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Thread: This should start a decent discussion: Universal Atonement

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nang View Post
    Amyraut was tried by Reformers more than once for heresy, but escaped receiving full condemnation from the fathers.

    Why? Because sound Reformers know that the wrong teaching of unlimited atonement throws the matter of salvation back to the sinner, and a free will decision must still be made to realize and apply the atonement and acquire grace.
    Correction, some of the leaders of the Reformed church, mainly from the English speaking side of the tradition, after the death of John Knox, and in reaction to Arminius, met in Dort and gave articulation to the acrostic TULIP. John Calvin, however, never wrote in his Institutes of "limited atonement"; nor did he write of "double predestination." These terms developed as logical extensions of Calvin's thought but were never uttered by Calvin himself. There is and has long been a strong tradition within the Reformed church who believes that Calvin, had he worked his thoughts to their logical conclusions, would have promptly backed away from them. Barth and the Torrances stood at the pinnacle of that tradition. Guys like George Hunsinger, Gary Deddo, Trevor Hart, Alan Torrance, Baxter Kruger, Gerrit Scott Dawson, Paul Molner, Alister McGrath, Elmer Colyer and others, all students of theirs and accomplished theologians in their own right teach in the line of that tradition. To lump them in with Arminians is to prove ignorance of your own heritage. "Universal atonement" is not Arminianism, nor does it lead in that direction, nor for that matter is it Amyraldian. Far from throwing salvation on the backs of sinners, it centers salvation where it ought to be: in Christ alone. In point of truth it is far closer to the teaching of John Calvin than are you.
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    I requested this thread be moved to ECT or Theology general. I hope that serves the purpose and intent.
    Thanks, I appreciate that.
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

  3. #48
    TOL Subscriber Nang's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TFTn5280 View Post
    Correction, some of the leaders of the Reformed church, mainly from the English speaking side of the tradition, after the death of John Knox, and in reaction to Arminius, met in Dort and gave articulation to the acrostic TULIP.
    Yes, so what does this have to do with Amyraut?


    John Calvin, however, never wrote in his Institutes of "limited atonement"; nor did he write of "double predestination."
    So you say, but what does Calvin have to do with Amyraut?


    These terms developed as logical extensions of Calvin's thought but were never uttered by Calvin himself. There is and has long been a strong tradition within the Reformed church who believes that Calvin, had he worked his thoughts to their logical conclusions, would have promptly backed away from them. Barth and the Torrances stood at the pinnacle of that tradition.
    If so, then Barth and Torrence can prove to be nothing but mind-readers.


    Guys like George Hunsinger, Gary Deddo, Trevor Hart, Alan Torrance, Baxter Kruger, Gerrit Scott Dawson, Paul Molner, Alister McGrath, Elmer Colyer and others, all students of theirs and accomplished theologians in their own right teach in the line of that tradition. To lump them in with Arminians is to prove ignorance of your own heritage.
    Did I "lump these in" my post, or are you lumping them in with Arminianism . . . which BTW, is NOT my heritage.

    "Universal atonement" is not Arminianism, nor does it lead in that direction, nor for that matter is it Amyraldian.
    No? Where did the teaching originate, then?


    Far from throwing salvation on the backs of sinners, it centers salvation where it ought to be: in Christ alone. In point of truth it is far closer to the teaching of John Calvin than are you.

    Bah . . .

    This entire post is nothing but fantasy and non/answer to the entire subject or debate.

    Meaningless.

    Emptiness.

    Darkness.
    "The immutable God never learned anything and never changed his mind. He knew everything from eternity."

    " The difference between faith and saving faith are the propositions believed."
    Gordon H. Clark

    "If a man be lost, God must not have the blame for it; but if a man be saved, God must have the glory of it."
    Charles Spurgeon

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    In the account of the prodigal son, both sons were fully accepted by the father, and undeservedly so, but the one son walked away from his blessings and would have died in the absence of those blessings, had he not come to his senses. I think that is what 5280 is talking about. In this parable, I see the universal atonement coupled with the possibility of "salvation lost."
    Indeed, several important points: Firstly, both sons were sons apart from and before either of them doing anything to merit sonship. Secondly, the prodigal did not "have to" repent in order regain his father's favor (nor to become his father's son). His father raised his robe and rushed to meet him long before he knew the substance of his son's return. Point three, in the end, with full knowledge of the unfolding events, the older brother refused to take part in the celebration, choosing instead to turn his back on what he knew was always his.

