Tag Archives: King Solomon

The Atheist can only come to the conclusion of despair according to Ecclesiastes,but humans always try to go to the area of non-reason for meaning in their lives instead of turning to God!

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Episode VII – The Age of Non Reason

The Atheist can only come to the conclusion of despair according to Ecclesiastes,but humans always try to go to the area of non-reason for meaning in their lives instead of turning to God!

In the following post Dustin Shramek notes:

Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God. This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd, with no meaning or purpose. On the second story life has meaning, value, and purpose. This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily, so he makes a leap of faith to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God. Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.

Atheism and Death: Why the atheist must face death with despair


By Dustin Shramek


The title of this paper may catch some off guard. You or someone you know might be an atheist and you feel as though you have no despair when contemplating your death. I don’t doubt that there are many atheist that, in fact, have no despair over death. But, for the atheist to live without despair, they must do so inconsistently. In my paper, I will show why it is logically inconsistent for an atheist to live and face death with happiness.

To do this I want to present two major arguments. The first is from the theist point of view that life is meaningless without God and thus death is hopeless. This is derived from two of the world’s top philosophers, William Lane Craig and Ravi Zacharias (both are theists). It should be noted that this argument will be supplemented with the thoughts of several respected atheistic philosophers so one does not think they are being biased.

The second part of the paper will show why death is a necessary evil within the atheistic world view. To demonstrate this I will be drawing from the works of a major contemporary, atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel. Both arguments are convincing by themselves, but I hope to show that with the two of them together, it is even more compelling to believe that the atheist must face death with despair. I don’t doubt that many atheist have been able to boldly face death without fear, but I do believe that they were being inconsistent in their world view.

Albert Camus said that death is philosophy’s only problem. That is quite the statement. Not only is death a problem, but a it is a large one. Why is death such a problem for someone like Camus? He was an atheist and I will attempt to show that death is a problem for all atheists.

Atheism cannot offer any comfort in the face of death. You see, everything we do includes some kind of hope. However, what kind of hope can the atheist give in the face of death? One may say that death is the final freeing of all desires and thus is good. Or that one can have hope in death if they are suffering. These really are just false hopes that I hopefully will clearly show.

After the death of his friend, Arthur Hallam, Alfred, Lord Tennyson composed his poem, “In Memorium”. This poem show the stuggle he had as he wrestled with grief and the question of what ultimate power manages the fate of man. It shows the struggle he had between his realization of the consequences of his choice between atheism and God. I will quote a lengthy excerpt to feel the full impact.

Thine are these orbs of light and shade
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest death; and Lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.

Are God and Nature then at strife
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems
So careless of the single life,…

“So careful of the type?” but no.
From scarped cliff and quarried stone
She cries a thousand types are gone;
I care for nothing, all shall go.

“Thou makest thine appeal to me
I bring to life, I bring to death;
The spirit does but mean the breath:
I know no more.” And he, shall he,

Man her last work who seem’d so fair
Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
Who rolI’d the psalm to wintry skies,
Who built him fanes of fruitless prayers,

Who trusted God was love indeed
And love creation’s final law–
Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shrieked against his creed-

Who loved, who suffer’d countless ills
Who battled for the True, the Just,
Be blown about the desert dust,
Or seal’d within the iron hills?

No more? A monster then, a dream.
A discord. Dragons of the prime
That tear each other in their slime,
Were mellow music match’d with him.

O life as futile, then, as frail!
O for thy voice to soothe and bless
What hope of answer, or redress?
Behind the veil, behind the veil.[1]

Atheism has parented this offspring, and it is her legitimate child–with no mind to look back to for his origin, no law to turn to for guidance, no meaning to cling to for life, and no hope for the future. This is the shattered visage of atheism. It has the stare of death, looking into the barren desert of emptiness and hopelessness. Thus, the Nietzschean dogma, which dawned with the lantern being smashed to the ground, now ends in the darkness of the grave.[2]

Is this true? Is there no hope in atheism? Is there no meaning in a world without God? William Lane Craig offers a resounding yes.

Craig argues that if God doesn’t exist, then man and the universe are doomed to die. There is no hope of immortality. Our lives are but an infinitesimally small point that appears and then vanishes forever.

Jean-Paul Sartre affirmed that death is not-threatiening provided we view it in the third person. It isn’t until we face the first person, “I am going to die,my death,” that death becomes threatening. Most, though, never assume first person attitudes during their life. So the question arises, “Why is my death so threatening?”

This is because within an atheistic world view there can be no meaning or purpose. I’m sure that many will be quick to disagree with me because they are an atheist or know an atheist who does ascribe meaning and purpose to their lives. But is this consistent within the atheistic world view? I don’t think so.

If everything is doomed to go out of existence, can there be any ultimate significance? If we are inevitably faced with nonexistence can our lives have any ultimate significance?

Influencing others or influencing history doesn’t give your life ultimate significance. It only gives it relative significance. Your life is important relative to certain events, but there is no ultimate significance to those events if all will die. Ultimately, your life makes no difference.

Even the universe is doomed to die (due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics). So what ultimate difference would it make if the universe never came to exist at all if it is doomed to become dead?

Mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitos or a barnyard of pigs, for their end is all the same. The same blind cosmic process that coughed them up in the first place will eventually swallow them all again.[3]

If one’s destiny is the grave, what ultimate purpose is their for life? The same is true of the universe. If it is doomed to become a forever expanding pile of useless debris, what purpose is there for the universe? To what end is the world or man in existence? There can be no hope, no purpose.

What is true of mankind is true of individuals as well. So there can be no purpose in any individual’s life. My life wouldn’t be qualitatively different than the life of a dog. This thought is expressed by the writer of Ecclesiastes, “The fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All come from the dust and all return to the dust” (Ecc 3:19-20).

The universe and man are cosmic accidents. There is no reason for our existence. Man is a cosmic orphan.

Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.[4]

If we are only cosmic accidents, how can there be any meaning in our lives? If this is true, which it is in an atheistic world view, our lives are for nothing. It would not matter in the slightest bit if I ever existed. This is why the atheist, if honest and consistent, must face death with despair. Their life is for nothing. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

Friedrich Nietzsche admitted that with the end of Christianity comes nihilism, which is the “denial of the existence of any basis for knowledge or truth; the general rejection of customary beliefs in morality, religion, etc.; the belief that there is no meaning or purpose in existence.” In “The Will to Power”, Nietzsche says this,

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism.. ..Our whole European culture is moving for some time now, with a tortured tension that is growing form decade to decade, as toward a catastrophe: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.[5]

Bertrand Russell, a famous atheistic philosopher, even admits that life is purposeless. I quote him at length,

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins–all these things, if not quite beyound dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.[6]

“Only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair,”? What can be placed on such a foundation?

Even Jean-Paul Sartre affirms the absurdity of life when he says, “Being is without reason, without cause, and without necessity. The very definition of being release its original contingency to us.”[7]

Three of the most important atheistic philosophers, Nietzsche, Russell, and Sartre, all admitted that apart from God life is meaningless and absurd. So how do people live happily with this world view? They live inconsistently. For if one lives consistently, he is unable to live happily

Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God. This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd, with no meaning or purpose. On the second story life has meaning, value, and purpose. This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily, so he makes a leap of faith to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God. Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.

Of course, atheists don’t want to live in this kind of a predicament so they attempt to ascribe meaning to life and value to death. Walter Kaufmann does this in his book, Existentialism. Religion. and Death. The last chapter is entitled, “Death Without Dread”. He quotes several poems from a span of 150 years by poets from many different countries. He shows that death is commonly viewed without fear and he hypothesizes that death is only feared as a result of the impact of Christianity on culture. One of the poems quoted is by Matthias Claudius (1740-1815), it is entitled “Death and the Maiden,” and was eventually set to music by Franz Schubert.

Death and the Maiden

The maiden:
Oh, go away, please go,
Wild monster, made of bone!
I am still young; Oh, no!
Oh, please leave me alone!

Death:
Give me your hand, my fair and lovely child!
A friend I am and bring no harm.
Be of good cheer, I am not wild,
You shalt sleep gently in my arm.[8]

He goes on to quote Nietzsche from Twilight of the Idols, “To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death freely chosen, death at the right time, brightly and cheerfully accomplished amid children and witnesses.”[9]

Nietzsche saw death as the ultimate liberation. He even emphasises the desire he has to freely choose when he dies. Kaufmann affirms this when he says, “We should also give up the unseemly Christian teachings about suicide and accept it as a dignified and decent way of ending our lives.”[10]

When Sartre, who agreed with Nietzsche, was asked why he didn’t commit suicide, he replied by saying that he didn’t want to use his freedom to take away his freedom. This is an absurd solution though, because they say that freedom is the problem with its aimlessness, pain, and despair.

