Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What's Missing in Groeschel's Sermons? – A brief review of Craig Groeschel, Part 2

by Rev. Paul Lidtke

Preaching is the one area of the ministry that WELS pastors receive plenty of training. Each of the three years on campus a WELS seminary student completes two sermons to preach to his classmates. During his third year of training, a vicar preaches about fifteen times. So, by the time a seminary graduate receives his first assignment into parish ministry, he's had about twenty sermons critiqued by professors, classmates, and his supervising pastor.

At times WELS preachers are criticized for the predictability of their sermons. In other words, you know what you'll be hearing in the sermon: law and gospel, sin and grace. Even well-meaning Lutheran laypeople may say, "It just always seems like we hear the same thing." Whether they realize it or not, many people who make this criticism are looking for less gospel and more law, less justification and more sanctification, less “Christ for us” and more “Christ in us."

It's taken me twenty years in the full-time ministry to appreciate it, but I'm glad that my sermons speak of the same things week after week. I won't apologize for following the pericope series that takes my congregation through the life of Christ each year. After all, pointing to Christ is what I am supposed to do as herald of the gospel. Christ for us is at the center of Scripture. So, he and his work ought to be at the center of my sermons. You should expect that in a sermon preached by a WELS trained pastor.

But, I wondered, what about Craig Groeschel, whose sermons are being consulted by an increasing number of WELS pastors? So I signed up at his website, www.lifechurch.tv, and began reading his sermons. I didn't think it'd be fair to review only one sermon. I decided to read the five sermons that make up the sermon series entitled, "The Sickness Within."

By the way, Mr. Groeschel and his associates are very gifted at giving themes to sermon series and providing interesting weekly parts to the series. "The Sickness Within" dealt with these five sicknesses: anger, envy, pride, issues of control, and bitterness. It's obvious that Groeschel follows the church growth belief that what draws people to worship are the needs they feel must be addressed in their lives.

Good Lutheran preaching addresses sin in a person's life. Each week Lutheran preachers help their listeners stare into the mirror of God's law and be convicted by what they see there. Averaging nine pages and 30-minutes of preaching each, Groeschel and his two associates in the five sermons of "The Sickness Within" focus much on how sin is a part of our daily lives. There was a plethora of daily examples to support each sin that was being exposed. Scripture was used to justify most examples. Anyone listening would certainly walk away from worship knowing that he or she is infected by the sickness within.

Yet, the one thing missing the most in all the sermons was Jesus. A good Lutheran preacher would never allow a sermon to end without a clear statement of how we have a Savior from sin who's already acted on our behalf to save us. Stressing justification (what Christ has done for us) allows sanctification (what we do out of love for Christ) to follow naturally. By not stressing the gospel, Groeschel and others like him are depriving people of exactly what they need to live their lives in Christ.

A WELS layperson told me recently about a pastor who makes use of Groeschel sermons often. On one Sunday the law had been preached long and hard. The gospel, it was said, would be shared the following Sunday. When this man and his family were leaving worship, they encountered a woman in tears in the church lobby. When asked what was wrong, she explained that she felt so guilty of her sin and hoped that God could forgive her. My friend said to me, "I just couldn't help but think, 'if the gospel had been preached today, she'd know that God forgives her through Christ.'"

Jesus was mentioned in passing in each of the first four sermons. Only in the final sermon of the series did the preacher mention – in a few words – that Jesus died to forgive us. Otherwise, Jesus wasn't made to be the Savior from sin. He was made the Savior for a better life. Sanctification overshadowed Justification.

That's what happens when you try to meet the felt needs of people. You'll end up talking a lot about earth and not much about heaven. By the way, heaven was never mentioned once in five sermons. Also missing from all the sermons was any mention of Christ's resurrection, which is truly the power for Christian living. As you might expect, the sacraments had no mention, either.

A long-time friend of mine called me the other day. He's a former WELS pastor who visits his home congregation in the Fox Valley whenever he visits his mother. His home congregation is one that has used Groeschel materials in the past. Speaking of the worship in his home church he said, "It doesn't seem like we're worshiping, it really seems like I'm being entertained."

That surely is one thing that this Groeschel sermon series had in abundance, entertaining stories. Laughter was a big part of the sermon presentation. I get it. These preachers are down to earth. They're regular guys. They're funny. Who wouldn't want to come to worship?

