FRIEDMAN FRIDAY How to Cure Health Care By Milton Friedman (A paper from 2001)

Milton Friedman on Medical Care (Full Lecture)

Published on Feb 2, 2014

I have written about Obamacare over and over again on this blog. Dan Mitchell has shared many funny cartoons about Obamacare too. Milton Friedman has spoken out about government healthcare many times in the past and his film series FREE TO CHOOSE is on You Tube and I encourage you to watch it. It is clear that the federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation.

We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruption. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “The Anatomy of a Crisis” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, and – Power of the Market.

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 1/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 2/4

Winter 2001
Since the end of World War II, the provision of medical care in the United States and other advanced countries has displayed three major features: first, rapid advance in the science of medicine; second, large increases in spending, both in terms of inflation-adjusted dollars per person and the fraction of national income spent on medical care; and third, rising dissatisfaction with the delivery of medical care, on the part of both consumers of medical care and physicians and other suppliers of medical care.

Rapid technological advance has occurred repeatedly since the industrial revolution – in agriculture, steam engine, railroad, telephone, electricity, automobile, radio, television, and, most recently, computers and telecommunication. The other two features seem unique to medicine. It is true that spending initially increased after nonmedical technical advances, but the fraction of national income spent did not increase dramatically after the initial phase of widespread acceptance. On the contrary, technological development lowered cost, so that the fraction of national income spent on food, transportation, communication, and much more has gone down, releasing resources to produce new products or services. Similarly, there seems no counterpart in these other areas to the rising dissatisfaction with the delivery of medical care.

I. International comparison

These developments in medicine have been worldwide. By their very nature, scientific advances know no geographical boundaries. Data on spending are readily available for 29 Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries. In every one, medical spending has gone up both in inflation-adjusted dollars per person and as a fraction of national income. Data are available for both 1960 and 1997 for 21 countries. In 13, spending more than doubled as a fraction of gross domestic product. The smallest increase was 67 percent, the largest, 378 percent. In 1997, 16 of the 29 OECD countries spent between 7 percent and 9 percent of gross domestic product on medical care. The United States spent 14 percent, the highest of any OECD country. Germany was a distant second at 11 percent; Turkey was the lowest at 4 percent.

A key difference between medical care and the other technological revolutions is the role of government. In other technological revolutions, the initiative, financing, production, and distribution were primarily private, though government sometimes played a supporting or regulatory role. In medical care, government has come to play a leading role in financing, producing, and delivering medical service. Direct government spending on health exceeds 75 percent of total health spending for 15 OECD countries. The United States is next to the lowest of the 29 countries, at 46 percent. In addition, some governments indirectly subsidize medical care through favorable tax treatment. For the United States, such subsidization raises the fraction of health spending financed directly or indirectly by government to over 50 percent.

What are countries getting for the money they are spending on medical care? What is the relation between input and output? Spending on medical care provides a reasonably good measure of input, but, unfortunately, there is no remotely satisfactory objective measure of output. For the hospital segment, number of beds occupied may at first seem like an objective measure. However, improvements in medicine have included a reduction in the length of hospital stay required for various medical procedures or illnesses. So, fewer patient days may be a sign of greater, not lesser, output. The desired output of medical care is “good health.” But how can we quantify “good health,” and equally important, allow for the role that factors other than medical care – such as plentiful food, pure water, and protective clothing – play in producing “good health”?

The least objectionable measure I have been able to find is expected length of life at birth or at various later ages, though that too is a far from unambiguous measure of the output attributable to spending on medical care. The remarkable increase in life span in advanced countries during the past century reflects much more than spending on medical care proper. Moreover, it does not allow for changes in the quality of life-attempted measurement of which is still in its infancy.

Figure 1 (see Appendix) shows the relation in 1996 for the 29 OECD countries between the percentage of the gross domestic product spent on medical care and the expected length of life at birth for females.1 The relation is clearly positive, though very loose.2 The United States and Germany are clear outliers, ranking first and second in spending but twentieth and seventeenth in length of life. As another indication of looseness, nine countries spent between 7 and 8 percent of GDP on medicine. The group includes Japan, which has the highest expected length of life (83.6 years), and the Czech Republic, fourth from the bottom (77.3 years). Clearly, many factors other than spending on medical care affect expected length of life.

Exploring that relation more fully, however worthwhile a project, is not the purpose of this article, which is to examine the situation in the United States. I have presented the data on the OECD countries primarily to document the two (related?) respects in which the United States is an outlier: We spend a higher percentage of national income on medical care (and more per capita) than any other OECD country, and government finances a smaller fraction of that spending than all except Korea.

II. Why third-party payment?

Two simple observations are key to explaining both the high level of spending on medical care and the dissatisfaction with that spending. The first is that most payments to physicians or hospitals or other caregivers for medical care are made not by the patient but by a third party – an insurance company or employer or governmental body. The second is that nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely or as frugally as he spends his own. These statements apply equally to other OECD countries. They do not by themselves explain why the United States spends so much more than other countries.

No third party is involved when we shop at a supermarket. We pay the supermarket clerk directly. The same for gasoline for our car, clothes for our back, and so on down the line. Why, by contrast, are most medical payments made by third parties? The answer for the United States begins with the fact that medical-care expenditures are exempt from the income tax if, and only if, medical care is provided by the employer. If an employee pays directly for medical care, the expenditure comes out of the employee’s income after income tax. If the employer pays for the employee’s medical care, the expenditure is treated as a tax-deductible expense for the employer and is not included as part of the employee’s income subject to income tax. That strong incentive explains why most consumers get their medical care through their employer or their spouse’s or their parents’ employer. In the next place, the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965 made the government a third-party payer for persons and medical care covered by those measures.

We have become so accustomed to employer-provided medical care that we regard it as part of the natural order. Yet it is thoroughly illogical. Why single out medical care? Food is more essential to life than medical care. Why not exempt the cost of food from taxes if provided by the employer? Why not return to the much-reviled company store when workers were in effect paid in kind rather than in cash?

The revival of the company store for medicine has less to do with logic than pure chance. It is a wonderful example of how one bad government policy leads to another. During World War II, the government financed much wartime spending by printing money while, at the same time, imposing wage and price controls. The resulting repressed inflation produced shortages of many goods and services, including labor. Firms competing to acquire labor at government-controlled wages started to offer medical care as a fringe benefit. That benefit proved particularly attractive to workers and spread rapidly.

Initially, employers did not report the value of a fringe benefit to the Internal Revenue Service as part of their workers’ wages. It took some time before the IRS realized what was going on. When it did, it issued regulations requiring employers to include the value of medical care as part of reported employees’ wages. By this time, workers had become accustomed to the tax exemption of that particular fringe benefit and made a big fuss. Congress responded by legislating that medical care provided by employers should be tax-exempt.

III. Effect of third-party payment on medical costs

The tax exemption of employer-provided medical care has two different effects, both of which raise health costs. First, it leads employees to rely on their employer, rather than themselves, to make arrangements for medical care. Yet employees are likely to do a better job of monitoring medical-care providers, because it is in their own interest, than is the employer or the insurance company or companies designated by the employer. Second, it leads employees to take a larger fraction of their total remuneration in the form of medical care than they would if spending on medical care had the same tax status as other expenditures.

If the tax exemption were removed, employees could bargain with their employers for a higher take-home pay in lieu of medical care and provide for their own medical care either by dealing directly with medical-care providers or by purchasing medical insurance. Removal of the tax exemption would enable governments to reduce the tax rate on income while raising the same total revenue. This hidden subsidy for medical care, currently more than $100 billion a year, is not included in reported figures on government health spending.

Extending the tax exemption to all medical care – as in the current limited provision for medical savings accounts and the proposals to make such accounts more widely available – would reduce reliance on third-party payment. But, by extending the hidden subsidy to all medical-care expenditures, it would increase the tendency of employees to take a larger portion of their remuneration in the form of medical care. (I will more fully discuss medical savings accounts in the conclusion.)

Enactment of Medicare and Medicaid provided a direct subsidy for medical care. The cost grew much more rapidly than originally estimated – as the cost of all handouts invariably do. Legislation cannot repeal the non-legislated law of demand and supply. The lower the price, the greater the quantity demanded; at a zero price, the quantity demanded becomes infinite. Some method of rationing must be substituted for price and that invariably means administrative rationing.

Figure 2 provides an estimate of the effect on medical costs of tax exemption and the subsequent enactment of Medicare and Medicaid. The top line in the chart is actual per capita spending on medical care expressed in constant 1992 prices, to allow for the effect of inflation. Spending multiplied more than 23-fold from 1919 to 1997, going from $155 per capita to $3,625. The bottom line shows what would have happened to per capita spending if it had continued to rise at the same rate as it did from 1919 to 1940 (3.1 percent per year). On that assumption, per capita spending would have risen to $1,751, instead of $3,625 by 1997, or less than half as much.3,4

To estimate the separate effects of tax exemption and of Medicare and Medicaid, the second line shows what would have happened to spending if, after Medicare and Medicaid were enacted, spending had continued to rise at the same rate as it did from 1946 to 1965 (4 percent per year). The segment between the two bottom lines shows the effect of tax exemption; the segment between the two top lines shows the effect of the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid. According to these estimates, tax exemption accounts for 57 percent of the increase in cost; Medicare and Medicaid, 43 percent.

Figure 3 presents a different breakdown of the cost of medical care: between the part paid directly by the government and the part paid privately. As the figure shows, the government share has been growing over the whole period. Government’s share went from one-eighth of the total in 1919 to nearly a quarter in 1946 to a quarter in 1965 to nearly half in 1997. The rise in the government’s share has been accompanied by centralization of spending – from primarily by state and local governments to primarily by the federal government. We are headed toward completely socialized medicine and are already halfway there, if in addition to direct costs, we include indirect tax subsidies.

Expressed as a fraction of national income, spending on medical care went from 3 percent of the national income in 1919 to 4.5 percent in 1946, to 7 percent in 1965 to a mind-boggling 17 percent in 1997.5 No other country in the world approaches that level of spending as a fraction of national income no matter how its medical care is organized. The change in the role of medical care in the U.S. economy is truly breathtaking. To illustrate, in 1946, seven times as much was spent on food, beverages, and tobacco as on medical care; in 1996, 50 years later, more was spent on medical care than on food, beverages, and tobacco. In 1946, twice as much was spent on transportation as on medical care; in 1996, one-and-a-half times as much was spent on medical care as on transportation.

IV. The changing meaning of insurance

Employer financing of medical care has caused the term “insurance” to acquire a rather different meaning in medicine than in most other contexts. We generally rely on insurance to protect us against events that are highly unlikely to occur but involve large losses if they do occur – major catastrophes, not minor regularly recurring expenses. We insure our houses against loss from fire, not against the cost of having to cut the lawn. We insure our cars against liability to others or major damage, not against having to pay for gasoline. Yet in medicine, it has become common to rely on insurance to pay for regular medical examinations and often for prescriptions.

This is partly a question of the size of the deductible and the co-payment, but it goes beyond that. “Without medical insurance” and “without access to medical care” have come to be treated as nearly synonymous. Moreover, the states and the federal government have increasingly specified the coverage of insurance for medical care to a detail not common in other areas. The effect has been to raise the cost of insurance and to limit the options open to individuals. Many, if not most, of the “medically uninsured” are persons who for one reason or another do not have access to employer-provided medical care and are not willing to pay the cost of the only kinds of insurance contracts available to them.

If tax exemption for employer-provided medical care and Medicare and Medicaid had never been enacted, the insurance market for medical care would probably have developed as other insurance markets have. The typical form of medical insurance would have been catastrophic insurance – i.e., insurance with a very high deductible.

V. Bureaucratization and Gammon’s Law

Third-party payment has required the bureaucratization of medical care and, in the process, has changed the character of the relation between physicians or other caregivers and patients. A medical transaction is not simply between a caregiver and a patient; it has to be approved as “covered” by a bureaucrat and the appropriate payment authorized. The patient, the recipient of the medical care, has little or no incentive to be concerned about the cost – since it’s somebody else’s money. The caregiver has become, in effect, an employee of the insurance company or, in the case of Medicare and Medicaid, the government. The patient is no longer the one, and the only one, the caregiver has to serve. An inescapable result is that the interest of the patient is often in direct conflict with the interest of the caregiver’s ultimate employer. That has been manifest in public dissatisfaction with the increasingly impersonal character of medical care.

Some years ago, the British physician Max Gammon, after an extensive study of the British system of socialized medicine, formulated what he called “the theory of bureaucratic displacement.” In Health and Security, he observed that in “a bureaucratic system … increase in expenditure will be matched by fall in production…. Such systems will act rather like ‘black holes,’ in the economic universe, simultaneously sucking in resources, and shrinking in terms of ’emitted production.'” Gammon’s observations for the British system have their exact parallel in the partly socialized U.S. medical system. Here too input has been going up sharply relative to output. This tendency can be documented particularly clearly for hospitals, thanks to the availability of high quality data for a long period.

Before 1940, output, as measured by number of patient days per 1,000 population (equal to the number of occupied beds per 1,000 population) and input, as measured by cost per 1,000 population, both rose (input somewhat more than output presumably because of the introduction of more sophisticated and expensive treatments). The number of occupied beds per resident of the United States rose from 1929 to 1940 at the rate of 2.4 percent per year; the cost of hospital care per resident, adjusted for inflation, at 5 percent per year; and the cost per patient day, adjusted for inflation, at 2 percent per year.

The situation changed drastically after the war, as Figure 4 and the top part of Table 1 show. From 1946 to 1996, the number of beds per 1,000 population fell by more than 60 percent; the fraction of beds occupied, by more than 20 percent. In sharp contrast, input skyrocketed. Hospital personnel per occupied bed multiplied nine-fold, and cost per patient day, adjusted for inflation, an astounding 40-fold, from $30 in 1946 to $1,200 in 1996 (at 1992 prices). A major engine of these changes was the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. A mild rise in input was turned into a meteoric rise; a mild fall in output, into a rapid decline. The 40-fold increase in the cost per patient day was converted into a 13-fold increase in hospital cost per resident of the United States by the sharp decline in output. Hospital days per person per year were cut by two-thirds, from three days in 1946 to an average of less than a day by 1996.

Taken by itself, the decline in hospital days is evidence of progress in medical science. A healthy population needs less hospitalization, and advances in science and medical technology have reduced the length of hospital stays and increased outpatient surgery. Progress in medical science may well explain most of the decline in output; it does not explain much, if any, of the rise in input per unit of output. True, medical machines have become more complex. However, in other areas where there has been great technical progress – whether it be agriculture or telephones or steel or automobiles or aviation or, most recently, computers and the Internet – progress has led to a reduction, not an increase, in cost per unit of output. Why is medicine an exception? Gammon’s law, not medical miracles, was clearly at work. The provision of medical care as an untaxed fringe benefit by employers, and then the federal government’s assumption of responsibility for hospital and medical care of the elderly and the poor, provided a fresh pool of money. And there was no shortage of takers. Growing costs, in turn, led to more regulation of hospitals and medical care, further increasing administrative costs, and leading to the bureaucratization that is so prominent a feature of medical care today.

Medicine is not the only area where this pattern has prevailed. Aside from defense and medicine, schooling is the only other major area of our society that is largely financed and administered by government, and here too Gammon’s law has clearly operated. Input per unit of output, however measured, has clearly been going up; output, especially if measured in terms of quality, has been going down, and dissatisfaction, as in medicine, is growing. The same may well be true also in defense. However, measuring output independently of input is even more baffling for defense than for medicine.

To return to medicine, hospital cost has risen as a percentage of total medical cost from 24 percent in 1946 to 32 percent half a century later. The cost of physician services is currently the second largest component of total medical cost. It too has risen sharply, though less sharply than hospital costs. In 1946, the cost of physician services exceeded the cost of hospital services. According to the estimates in Table 1, the cost of physician services has multiplied four-fold since 1946, the major rise coming after the adoption of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965.

Figure 5 shows what has happened to the number of physicians and their income. The number almost doubled, and the income per physician almost tripled over the half-century from 1946 to 1996. Both reflect the increase in funds available to finance medical care and the third-party character of payment. The demand for physician services went up, and income had to go up to attract additional physicians. Paradoxically, the attempt by third-party payers – particularly the federal government – to keep costs down has been at least partly self-defeating, because it took the form of imposing onerous rules and regulations on physicians. The resultant bureaucratization of medical practice has made the practice of medicine less attractive as an occupation to most actual and potential physicians, which increased the necessary rise in incomes. It has also reduced their productivity.

VI. Medical-care output

So much for input. What about output? What have we gotten in return for quadrupling the share of the nation’s income spent on medical care?

I have already referred to one component of output – days of hospital care per person per year. That has gone down from three days in 1946 to less than one in 1996. Insofar as the reduction reflects the improvements in medicine, it clearly is a good thing. However, it also reflects the pressure to keep hospital stays short in order to keep down cost. That this is not a good thing is clear from protests by patients, widespread enough to have led Congress to mandate minimum stays for some medical procedures.

The output of the medical-care industry that we are interested in is its contribution to better health. How can we measure better health in a reasonably objective way that is not greatly influenced by other factors? For example, if medical care enables people to live longer and healthier lives, we might expect that the fraction of persons aged 65 to 70 who continue to work would go up. In fact, of course, the fraction has gone down drastically – thanks to higher incomes reinforced by financial incentives from Social Security. With the same “if” we might expect the fraction of the population classified as disabled to go down, but that fraction has gone up, again not for reasons of health but because of government social security programs. And so I have found with one initially plausible measure after another – all of them are too contaminated by other factors to reflect the output of the medical-care industry.

