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Charles,
Thank you (and all) for the comments.
The contemporary interlocutor was the Islamic Persian with whom the Byzantine Emperor (not a theologian, as he is errantly characterized in the press) was debating. The "current gainsayers" include, obviously, the present-day Islamic community who take offense at these words, but also include, not so obviously, the present-day Western sophisticates who find themselves on the receiving end in the next post, "Hitchens in the Submarine." Hope you like it.

Father:

When you state that the emporer, "unlike his contemporary interlocutor and his current gainsayers.. knew what religion was not," who is it that you're referring to? Is it the pope and his critics? If it is, what is that they don't understand?

Can you explain what you mean here? It's not clear to me.

Great post, as always.

Thanks for another encouraging post. Isn't this, at least in part, what our Lord meant in saying to His disciples, "You are the salt of the earth?" Salt makes the insipid palatable and preserves the perishable from decay. Men who hear God's truth and respond with faith and obedience do the same for the world around them.

Wow. Great points, thank you.

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