Adult Bible Classes

The following are the slides from this past Sunday's online Bible Class 
with Pastor Ehlert:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY
Psalm 7
The slandered saint
 Look

 

Title                 “Cush, a Benjamite”—There is no person mentioned by that name in Scripture. Possibly he is a Benjamite who mocked David when David fled from Absalom. This man’s tribe, Benjamin, is important. The former king, Saul, was a Benjamite. David may have been accused of killing Saul and his sons in a blood coup. Yet David had always sought to protect Saul.

Verse 8            “According to my righteousness . . . integrity”—As a child of God, a new creation, David served the Lord. David does not say that he is holy. Rather, he says that he is innocent of the charges brought against him by his enemies. 

      Discuss

1.   In verses 1-6, David asserts his innocence against the charges brought against him by Cush, a Benjamite. David asks the Lord to deliver him, but before he does this, David asks the Lord to examine him. Why does David do this?

David is being falsely accused. He asks the Lord to examine him and see if he is guilty of these accusations, and if so, then God should punish him. In a sense, this is an oath. “May God curse me if I have done what my enemies claim I have done.”

2.   For what two things does David pray in verses 7-10?

David asks the Lord to vindicate him and all God’s innocent people. He asks the Lord to judge the wicked.

3.   David often asks the Lord to do something in the future. Yet he follows up his prayer with words of confidence. What confidence does David express in verses 11-13?

He is confident that God is a God of wrath and that God will judge his (God’s and David’s) enemies. 

4.   In verses 14-16, David expresses a general truth. What is that?

The wicked will experience the harm they plan for others. They will fall into their own traps.

      Apply

5.   How does David end this psalm? (verse 17) What does that teach us about how we should end all our prayers?

David ends with thanks and praise. We can always thank the Lord, because we can be sure the Lord will answer our prayers and always show us his love.

6.   Can you give some examples of how the wicked fall into their own nets?

Bible history and secular history are full of examples. Think of people like Saul, who tried to destroy David. Think of the Egyptians, who tried to imprison the Israelites, of Judas, who tried to destroy Jesus. In modern times, think of the communist states, who seek to destroy religion and, in the end, only destroy their economies and themselves.

David asked the Lord to put a stop to the plans and actions of the wicked. He expressed his confidence that God would help him.

 

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WEEKEND OF MAY 17     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY
Psalm 6
Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
 Look

Psalms 3 through 6 have much in common. All are morning or evening prayers; all are called psalms, songs sung to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument; and all refer to affliction or suffering at the hands of enemies. David wrote all of them, perhaps during Absalom’s rebellion. Psalm 6 is one of the chief psalms of repentance. The first seven verses are an anxious prayer. The last three verses are a prayer of confident trust.

       Discuss

1.   David had destroyed Uriah’s family through adultery and murder. Now David was experiencing God’s chastisement. See 2 Samuel 12:10, where God had told David that his family would experience continual strife. What is David’s fear as he goes through the Lord’s chastisement? What does David pray for? Do we have the right to make this prayer?

Note verse 1. David is afraid that God is rebuking and disciplining him in anger. In that case, David could not be sure of the outcome. He could not be sure that God would deliver him from his enemies. So David prays that God chasten him in mercy (verse 2). We too can ask God to discipline us in mercy. We willingly undergo his fatherly chastening, but we are confident that God will use this time of chastening for his good purposes.

2.   How does David feel during this period of chastening? 

•     Verse 2 He is faint; his bones are in agony.

•     Verse 3 His soul is in anguish. His suffering seems to never end.

•     Verse 6 He is worn out from his agonizing prayers, weeping because of his troubles.

•     Verse 7 His eyes are weak from sorrow.

3.   What argument does David raise in verse 5 for why God should help him?

He asks the Lord not to let him die. He argues that if the Lord lets him live, he can praise the Lord before his countrymen and tell them about God’s deliverance.

