Will There Be Soldiers of Genghis Khan in Heaven?

"'Then instantly the pale brightness of the mist and the fiery brightness of the Lion rolled themselves together into a swirling glory and gathered themselves up and disappeared.'" CS Lewis The Horse and His Boy



courtesy of NASA

sunset over the sahara-NASA



In CS Lewis’s final book in the Chronicles of Narnia series, called The Last Battle, Emeth, who had been a soldier of Tash, the evil Tisroc, is told to view the body of his dead leader in a stable. Unbeknownst to Emeth, this stable was a portal to the new Narnia. This was an allegory of the new earth as talked about in Revelation. The Lion is Aslan, the Christ figure. The following is Emeth’s account: LINK

“By the Gods, this is a pleasant place; it may be that I am come into the country of Tash. And I began to journey into the strange country and to seek him. […]"

"[…] there came to meet me a great Lion […] Then I fell at his feet and thought, Surely this is the hour of death, for the Lion (who is worthy of all honour) will know that I have served Tash all my days and not him. Nevertheless, it is better to see the Lion and die than to be Tisroc of the world and live and not to have seen him.


But the Glorious One bent down his golden head and touched my forehead with his tongue and said, "Son, you are welcome. But I said, Alas, Lord, I am no son of Thine but the servant of Tash. He answered, Child, all the service thou hast done to Tash, I account as service done to me. […] Not because he and I are one, but because we are opposites, I take to me the services which thou hast done to him, for I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore, if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath's sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him."


This passage in CS Lewis’ book is probably the most controversial of his writings. Some have used this as “proof” the Lewis was not a true Christian while others have said his writing fits within the pale of orthodoxy. I am one who adores Lewis. However, it is not my intention to be an apologizer for all of his writings. Instead I would like to explore the inherent issue. Who gets to go to heaven?.
Now, I could take the easy way out and simply say, “Let God be the judge.” In the end that is what this boils down to. But, treading into hot water, I plan to look at several opinions.


First, let me clarify something. I am NOT a universalist. I cannot reconcile that position Biblically. However, beyond that, I find a number of positions appealing. One further point must be made. I do not believe that we should judge one another as we, in good faith, wrestle with the enormously difficult issue of heaven and hell. Many people are in process. Some, like John Stott, were once traditionalists and have changed their positions over time. Perhaps we all need to cut each other some slack as we wrestle with the implications.

Here is a list of possibilities to consider.

  • Infants
  • Children
  • Mentally challenged
  • A schizophrenic
  • A woman who shakes when she hears the word Jesus because her father raped her in the name of Jesus
  • Old Testament Jews
  • A soldier of Genghis Khan who never heard the Gospel
  • A 20 year old male in an Amazon tribe in the 1400s
  • A Muslim woman locked up in her house in the Middle East, abused by her husband who has no access to media.


So let’s take a look at some perspectives by various pastors/theologians/Christian leaders.

No one but actual Christians who are saved go to heaven.

I found only a couple of sources at The Puritan Board, LINK  that claim some babies go to hell. I found no sources that imply all babies go to hell.
“Babies that are born to elect families are saved, the rest are not."


Many babies go to hell

According to one source at the aforementioned Puritan Board that

DR Twiss of the Westminster Assembly said: 'Many infants depart from this life in original sin, and consequently are condemned to eternal death on account of original sin alone. Therefore, from the sole transgression of Adam condemnation to eternal death has followed upon many infants.'”


Babies go to heaven

Al Mohler and Daniel Akin at Between the Times LINK

It is our conviction that there are good reasons biblically and theologically for believing that God saves all who die who do not reach a stage of moral understanding and accountability. It is readily admitted that Scripture does not speak to this issue directly, yet there is evidence that can be gleaned that would lead us to affirm on biblical grounds that God receives into heaven all who have died in infancy. Some evidence is stronger than others, but cumulatively they marshall strong support for infant salvation.”

For the rest of the discussion of infants, I quote from a discussion at The Puritan Board. LINK



“Some are definitely saved (such as baptized infants), but we do not know about the rest. This has been the position of some Calvinists, such as FrancisTurretin, Herman Hoeksema, and several of the older Reformed theologians.”

