still no middle ground

Some ongoing reflections on a discussion about “Conservative Evangelicals and Fundamentalists” held in Calgary, AB, June 27, 2008.

See earlier notes here.

Perhaps the most interesting question on our minds for this discussion is just what Pastor Minnick thinks can be done in cooperation with conservative evangelicals. The question was raised by Mark Dever in his recently published interview of Pastor Minnick this way:

“What would we have to do to change for you to be free to preach here?”

The same question has been discussed here and here with the majority of commenters seemingly unsatisfied with the specificity of Pastor Minnick’s answer at that time. You will see a commenter raising the question again in my last post on the subject and the question was raised both in the public discussion in Calgary and in personal conversation. The question is being framed in different ways, but essentially it is the same question. Dever’s articulation of it is as good as any.

Apparently, some are of the mind that very little prevents someone like Pastor Minnick from being free to preach at a Capitol Hill Baptist Church. Some have said that it is merely the connections with fundamentalist institutions that prevent such cooperation.

If you pause to consider what Pastor Minnick said in his careful answer to Dever in the interview, you will find that there is much more that would prevent any such cooperation at this time. Note especially the way Pastor Minnick gave his answer to the final version of Dever’s question in the interview:

Well, when you were in Greenville I think you told us that there is no liberalism left in the Convention. I don’t know enough about the Convention to know whether that’s the case or not. But what I do know is that the convention for all of these decades, um, has been conditioned by a philosophy, an approach on these things that is different than what I see the Scripture teaching so I, I would think there’s an awfully lot that would have to be done throughout the Convention to bring the leadership, the pastors, the Christian leaders, you know, up to the point where they were consistently showing that they understand the sep… the need for separatism, and, and until such time … uh, you know you would have cause I think for concern about getting too affiliated with, uh, the Convention. [my emphasis]

Note especially here these parts of the answer [as I paraphrase them]:

  • Dever claims there is no liberalism left in the Convention.
  • Our understanding of the Convention is that it has been conditioned by a philosophy of tolerance towards liberalism for many decades.
  • For cooperation to exist with any Southern Baptist and a fundamentalist today, there would have to be a great deal of reformation throughout the Convention.

And my paraphrase of the concluding statement: without those kinds of changes, cooperation would really be hard.

In our discussion session, Pastor Minnick was able to expand on these thoughts. He reported again Dever’s assertion that there are no liberals left in the Convention. But while Dever made that assertion, he has also admitted that a large number of the membership in the Convention are unconverted, perhaps even a majority of its members (especially given the wide disparity between claimed membership and actual attendance at SBC churches). Considering those statistics, it is hard to imagine that there are no liberals in the SBC.

One area of SBC life that is especially problematic is the Cooperative Program that funds SBC missions, among other things. Given the pool from which SBC missionaries are drawn (and some recent resolutions aimed at SBC missions) it is hard to imagine that there is still not some taint of liberalism in the Convention. The Cooperative Program is a first class example of ‘cooperative’ effort fundamentalists are not comfortable to be associated with.

Another example Pastor Minnick raised as a barrier for fundamentalist cooperation with men like Dever involves relationships with a prominent evangelical who signed the ECT. Dever acknowledges that this individual’s actions are a concern, but can’t see breaking off cooperation with this individual because of all the good this fellow has done in his ministry. As fundamentalists, we acknowledge the good, but can’t cooperate because of the serious nature of the error. This is an area where there is still significant difference between Dever and fundamentalists.

In conclusion was a statement like this (my paraphrase):

We can’t give away the store just because conservative evangelicals are starting to see what the problem is.

In my own conversation with Pastor Minnick, he assured me that there remain many differences that make cooperation impossible at this time, but that he is hopeful conversations between fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals may yield some positive fruit. The differences between fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are NOT as simple as saying that Minnick is a BJU professor, but were it not for BJU he would be free to cooperate. If there were no BJU (or Mount Calvary Baptist Church, for that matter), the significant differences still would preclude cooperation at this time.

