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John M. Harris

I've been asked "are you a Calvinist" by someone who wanted me to affirm all 5-points of the TULIP (which I don't), and I"ve been asked "are you a Calvinist" by someone who thinks predestination is of the devil. So, It strikes me as fair, as a pastor, to ask "what do you mean by the question" when someone asks you a question on Sunday morning looking for an immediate off-the-cuff answer. One might also ask "do you believe the Bible" when what they mean is "do you always take a wooden interpretation of the meaning" or they may ask "do you believe in the rapture" when what they mean is "are you a Dispensationalist." As a Pastor, I have learned that there is almost always a discrepancy between the academic meaning of a term and various church member's understanding of the very same words. It's important, for good communication, to define terms first, and that's not a "Sunday morning between services" task :-)

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