    The idea that one must "repent" or "believe" in order to become a child of God is simply not supported by this parable. We are children of God by way of adoption into Christ as purposed by the Father, Christ's election standing as our own. Don't extend salvation to the world as if a carrot to a pony. Salvation is in Christ alone: powerful, attractive, and effective for all. It is in no way activated by faith. As such, salvation is not ours to gain as if hanging in the abyss, begging us to take the plunge. Rather, it is only ours to lose in animated, educated rejection of Christ our Lord, an impossibility only possible by and to those who have yet to receive the surety of the Holy Spirit, our faith through the faithfulness of the Son of God. I'll work this out in later posts.

    As to the use of the term "dialectic," is it a shame that we have lost the use of that word. 100 years ago, it was a very common word. Karl Marx's book, the Communist Manifesto, had, as a part of its title, "dialectical materialism." At the time, that phrase communicated his thinking. I am 70, and just 40 years ago, I could buy the Marx book with that term on its cover. That is not the case, today.
    I would simply state ~ I know with full agreement from you ~ that Barth's dialectic bore little resemblance to that of Marx or Hegel either one. The point I'm hearing you make is that familiarization with the term itself was such in our not so distant past to provide a framework whereby to read Barth and recognize his dialectic as such. That is no longer the case, especially within evangelical conservatism.

    update: Revelatory truth, is not the result of an existential use of Hegelian process (dialectic). Rather, is it, in the final sense, the blessing of God's interaction between us and our reading of the written word in the spirit of II Pet 1:20-21.
    Yes

    Suffice it to say, that the "dialectic" as a word to describe biblical revelation, does not have a "synthesis" as a resolution to the conflict between "thesis" and the "antithetical" statement. In biblical terms, only God in Christ gives us the solution or synthesis. Whether you want to delve into the use of "dialectic" as a motif of biblical revelation or not, just know that "dialectic" is a hardcore "paradox." While we might see the solution to a paradox, a dialectic needs the involvement of God in Christ to give us answer to the tension between the positive statement and its negative counterpart. Hope this helps.
    Well said.
    Last edited by TFTn5280; March 27th, 2015 at 05:54 AM.
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

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    You can all read Nang if you like. I do not see where she has anything of substance to offer this thread, so she just made my ignore list.

    But blessings to you all ~ I can barely keep my eyes open. Catch you in the morning.
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lon View Post
    I think anyone interested in this OP, would do well to brush up on Amyradianism, though I might be mistaken on that count. I'm currently learning a bit about the diversity in the Reformed Churches. Would it be correct to view the differences as being "hard" Calvinist vs "soft" Calvinists (called "Calminians" in the link)?
    Two problems with labels: they almost always fall short of catching the scope and essence of a movement, and are in most instances derogatory in nature, having been introduced by antagonists to the movement.

    I am not happy with either of the labels above. The first narrows Universal Atonement to a basic objection to the article of limited atonement and ties it to a man who is not of the heritage from which I write. Barth et al were not Amyraldians. Before transferring to Fuller, I studied at Reformed Theological Seminary ~ about as Calvinistic a place as it gets. At Fuller I had professors from several of the major walks of our Faith. I've studied the Torrances, T.F. and J.B, extensively, am well introduced to Karl Barth, was taught by students of all three and have read works from many of their other students. In all of that, not once did I come across the name Amyraut or encounter "Amyraldianism." The first I've heard of either was here on TOL. As an influence in and to trends in the history of theology, it is insignificant.

    The second label links Arminianism to Calvinism and seeks to extract the best of all worlds, the thought being that somewhere in the middle of the two is THE truth. Well guess what: the box is bigger than either one (as you [all] will discover if you'll but bear with me). The idea that Christ's atonement is "sufficient" for all but "effective" for only some, is equivocation. It either is atonement or it is not atonement. Don't talk about sufficiency if in the end there is no ultimacy attached to it. There are numerous theologians in this latter camp ~ John Piper, Charles Ryrie, and Norm Geisler being perhaps the most prominent.

    That said, yes, I share and appreciate tenets of beliefs from both of these camps (We'll go into them along the way). I do not ascribe to limited atonement as prescribed by Dortian Calvinists. My view of election is far narrower than theirs. Jesus Christ and he alone is the elect of God, the fulfillment of God's covenant cut with Abraham. Our "election" is as broad and inclusive as Christ's representation of Abraham and by extension humanity itself: I simply ask you, is Christ the second Adam or not? Don't catch yourself elevating Adam at the expense of his Savior. Either Christ is the second representative of humanity or Paul is mistaken. Why is it so simple to ascribe universal scope and status to Adam but not to Christ his creator? I don't get it.