One last thing… Pastor Minnick pointed out during our discussion session the fact that Mark Dever himself acknowledges the significant differences that still remain. A point everyone is overlooking comes early on in the Dever-Minnick interview:

Dever: I had a great visit with Mark when I first met him a few months ago. I was down in Greenville, had lunch with Mark and some other pastor friends there and I would say Mark was obviously kind, charitable, articulate, … uh, and we disagree on some things so I thought there’s a good basis for conversation [laughter] … um … we were at a table with a bunch of other ministers where we would have a lot in agreement, so your basic Christian doctrines we’re agreeing, but where we came up with differences again and again was on the matter of how we associate with other Christians, how we decide to do that. So that’s the kind of thing we want to be talking about in this interview to try to gain a better understanding of fundamentalism and especially the doctrine of separation. So for our listeners who aren’t familiar with sort of current fundamentalism, Mark, uh, I often describe myself as a fundamentalist, you’ve heard me tell a couple of stories where I do that, but I’m not a fundamentalist in the way you mean that, am I? [emphasis mine]

You see, Dever himself knows there is still a divide. Whether he ever comes to the place where he will move to the fundamentalist side of the divide remains to be seen. There are a host of changes that would have to be made.

~~~

I really appreciate Pastor Minnick’s willingness to be grilled by local church pastors. There is wide interest in the Dever-Minnick interview, especially on the fundamentalist side. The wide commentary on the internet testifies to this. The intense interest of those listening in and participating in our discussion session likewise speaks to how critical this is to our movement. In fact, our moderator made an announcement to the crowd that the session might seem boring to the children and ladies and allowed them to be excused if they wished (men had to stay, bored or not). I don’t think many moved. I didn’t notice any boredom. I thought all were very attentive. This is a critical issue for our day.

I am not as optimistic about our fundamentalist future as some are. And by that, I mean the fundamentalist movement as we know it. There are many challenges facing us. How it will all turn out is uncertain.

The fundamentalist movement rests on certain theological ideals, especially our understanding of true Christian fellowship and separation. We are seeing a constant barrage against these ideals. There seems to be a curious quiet at the top of the heap of fundamentalist leaders. I hope for more forthright declarations (reasonable, rational, charitable, but forthright and clear) so that men on all sides will know exactly where we stand and who we stand with.

don_sig2

Publication note: This post was written about ten days ago, but I delayed publication in order to give Pastor Minnick an opportunity to review my comments. Having done that, the only alterations I have made to my original comments were to correct spelling errors and attempt to make one or two obtuse sentences a little less so (not sure on the success of that, but an attempt was made nonetheless).

Comments

  1. This is vastly interesting, Don – especially as you would remember Dr Masters warning Dr Dever (as Dever reported) about the loss of our ministry of warning by association with those who are in error.

    I will admit to being open on some things, and closed on others – one of those things I am closed tight on is the neccessity of independent, local churches and the desirability of the dismantling of extrabiblical denominational structures…

  2. Dave says:

    Don,

    Do we still disagree with each other over whether Minnick answered Dever’s question?

    DMD

  3. Hi Dave

    As I have reviewed this, and as I think I mentioned in the earlier post, pastor Minnick began to answer the question in his final response. I do think that the essence of his answer was there, but it really took fleshing out in our Calgary discussion to have a clear understanding of what he was saying.

    In other words, I still wish he had been more clear in the interview, but I acknowledge that the essence of his answer was there.

    One of the real problems we are facing today, I think, is that our leaders have given confusing signals which have led to some of the younger set leaping to wrong conclusions concerning associations. I’ll use you for an example… When Dever posted his response on 9marks to the Minnick interview, your answer (very early in the thread) was excellent. But on the other hand, you have said other things at other venues that seem disconnected with fundamentalist philosophy. Here I am thinking specifically of your recent message at the FBF conference and your speaking at a church in the “MacArthur orbit” not to long ago.

    The essence of our discussion in Calgary is this: there yet remain significant differences between the conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists. There is not at this time sufficient common ground for ministry partnership.