That's what the church growth camp wants confessional Lutheran pastors and congregations to bite on. They want us to believe that what draws people are the funny stories, the relaxing atmosphere, and the answers to everyday questions. Yet, as Bill Hybels at Willow Creek has already admitted, these things may bring people in but they won't keep the people there. Fortunately, confessional Lutheran churches have known for years what keeps people in the pews. Preaching the whole counsel of God. Highlighting Jesus in our ministry. Craig Groeschel hasn't figured that out. WELS pastors are wise to follow in the steps of their homiletics professors and not Craig Groeschel when preparing their sermons.

Here's what I mean. Since several of my members are residents at a local Methodist-owned nursing facility, I take our church organist along one Sunday every two months to conduct worship. Sunday was my day. I preached the same sermon there that I preached in the morning. On my way out I heard a gentleman say to his daughter, "You can always count on those WELS preachers."

I smiled and walked to the car happy. Not because I may have received a back-handed compliment, but because our WELS preaching is really what God's people need. It centers on Christ. You won't find that in a Craig Groeschel sermon.


Anonymous said...

Good review, Pastor Lidtke.

One thought I’ll throw out there. I think sometimes we are too quick to bash the concept of meeting people’s needs: “the church growth notion that what draws people to worship are the needs they feel must be addressed in their lives.” It IS perceived needs that draw people to worship. The Confessional Lutheran comes to worship not out of a sense of duty, but out of the joyful understanding that we all have spiritual needs that only Word and Sacrament can fill.

I don’t even fault pastors who focus in on specific spiritual needs, as Groeschel did in this series – i.e. correcting my anger or my sinful pride. Jesus did that too, to the Samaritan woman at the well. He subtly told her that she had a hole inside her that she was trying to fill with men, and it was never going to work. That hole could only be filled with living water. But he addressed a very specific need – loneliness… a longing for connection – to then work to the greater point: on in Christ are we made whole.

God bless,
Daniel Kastens

Anonymous said...

The Confessional Lutheran also worships for another important reason: the Lord commands it. "Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy", the Third Commandment.
Yet consider how I am blessed by following the Lord's commands. In a Confessional Lutheran church my sinful Old Adam is smashed by the Law. Then my New Man is comforted with the Good News of a Savior from sin. (And I don't even have to wait 'til next week!)

Scott E. Jungen

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

Mr. Kastens,

I'd like to make two comments about your reference to John 4 and the woman at the well as you compared it to pastors who focus on "specific spiritual needs."

First, Jesus was not in the synagogue when he spoke to that woman. Nor was that woman a believing Jew. She was an unbeliever out in the world, whom Jesus met out in the world and "evangelized." We really need to get away from equating the Sunday Divine Service with evangelism. That's never been the purpose of the Mass. Not saying you won't have visitors there who may hear the gospel and believe it, but the simple fact is that the Mass/worship/Divine Service has historically been the people of God gathering around the Word of Christ and the Sacrament of Christ, not the "going out" into the world with the gospel.

Second, you're reading an awful lot into that account. It takes several assumptions and a few logical leaps to make the assertion that Jesus was "addressing her very specific need of loneliness...a longing for connection." The text doesn't say or even imply that she was "longing for connection." That's a very post-modern presupposition which we can hardly superimpose on this text. Her responses don't even hint at loneliness. The only thing that one could take for loneliness is all the husbands she went through, but we know nothing about the circumstances surrounding her adultery. I don't think it's helpful to embellish a text with modern psychoanalysis. Not saying you're intending to do that. But Groeschel is famous for it, as are those who use his material. (I'll do a post sometime on the embellishments in Groeschel's "Miracles" series.)

Jesus was addressing a very specific need in that woman: her need to repent, know and believe in the Son of God, lest she be eternally lost. He doesn't console her in her loneliness. He calls her to account for her adultery. He doesn't offer her "wholeness." He offers her eternal life.

But Groeschel's sermons don't even deal with the specific spiritual need (aka "sin") as it applies to a person's relationship to God. He deals with it as it harms a person's own wellbeing and his/her relationships with others. And his solution is not the gospel. His solution is to fix your anger (or whatever malady it may be) so that you have a happier life without so much anger, and thus you are able to follow God's commands better. That's not how confessional Lutherans use the law and the gospel.