    I'll go into more on this later on. For now, suffice it to say, either all means all or it means no-thing at all.

    Good morning, BTW
    Last edited by TFTn5280; March 27th, 2015 at 06:06 AM.
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFTn5280 View Post
    Two problems with labels: they almost always fall short of catching the scope and essence of a movement, and are in most instances derogatory in nature, having been introduced by antagonists to the movement.

    I am not happy with either of the labels above. The first narrows Universal Atonement to a basic objection to the article of limited atonement and ties it to a man who is not of the heritage from which I write. Barth et al were not Amyraldians. Before transferring to Fuller, I studied at Reformed Theological Seminary ~ about as Calvinistic a place as it gets. At Fuller I had professors from several of the major walks of our Faith. I've studied the Torrances, T.F. and J.B, extensively, am well introduced to Karl Barth, was taught by students of all three and have read works from many of their other students. In all of that, not once did I come across the name Amyraut or encounter "Amyraldianism." The first I've heard of either was here on TOL. As an influence in and to trends in the history of theology, it is insignificant.

    The second label links Arminianism to Calvinism and seeks to extract the best of all worlds, the thought being that somewhere in the middle of the two is THE truth. Well guess what: the box is bigger than either one (as you [all] will discover if you'll but bear with me). The idea that Christ's atonement is "sufficient" for all but "effective" for only some, is equivocation. It either is atonement or it is not atonement. Don't talk about sufficiency if in the end there is no ultimacy attached to it. There are numerous theologians in this latter camp ~ John Piper, Charles Ryrie, and Norm Geisler being perhaps the most prominent.

    That said, yes, I share tenets of beliefs from both of these camps (We'll go into them along the way). I do not ascribe to limited atonement as prescribed by Dortian Calvinists. My view of election is far narrower than theirs. Jesus Christ and he alone is the elect of God, the fulfillment of God's covenant cut with Abraham. Our "election" is as broad and inclusive as Christ's representation of humanity: I simply ask you, is Christ the second Adam or not? Don't catch yourself elevating Adam at the expense of Jesus Christ. Either Christ is the second representative of humanity or Paul is mistaken. Why is it so simple to ascribe universal scope and status to Adam but not to Christ his creator? I don't get it.

    I'll go into more on this later on. For now, suffice it to say, either all means all or it means no-thing at all.

    Good morning, BTW
    If I may: It was ascribed to both and, in both cases, man had to choose it. That is the response God requires in either "creation".

    What was intended for Adam, Adam didn't choose. Jesus, on the the otherhand, did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Reference View Post
    If I may: It was ascribed to both and, in both cases, man had to choose it. That is the response God requires in either "creation".

    What was intended for Adam, Adam didn't choose. Jesus, on the the otherhand, did.
    CR, I understand your point, and thank you for making it; and while I respect it, I do not embrace it. Christ is not just "man" choosing to obey; He is also God electing to save. As such, of the two, He is the unique Son, mediating salvation from both poles. Read my "signature" below. Thanks again, though.
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

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    Journeyman jsjohnnt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Reference View Post
    If I may: It was ascribed to both and, in both cases, man had to choose it. That is the response God requires in either "creation".

    What was intended for Adam, Adam didn't choose. Jesus, on the the otherhand, did.
    Romans 5:12 implies an individual component to the "universal" nature of Adam's sin: clearly, the scriptures argue for individual involvement as we find our place in (into) Christ, as well. Not that we earn our status but, only, that we remain participants in the Blessing, i.e. the prodigal son, whose only "cause for loss" was the fact that he walked away from the blessing.

    Personally, I would not use the word "require," at this point in the discussion. While obedience is "required," at some level, it is only that disobedience that is sooooo egregious, so comprehensive, as to be a personal declaration of our intent not to worship and serve the living God. Romans, chapter one, does not tell of a God who gave up on a homosexual, but a God who gave up on one whose sin [homosexual behavior] was so comprehensive as to become a declaration that this sinful man had completely surrendered to evil, "I will now worship idols and NOT God; I will now leave the knowing of God behind; I will now serve the flesh to the exclusion of serving God; I will now follow after depravity, even as I accept and understand "depravity." and my wickedness will now go far far beyond my homosexuality (vv 29 and following). This fellow, lost for all time, is simply full of sin by his own will.

    These are not people with a orientation problem, but people who have given up because of their sin (we all have sins that continue in our lives, you know) and now simply serve darkness. What may not have been a part their lives, as a matter of will, is now a matter of choice-without-the-fight.