“All dying infants are saved and elect, whether baptized or not. This is by far the prevailing view among Calvinists, such as Charles Hodge, B.B. Warfield, C.H. Spurgeon,A.M. Toplady, Ulrich Zwingli (probably the first to say so in no uncertain terms), Lewis Sperry Chafer, W.G.T. Shedd, Loraine Boettner,” I quoted John Piper stating this in another context.


Problems with this viewpoint:

"All babies that die are among the elect? So, if Adolf Hitler had died as an infant, he would have been among the elect? His life proves that he was not elected, which means he wasn't elected as an infant, either.

All babies are born sinners (Psalm 51:5). All babies, as they grow, need the gospel."


Children who die before the age of accountability to heaven

Probe Ministries presents this perspective well. LINK

“And the key issue here is one of comprehension of, or the understanding of the Gospel message. This is not only true for children, it is true for adults. When Philip saw the Ethiopian eunuch sitting in his chariot reading Isaiah 53, he was instructed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 8:29) to "Go up and join this chariot." Philip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The eunuch replied, "Well, how could I, unless someone guides Me?" (v. 31). Acts 8:32-40 goes on to relate that Philip explained how this Eunuch could become a Christian. He responded and was baptized.


My point in beginning with this incident is because there can be no salvation without an understanding of the gospel message. We find Paul throughout the book of Acts reasoning, debating, contending with people so they might understand the message of salvation. And so children must be old enough to understand the gospel, which involves a comprehension of their own personal sin and guilt.”

Most believe there is a particular age in which a child becomes able to understand. This age, according to many, starts around puberty.


Do the mentally challenged go to heaven?

I believe the preceding paragraph applies in this instance.

At Got Questions.org LINK  we read:

“We can postulate from this that mentally retarded people are covered by this principle as well. The Word of God does not specifically say this, however. Knowing the love, grace, and mercy of God, this would seem consistent with His character. Any person who is mentally challenged to the extent that he could not be aware of his sinful state and believe in Christ for salvation, is in the same category as a child and it is not unreasonable to assume that person is saved by the grace and mercy of the same God who saves babies and small children.”


How about the schizophrenic or severely mentally ill?
Once again, the issue surrounds the ability to understand the gospel message. I have a story for you that will cause you to tear up. It was written in Christianity Today 5/11 and titled “The Schizophrenic-Rediscovering my faith amid the ravages of mental illness.” by David Weiss LINK

Read it. The answer is yes. There will be those who were mentally ill in heaven.


How about a soldier of Genghis Khan and all those who have never heard the Gospel?
Now here is where the gloves come off.


Many say yes. Here is a quote from Billy Graham in an interview with Robert Schuller. LINK 


GRAHAM: Well, Christianity and being a true believer — you know, I think there's the Body of Christ. This comes from all the Christian groups around the world, outside the Christian groups. I think everybody that loves Christ, or knows Christ, whether they're conscious of it or not, they're members of the Body of Christ … I think James answered that, the Apostle James in the first council in Jerusalem, when he said that God's purpose for this age is to call out a people for His name. And that's what God is doing today, He's calling people out of the world for His name, whether they come from the Muslim world, or the Buddhist world, or the Christian world, or the non-believing world, they are members of the Body of Christ, because they've been called by God. They may not even know the name of Jesus, but they know in their hearts that they need something that they don't have, and they turn to the only light that they have, and I think they are saved, and that they're going to be with us in heaven."


"SCHULLER: What, what I hear you saying, that it's possible for Jesus Christ to come into human hearts and soul and life, even if they've been born in darkness and have never had exposure to the Bible. Is that a correct interpretation of what you're saying?


GRAHAM: Yes, it is, because I believe that. I've met people in various parts of the world in tribal situations, that they have never seen a Bible or heard about a Bible, and never heard of Jesus, but they've believed in their hearts that there was a God, and they've tried to live a life that was quite apart from the surrounding community in which they lived."


However, it appears that JD Greear says “NO.” LINK

“The force of Paul’s logic is, quite simply, the lost nations cannot call on one whom they have not heard, and they cannot hear unless someone is sent to preach. Where there is no preached word, there can be no faith, and without faith, it is impossible to please God. There is not even a hint of a hole in Paul’s logic, and his conclusion is inescapable. There is no record of anyone in Scripture, ever, coming to faith in Christ apart from the instrumentality of the church.