4.   When David spoke verses 8 and 9, had God actually answered his prayer? Support your answer from verse 10. 

No. Yet David concluded his prayer as if it had already happened.

        Apply

5.   Think again of David’s prayer in verse 5. Have you every prayed like that? Give a situation where right now you might offer that kind of prayer.

Answers will vary. This is a fine argument to present to God. Ask him to help you with the promise that you will glorify him for his deliverance.

6.   Sometimes when we are finished praying, we take a wait-and-see attitude. How do the last three verses of this psalm help correct that attitude?

We should never end a prayer with a wait-and-see attitude. Because of God’s unfailing love, we know all things work out for our good. In that sense, the Lord has already delivered us.

Because of his unfailing love, God is merciful and delivers us in every time of trouble.

 

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WEDNESDAY, MAY  13     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY
Psalm 5
The wicked cannot dwell where God is
 Look

Psalms 3 through 6 have much in common. All are morning or evening prayers; all are called psalms, songs sung to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument; and all refer to affliction or suffering at the hands of enemies. David wrote all of them, perhaps during Absalom’s rebellion.

Verse 8            “Righteousness”—This word appears often in Psalms and in the Old Testament in general. God’s righteousness is normally his faithfulness to his covenant, or the “right” way on which he leads his people to keep them faithful to him. He leads his people on right ways so he can continue to bestow his grace on them and fulfill his covenant to them.

      Discuss

1.   Before you look at the details of this psalm, try to determine its outline. After each title, write  the verse numbers that fit.

•     Believers have access to God in prayer. (Verses 1-3)

•     Unbelievers have no access to God in prayer. (Verses 4-6)

•     Believers have access to God in prayer. (Verses 7,8)

•     A prayer against lying tongues (Verses 9,10)

•     A prayer of blessing on tongues that praise God (Verses 11,12)

2.   What is a good thing to do each morning? (verse 3)

Go to the Lord in prayer. Lay out your plans before him and wait in expectation to see what he will do. 

3.   In verses 4-6, David turns to those who take pleasure in evil. What is the Lord’s attitude toward those who continue in their wickedness?

The Lord hates and abhors them. It is confusing to say that the Lord hates sin but loves the sinner. The Lord loves all people and wants them to come to faith. In the case of those who rebel against him and resist his call, he hates them and their deeds. In the case of those who serve him and do what is right, he loves both them and their deeds. 

4.   David had spoken about the wicked, whom the Lord hates. Why did the Lord love David?

By the Lord’s great mercy, he opened the door for David to come into his house and worship him there. Because of the Lord’s great mercy, David could ask the Lord to guide him in his righteousness (see the note in the “Look” section).

       Apply

5.   In verses 9 and 10, David had asked the Lord to punish the unbelievers for their many sins. What does he ask God to do for us in verse 11?

He asks the Lord to protect us, so that we will be able to give him glory.

David prayed that God would suppress the lies of the wicked and bless the prayers of the godly.

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WEEKEND OF MAY 10     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY
John 21
Jesus appears to his disciples in Galilee
 Look

Verse 3            “I’m going out to fish”—Remember, the disciples were fishermen by trade. Jesus had told them to wait for him in Galilee. The natural thing for them to do was to go fishing (not recreational fishing) while they waited.

      Discuss

1.   Peter’s desire to go fishing set up the miracle Jesus was about to perform. How did it do that?

It put the disciples in a helpless position. They were not able to catch a single fish. Note: The disciples’ not being able to catch any fish was part of Jesus’ miracle. He kept them from catching anything so his power might be revealed more clearly.

2.   Why do you suppose Peter jumped into the water to get to Jesus so quickly?

He recognized the stranger as Jesus. He wanted to be with his Savior! No doubt the need for personal pardon weighed heavily on his mind.

3.   How did Jesus fixing breakfast for his disciples fit in with his overall way of dealing with them?

This was an additional way Jesus comforted and assured his disciples of his love.