    As a retired pastor, back in the day, my highest concern, was in dealing with fellow Christian who could not get past a particular sin, and because of that failure (the universality of Adam's sin) they "quit the church" and walked away from God (the "individual component" I mentioned above). The glaring truth of Romans 7:25 is what I am talking about, as far as "complicit duplicity" is concerned. When we quit that existential dialectic, when we quit the problem as described in v 25, we are either in heaven, or we have decided to walk away from the frustrations of being adamic/humans.

    At least, that is how I resolve the theoretical issue; the practical issue? well, I could only encourage my church members to continue in the struggle, sometimes failing to tell them I had the same temptation to walk away. It is the struggle that reminds us that we are alive in Christ, as much as the victories He gives us.

    Hope this does not sound too heretical. But, it is how I unpack Paul in Romans.
    Last edited by jsjohnnt; March 27th, 2015 at 07:22 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFTn5280 View Post
    CR, I understand your point, and thank you for making it; and while I respect it, I do not embrace it. Christ is not just "man" choosing to obey; He is also God electing to save. As such, of the two, He is the unique Son, mediating salvation from both poles. Read my "signature" below. Thanks again, though.

    1. Jesus, the Word, was *MADE flesh and had to be in order to satisfy the "ground rules" of the battle between God and Satan, with the Angels looking on.

    * Subjected to all Adam was subjectd to, i.e., vanity, etal per Rom 8:19,20 KJV.. Notice that in His hour of temptation[s] and as with Adam, Jesus was left alone to deal with it; prove Himself/Allegiance. In particular was this in His wilderness temptation when in the afterwards, the angels came and ministered to Him.

    * Jesus was full of Grace and Truth. When He prayed, God heard Him. Note: It doesn't mean God replied. Jesus aleays had the written word to rely upon that He hid in His heart that He never tempt God.

    2. Jesus could not be God and die. Simple reasoning here: God cannot die nor could be in anyway related to the cross except in the disposition of the MAN Jesus Who was in was in complete union with God.. In addition, only a man could be the offering for canceling out Adam's transgression.

    3. In all of this was God revealing to us by the Life of Jesus how it would sonn be possible, by the new birth, how Fallen man could accomplish his salvation as God purposed by God set in Himself __ which is what He was always after having created man for that reason. In this was intimacy with God- as Father- would be the relationship Jesus had that carried the day and is now made possible by His obedience unto death for us who claim His Name to embrace and move into that we have His Being manifested in our flesh..

    If you disagree please be specific as to which points you don't accept.


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    LIFETIME MEMBER Desert Reign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    These are not people with a orientation problem, but people who have given up because of their sin (we all have sins that continue in our lives, you know) and now simply serve darkness. What may not have been a part their lives, as a matter of will, is now a matter of choice-without-the-fight.
    I tend to agree with this as an interpretation of Romans. Of course, further discussion would be off-topic but suffice that God looks at the heart not at the outward appearance. He looks not at your success rate at keeping the law but at your faith.
    But this is not a recipe for liberalism at all. In my experience most homosexuals are downright sinners and know it.
    Total Misanthropy.
    Uncertain salvation.
    Luck of the draw.
    Irresistible damnation.
    Persecution of the saints.

    Time is an illusion; lunchtime doubly so.
    (The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy)

    RevTestament: It doesn't matter to me too much that the "New Testament wasn't written in Hebrew.
    Dialogos: Calvin, as a sinner, probably got some things wrong.
    Brandplucked: I'm shocked that other people disagree with me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsjohnnt View Post
    Romans 5:12 implies an individual component to the "universal" nature of Adam's sin: clearly, the scriptures argue for individual involvement as we find our place in (into) Christ, as well. Not that we earn our status but, only, that we remain participants in the Blessing, i.e. the prodigal son, whose only "cause for loss" was the fact that he walked away from the blessing.

    Personally, I would not use the word "require," at this point in the discussion. While obedience is "required," at some level, it is only that disobedience that is sooooo egregious, so comprehensive, as to be a personal declaration of our intent not to worship and serve the living God. Romans, chapter one, does not tell of a God who gave up on a homosexual, but a God who gave up on one whose sin [homosexual behavior] was so comprehensive as to become a declaration that this sinful man had completely surrendered to evil, "I will now worship idols and NOT God; I will now leave the knowing of God behind; I will now serve the flesh to the exclusion of serving God; I will now follow after depravity, even as I accept and understand "depravity." and my wickedness will now go far far beyond my homosexuality (vv 29 and following). This fellow, lost for all time, is simply full of sin by his own will.