As noted earlier, the least bad measure that I have been able to come up with is length of life, though that too is seriously contaminated by other factors – improvements in diet, housing, clothing, and so on generated by greater affluence, better garbage collection and disposal, the provision of purer water, and other governmental public-health measures. Wars, epidemics, and natural and man-made disasters have played a part. Even more important, the quality of life is as meaningful as the length of life. Perhaps the extensive research on aging currently underway will lead to a better measure than length of life.

Figures 6 and 7 present two different sets of data on expected length of life: Figure 6, expected length of life at birth; Figure 7, remaining length of life at age 65. Both cover the whole century, from 1900 to 1997, the last year for which I was able to get data. For Figure 6 the data are annual; for Figure 7, decennial until recent years. The two tell very different, but equally remarkable, stories.

Expected longevity went from 47 years in 1900 to 68 years in 1950, a truly remarkable rise that proceeded at a fairly steady rate, averaging four-tenths of a year per year. Public-health activities, such as those leading to cleaner water and air and better control of epidemics, played a major role in lengthening life, no doubt; but so too did improvements in medical practice and hospital care, particularly those leading to a sharp reduction in infant and maternal mortality. Whatever its source, the increase in longevity did not have any systematic relation to spending on medical care as a fraction of income. We have reasonably accurate data on spending only from 1929 on; crude data from 1919 on. Except for the deep depression years of 1932 and 1933, national health spending never exceeded 5 percent of national income, and from 1919 to 1948, varied between 3 and 5 percent, primarily as a result of wider swings in national income than in health spending.

The most striking feature of Figure 6 is the sharp slowdown in the increase in longevity after 1950. From 1950 on, longevity grew at less than half the rate that it grew from 1900 to 1950-averaging less than two-tenths of a year per year compared to the earlier four-tenths.6 In the first 50 years of the century, the life span increased by 21 years; in the next 47 years, by eight years. As in the first 50 years, the increase proceeded at a surprisingly steady pace. I have no good explanation for the shift from one trend to the other. I conjecture that it reflects the exhaustion by the end of World War II of the possibility of further major improvements from public-health activity. I leave it to scholars more knowledgeable about medicine than I to give a more satisfactory answer.

The later trend was accompanied, as the earlier one was not, by a major increase in spending as a fraction of national income. However, I attribute that increase in spending to the changes in the economic organization of medical care discussed earlier. I doubt that it is related as either cause or effect to the slowdown in the growth of longevity.

Data are much less readily available for longevity at age 65 than at birth, so I have resorted to the use of decennial estimates except for the most recent year. Figure 7 is almost the mirror image of Figure 6 – that is, the same picture reversed. Instead of first rising rapidly and then slowly, longevity at age 65 at first rose slowly and then rapidly. Until 1940, longevity rose at an average of only .025 years per year. Remaining years of life went from 12 – or to age 77 – in 1900 to 13 – or age 78 – in 1940. Then there was a sharp acceleration, and in the next 57 years, remaining years of life went up by an additional five years to 18 – or age 83, rising at the average rate of .085 years per year. Understandably, both the earlier and the later rates of growth in longevity at age 65 are much smaller than the comparable figures for longevity at birth. The remarkable phenomenon is the shift in trend around 1940, and the steadiness of the trend both before and after 1940.

Data for later years of life suggests that the steadiness of the trend in longevity at age 65 is not likely to continue. At these later ages, there has been a distinct slowing of increases in longevity since about 1980. At age 85, remaining years of life for females has not changed in the 17 years from 1980 to 1997. It was 6.4 years in both 1980 and 1997.7

What caused the change in the trend at age 65, and why was that change in the opposite direction from the change in the trend at birth, and why did it occur about 10 years earlier? Could it have been the emergence of penicillin and sulfa at around 1940 that explains the dating of the shift? No doubt many other advances in medicine, from the handling of blood pressure to the perfecting of open-heart surgery, the improved treatment of cancer, and the better understanding of diet were of special importance for preventing death at later ages. I am incompetent to judge these matters and their relative importance. But I have no doubt that one economic change also played an important role. That was the sharp improvement in the economic status of the elderly brought about by government transfer programs, notably Social Security. From being among the poorest groups in society, the elderly have become among the most affluent in the post-World War II period.

However interesting these speculations may be, they are a long way from providing an answer to the question with which we started this section, namely, “What have we gotten in return for quadrupling the share of the nation’s income spent on medical care?” The slowdown in the increase of longevity at birth started before tax exemption and Medicare had any effect on spending. Similarly, the acceleration in the increase in longevity at age 65 started 25 years before Medicare was enacted and showed no speedup thereafter. Perhaps better measures of the health of the population and various subgroups will show a relation to total spending. But on the evidence to date, it is hard to see that we have gotten much for that spending other than bureaucratization and widespread dissatisfaction with the economic organization of medical care.

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VII. The United States vs. other countries

Our steady movement toward reliance on third-party payment no doubt explains the extraordinary rise in spending on medical care in the United States. However, other advanced countries also rely on third-party payment, many or most of them to an even greater extent than we do. What explains our higher level of spending?

I must confess that despite much thought and scouring of the literature, I have no satisfactory answer. One clue is my estimate that if the pre-World War II system had continued – that is, if tax exemption and Medicare and Medicaid had never been enacted – expenditures on medical care would have amounted to less than half its current level, which would have put us near the bottom of the OECD list rather than at the top.

In terms of holding down cost, one-payer directly administered government systems, such as exist in Canada and Great Britain, have a real advantage over our mixed system. As the direct purchaser of all or nearly all medical services, they are in a monopoly position in hiring physicians and can hold down their remuneration, so that physicians earn much less in those countries than in the United States. In addition, they can ration care more directly – at the cost of long waiting lists and much dissatisfaction.8

In addition, once the whole population is covered, there is little political incentive to increase spending on medical care. In an insightful analysis of political entrepreneurship, W. Allen Wallis noted that

one of the ways politicians compete for votes is by offering to have the government provide new services. For an offer of a new service to have substantial electoral impact, the service ordinarily must be one that a large number of voters is familiar with, and in fact already use. The most effective innovations for a political entrepreneur to offer, therefore, are those whose effect is to transfer from individuals to the government the costs of services which are already in existence, not to alter appreciably the amount of the service reaching the people.9

Medicare, Medicaid, the political stress on the “uninsured,” and the current political pressure for government financing of prescriptions all exemplify this phenomenon. Once the bulk of costs have been taken over by government, as they have in most of the other OECD countries, the political entrepreneur has no additional groups to attract, and attention turns to holding down costs.

An additional factor is the tax treatment of private expenditures on medical care. In most countries, any private expenditure comes out of after-tax income. It does in the United States also, unless the medical care is provided by the employer. For this reason, the bulk of medical care is provided through employers, and private expenditures on medical care are decidedly higher than they would be if medical care, like food, clothing, and other consumer goods, had to be financed out of post-tax income. It is consistent with this view that Germany, the country second to the United States in the fraction of income spent on medical care, has a system in which the employer plays a central role in the provision of medical care and in which, so far as I have been able to determine, half of the cost comes out of pre-tax income, half out of post-tax income.

Our mixed system has many advantages in accessibility and quality of medical care, but it has produced a higher level of cost than would result from either wholly individual choice or wholly collective choice.

VIII. Medical savings accounts and beyond

The high cost and inequitable character of our medical-care system is the direct result of our steady movement toward reliance on third-party payment. A cure requires reversing course, reprivatizing medical care by eliminating most third-party payment, and restoring the role of insurance to providing protection against major medical catastrophes.

The ideal way to do that would be to reverse past actions: repeal the tax exemption of employer-provided medical care; terminate Medicare and Medicaid; deregulate most insurance; and restrict the role of the government, preferably state and local rather than federal, to financing care for the hard cases. However, the vested interests that have grown up around the existing system, and the tyranny of the status quo, clearly make that solution not feasible politically. Yet it is worth stating the ideal as a guide to judging whether proposed incremental changes are in the right direction.

Most changes made in the final decade of the twentieth century have been in the wrong direction. Despite rejection of the sweeping socialization of medicine proposed by Hillary Clinton, subsequent incremental changes have expanded the role of government, increased regulation of medical practice, and further constrained the terms of medical insurance, thereby raising its cost and increasing the fraction of individuals who choose or are forced to go without insurance.

There is one exception, which, though minor in current scope, is pregnant of future possibilities. The Kassebaum-Kennedy bill, passed in 1996 after lengthy and acrimonious debate, included a narrowly limited four-year pilot program authorizing medical savings accounts. A medical savings account enables individuals to deposit tax-free funds in an account usable only for medical expense, provided they have a high-deductible insurance policy that limits the maximum out-of-pocket expense. As noted earlier, it eliminates third-party payment except for major medical expenses and is thus a movement very much in the right direction. By extending tax exemption to all medical expenses whether paid by the employer or not, it eliminates the present bias in favor of employer-provided medical care. That too is a move in the right direction. However, the extension of tax exemption increases the bias in favor of medical care compared to other household expenditures. This effect would tend to increase the implicit government subsidy for medical care, which would be a step in the wrong direction.10 But, on balance, given how large a fraction of current medical expenditures are exempt, it seems likely that the net effect of widely available and flexible medical savings accounts would be very much in the right direction.

However, the current pilot program is neither widely available nor flexible. The act limits the number of medical savings accounts to no more than 750,000 policies, available only to the self-employed who are uninsured and employees at firms with 50 or fewer employees. Moreover, the act specifies the precise terms of the medical savings account and the associated insurance. Finally, at the end of four years (the year 2000) Congress will have to vote to continue or change the program. (Those who signed up in the first four years would be entitled to continue their accounts even if Congress terminates the program.) A number of representatives and senators have indicated their intention to introduce bills to extend and widen the availability of medical savings accounts.

Prior to this pilot project, a number of large companies (e.g., Quaker Oats, Forbes, Golden Rule Insurance Co.) had offered their employees the choice of a medical savings account instead of the usual low-deductible employer-provided insurance policy. In each case, the employer purchased a high-deductible major medical insurance policy for the employee and deposited a stated sum, generally about half of the deductible, in a medical savings account for the employee. That sum could be used by the employee for medical care. Any part not used during the year was the property of the employee and had to be included in taxable income. Despite this loss of tax exemption, this alternative has generally been very popular with both employers and employees. It has reduced costs for the employer and empowered the employee, eliminating much third-party payment.

Medical savings accounts offer one way to resolve the growing financial and administrative problems of Medicare and Medicaid. Each current participant could be given the alternative of continuing with present arrangements or receiving a high-deductible major medical insurance policy and a specified deposit in a medical savings account. New entrants would be required to accept the alternative. Many details would have to be worked out: the size of the deductible and the deposit in the medical savings account, the size of any co-payment, and whether additional medical spending would be tax-exempt. Yet it seems clear from private experience that a program along these lines would be less expensive and bureaucratic than the current system, and more satisfactory to the participants. In effect, it would be a way to voucherize Medicare and Medicaid. It would enable participants to spend their own money on themselves for routine medical care and medical problems, rather than having to go through HMOs and insurance companies, while at the same time providing protection against medical catastrophes.

An interesting and instructive experiment with medical savings accounts has recently taken place in South Africa, as explained by Shaun Matisonn of the National Center for Policy Analysis:

For most of the last decade [the nineties] – under the leadership of Nelson Mandela – South Africa enjoyed what was probably the freest market for health insurance anywhere in the world…. South Africa’s insurance regulations were and are sufficiently flexible to allow the type of innovation and experimentation that American law stifles…. The result has been remarkable…. In just five years, MSA plans captured half the market, proving that they are popular and meet consumer needs as well as or better than rival products. South Africa’s experience with MSAs shows that MSA holders save money, spending less on discretionary items in a way that does not increase the cost of inpatient care. Contrary to allegations by some critics, the South African experience also shows that MSAs attract individuals of all different ages and different degrees of health.

A more radical reform would, first, end both Medicare and Medicaid, at least for new entrants, and replace them by providing every family in the United States with catastrophic insurance – i.e., a major medical policy with a high deductible. Second, it would end tax exemption of employer-provided medical care. And third, it would remove the restrictive regulations that are now imposed on medical insurance – hard to justify with universal catastrophic insurance.

This reform would solve the problem of the currently medically uninsured, eliminate most of the bureaucratic structure, free medical practitioners from an increasingly heavy burden of paperwork and regulation, and lead many employers and employees to convert employer-provided medical care into a higher cash wage. The taxpayer would save money because total government costs would plummet. The family would be relieved of one of its major concerns – the possibility of being impoverished by a major medical catastrophe – and most could readily finance the remaining medical costs. Families would once again have an incentive to monitor the providers of medical care and to establish the kind of personal relations with them that were once customary. The demonstrated efficiency of private enterprise would have a chance to improve the quality and lower the cost of medical care. The first question asked of a patient entering a hospital might once again become “What’s wrong?” and not “What’s your insurance?”

While so radical a reform is almost surely not politically feasible at the moment, it may become so as dissatisfaction with the current arrangements continue to grow. And again, it gives a standard – if less than an ideal one – against which to judge incremental changes.


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Notes

1 Females only are included to remove one source of irrelevant difference among countries. In general, females tend to have a longer expected length of life than males, and countries differ in the ratio of males to females. The correlation of expected length of life with per capita spending on medical care in dollars is almost the same as with percent of GDP spent on medical care.

2 The correlation is partly spurious because percent spent tends to be positively correlated with real GDP, and real GDP is positively correlated with length of life for given percent spent. However, the partial correlation of percent spent with length of life is statistically significant and higher than the partial correlation of real GDP with length of life.

3 In an extensive study, the Rand Corporation compared the effect of different health-insurance plans, varying from one with no deductible and no co-payment – that is, free medical care – to one with 95 percent co-payment, very close to complete private responsibility. In his summary of the results, Joseph Newhouse concluded that, “had there been no MDE [maximum deductible expense], demand on the 95 percent coinsurance plan would have been a little over half as large as on the free care plan,” and an accompanying table gives 55 percent as the actual fraction.

The 1997 value of the extrapolated trend from 1919-1940 is 48 percent of on a completely independent set of data. See Joseph P. Newhouse, Free for All? Lessons from Rand Health Insurance Experiment (Harvard University Press, 1993), p. 458.

4 Had this been the total expenditure in 1996, the United States would have ranked twenty-first, rather than first, among the 29 OECD countries in fraction of income spent on medical care.

5 The figure of 14 percent referred to earlier was from OECD data; it referred to 1996 rather than 1997 and to percent of gross domestic product, not national income.

6 I have used data for the population as a whole, although data are also available by sex and race. There are minor differences between the sexes and between the races, but the broad picture is essentially the same for all, so I have not thought it worthwhile to present more detailed data, as I did in Input and Output in Medical Care (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1992).

7 I am indebted to James Fries, a leading expert on aging, for calling this phenomenon to my attention. The data cited are from Metropolitan Life Insurance Statistical Bulletin, Oct.-Dec., 1998.

8 See Cynthia Ramsay and Michael Walker, Critical Issues Bulletin: Waiting Your Turn, 7th edition (Vancouver, B.C., Canada: Fraser Institute, 1997).

9 W. Allen Wallis, An Overgoverned Society (Free Press, 1976), p. 256.

10 Whether medical savings accounts increase or decrease the government subsidy to medical care, including the hidden tax subsidy of tax exemption, depends on whether they raise or lower total medical expenditures exempted from tax. First-party payment works toward reducing such expenditures by giving consumers an incentive to economize and by reducing administrative costs. The availability of tax exemption to a wider class of medical expenses has the opposite effect. Such experience as we have with medical savings accounts or their equivalent suggests that the first effect is highly significant and is likely to overwhelm the second. However, this issue deserves more systematic investigation.

Milton Friedman is a senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution and author (with Rose D. Friedman) of Two Lucky People (University of Chicago Press, 1998). He received the Nobel Prize for Economic Science in 1976.

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 3/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 4/4

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Francis Schaeffer noted concerning the Beatles:

The Beatles moved through several stages, including the concept of the drug and psychedelic approach. The psychedelic began with their records REVOLVER, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER, AND PENNY LANE. This was developed with great expertness in their record SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND in which psychedelic music, with open statements concerning drug-taking, was knowingly presented as a religious answer. 

The Beatles were looking for lasting satisfaction in their lives and their journey took them down many of the same paths that other young people of the 1960’s were taking. No wonder in the video THE AGE OF NON-REASON Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” 

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

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Lucy in the sky with diamonds is pretty obvious. what are the others?
1 Answer

Jon Pennington

Jon Pennington, I love music, any kind of music…

2.7k Views

Psychedelia is in the ear of the beholder, but telltale signs of psychedelic rock usually include unusual sounds and timbres (e.g., sitars, fuzz tone, mellotron, electronically distorted sounds), upwardly moving melodies that give the sensation of “flight,” oscillating or lurching rhythms, slowed-down rhythms, speeded-up rhythms, abrupt changes in rhythm to signify disorientation, use of musical modes that sound “Oriental” or “Indian,” lyrical references to bright colors, and an inward lyrical focus on the singer’s interior life.  Psychedelic influences start to creep into the Beatles’ work in 1965, but they haven’t necessarily produced any full-fledged psychedelic songs by then.