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...

"Sanctification over Justification" as expected, of course. Given the lineage of the ECC, covered in Part 1 of our review on Groeschel, and the high regard it has for its foundations in Scandinavian Pietism, this is no surprise. It should also be no small matter of concern for us if our WELS Pastors are making use of this material, especially if it is habitual use. Recall the devastating results of Pietism we've recently covered (Lay Ministry: A Continuing Legacy of Pietism). Even outlines of this LifeChurch material will provide a thematic development favoring the right-living sanctification priorities of Pietism. To make things worse, less and less does today's felt-needs relevancy refer to Justification or man's relationship to or with God, and Groeschel is evidence of this fact. Sure, it may begin with God's commands, but ultimately it devolves into nothing but a form of popular group therapy for 21st Century Americans. The Law is the new theraputic gospel – and the message of this "other gospel" is that man can live a happy and fulfilled life by following the simple suggestions God has given by which we may achieve it. It is man's happiness, on man's terms, according to his criteria, that he achieves through his own striving. And this is invading our churches, as well. The felt-need is man's happiness, and relevance is to preach the "other gospel" of successful relationships, financial freedom, or healthy living, and to do so amidst an array of tom-foolery that mocks the gravity of man's condition before a Just and Righteous God, and, at best, lays the life and work of Jesus Christ – the True Gospel – alongside the "other gospel" of anthropocentrism. The model of today's relational pastor is a cross between motivational speaker, life coach, and stand-up comedian – and we see that in the resources of LifeChurch.tv.

Anonymous said...

The whole atmosphere of the church changes.

I may not care what you wear to church but when someone won't put their baby in a baptismal gown (the most important day in their whole life) because it is 'too formal" for church or sponsors have to worry about out-dressing the parents or the Pastor, it seems a little odd.

People used to put on their Sunday Best to worship now the ushers wear bright t-shirts with question marks. I'm not saying that you shouldn't "Come, just as you are to worship"(perhaps the song is referring to bringing your sins with you to the cross/church rather than wearing ripped Jeans and t-shirts) but maybe we should explore the reasons behind the traditions. Would you dress better for going out to the bars on a Friday night or the company Christmas party than church on Sunday morning? What are you saying visible about the importance of God in your life?

When the praise band is louder than the congregation that you can't hear others around you sing or you don't know whether you should sing when the Praise Band soloist is singing, how is that promoting worship with other fellow believers? Reminds me of the title of this book that caught my eye... "Why Johnny Can't Sing Hymns: How Pop Culture Rewrote the Hymnal".
I don't want that to be my children, they shouldn't be in confirmation class and never have heard a hymn before.

What's also missing is the reverence of the service. These "mindset" changes causes the focus of the service to be personal, and inviting to non-churchgoers rather than to be the most beneficial way to nourish the spiritual needs of believers. Clapping after every Praise Band song and asking/answering questions during the sermon takes away the complete reverence of the service and puts it towards to a concert/Bible Class level.

Tammy Jochman

1st Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”—but not everything is constructive.

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...


You make some excellent points.

Anonymous said...

"The model of today's relational pastor is a cross between motivational speaker, life coach, and stand-up comedian"

Mr. Lindee is exactly right in saying this. I've personally witnessed a good, faithful, Confessional Lutheran pastor brought to the brink of resignation by this attitude. His church council met secretly without him to gripe about him, and then presented him with a list of demands. These demands all revolved around the idea that the job of the pastor isn't to proclaim law and gospel, but instead to build church membership by giving people what they want and making them feel good about themselves and adopting sectarian methods. They even had the gall to go secretly to the district president to complain about him behind his back.

I have grave fears for our synod when good and faithful pastors are actively persecuted by the members of our congregations and district presidents do nothing about it.

Mr. Adam Peeler

Anonymous said...


While you may "make some excellant points" (as Rev. Rydecki mentions), your comment about the baptismal gown seem to go against the words of our Lutheran Confessions in FC Art.X which states, "We believe, teach, and confess also that no church should condemn another because one has less or more outward ceremonies than the other, for those are not commanded by God."