Kaufmann argues that if we live life richly and not expect to live long lives then when we die we can combat the hopelessness of death because we won’t feel cheated or won’t feel as though we need more time. The problem lies in the fact thay kaufmann makes the jump to the second story. He wants to ascribe meaning to a richly lived life, which I’ve shown can’t be done in a God-less universe. When he says that one won’t feel as though they’ve been deprived of time when they die is wishful thinking. One of his contemporaries, Thomas Nagel (an atheist) shows the falsity in this thinking.

Nagel begins his discussion of death with this statement, “If death is the unequivocal and permanent end of our existence, the question arises whether it is a bad thing to die.”[11]

He argues that if life is all we have, then its loss is the greatest loss we can encounter. Nagel’s goal is to see whether death is in itself an evil, how great of an evil it is, and what kind of evil it is.

If death is an evil, it is because of the loss of life and not the state of being dead, or nonexistant. Some say that dying is the the real evil. But Nagel points out that he wouldn’t really object to dying if it wasn’t followed by death. He says,

If we are to make sense of the view that to die is bad, it must be on the ground that life is a good and death is the corresponding deprivation or loss, bad not because of any positive features but because of the desirability of what it removes.[12]

There are three objections that many have raised about the proposition that death is an evil. 1) One may doubt that there are any evils which solely consist in the deprivation or absence of possible good, particularly when one doesn’t mind the deprivation (because they don’t exist). What you don’t know, can’t hurt you. 2) How is the supposed misfortune assigned to the subject? So long as one exists, he isn’t dead, and once he dies he no longer exist. So there can be no time when death, if it is a misfortune, can be ascribed to the subject. 3) Finally, the asymmetry of our attitudes towards our posthumous and prenatel nonexistence. Why can we view the eternity after our death as bad, but not the eternity before our birth?

He illustrates the errors of the first two objections with a simple illustration that is analogous to death. Imagine an intelligent man being reduced to the mental condition of a content infant. Even though he is content, we pity him. Yet, he doesn’t realize this tragedy, for he is a content infant. Does the phrase, “What we don’t know doesn’t hurt us,” apply to him? If so why do we pity him? Second, it isn’t the content infant who is unfortunate, rather, it is the intelligent adult who has been reduced to this condition.

We shouldn’t and don’t focus on the content infant, instead we consider the person he was and the person he could be now. So his reduction to this state and the premature ending of his adult development is a catastrophe. Just as death is a catastrophe.

What about the problem of our asymmetrical attitudes towards our posthumous and prenatel nonexisetence?

Lucretius was the one who first pointed this out. He recognized that no one finds it disturbing to contemplate the eternity before their birth, which really is the same as the eternity after their death. Thus, it is irrational to fear death.

Nagel disagrees, he argues that the time after death is the time in which nonexistence deprives a person. “Any death entails the loss of some life.”[14] So the eternity after death isn’t the same as the eternity before birth, because one is deprived of life. Some may argue then, that one is deprived of life before birth as well because they could have been born earlier. But Nagel shows the fallacy of this thinking by pointing out that if one is born any earlier (except a few weeks premature), they would not be the same person. So it doesn’t entail the loss of any life. Lucretius, and any one who agrees with him, is wrong in thinking that it is irrational to fear death on the basis that we aren’t bothered by our prenatel eternity.

Life makes known to us the goods of which death deprives us. Death, no matter when it happens deprives us of some continuation of life. While it is tragic for a 17 year old to die, it is just as tragic for a 90 year old to die because both are deprived of life and the good that comes with it.

Viewed in this way, death, no matter how inevitable, is an abrupt cancellation of indefinitely extensive possible goods. Normality seems to have nothing to do with it, for the fact that we will all inevitably die in a few score years cannot by itself imply that it would not be good to live longer. Suppose that we were all inevitably going to die in agony — physical agony lasting six months. Would inevitability make that prospect any less unpleasant? And why should it be different for a deprivation?[14]

Not many atheists are as consistent as Thomas Nagal when they speak on death. Kaufmann says he can face death without hopelessness because he lives richly and that gives meaning to his life. But what kind of meaning is it? If Kaufmann never existed, what ultimate difference would it make? None. If the atheists faces this honestly, how can he view death with anything but despair?

As shown in these two extended arguments, death apart from God cannot be faced with anything but fear and despair if one is to live consistently within their atheistic world view. The only way an atheist can face death without despair is by ascribing ultimate meaning to their life, which is a jump to the second story and is completely inconsistent with atheism.

Certainly it doesn’t follow, then, that theism is true simply because the atheist must face death with despair. If the atheist is right we must follow the instructions of Bertrand Russell and build our lives on the “firm foundation of unyielding despair.” We must look for the truth and then logically structure our lives accordingly. Obtaining hope from religion for the sake of hope, when that religion is not true, is simply obtaining false hope. False hope is no hope at all.

That is why it is crucial to examine our world views to see if they are logically consistent and correspond to reality. It does one no good to put faith and hope into a god who doesn’t exist. However, if a god does exist, we must put our faith and hope into the right one.

We’ve seen that within the atheistic world view there can be no meaning or purpose and this leads to hopelessness. The atheist must choose whether he wants to live consistently or happily. For as long as he is an atheist, he can’t do both.

Notes1. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memorium, (The Macmillan Company: New York, NY, 1906), pp.83-85, 55: 4-5; 56: 1-7.
2. Ravi Zacharias, A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism. (Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Ml, 1990), p. 105.
3. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL, 1984), p. 59.
4. Craig, p.63.
5. Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Will to Power,” trans. W. kaufmann, in <i?existentialism from=”” dostoyevsky=”” to=”” sartre<=”” i=””>, (The World Publishing Company: Cleveland, OH, 1956), pp. 109-110.
6. Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic. (W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.: New York, NY, 1929), pp. 47-49.
7. Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, (Philosophical Library: New York, NY, 1956), p.537.
8. Matthias Claudius, Death and the Maiden. Quoted in Walter kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion and Death (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p.228.
9. Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols. Quoted in Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion, and Death. (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p.237.
10. Walter kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion, and Death. (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p. 248.
11. Thomas Nagel, Mortal Questions. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1979), p.1.
12. Nagel, p.4.
13. Nagel, p.7.
14. Nagel, p.10.

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Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 6A (What does the term life “under the sun” mean in the Book of Ecclesiastes?)

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

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I have enjoyed going back and forth with the Arkansas Times Bloggers on many subjects over the years. Now I have discussed the subject of “The Meaning of Life” with them recently and I wanted to share some of this with you.

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I posted the following:

Chris Martin of Coldplay revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was raised an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. The fact Coldplay’s songs deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

People are looking for a purpose for their lives even if they have millions in the bank and have the world at their finger tips.

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/28/the-mo…

My usual opponent who I do respect goes by the username “Olphart” and he or her responded on May 28, 2013:

Olphart claims that I have the message of Ecclesiastes wrong and he quotes Wikipedia:
Wikipedia notes:

“The title is a Latin transliteration of the Greek translation of the Hebrew Koheleth, meaning “Gatherer”, but traditionally translated as “Teacher” or “Preacher”.[1]

Koheleth introduces himself as “son of David, king in Jerusalem,” PERHAPS IMPLYING that he is Solomon, but the work is IN FACT ANONYMOUS and was most probably composed in the LAST PART OF THE THIRD CENTURY BC.[2] The book is in the form of an autobiography telling of his investigation of the meaning of life and the best way of life. He proclaims all the actions of man to be inherently hevel, a word meaning “vain”, “futile”, “empty”, “meaningless”, “temporary”, “transitory”, “fleeting,” or “mere breath,” as the lives of both wise and foolish men end in death. While Koheleth clearly endorses wisdom as a means for a well-lived earthly life, he is UNABLE TO ASCRIBE ETERNAL MEANING TO IT. IN LIGHT OF THIS PERCEIVED SENSELESSNESS, HE SUGGESTS THAT ONE SHOULD ENJOY THE SIMPLE PLEASURES OF DAILY LIFE, SUCH AS EATING, DRINKING, AND TAKING ENJOYMENT IN ONE’S WORK WHICH ARE GIFTS FROM THE HANDS OF GOD. THE BOOK CONCLUDES WITH WORDS THAT MAY HAVE BEEN ADDED BY A LATER EDITOR DISTURBED BY KOHELETH’S FAILURE TO MENTION GOD’S LAWS: “FEAR GOD, AND KEEP HIS COMMANDMENTS; FOR THAT IS THE WHOLE DUTY OF EVERYONE” (12:13).[3]”

I have capitalized the parts that directly contradict how you and Dr. Peter May characterize the book of Ecclesiastes. You got the author wrong, you got the date of composition wrong and, most likely, have gotten the central message totally backwards.