The songs from 1965 most likely believed to have some psychedelic influence, but probably can’t be classified as fully psychedelic, include:

  • Help! (recorded April 13, 1965; one theory has it that it was inspired by the soul searching that John Lennon did after his coffee was dosed with LSD by George’s dentist in March 1965; not too psychedelic, but supposedly written as a Roy Orbison-style ballad that later became more uptempo)
  • Norwegian Wood (recorded October 12, 21, 1965; except for George’s sitar, it was more inspired by American folk rock than psychedelic drugs per se)
  • Day Tripper (recorded October 16, 1965; uses “trip” as a drug double entendre, but otherwise more influenced by R&B than psychedelia)

The Beatles’ purest psychedelic period doesn’t begin until the band takes three months off after finishing Rubber Soul:

  • Tomorrow Never Knows (recorded April 6-7, 1966; includes Indian tamboura, a melody similar to an Indian raga drone that barely moves out of the key of C, lyrics borrowed from Timothy Leary, swirly vocals modified using a Leslie speaker cabinet, tape loops with unusual sounds at random intervals, drumming from Ringo that sounds like a tape loop but isn’t)
  • Love You To (recorded April 11, 1966; George’s first song written in Indian raga style)
  • Rain (recorded April 14, 16, 1966; included multiple overdubs recorded at slow speed and high speed to fatten up the sound and make the tempo slightly more draggy, includes drone-like textures)
  • I’m Only Sleeping (recorded April 27-May 6, 1966; inspired by how John’s LSD use encouraged his desire to be lazy, use of dreamlike imagery, backward guitar sounds)
  • I Want to Tell You (recorded June 2-3, 1966; lurching and oscillating harmonies, lyrics focusing on internal confusion, sounds of a piano that sounds out of tune)
  • She Said She Said (recorded June 21, 1966; “fattened” vocals similar to “Rain,” lyrics inspired by an encounter John Lennon had with Peter Fonda while taking an LSD trip, tapes of Ringo’s drums may have been manipulated to sound choppier)
  • Strawberry Fields Forever (recorded November 24 thru December 22, 1966; mellotron, George playing an Indian instrument called a svarmandal, two melodies in different keys combined into one song by playing them at slightly different speeds, introspective lyrics focused on self-doubt, insistence that “nothing is real”)
  • Penny Lane (recorded December 29, 1966 thru January 17, 1967; may have been Paul’s first song reacting to LSD, lyrics mention poppies on a tray, use of harmonium and piccolo trumpet, focus on returning to childhood experience)
  • Carnival of Light (recorded January 5, 1967; avant-garde free form piece still not yet released, possibly could be viewed as Paul’s version of Revolution #9)
  • A Day in the Life (recorded January 19, 1967 thru February 22, 1967; disorienting time-shifts between verses written by John and Paul, symphony orchestra crescendos chaotically until ended in a long, droning chord)
  • Only A Northern Song (recorded February 13-20, 1967; ethereal organ, musical instruments speeded up, in-studio chatter)
  • Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite (recorded February 17, 1967; features tape manipulation and swirly organ sounds to approximate the sound of being in the middle of a circus)
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (recorded February 28, 1967 thru March 2, 1967; lyrics feature considerable color imagery, atmposhere shifts from slow and dreamy tempo on the verses to more uptempo on the chorus, ethereal vocals)
  • Within You Without You (recorded March 15, 1967 thru April 4, 1967; inspired by both Indian music and philosophy, song rarely moves out of the key of C)
  • Magical Mystery Tour (recorded April 25, 1967 thru May 3, 1967; partially inspired by the LSD-soaked tours of Ken Kesey and his “magic bus” in the mid-1960s, uses “trip” as a double entendre)
  • Baby, You’re A Rich Man (recorded May 11, 1967; not very psychedelic lyrically, but the clavioline keyboard gives the songs a very unusual texture)
  • It’s All Too Much (recorded May 25, 1967-June 2, 1967; distorted guitar, Hammond organ with lots of sustained drones, main melody rarely moves out of key of G)
  • I Am the Walrus (recorded September 5 thru September 29, 1967; surrealistic lyrics, disorienting tempo changes between verses, nonsense chants, random radio noise from a BBC broadcast of King Lear)
  • Blue Jay Way (recorded September 6 thru October 6, 1967; lyrics inspired by the disorientation of being lost in L.A., includes phasing and backward tapes, oscillates between C major and C diminished)
  • The Inner Light (recorded January 12 thru February 8, 1968; Indian influence on melody, lyrics focus on how you can “travel” without leaving your house)
  • Across the Universe (recorded February 4-8, 1968; the original version before it was modified by Phil Spector features floating Lennon vocals with droning noises and unusual wildlife sounds, a child’s voice matching John’s voice also appears in the mix)

Listing the recording dates is instructive here, because some of these songs   would not get released until the Yellow Submarine LP (It’s Only A Northern Song, It’s All Too Much) or the Let It Be LP (Across the Universe in its Phil Spector version), but were definitely made during the period when psychedelic drugs had the biggest effect on the Beatles creative output.  After February 1968, the Beatles went to Rishikesh to commune with the Maharishi, where they were told not to bring any drugs along, because Trascendental Meditation was a more natural high.  Although the Beatles probably did take some marijuana along to Rishikesh, their use of strong hallucinogens ended at that point, except for John, who used LSD a few more times after Rishikesh.

The Beatles celebrate the completion of their album, ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, on May 19th, 1967 in London.

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I just wanted to point out what an impact that the short 119 page book ESCAPE FROM REASON has had. Below is a story of Paul McGuire who had never been exposed to Christianity until he read that book and it changed his whole worldview.

SEARCHING FOR TRUTH IN THE NEW AGE

By Paul McGuire
My spiritual pilgrimage began at a very young age when the questions, “Who am I? What is my purpose in life?” and “What am I doing here?” haunted me and burned in my mind night and day. While other children were content to play, I was driven to ask questions about the meaning of life. Raised in New York City, I came from a liberal, educated family. Both my parents were teachers, and neither believed in God.

As a young boy, I thought science could give me the answers to my questions about life. Reading every book I could get my hands on about science and the lives of the great scientists, I often devoured ten books a week. I read about men like Albert Einstein, Nicola Tesla, Thomas Edison, Enrico Fermi, Louis Pasteur, and John Oppenheimer. Building a huge laboratory in my bedroom, I undertook amateur experiments on cryogenics and nuclear physics. Soon, however, I realized that these brilliant men did not have the answers I was looking for. Thus, at an early age I discovered the bankruptcy of scientific materialism.

After exhausting science as a means of finding the meaning of life, I next investigated the occult and Eastern religions. Biblical Christianity was not even an option for me. I had never once met a Bible-believing Christian or seen an evangelist on television, and the churches in my neighborhood were steeped in liberal theology or dead orthodoxy.

The only religion we had at home was secular humanism – the belief that there is no God and man is the center of the universe. As a result, I was raised to believe that there was no absolute right or wrong. Around the dinner table, my parents taught me that human evil was due to ignorance and that the concept of a personal God was an archaic belief any educated person should transcend. In addition, they told me that Christians were intellectually pathetic people who were “anti-love,” “anti-joy,” and “anti-sex.” Instead of promoting anything good, Christians were responsible for the crusades and the Inquisition.

One Thanksgiving evening my grandmother asked my father to pray. Instead, he launched into a thunderous tirade about how there was no reason to thank God – everything we had came from man’s hard work.

In the atheistic environment of my home, the spiritual void within me grew deeper, and I plunged headlong into the New Age philosophy and radical politics. Soon after I reached puberty, my parents divorced, ripping my world apart. My spiritual pilgrimage merged with a growing hatred of all authority and society. I was ripe to be seduced by the counterculture and the psychedelic philosophy of the ’60s which has now become the New Age Movement.

Although my mother held a secular humanist worldview, she was always full of loving concern and discipline. She spent thousands of hours reading me books and taking me to museums and libraries. Genuinely concerned about her rebellious son, my mother sent me to a psychotherapist whom she hoped would solve my problems.

I told my therapist that I wanted to know why I was alive, who I was, and what purpose there was for my life. He could not help me and only provided a listening board. In the vain hope of finding answers, I began reading Sigmund Freud, Carl Rogers, and Carl Jung. But all the leading psychological theorists seemed to contradict each other, and I was left more confused than ever.

Then the “hippie” movement with its drugs and “free love” exploded across the nation. I remember the first time I saw Timothy Leary. Wearing a white outfit and grinning like the “Cheshire Cat” from Alice In Wonderland, he said on national television “Tune in, turn on, and drop out.” This psychedelic prophet of LSDwas in distinct contrast to the people involved in organized religion. Then the Beatles recorded “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” and the psychedelic invasion of drugs, Eastern religion, and promiscuous sex spread.

At the age of fifteen, I was wearing long hair and boots and demonstrating with Abbie Hoffman in New York City. I organized demonstrations and was even made an honorary member of the Black Panther Party for protesting outside a prison against the arrest of Panther leaders.

Simultaneously, I deepened my activities in Eastern mysticism and was introduced to drugs by an “honor student” in my high school. I read a book by Aldous Huxley titled Heaven and Hell and the Doors of Perception, which describes Huxley’s experimentation with hashish and mescaline as a means to enter a higher state of consciousness. This fellow student, whose father was a doctor, “turned me on” to hashish and mescaline as part of a serious scientific experiment. Together, we passed through the “doors of perception” and entered a higher realm of consciousness.

Fueled by drugs like LSD and mescaline, it was the psychedelic ’60s that ushered in the current New Age Movement. Powerful mind altering drugs like LSD blasted people into the spiritual realm and forced them to acknowledge the presence of a spiritual reality. This opened the door to the occult and the myriad practices of Eastern mysticism that gave birth to the New Age Movement.

In my own life, the use of powerful psychedelic drugs like LSD intensified my plunge into the New Age philosophy and Eastern Mysticism. Thus began an electric pilgrimage into Hinduism, Buddhism, the teachings of Don Juan, yoga, mental telepathy, altered states of consciousness, hypnotherapy, astral projection, reincarnation, the occult, devil’s weed, spirit guides, and a smorgasbord of mystical experiences. I was greatly influenced by men like Baba Ram Dass, Ken Kesey, Timothy Leary, and Stephen Gaskin.

In fact, my major at the University of Missouri was called “Altered States of Consciousness,” a brand-new accredited field within the Department of Psychology. We studied different means of entering higher states of consciousness and engaged in exercises based on Eastern mystical teaching and experiences by men like Carlos Castaneda. It was during this time of intense New Age activity that I developed spiritual powers and “cosmic consciousness.”

My professor at the University of Missouri was a practicing mystic and taught a number of courses on mental illness. He believed, as did popular psychologists like R.D. Laing, that mental illness or madness could be a means of entering higher consciousness. In this theory, insane people are considered spiritual pilgrims caught between two realities.

My professor invited gurus to teach and perform supernatural feats of levitation. Once while my professor was lecturing, I heard a distinct voice within me shout, “Surrender to the dark forces within!” At this point in my life I noticed a growing intensity in the manifestation of strong paranormal experiences. Yet at the same time, I had a growing feeling that things were getting out of control. The more bizarre things became, however, the more I believed I was moving toward “enlightenment.” I became convinced that everything happening was due to my excess “karma” burning off.

As is often the case with people involved in drugs and the occult, I experienced mixed feelings of great elation and depression. I became a kind of mystical “wildman,” hiking into the woods while on psychedelic drugs and communing with what I thought was God. But I was like a comet crashing into the atmosphere, burning more brightly as I moved through the heavens and consuming myself in flames. One evening I broke into my psychology professor’s office and wrote him an anonymous note warning him of the dangers of “the journey.”

Invasion Of The Jesus Movement

In the early ’70s, a strange thing happen at the University of Missouri: The Jesus Movement spread from the West Coast and entered the campus town of Columbia, Missouri. I remember seeing an article on the Jesus Movement in a national magazine. Reading about these Christians, who I thought were going to regress mankind into a new Dark Age with their “primitive blood-stained religion,” made me furious. I hated them because I thought they would stop the “revolution” and the establishment of the new world order based on higher consciousness.

People involved in the New Age Movement hold the very same beliefs, for their goal is to create a one-world government and unify the planet under a spiritual system of higher consciousness. Like many New Agers, I viewed Christians with all their talk of Jesus Christ being the “only way” as an anachronism and a threat to the spiritual/political revolution coming to the planet.

About this time, however, I finally came face to face with genuine Christians who moved in the supernatural flow of the Holy Spirit and had the glory of God shining on their countenances. I encountered Spirit-filled Christians everywhere and thought it was my duty to defend the faith of Eastern mysticism and the religion of “higher consciousness.” Attacking and debating believers in philosophy classes whenever they spoke out about their faith, I delighted in trying to humiliate them and prove them wrong through intellectual arguments.

In addition, I increased my “outrageous” behavior in front of Christians in an attempt to mock and ridicule them. Since I studied film, I made X-rated animation movies with Barbie dolls in an attempt to sneer at Judeo-Christian morality.

Despite my bitter hatred, a couple of true Christians began to zero in on me and share the love of Jesus Christ. Beneath all my bravado was a hurting, frightened individual reaching out for answers. At first, my mind completely rejected everything they were saying. But they continued to love me with a pure, deep, spiritual agape love. Even though I thought what they were saying was complete idiocy, I felt myself being wooed and convicted by the Holy Spirit as they talked.

For the first time in my life, I sensed God’s love for me. All my intellectual arguments were reduced to nothing as I encountered something far more real than anything I had experienced before. This was not some “trip” or mystical high. The purity and love that I felt had to be God.

Empowered by the Holy Spirit, these supernatural Christians opened up their lives to me. They cared about me as a person and loved me. They invited me to their prayer meetings and had me over for dinner. Through their personal ministry to me, I felt the arms of the living God embrace me and hug me like my father never had. As the Lord touched me deep within my heart, the hurt and bruised child locked inside me emerged and responded to His love.

Although I wasn’t yet ready to surrender, the Holy Spirit continued to work in my life. I had all kinds of intellectual questions, so my Christian friends gave me a book by Dr. Francis Schaeffer called ESCAPE FROM REASON. It changed my life. I was shocked to discover that a person could be both intelligent and a Christian. Talking about God, film, art, and philosophy in brilliant and articulate terms, Dr. Schaeffer explained contemporary culture in a way I had never understood.

Still I fought with the Holy Spirit, and the forces of darkness did not want to let me go. As these Christians prayed for me, the Holy Spirit continued to convict me. Sometimes I found myself walking alone by the highway, and, even though I was “stoned,” I would begin sobbing and weeping as Almighty God touched me.

The Hand Of Providence

One afternoon a guy named Tim invited me to a retreat in a wooded area about an hour away from the campus. I had mysteriously met Tim in the hallway of a dormitory, where he sat reading the Bible that he carried with him everywhere. He was in the hallway to meet someone else, but providentially he met me and invited me to this Christian retreat. Tim’s eyes shone with sincerity and the love of God, so I accepted his invitation.

Dressed in boots, blue jeans, and long hair, I arrived at the retreat center. A brief look at the place quickly convinced me that these people didn’t have what I was looking for. They were the kind of Christians I had seen before – religious but lacking the depth and dimension of people who have had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ.

While at the retreat center, I noted vague references to the Bible, but primarily we played games like “spin the bottle.” I was totally disgusted, for these people reinforced my worst preconceptions about Christianity. After spending the night I told Tim during breakfast that I was going to hitchhike back to the university. Tim walked me to the highway and said, “Paul, God will take care of your ride home.” Wondering if he was some kind of religious nut but hoping to humor him, I said, “Yeah, yeah sure.” Then I stuck out my thumb and tried to hitch a ride.

The first person to pick me up was a Pentecostal preacher. He and his wife talked to me about Jesus the entire ride. Stunned, I chalked it up as coincidence; after all, this was the Bible Belt. After they let me out, I stuck out my thumb and was picked up by a Bible salesman with a station wagon filled with Bibles! As we whizzed down the highway, he opened a giant Bible and began reading. With no hands on the wheel, he asked me if I wanted to receive Jesus into my life. I managed to gulp a “yes,” and he pulled off the road.

As we rolled to a stop, the thought raced through my mind, “What have I got myself into? Is this guy some kind of religious psychopath or axe murderer?” Growing up in New York City had taught me to suspect everybody’s motives and not to trust strangers.

The next thing I knew this Bible salesman was leading me in a prayer. With head bowed and hands clasped, I heard myself saying, “Jesus Christ, I ask you to forgive me of my sins. I invite you to come into my life and make me born again. In Jesus’ name. Amen.” I couldn’t believe I had said this prayer. I wasn’t even sure what sin was, although it seemed to me like an archaic concept. But I prayed in faith and meant it.

Hours later, I forgot the incident had even occurred and “partied” the night away with friends. The next day I woke up hung over and decided to visit a Christian girl named Laura. She and her boyfriend, Burgess, had spent a lot of time ministering and witnessing to me about Jesus.

As Laura and I talked, we were walking next to some giant Roman columns in the university quadrangle. I told her about my highway experience, and another girl sitting on the lawn overheard our conversation. It turned out that she was a minister’s daughter wrestling with the question of whether or not Christianity was really true. Looking at me pointblank, she said, “Do you believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God?”

All of a sudden the words, “Yes, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God!” leapt from deep within me. I was shocked. I had never said anything like that before. As I spoke, I had the most powerful spiritual experience of my life. It seemed that the sky had cracked open, and the presence of God overwhelmed me. A giant veil was lifted from my eyes as I realized God truly did exist.

I understand that I risk losing credibility by relating this experience exactly as it happened. True miracles can be cheapened by relating them in either a glib or a sensational manner. Many Christians carelessly utter the word “miracle” with such arrogance that it loses all its value. In addition, I understand that many people have had quiet but profound experiences with Jesus Christ that have just as much validity as mine.

But for me to minimize or reduce what happened to more logical terms just to make it more plausible would be inaccurate. I felt as if every dream I had ever had within the depths of my soul came true in an instant. Literally caught up in the Holy Spirit, I felt I was floating for weeks. Although I was higher than I had ever been in my entire life, I knew that the experience was genuine and pure.

Everything I had searched for in Eastern mysticism, human relationships, and the New Age Movement, I now found in Jesus Christ. This was not just another higher state of consciousness, an “upper story leap” without rational content, or a mystical trip. Nothing about this was artificial or mystical.