I will not condemn you for wanting to have a child wear a baptismal gown (I too appreciate what that ceremony teaches), but your words come across as condemning those who choose not too.

Pastor Matt Holtz

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

Pr. Holtz,

Nice to have you commenting on the blog.

You're coming down pretty hard on Tammy, though. What did she say that made you feel you needed to correct her for violating the Formula of Concord, or accuse her of "condemning" anyone?

"It seems a little odd" were her words. Good grief! How does that qualify as condemning someone to hell?

When pastors come down so hard on others, especially laymen, for daring to suggest that something may not be wise or beneficial, it just comes off as intimidation.

Not only that, but you missed the point she was trying to make. Somehow, the Church Growth movement has convinced people that formality in worship is evil and "irrelevant" and "casualness before God" is meet, right and salutary, and that the only way for a minister to effectively represent Christ to people is to dress down to the lowest common denominator, to the point that anyone who still dresses up for church feels out of place.

If you compare this to the entire history of the New Testament Church, it does, indeed, "seem a little odd."

Anonymous said...

Pastor Rydecki,

I shall always call you “pastor” because of respect for the office. But “Mr. Kastens” is my father. Dan is just fine. :)

In regards to your two points – First, I agree that writing too much into a text is dangerous. I don’t THINK I was doing that. It’s a bit like if a pastor said that during the Flood, the unbelievers who had rejected the righteous preaching of Noah grew weary as the skies turned gray. The Bible doesn’t say the skies turned gray, but in a ministerial use of reason, it is logical to conclude that the sky indeed darkened, as is normal in a storm. Likewise, I don’t need my minor in psychology to conclude that a woman who has had that many partners is indeed longing for something. That doesn’t mean it’s the main point of the text. The main point of that text is, as you say, that Jesus showed her that trying to fill that void with something other than him is unsatisfying, because it is sin; and, more importantly, that in him is forgiveness for all things. If a pastor made the PRIMARY thrust of that text that through Christ, we can have healthier relationships with everyone, I would be greatly disappointed. But certainly, that is an appropriate application, isn’t it?

Your other comment – that this was done in the context of evangelism – makes a good point. But it is one that is over-stressed, I think. I’m NOT saying that the purpose of worship is to do outreach. Obviously, the unbeliever cannot worship. However, we need to acknowledge that we don’t live in first century Asia Minor nor sixteenth century Germany. In twenty-first century America, no one is going to join your church unless they visit worship first. That does NOT mean we cater our worship to the unbeliever or prospect. I’d simply like that fact wrestled with some! Finally, while worship and outreach are two different aspects of the Christian life, they both require the use of the same Means of Grace.

Respectfully yours,

Anonymous said...

Rev. Rydecki,

Sorry for coming off as trying to intimidate Tammy. It was not my intent. Tammy, I apologize to you, too.

Sometimes when I read, "That is not wise (to not have a baptismal gown)," I imagine it to say, "That is wrong (to not have a baptismal gown)!" Sorry for that too.

When I wrote that she seems to condemn, I guess I really meant "You seem to think it is wrong for others not to use a baptismal gown. You seem to look down upon those who don't use a baptismal gown."

I do get the sense from this blog that those who follow less outward ceremonies are looked down upon by those who follow more outward ceremonies.

Even if it seems a bit odd that some don't follow more outward ceremonies, it is o.k. if they don't, right? Some may hold those ceremonies to be useful and edifying to the churches of God, but they are outward ceremonies not commanded by God.

Pastor Matt Holtz
P.S. - sorry for the spelling and subject/verb agreement mistakes in my previous post.

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...

Pr. Holtz,

All is well. Thanks for your kind apology to Tammy, too.

I can understand where you're coming from. We've all gotten kind of sensitive about talking directly with one another. To question a given practice is sometimes interpretted as "You're a flaming heretic!" or "You've sinned against the Lord!" That is not always the intent.

And please don't get the idea that it's about looking down on those who follow fewer ceremonies. There's no thought of superiority intended here. No one is pretending that outward ceremonies make a person more pleasing to God.

What we are saying is that much of the historical practice is beneficial, while most of the sectarian practices are harmful, and in some cases, the reasons given for following the sectarian practices are false and, yes, sometimes heretical.