And… if there was such a one as who worshipped Christ by worshipping God sincerely in his religion, and so found the ‘exception clause’ from needing to hear about Jesus, SURELY Cornelius was he! Yet, as I pointed out, the clear language of Peter is that Cornelius needed to be justified, not told that he was already justified.


Now, I left, intentionally, one “hole” in this whole thing… namely “could God do things he didn’t tell us about?” and I said “sure.” But, even so, it is clear that he never let on to us in the only revelation he gave to us that he was doing that. Throughout the Bible, which is ALL we have to go on (Deut 29:29), no one comes to faith apart from preaching by a human being. Can you find me even one example from any place in the Bible that even approximates such a case, where where faith and salvation was achieved apart from the preaching of a human instrument? Even one?”

Yet, again, Mark Driscoll says “maybe.”  Driscoll, writing for The Resurgence, says: LINK

"Do people who have never heard about Jesus go to hell?


Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.” Peter preached, “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” The conclusion is simple: there is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ. All other religious roads lead to false gods and a real hell.


But there are many ways to Jesus. While the norm is responding to the preached Word of God, there are biblical examples as well as life experiences where God gives special revelation of the Messiah to unsaved people in other forms, including direct speech, dreams, and visions. God called Abraham directly. He gave Pharaoh dreams. He spoke to the treacherous prophet Balaam in a vision so that he prophesied about the Messiah. He appeared to Cornelius in a vision, which resulted in him being saved.


Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except through me.


There are many such stories. The reality is that anyone who is searching and willing to respond to the goodness of God as Cornelius did will receive special revelation. God is perfectly able to bypass the “normal” channels to accomplish his purposes.
No one who comes to the Lord will be cast out. As Paul says:
For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”


Therefore, while there is no salvation apart from faith in Jesus Christ, there is also no reason to overlook the creativity of God to get the gospel out. His creativity includes using us to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth as pioneering missionaries to unreached people groups and generous givers to ministries that translate the Bible into new languages."


What About the Old Testament Jews?

Here is an explanation from Grace Compass Church. LINK


“Salvation in the Old Testament was, of course, according to the same gospel that we know today (cf. Gal. 3:8), though it was revealed less clearly. It was by grace through faith, apart from personal merit. Saving faith in the Old Testament, like saving faith in the New Testament, was faith in God himself. Most basically, it is generally presented as a belief that God exists, in submission to God especially in the form of believing that what God says is true (e.g. Gen. 15:6), and in trust in God as Savior.


The point was that they believed that God was who he said he was (as far as they knew it), that they loved him, and that they trusted him to take care of them (especially by forgiving, saving, blessing, etc.). For example, Abraham believed God when God said he would bless Abraham, and Abraham was justified on this basis. We aren’t told that Abraham understood all the theological arguments regarding the means of salvation, or that he understood the relationship of faith to works, or even that he understood that he was justified on the basis of faith alone. We are told only that he believed God’s promise to bless him.”



So, what are we left with? Jim Abrahamson at Apt to Teach leaves us with some thoughts.    LINK


“Do you have to accept Jesus as your savior to go to heaven?
1. Only God decides who goes to heaven.

2. God will be perfectly fair in his judgment but God does not grade on the curve.

a. The standard of God’s judgment will be our integrity as humans. We will be judged by the extent to which we are true to our     humanity (which is defined as living our lives in the image of God) Jesus being the model.

b. For some of us there is great anxiety about that judgment because we sense that we have fallen short and are powerless to measure up to our calling.

c.God has graciously given His Son as a substitute whereby through faith in him we have his righteousness imputed to our account. This is the gospel.

d. But no one is forced to receive that gift. If we choose to face God clothed in our own righteousness, we are free to do so knowing that God will be perfectly fair.


2 Corinthians 5:18-19:  “18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.”


Who is Paul talking about? Different answers:
1. all people, (Origen, Barth)
2. all who fear God but may not know Christ (John Wesley, C.S. Lewis)
3. all who confess faith in Christ, (Luther)
4. only the elect? (Puritans, calvnists)



So where does this leave us? It is apparent, from this discussion, that there are few people who state you must accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior as the only way to heaven. There seems to be a continuum, and within that continuum, there are varying answers.