One could easily misconstrue my involvement in the New Age Movement and my encounter with Jesus Christ as the path of someone hopping from experience to experience lacking rational and verifiable content. Let me assure you that when I began my spiritual journey I did so as a scientist and a skeptic.

The contrast between mystical experiences and my encounter with Jesus Christ was as different as night and day. All of the New Age and Eastern mystical experiences I was involved in had an illusory quality no matter how real they seemed at the time. Jesus Christ was not just another “experience.” My newfound relationship with Him conveyed a reality so strong that I knew I had found God.

PAUL’S PERSONAL TESTIMONY ABOUT HOW HE ESCAPED THE NEW AGE MOVEMENT AND HOW JESUS CHRIST RESCUED HIM FROM DECEPTION?

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

Marty Balin. art-50339-Grace-mirror-c

MARTY BALIN – MUSIC OF MY LIFE – A Journey Into His Art & Music

MARTY BALIN – JEFFERSON AIRPLANE TAKES OFF

Marty Balin. art-50347-Hendrex-montage-c-

MARTY BALIN – JEFFERSON AIRPLANE TAKES OFF – Part2

MARTY BALIN – JEFFERSON AIRPLANE SURREALISTIC PILLOW SONGS

Marty Balin – Hearts

Marty Balin / Jefferson Airplane by mstrychowska Marty Balin / Jefferson Airplane by mstrychowska

Featured artist is Marty Balin

MARTY BALIN – I SPECIALIZE IN LOVE – THE BEGINNING……*

MARTY BALIN “VOLUNTEERS” with Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady

Marty Balin – Rock & Roll with a Splash of Color

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By Ashley Bates
photos SJBuchwald®

It’s not every day that a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee graces downtown St. Augustine, belting out rock hits.
In September, art enthusiasts at the First Friday Art Walk had the chance to see just that when Marty Balin of famed Jefferson Airplane came to town.But when Balin made his appearance at the art walk in September, it was to showcase his art work not his music.

Even though many of us know Balin for his historic rock hits like “Hearts,” “Atlantic Lady” and “Volunteers,” he was a painter long before he began recording hit songs. Actually, Balin got his start painting when he was a child and says painting was his first artistic expression.“I’ve been painting since I was young…selling my artwork in shows. I actually did that before I played music,” said Balin, who has lived in Tampa for the last 20 years.Balin’s full art collection, featuring rock legends many of whom Balin knew personally, can be found at 130 King Fine Art Gallery in downtown St. Augustine.

You wouldn’t be too surprised at what images Balin portrays in his artwork–rock legends from years past including several paintings of the Grateful Dead’s lead singer Jerry Garcia, the queen of rock Janis Joplin, The Door’s Jim Morrison and Elton John, all grace Balin’s canvases. 
Balin said he chooses specific musicians from certain time periods to relive a personal memory. 
“Really it’s a way for me to go back to those memories, like when you see a picture,” said Balin, who has been known to journal while painting to jot down special memories.

 

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When asked what his favorite pieces in his own collection are, Balin explains that the French Le Pétomane pieces are his favorites. 
Le Pétomane was a French entertainer from the Belle Époque era (French for “Beautiful Era”). The famous cabaret, the Moulin Rouge in Paris, also became famous during that time. 
“I just love the idea of the Moulin Rouge, the top hats, the colors,” Balin said. 
The bright, whimsical colors can be seen in his Le Pétomane pieces complete with carousels, elephants and of course the French entertainer Le Pétomane.

The whimsical nature of nature of Balin’s artwork could be attributed to where he was raised as a young boy. Balin was born in Cincinnati but grew up in the San Francisco area, which is where he found his calling to rock music by none other than pop music legend Johnny Mathis. It has been said that Balin was one of the musicians that catapulted San Francisco onto the music scene in the 1960s. Balin formed Jefferson Airplane in the summer of 1965, in San Francisco, as a folk-rock group but the band later came to be known in the psychedelic scene, scoring a gold record with their 1967 second album, “Surrealistic Pillow.” Balin wrote hit songs for the band including “Comin’ Back To Me,” “Plastic Fantastic Lover” and “Share a Little Joke.”

Later, in the early 1970s, Jefferson Starship was formed by several members of the original band Jefferson Airplane.
 Balin and Jefferson Airplane were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1996, with the likes of David Bowie, Pink Floyd and Gladys Knight & the Pips, to name a few. “Rock and Roll will never die, good music will always be around,” commented Balin on the evolution of modern rock music.

Balin continues to record his brand of rock ‘n’ roll in the studio and is currently recording an album at the studio in Tampa. “Currently I’m in the studio. (The album) will be Marty Balin music…I haven’t come up with a name for the album just yet.”

Today some of the musicians he says are on his radar are Katy Perry and Madonna. “I guess Katy Perry is pretty good,” he said. “I was watching Madonna’s new tour on TV the other day and she’s still pretty good.”
Even though Balin has enjoyed supreme success in rock ‘n’ roll, he says his greatest accomplishment is “that I’m still here today and alive.”

Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers (Live at Woodstock Music & Art Fair, 1969)

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“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 14 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part M Ernest Hemingway 2nd part “Is Paris a movable feast and will the feast bring lasting satisfaction?)

Francis Schaeffer rightly noted:

PAPA HEMINGWAY CAN FIND THE CHAMPAGNE OF PARIS SUFFICIENT FOR A TIME, BUT ONCE HE LEFT HIS YOUTH HE NEVER FOUND IT SUFFICIENT AGAIN. HE HAD A LIFETIME SPENT LOOKING BACK TO PARIS AND THAT CHAMPAGNE AND NEVER FINDING IT ENOUGH.

Midnight in Paris OST – 10 – The Charleston

 

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil becomes good friends with a few of these people, including Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll), an interesting representation of the man pictured below.

Midnight in Paris OST – 11 – Ain’t She Sweet

 

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ERNEST HEMINGWAY:She’ll drive you crazy, this woman.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD:She’s exciting,and she has talent.

ERNEST HEMINGWAY:This month it’s writing. Last month it was something else.You’re a writer. You need time to write.Not all this fooling around.She’s wasting you…

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It is true that Zelda Fitzgerald and her husband hosted drunken parties often and Hemingway attended many of them. Later in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS while drunk  Hemingway says to Adriana, “Ma petite Adriana!(There she is, my little Adriana!) Isn’t this little Parisian dream a movable feast?”

Drinking was a large part of Hemingway’s life. Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes also takes a long look at liquor and tries to see if it will bring any satisfaction UNDER THE SUN.

In fact, Solomon  filled his home with the best wine (Eccl 2:3).

Concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes Francis Schaeffer noted: 

Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life UNDER THE SUN between birth and death and the answers this would give.

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. THE EYE IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SEEING. NOR IS THE EAR FILLED WITH HEARING.”  Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing.

What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaventhe few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine:

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Translation by Edward Fitzgerald)

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. PAPA HEMINGWAY CAN FIND THE CHAMPAGNE OF PARIS SUFFICIENT FOR A TIME, BUT ONCE HE LEFT HIS YOUTH HE NEVER FOUND IT SUFFICIENT AGAIN. HE HAD A LIFETIME SPENT LOOKING BACK TO PARIS AND THAT CHAMPAGNE AND NEVER FINDING IT ENOUGH.  It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

Midnight in Paris OST – 05 – Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love)

Midnight in Paris OST – 06 – You’ve Got That Thing

 

FILE – In this May 12, 1959, American novelist Ernest Hemingway, left, speaks with actors Alec Guinness, center, and Noel Coward in Sloppy Joe’s Bar during the making of Sir Carol Reed’s film version of “Our Man in Havana,” based on Graham Greene’s best seller, in Havana, Cuba. Sloppy Joe’s will be reopened in February 2013 by the state-owned tourism company Habaguanex, part of an ambitious revitalization project by the Havana City Historian’s Office, which since the 1990’s has transformed block after block of crumbling ruins into rehabilitated buildings along vibrant cobblestone streets, giving residents and tourists from all over the chance to belly up to the same bar that served thirsty celebrities like Rock Hudson, Babe Ruth and Ernest Hemingway. (AP Photo, File)

Robert Capa [Ernest Hemingway and his son Gregory, Sun Valley, Idaho], October 1941. © Robert Capa/International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos.

An Interview with Ernest Hemingway’s Son, Patrick Hemingway (Part II)

If it weren’t for the fact that Ernest Hemingway has been a cultural icon since the 1920s, one could say that he has had something of a resurgence in popularity during the past couple of years. From Woody Allen’s caricature in “Midnight in Paris” to the more developed portrayal in HBO’s “Hemingway & Gellhorn,” he remains a pop-culture icon. Ernest Hemingway is, of course, one of the more famous authors in American history. But he was more than a writer — he was a character of his own creation. He portrayed himself and his world in the most vivid ways. Both his writing and his life remain powerful in our culture’s imagination.

Born in Oak Park, Ill., in 1899, Hemingway began his writing career in 1917 as a reporter for the The Kansas City Star and continued as a European correspondent for the Toronto Star. Within a decade, he had earned an international reputation as a writer. His journalistic pieces were well-known, and he even wrote some poetry on occasion, but it was for literature that Hemingway became famous.

Hemingway’s specialties were short stories and stark, punchy novels. His first successful collection of short stories was “In Our Time” (1925), and his first novel, “The Sun Also Rises” (1926), was widely regarded as a literary masterpiece immediately after publication. From that time until his suicide in Idaho in 1961, Hemingway wrote 10 novels and dozens of short stories, toured the globe, reported on wars, met world leaders, won the Pulitzer for “The Old Man and the Sea” (1952), and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (1954). All his major works remain in print — in fact, annual sales of his works have increased steadily since his death and now top 1 million books per year.

In terms of style, Hemingway is considered to be one of the more influential English-language writers of all time. The official biography used by his publisher, Scribner & Sons, describes him as having done “more to change the style of English prose than any other writer in the twentieth century … [He] wrote in short, declarative sentences and was known for his tough, terse prose.” Hemingway described his own writing using the metaphor of an iceberg: The words on the page are only part of the story. The rest, “the underwater part of the iceberg,” is always just beneath the surface, giving life and depth to what is written. Numerous other authors, including Jack Kerouac, J.D. Salinger, and Hunter S. Thompson, have credited Hemingway as an influence.

For Christians, perhaps the most interesting thing about Hemingway’s writings is how they so vividly portray his worldview, which can be summed up in two words: truth and tragedy. Everything he wrote reflects those two ideas in some way.

Writing as an Exercise in Truth

Hemingway described all writing — fiction or nonfiction, it makes no difference — as a struggle to describe people, places, experiences, and ideas as truly as they could possibly be expressed.

“Good writing is true writing. If a man is making a story up it will be true in proportion to the amount of knowledge of life that he has and how conscientious he is; so that when he makes something up it is as it would truly be” (“By-Line: Ernest Hemingway,” p. 215).

“Sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, ‘Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.’ So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. It was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written” (“A Moveable Feast,” p. 12).

“All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you; the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was” (“By-Line: Ernest Hemingway,” p. 184).

“The hardest thing in the world to do is to write straight honest prose on human beings. First you have to know the subject; then you have to know how to write. Both take a lifetime to learn” (“By-Line: Ernest Hemingway,” p. 183).

Hemingway demanded this kind of truthfulness not just in writing, but in all of life. His combination of an unusual perceptiveness and exceptional writing skill enables his readers to see the world as he saw it. Many of his written works — which range in subject matter from war in Europe to bullfighting in Spain, skiing in Switzerland, the people of Paris and Key West, hunting in Africa, and fishing in Michigan and the Gulf Stream — consequently resonate as genuine and honest. They may not always be honorable or lovely, but they ring true because Hemingway is able to capture in words the world as he saw it.

Hemingway’s most memorable characters are often based on real people; they reveal how he perceived the people he met. Some are deep and dynamic, like Frederic Henry in “A Farewell to Arms” or Nick Adams, the hero of numerous short stories. Others are shallow caricatures meant to mock the people they represent, like the Bimini brawler in “Islands in the Stream” (1970) or the laughing lady in “To Have and Have Not” (1937). His descriptions of children can be particularly moving, as in the short story “A Day’s Wait.”

One of Hemingway’s editors, Maxwell Perkins, said of him, “If the function of a writer is to reveal reality, no one ever so completely performed it.” Unfortunately, Hemingway’s insistence on telling the truth does not provide his reader with many happy endings. As Hemingway saw it, life is ultimately always tragic.

Life as an Exercise in Tragedy

In his short story “Big Two-Hearted River,” Hemingway refers to swamp fishing as a “tragic adventure.” Sadly, the phrase also aptly describes the majority of Hemingway’s life. He certainly understood his profession to be tragic:

“Dostoevsky was made by being sent to Siberia. Writers are forged in injustice as a sword is forged” (“Green Hills of Africa,” p. 71).

“Madame, all stories, if continued far enough, end in death, and he is no true-story teller who would keep that from you” (“Death in the Afternoon,” p. 122).

Hemingway’s tragic adventure was not confined to his writing. His favorite pastimes also inevitably ended in tragedy: In hunting and fishing, either the animal dies or the hunter or fisherman experiences the tragedy of failure and loss. In bullfighting, either the bull is killed or the torero is gored.

Hemingway seemed bent on extending his tragic adventures into his personal life as well. He was married four times, with numerous other women along the way. According to one story, his last wife, Mary, threatened to kill one of Ernest’s lady friends if she caught them together. His relationships with his three sons were typically strained, past the point of reconciliation in at least one case.

Thus death and loss were ways of life for Hemingway, and he lived out his tragic adventure to the end. After several years of depression and mental deterioration caused by his lifestyle and genetics, Ernest Hemingway shot himself in the head with his favorite shotgun in his Ketchum, Idaho, home on the morning of July 2, 1961.

What does Ernest Hemingway have to do with the gospel?

The ideas of truth and tragedy encapsulate Hemingway’s life, writings, and worldview — or perhaps truth as tragedy is a better way of putting it, for Hemingway saw tragedy as the message that he was truthfully telling. And concerning the tragedy of this life, Hemingway was right. This world is utterly and completely fallen; that fallenness spares no one and extends itself to every area of our lives.

The saddest thing about Hemingway — the shortfall of his worldview — is that he understood the truth of tragedy so deeply but failed to understand the redemption that comes in Jesus. Without the hope that comes from that redemption, it is no surprise that he sought relief in such things as drink, dalliance, sport, and suicide but found no lasting satisfaction in them. The real surprise is that he was so driven to communicate the truth of tragedy to others, diligently writing starting at dawn each day. By his writing he became an apostle of a grim gospel.

Sadder still is the fact that Hemingway’s worldview is shared by so many in our world. Even those who talk themselves into optimism or distract themselves by one means or another are only temporarily avoiding the reality that a world without Jesus is just as Hemingway describes it:

“What did he fear? It was not fear or dread. It was a nothing that he knew too well. It was all a nothing and a man was nothing too. … [H]e knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada. Our nada who art in nada, nada be thy name thy kingdom nada thy will be nada in nada as it is in nada. Give us this nada our daily nada and nada us our nada as we nada our nadas and nada us not into nada but deliver us from nada; pues nada. Hail nothing full of nothing, nothing is with thee. …

“Now, without thinking further, he would go home to his room. He would lie in the bed and finally, with daylight, he would go to sleep. After all, he said to himself, it is probably only insomnia. Many must have it.” (“A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” written by Hemingway in 1926 at age 27. “The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia Edition,” p. 288.)

The first reason Christians should know about Ernest Hemingway is because they regularly meet people who share his worldview, whose hearts and lives reflect the hopelessness that he wrote about. Hemingway’s writing gives us a better understanding of exactly how such people see the world. Christians will find some of his work to be offensive, but it should not surprise anyone when the lost act lost. We need to temper our offense and respond with compassion and love, for our world can learn only from us that “everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame” and that “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Every time we are confronted with a worldview like Hemingway’s, it is an opportunity to respond with the world-transforming power of the true gospel.

A second reason why Christians should read Ernest Hemingway is to learn how to write better. Above all other people, Christians know the power of words. Every Christian has experienced the power of God’s Word to change lives, and that same Word commands every Christian to be ready to articulate his faith. Learning to speak and write as well as possible is part of taking that command seriously. Few authors in history have been such a keen observer of people, such a vivid and moving reporter of life, and such a master of words as Hemingway, and he had much to say about developing the skill and style of writing. Who better to learn from than such a man? No one would say that we should ignore such unbelievers as Monet when learning about art or Jefferson when learning about politics. Why would we not learn how to write better from Hemingway?

That said, Hemingway is sometimes a challenging read. His major novels in particular use complicated structures and literary devices that have sustained decades of analysis. A reader new to Hemingway might be better off starting with his short stories, which are more accessible and perhaps best showcase his skill as a writer. For example, the short story “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” which is among the finest pieces Hemingway ever wrote, is four pages long, while “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber” presents his anthropology in just 24 pages. Both stories can be found in “The Complete Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway: The Finca Vigia Edition” (1987), which is a thorough, but not quite complete collection as it has some notable missing pieces. The collection “Hemingway on Writing” (1999) is also helpful for those who want to focus on his philosophy of writing.

Hemingway is not the only writer who can teach us to write better while revealing something of how our neighbor understands life. He is particularly skilled at doing those two things, but other authors have useful perspectives as well, however true or good they might be. We must be alert to the worldviews they express in each case, be able to examine and interact with them, and by whatever means improve our ability to speak the gospel in response. Judging by our culture’s continuing interest in Ernest Hemingway, his worldview is still influential. This fact presents us with an opportunity to proclaim the truth that Jesus will redeem our tragic world.