    What I am calling for (and I don’t think I am alone) is that our leaders clearly articulate the differences so that the impressionable can make clear choices as to which philosophy they will embrace. If our leaders continue to ‘play footsie’ with the conservative evangelicals, the impressionable will completely embrace them, ignoring or denying any significant difference at all.

    So, Dave, let me put this question back to you: Is there still no middle ground? Will you invite Mark Dever to preach at Inner City any time soon?

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  4. Dave says:

    Don,

    I am not sure I am tracking well with the middle ground image you’re using, so I really don’t know how to answer that one. If it means that there is distance between Mark Dever’s position and mine, then the answer is yes, there is middle ground between us. And that leads to the answer to the second question, no I won’t be inviting Mark to preach at Inter-City any time soon. But I’d hasten to add that I wouldn’t break fellowship with someone who did for that reason.

    I’d be interested to hear what your concerns about the FBF message are. My hunch is that they are connnected to the anwser I just gave, but hunches aren’t a reliable guide. I suppose I should say, I am interested in your concerns, but not likely to engage in much discussion over them simply because I am trying to cut back on blog discussions currently. So, please do offer your assessment and I will attempt to listen carefully, just probably won’t respond lest I find myself in a long discussion.

    Like you, I believe, I don’t want to be wrong on these matters, nor do I want to send confusing messages. I didn’t personally find Minnick’s answers in the interview confusing and I tried hard to be clear at the FBF meeting. But I’ve learned over the years that what I thought was clear coming out of my mouth isn’t always clear reaching other people’s ears. So, I welcome your feedback as an opportunity to improve my clarity.

  5. Hi Dave,

    I think you basically are getting what I mean by the middle ground as per your first paragraph above. Thanks for your answer.

    The idea of a “middle ground” comes from some things Bob Bixby has said (recall his posts about an “emerging middle” – I have one of those, but that’s not what he meant!! Actually, mine is sort of fully emerged… but I digress). Others in the fundamentalist orbit who have made much of their criticism of fundamentalism and approbation of the conservative evangelicals seem to think there is little difference between the ce’s and the ‘best’ of the fundamentalists.

    My point about there still being a middle ground is that as I see it there remain significant differences between conservative evangelicals and fundamentalists that still preclude ministry partnership (I use the word partnership as more useful in conveying the notion of koinonia in English than fellowship.) As you have noted, there is as yet no foreseeable partnering in ministry together by such things as sharing pulpits etc. There is probably more that could be examined here, but the shared pulpit is objective enough to be something of a clear example.

    As for the FBF message, I appreciate your willingness to have more detailed analysis. I occasionally here critiques of my own preaching – often from you know who – and she means them as the help her role as helpmeet is meant to provide – well… critiques are hard to take, aren’t they? So I appreciate your willingness to open yourself up to analysis and perhaps some criticism.

    Here’s what I’ll do, since Sunday is fast approaching, I will go listen to your message again and offer a post late Monday or Tuesday with my assessment.

    All in all, what I am after for our rising generations of young fundamentalists is that there be another generation after them. I want our schools and our churches to be producing young men who are willing to pay the price for a fundamentalist philosophy and be willing to stand against the current errors of our day.

    My part in this is very small, but I hope to have an influence on some.

    Thanks again for your response.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  6. tjp says:

    Don: [‘There seems to be a curious quiet at the top of the heap of fundamentalist leaders.”]

    tjp: This is absolutely the case and clearly voices a growing feeling among separatist fundies. Ever since the Minnick interview with IX Marks, I’ve had several separatist fundies tell me of their profound disappointment not only with Minnick’s dismal performance but with the entire fundy war machine, a vicariate that has virtually remained silent concerning the principles of separatism and their application. Clearly, the separatist are in quandary, and their old paradigms are not fitting present exigencies. And this appears to be more than the fundy brass can handle.

    It’ll be interesting how the separatists will present themselves in the next year or so and what principles will be their mainstay. Most folks I know feel there is a change coming. But whether that change will be substantive is hard to tell. And, from what I hear, there is some disagreement among the various movers and shakers representing the fundy institutions (schools, publications, etc.) about how to proceed in the current climate. That a change in tone has already occurred is obvious given the recent FBFI resolutions.