Other than that, you are accurate, it seems.
_____________________

On May 29, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I responded with the following:

Here is my answer:

There are many who hold that Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes and there are many that believe Solomon is talking about examining life “under the sun” as life apart from God. You will notice that in Solomon’s final conclusion he brings God back into the picture. Here are some other people and their perspectives agree with my view on Solomon’s use of this phrase “under the sun.”

Under the Sun vs. Over the Sun

April 1, 2013 at 10:59 am | Posted in Ecclesiastes | 1 Comment
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The Book of Ecclesiastes takes a hard look at life “under the sun:” life from a mortal, earthly, finite perspective. This viewpoint may be contrasted with life “over the sun:” life from an eternal, Heavenly, infinite perspective.

Under the sun, life is monotonous; over the sun, it’s adventurous. Under the sun, wisdom is vain; over the sun, wisdom is extremely useful. Under the sun, wealth is futile; over the sun, wealth opens up great opportunities. Under the sun, death is certain; over the sun, death provides great motivation. The Christian life can be compared to a puzzle, a battle, a challenge, a race, a treasure hunt, or a pilgrimage. None of these are monotonous or boring. They are the stuff of true adventure.

_____________

ECCLESIASTES – BIBLE SURVEY
 

Author:  The writer says that he was “the Son of David, King in Jerusalem” (1:1, 12, 16).  The writer is Solomon, and the book is an autobiography of his experiences and reflections while he was out of fellowship with God.

Such is life “under the sun” (or Earth) apart from God, is “vanities of vanities”. Solomon concluded that it was all vanity, or “vapor”, a grasping for the wind, all that he had done and experienced, apart from God.

_____________

Life Under The Sun

Chasing the Wind

We have seen that worldliness is essentially a matter of eliminating God from the picture and focusing instead only on life “under the sun.” Those who live by this philosophy inevitably become so preoccupied with this life that personal happiness and welfare become their sole concern. In their quest for that ever elusive peace and contentment, however, they eventually become so frustrated that they adopt a spirit of pessimism, cynicism, and despair. It is significant that “the Preacher” illustrates the futility of this search for meaning and purpose by the image of the circle in Ecclesiastes 1:4-7:

“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh…The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the waters run into the sea…unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again.”

When God is left out of the definition of life, all appears terribly monotonous and aimlessly repetitious.

Is Life Futile?

Ecclesiastes does not end on this pessimistic note, however. After analyzing the futility of life without God, the Preacher affirms that life lived with a conscious awareness of God is supremely meaningful: “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth” the Preacher counsels (12:1). Moreover, “because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge” (12:9; emphasis mine). He concludes “the whole matter” by urging his young auditors, “Fear God and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil” (12:13-14). With God in the picture, all of life, be it work, education, recreation, leisure, relationships, or the use of material things, is meaningful. The purpose of life, consequently, is to enjoy life as God’s gift and to devote it to his glory by worshipping him and obeying his commandments. That is the whole duty of man. That is a real sense of purpose.

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Darkness under the Sun

April 23, 2012 at 1:50 pm | Posted in Ecclesiastes | 8 Comments
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King Solomon was looking at life from an earthly, temporal point of view, and he came to these conclusions:

1. Life is vain because of its monotony.
2. Life is vain because of the limits of wisdom.
3. Life is vain because of the limits of wealth.

I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces: I gat me men singers and women singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that were before me in Jerusalem: also my wisdom remained with me. And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-11

Solomon was the richest man in the Bible – maybe of all time. He was the Bill Gates of his day. However, no one can buy his way into Heaven or out of eternity. Somebody once said that if money can’t buy happiness, at least it will allow you to afford your favorite kind of misery. Money can be a valuable tool. You can’t eat cash, but you can buy food with it. You can’t keep warm with it, but you can buy fuel with it. This quote once appeared in the Wall St. Journal: “Money is a universal passport to everywhere except Heaven; and a universal provider of everything except happiness.”

For there is a man whose labour is in wisdom, and in knowledge, and in equity; yet to a man that hath not laboured therein shall he leave it for his portion. This also is vanity and a great evil.

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Book of Ecclesiastes

The Book of Ecclesiastes does not directly identify its author. There are quite  a few verses that imply Solomon wrote this book. There are some clues in the  context that may suggest a different person wrote the book after Solomon’s  death, possibly several hundred years later. Still, the conventional belief is  that the author is indeed Solomon.

Date of Writing: Solomon’s reign as king of Israel lasted from around 970 B.C. to around 930  B.C. The Book of Ecclesiastes was likely written towards the end of his reign,  approximately 935 B.C.

Purpose of Writing: Ecclesiastes  is a book of perspective. The narrative of “the Preacher” (KJV), or “the  Teacher” (NIV) reveals the depression that inevitably results from seeking  happiness in worldly things. This book gives Christians a chance to see the  world through the eyes of a person who, though very wise, is trying to find  meaning in temporary, human things. Most every form of worldly pleasure is  explored by the Preacher, and none of it gives him a sense of meaning.

In the end, the Preacher comes to accept that faith in God is the only way to  find personal meaning. He decides to accept the fact that life is brief and  ultimately worthless without God. The Preacher advises the reader to focus on an  eternal God instead of temporary pleasure.

Key Verses: Ecclesiastes 1:2, “’Vanity of vanities,’ says the  Preacher, ‘vanity of vanities, all is vanity’” (NKJV).

Ecclesiastes 1:18,  “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more  grief.”

Ecclesiastes 2:11, “Yet when I surveyed all that my hands  had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing  after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.”

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WRESTLING WITH THE MEANING OF LIFE

Is there any real meaning in life? Or is everything meaningless? All is vanity says the Preacher. On the face of it, the writer seems to be promoting the idea that everything really is meaningless. We must remember, however, that he is constructing an argument designed to lead us from one way of thinking to another that is radically different. He therefore starts with the wrong idea so that he may lead us to the right one. He means to expose what we nowadays call the secular view of life: a life without any absolutes, a life without the certainties of the revelation of God’s Word, a life lived out of values generated by man without reference to God, a life that expects lasting satisfaction from earthbound things. He wants to show how such a life can only be meaningless and must end in disillusionment in time, not to mention eternity. To heighten the drama of his argument, he gives a vivid presentation of this position as if it is all there is! Surprisingly perhaps, this theme of meaninglessness is only a means to his primary goal. Later, as he develops his argument, he shows his readers that there is real meaning in life and that it consists in loving God and being his disciples [12:13-14]. He is not a cynic. He firmly believes that all meaning comes from the infinite, personal God who has revealed Himself to humanity in His Word. Consequently, he is persuaded that this meaning is only understood and grasped in a personal relationship with God – a living faith in Him, which results in a commitment to discipleship as a child of God.

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Super Bowl, Black Eyed Peas, and the Meaning of Life

February 7, 2011 by Steve Spurlin, PhDSolomon identifies the futility of life apart from God.  In Ecclesiastes 1:2, Solomon states, “Vanity (meaninglessness) of vanities,…Vanity of vanities!  All is vanity.”  This declaration identifies the emptiness of life apart from the proper relationship with our Creator God through His only begotten Son, Messiah Jesus.  Solomon goes on to reveal his scientific findings – what he discovered through a scientific investigation of the various activities that man uses to find peace, purpose, and fulfillment in life.  And each avenue that the “under the sun” (1:3, et. al.) man utilizes to find what he is looking for has the same conclusion – vanity, emptiness, meaninglessness.  That does not mean that man cannot find some measure of fulfillment, peace, and purpose because he does.  But what Solomon is identifying is that because of how God created man – “He has…set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end” (3:11) – we have intrinsic knowledge that there is something, someone, some meaning beyond the here and now, beyond ourselves.  There is an eternity.  There is eternal purpose.  There is eternal meaning.  But left alone and to our own devices the best we can do is attend the Super Bowl, wait breathlessly for the half-time entertainment, groove to the music of our youth, or any number of instruments or activities in order to numb ourselves to the emptiness of life apart from a right relationship to our Creator God.  And ultimately in the end only find emptiness and meaninglessness.

What is the answer (and its not blowing in the wind)?  It is to “Believe (have faith) in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).  It is then that sin is forgiven and a real relationship with the God Who created us is established.  Then and only then can we find eternal meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in this life, and are enabled to look with hope and confidence towards eternal life.

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Apologetics and Ecclesiastes

“Vanity of vanities,” says the preacher. All is vanity.

How can life seem any less meaningful? “What advantage does man have in all his work which he does under the sun?” Everything just keeps happening over and over. One generation comes, another goes, and the cycle of life starts over. “All things are wearisome…”

But Koheleth was determined to find meaning in life. He sought out many avenues through which he thought he might find happiness. He tried wisdom, only to discover that “in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.”