4.   Peter had said that even if the other disciples fell away from Jesus, he would not. His love was greater than that of his fellow disciples. How did Jesus use this statement of Peter’s as he spoke with him? How did Jesus use the fact that Peter had denied him three times?

Jesus wanted to humble Peter, “Peter, by yourself you do not love me more than your fellow disciples.” By asking Peter three times if he loved him, he was reminding Peter that he had denied him three times. By dealing with Peter in this way, Jesus cleared the air, gave Peter a chance to express his love for Jesus, and gave him his life’s work of feeding God’s flock.

5.   Jesus prepared Peter for martyrdom. Peter objected, as he had done before. In fact, he was jealous of John. Why? Did Jesus really say that John would not die?

Jesus only said that if he wanted John to remain alive until he returned, it was between him and John.

      Apply

6.   Some Christians have life easier than others. Some suffer for the gospel more than others. Use Jesus’ words to Peter to help you deal with these facts.

Each person is given what the Lord wants that person to have. We must not be jealous of what he has given others or think we are better if our burden is light. We must simply take our lives a day at a time and ask God for his help and grace. We should also help others bear their burdens for Jesus.

Jesus tested Peter’s humility and assured Peter that he would continue to take part in the work of feeding Jesus’ lambs and sheep.

 

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WEDNESDAY, MAY  6     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY
Psalm 4
My righteous God, give me relief!
 Look

Psalms 3 through 6 have much in common. All are morning or evening prayers; all are called psalms, songs sung to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument; and all refer to affliction or suffering at the hands of enemies. David wrote all of them, perhaps during Absalom’s rebellion.

     Discuss

1.   Before you look at the details of the psalm, try to determine to whom David is speaking in each section. (The sections are verses 1/2, 3/4, 5/6-8.)

(1) God; (2,3) God’s enemies; (4,5) fellow believers; (6-8) God.

2.   What was David’s condition when he wrote this psalm?

He was in distress for some reason.

3.   In verses 2 and 3, David speaks about his “glory.” This is a rather difficult word, which we don’t usually apply to ourselves. Can you determine what David’s glory was from the context? What does he mean that his enemies turned his glory into shame?

To glory in something means to find one’s hope and confidence in that thing. David found his hope and confidence in God. David’s enemies worshiped false gods, mere objects of their delusions. So they mocked David’s confidence in God (his glory) and said he would be ashamed for having trusted in God. 

4.   Of what was David sure about his glory?

He knew he would not be ashamed. God had set the godly apart for himself. God would listen to him, in contrast to the deaf idols his enemies worshiped.

5.   What encouragement does David give his friends who may be suffering from the same unjust taunts of their enemies? (verses 4,5)

They will naturally be angry, yet their anger should not boil over into distrust of God or sinful vengeance. Rather, they should continue to worship God and trust in him.

6.   In the middle of difficulties, Christians often say, “Who can show us any good?” What is David’s prayer when God’s people become discouraged?

That in our dark night of suffering, the Lord will let the light of his glory shine on us.

7.   How does David express his confidence in the Lord in verse 8?

God alone can rescue him from his enemies. God alone can give him peaceful sleep.

      Apply

8.   At the end of the psalm, David praises the Lord for the joy God has shown him. What are some of the special joys God has shown you? (Try to think of joys that relate specifically to your faith or to special things God has given you to help you overcome obstacles to your faith.) 

Answers will vary.

David expressed his hope in God. God alone would enable him to lie down and sleep in peace.

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WEEKEND OF MAY 2 & 3     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY
John 10: 1-21 
Jesus the Good Shepherd
    Look

 

Verse 14          “Shepherd”—When Jesus called himself a shepherd, he was using a picture very familiar to the Jews. Many of the Jews were shepherds themselves; they knew that shepherds guarded and took care of their sheep. Furthermore they remembered Old Testament passages like Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd” (Psalm 23:1), or Isaiah’s description of the Lord, “He tends his flock like a shepherd” (Isaiah 40:11).

