with Divine revelation.  One may object that the constrictions were removed when Jesus died on the cross: after all, He fulfilled all these things to which Mosaic Covenant pointed.  While the system was completely removed as far as a specific building, location, and system, the resulting expectation is greater.  Much as Jesus instructed the crowds in the Sermon on the Mount, we no longer operate according to the letter of the Law, but according to Divine intent.

Throughout the Acts and epistles, we get glimpses of imperfect worship offered by imperfect Christians and instruction to offer it more properly.  The tendency has been to assume these imperfections were meant to show that diversity in worship practice is either allowed or expected.  This places a wrong focus on the actions of forgiven sinners to instruct our concept of worship while placing less emphasis on the corrective instruction.  The first epistle to Corinth gives a case in point.  Near the end of his teaching on church order, Paul states:
What then, brothers?  When you come together, each one has a hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation.  (1 Co 14:26a)
First, the apostle is describing the current condition.  The meetings described in chapters 11-14 have been bedlam while prophets, teachers, and tongues-speakers ply their skills.  Some have used this passage to suggest the gifts are to be used in whatever way is desired and as the Spirit moves.  Paul intends to correct the problem of chaos.
Let all things be done for building up.  (1 Co 14:26b)
But all things should be done decently and in order.  (1 Co 14:40)
Rather than continuing on the path they had begun, order needed to be restored that believers might edify one another, not themselves.

What should our worship look like?

While I have stated or implied that we cannot be lackadaisical or haphazard, neither must we be rigid, however there are definite New Testament patterns by returning to the book of Revelation.  There we find a pattern and characteristics to be emulated.
  • Ordered – Each group of worshipers understands their place and function within their position as intended.
  • Reverential – The worshipers bow in reverence, casting what they have been freely given at the feet of the Giver of all good things, yet there are those represented who are welcome to bring their petitions before the Lord.
  • Focused – The Lord Jesus Christ is ever the focus of worship.  None of the songs proclaim what the worshiper intends to do; nor do they speak of Him as their lover, confidant, BFF, or other earthly relationship.  They refer to Him as Lord over all having won salvation and is worthy to receive honor and execute judgment.
  • Dialogical – Throughout the book we see a pattern of revelation or action from Jesus followed by a response from the heavenly host.  This not simply a remembrance of what happened in prior times, but a continual interaction between the Lord and His saints.
  • Edifying – The saints slain for their testimony were clothed with white robes and the comforting promise that though others would die, there would be an end.
I could probably bring out other elements, but these should suffice.  The question to ask one another is: Are we as a local assembly worshiping aright, or have we given way to the whims of culture or personal taste?  We would do well to periodically evaluate what constitutes worship within our assemblies, compare that to Scripture, and make any adjustments to reflect the Lord’s glory and not our own.