Take, for example, the “baby” question.Everyone agrees that babies go to heaven. John Piper argues that any baby who dies is elect and therefore saved. Others would say that God saves all those below the age of accountability. However, the Bible can prove none of these answers conclusively which means everyone is interpreting through her/his own lenses. (This will drive a few purists up the wall).


 I mentioned a woman who was serially raped by her father. While he was doing so, he spoke the name of Jesus and said the Lord’s prayer. She cringes when she thinks of Christianity. This is one that I leave in God’s gracious hands. The vast majority of Christians believe that God makes exceptions for the mentally handicapped and goodness knows this is a mentally abusive situation with long term psychological consequences. He alone knows her heart and I believe that He will send those to her to minister gently. Her father, on the other hand, had better have repented because the Bible is explicitly clear what happens to those who lay a hand on His “little ones.” 


So, time for true confessions about where I stand. I believe that God has made provisions for those who have sought Him earnestly but, due to time and place, did not hear the name of Jesus. For example, this might include the Muslim women who is confined to her house. So, I guess I fall along the lines of Billy Graham, Mark Driscoll and CS Lewis, at least for now. But, in everything, I am in the process of studying and thinking. That is why I question even my own assumptions. For example, would it be better not to preach the message of salvation to those who have never heard the Gospel so such people would not have the chance to reject it? Yet, we are called to do so. You see, it is never easy. But God knows our hearts and our willingness to be open to His ways. And you can bet he will continue to teach and challenge us on our way.


Lydia's Corner:Judges 11:1-12:15 John 1:1-28 Psalm 101:1-8 Proverbs 14:13-14






Will There Be Soldiers of Genghis Khan in Heaven? — 48 Comments

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    And so – we return to the original questions and the answers suggested so early on.

    We really don’t know the answers to these questions. We can read some verses, apply what we believe to be logical and fair and try to decipher what God would do (or what we think God should do) in these situations.

    But the bottom line is – we run a great risk representing God on these matters. Aren’t we really playing God in such instances? Is that a sin?

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    My question is, if Khan’s soldiers make it to heaven, will there be Twinkies for that most excellent sugar rush?

    (Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure)

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    Paul, in Romans especially, said that there are people who can see the handiwork of God in creation and have faith in God, and, by implication, live a just live on the basis of their understanding of a creator and what his character must be. Would a just God condemn those who have not heard but who believe in Him and seek to live justly?

    Another problem for me is that our missionaries at times have preached what I consider a abusive faith, that I would reject if it was what I heard. I really think that that is the situation of Gandhi. Would a just God place the onus on the just person who believes in a God but rejects that false picture set forth by “Christians” who do not live their faith? See, e.g., the Robber Barons, many of whom were in church every Sunday. Or the British Raj, from a purportedly Christian country, but abusive of the people of the Indian Subcontinent and of other colonial subjects.

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    Although Jesus said “No one comes to the Father except by me”, does that mean that the only way is by confessing Jesus as Lord, or, since the Son and the Father are one, can it be said that accepting that there is a God, believing in Him and that he is a loving and caring God who provides a way to serve Him, and living justly as a result is not coming to the Father through the Son?

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    I believe that Paul says in Romans that even those who are able to see the glory of God in creation suppress the truth and are therefore without excuse. We must be careful not to make God in our own image. Jesus said that unless one believes that He is the messiah they will die in their sins.

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    I’m wrestling with things. I can think of a number of people in cultures very different from American and European cultures who have lived their lives with uncompromising integrity, sacrificing their own comfort and even their very lives in the process. Their values were highly moral. We could say that the principles they lived by were “godly” beyond argument. It is doubtful these individuals ever said “Jesus come into my heart”, “Jesus forgive me of my sins”, or were ever in a setting where this curious “baptism” thing was on offer.

    And all the rhetoric i’ve been given over the years has told me to believe that such individuals are out of luck & won’t be in heaven. However, individuals who have said all the right words, gone through the baptism thing, yet lived a life of self-interest, gluttony, dishonesty, bigotry, apathy for injustice make the heavenly cut. Because they said the right words & believed them to some degree.

    God, i wrestle with these things.

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    Jesus said the gate was narrow and few find it. He also said many would claim to do great things in His name and He would say, “I never knew you”.

    We must be careful not to affirm a religion of works whether it is for legalists or for non believers.