    I take my stand with the fundamentalists (that is, the oldline: Rice, Sumner, Jones, Sr.). I always have. However, I’ve felt from the beginning the separatist fundies hijacked the fundamentalist movement and turned it into a laughingstock and a parade of arrogance. Perhaps with a more intense focus on the whole issue of fundamentalism and separatism, we can experience a much-need correction in course and a return to the days when fundamental men acknowledged other fundamental men.

  7. Hi tjp… is the first name Terry? Can’t remember.

    Anyway, if you read me much you will know that I disagree with your point of view to some extent. I am a separatist. And I am in a quandary. Hence the calls for clarity and exposure of errors among the conservative evangelicals. I for one am not willing to partner with the errors they are making. (That is not to say I don’t make my own errors, but at least they are my own, no one else’s.)

    More later.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  8. tjp says:

    Bro. Don,

    My first name is Tracy.

    I’m sure we disagree on any number of issues. But that’s nothing new. Fundamentalists have always disagreed among themselves over various internal questions, and that’s certainly been the case between old-line fundies (which are NOT dead) and separatist fundies.

    I share your concern over clarity, but I doubt the present separatist policymakers will satisfy your concerns. You see, whether they know it or not, they are moving toward the old-line take on separation and are (at least in spirit and in tone) moving away from radical separatism. Surely this shift is partly the unease you sense among your separatist brethren.

    Let me give you three quick, albeit minor, examples of “this shift.”

    EXAMPLE ONE:

    I’m sure you remember the rather protracted discussion that ensued over Mark Dever’s post on separation (“Mark Dever Doesn’t Practice Separation?”) over at IX Marks. I made several posts in that discussion, and each one asked a straight forward question about the spiritual purity of Mark Dever given separatist principles. And guess what, Don. Not one separatist addressed those posts, even though they were reading the discussion.

    Here are the questions I asked at IX Marks. They are not mean; they are not crude. But they do logically follow of the heels of separatist principles, assertions, and interpretive claims.

    1. “But doesn’t the real question come down to this: Is Mark Dever unclean? Is he out of fellowship with God? Given how Jones-style fundyism applies 2 Cor. 6:14-18, isn’t Dever’s contamination certain? And if he is contaminated, and if he encourages others to embrace such contamination (and thereby incites divisions and offenses contrary to sound doctrine), shouldn’t he be marked and avoided as a bellyworshiper (Ro. 16:17,18)?

    “Does Mark Minnick really think Dever is filthy and disobedient? And if not, then how does he escape such a conclusion given the fundy penchant for making the consequences of 2 Cor. 6:14-18 apply to those who remain yoked with associations, fellowships, conventions, or denominations that have open unbelievers in them?”

    2. “Okay, perhaps the Jones camp missed it. So I’ll ask the question again. And I trust either Mark Minnick or a some other Greenville devotee will answer it.

    “Here it is: IS MARK DEVER UNCLEAN? IS HE OUT OF FELLOWSHIP WITH GOD?

    “Again, given the separatist take on 2 Cor. 6:14-18, doesn’t that make Dever filthy spiritually, at odds with God personally, and in sympathy with rebellion doctrinally?

    “What saith Greenville?”

    3. “Okay. It appears the Jones-style separatists are reluctant to draw the inevitable conclusion that Mark Dever is indeed unclean and disobedient based upon their handling of 2 Cor. 6:14-18. But perhaps we can help them place the Washington preacher among the leprous with this final question: Is Mark Dever walking disobediently? Is he a shame to Christianity? Is he violating the apostolic tradition of secondary separation as taught by Greenville and Detroit and assumed in 2 Thess. 3:6-14?

    “Again, given the separatist’s assumption that 2 Thess. 3:6-14 teaches that obedient believers must separate from all disobedient believers who themselves have failed in their ecclesiastical separation, how is Mark Dever not a spiritual disgrace and public shame; how is he not walking ungodly, especially given his connection with the SBC and the separatists’ view of that organization? Aren’t Minnick and Doran, then, by withholding Christian fellowship, implying Dever is a dangerous example of Christian orthopraxy who should be shamed into obedience?

    “Once again, we wait to hear from Greenville or its satellites.”