He tried pleasure. He withheld nothing that he desired from himself. Yet, at the end of the day, he realized that it was “vanity and striving after wind.” There was “no profit under the sun.”

He looked at the world and saw oppression, ugliness, grief, and death. Riches did not live up to its deceitful promises: “The sleep of the working man is pleasant, whether he eats little or much; but the full stomach of the rich man does not allow him to sleep.” Power is not what it is cracked up to be. In the end, whether a person is rich, poor, good, bad, or anything else, we all end up going back to the dust. As is the fool, so is the wise man.

Looking at life from such an earthly perspective can lead to terrible despair. Koheleth looked at it all; he tried it all. He found nothing ultimately satisfying or meaningful – until he turned back to God.

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Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 5 “Humans yearn to find a meaning for their lives!”

Ecclesiastes 2-3

Published on Sep 19, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider

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Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 5

I have enjoyed going back and forth with the Arkansas Times Bloggers on many subjects over the years. Now I have discussed the subject of “The Meaning of Life” with them recently and I wanted to share some of this with you.

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I posted the following:

Chris Martin of Coldplay revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was raised an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. The fact Coldplay’s songs deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

People are looking for a purpose for their lives even if they have millions in the bank and have the world at their finger tips.

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/28/the-mo…

My usual opponent who I do respect goes by the username “NeverVoteRepublican” and he or her responded on May 28, 2013:

Saline–I don’t know what the heck Chris Martin’s religious beliefs have to do with anything but you sure know how to copy and paste. Do you even know who Chris Martin is or  anything about his music? Wow Saline—you are still just copying and pasting from the “Daily Hatch”. If I wanted someone’s view on what Chris Martin believes, it would not be yours. Why do you have to keep pasting it on this blog? Is it because no one reads it on yours? Why are you so obsessed with what he believes anyway? Do you have a man crush on him?

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On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog my opponent “Olphart” who I do respect posted the following:

Unlike Saline, I don’t think that yearning is put there by some God Who wishes us to unite with Him and Who desires to punish those who can’t achieve it.

Nonetheless, it IS there, no matter how or why it got there. Perhaps, it’s just built into our DNA so that the striving will continue overall until the process of life can achieve no more…I’m an agnostic about religion. I, honestly, cannot understand how anybody can absolutely say that there IS or there IS NOT some supreme mover of all that is, much less go into elaborate detail about what He thinks of us and how He wants us to act.

I realize that I said that yearning is “built” into our DNA and I know what that implies. I definitely believe that evolution is a valid process and I believe that the process was initiated here on our planet when the first strand of basic DNA (or RNA) started the replication of life. I have no idea how it got here but I honestly do not believe that anything that complex just randomly assembled itself. My simple belief that, ultimately, that DNA was built and turned loose in our universe by some intelligence, that DNA is something like our conception of a computer program that runs by itself and has a a huge potential to evolve into higher and increasingly more complex forms. I think that an earthworm, a slime mold, a poison ivy vine, a human being all harbor a yearning for survival of the individual and the survival of the species first, then the yearning becomes more complex for knowledge and, maybe, spirituality in the “higher” forms of life which may, in turn, lead to yearnings incomprehensible to us.

On May 29, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I responded with the following:

This is in response to Olphart’s comments about mankind’s tendency to yearn for meaning and the fact that it may have been evolved into mankind and that all we are left with in this life is up to time and chance.

Solomon considered this same issue in Ecclesiastes 9:11-13:
I have seen something else under the sun:

The race is not to the swift
or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
or wealth to the brilliant
or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.
Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:

As fish are caught in a cruel net,
or birds are taken in a snare,
so people are trapped by evil times
that fall unexpectedly upon them.
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Francis Crick was in agreement with your materialistic views and he concluded, “The Astonishing Hypothesis is that you—your joys and your sorrows, your memories and your ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules” What if all this is true? What if the cosmos and the chemicals and the particles really are all that there is, and all that we are?

Francis Schaeffer noted, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.”

Evidently “NeverVoteRepublican” is sick of me talking about Chris Martin of Coldplay. Let me switch to talking about the second most important person in Coldplay and his name is Will Champion. Wikipedia notes:

William Champion was born in Southampton, Hampshire, England, on 31 July 1978 and was brought up in Highfield, Southampton, where his father, Timothy Champion, is a professor of archaeology. As a youth, his musical influences included Tom Waits, Nick Cave and traditional Irish folk music. He learned to play piano and violin when he was 8 and he learned to play the guitar when he was 12. He also had experience on the bass, and tin whistle. Before Will joined Coldplay, he performed in a band called Fat Hamster. He went to primary school at Portswood Primary School, his secondary school was Cantell Maths and Computing College and he went to college at Peter Symonds College. He went to church at Highfield church, Highfield, Southampton.

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Dr. Peter May’s sermon at the Highfield church Southampton is a classic and can be found on the internet. Here are a few of the points that he makes.

This phrase “under the sun” occurs some thirty times in the book, and is the key to understanding it. It means “our view of the world, leaving God out of the picture”.

The book describes life without God; it digs over the ground and stares into the abyss. “Vanity of vanities”, says the preacher, “all is vanity” (1:2).

In other words it is all pointless, it is all in vain; life is meaningless and absurd. If you understood the absurdity of Becket’s play Waiting for Godot, you will understand this book…

There are two other keys to understanding this book. Firstly, the writer is standing back from life and trying to get a detached perspective on it.

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
(2:11)

So he records his thoughts and observations.

I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under the sun. What a heavy burden God has placed on men. (1:13)

Secondly, there is a humorous irony here, where high expectations are seen in the light of pointless reality. There is also a Socratic irony, which works a bit like a dummy pass in Rugby football. Socrates would feign ignorance in his questions to wrong foot his opponent. Ecclesiastes uses the absurdity of life to point to its meaning. So he assumes a superficial naturalism, to wrong foot his readers in order to point to the deeper underlying truths of our existence.

Taking the wisdom of the world, he pushes it to its logical end-points, which is what Francis Schaeffer did in his book The God Who is There.  Schaeffer wrote that if you push people far enough, you will eventually take the lid off, that is, open them up, perhaps in a cathartic moment, to consider higher realities, or life above the sun.

So Ecclesiastes writes:

Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both. As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal. Everything is meaningless. All go to the same place; all come from the dust and to the dust all return. (3:19-20)

Life seems pointless for animals, who just stand around in a field; the trouble is it doesn’t bother them! It is the fact that we worry about these things and ask questions about meaning, which sets us apart from every other animal.

We shall focus on four themes in Ecclesiastes:

1. Human Yearning
2. Moral Values
3. Our Fallen Nature
4. Ultimate Accountability.

1. Human Yearning

Firstly, the preacher bears witness to a fundamental restlessness and yearning in the human spirit. Unlike the animals, he is never satisfied. There are yearnings for ambition, fame, wealth and pleasure; for wisdom, knowledge and meaning; for justice, and to know the future.

For instance, he writes:

I undertook great projects. I built houses and planted vineyards…
I bought slaves, owned herds, amassed silver and gold…
I acquired singers and a harem as well…
I denied myself nothing… and what does pleasure accomplish?
It was a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.
(2:4-11)

The eye never has enough seeing or the ear its fill of hearing. (1:8)

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. (5:10) – does that have a modern ring to it?

All man’s efforts are for his mouth, yet his appetite is never satisfied. (6:7)

When I applied my mind to know wisdom…and saw all that God has done – no-one can comprehend what goes on under the sun. Despite all his efforts to search it out, man cannot discover its meaning. Even if a wise man claims he knows, he cannot really comprehend it. (8:16-17)

Not only are these yearnings unquenchable, but they are destructive:

For with much wisdom comes much sorrow;
The more knowledge, the more grief.
(1:18)

… a major problem in our generation when we have every major tragedy beamed into our homes.

I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honour, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them… This is a grievous evil. (6:1-2)

So he resorts to irony with a black tinge:

A man may have a hundred children and live many years; yet no matter how long he lives, if he cannot enjoy his prosperity…I say that a still born child is better off than he. It comes without meaning, it departs in darkness, and in darkness its name is shrouded. Though it never saw the sun or knew anything, it has more rest than does that man – even if he lives a thousand years twice over but fails to enjoy his prosperity. (6:3-6)

I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill …So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labour…for a man may do his work with wisdom, knowledge and skill. And then he must leave all he owns to someone who has not worked for it… What does man get for all his toil and anxious striving – pain and grief: even at night his mind does not rest. This too is meaningless. (2:18-23)

I have seen something else under the sun:
The race doesn’t go to the swift
Or the battle to the strong
Nor does food come to the wise
Or wealth to the brilliant
Or favour to the learned;
But time and chance happen to them all.
(9:11)

And “death is the destiny of every man; and the living should take this to heart.” (7:2)

The preacher has another yearning, that is relevant today, a longing to be remembered! To leave a legacy.