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    “Although Jesus said “No one comes to the Father except by me”, does that mean that the only way is by confessing Jesus as Lord, or, since the Son and the Father are one, can it be said that accepting that there is a God, believing in Him and that he is a loving and caring God who provides a way to serve Him, and living justly as a result is not coming to the Father through the Son?”

    Then what was the point of God becoming Flesh and His Sacrifice? According to you, the Jews are all saved because they believed in God and many live justly. Why would the Epistles say differently then?

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    RE: Arce says: @ Thu, May 12 2011 at 04:58 pm

    How dare you suggest that Calvinism and the unfettered free market have not brought the dusky heathen out of barbarism and pagan superstition! You should be tarred, feathered, and run out of conservative evangelical circles on a rail with Ann Coulter as presiding judge.

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    @ Muff: LOLZ.;)

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    Please, I have worn tar in the past (due to doing some roof repairs) and have strenuous objection to wasting good pillow material on protecting others from the tar they may have placed on a person. Those tarring surely deserve the experience of wearing some of it too. As for Ann Coulter, I do not think she is qualified to judge anything, anywhere, at anytime. Ann C = BIAS, at best.

    In that post I did not mention Calvinism. You must have a sensitive bone to see a reference to abusive teaching or abusive preaching as a reference to Calvinism. On the other hand, I do not believe that heresy, and that is what I think it is.

    We do not have nor have ever had free markets. The police act to prevent the free acquisition of the wealth of the wealthy by those without such wealth, and the court system incarcerates those who would practice that form of free market redistribution. What we have is markets that are regulated in favor of the wealthy and powerful, instead of regulation to protect the poor, weak and otherwise vulnerable. Had Madoff ripped off a hundred million poor people, he may have sustained a class action lawsuit, but would never have ended up in jail, but since his victims were wealthy and powerful, the law acts in their interest. Big lenders falsify paperwork under oath, and none are prosecuted for perjury or false affidavit; poor people get evicted and have no means to recover. Greed is the sin most often referred to in the Bible and there is little preaching against it, because that greed funds the offering plate in most churches.

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    Today I was working with an elderly woman, who was sold a lemon car, probably that had been under water, by a car dealer. Her recourse is a suit that will cost her money and has little likelihood of success, since the appellate courts in this state rarely sustain a judgment against a business (unless the suit is between two businesses). The dealer’s recourse is to sell the financing and the financing company will sue for the amount outstanding on the loan, penalty interest, thousands in legal fees, etc., if she does not continue to pay for the non-functioning vehicle, and they will likely win. (I do occasionally win those cases, but it is rare and they are then likely to appeal, etc., etc.)

    The legal system is entirely rigged in the interest of the wealthy and powerful. And we are all complicit in it, because we do not rise up and insist that our courts and criminal justice systems actually dispense justice.

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    I love Ann Coulter. She’s a hoot. But I digress…

    I love the TULIP, too. But still I digress…

    Jesus loves me, this I know. There, that’s better.

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    @ Arce: My understanding of muff’s remark to you is that he was joking! (You know, talkinga bout the British empire and all…)

    maybe we all need to use emoticons or <i.something to try and clarify a bit?

    Text-only “talk” is so difficult sometimes…no tone of voice, no facial expressions, no gestures.

    i bet we’d all have a pretty good time if we had a picnic together. 😀 (not j/k.)

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    Were you asking a question about whether people need to confess Jesus, or were you stating what you believe?

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    It was all in good hyperbolic humor. Just my lame attempt at levity. Couldn’t get the emoticons to work. And yes there is nothing new under the sun. Solomon wrote about the very thing you pointed out in your comments, and the prophets warned against the injustice of the strong over the weak. It was a central theme in Isaiah & Jeremiah. And you’re right, we’re all complicit.

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    I thought it was in humor, as was my response. But then, sometimes humor can be a weapon. But I did not think either Muff or I were using humor as a weapon here. My emoticon generator is broken. so wink wink nudge nudge.

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    Re: hyperbolic. Once wrote and presented a paper titled: A Hyperbolic Model of Attitude Change. Planted audience member asked if it was a double entendre, to which I replied “triple”. Now you figure that out!