    Now if I were a separatist, practicing the Greenville-style of separatism, and the mentors and leaders of that separatism could not publicly affirm that Mark Dever is FILTHY and UNCLEAN and OUT OF FELLOWSHIP with God based upon Holy Writ and its normative interpretation, then I’d be worried. Yes, I’d be very, very worried. Why? Because a change is taking place. Twenty-five to thirty year ago, Dever would have been publicly flayed by separatists for his hob-nobing with Southern Baptists and scouted as budding liberal. But today? Today we can’t even get the major representatives of separatism to say Dever is spiritually FILTHY and UNCLEAN. Yes, Don, you have reason to worry.

    EXAMPLE TWO:

    This example comes from your blog and the most recent post by Doran. At one point in his post, he said this: “And that leads to the answer to the second question, no I won’t be inviting Mark to preach at Inner-City any time soon. But I’d hasten to add that I wouldn’t break fellowship with someone who did for that reason.”

    Now I’ve been around separatist fundamentalism and its various mutations for years, and I find Doran’s statement–especially the second sentence– a real bolt. Can you imagine ANY separatist fundamentalist saying this twenty-five year ago? I know pastors who were disfellowshipped by other pastors because they had Jerry Falwell in to speak (and Dever appears to be in the exact position as Falwell was). I know pastors who were criticized and OSTRACIZED by separatist organizational heads for having men like Mark Dever in their pulpits. But NOW Doran says, “But I’d hasten to add that I wouldn’t break fellowship with someone who did for that reason.” Yes, Don, things are a-changin.’ And you have ever reason to worry.

    EXAMPLE THREE:

    Here I simply mention the recent FBFI resolution on separation. I’m sure you read it. Given the current confusion over CE’s and Separatists, one would have expected a stronger separatist tone in the resolution, but alas! it wasn’t there. This is a small thing, of course. But It may very well signal the direction some toes are pointed.

    Not to add to your quandary, Don, but I think these “shifts” are a good thing. I’m encouraged by the slight movements toward Dr. Bob, Sr’s original views. I think it’s a good thing to look to the former days when fundamentalism made sense, offered balance, and attracted serious men. Back then, the issues of separation were as clear as the Biblical texts that taught it.

    Have a good one.

  9. Hi Tracy

    Thanks for your lengthy comment. Your analysis is correct in some points at least, and that is why I worry. However…

    As to example one, I was involved in the thread early on, but quit reading it because it seemed to degenerate pretty quickly. In fact, I regretted making my last post in it. I don’t recall seeing your questions concerning whether Dever is unclean or disobedient. My answer would be, no, certainly not unclean – that is the category of the apostate / the liberal / the denier of fundamental doctrines of Scripture.

    But is he disobedient? As I understand it, yes. You can look back to several of my posts here to note areas where I think he is clearly wrong. One from earlier this year is called “outrage is easy … or is it?” A more recent one is this one: “so who cares about separation?“. And one more, “so what to make of all this?“.

    So, I think he is wrong, so what? So I don’t (or wouldn’t) join with him in some ministry endeavour. If someone of my folks were to ask about his books I would say, “Fine, he is orthodox in his theology, has good things to say, but I have some problems with some of his practices so you have to read him with discernment.” It also means that if a 9marks guy were to show up in our area as a church planter that I would not be inclined to support his work locally in any way, not that I would wish him ill, but that I would want to expend my resources and energy on supporting someone who is more completely compatible with my own philosophy.

    I think that is what separation looks like. And, quite frankly, I think that in the main, that is what it has always looked like – though errors and extreme statements and so on have sometimes been made.

    As for your example Two: Yeah, I noticed that line. Not the most reassuring line. I was going to let it slide for now, but you are right that it is different from the statements of separatist leaders of a by gone day. For me, I would find it problematic to find another fundamentalist inviting in any of the Togetherness Boys.

    As for example Three, I guess I need to read that one again. Alarm bells didn’t go off for me, so maybe I need to read it and see if they should.

    Now, as for the future, I don’t know what it will hold. I think many fundamentalist leaders haven’t been doing much of a job of defining the differences lately. If there are no differences, there is no reason to exist as a distinct group. But if there are real differences, then let’s have the courage of our convictions and articulate them clearly enough so that people can have some hope of at least understanding the view they are rejecting!

    Thanks for the comments, anyway.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  10. tjp says:

    Bro. Don,