Brian Douglas grew up in the Miami, Fla., area and now lives in Boise, Idaho. His interest in Ernest Hemingway began when he read “The Old Man and the Sea” while an undergraduate at Stetson University. He has since studied at Knox Theological Seminary (M.Div. & M.A.) and the University of Sussex. He serves as a ruling elder at All Saints Presbyterian Church (PCA) and teaches at The Ambrose School and Boise State University.

Paul Hendrickson: Hemingway’s Life & Writing

Gary Cooper, Ernest Hemingway, Tillie Arnold and Dr. George Saviers at a party in Sun Valley 1948

Ernest Hemingway, Wrestling With Life (documentary)

Spencer Tracy and Ernest Hemingway with Friends at La Florida (“Floridita”), Havana, Cuba

An Interview with Ernest Hemingway’s Son, Patrick Hemingway (Part I)

Ernest Hemingway with Lady Duff Twysden, Hadley, and friends, during the July 1925 trip to Spain that inspired The Sun Also Rises

This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend like Hobbes  and Stanley that life is “nasty, brutish and short” and as a result has no meaning UNDER THE SUN.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast.

Top 10 Ernest Hemingway Quotes on Drinking
#10 – WHISKEY
WHISKEY Image

“The whiskey warmed his tongue and the back of his throat, but it did not change his ideas any, and suddenly, looking at himself in the mirror behind the bar, he knew that drinking was never going to do any good to him now. Whatever he had now he had, and it was from now on, and if he drank himself unconscious when he woke up it would be there.” —To Have and Have Not, 1937

#09 – CARELESS
CARELESS Image

“I was a little drunk. Not drunk in any positive sense but just enough to be careless.” —The Sun Also Rises, 1926

#08 – MECHANICAL RELIEF
MECHANICAL RELIEF Image

“Don’t you drink? I notice you speak slightingly of the bottle. I have drunk since I was fifteen and few things have given me more pleasure. When you work hard all day with your head and know you must work again the next day what else can change your ideas and make them run on a different plane like whisky? When you are cold and wet what else can warm you? Before an attack who can say anything that gives you the momentary well-being that rum does? . . . The only time it isn’t good for you is when you write or when you fight. You have to do that cold. But it always helps my shooting. Modern life, too, is often a mechanical oppression and liquor is the only mechanical relief.” —Postscript to letter to critic, poet and translator Ivan Kashkin, August 19, 1935); published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917-1961, 1981, edited by Carlos Baker

#07 – ALL WE DO
ALL WE DO Image

“I wanted to try this new drink. That’s all we do, isn’t it—look at things and try new drinks?” —”Hills Like White Elephants,” Men Without Women, 1927

#06 – HEAVEN
HEAVEN Image

“I wonder what your idea of heaven would be — A beautiful vacuum filled with wealthy monogamists. All powerful and members of the best families all drinking themselves to death. And hell would probably an ugly vacuum full of poor polygamists unable to obtain booze or with chronic stomach disorders that they called secret sorrows.” —Letter to F. Scott Fitzgerald, July 1, 1925; published in Ernest Hemingway: Selected Letters 1917-1961, 1981, edited by Carlos Baker

#05 – GREATEST PERFECTION
GREATEST PERFECTION Image

“Wine is one of the most civilized things in the world and one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection, and it offers a greater range for enjoyment and appreciation than, possibly, any other purely sensory thing.” —Death in the Afternoon, 1932

#04 – GOOD COMPANY
GOOD COMPANY Image

“I drank a bottle of wine for company. It was Chateau Margaux. It was pleasant to be drinking slowly and to be tasting the wine and to be drinking alone. A bottle of wine was good company.” —The Sun Also Rises, 1926

#03 – FOOLS
FOOLS Image

“An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools.” —For Whom the Bell Tolls, 1940

#02 – AS NATURAL AS EATING
AS NATURAL AS EATING Image

“In Europe we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism nor a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary.” —A Moveable Feast, 1964

#01 – OLD WHORE
OLD WHORE Image

“Death is like an old whore in a bar—I’ll buy her a drink but I won’t go upstairs with her.” —To Have and Have Not, 1937

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Related posts:

A list of the most viewed posts on the historical characters mentioned in the movie “Midnight in Paris”

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life)

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 31, Jean Cocteau)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 30, Albert Camus)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 7 Paul Gauguin)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 6 Gertrude Stein)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 4 Ernest Hemingway)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 2 Cole Porter)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 1 William Faulkner)

MUSIC MONDAY Cole Porter “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love” in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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Grace Slick’s art featured today!!!

I have featured many artists on my blog and here are links to them.

Marina AbramovicIda Applebroog,  Matthew Barney, Aubrey Beardsley, Larry BellWallace BermanPeter BlakeDerek BoshierPauline BotyBrenda Bury,  Allora & Calzadilla,   Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Heinz Edelmann Olafur EliassonTracey EminJan Fabre, Makoto Fujimura, Hamish Fulton, Ellen GallaugherRyan GanderFrancoise GilotJohn Giorno, Rodney Graham,  Cai Guo-QiangBrion GysinJann HaworthArturo HerreraOliver HerringDavid Hockney, David Hooker,  Nancy HoltRoni HornPeter HowsonRobert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Martin KarplusMargaret KeaneMike Kelley, Peter KienJeff Koons Annie Leibovitz, John LennonRichard LinderSally MannKerry James MarshallTrey McCarley, Linda McCartney, Paul McCartneyPaul McCarthyJosiah McElhenyBarry McGee, Richard MerkinNicholas MonroYoko OnoTony Oursler, John OutterbridgeNam June PaikEduardo PaolozziGeorge PettyWilliam Pope L.Gerhard Richter, Anna Margaret Rose,  James RosenquistSusan RothenbergGeorges Rouault, Richard SerraShahzia Sikander, Raqub ShawThomas Shutte, Grace Slick,  Saul SteinbergHiroshi SugimotoStuart SutcliffeMika Tajima,Richard TuttleLuc Tuymans, Alberto Vargas,  Banks Violett, H.C. Westermann,  Fred WilsonKrzysztof Wodiczko, Ronnie WoodAndrew WyethJamie Wyeth, Bill WymanDavid WynneAndrea Zittel,

Grace Slick Profile – CBS 08/03/09

Jefferson Airplane – Somebody To Love (Live at Woodstock Music & Art Fair, 1969)

Grace Slick shows her artwork on CNN during the 40th anniversery of Woodstock

Jefferson Airplane – White Rabbit (HQ) ~ (ReEdit)

Starship – “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” – ORIGINAL VIDEO – HQ

John Lennon by Grace Slick

 

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Grace Slick at Wentworth Gallery focuses on art in a post-rock ‘n’ roll career
1965 by Grace Slick Bookmark and Share
by By Skip SheffieldFormer Jefferson Airplane lead singer Grace Slick will greet her public and talk about her flourishing career in art from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Wentworth Gallery at Town Center at Boca Raton. Slick will also appear from 6 to 9 tonight at Wentworth Gallery in the Gardens Mall in Palm Beach Gardens.Grace Slick was always feisty and outspoken as front woman of Jefferson Airplane and Starship, and she is no shrinking violet at age 65.She gave up performing in 1998 because she felt it was silly for a woman her age to sing rock music and try and act like a teenager. She had her first public art show in Fort Lauderdale in 1989, and art is where she channels her creative energy now.

“There a lot of us former rock people who are doing art now,” he offers by telephone from Malibu, California. “My old bandmate Marty Balin is doing quite well. So is Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones, and so was Jerry Garcia before he died.”

Slick first painted furry animals (the white rabbit is still a favorite) and beautiful nudes. Her agent suggested she begin doing portraits of musicians she knew, and she has obliged with portraits of Jim Morrison, Jerry Garcia, Janis Joplin and Sting.

“I let my agent deal with the so-called art world,” she says. “He makes suggestions and sets up my appearances. I just paint every day as the spirit strikes.”

Slick was born Grace Wing Oct. 30, 1939 in Evanston, Illinois, but she was raised in San Francisco. She attended the University of Miami in 1958-1959, but admits she was more a partier than a scholar. After graduating from Finch College she returned to San Francisco and married Gerald “Jerry” Slick, a cinematographer. She joined Jefferson Airplane in 1966, replacing original singer Signe Anderson, and sang two of the group’s signature songs, “White Rabbit” and “Somebody to Love.”

Slick divorced and remarried and divorced and became an outspoken anti-war activist as well as a self-admitted rowdy drunk. In 1971 she and Jefferson Airplane guitarist Paul Kantner had a daughter, China Wing Kantner, with whom Slick remains close.

“China is now working on a Ph.D,” Slick reveals proudly. “Her special study is spirituality.”

Although she performed with former bandmates Marty Balin and Paul Kantner for a post-9/11 concert, Slick says she is officially retired from public performance.

“I don’t walk to be one of those old relics doing the oldies circuit,” she protests. “There are a few signature groups that can get away with it. The Rolling Stones need it, evidently, and they are still one of the best rock ‘n’ roll groups in the world. I’m going to be 66 next month, for God sakes. Art is my focus now. I do it all the time. I’m just grateful some people like it well enough to buy it.

Andy Warhol &; Grace Slick

 

 

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Janis Joplin, Grace Slick,

Based on her tempestuous rock-star career as lead singer for Jefferson Airplane in the 1960s, no one would expect Grace Slick to be shy or demure, even at age 73.

And sure enough, she isn’t.

“I’ve lived a good life,” she said by phone from her Malibu home. “Now I’m an old broad.”

In her second career as an artist, Slick produces paintings just as colorful and provocative as her songs. She’ll appear Saturday, May 18, at the Norcal Modern Gallery in Healdsburg, which is hosting her “Once Upon a Time” exhibit.

Her work is filled with “Alice in Wonderland” images reminiscent of Slick’s 1967 hit, “White Rabbit,” but her interest in art, and Alice, predates her rock and roll career, she said.

“I knew I could draw when I was very little. I used to draw angels when I was about 5,” she said.

“The story of ‘Alice in Wonderland’ was the only one that was read to me where some Prince Charming doesn’t come along and save her,” Slick said. “She has a lot of guts. She does it all herself. She doesn’t stop.”

While Slick’s income comes from her music royalties, she doesn’t deny the commercial appeal of her iconic White Rabbit paintings.

“People will, for obvious reasons, buy pictures of white rabbits from me. Now I’m getting real good at drawing rabbits,” Slick said.

“I have an agent, and his job is to sell stuff,” she added. “He finds that my portraits of other rock musicians also sell, and I enjoy doing that, too.”

Slick wrote “White Rabbit” while in a Bay Area Band called The Great Society, formed in 1965. After joining Jefferson Airplane the following year, she recorded the song for the “Surrealistic Pillow” album.

She also performed in the band’s later incarnations — Jefferson Starship, from 1981 to 1984, and Starship, until 1988. She retired from rock and roll in 1989, and began painting in the mid-1990s.

Her first art show was in Florida in 2000, and she has had more than 100 exhibits since then, creating fanciful images with bright acrylic paints.

“I like really heavy, knock-your-brains-out color,” Slick said. “I paint in acrylic, because it’s fast, and I don’t have a lot of time left to sit around and let oil paint dry.”

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1965 by Grace Slick

 

Jimi Hendrix by Grace slick artist

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Today I am going to look at Paramhansa Yogananda who appeared on the cover of SGT. PEPPERS because the Beatles were at the time interested in what Eastern Religions had to offer. One of the problems with Hinduism is that has no way to explain the existence of evil in the world today. However, Christianity explains […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 96 THE BEATLES (Breaking down the song “Eleanor Rigby” Part B and the issue of LONELINESS) Featured artist is Robert Morris

  _ The song ELEANOR RIGBY was a huge hit because it connected so well with “all the lonely people.” The line that probably best summed up how many people felt was: “All the lonely people, Where do they all come from? All the lonely people, Where do they all belong?” Francis Schaeffer believed in engaging the secular […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 95 THE BEATLES (Breaking down the song “Eleanor Rigby” Part A and the issue of DEATH ) Featured artist is Joe Tilson

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 64 Arif Ahmed Cambridge, “There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow…These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence!”

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

_________________

Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Today I look at Arif Ahmed but here are some of my earlier posts:

Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart EhrmanIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldAlan Guth, Jonathan HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganStuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

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Arif Ahmed has been a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy since October 2011 at University of Cambridge

Books

In  the third video below in the 148th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

Below is the letter I wrote to Dr. Ahmed and in the letter is his quote that I responded to with evidence.

September 29, 2015

Dr. Arif Ahmed, University of Cambridge, Philosophy Dept,

Dear Dr. Ahmed,

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow. That is committing your life to something or taking a drug which is committing your life to something. These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence. These are the cases we demand evidence the most strongly and it seems to me that religious belief if it is genuine is the case then that demand is the same and even raised to higher degree.

I AM GLAD THAT YOU “DEMAND EVIDENCE” BECAUSE I HAVE CONTAINED SOME FOR YOU IN THIS LETTER. Let me further respond with the words of Francis Schaeffer from his book HE IS THERE AND HE IS NOT SILENT (the chapter is entitled, “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?”

Of course, if the infinite uncreated Personal communicated to the finite created personal, he would not exhaust himself in his communication; but two things are clear here:
 
1. Even communication between once created person and another is not exhaustive, but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true. 
 
2. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unexpected for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise as a finite being the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point. In such a case, there is no intrinsic reason why the uncreated Personal could communicate some vaguely true things, but could not communicate propositional truth concerning the world surrounding the created personal – for fun, let’s call that science. Or why he could not communicate propositional truth to the created personal concerning the sequence that followed the uncreated Personal making everything he made – let’s call that history. There is no reason we could think of why he could not tell these two types of propositional things truly. They would not be exhaustive; but could we think of any reason why they would not be true? The above is, of course, what the Bible claims for itself in regard to propositional revelation.
DOES THE BIBLE ERR IN THE AREA OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Charles Darwin himself longed for evidence to come forward from the area of  Biblical Archaeology  but so much has  advanced  since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Recently I had the opportunity to come across a very interesting article by Michael Polanyi, LIFE TRANSCENDING PHYSICS AND CHEMISTRY, in the magazine CHEMICAL AND ENGINEERING NEWS, August 21, 1967, and I also got hold of a 1968 talk by Francis Schaeffer based on this article. Polanyi’s son John actually won the 1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. This article by Michael Polanyi concerns Francis Crick and James Watson and their discovery of DNA in 1953. Polanyi noted:

Mechanisms, whether man-made or morphological, are boundary conditions harnessing the laws of in
animate nature, being themselves irreducible to those laws. The pattern of organic bases in DNA which functions as a genetic code is a boundary condition irreducible to physics and chemistry. Further controlling principles of life may be represented as a hierarchy of boundary conditions extending, in the case of man, to consciousness and responsibility.

I would like to send you a CD copy of this talk because I thought you may find it very interesting. It includes references to not only James D. Watson, and Francis Crick but also  Maurice Wilkins, Erwin Schrodinger, J.S. Haldane (his son was the famous J.B.S. Haldane), Peter Medawar, and Barry Commoner. I WONDER IF YOU EVER HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO RUN ACROSS THESE MEN OR ANY OF THEIR FORMER STUDENTS?

Below is a portion of the transcript from the CD and Michael Polanyi’s words are in italics while Francis Schaeffer’s words are not:

During the past 15 years, I have worked on these questions, achieving gradually stages of the argument presented in this paper. These are:

  1. Machines are not formed by physical and chemical equilibration. 
  2. The functional terms needed for characterizing a machine cannot for defined in terms of physics and chemistry. 

Polanyi is talking about specific machines but I would include the great cause and effect machine of the external universe that functions on a cause and effect basis. So if this is true of the watch,  then you have to ask the same question about the total machine that Sartre points out that is there, and that is the cause and effect universe. Polanyi doesn’t touch on this and he doesn’t have an answer, and I know people who know him. Yet nevertheless he sees the situation exactly as it is. And I would point out what  Alfred North Whitehead (1861–1947) and J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967) said and that it needed a Christian consensus to produce modern science because it was the Christian consensus that gave the concept that the world being created by a reasonable God and that it could be found out and discovered by reason. So the modern science when it began with Copernicus and Galileo and all these men conceived that the cause and effect system of the universe would be there on the basis that it was created by a reasonable God, and that is Einstein’s big dilemma and that is why he became a mystic at the end of life…What Polanyi says here can be extended to the watch, and the bridge and the automobile but also to the big cause and effect universe. You have to give some kind of answer to this too and I would say this to Michael Polanyi if I ever have a chance to talk to him. You need another explanation too Polanyi.

3. No physical chemical topography will tell us that we have a machine before us and what its functions are. 

In other words, if you only know the chemicals and the physics you don’t know if you have a machine. It may just be junk. So nobody in the world could tell if it was a machine from merely the “physical chemical-topography.” You have to look at the machineness of the machine to say it is a machine. You could take an automobile and smash it into a small piece of metal with a giant press and it would have the same properties of the automobile, but the automobile would have disappeared. The automobile-ness of the automobile is something else than the physical chemical-topography.

4. Such a topography can completely identify one particular specimen of a machine, but can tell us nothing about a class of machines. 

5. And if we are asked how the same solid system can be subject to control by two independent principles, the answer is: The boundary conditions of the system are free of control by physics and can be controlled therefore by nonphysical, purely technical, principles. 

In other words you have to explain the engineering by something other than merely physical principles and of course it is. You can’t explain the watchness of the watch merely by this. You can explain it on the basis of engineering principles in which the human mind conceives of a use for the machine and produces the machine. But notice where Polanyi is and that is in our argument of a need of personality in the universe though Polanyi doesn’t draw this final conclusion, though I thought that is the only explanation.