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    @ Arce: I liked “I do not believe in that heresy” quite a lot! : )

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    “Had Madoff ripped off a hundred million poor people, he may have sustained a class action lawsuit, but would never have ended up in jail, but since his victims were wealthy and powerful, the law acts in their interest. ”

    It is all about who can afford the lawyers.

    And if you guys want to see what I think is a very balanced view of our economic free fall, watch the documentary, Inside Job. I found it on Redbox. When it comes to the greedy on Wall Street, they have the backing and protection of both democrats and republicans. When you get up into that stratosphere, there is no difference between the parties at all.

    In fact, bailing any of them out was a HUGE mistake on both parties. The bailout only taught people to keep on trusting them when they should not.

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    I agree Lydia, why should any of us have to cover somebody else’s gambling debts? There was a time (under Truman maybe?) when there was no such thing as a credit default swap, it was called fraud, plain & simple, and those responsible for the heist would have been led away in handcuffs by Federal Marshalls.

    They know full well that if they can keep our noses out of books and our eyes glued to the vapid offerings on TV, they can keep us hoodwinked and maintain the illusion.

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    I think the bailout was necessary and the government will recover most if not all of the money so spent. But there should have been a price attached: full disclosure, loss of employment for any who actively participated in the foolishness to enrich themselves, severe limitations on bonuses and salaries unitl the government got 2x the investment back, new financial disclosure laws, and a requirement that compensation above $1,000,000 per year occur in the form of stock to be held for at least five years, so that the rest of the investors are protected by making the big boys compensation linked to the average investor.

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    ARce, they only prolonged the inevitable. It is all a house of cards. A very few walked away with a ton of money and most people’s biggest asset is now worth little.

    You will never get full disclosure. That is the whole point.

    We have entered into oligarchy land. We just do not want to admit it. We have a congress that passes laws they are exempt from. For example: Health care. Why would they want to be exempt from something they voted on for us? Why are they exempt from Social Security?

    A smaller example is that the children of congressman do not have to pay back student loans. Yet the public at large cannot bankrupt a student loan, a law passed by congress and exempted themselves. There are tons of examples of this sort of thing.

    This is all the while our government watchdog organizations turned a blind eye. There are a few heros like Brooksley Borne. But she had no backing.

    Getting and keeping power is more important than laws to protect people.

    There is a former congressman in my district who served 2 years before being voted out. He gets a lifetime pension, free government paid health care for his family, etc , for serving 2 years in congress.

    That is an oligarchy.

    And what you are suggesting only protects ignorance. If a bank or investment house is not trustworthy, there is only one way to learn that lesson. And I speak as one who lost tons in the market.

    Do you find it ironic that many of the leaders of the bankrupt and bailed out firms have been appointed by several presidents to work in Treasury or other government organizations?

    Muff, they were literally betting against what they told their investors was sound. Yes, handcuffs would have been appropriate except our government has been in cohoots for years. Both parties.

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    Am I the only one who doesn’t understand C.S. Lewis? There, I said it. I don’t “get” C.S. Lewis. Maybe it’s just me, but my mind doesn’t work like that.

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    @ nass: Oh, I’m sure there are *lots* of people who either don’t “get” – or don’t like – C.S. Lewis. I think you more or less have to like fantasy-type fiction and/or sci fi in order to like/”get” his novels.

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    meant to say that i like most of Lewis’ novels (though not all of them). But that’s personal taste, and I don’t think there’s any reason to *have8 to like his work.

    But I think he is kind of idolized in many US Christian circles.

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    Over the weekend, I watched the DVD (Inside Job) you commented about. I remember about a year ago one of the conservative Christian talk radio hosts here in Southern Calif. had an academic on his program who assured us all that the meltdown was caused by blacks, hispanics, shiftless blue-collar whites, and Federal lending policies that promote socialism.

    I didn’t quite get the connection a year ago, after all it was just one business school prof. from a conservative for-profit university here in Southern Calif. “with a Christian Worldview”. After watching the DVD, the mendacity of academia in this mess is even more galling because they knew better.

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    Muff, Both conservatives and liberals were in on it. When you get into that stratosphere such designations are meaningless. What the person may have been alluding to are all the people they sold homes to who could not afford them at all.