    When you state with respect to Dever’s uncleanness, “My answer would be, no, certainly not unclean – that is the category of the apostate / the liberal / the denier of fundamental doctrines of Scripture,” I must disagree. After all, 2 Cor. 7:1, which refers back to 2 Cor. 6:14-18, says, “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us CLEANSE ourselves from all FILTHINESS of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”

    If separatists take the injunction of 2 Cor. 6:14-18 as applying to all believers tied to religious organizations, fellowships, denominations, and conventions that have liberals or neo’s in them, then it appears, from what 2 Cor. 7:1 says, that they are indeed UNCLEAN and UNHOLY–even spiritually filthy–by virtue of their presence within those institutions. Hence, 2 Cor. 7:1 places such believers beyond disobedient; it makes them profane and defiled. I’m not sure how my conclusion is wrongly drawn here. It seems fairly straightforward. Yet present separatists are loath to draw it.

    Don, perhaps it’s just my blockheadedness, but could you please explain to me how someone being wrong is, ipso facto, also disobedient? That’s how I understand this line of yours: “But is he disobedient? As I understand it, yes. You can look back to several of my posts here to note areas where I think he is clearly wrong.” It seems to me that, at least in the matters of conscience, God may allow believers to be “wrong” without necessary being disobedient (Ro. 14). This may also be the case with hyper-critical questions concerning “degrees” of separation.

    Your fourth paragraph is exactly what the old-line fundies wouldn’t do and really distinguishes you from them. Unlike the separatist fundies, the old-line men would encourage the orthodox brother, counsel him concerning bad associations, but would still support and encourage him in his work. In fact, they’d befriend all orthodox brothers wherever Scripture, conscience, and wisdom would allow. But they certainly wouldn’t dismiss a fundamental man outright because he happened to attend a church that was connected with, say, the SBC.

    In paragraph five, Don, you say this: “I think that is what separation looks like. And, quite frankly, I think that in the main, that is what it has always looked like – though errors and extreme statements and so on have sometimes been made.” I’m not sure what histories you’re reading, my brother; but Jones-family separatism, instigated by the rather bizarre teachings of Charles Woodbridge, looks nothing like original fundamentalism, and especially the fundamentalism of Rice and Jones, Sr.

    I agree that “many fundamentalist leaders haven’t been doing much of a job of defining the differences lately.” At least I don’t recall anything recent. Bauder talked a little about separation and then disappeared. But it seems to me he was heading in the old-line direction, that is, away from the Greenville orbit, something that would not have settled well with you, I’m sure.

    One thing that has puzzled me in this whole separation debate is the silence of the schools (BJU, PCC, MBC, NBBC, PBBC, CalBTS, CBTS [Bauder an exception], DBTS [Dave Doran is an exception; he has often entered the fray]and a host of basement operations). Really, where are the schools? Where are their representatives, their Davids? Why haven’t they established their own blogs to discuss these matters? What’s the problem? Or is there one?

    Don, I agree with you separatists are doing little to make their case for separatist fundamentalism. And your frustration, from what I can tell, is not an isolated matter. But, hey, I’m not frustrated.:) I’ve never felt separatists had a case in the first place. I’ve always felt they’ve trampled on a lot of good brothers on their way to left field. Personally, I don’t care for the new Reformed magisterium: Piper, MacArthur, Mohler, Duncan, Mahaney, Dever. But I can’t see how their lack of separating from believers who themselves lack separation is a good thing. In fact, I think it’s a pernicious teaching now bearing fruit.
    Have a good one.

  11. Well, Tracy, I think you truly misunderstand the fundamentalist philosophy and how history affects decision making. You want to put fundamentalist leaders of the past into a pre-1947 box. Can’t be done. Dave Doran has effectively argued that point in many of these debates, I’ll not rehash all of that here.

    As for ‘wrong’ does not equal ‘disobedient’, uhh… I wouldn’t say people who ordain women are merely following matters of conscience. Yet Dever is willing to support people who do. That isn’t disobedient? Hmmm…

    I’ll leave the rest of it for now. If anyone else would like to chime in, be my guest.

    Maranatha!
    Don Johnson
    Jer 33.3

  12. Dave says:

    Tracy,

    This will be short and pointed, but I don’t want you to have the wrong idea about why you weren’t answered over at the 9Marks blog, at least for my part. I decided a good bit ago that there really is no point in interacting with you. Perhaps others have drawn the same conclusion.

  13. tjp says:

    Dave,

    Dave: [“I decided a good bit ago that there really is no point in interacting with you.”]

    tjp: Yes, I can understand why. But that aside, just go ahead and answer the Dever questions. I promise I won’t reply.

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