FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 233 Letters to Burt Reynolds 2nd installment (Featured artist is Abigail DeVille )

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Lynda Hollenbeck of the Saline Courier conducted an interview with Burt Reynolds in Benton, Arkansas during the filming of “White Lightning” in 1972 and it was republished in the September 7, 2018 edition of the newspaper. Here is an excerpt:

Reynolds said, “People in the south have a sense of humor. I have been pleasantly surprised that their reactions have all been warm and friendly.”

He mentioned the fact that he liked this area so well that he had purchased some property near Bull Shoals, with the intention of building a cabin there some time.

I was real sad to read about the passing of Burt Reynolds. I grew up watching his movies and I attended a 2 hour show in Little Rock when he told his life story back in the mid 1990’s and I read his autobiography in 2015. I wrote Mr. Reynolds three letters and below is the second one.

Adrian Rogers pictured below:

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LOS ANGELES – AUGUST 24 : Producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason sitting on the set of her TV show “Evening Shade” on August 24, 1990 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Grecco)
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December 1, 2016

Burt Reynolds, c/o G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10014,

Dear Burt,

I really enjoyed the book BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME by you and it is a very good book.

I remember going down to the Robinson Center in Little Rock back around 1993 to see “An evening with Burt Reynolds.” It was very enjoyable as you  told stories about your life.

Before you appeared that evening in Little Rock I was told that you had an afternoon free and Harry Thomason arranged for his brother Danny who is a friend of mine to show you around town. My friend  told me that you were very impressed with the neighborhood in the Heights on Edge Hill Road. You were told the prices of several of the homes back in 1993 and you were amazed the prices were all under 10 million and you said the homes in Beverly Hills were 5 times as much.
During that afternoon Danny asked you if you knew the name Adrian Rogers? I was told that you  replied that Adrian Rogers was your hero when you were was in the 7th grade because that year Adrian Rogers was the starting quarterback at  Palm Beach High School and Rogers led the team to a State Title in Football.
(Palm Beach High School pictured below)
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I later told Dr. Rogers that story myself and he told me that had heard later that Reynolds was in the student body back then. I don’t know what exact year that was, but I do remember when I was in high school one time Dr. Rogers asked what event I ran for the track team. When I told him he replied, “I ran the 440 yard dash in 49!!!” I was very impressed by that until he said, “Yes , that is right, 1949!”
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In the sermon ‘THE PLAYBOY’S PAYDAY” in 1984 Adrian Rogers discussed Proverbs 5. In that message he gave an example about a man who loved oranges and he compared that love of oranges to the way some men treat women sexually.

I remember a visit in 1976 that Adrian Rogers made to our Junior High Chapel service at EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL. He gave a message on Solomon’s search for satisfaction

He was searching for meaning and satisfaction in life in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into  Learning (1:16-18), Laughter, Ladies, Luxuriesand Liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and Labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

When he got to the issue of LADIES he gave the same example concerning oranges and here it is:

Solomon happens to be talking to his son; that’s why he’s talking to his son about the girls. But I just want to say a word to some of you girls, also, about some of these guys.  You know what a man will do? He’ll come to a girl and date a girl and take her out and wine her and dine her and then he’ll begin to say to her, I love you.  I really love you. He’ll tell her that several times.  He’ll just pour the sugar in her ear, and then he’ll say to her, Do you love me?  And if she says, Yes, then he’ll say, Prove it.   And what he means by that is he wants her to show her love, to prove her love by sexual immorality.  If there’s one thing that doesn’t prove love, it’s that.   

Do you know what proves love? Do you know what really proves love? You are able to  appreciate and enjoy a person and that person’s character without having to sully their purity by doing it.  

This guy says to this gal, Oh, I just can’t wait.  I just can’t wait! I just can’t wait! The Bible says Jacob waited for Rachel seven years because of the love that he had for her, and it seemed as a few days.  You see, lust can’t wait.  Love can wait.  Lust wants to get.  Love wants to give.  And when that guy says, I love you, I love you, I love you, what he really means is I love me, I love me, I love me.   Oh, he loves you, but not with Bible love. 