       Discuss

1.   Who are the sheep, the shepherd, and the robbers? (verses 1-5)

The sheep are the believers. The shepherd is Jesus. The robbers are false teachers.

2.   Jesus changed his picture a bit in verses 7-10. How is Jesus the gate for the sheep?

He is the way into the kingdom of God; he has opened the door to heaven by forgiving us.

3.   What does Jesus mean when he says that we will have life “to the full”? (verse 10)

We enjoy peace, joy, and contentment in knowing that we are God’s children. All things work out for our good. We look forward to eternal life.

4.   Compare Ezekiel 34:11-16 and John 10:11-21. Pick out four parallels between these two readings.

Both show us that God loves us, God rescues us, he provides for us, and he defends us against enemies.

5.   Who are the other sheep Jesus will bring into his fold?

The Gentiles.

6.   A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. Relate this account to the last hours of Jesus’ life.

Jesus would put himself into his heavenly Father’s hands and do his will. He would not defend himself by force or speak out in self-defense. He would give up his life with a loud cry, showing he had the strength and breath to continue living if he wanted to.

       Apply

7.   Name some things your Good Shepherd has done for you.

He has led us to the living water of his Spirit. He has led us to the green pastures of his Word. He has supplied shepherds to care for our spiritual needs. He has led us along paths of righteousness, where nothing separates us from his love.

8.   How does verse 18 highlight the love that Jesus has for you?

Jesus willingly gave his life for us.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep.

 

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 29     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY
Psalm 3
My foes are many, but God is my Shield!
 Look

Psalms 3 through 6 have much in common. All are morning or evening prayers; all are called psalms, songs sung to the accompaniment of a stringed instrument; and all refer to affliction or suffering at the hands of enemies. David wrote all of them, perhaps during Absalom’s rebellion.

      Discuss

1.   What claim do David’s many foes make?

They claim that God will not help him, that God has forsaken him.

2.   If this psalm was written during Absalom’s rebellion, why might this claim of David’s enemies have been an especially great temptation?

Recall how this all began. David had committed adultery with Bathsheba. He had been restored to faith and forgiveness through the prophet Nathan. But, for David’s sake, and for the sake of those who knew of David’s sinful actions, God chose to chasten David publicly. God used David’s own son, godless Absalom, as his tool. So, the taunts of David’s enemies came while David was being chastened for his sins. When we are in a similar situation, there is a compelling reason why we might think God has forsaken us. Yet this psalm shows that even during times when the Lord is disciplining us, he still loves us and will protect us from harm.

3.   In response to David’s enemies’ accusations, what can David say?

God will not protect you! David: God is my shield.

God will bring you down in shame! David: God will give me glory since I glorify him with my confidence.

You will never be the ruler you were before! David: God will lift up my head.

The Lord has turned a deaf ear to you, you sinner! David: God answers me from Zion.

4.   In verse 7, David asks God to destroy his enemies. How can he do that if his enemies are God’s tools to chasten him?

David’s enemies are godless people, intent on destroying God’s anointed one. They are guilty of their sins, and because they remain hardened in impenitence, they will be punished.

       Apply

5.   What can we do along with David because God is our shield?

We can lie down and sleep without fear, even though our spiritual and physical enemies number in the thousands. We know that the Lord sustains us.

6.   Can we, like David, ask God to destroy our enemies?

We must be careful that we don’t read into David’s prayer the desire for personal vengeance. David was asking God to condemn the enemies of God’s anointed one. He was asking God to curse his enemies because his enemies were seeking to destroy God’s church.

We can take all our problems to the Lord. He will protect and help us even while chastening us.

 

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WEEKEND OF APRIL 25 & 26     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY
Luke 24: 13-35hn 20:19-31
Jesus appears to the two men on the road to Emmaus
    Look

Verse 21          “It is the third day.” The English translation is somewhat misleading here. The sense is that Jesus is already into his third day in the grave. If something were going to happen, it would have happened by now.