There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow. (1:11)

For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
In days to come, both will be forgotten.
(2:16)

There is one more yearning we must flag up; a pivotal saying of the book:

God has made everything beautiful in its time, and He has set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end. (3:11)

As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things. (11:5)

beauty … stirs up in us a yearning for transcendence

So beauty is a pointer to ultimate meaning. It points to the intention of the Creator. And stirs up in us a yearning for transcendence. This niggles away at man’s soul, a hunger for some integrating reality and ultimate fulfilment. We know that there is more to this life than meets the eye. Something is missing, something outside and beyond ourselves that would make sense of ourselves, a hunger even for God himself – which man on his own cannot work out. He knows in his heart of hearts there must be a permanence in contrast to our transience, a wisdom that makes sense of our foolishness, a moral purity that is implied by our wickedness. But man hasn’t the resources within himself to fathom it out.

So the first major theme is that man is a restless, striving creature – quite unlike the animals – full of yearnings that offer so much but ironically deliver so very little.

This is a major flaw in the atheist slogan for the London bendy buses: it reads “There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life.” For the person who stands back and reflects upon life, it just isn’t that easy! Your philosophy would need to be  “eat, drink and be merry and try not to think about it”. The trouble is, when we do this, we wake up the following morning with an emptiness in the pit of our stomachs, yearning for something more fulfilling. For the pleasure-seeker, there is always a fly in the ointment, giving the perfume a bad smell. It is the smell of death for all those who treat the world as an end in itself.

2. Moral values

Secondly,  the book is all about moral values, which become another aspect of eternity set into man’s soul.

The writer observes greed, hypocrisy, oppression, injustice, laziness, cursing and jealousy. He finds that “Patience is better than pride” (7:8), that envy is a driving force in human achievement (4:4), that “bribery corrupts the heart”, that “anger takes up residence in the lap of fools” (7:9), that there is righteousness as well as wickedness, and “no-one knows whether love or hate awaits him” beyond the grave (9:1).

I saw the tears of the oppressed,,, and declared that the dead are happier than the living… But better than both is he who has not yet been, who has not seen the evil that is done under the sun. (4:1-3)

We cannot live in this world without being bombarded by moral values and human choices. And we cannot live comfortably in this world in the face of evil. But where do these values come from? The moment you admit that some behaviours are good and others are evil, you must either conclude that these are ultimate realities which point beyond ourselves, or that they are merely convenient, mutually agreed ‘house rules’, invented by humanity itself.

once you agree that morality is created by our culture …, you have no grounds for saying that your values are better than anyone else’s.

So Richard Dawkins has now admitted that moral values, including rape, are arbitrary and not wrong in any absolute sense.[1] And of course, once you agree that morality is created by our culture and has no absolute basis, you have no grounds left for saying that your values are better than anyone else’s. There is no grounding for them to be better; they are just different.

Atheists speak of values evolving, as though there was some relentless moral progress that could be documented. Not only is there no objective standard to evaluate this but some of the most appalling cultures in history have existed within living memory, whether the Nazi holocaust of the Jews, or the brutal regimes and mass killings of Stalin, or Mao Tse Tung or Pol Pot. On what criteria can we distinguish between moral values other than personal preference? Unless moral values lie in the character of God himself, we cannot meaningfully speak about the objective nature of good or evil. So our consciences make it very difficult to stop worrying and enjoy life.

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Related posts:

Ecclesiastes chapter 1 and the humanist outlook on life

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Ecclesiastes “Life under the sun”

Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series […]

Does Ecclesiastes teach there is an afterlife?

Ecclesiastes 4-6 | Solomon’s Dissatisfaction Published on Sep 24, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 23, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider ___________________ Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf Published on Oct 2, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ I […]

Finding Meaning in Life: A Pessimistic, Humanistic, and Atheistic Look Through the Book of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 1 Published on Sep 4, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _____________________ Ecclesiastes 2-3 Published on Sep 19, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider _____________________________ I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of […]

Ecclesiastes: Nothing New Under the Sun

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

Ecclesiastes Chapter 4: Order in a Fallen World

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

The Humanist takes on Solomon and the Book of Ecclesiastes

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

Avril Lavigne commits “the fool’s sin” in front of family crowd in Tampa (Avril and the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 1)

Tampa Bay Rays apologize for Avril Lavigne TMZ reported: According to local reports, Avril’s mic didn’t work at the start of her show … and she responded to the cavalcade of boos by yelling obscenities at crowd. Rays rep Rick Vaughn tells TMZ, “The Rays demand profanity-free performances from all of our concert performers and […]

The most popular posts in the last 30 days about the spiritual quest of Chris Martin of Coldplay that can be found on www.thedailyhatch.org

These are some of the most popular posts in the last 30 days about the spiritual quest of Chris Martin of Coldplay that can be found on http://www.thedailyhatch.org: Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 3 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert, Martin left Christianity because of […]

Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 4 “Without God in the picture is there any relief for those who have been oppressed?”

Ecclesiastes 4-6 | Solomon’s Dissatisfaction

Published on Sep 24, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 23, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

___________________

Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 4 “Without God in the picture is there any relief for those who have been oppressed?”

I have enjoyed going back and forth with the Arkansas Times Bloggers on many subjects over the years. Now I have discussed the subject of “The Meaning of Life” with them recently and I wanted to share some of this with you.

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I posted the following:

Chris Martin of Coldplay revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was raised an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. The fact Coldplay’s songs deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

People are looking for a purpose for their lives even if they have millions in the bank and have the world at their finger tips.

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/28/the-mo…

My usual opponent who I do respect goes by the username “NeverVoteRepublican” and he or her responded on May 28, 2013:

Saline–I don’t know what the heck Chris Martin’s religious beliefs have to do with anything but you sure know how to copy and paste. Do you even know who Chris Martin is or  anything about his music?

Later  “NeverVoteRepublican” went on to say:

All you have proven again Saline is that you can copy and paste from the “Daily Hatch”. I bet you have never even listened to Coldplay or formed your own ideas of what the lyrics mean. And again I ask, what do Chris Martin’s beliefs and how he got them have to do with anything?

On May 29, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I responded with the following:

Here is my answer:

I guess that Chris Martin’s views matter because we can see how closely then compared to Solomon’s 3000 years ago when he wrote the book of Ecclesiastes. When Solomon looked at life “under the sun” without God in the picture he concluded in Ecclesiastes 4:1 “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun:I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—     and they have no comforter.” IN OTHER WORDS WITHOUT GOD IN THE PICTURE THE WICKED GET OF SCOTT FREE!!!!

Chris Martin was raised as an evangelical but he left the faith in his teenage years and he writes all of the songs for the rock band Coldplay and he does write a bunch of lyrics dealing with various subjects that suggest that he is searching for a lasting meaing to his life. It is my belief that he just can’t get away from his deep seated childhood religious beliefs that he keeps coming back to. Let me give you a great example.

If you do not believe in God and in the afterlife, then you have a big problem with the issue of how you live without an enforcement factor. My favorite example is Adolf Hitler.  Hitler was probably the most evil man who ever lived. Our society is still talking about Hitler today and it seems that a month doesn’t go by without reading another story in the news about Hitler. On May 28th many observers on the Internet felt that a picture of a tea kettle in a JC Penny ad on a bill board in Culvert City, California looked like Adolf Hitler and that made national news!!!!!

Drivers See Adolf Hitler in Teapot Billboard

Here is the paradox you will find in Chris Martin’s life concerning the issue of hell because he told Howard Stern  on November 9, 2011 that he left Christianity because of their belief in hell and then he sends the evil king in his #1 hit song “Viva La Vida” to an everlasting hell.

In this song, Martin is discussing an evil king that has been disposed. “I used to rule the world…Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes…there was never an honest word and that was when I ruled the world, It was the wicked and wild wind, Blew down the doors to let me in, Shattered windows and the sound of drums, People couldn’t believe what I’d become…For some reason I can’t explain, I know Saint Peter won’t call my name,  Never an honest word, But that was when I ruled the world.”
Q Magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric in this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Martin replied, “It’s about…You’re not on the list. I was a naughty boy. Its always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it…That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It’s mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”
CHRIS MARTIN SEES THAT HE CAN NOT BELIEVE IN A SYSTEM THAT LETS HITLER OFF SCOTT FREE, AND THAT IS WHY HE CAME BACK TO HIS CHILDHOOD CHRISTIAN BELIEFS AND SENT THE EVIL KING TO HELL IN HIS BEST SELLING #1 HIT SONG “VIVA LA VIDA.”