    These are not people with a orientation problem, but people who have given up because of their sin (we all have sins that continue in our lives, you know) and now simply serve darkness. What may not have been a part their lives, as a matter of will, is now a matter of choice-without-the-fight.

    As a retired pastor, back in the day, my highest concern, was in dealing with fellow Christian who could not get past a particular sin, and because of that failure (the universality of Adam's sin) they "quit the church" and walked away from God (the "individual component" I mentioned above). The glaring truth of Romans 7:25 is what I am talking about, as far as "complicit duplicity" is concerned. When we quit that existential dialectic, when we quit the problem as described in v 25, we are either in heaven, or we have decided to walk away from the frustrations of being adamic/humans.

    At least, that is how I resolve the theoretical issue; the practical issue? well, I could only encourage my church members to continue in the struggle, sometimes failing to tell them I had the same temptation to walk away. It is the struggle that reminds us that we are alive in Christ, as much as the victories He gives us.

    Hope this does not sound too heretical. But, it is how I unpack Paul in Romans.
    This is a great post. Well said. If our theologies are not functional in practical settings, all they are ultimately are exercises in scholasticism. There was enough of that in Federal Calvinism in the early reformation to serve us all a lifetime. Evangelicalism has yet to recover. Faithful followers floundering at Eucharistic tables fearing for their salavations, fences drawn around them, elders on all sides allowing only those deemed pious enough to partake. Egregious is an understatement! Thanks brother for weighing in.
    Last edited by TFTn5280; March 27th, 2015 at 02:41 PM.
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Reference View Post

    2. Jesus could not be God and die. Simple reasoning here: God cannot die nor could be in anyway related to the cross except in the disposition of the MAN Jesus Who was in was in complete union with God.. In addition, only a man could be the offering for canceling out Adam's transgression.


    If you disagree please be specific as to which points you don't accept.

    Whatever particulars beside the above statement I am confident can be resolved over time. You say Jesus could not be God and die. I can agree with that. How can God cease being God? Impossible. He who is LIFE in absolute essence cannot cease being so. Speaking of logical absurdities, there it is! That said, you are faced with the same absurdity to contend that God the Logos Son ceased being God when taking on the form of humanity in incarnation. Again impossible. How can God cease being God, the very essence of LIFE stop being so? He can't.

    What happened in the Incarnation is resolved in the understanding that the eternal Word ~ God of God ~ became man as well: God of God and man of man united in the one person, Jesus Christ. Who then died upon the cross? Christ in his full and complete humanity, in absolute fulfillment of all that constitutes humanity. What happened to his divinity in the gap between death and resurrection? He spent that time preaching to those confined in the abyss of lower regions. On the third day the last of the tyrants fell, that being death itself, forever defeated in the bodily resurrection of the God-man Jesus Christ, in full and complete victorious Glorification, the Glorification he had shared with the Father as Divine Son prior to taking on the flesh of fallen humanity. Now though in glorification it is not only Jesus, God of God who is Glorified: it is Christ now also, man of man glorified as well, all constitutes of tyranny trampled under his heal.

    Wrap your arms around that one and the rest will be pie simple.

    Either way, I appreciate you, brother. You bring much wisdom to our discussions.

    Blessings,
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFTn5280 View Post
    Whatever particulars beside the above statement I am confident can be resolved over time. You say Jesus could not be God and die. I can agree with that. How can God cease being God? Impossible. He who is LIFE in absolute essence cannot cease being so. Speaking of logical absurdities, there it is! That said, you are faced with the same absurdity to contend that God the Logos Son ceased being God when taking on the form of humanity in incarnation. Again impossible. How can God cease being God, the essence of LIFE stop being so. He can't.
    How can God cease being??? Well, how did God the create the universe and everything living in it? Answer that correctly to know that God is the great "I AM" what I need to be in order to accomplish My purposes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross Reference View Post
    How can God cease being??? Well, how did God the create the universe and everything living in it? Answer that correctly to know that God is the great "I AM" what I need to be in order to accomplish My purposes.
    Well actually I don't need to know the one to affirm the other. How did God create ex nihilo? Beats me. Ask Psuche; he might know. What I do know, that which should be known can be known in the Person of Jesus Christ.

    Have a great day. I have to get back to making little rocks out of big ones. Talk to you later,
    Thomas

    "For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God." ~ Colossians 3.3

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