If you look at the watch a man has made it for the purpose of telling time. When you see the automobile a man has made it for the purpose of locomotion and the explanation of the difference is not in the chemical and physical properties but in the personality of a man to make these two different machines for two different purposes out of the same material. So what you are left here is the need of personality in the universe.

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Thank you for your time. I know how busy you are and I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher,

P.O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, United States, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

Is Belief in God More Reasonable than Disbelief – Arif Ahmed vs William Lane Craig

WILLIAM LANE CRAIG DEBATES ARIF AHMED: DOES GOD EXIST?

I thought that I would summarize a debate that occurred at Cambridge University between Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Arif Ahmed. Everyone knows Dr. Craig, but I should say that Arif Ahmed is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at Cambridge University.

The full MP3 is available here.

Below, I’ve summarized the two opening speeches from each debater.

Here is Dr. Craig’s opening speech: (1:24)

Craig’s case for God.

1) The origin of the universe (3:10)
– an eternal universe is not compatible with mathematics
– the impossibility of an actual infinite in nature (cites David Hilbert)
– an eternal universe is not compatible with science
– the big bang theory requires space and time to come into being out of nothing (cites PCW Davies)
– even radical alternative theories require an absolute beginning (cites Stephen Hawking)
– atheists must believe that the origin of space and time came from nothing and by nothing (cites Anthony Kenny)

Argument:
P1.1) Whatever begins to exist requires a cause
P1.2) The universe begin to exist
C1.3) Therefore, the universe requires a cause

What can the cause be:
– it must be eternal, because it caused time to exist
– it must be non-physical, because it caused space to begin to exist

Why must the cause of the universe be a person instead of a force?
Only minds can exist non-physically
– the only non-physical entities we know of are abstract objects and minds
– but abstract objects can’t cause physical effects
– therefore, the cause universe is a personal mind

Only minds can cause effects in time without antecedent conditions
– causally prior to the universe’s beginning, there were no antecedent conditions
– the only entity capable of acting freely, not based on antecedent conditions, are free agents
– therefore, the cause of the universe is a free agent

2) The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe (9:15)
– the fine-tuning of the universe is supported by science
– the constants and quantities given in the big bang can take any of a range of values
– the actual values are within a extremely narrow range that supports the requirements of life
– he gives the example of the fine-tuning of the gravitational constant
– he gives the example of the fine-tuning of the weak force

Argument:
P2.1) The fine-tuning is either due to law, chance or design
P2.2) It is not due to law, because the numbers are independent of the law
P2.3) It cannot be due to chance, the life-permitting band is tiny compared to the possible values
C2.4) Therefore, the fine-tuning is due to design

3) Objective moral values are plausibly grounded in God (12:41)
– objective moral values are values that exist and are binding regardless of what individuals think
– objective moral values cannot be rationally grounded on an atheistic worldview (cites Michael Ruse)
– atheists can recognize moral values and act on them, but they cannot explain their origin and existence
– atheists can only appeal to personal or cultural preferences to say what is right and wrong
– the existence of objective moral is undeniable

Argument:
P3.1) If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist
P3.2) Objective moral values do exist
C3.3) Therefore, God exists

4) The resurrection of Jesus implies that God exists (16:04)
– if the resurrection of Jesus happened, then it would be a miracle, implying that God exists
– three facts are recognized by the majority of scholars
– the tomb was found empty after his death (cites Jacob Kramer)
– individuals and groups saw Jesus after his death (cites Gerd Ludemann)
– the belief in the resurrection of Jesus was totally unexpected (cites N.T. Wright)
– naturalistic explanations of these facts have been rejected by the consensus of scholars

Argument:
P4.1) The 3 minimal facts are established
P4.2) The hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead is the best explanation for these facts
P4.3) The hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead entails that God exists
C4.4) Therefore, God exists

5) God can be known directly by personal experience (20:02)
– God can be experienced just like you experience a relationship with human persons

Dr. Ahmed’s first opening speech: (22:10)

Rebuttal to Craig’s case for God.

0) Craig is wrong about faith and reason (25:20)
– Craig’s book Reasonable Faith, he makes a number of statements about faith and reason
– He writes that Christianity is not accountable to reason if reason goes against Christianity
– He writes that the truth of Christianity is knowable without rational arguments
– He writes that even if there are no reasons to believe, and many reasons to disbelieve, humans are still obligated to believe
– Question for Craig: is Christianity reasonable or isn’t it? Do reasons matter or don’t they?

1) Response to Craig’s first argument: the origin of the universe (28:27)
– what mathematicians say about the contradictory nature of subtraction and division for actual infinities is wrong
– what cosmologists and physicists say about the beginning of time is wrong, every event follows another one, there is no first event
– even if the universe is 15 billion years old, the act of Creation requires time and there was no time prior to the supposed beginning of the universe for God to act in
– the cause of the universe need not be a personal agent
– all minds are made of matter so a mind cannot be the cause of the universe, because all the people who pre-suppose materialism like me think that minds must be made of matter
– it is impossible for a person to act outside of time,because all the persons I know act in time
– why did God wait 15 billion years before creating humans and relating to them? – i wouldn’t have done it that way

2) Response to Craig’s second argument: the fine-tuning of the creation (32:38)
– where do these probabilities that Craig is using come from?

3) Response to Craig’s third argument: the moral argument (34:07)
– I have personal preferences about what counts as right and wrong, and they are superior to God’s preferences
– moral intuitions are not a good way of discovering objective moral values, so therefore objective moral values don’t exist

4) Response to Craig’s fourth argument: the resurrection (36:00)
– the number of eyewitnesses is not enough, because groups number of eyewitnesses can be fooled by illusions, as in David Copperfield illusions
– the Gospels contradict themselves, e.g. – the story of Matthew’s earthquake and walking dead isn’t in Mark – so that’s a contradiction, so the Gospels are not reliable sources for Craig’s 3 minimal facts

5) Response to Craig’s fourth argument: personal experience (37:30)
– there are many different religious experiences because there are many different religions
– if lots of people disagree about something, then no one can be right

Ahmed’s case against God.

1) Absence of evidence is evidence of absence (39:00)
– if there is are no reasons to believe in God, then this alters reality to make it true that he doesn’t exist

2) The inductive argument from evil (40:04)
– some evil is gratuitous – events cause people to suffer, and has no benefit that I can see, based on my limited knowledge in time and space and my personal preference of what counts as a benefit and what doesn’t
– God would not have allowed people to suffer, because God’s job is to make us feel happy in this life

3) Belief in God makes people evil (41:52)
– all genuinely religious people are very immoral, according to my personal preferences about what counts as right and wrong

Further study

In case you are wondering about his inductive argument from evil, please read this summary on the problems of evil and suffering, which is taken from my list of arguments for and against Christian theism.  Keep in my mind that I am a software engineer with two degrees in computer science… not philosophy!

Craig mentions a paper by the late William P. Alston of Syracuse University in his rebuttal to the inductive problem of evil. The paper lists six limitations on human cognitive capacities that make it difficult for humans to know that some instance of  apparently gratuitous evil really is gratuitious – that God has no morally sufficient reason for permitting this specific instance of evil.  Since Ahmed is making the claim that some evil is gratuitous, he bears the burden of proof.

_______________________________________

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“Truth Tuesday” Debating the Founding Fathers with Ark Times Bloggers Part 8 Thomas Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortionhuman rightswelfarepovertygun control  and issues dealing with popular culture , but the issue of the founding fathers’ views on religion got one of the biggest responses.

It is true that 29 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had degrees with Bible Colleges or Seminaries and these men we know were God-fearing Protestants. This means they had a biblical view of man with an understanding of our sin nature and this led them to come up with a limited government with many checks and balances. They had a strong belief in the afterlife and in future punishments and rewards. They also encouraged Christianity and were not hostile to religion. However, they did not set up a Christian Theocracy but wanted freedom of religion.

People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruptionThe recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes President Obama made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control.  Here is a clip discussing the founders and what their religious views were.

David Barton: Declaration and Constitution Are Based Entirely On The Bible

Here is some comments from our debate on the Arkansas Times Blog in July of 2013:

Citizen1 talks about my views as if I am in favor of the government having crown jewels pilfered from the peasants. Nothing can be further from my view. I think that the government should lower taxes and return the responsibility for the poor back to private organizations and then eliminate the welfare trap that traps people in poverty.

http://www.vindicatingthefounders.com/libr…

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan

April 6, 1816

[Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor. — TGW]

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it.

[From Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert E. Bergh (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), 14:466.]
_______________

Jefferson pointed out that to take from the rich and give to the poor through government is just wrong. Franklin knew the poor would have a better path upward without government welfare coming their way. Milton Friedman’s negative income tax is the best method for doing that and by taking away all welfare programs and letting them go to the churches for charity.

http://thedailyhatch.org/2012/09/06/privat…

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MUSIC MONDAY Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 3 (Larry met Paul McCartney)

Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 3 (Larry met Paul McCartney)

I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry Norman’s music in the 1970’s and his album IN ANOTHER LAND came out in 1976 and sold an enormous amount of copies for a Christian record back then.

Larry Norman – 7 – Deja Vu – Look Into Jesus – In Another Land (1976)

Larry Norman – 8 – I Am A Servant – In Another Land (1976)

 

 

 

Larry Norman on John Lennon, Paul McCartney and the Beatles

John Lennon: One of Jesus’ “Biggest Fans”

By Jesse Carey
Interactive Media Producer

CBN.com During his lifetime, he became one of the most controversial figures in popular culture, effecting not just how people listen to music, but how many view religion and faith. But a recently discovered interview with the late Beatles frontman John Lennon indicates the singer’s real views about Jesus and Christianity. The interview, which was unearthed two weeks ago, took place in 1969 for a segment on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation show before getting lost in studio obscuirty for nearly 40 years.

Lennon’s views on Christianity first came into focus when he made his infamous 1966 proclamation that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” The statement drew scorn and boycotts like nothing rock ‘n roll had seen before. Christians decried Lennon and his band, blasting the audacity of such an irreverent statement. But, according to the interview, irreverence wasn’t the singer’s intention. And, as it turns out, he was actually really interested in Jesus.

“It’s just an expression meaning the Beatles seem to me to have more influence over youth than Christ,” he said in the interview. “Now I wasn’t saying that was a good idea, ‘cos I’m one of Christ’s biggest fans. And if I can turn the focus on the Beatles on to Christ’s message, then that’s what we’re here to do.”

He went on to express how he felt many Christians seemed to be very “uptight” and even hypocritical for not allowing him to marry Yoko Ono in church because he had been divorced. He said that his original distaste for church first came at a young age, when he was kicked out for giggling. But, in the interview, Lennon said that his feelings only extended to the organized church, not Jesus Himself.

“If the Beatles get on the side of Christ, which they always were, and let people know that, then maybe the churches won’t be full, but there’ll be a lot of Christians dancing in the dance halls. Whatever they celebrate, God and Christ, I don’t think it matters as long as they’re aware of Him and His message,” his voice says on the unearthed recording.

And though this is the first time many Beatles fans have heard this particular conversation, Lennon’s interest in Christ was no secret in the early ‘70s. In his book, The Gospel According to the Beatles, writer Steve Turner said that there was a period in his life when the world’s most famous songwriter deeply wanted to know who Jesus was. According to the book, in an effort to escape the chaos of public life, Lennon would often retreat to television and became a regular viewer of the era’s most influential evangelists including Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and even Pat Robertson.

In 1972, Lennon even took part in a written correspondence with Roberts, in which he apologized and further explained his statement about being “bigger” than God. The Beatles frontman, who had experimented with a variety of drugs and spiritual ideas wrote this to Roberts:

“The point is this, I want happiness. I don’t want to keep on with drugs. Paul told me once, ‘You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you will regret it in the end.’ Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phoney? Can He love me? I want out of hell.”

Oral Roberts sent him a long response, giving him a copy of his book Miracle of Seed Faith and a detailed explanation of God’s love for him.

Five years later, in 1977, Lennon became deeply moved by NBC’s broadcast of the movie Jesus of Nazareth and told his friends that he had become a born-again Christian. A week after seeing the film, Lennon returned to church on Easter Sunday with his wife Yoko and son Sean in tow.

It was during this time that Lennon even penned several Christian songs (“Talking with Jesus” and “Amen”), and according to Turner’s book, even called The 700 Club prayer line.

The change in his life disturbed his wife Yoko Ono, who pulled her husband away from his new religion, and eventually, after months of isolation in Tokyo, Lennon found his life going in a dark direction, and ended up abandoning his faith and retreating into New Age practice and further searching. Before he was murdered in 1980, Lennon embraced a universalistic belief of religion and no longer seemed interested in his born-again lifestyle.

Although the new interview doesn’t change what we know about John Lennon at the end of his life, it does shed some light on what help developed his view of Christianity in the first place. It wasn’t confusion about theology or the nature of God. It wasn’t the pull of a conflicting lifestyle. According to Lennon, it was Christians who made him not want to be a part of the church.

Many unbelievers (and believers for that matter) could say that some Christians can be “hypocrites” and “uptight” and may even be responsible for turning people away from church. But that shouldn’t be a discouragement. Rather, it should be an encouragement to prove them wrong.

No one is perfect, and we can’t undo the actions of others (even when they are well-intentioned fellow believers), but we can change people’s perspectives by being the change. Reading between the lines of scripture shows that Jesus was pretty good at that. Even His own disciples couldn’t figure out what He was going to do next. Whether it was healing on the Sabbath (a major taboo in religious circles), dining with sinners or preaching messages of love and forgiveness, Christ didn’t always please the religious establishment of His day.

But He wasn’t out to ruffle feathers and just change people’s minds. He was out to change hearts.

Christ wanted people to see that God desired a personal relationship, and wanted His church to reflect His passion for loving others. Though God is perfect, we (Christians who make up the church) are often victims of our own imperfection. But, as the apostle John noted, a key to becoming effective in reaching the lost is this prayer: “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30, NIV).

So whether it’s an artist looking for answers like John Lennon in the early ‘70s, an “uptight” fellow Christian who is focused more on church rules than Christ’s love, or just an unbelieving neighbor who may have had their own bad experience with church, showing the real message of Christ (and a genuine picture of His Body, the church), a little bit of truth can go a long way.

Send Jesse your comments on this article.

Read more book excerpts and author interviews on CBN.com.

Discuss: In light of the recent interview uncovered about his thoughts concerning Jesus, how did John Lennon’s music influence the way you view culture?

Check out Jesse’s Blog, The Morning Five


Jesse CareyJesse Carey is the Interactive Media Producer for CBN.com. With a background in entertainment and pop-culture writing, he offers his insight on music, movies, TV, trends and current events from a unique perspective that examines what implications the latest news has on Christians.

For more stories like this one, sign up to receive Entertainment News from CBN.com in your email every Friday.

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SCHAEFFER SUNDAY Review of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?   by Kevin Rhyne THE BREAKDOWN IN PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE THEME: IF THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES, THEN THE PARTICULARS, THE INDIVIDUAL THINGS, HAVE NO MEANING.

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

How Should We Then Live? (8)

THE BREAKDOWN IN PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE

THEME: IF THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES, THEN THE PARTICULARS, THE INDIVIDUAL THINGS, HAVE NO MEANING.

What is meant by universal?  What is meant by particular? Examples?

Francis Schaeffer | This Bread Always

Francis Schaeffer | This Bread Always

Clear place we see this is in morals: “Who are you to be judge over us?”  If no universal giving meaning to marriage and sex, then each man defines marriage and sex according to what is right in his own eyes.

Why is that the result?

If there is no absolute beyond man’s ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between individuals and groups whose moral judgments conflict. We are merely left with conflicting opinions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 166). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

Schaeffer makes the point that it is not just morality that takes a hit without absolutes, meaning in existence itself, knowing that we know what we know, takes a hit without absolutes.

What were the characteristics of the non-Christian philosophers before the shift he describes in this chapter?

  1. Rationalists – man (though he is finite and limited) can begin from himself and gather enough particulars to make his own universals.
  2. Serious about reason – thought in terms of antithesis. A is A, and A is not non-A.
  3. Optimistic that man could find an absolute to give meaning starting with himself.

What were the shifts that came?

Shifts in science, shifts in philosophy and shift in theology.

SCIENCE

Move from the uniformity of natural causes in an open system to a uniformity of natural causes in a closed system.  Everything within the cause-and-effect machine, including psychology and sociology.

Notice especially that the scientists who gave birth to the earlier great breakthroughs of science would not have accepted this concept. It arose not because of that which could be demonstrated by science, but because the scientists who took this new view had accepted a different philosophic base. The findings of science, as such, did not bring them to accept this view; rather, their world-view brought them to this place. They became naturalistic or materialistic in their presuppositions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 168). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

What is the effect of this presupposition?

Man becomes part of the machine.  Life is pointless and devoid of meaning.

In moving to a completely closed system, Schaeffer says that “man disappears”?  Why?

Everything is a part of the cosmic machine, including people. To say this another way: prior to the rise of modern modern science (that is, naturalistic science, or materialistic science), the laws of cause and effect were applied to physics, astronomy, and chemistry. Today the mechanical cause-and-effect perspective is applied equally to psychology and sociology.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, pp. 167–168). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

What does this totally mechanized system do to the concept of freedom of choice?

“Love dies, there is no place for love in a totally closed cause-and-effect system.”

How is this different from a worldview where God determines all things according to the counsel of His will?

 

The mechanized cause-and-effect world led to another principle called “survival of the fittest.”  What has been the logical conclusion of that concept?

Abortion of black babies.  Abortion of only the girls or the boys.  Social engineering is a more subtle gas chamber.  As is socialized medicine…

PHILOSOPHY

The trend was from optimism to pessimism.  Why?