So, for example, dressing a child in a white baptismal gown is certainly neither necessary nor a good work, and to dress the child in normal clothing is certainly not a sin. Those who choose the gown are not more pleasing to God, and those who choose no gown are not less pleasing. And the baptism is obviously just as valid in either case.

As we explore the reasons given for not using a gown, we might find that, as Tammy indicated, a false perception has been driven into the minds of some of our members that "baptism (or worship in general) ought not be a formal affair. God just wants us to come as we are. We can only be 'real' with God if we're casual." That would not be the historic, confessional Lutheran understanding of God or of the Sunday service. It's an "oddity" engendered by our postmodern culture and fostered by Church Growth gurus. And it has inherent dangers to a proper understanding of who God is.

These are some of the things we're trying to point out on the blog by both encouraging the good and warning about what is (or may become) harmful.

And we will not critize you or anyone else for typos or bad grammar. No sic's on IL.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for understanding my point, Pastor Reydeci.

First, as I said earlier this is the most important day in their newborn's life and they are purposely and in fact went out of their way to find an outfit to dress the baby "down" to maintain the status quo of the church atmosphere. Yet, when they went to a family gathering they would have dressed the baby in a more fancy outfit. I am not criticizing the freedom of their choice or suggesting it was wrong in the sight of God, merely looking at the motivation behind it. The motivation was to fit in the atmosphere of the church, rather than any other reason. Dressing "down" for special occasions is not typical even outside of the church walls. It seems to me like it is backwards thinking, to dress "down" for church. Appearance often times goes hand in hand with the importance of something. What outward impression do we give the general public when we go to church on Sunday in jeans and a t-shirt and look like we do when we are going to a neighborhood BBQ but on Monday wear business attire or suits to work?

My original point was that the atmosphere has changed. So much so, that even ceremonies or special events in the church look visibly different,less reverent on purpose.

I'm a busy mom so you will see mistakes in my writing as well :) sometimes the brain is faster than the hands can type.

Tammy Jochman

Anonymous said...

One thing I would like us all to emphasize more is that we are not looking down on anyone. We must always remember that whatever blessings we have is only by the grace of God, it is not because we are better than anyone else.

Levi Powers

Anonymous said...

Agreed Levi. I personally am not trying to be a Pharisee or to say that there are not Christians in these churches. I'm just pointing out some of the changes, I've thought about and observed in my church and fellow Christians. Sometimes its like these changes are walking on a tightrope over a 'grey" area. We can easily slip and fall forward to the other side or give the impression we are 'like' something that we shouldn't be associated with. I once thought all the changes were cool and exciting as well, but I'm beginning to realize that some of the changes might not be the best. For example, I don't think these changes are helping the person that didn't like "WELS" (too strict, too boring) and would have transferred to a non-denominational church but now has a alternative, relevant and relational church that seems like the non-denominational but isn't. These are the people that seem to be attracted the worship style being discussed. Are these fellow believers learning that comparing doctrine to the Bible is the most important thing when choosing a church or is it the fun-ness/coolness factor? I am also not saying that they are not still redeemed children of God. One question that remains is are they being nourished with God's Word in the best way possible? Primarily, my focus is to keep false doctrine and teachings out of my church that could hurt me or loved ones spiritually. Thanks for the reminder to be more clear and appear less legalistic and more caring for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Tammy Jochman

Anonymous said...

"One thing I would like us all to emphasize more is that we are not looking down on anyone."

Very true, it's important that we don't look down on people, and yet I also think it's important to emphasize that we ARE "looking down" on some THINGS, specifically sectarian worship. (I'm not claiming, Levi, that you're denying this. I'm just making a general point.)

I know, it's politically incorrect these days to assert that one thing is better than something else. Sadly, that same attitude has crept into the Church. We're told that we have to be tolerant and accepting of all styles of worship, that one style is no better than another. I've been met with extreme hostility from WELS members for asserting that liturgical worship is better than sectarian worship.

But that's exactly what we as Confessional Lutherans must confess. The simple truth is that all styles of worship are not equal. Liturgical worship is better (far better) than sectarian worship.

Why? Because I'm a raving legalist? (I'm not.) Because I'm some old fuddy-duddy stuck in my ways? (I'm in my 20s.) No, because liturgical worship allows the Means of Grace to dominate, while sectarian worship doesn't.