Verse 30          The breaking of bread here refers to a meal, not to Communion.

         Discuss

1.   Why were the two disciples so surprised at Jesus’ question?

The events of the last three days were certainly the talk of all Jerusalem. How could anyone not know? They assumed he was a traveler there for the Passover who didn’t have a clue what had been going on.

2.   What hope did they confess? What is the status of it by Easter Sunday evening?

They had believed that Jesus was the true Messiah and that he was going to redeem Israel. They believed he was the prophet who was to come. They did not yet understand all that that meant, but they had put their trust and hope in him. Now, it all appeared to be over. It seemed that he had died and lost. It seemed that they had been mistaken. Even the vision of angels reported by the women was unconfirmed. The men had found only an empty tomb, no angels and certainly no Jesus.

3.   Why did Jesus rebuke these two men? How did Jesus help them?

Jesus gave them a rather strong rebuke. He called them foolish and slow of heart. He was referring to their lack of understanding of the Old Testament prophecies. They should have known these things were going to happen. God had spelled it all out. Jesus proceeded to work through the Old Testament, beginning with Moses and the Prophets and explaining what they had prophesied about him. 

4.   What did they do when they realized it was Jesus? What good news did they hear?

Immediately, they returned to share the joy with the rest of his followers. They heard that Jesus had appeared to Simon Peter (an appearance that Scripture does not describe for us).

        Apply

5.   What encouragement is found in this account to spur us on to study the Old Testament?

We are blessed with the New Testament, which makes everything about Jesus clear to us. But if we only had the Old Testament, we would understand the basic truths about how Jesus would establish his kingdom—by his death and resurrection.

6.   What is our only comfort when life doesn’t make sense to us?

Jesus is alive. He has conquered all that sin does to us. He will take us home forever.

7.   What does the good news of Jesus’ resurrection inspire us to do?

To share that wonderful news with one another in the church and with those who still need to come to faith.

Jesus appeared to the Emmaus disciples. He explained that he must rise from the dead. Joyfully, the two returned to Jerusalem to share the news.

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 22     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY

Psalm 2
The nations conspire, but God's King rules securely
 Look

Psalms 1 and 2 form the introduction to the first book of Psalms (1–41). Psalm 1 instructs us to be loyal to God’s Word. Psalm 2 instructs us to be loyal to God’s Son, his Anointed One.

Verses 1,2        “Nations . . . kings of the earth . . . rulers”—This refers to all the leaders of the earth, whether they are political leaders, leaders in education, leaders in the economic world, or leaders in the arts and sciences.

Verse 7            “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” This sentence can refer to what theologians have called the eternal generation of the Son, that is, from all eternity, God’s Son has enjoyed a father-son relationship with God the Father. It can also refer to God setting Jesus apart as his anointed King.

      Discuss

1.   The nations take their stand against the Lord. They want to break off the Lord’s chains and fetters. Why are they so hostile to the Lord?

Everything God says goes against what these rulers want. They don’t want to subject their will to God’s will (ruling the world with justice), or give up their scientific ideas for what the Lord says in his Word (theories of evolution, for example), or do their art to God’s glory, or teach young people outside the framework of a humanistic worldview. Give illustrations from history. Note especially the communist regimes of the past century. They give one of the best examples of people who set themselves against the Lord and how the Lord dealt with them.

2.   Why does the Lord scoff at them?

He scoffs at them because he and his King are in control of all things. His King will rule over all, and in the end, everything will work out for God’s glory.

3.   What will God’s King do to all those who stand against him and his Father?

He will rule over them with an iron scepter. He will completely destroy them.

4.   What must the rulers of the world do if they are to escape the wrath of God’s Son and the destruction he will bring?

They must acknowledge the Son’s headship and serve him. Note that over the course of history, a number of secular rulers, people in business, scientists, and educators have done just this. They have submitted themselves and their power to the Lord, and they carried out their work to God’s glory.