Move from reason is king to feeling is king.  Happiness is the trutha…

You see the tension between “lower story” – reason leads to the closed system, but we can’t live that way.  So, gradual movement to the “upper story” – irrational “leap of faith” to give the basis for meaning without reason.

It became clear that those who held the rationalistic position on the sole basis of their own reason increasingly were forced to conclude that everything, including man, is a machine. But one could not hold simultaneously the concept of everything’s being a machine and the ideal of a person’s having freedom. Thus, the concept of a unified knowledge of what reality is (on the basis of reason alone)—which almost all previous thinkers had as their aspiration—was under great strain. By the time of Rousseau and his followers there was a tendency for the concepts (everything as a machine and man’s autonomous freedom) to split apart and go marching off in divergent directions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 177). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

There was discussion of making nature the moral basis, the idea of Natural Law.  What’s the problem with that?

Nature is both cruel and non-cruel.  “What is is right.”  Leads to Sadism.

What was Hegel’s solution to the tension?

Synthesis rather than antithesis.  Truth in both thesis and antithesis, so synthesize them.  Another contradiction in the new synthesis and whole process starts again.  Thus the universe and man’s understanding of it unfolds in a series of teachable moments.  “In short, the universe with its consciousness – man – evolves.”

Man is the consciousness of the universe?

Is this not the mentality of our day?  “Only the Sith deal in absolutes.”

Here, then, becomes the synthesis of the “upper story” and the “lower story”:

This equation of the impersonal plus time plus chance producing the total configuration of the universe and all that is in it, modern people hold by faith. And if one does in faith accept this, with what final value is he left? In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, pp. 181–182). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

The unifying principle is biological continuity of the human race.

If that’s the unifying principle, then why same-sex marriage?

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? Episode 1 of 10

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 2

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 3

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 4

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 5

HowShouldweThenLive Episode 6 Scientific Age

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

How Should We Then Live – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

___________

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Article by Peter Robinson 6/19/2009 @ 12:01AM Medical Analysis By Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman on Medical Care (Full Lecture)

Published on Feb 2, 2014

I have written about Obamacare over and over again on this blog. Dan Mitchell has shared many funny cartoons about Obamacare too. Milton Friedman has spoken out about government healthcare many times in the past and his film series FREE TO CHOOSE is on You Tube and I encourage you to watch it. It is clear that the federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation.

We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruption. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

In 1980 I read the book FREE TO CHOOSE by Milton Friedman and it really enlightened me a tremendous amount.  I suggest checking out these episodes and transcripts of Milton Friedman’s film series FREE TO CHOOSE: “The Failure of Socialism” and “The Anatomy of a Crisis” and “What is wrong with our schools?”  and “Created Equal”  and  From Cradle to Grave, and – Power of the Market.

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 1/4

6/19/2009 @ 12:01AM

Medical Analysis By Milton Friedman

President Obama, the press, all the Democrats and a fair number of the Republicans in Congress share the same assumption about health care. Whatever you believe should be done about the problem, it sure is complicated.

Yet one man figured it out.

In 2001 the economist Milton Friedman read up on health care, discovered that the inefficiencies in our system trace back to a single policy mistake, worked out a policy test that would help us correct it and then described his findings in a few thousand words of plain English.

Since the end of the Second World War, Friedman explained, medical care in the U.S. has displayed three features: technological advances, increases in spending and rising dissatisfaction.

The first of the three was common to one sector of the economy after another. Agriculture, manufacturing, electronics, communications–all had experienced technological progress. Yet the two final features proved unique to health care. While we were paying less and getting more when buying food or computers, in health care the opposite was happening.

Why?

Because, Friedman saw, most payments for medical care are made not by the patients who receive the care but by third parties, typically employers. Since, in Friedman’s phrase, “nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as he spends his own,” this third-payer system by its very nature introduces inefficiencies throughout the health care system.

The reason for this wasteful third-party system? The tax code. Money spent on health care is exempt from the income tax only if the health care is provided through an employer. “We have become so accustomed to employer-provided medical care,” Friedman wrote, “that we regard it as part of the natural order. Yet it is thoroughly illogical.”

The policy mistake that produced this illogical mess took place during World War II, when the government imposed wage controls. Unable to compete for workers by paying them more, employers began providing medical care, and the new benefit spread rapidly.

When the Internal Revenue Service caught on, requiring employers to include the value of medical benefits as part of the wages they reported, workers, who had grown accustomed to the benefits, protested. Congress responded with legislation that made employer-provided medical benefits tax-exempt.

By the time the 1960s arrived, Americans were used to having third parties pay their medical bills. Thus the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid–under which the government, rather than employers, acted as the third party–seemed perfectly reasonable.

Friedman wrote: “Third-party payment has required the bureaucratization of medical care. … A medical transaction is not simply between a caregiver and a patient; it has to be approved as ‘covered’ by a bureaucrat. … The patient has little … incentive to be concerned about the cost since it’s somebody else’s money. The caregiver has become, in effect, an employee of the insurance company or, in the case of Medicare and Medicaid, of the government. … An inescapable result is that the interest of the patient is often in direct conflict with the interest of the caregiver’s ultimate employer.”

In that one paragraph of under 100 words, a diagnosis of our ailment.

What should we do about it? Ideally, Friedman argued, we should reverse the mistake that started all the trouble, repealing the tax exemption of employer-provided medical care. Yet Friedman was a realist. Vested interests, he recognized, would make such a radical reform impossible. Instead he believed we should seek incremental changes, asking of each proposal simply whether it would move health care “in the right direction.”

Expanding savings accounts that allow individuals control over relevant spending, Friedman argued, would move health care in the right direction. So would extending the tax exemption to all medical expenses, whether they are paid by employers or individuals. A “sweeping socialization of medicine [such as that] proposed by Hilary Clinton”–and, now, by Barack Obama–would not.

Wherever possible, reduce the role of third parties. Increase the autonomy of individuals. Get the government and vast, bureaucratic insurance companies out of the way, permitting the free market to work its effects in health care, just as it does in virtually every other sector of the economy.

That’s not too complicated, now, is it?

Peter Robinson, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and contributor to RobinsonandLong.com, writes a weekly column for Forbes.

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 2/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 3/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 4/4

_____________________

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 97 THE BEATLES (The Beatles and Paramhansa Yogananda ) (Feature on artist Ronnie Wood)

Today I am going to look at Paramhansa Yogananda who appeared on the cover of SGT. PEPPERS because the Beatles were at the time interested in what Eastern Religions had to offer. One of the problems with Hinduism is that has no way to explain the existence of evil in the world today. However, Christianity explains evil entering into the world in a space and time event called the fall. Concerning Paramhansa Yogananda Francis Schaeffer says the following in his book GENESIS IN SPACE AND TIME: 

Words have become so devalued today that we often have to use cumbersome terms to make what we mean understood. The word fact does not necessarily mean anything anymore. Fact can just mean upperstory religious truth, and therefore we have to use an awkward term like brute fact. In this particular case, we are fortunate because the liberal theologians themselves use the term brute fact for what they don’t mean by facts. The historic Fall is not an interpretation: It is a brute fact. There is no room for hermeneutics here, if by hermeneutics we mean explaining away the brute factness of the Fall. That there was a Fall is not an upper-story statement that is, it is not in this sense a “theological” or “religious” statement. Rather, it is a historic, space-time, brute fact, propositional statement. There was time, spacetime history, before the Fall, and then man turned from his proper integration point by choice, and in so doing there was moral discontinuity; man became abnormal.

In speaking of facts and brute facts, we are speaking of facts in the space-time sense, that which is open to the normal means of verification and falsification. As I stress in the Appendix to The Church before the Watching World, this does not mean they are then to be taken as sterile facts. These biblical facts are facts in past history, but they have, and should have, meaning in our present existential, moment by-moment lives.

Furthermore, in speaking of the Bible’s statements as propositional truth we are not saying that all communication is on the level of mathematical formula. There can be other levels (for example, figures of speech or the special force of poetry); but there is a continuity-a unity not a discontinuity-between these “other levels” and a flow of propositions given in normal syntax and using words in their normal definition, and this is a continuity which reason can deal with. Take an example outside of the Bible: Shakespeare’s communication with his figures of speech is a much richer human communication than is mere mathematical formula. The “other levels” (for example, his figures of speech) add enrichment. Yet, if, as in far-out modern prose and poetry, there are only, or almost only, figures of speech, with no adequate running continuity that can be stated in propositional form using normal syntax and words with normal meanings, no one knows what is being said. As a matter of fact, some modern writers and artists deliberately work this way so that this will be the case. Their work becomes only a quarry for subjective experiences and interpretations inside of the head of the reader or viewer. The early chapters of Genesis quickly come to this place if they are read other than as in propositional form using normal syntax and words in their normal meaning. As an example, Paramahansa Yogananda did this in his book Autobiography of a Yogi and most easily turned these chapters into a powerful Hindu tract.

I Am The Walrus With Lyrics

Monday, February 25, 2013

Besides his devotion to God, George was also devoted to Hindu teachers, especially Paramahansa Yogananda. Paramanhansa Yogananda is famous for being the wisdom of Hinduism to the West, and he taught the fundamental unity between Yoga and Christianity. George wrote his song, Fish on the Sand, from the 1987 Cloud Nine album about his devotion and reliance on Yogananda. George often enjoyed visits to the Self-Realization Fellowship Center in Encinitas, California, which was founded by Yogananda.

“India India” rare Beatles song and pictures

 

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

How Should We Then Live – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

“The people of India have a tremendous spiritual strength, which I don’t think is found elsewhere. The spirit of the people, the beauty, the goodness—that’s what I’ve been trying to learn about.” – George Harrison, 1966 

1974, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar pose in front of musicians from the album Ravi Shankar Family and Friends.

 

 

___________

Press conference, 1969, with members of the London Radha Krishna Temple

 

___________

 

The Beatles – Tomorrow never knows (subtitulada)

(left to right) John Lennon, Paul McCartney, the Maharishi, George Harrison, Mia Farrow and Donovan. Photo:THE HINDU ARCHIVES

__

If God has not revealed Himself, then there are no absolutes. Good is evil and evil is good. We see this in Hinduism.

The new theologians also have no way to explain why evil exists, and thus they are left with the same problem the Hindu philosophers have; that is, they must say that finally everything that is is equally in God. In Hindu thought one of the manifestations of God is Kali, a feminine representation of God with fangs and skulls hanging about her neck. Why do Hindus picture God this way? Because to them everything that exists now is a part of what has always been, a part of that which the Hindus would call “God”—and therefore cruelty is equal to noncruelty. Modern humanistic man in both his secular and his religious forms has come to the same awful place. Both have no final way to say what is right and what is wrong, and no final way to say why one should choose noncruelty instead of cruelty.

IN THE VIDEO BELOW take notice at the 14:00 minute mark Schaeffer talks about the BEATLES and at the 22:30 minute mark  Schaeffer mentions the Hindu god Kali.

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

Rishikesh – Beatles With The Maharishi (1968)

The Biblical view concerning how sin entered the world is explained in the book GENESIS  IN SPACE AND TIME by Francis Schaeffer, Chapter 5  pages 33  -41:

chapter 5

The space-time fall and its results

Eve was faced with a choice, she pondered the situation and then she put her hand into the history of man and changed the course of human events.

The Fruit Is Eaten

The Genesis account is short and to the point: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6).1 The flow is from the internal to the external; the sin began in the thought-world and flowed outward. The sin was, therefore, committed in that moment she believed Satan instead of God. At this point the whole matter was decided. Nonetheless, a history is involved, for first she believed Satan, then she ate, and then she gave the fruit to Adam.

Genesis 3:17 refers to this historical flow, for God in speaking to Adam says that he has “hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree.” And we are reminded, as we have seen in 2 Corinthians 11:3, that as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety (at her point of history) so our own minds (at our point of history) may also be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Paul in 1 Timothy 2:14 points out something further: “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Temptation is extremely hard to resist when it is bound up with the man-woman relationship. For example, in Exodus 34:16 we are warned not to let the man-woman relationship lead us into idolatry (spoken of as going “a whoring after their gods”).

Two great drives are built into man. The first is his need for a relationship to God, and the second his need for a relationship to the opposite sex. A special temptation is bound up with this sexual drive. How many young women are there who are faithful as Christians until they come to a certain age and feel with their whole being, without ever analyzing it, the need for marriage and are then swept over into marrying a non-Christian man? And how many men are there who are faithful until they feel the masculine drive and give up their faithfulness to God by marrying a woman who carries them into spiritual problems for the rest of their life? I look upon such young men and young women as I see them going through this, and I cry for them, because in a way there is no greater agony than suddenly to fall in love and then to realize that one must say no to this natural drive because it leads in that particular case to a severing of our greater relationship-our relationship to God. While what happened in the Garden of Eden was a spacetime historic event, the man-woman relationship and force of temptation it must have presented to Adam is universal.

The Results of the Fall for the Human Race

The results of Adam and Eve’s action are recorded in many places in Scripture, but nowhere more clearly than in Romans 5:12-19 where Paul emphasizes that Adam and Eve’s action marked the entrance of sin into the human  race. I will quote here part of this passage: “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed [spread] unto all men, for that all sinned:-for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come…. For if by the trespass of the one the many died…. For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one…. So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation…. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners . . .” (ASV).

The repetition makes the point obvious: By the action of one man in a historic, space-time situation, sin entered into the world of men. But this is not just a theoretical statement that gives us a reasonable and sufficient answer to man’s present dilemma, explaining how the world can be so evil and God still be good. It is that in reality, from this time on, man was and is a sinner. Though some men do not like the teaching, the Bible continues like a sledge hammer, driving home the fact that evil has entered into the world of man, all men are now sinners, all men now sin. Listen to God’s declaration concerning the human race in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Incidentally, in one way it is easier today than it was a few years ago to proclaim the sinfulness of man. On every side artists, novelists and protest singers are saying, “What’s wrong with man? Something’s wrong with man.” The Bible agrees and gives us a realistic view of life: “The heart is deceitfully wicked.”

I think the strongest words were spoken by Jesus himself in John 8:44, where he turns on those who are claiming the fatherhood of God and says: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do” (ASV). In other words, Jesus is saying, “You choose to be in Satan’s parade.”

Isaiah writes, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Is. 53:6). It is obvious that if “all we like sheep have gone astray,” I can no longer merely say they have gone astray, but I must say I have gone astray. I, too, sin. Paul picks this up in the letter to the Romans as he summarizes the status of all the races-first the Gentiles and then the Jews: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10-12). If there is none that is righteous, no, not one, then I am included. I have written the word me in the margin of my Bible at this place. Galatians 3:10 carries the force: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” All mankind stands in this place. Not only the revealed law of God but also every moral motion of every man who has ever lived condemns men, because men keep neither the revealed law of God nor even live consistently according to their own moral motions. This is the point of Romans 2:1-2: “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.”

What Paul says involves the whole man as he comes to Scripture. The Bible never leaves this as a generalization or as an abstraction. Paul writes, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man.” Perhaps the most important part of this is that it is in the singular, for it speaks to every individual who hears or reads: “Whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” The simple fact is that it is not only the man who has the written law of God, the Bible, who stands under the judgment of law, but every man who ever lived. I have pointed out elsewhere that wherever anthropologists and sociologists have been, they have found that men have moral motions. The specific standards may be different, but all men operate under moral categories. So Paul says here that a man stands condemned on the basis of his own moral motions, for every time he condemns another man he has put himself under the same condemnation. Every man makes moral judgments concerning other men and then does not keep them himself. The results? All men are sinners, and all men sin.

This indictment includes those who are now Christians as well as non-Christians. Men are not born Christians, a sort of special race. Every single man who is now a child of God was at one time a rebel. We are all hewn from the same rock, whether we come from a church background or a non-church background. No sacerdotalism can help man.

Am I a Christian today? Never forget, then, that yesterday I was as much a rebel as anyone who walks on the face of the earth. As Ephesians 2:2-3 says in burning words: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” He is talking here to the church at Ephesus. But he continues and adds himself to the list, he steps over and joins us, for it is not just “ye” but “we”: “Among whom also we all had our conversation [meaning here our total way of life, our “life-form”] in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” This is who we are. If we are Christians today, this is who we have been. We had a different king-the father of lies. We must not be proud, for as Ephesians 5:8 says, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord.” Remember, you were also marked by Adam’s sin, and you were sinners: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Col. 1:21).

Don’t be proud. As you look out across the world of sinners, weep for them. Be glad indeed if you are redeemed, but never forget as you look at others that you have been one of them, and in a real sense we are still one with them, for we still sin. Christians are not a special group of people who can be proud; Christians are those who are redeemed-and that is all!

Everywhere we turn we find the same thing: “For we ourselves [notice the “we” again] also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Tit. 3:3). Paul never allowed those who followed his teaching to forget that they were not a special kind just because they may have been Jews at the beginning and circumcised or just because they were now baptized Christians. Each one must say, “I have been the rebel, I have been the sinner.” The force of this is perhaps brought most fully in the great statement in 1 John 1:10: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him [God] a liar, and his word is not in us.” To forget in our emotional reactions as well as in our words that we indeed have been sinners, not only involved in the results of Adam’s sin but deliberately sinning ourselves over and over and over again -to forget this is to call God a liar.

Thus, all men are under the judgment of God. Even the marvelous chapter that speaks so clearly of hope, the third go chapter of the Gospel of John, twice emphasizes that men are under God’s judgment. We read, for example, these words in John 3:18: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” The testimony of John the Baptist in the last verse of this chapter is even more emphatic: “He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life: but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (v. 36). In a world that loves synthesis, the Bible stands with a message of total antithesis: He who believes has life but he who does not is subject to the wrath, the judgment, of God. Here, then, is the basic result of the space-time fall that we are considering in the flow of history-men are rebels and under the judgment of God.