So, no, styles are not neutral, they're not equal, they're not a matter simply of personal preference. Sectarian worship is inferior because it proclaims the gospel in an inferior way. Liturgical worship is superior because it proclaims the gospel in a superior way.

Mr. Adam Peeler

Daniel Baker said...

Mr. Peeler,

I agree that the liturgical style of worship is superior per my personal preference. However, I'm not sure if it's appropriate to assert that it's better for everyone.

Now, I agree that it's better than sectarian worship (if by sectarian worship you mean law-focused functions that are negligent with regard to the Means of Grace). However, if a non-liturgical style of worship (that appropriately applies the Means of Grace) is better for use with regard to a particular congregation of the saints, there is nothing wrong with that.

I just think we need to be clear in that distinction, because if we're not we do become legalistic.

Rev. Paul A. Rydecki said...


I have several thoughts on your comment, but I think I'll let Adam and others respond. Just one thought I'll share at the moment.

Under no valid definition of "legalism" can asserting that one thing is better (or wiser or more beneficial or more appropriate) than another be considered "legalistic." That's a terrible misuse of the word, and a common red herring used in an argument to silence anyone who dares to offer objective arguments for one practice over another, since no Lutheran wants to be charged with legalism.

It's a subjectivist fallacy to treat objective conclusions as if they were merely subjective (i.e., one's own personal preference). I'll leave it to Adam to elaborate, if he wishes.

Anonymous said...

"However, I'm not sure if it's appropriate to assert that it's better for everyone."

This is the error of post-modernism, or, as Pastor Rydecki said, subjectivism. It's fashionable (even expected) these days to claim that there's no such thing as objective good (or better or best). Instead, value is defined purely on a subjective level. Thus, what's good for me might not be good for you, and what's good for you might not be good for me. (This, by the way, is the line of thought used to justify homosexuality and a host of other sins.)

But the truth is that there is such a thing as objective truth and objective value. In the setting of the divine service, that objective truth is found in the Means of Grace and nowhere else. Thus, liturgical worship is objectively more valuable, objectively better, than sectarian worship.

Now notice than I'm not saying that liturgical worship is mandated by law (that's what legalism actually is). I'm simply making the historical observation that liturgical worship is the only form of worship in the history of Christendom in which the Means of Grace thoroughly and completely predominate. It's also the only worship form created by the orthodox, apostolic, catholic Church. Thus, it is better than anything else out there. That's not a subjective judgment call, that's objective, historical fact.

Is it possible that some other form of worship might be created someday in which the gospel is proclaimed just as thoroughly and just as well? Theoretically, I suppose it's possible. (Even then, though, it would be hard to demonstrate the benefit of dumping 2000 years of church history, even for something just as good.) Right now, though, such a form does not exist. Thus, liturgical worship is objectively the best form of worship in existence.

Mr. Adam Peeler

Anonymous said...

Dear friends,

Have any of you watched this?


I thought it was excellent. It's by a WELS pastor from the Atlanta area. I think it contributes to this discussion about liturgical worship. I don't believe there is any problem with liturgical worship. I do believe there is a problem with liturgical worship done poorly. This video addresses that topic, among other things.

Yours in Christ,
Daniel Kastens

Mr. Douglas Lindee said...


Yes, I've seen that video. It is a good resource, and Rev. Schroeder is a reliable and insightful commentator on issues of worship and liturgy. He also takes a position on these issues, and defends it -- that's something I appreciate. I'd encourage others to listen to him, as well.

You're right about liturgy done well. Poorly executed liturgy -- sloppy, haphazard, careless, whether thoughtlessly so or deliberately -- is an intolerable form of mediocrity, in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

Groeschel, and other pastors of very large churches, are often accused of delivering sermons that are too "seeker-sensitive." It seems that the author's criticism is the opposite here - the explicit presentation of Christ's sacrifice as atonement for sins is absent. It grows increasingly difficulty for those of us not formally trained in theology to know whom to listen to. I think the result is often to shut out the noise, and focus on the teachings of the church we attend ... which is probably what we need to do anyway. So I hope there's no contempt for pastors whose sermons may be critiqued. I think the review is reasonable; I fear the "piling on" that may ensue would cross the line from profitable into potentially harmful.
S. DeCiantis

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