    During the time in question, I sold a piece of rental property and when I showed up at the closing I was astonished to find a non English speaking single mother who could not have made much money due to her particular job. I asked the mortgage lender and real estate agent about it in private and they assured me she could afford it. I found out she bankrupted a year later. Sad. They should never have qualified her. I felt partly responsible.

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    As always you ask the deep questions. They reflect exactly the concerns that I have raised. Would a just God condemn a person whose only “witness” was a pedophile pastor who molested him for years? Some day, I think we will stand before God and hang our heads in shame as we witness, in technicolor, the full force of injustices perpetrated by people claiming to be Christians. I trust God to sort it all out.

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    That is the $20,000 question and one which has caused much spilled blood.

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    I believe that most people here would agree with you. However, how do you deal with those who have been abused in the name of Christ. What about infants? Does the Messiah judge people on what the know as opposed to what they never knew or had the opportunity to know? This is the struggle?

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    Interesting assessment on Madoff. never thought about that one before. Thanks

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    One day, I think we will all be shocked and shamed to see how we participated in unjust systems, be they political, governmental, church, etc.

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    You are a nut! (Coulter, TULIP comment)

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    When I was a 17 year old Christian convert, someone handed me a book by Lewis. It was the first book in his space trilogy called “Out of the Silent Planet.” I was enthralled because I was a little unsure of my new Christian buddies. I feared that they would outlaw novels and creativity. I know that is ridiculous but such was my thinking back then,

    Lewis says things differently that resonate with my soul. His series on BBC on Mere Christianity during the war was a raging success much to the astonishment of many.

    I had one pastor who used to say that we shared the same batter poured into different shaped cake pans. I think God calls all sorts of people with all sorts of communicating to reach all sorts of people who think very differently. My husband dislike weird science fiction. I love it. Both of us are committed Christians. It’s all good if it is about HIm.

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    “Re: hyperbolic. Once wrote and presented a paper titled: A Hyperbolic Model of Attitude Change. Planted audience member asked if it was a double entendre, to which I replied “triple”. Now you figure that out!”

    I admit it- I have no idea what is going on. What is that all about?

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    Muff said: “It was all in good hyperbolic humor.” The paper I wrote used the mathematical formula of an hyperbole as a model for attitude change under certain research conditions and fit the model to one-half of a set of data and tested it on the other half, along with several of the older models in the social psychology literature. The paper was hyperbolic in three senses: the model; the way in which we attributed parameters in the hyperbolic arc formula to various factors in attitude change proposed in the social psychology literature; and the overstatement by academics in the field on the utility of mathematical models of attitude change — the whole paper was a critique of the field. So it was hyperbolic in three senses, and totally tongue in cheek. With enough parameters you can model almost anything, if the basic math structure is in the ball park at all, and a hyperbole has more than enough parameters.

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    Now I get it. Math was never my strong suit .

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    Well put Arce even though I was thinking along the lines of a double-napped cone, which figures largely in the classical (analytic geometry) definition of the hyperbola. Your explication is just as valid though.

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    Good night! The only cones I know about exist in conjunction with ice cream, traffic and Saturday Night Live.

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    same here, Dee!

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    This discussion has been almost as fun as creating the model, testing, writing the paper, and then giving it at a conference, in Chicago no less, where many favorite restaurants are. Some in the audience took the paper seriously, others recognized that, while we told the truth about what we did, there was a humorous side to it. A few got the humor and the point that math modelers can take themselves way too seriously. Good science and a hoot to boot.

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    can one of you folks explain “double-napped cone” in plain English? (or shall I just Google it?! ;))

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    I think a double napped cone refers to an ice cream cone you have to send back because the server got a lot of hair in it.

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    Numo, did you google? That is a wonderful site for learning. Thanks for the link. I do not remember the term “napped”, but I do remember studying double cones which we called whole cones as opposed to half cones.

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    Excellent link you’ve provided. Hypatia of Alexandria (370-415 A.D. ?) was one of my all time heroines. Her work on the conic sections was monumental. Some scholars say that she came close to predating Kepler’s work on the elliptical paths of the planets, but didn’t have the analytical math tools and measuring devices to show that it’s true. Those wouldn’t be available until centuries later.

    She is said to have been brutally murdered by a mob of fanatical Christian monks who used St. Paul’s Timothy texts about women teaching to justify their actions.

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    I had no idea!!!