5.   As time allows, read Acts 13:33; Hebrews 1:5; 5:5; Revelation 2:27; 12:5; and 19:15. What light do these passages shine on our verses?

Jesus of Nazareth is God’s Anointed, who fulfilled Psalm 2.

       Apply

6.   What is to be our response to this psalm?

Bow to the Lord in adoration and take refuge in him.

All leaders are called on to give up their rebellion and honor God’s anointed King.

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WEEKEND OF APRIL 18 & 19     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY

John 20:19-31
Jesus appears to his disciples
    Look

Verse 31          This verse gives us the theme of John’s gospel. He wrote “that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

        Discuss

    1.   The disciples had quite a day! Reports came flooding in from Mary, the other women, Peter and John, and the two disciples who were on their way to Emmaus. The climax of the day came when Jesus appeared to them. He said, “Peace be with you!” Contrast this with what Jesus could have said. (Think back to what the disciples did on Good Friday).

2.   Jesus gave the disciples and the church as a whole a tremendous right and responsibility. What was it?

3.   How could the church ever carry out this work? (verse 22)

4.   How did Jesus deal with doubting Thomas?

Apply

5.   The hands, feet, and side of Jesus still bore signs of the wounds from Good Friday. Didn’t Jesus have a glorified body? Why were those wounds still visible? How does this relate to our own glorified states?

6.   How can people forgive sins? Isn’t God the only one who can forgive sins?

Jesus appeared to his disciples to reassure them that he was alive and to give them their life’s work: to preach the law and the gospel.

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WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15     ON-LINE  AT-HOME  BIBLE STUDY:  Psalm 1

Psalm 1
Two responses to God’s Word

Look

  Psalm 1 serves as an introduction to book 1 of the Psalms, psalms 1–41. (The Psalms are made up of five books, or collections, of psalms.) It also introduces the entire book of Psalms, showing God’s blessings on those who follow his Word.

  Verse 1 Notice how a person’s association with sin progresses: walk—stand—sit. It is impossible to be near a sinful situation and not go deeper and deeper into it.

  Verse 2 “Law of the LORD”—This refers to both law and gospel.

  Verse 3 “Leaf does not wither”—Such a tree withstands the forces of nature. So the righteous withstand the winds of trials and troubles.

  Verse 6 Hebrew poetry does not rhyme as English poetry often does. Rather, it uses various language devices. For instance, in this verse the psalmist uses parallelism. The first and second parts of verse 6 are parallel; in this case, they express parallel but opposite thoughts.

Discuss

  1. What are three characteristics of the godly according to verses 1-3?

  2. In what ways is a Christian like a fruit tree?

  3. What does being blown away by the wind symbolize in this psalm?

  4. How will the lives of the righteous and the wicked end? (Note the parallelism.)

Apply

  5. What are ways in which Christians might gradually be corrupted by the world’s standards?

  6. How can we and our children guard ourselves against these dangers?

  7. What are the only two roads people can travel?

The Lord blesses those who delight in his Word. Those who reject him will perish.

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Online Bible Class “Is Love an Emotion or an Action?”
Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church
March 24, 2020

List three ways we use the word “love” in 21st Century America?

 

Do you think most people think of love as an action or emotion? Which way is more dominant in your life?

 

How does God describe love in the following passages?

     Song of Songs 8:6

     Jeremiah 31:3

     John 15:13

 

Is the Scriptural focus more on the action or the emotion?

 

Read I Corinthians 13:1-8.  What are things that love does (or doesn’t do)

 

List four examples of Jesus putting love into action

 

List the last four times you have put love into action

 

Read Deuteronomy 7:7 and Matthew 9:36. How is love described as an emotion?

 

Prayer: Dear Lord,  You have both loved me and demonstrated your love for me through actions, most importantly the sending of Your Son to die for my sins. Move me to both love others and demonstrate that love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

This Bible study is based on a Wisconsin Lutheran Quarterly article by Professor John Schuetze.

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