_____________

Viva La Vida

Published on Jun 23, 2012 by

Coldplay’s Viva La Vida at American Airlines Center in Dallas on June 22, 2012

__________

Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show

 

5/11

Chris Martin was brought up as an evangelical Christian but he left the faith once he left his childhood home. However, there are been some actions in his life in the last few years that demonstrate that he still is grappling with his childhood Chistian beliefs. This is the third part of a series I am starting on this subject. Today we will look at how the Bible has influenced the lyrics of Viva La Vida. (There are many interpretations of this song on the web.)

On June 23, 2012 my son Wilson and I got to attend a Coldplay Concert in Dallas. It was great. We drove down from our home in Little Rock, Arkansas earlier in the day. Viva La Vida was one of our favorite songs that did that night.

Here is an article I wrote a couple of years ago about Chris Martin’s view of hell. He says he does not believe in it but for some reason he writes a song that teaches that it exists:
Belief of Eternal Punishment in Grammy Winning Song
By Everette Hatcher
Chris Martin of the rock group Coldplay wrote the song Viva La Vida, and the song just won both the grammy for the “Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Performance by a duo or Group with Vocals.”
In this song, Martin is discussing an evil king that has been disposed. “I used to rule the world…Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes…there was never an honest word and that was when I ruled the world, It was the wicked and wild wind, Blew down the doors to let me in, Shattered windows and the sound of drums, People couldn’t believe what I’d become…For some reason I can’t explain, I know Saint Peter won’t call my name,  Never an honest word, But that was when I ruled the world.”
Q Magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric in this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Martin replied, “It’s about…You’re not on the list. I was a naughty boy. Its always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it…That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It’s mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”
I have been following the career of Chris Martin for the last decade. He grew up in a Christian home that believed in Heaven and Hell, but made it clear several years ago that he actually resents those who hold to those same religious dogmatic views he did as a youth. Yet it seems his view on the possibility of an afterlife has changed again.
Chris Martin is a big Woody Allen movie fan like I am and no other movie better demonstrates the need for an afterlife than Allen’s 1989 film  Crimes and Misdemeanors.  It is  about a eye doctor who hires a killer to murder his mistress because she continually threatens to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. Afterward he is haunted by guilt. His Jewish father had taught him that God sees all and will surely punish the evildoer.

But the doctor’s crime is never discovered. Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his father had with Judah’s unbelieving Aunt May during a Jewish Sedar dinner  many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazi’s, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says Aunt May.

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah’s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

The basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it?  The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God  has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-givne conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.

Evidently  Chris Martin who said he resented dogmatic religious views a few years ago, has now written a grammy winning song that pictures an evil king being punished in an afterlife. Could it be that his God-given conscience prompted him to put that line in? Or do men like Hitler get off home free as Woody Allen suggested in Crimes and Misdemeanors?

________

Even though Chris Martin says he does not believe in hell in this discussion below with Howard Stern he writes Viva La Vida (seen in clip at beginning of this post) where the bad king goes to hell. Again his childhood biblical views are coming out again.

On the Howard Stern Show Chris Martin was questioned about his religious beliefs on November 9, 2011:

CM: I was raised very religious.

HS: I know that. What religion?

CM: I am not really sure. People kept asking me that.

HS: You were studying religion but you don’t know what it was.

CM: It was Christian, but there are so many branches of that now. I don’t know which branch we were on.

HS: Are you a religious man?

CM: Not any more religious. I believe I am a spiritual guy I guess.

HS: Do you believe there is a heaven and a hell.

CM:There definately is not a hell. That is what made me stop being religious.

HS: Would you take your children to church or do you want them to get religious training?

CM: No. I think it is important to show that there is all these kinds of religions and this person believes that and you can believe whatever you want.

HS: What do you do if you want your children to get religious training and you want them to embrace all religions and get the concept of God? Where would take your kids to learn that?

CM:That is a good question. I have been doing it in the nihilist approach and I haven’t been taking them anywhere.

HS: So they are not going to be raised in any religious way.

CM: Not in any strict religious way, no…. Religion is not the same as having faith is it. Faith is different right. I am not saying I don’t believe in anything. I not saying that it has to be this and if you believe something else then the other person is going to hell and all that crap.

HS: I am with you on that.

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Ecclesiastes chapter 1 and the humanist outlook on life

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Does Ecclesiastes teach there is an afterlife?

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Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years Published on Oct 9, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider _______________________ Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way Published on Oct 30, 2012 Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider […]

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Avril Lavigne commits “the fool’s sin” in front of family crowd in Tampa (Avril and the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 1)

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Ecclesiastes 6-8 | Solomon Turns Over a New Leaf

Published on Oct 2, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 30, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

_____________________

Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 3 “Is Chris Martin of Coldplay trying to find a lasting meaning to his life?”

I have enjoyed going back and forth with the Arkansas Times Bloggers on many subjects over the years. Now I have discussed the subject of “The Meaning of Life” with them recently and I wanted to share some of this with you.

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I posted the following:

Chris Martin of Coldplay revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was raised an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. The fact Coldplay’s songs deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

People are looking for a purpose for their lives even if they have millions in the bank and have the world at their finger tips.

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/28/the-mo…

My usual opponent who I do respect goes by the username “NeverVoteRepublican” and he or her responded on May 28, 2013:

Saline–I don’t know what the heck Chris Martin’s religious beliefs have to do with anything but you sure know how to copy and paste. Do you even know who Chris Martin is or  anything about his music?

On May 29, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I responded with the following:

Here is my answer:

Chris Martin was raised as an evangelical but he left the faith in his teenage years and he writes all of the songs for the rock band Coldplay and he does write a bunch of lyrics dealing with various subjects that suggest that he is searching for a lasting meaing to his life. It is my belief that he just can’t get away from his deepseated childhood religious beliefs that he keeps coming back to. Let me give you a few examples.

Coldplay performing “Glass of Water.”

Back in 2008 I wrote a paper on the spiritual themes of Coldplay’s album Viva La Vida and I predicted this spiritual search would continue in the future. Below is the first part of the paper, “Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the Afterlife.”

Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the Afterlife

In Coldplay’s latest songs you can see that something has changed about the focus of the band’s song writing. What is going on? The internet has been full of speculation concerning the radical lyrical change in the latest Coldplay work compared to the previous 3 albums.

Russ Briemeier of Christianity Today: “What does it all mean? With so many questions posed, a single interpretation of this album is virtually impossible…

Yet taken collectively, there is no ignoring the fact that spiritual themes are prevalent throughout the album. Viva La Vida seems to be about coping with death in a world corrupted by sin, temptation, and war. Though it never goes deeper than mentioning God or referencing a specific theology, the lyrics often yearn with hope and love for a better world—utopia or heaven, it’s up to your interpretation… Viva La Vida is often provocative, spiritual, and seemingly on the verge of identifying a greater Truth, asking and inspiring many questions without providing the answers.”

The Spiritual Search for the Afterlife

Many of Coldplay’s latest songs mention God and other Biblical themes such as dealing with death, and the afterlife and the shortness of life.  It seems to me that Coldplay has focused on spiritual issues in their lyrics but they are still in the process of working out all the answers and still formulating their religious belief systems. Here is a sample of their latest works:

In the song “Glass of Water”:

Oh he said you could see a future,
inside a glass of water,
With riddles and the rhymes
He asked ‘Will I see heaven in mine’
Ooooh, oooh, ooooh …

Possibly searching for the path to Heaven or hoping after death heaven is the destination. It reminds me also of the song “42” that says, “You thought you might be a ghost, You didn’t get to heaven but you made it close.”

(Coldplay performs “42”)

In the song “Now my feet  won’t touch the ground”:

Now my head won’t stop
You wait a lifetime to be found

Here someone maybe searching for you instead of you searching for someone else? Could it be a way of saying that God is searching for you in a sense? In the context of the rest of the album that may not be such a bad interpretation.

The song “42” states,

Those who are dead are not dead
They’re just living my head
And since I fell for that spell
I am living there as well
Oh…

Time is so short and I’m sure
There must be something more

This is the same question that Solomon asked 3000 years ago in the Book of Ecclesiastes.  He knew there was something more. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Solomon found no lasting satisfaction in riches (Ecclesiastes 2:8-11), pleasure (2:1), education (2:3) and his work (2:4). None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). That reminds of the Coldplay’s words in the song “Lost”: “Every river that I tried to cross, Every door I ever tried was locked.”

Moreover, what looms over Solomon’s search for meaningful answers is his upcoming death.  It seems that Chris Martin has thought a lot about this point too.  Martin said in an interview shortly after the release of the album Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends that the title came from the band’s life experiences which included some losses of life of close family members. Martin has also said that his favorite song is about this same subject and it is called “Bitter Sweet Symphony” by the Verve.