Guilt before God

Other results of sin were immediately evident in the Garden of Eden: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7). The word aprons in the Hebrew is interesting. Actually, it simply means to “gird yourself about,” so people have translated the word in various ways. One Bible, the Breeches Bible of 1608, got its name from the way it translated this word. But whatever an apron is, it is something one puts around himself.

The significance is that Adam and Eve were brought to a realization of what they had done. They began to feel afraid and to feel guilt-and well they might, for their guilt feelings were rooted in true guilt. When a man has sinned against God, he not only has guilt feelings, he has true guilt; and he has true guilt even if he does not have feelings of guilt.

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (v. 8). This is the verse we have used in our previous studies to indicate the wonder of the open communication which God had with man. In the garden in the cool (or the wind) of the day, there was open fellowship, open communion-open propositional communication between God and man before the Fall. But now that which was his wonder and his joy, the fulfillment of his need, an infinite, personal reference point with whom he could have communion and communication became the reason for his fear. He was going to meet God face to face! Once man had shaken his fist in the face of God, what had been so wonderful became a just reason for fear, because God was really there.

So we read: “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard the voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (vv. 9-13).

The first thing we notice here is that Adam and Eve immediately begin to try to pass the guilt from themselves to another, and we have, therefore, the division which is at the very heart of man’s relationship with man from this point on. The human race is divided-man against man. We do not have to wait for modern psychologists to talk about alienation. Here it is. Man is alienated from his wife-the wife from her husband-as they turn against each other, especially at the points of blame and guilt. All the alienation that any poet will ever write about is here already. In a way, both Adam and Eve were right. Eve had given the fruit to Adam, and Satan had tempted Eve. But that does not shift the responsibility. Eve was responsible and Adam was responsible, and they stood in their responsibility before God.

God’s Judgment on Man and Nature

As God speaks to the parties involved at this moment of history, we find four steps in his judgment of their action. First, he speaks to the serpent who has been used by Satan: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above [from among] all cattle, and above [from among] every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (v. 14). As we shall see, all nature becomes abnormal yet the serpent is singled out in a special way “from among all cattle.'”

Second, in verse 15 he speaks to Satan; we will return to that.

Third, he speaks to the woman: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain [this is more accurate than the King James word sorrow] and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” There are two parts here: the first relates to the womanness of the woman-the bearing of children-and the second to her relationship to her husband. In regard to the former, God says that he will multiply two things-not just the pain but also the conception. It seems clear that if man had not rebelled there would not have been as many children born.

In regard to the relationship to her husband, he says, “And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” This one sentence puts an end to any pure democracy. In a fallen world pure democracy is not possible. Rather, God brings structure into the primary relationship of man-the man-woman relationship. In a fallen world (in every kind of society-big and smalland in every relationship) structure is needed for order. God himself here imposes it on the basic human relationship. Form is given and without such form freedom would only be chaos.

It is not simply because man is stronger that he is to have dominion (that’s the argument of the Marquis de Sade). But rather he is to have dominion because God gives this as structure in the midst of a fallen world. The Bible makes plain that this relationship is not to be without love. As the New Testament puts it, the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:23). In a fallen world it is not surprising to find that men have turned this structure into a kind of slavery. It is not meant to be a slavery. In fact, it is in cultures where the Bible has been influential that the balance has been substantially restored. The Bible balances the structure and the love.

Nevertheless, it is still true: Since the Fall what God. says in verse 16 is to be the structure or the form of the basic human relationship-the man-woman relationship. It is right that a woman should feel a need for freedom, a feeling of being a “human being” in the world. But when she tries to smash the structure of this basic relationship, finally what she does is to hurt herself. It is like unravelling the knot that holds the string of human relationships together. All other things flow from it-the loss of her own children’s obedience and the crumbling of society about her. In a fallen world we need structure in every social relationship.

The Abnormal Universe

Fourth, God speaks to the man: “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil [the word sorrow in the King James is inaccurate] shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life” (v. 17). In other words, at this point the external world is changed.

It is interesting that almost all of the results of God’s judgment because of man’s rebellion relate in some way to the external world. They are not just bound up in man’s thought life; they are not merely psychological. Profound changes make the external, objective world abnormal. In the phrase for thy sake God is relating these external abnormalities to what Adam has done in the Fall.

All of these changes came about by fiat. Creation, as we have already seen, came by fiat. And, though we have come to the conclusion of creation with the creation of Eve, yet fiat has not ceased. The abnormality of the external world was brought about by fiat. Putting it into twentieth-century terminology, we can say this: The universe does not display a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system; God speaks and something changes. We are reminded here of the long arguments that date back to the time of Lyell and Darwin concerning whether there could be such a thing as catastrophe-something that cut across the uniformity of cause and effect. Scripture answers this plainly: Yes, God spoke and that which he had created was changed.

So now the earth itself is abnormal. We read, for example, in Genesis 5:29, which speaks of the world before the flood: “And he [Noah’s father] called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” The name Noah itself simply means rest or comfort. The Scripture says that at this point in the flow of biblical history men knew very well that the toil of their hands was a result of God’s having changed the earth.

Why is it like this? Because, one might say, you, O unprogrammed and significant Adam, have revolted. Nature has been under your dominion (in this sense it is as an extension of himself, as a king’s empire is an extension of himself). Therefore, when you changed, God changed the objective, external world. It as well as you is now abnormal.

It is interesting that in each of the steps of God’s judgment toil is involved: The serpent goes upon his belly; the woman has pain in childbirth; the man has toil in his work.

Verse 18 continues: “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” The word thistles here means luxuriously-growing but useless plants. The phrase it shall bring forth to thee has in the Hebrew the sense of “it shall be caused to bud.” This phrase, therefore, suggests that here, too, the change was wrought by fiat. Furthermore, the phrase suggests the modern biological term mutation, a non-sterile sport. That is, the plants had been one kind of thing and were reproducing likewise, and then God spoke and the plants began to bring forth something else and continue to reproduce in that new and different form.

The introduction of toil does not mean the introduction of work, because in Genesis 2:15, as we have seen, God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden “to dress it and to keep it.” There was work before the Fall, but certainly we can see the force of the distinction before and after the Fall, in the language of Genesis 5:29, where labor is called the “toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” Since the whole structure of the external world has changed, the meaning of work has changed. Thus Genesis 3:19 says: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till [the concept of “until” is important here] thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

The results are twofold. First, man shall have his food (and all else) by the sweat of his brow. Second, there is an end to this-an end that is not a release. The end is the greatest abnormality in the external world-the dissolution of the total man. A time will come at the end of each man’s life when he physically dies and the unity of man the unity of body and soul-is torn asunder. Christianity is not platonic; the soul is not considered all-important. Rather, at physical death that unity which man is meant to be is fractured. This is the second kind of death brought about by the Fall, the first being immediate separation from fellowship with God and the third being eternal death as men are judged in their rebellion and separated from God forever.

Christianity as a system does not begin with Christ as Savior, but with the infinite-personal God who created the world in the beginning and who made man significant in the flow of history. And man’s significant act in revolt has made the world abnormal. Thus there is not a total unbroken continuity back to the way the world originally was. Non-Christian philosophers almost universally agree in seeing everything as normal, assuming things are as they have always been. The Christian sees things now as not the way they have always been. And, of course, this is very important to the explanation of evil in the world. But it is not only that. It is one way to understand the distinction between the naturalistic, non-Christian answers (whether spoken in philosophic, scientific or even religious language) and the Christian answer. The distinction is that as I look about me I know I live in an abnormal world.

Among contemporary philosophers Martin Heidegger in his later writings has suggested a sort of space-time fall. He says that prior to Aristotle, the pre-Socratic Greeks thought in a different way. Then when Aristotle introduced the concept of rationality and logic, there was an epistemological fall. His notion, of course, has no moral overtones at all, but it is intriguing to me that Heidegger has come to realize that philosophy cannot explain reality if it begins with the notion that the world is normal. This the Bible has taught, but the Bible’s explanation for the present abnormal world is in a moral Fall by a significant man, a fall which has changed the external flow of history as no epistemological fall could do. Heidegger’s problem is that, while he well sees the need of a fall, he will not bow before the existence of the God who is there and the knowledge that God has given us. Hence he ends up with an insufficient fall and an insufficient answer.

Separations

Another way to look at the results of the Fall is to notice the separations that are caused by sin. First is the great separation, the separation between God and man. It underlies all other separations, not only in eternity but right now. Man no longer has the communion with God he was meant to have. Therefore, he cannot fulfill the purpose of his existence-to love God with all his heart, soul and mind-to stand as a finite personal point before an infinite-personal reference point and be in relationship with God himself. When man sinned, the purpose of his existence was smashed. And modern man is right when he says that man is dead. It is not that man is nothing, but that he is no longer able to fulfill his mannishness. Genesis 3:23-24 shows this separation between man and God in a real, historic, graphic sense.

As evangelicals we sometimes emphasize the first separation and fail to properly emphasize all the others that now exist. The second great separation is separation of man from himself. Man has fear. Man has psychological problems. How does a Christian understand these? Primarily as the abnormal separation of man from himself. Man’s basic psychosis is his separation from God carried into his own personality as a separation from himself. Thus we have self-deception. All men are liars, but, most importantly, each man lies to himself. The greatest falsehood is not lying to other men but to ourselves. A related aspect is the loss of ability to acquire true knowledge. All his knowledge is now out of shape because the perspective is wrong, the framework is wrong. That is, man does not lose all his knowledge, but he loses “true knowledge,” especially as he makes extensions from the bits and pieces of knowledge he does have.

Furthermore, man has separated his sexual life from its original high purpose as a vehicle of communication of person to person. Sexuality loses its personal dimension; men and women treat each other as things to be exploited. Finally, at physical death comes the separation of the soul from the body, the great separation of a man from himself.

The third of the great separations is man from man. This is the sociological separation. We have seen already how Adam was separated from Eve. Both of them immediately tried to pass off the blame for the Fall. This signals the loss of the possibility of their walking truly side by side in utopian democracy. Not only was man separated from his wife, but soon brother became separated from brother, Cain killing Abel. And, as we will see in the following chapter, there is a separation between the godly and the ungodly line of men. The godly line (those men who have returned to God) and the ungodly line (the unsaved humanity going on in rebellion) constitute two humanities. In one sense, of course, there is one humanity because we all come from one source. We are one blood, one flesh. But in the midst of one humanity, there are two humanities the humanity that still stands in rebellion and the humanity that is redeemed.

Soon in the flow of history we come to the tower of Babel, and with it we have the division of languages. Modern linguistics has helped us to understand how great the issues are here. So much is involved with language. Then after the time of Abraham comes the division between Jew and Gentile. These separations (and others related to them) are like titanic sonic booms in the sociological upheavals coming down to, and perhaps especially in, our day.

The fourth separation is a separation of man from nature and nature from nature. Man has lost his full dominion, and now nature itself is often a means of judgment. There is, for example, the flood at the time of Noah and, of course, nature pitted against Job. The separation of man from nature and nature from nature seems also to have reached a climax in our day.

Man’s sin causes all these separations between man and God, man and himself, man and man, and man and nature. The simple fact is that in wanting to be what man as a creature could not be, man lost what he could be. In every area and relationship men have lost what finite man could be in his proper place.

But there is one thing which he did not lose, and that is his mannishness, his being a human being. Man still stands in the image of God-twisted, broken, abnormal, but still the image-bearer of God. Man did not stop being human. As we have seen in Genesis 9:6 and in James 3:9, even after the Fall men are still in the image of God. Modern man does not see man as fallen, but he can find no significance for man. In the Bible’s teaching man is fallen but significant.

Let us not be misled: Man is still man. The unsaved painter can still paint. The unsaved lover can still love. He still has moral motions. And, though twisted, the unsaved thinker can still think. And furthermore, he lives on after his own death. He doesn’t just come to the end of his life and suddenly the clock stops. Man has meaning and significance. He may think that his history is just trash and junk, but it is not so.

Watch a man as he dies. Five minutes later he still exists. There is no such thing as stopping the existence of man. He still goes on. He has not lost his being as a human being. He has not lost those things which he intrinsically is as a man. He has not become an animal or a machine. And as I look out over the human race and see the lost-separated from God, separated from themselves, separated from other man, separated from nature-they are still men. Man still has tremendous value.

 

During the filming of the movie Help!, on location in the Bahamas,

____________

Today’s featured artist is Ronnie Wood!!

Not just a guitarist after all: Ronnie Wood cashes in on his artistic abilities as he puts £300,000 piece he painted up for sale

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2382566/Ronnie-Woods-art-including-300-000-piece-painted-sale.html#ixzz3veZ5PoYJ
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Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood could be in for some satisfaction after putting one of his paintings of the band up for sale for £300,000.

The rock ‘n’ roll legend’s painting of his band is 1.5 metres by two metres in size and on display at Castle Fine Art, at the ICC, in Birmingham City Centre.

The 66-year-old, who listens to Mozart at his easel and whose first love was art, took formal training at Ealing College of Art, London.

Star treatment: This painting by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood of the band has gone on sale for £300,000

Star treatment: This painting by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood of the band has gone on sale for £300,000

Talent: Ronnie Wood (in front of a previous painting he put on display) took formal training at Ealing College of Art in London

Talent: Ronnie Wood (in front of a previous painting he put on display) took formal training at Ealing College of Art in London

Wood said: ‘When I get inspired, I get almost possessed and I just have to paint.

‘There is no kind of therapy like the one you have from starting and seeing a picture through to the end.’

It was as a child Wood showed early signs of artistic skill.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2382566/Ronnie-Woods-art-including-300-000-piece-painted-sale.html#ixzz3veZ15LqW
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At school, he was pulled out of science classes to paint murals. When he was 14, his music teacher paid him £4 for a snow scene.

Wood said: ‘My dad used to slave away all week for that. I gave half to my mum.’

'He could have been a professional artist': Beth McCarthy, gallery manager at Castle Fine Art at the ICC Birmingham, with some of Wood's other works

‘He could have been a professional artist’: Beth McCarthy, gallery manager at Castle Fine Art at the ICC Birmingham, with some of Wood’s other works

I can get a lot of satisfaction: Prices for Wood's Raw Instinct collection range from £1,500 for a signed limited edition print

I can get a lot of satisfaction: Prices for Wood’s Raw Instinct collection range from £1,500 for a signed limited edition print

Prices for Wood’s Raw Instinct collection range from £1,500 for a signed limited edition print.

Gallery manager Beth McCarthy said of the 40 original works, about 20 were still available.

She said the art gave an insight into Wood’s mind.

‘His life has been very well documented,’ she said. ‘He could have been a professional artist.

‘If you’re not necessarily a singer, but a musician, someone who creates music and writes songs, that gives people a sort of poetic sensibility.

Prolific: Gallery manager Beth McCarthy said of the 40 original works, about 20 were still available

Prolific: Gallery manager Beth McCarthy said of the 40 original works, about 20 were still available

‘They’re also, just by virtue of doing that, quite brave. It’s a similar thing with painting.’

The exhibition runs until August 9.

It will be followed by never-before-seen works by Bob Dylan in his Drawn Blank 2013 Collection. Beth said Dylan told the gallery he found art relaxing.

She said: ‘It’s physically hard work touring night after night.

‘For Ronnie Wood and Bob Dylan it’s almost like meditation making a drawing. Hours and hours go by without you noticing.’

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2382566/Ronnie-Woods-art-including-300-000-piece-painted-sale.html#ixzz3veYlfJYd
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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 81 THE BEATLES Why was Dylan Thomas put on the cover of SGT PEPPERS? (Featured artist is sculptor David Wynne)

    Dylan Thomas was included on SGT PEPPER’S cover because of words like this, “Too proud to cry, too frail to check the tears, And caught between two nights, blindness and death.” Francis Schaeffer noted: This is sensitivity crying out in darkness. But it is not mere emotion; the problem is not on this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 80 THE BEATLES (breaking down the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” ) (Featured artist is Saul Steinberg)

John Lennon was writing about a drug trip when he wrote the song LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS and Paul later confirmed that many years later. Francis Schaeffer correctly noted that the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s brought the message of drugs and Eastern Religion to the masses like no other means of communication could. Today […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 79 THE BEATLES (Why was William Burroughs on Sgt. Pepper’s cover? ) (Feature on artist Brion Gysin)

______________ Why was William S. Burroughs put on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Burroughs was challenging the norms of the 1960’s but at the same time he was like the Beatles in that he was also searching for values and he never found the solution. (In the last post in this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 78 THE BEATLES (Breaking down the song TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS) Featured musical artist is Stuart Gerber

The Beatles were “inspired by the musique concrète of German composer and early electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen…”  as SCOTT THILL has asserted. Francis Schaeffer noted that ideas of  “Non-resolution” and “Fragmentation” came down German and French streams with the influence of Beethoven’s last Quartets and then the influence of Debussy and later Schoenberg’s non-resolution which is in total contrast […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 77 THE BEATLES (Who got the Beatles talking about Vietnam War? ) (Feature on artist Nicholas Monro )

It was the famous atheist Bertrand Russell who pointed out to Paul McCartney early on that the Beatles needed to bring more attention to the Vietnam war protests and Paul promptly went back to the group and reported Russell’s advice. We will take a closer look at some of Russell’s views and break them down […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 76 THE BEATLES (breaking down the song STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER) (Artist featured is Jamie Wyeth)

Francis Schaeffer correctly noted: In this flow there was also the period of psychedelic rock, an attempt to find this experience without drugs, by the use of a certain type of music. This was the period of the Beatles’ Revolver (1966) and Strawberry Fields Forever (1967). In the same period and in the same direction […]

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