Solomon rightly noted, (in Ecclesiastes 7:2-4) “It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and you should think about it while there is still time.  Sorrow is better than laughter; it may sadden your face, but it sharpens your understanding. A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about having a good time.” In the song, “The Escapist,” which shares tract 10 with the song  “Death and all his Friends,” Coldplay notes:

And in the end
We lie awake
And we dream
We’ll make an escape

Is this an escape from Death? Since this song follows the song “Death and all his Friends,” it seems that would be the case.

Death and all his friends

This is a tribute to Queen…

Coldplay – Death and all his friends from the album Viva la Vida ..

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

_____________________

Ecclesiastes 2-3

Published on Sep 19, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider

_____________________________

Related posts:

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The most popular posts in the last 30 days about the spiritual quest of Chris Martin of Coldplay that can be found on www.thedailyhatch.org

These are some of the most popular posts in the last 30 days about the spiritual quest of Chris Martin of Coldplay that can be found on http://www.thedailyhatch.org: Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 3 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert, Martin left Christianity because of […]

Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 2 “Can a person find a satisfying purpose to his/her life by pursuing money?”

Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 2 “Can a person find a satisfying purpose to his/her life by pursuing money?”

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years

Published on Oct 9, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

_______________________

Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way

Published on Oct 30, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

____________________

I have enjoyed going back and forth with the Arkansas Times Bloggers on many subjects over the years. Now I have discussed the subject of “The Meaning of Life” with them recently and I wanted to share some of this with you.

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I posted the following:

Chris Martin of Coldplay revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was raised an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. The fact Coldplay’s songs deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

People are looking for a purpose for their lives even if they have millions in the bank and have the world at their finger tips. 

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/28/the-mo…

My usual opponent who I do respect goes by the username “NeverVoteRepublican” and he or her responded on May 28, 2013:

Saline–I don’t know what the heck Chris Martin’s religious beliefs have to do with anything but you sure know how to copy and paste. Do you even know who Chris Martin is or his anything about his music? Just because a person has money and “the world at their fingertips”, it doesn’t mean that they are any less confused or have any less to deal with than the rest of us.

 

On May 29, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I responded with the following:

NeverVoteRepublican noted, “Just because a person has money and “the world at their fingertips”, it doesn’t mean that they are any less confused or have any less to deal with than the rest of us.”

Citizen1 has some helpful observations on this and this is what he posted:

Saline, yes, people with what you consider “having it made” can be and are probably still searching for purpose and fulfillment. As a matter of fact, the lack of fulfillment is causing them to keep searching.

Way back in the 80’s when I was a securities broker and I figured if I just had a little more I would be a little happier, and if I had a lot more I would be a lot happier, I saw something.

The ones with a lot more were miserable. I saw more heavy hitters puke in a wastebasket than anyone. Even the lowly paid errand runner we had for picking up dry cleaning, lunch, pepto bismol, tums etc seemed ecstatic compared to the heavy hitters.

I had fellow brokers stricken with ulcers and heart attacks. I had more fellow brokers in divorces and fatal car crashes than any group then or since. There was a suicide and some of the car crashes were suspected of suicide.

My 83 year old dad comments often on his buddies that went off to be very “successful” with big houses and vacation homes and toys of all kinds that are now just simply joyous in a tiny patio condo.
_________________

I respect Citizen1 and think the comments are very helpful, but now I am turning my attention to someone who was very wealthy and had the “world at his finger tips” more than anybody I have ever heard of.

Three thousand years ago, King Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future. (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1)

Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).

These are Solomon’s words from chapter 2:

8 I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem[a] as well—the delights of a man’s heart. 9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

16 For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered;
the days have already come when both have been forgotten.
Like the fool, the wise too must die!
Toil Is Meaningless

17 So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. 18 I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. 19 And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. 20 So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. 21 For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. 22 What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? 23 All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless.

_____________________
The ironic thing is that Citizen1 also has claimed that I am unhappy because I don’t have enough money even though I am the one pointing out that those who have millions in the bank are still longing for a lasting meaning for their lives. Why would I look in the area of riches to find a lasting meaning for my life if the Bible tells me that is a dead end?

Here is what Citizen1 asserted:

I always had a read that Saline was unhappy with his station and uncomfprtable in his skin and his bitter posts were indications of that. Now with that simple little phrase “even if they have millions in the bank…” Saline has verified that he does have empty yearning and Saline is buying the RightWing grasping belief that “I would just be happy if only I had…”

Saline, I hope you find it.
_________________

I responded:

I have found it by putting my faith alone in Jesus Christ who died and was buried and raised 3 days later. I am looking above the Sun to find a lasting meaning to my life. I still say like Kerry Livgren of Kansas that without God that ““all we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/20/the-hu…

 

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Debating with Ark Times Bloggers on “The Meaning of Life” Part 1 “Can someone find a lasting meaning to their life apart from God?”

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

_____________________

I have enjoyed going back and forth with the Arkansas Times Bloggers on many subjects over the years. Now I have discussed the subject of “The Meaning of Life” with them recently and I wanted to share some of this with you.

I have written on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of the meaning of our lives on several occasions on this blog. In this series on Ecclesiastes I hope to show how secular humanist man can not hope to find a lasting meaning to his life in a closed system without bringing God back into the picture. This is the same exact case with Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

On May 28, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I posted the following:

Chris Martin of Coldplay revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was raised an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. The fact Coldplay’s songs deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

People are looking for a purpose for their lives even if they have millions in the bank and have the world at their finger tips. 

http://thedailyhatch.org/2013/05/28/the-mo…

My usual opponent who I do respect goes by the username “Elwood” and he responded on May 28, 2013:

Saline I personally know a few folks with millions in the bank, a couple are close relatives, and what they’re looking for is the best buy on their next airplane and exceptional bargain on a good yacht plus good masseurs and the latest hot spot in the Caribbean. 
One of them cannot find a good trainer for her horses. Seems all the good trainers are taken and well-paid. When people become skilled horse trainers, they have a good purpose in life.

On May 29, 2013 on the Arkansas Times Blog I responded with the following:

Elwood, you are right that anybody can have a good purpose to their short finite life, but the real question that Solomon was struggling with in the Book of Ecclesiastes was “Can anyone find lasting meaning to their life and that meaning is one that death can not take away.” His concluded that was impossible in “life under the sun.” However, in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes he brings God back into the picture and then he concludes that a person’s response to God is the key to finding a lasting meaning to life. 

Those who do not recognize God exists can not even dream to find a lasting meaning to their lives. Take a look at these quotes below from philosophers who don’t recognize the existence of God:

The humanist leader H. J. Blackham said, “On humanist assumptions [the assumption that there is no God and life has evolved by time and chance alone], life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does notis a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance andends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, oneafter another they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads to nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere. . . It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all . . . such a situation is a model of futility (H. J. Blackham et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).)

“That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”

– Bertrand Russell, “A Free Man’s Worship”

Given Russell’s worldview and presuppositions, his conclusions seem to be right on target. HOW YOU DISPUTE BERTRAND RUSSELL ON THESE POINTS ELWOOD?

http://greatcloud.wordpress.com/2009/10/06…cA

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If I see Chris Martin of Coldplay in person what would I say to him? (Part 3)

Chris Martin revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was rasied an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. His belief in being generous with charities, and the fact Coldplay’s songs  deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and  that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

Up to this point many people may be saying that this is all based on some pretty flimsy evidence. However, one of the most revealing things came out when Chris wrote the song “Viva La Vida.” He had previously said he left Christianity because of the biblical view of eternal damnation but what does Chris do with the evil king in the song “Viva La Vida?”  Q Magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric in this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Martin said,  “It’s about…You’re not on the list… Its always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it…That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation.  I know it. It’s mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”

Maybe we have not heard last of this journey from Chris?

I am going to be in the same town Chris Martin is in for about 3 weeks in the future.  What would I say to him if I got a chance to say a couple of sentences to him? Here are five of my  choices. More to come later:

11. In the song “Cemeteries of London” you sing the words, “I see God come in my garden, But I don’t know what He said, For my heart, it wasn’t open, not open.” These words prompted a discussion on my blog. Check it out by searching the words “Coldplay Romans Chapter One.”

12. In the song “Major Minus” you sing “Got one eye on the road and one on you!” What road in life are you on? That sentence prompted a discussion on my blog.   Search it with the words “Coldplay Christian Beliefs.”

13. With songs like DEATH AND ALL HIS FRIENDS, CEMETERIES OF LONDON and THE ESCAPIST are you focused on what happens to us when we die? These songs prompted a discussion on my blog. Check it out by searching the words “Chris Martin Meaning in Life.”

14. In the song “Glass of Water” you sing the words, “Oh he said you could see a future inside a glass of water…Will I see heaven in mine.” These words prompted a discussion on my blog and you can check it out by searching the words “Coldplay Childhood Beliefs.”

15.  In the song “Life in Technicolor II” you sing the words, “Time came a creeping, Oh and time’s a loaded gun.” This prompted a discussion on my blog. Google “Coldplay Tom Brady.”

_____________

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years

Published on Oct 9, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

_______________________

Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way

Published on Oct 30, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

____________________

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If I see Chris Martin of Coldplay in person what would I say to him? (Part 2)

Ecclesiastes 8-10 | Still Searching After All These Years

Published on Oct 9, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 7, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

_______________________

Ecclesiastes 11-12 | Solomon Finds His Way

Published on Oct 30, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | October 28, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

____________________

Chris Martin revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was rasied an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. His belief in being generous with charities, and the fact Coldplay’s songs  deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and  that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

Up to this point many people may be saying that this is all based on some pretty flimsy evidence. However, one of the most revealing things came out when Chris wrote the song “Viva La Vida.” He had previously said he left Christianity because of the biblical view of eternal damnation but what does Chris do with the evil king in the song “Viva La Vida?”  Q Magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric in this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Martin said,  “It’s about…You’re not on the list… Its always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it…That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation.  I know it. It’s mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”

Maybe we have not heard last of this journey from Chris?

I am going to be in the same town Chris Martin is in for about 3 weeks in the future.  What would I say to him if I got a chance to say a couple of sentences to him? Here are five of my  choices. Here are number 6-10 and more to come later:

5. In your song “Death and all his friends,” you sing, “I don’t want a cycle of recycled revenge, I don’t want to follow death and all of his friends.” How are you going conquer death? This song prompted a discussion on my blog. Check it out by searching the words “Chris Martin Childhood beliefs.”

6. In the song “The Escapist” you sing “In the end we lie awake and dream we’ll make an escape.” Your words about escaping death prompted a discussion on my blog. Google “Coldplay Christian Beliefs.”

7. In the song “42” you sing, “Time is so short and I’m sure there must be something more.” Solomon did a search for something more and his search is compared to yours and to Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren of rock group Kansas on my blog. Search the words “Chris Martin Kansas Woody Allen.”

8. In the song “Major Minus” you sing “Be careful when you’re walking in the view.” Does God care about your actions down here? Those words prompted a discussion on my blog.    Check it out by searching “Chris Martin lives Christian beliefs.”

9. In the  song “Lost” you  sing these words: “Every river that I tried to cross, Every door I ever tried was locked..” Sounds like Solomon’s life experience too. Check out a comparison of you and Solomon. Search the words “Chris Martin King Solomon.”

10.In the song “Major Minus you sing “Hear those crocodiles ticking (they go) ticking ’round the world.” What crocodiles around the world threaten you?Those words started a discussion on my blog.    Google “Chris Martin Unknowingly.”

_____________

Related posts:

If I see Chris Martin of Coldplay in person what would I say to him? (Part 2)

Chris Martin revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was rasied an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. His belief in […]

If I see Chris Martin of Coldplay in person what would I say to him? (Part 1)

Chris Martin revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was rasied an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. His belief […]

 

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 8 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

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Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 3 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert, Martin left Christianity because of teaching on hell then he writes bestselling song that teaches hell exists)

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Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 2 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

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If I see Chris Martin of Coldplay in person what would I say to him? (Part 1)

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

_____________________

Ecclesiastes 2-3

Published on Sep 19, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 16, 2012 | Derek Neider

_____________________________

Chris Martin revealed in his interview with Howard Stern that he was rasied an evangelical Christian but he has left the church. I believe that many words that he puts in his songs today are generated from the deep seated Christian beliefs from his childhood that find their way out in his songs. His belief in being generous with charities, and the fact Coldplay’s songs  deal so much with death and the search for meaning and purpose of life (similar to Solomon’s search in Ecclesiastes), and  that our actions are being watched, and Chris describes different ways God tries to reveal himself to us, and many songs deal with trying to find a way to an afterlife and heaven, and he stills uses Christian terms like being “blessed” and “grateful.”

Up to this point many people may be saying that this is all based on some pretty flimsy evidence. However, one of the most revealing things came out when Chris wrote the song “Viva La Vida.” He had previously said he left Christianity because of the biblical view of eternal damnation but what does Chris do with the evil king in the song “Viva La Vida?”  Q Magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric in this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Martin said,  “It’s about…You’re not on the list… Its always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it…That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation.  I know it. It’s mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”

Maybe we have not heard last of this journey from Chris?

I am going to be in the same town Chris Martin is in for about 3 weeks in the future.  What would I say to him if I got a chance to say a couple of sentences to him? Here are five of my  choices. More to come later:

1. In your song  “Now my feet  won’t touch the ground”  the words You wait a lifetime to be found” have prompted a discussion on my blog. Check it out by searching “Chris Martin Meaning in Life.”

2. Why did you send the evil king in Viva La Vida to hell? That prompted a discussion on my blog.  Check it out by searching “Chris Martin Unknowingly.”

3. One of your song says, “God is in the houses, And God is in my head,And all the cemeteries of London, I see God come in my garden,” if you want to know what Romans Chapter One says about that then   search “Chris Martin Romans Chapter One.”

4. In the song “Major Minus” you sing “They got one eye on what you knew, and one eye on what you do.” Do you think God is watching your life?   Google “Chris Martin childhood beliefs.”

Related posts:

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 8 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

Coldplay 6-22-12 Dallas, TX Best Opening.MOV Published on Jun 23, 2012 by jaimenolga 1 of Don’t miss the second song of this clip!! It was incredible! (One eye watching you song was great.) Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show Photo Gallery News […]

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 7 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

Coldplay Live in Dallas – Lover’s in Japan Ball Drop Published on Jun 23, 2012 by TheRyanj64 Live From the American Airlines Center in Dallas Texas June 22, 2012 Coldplay – Lover’s in Japan Ball Drop Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show […]

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 6 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

Coldplay – Yellow (Live) @ American Airlines Center Published on Jun 23, 2012 by Crwdickerson Coldplay Performing Yellow @ American Airlines Center Dallas June 22, 2012 Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show Photo Gallery News Sports Lifestyles Comments (0)   3/11 Chris […]

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 5 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

Coldplay “paradise” Dallas Texas 6/22/12 ( Floor View ) Published on Jun 23, 2012 by ccam cher Awesome concert Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show Photo Gallery News Sports Lifestyles Comments (0)   9/11 Chris Martin was brought up as an evangelical […]

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 4 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

Coldplay – In My Place (Live in Dallas) June 22 2012 Published on Jun 24, 2012 by maimiaa Coldplay performing at American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show Photo Gallery News Sports Lifestyles Comments (0)   7/11 […]

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 3 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert, Martin left Christianity because of teaching on hell then he writes bestselling song that teaches hell exists)

Viva La Vida Published on Jun 23, 2012 by TheRyanj64 Coldplay’s Viva La Vida at American Airlines Center in Dallas on June 22, 2012 __________ Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show Photo Gallery News Sports Lifestyles Comments (0)   5/11 Chris Martin […]

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 2 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto/Hurts Like Heaven (Live) @ American Airlines Center Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show Photo Gallery News Sports Lifestyles Comments (0)   2/11 Published on Jun 24, 2012 by Crwdickerson Coldplay Performing Mylo Xyloto/Hurts Like Heaven @ AAC Dallas […]

Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 1 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert)

Coldplay-DALLAS-2012-”Opening, Mylo Xyloto, and Hurts like Heaven!” Published on Jun 24, 2012 by ColdplayDALLAS2012 1:10 is where the concert starts! Sorry for the shaking and sound audio! It was really loud! AND AWESOME! Please THUMB UP and COMMENT if u went to this coldplay concert! And I also hope that this will get a few […]

“Music Monday” Chris Martin’s favorite song has a deep meaning

Uploaded by emimusic on Feb 28, 2009 Pre-VEVO play count: 22,581,204 Music video by The Verve performing Bitter Sweet Symphony. ________ At the 4.40 mark in the clip below Chris Martin identifies the best song ever written in his estimation: What does the song mean? Here is a thought off the internet: This song is […]

“Music Monday” Video interviews of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin (Part 2)

As far as I know they have never done an interview together. Therefore, I have included separate interviews that they have done below and I have some links to past posts I have done on them too. Gwyneth Paltrow & Robert Downey Jr. on Jonathan Ross 2010.04.23 (Part 1) Coldplay: Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland […]

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