A man goes out here in an orange grove.  He gets one of those big succulent oranges.  He takes his pin knife and cuts a plug out of it, puts it up to his mouth, and squeezes all of the juice out of it.  Then he throws it on the ground like a piece of garbage, wipes his mouth and says, Man, I just love oranges. Young lady, that’s the way he loves you! And when you’re left like a piece of garbage, he says, Boy, that was wonderful.  Aren’t oranges good! But what he really means is, I love me.

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Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

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1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

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Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman but knowing 1000 women.”

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning in the area of the Sexual Revolution with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

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After hearing the sermon by Adrian Rogers in 1976 I took a special interest in the Book of Ecclesiastes and then the next year I bought the album POINT OF KNOW RETURN by the group rock group KANSAS.  On that album was the  song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas and it rose to #6 on the charts in 1978. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

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.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

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On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads 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. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN.  FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

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Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

Kansas, circa 1973 (Phil Ehart, Kerry Livgren, Steve Walsh, Rich Williams, Robby Steinhardt, Dave Hope) (photo credit: DON HUNSTEIN)

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Sincerely,

 

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

 

 

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

Kerry Livgren

(part 2 ten minutes)

Dave Hope

Featured artist

Abigail DeVille Listens to History | Art21 “New York Close Up”

Published on Mar 7, 2018

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How does an artist express both the joy and pain in harrowing histories? Through her immersive performances and installation works, Abigail DeVille celebrates the bravery and optimism—while also memorializing the suffering—embedded within the African American experience. Calling out official American history as “garbage,” Deville uses discarded materials herself, like old furniture and tattered flags, to construct complex room-sized installations evoking the overlooked histories of Black Americans in all its messiness and grandeur. “There’s something, that if you’re quiet enough and you listen,” says the artist, “you’re being guided or directed to uncover specific bits of information.” DeVille’s “The New Migration,” presented by the Studio Museum and staged on the streets of Harlem in 2014, was inspired by the women and men of the Great Migration—the millions of African Americans who escaped the systemic racism and state violence of the Jim Crow South in the twentieth century. Directed by collaborator Charlotte Brathwaite and also performed in Anacostia and Baltimore, “The New Migration” is a grand on-the-street procession of musicians, dancers, marching bands, and community members of all ages donning DeVille’s wearable sculptures, which for the artist signify the weight of history. The project also references the current gentrification of American cities like Harlem and Chicago as the next migration forcing communities of color from their homes. A reckoning facilitated through festivity, DeVille’s collaborative community performance honors the agency and hope of Black communities today. “It’s something for me to constantly be reminded of,” says DeVille, “that we as a people, we’re going to get there.” Featuring the artist’s installation “Only When It’s Dark Enough Can You See the Stars” at The Contemporary, Baltimore; and the artist’s 2014 Anacostia performance hosted by the Anacostia Arts Center. Locations include The National Great Blacks in Wax Museum. Also featuring music by Artem Bemba, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, Cloudjumper, Jade Hicks, Justin Hicks, Kenita Miller-Hicks, New Edition Legacy Marching Band, and Pedro Santiago. Abigail DeVille (b. 1981, New York, New York, USA) lives and works in the Bronx, New York. Learn more about the artist at: https://art21.org/artist/abigail-devi… CREDITS | “New York Close Up” Series Producer: Nick Ravich. Director & Producer: Wesley Miller. Editor: Anna Gustavi. Cinematography & Sound: Amitabh Joshi, Paul Lieber, John Marton, Michael T. Miller, Wesley Miller, Cauleen Smith, Think Out Loud Productions. Music: Artem Bemba, Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, Cloudjumper, Jade Hicks, Justin Hicks, Kenita Miller-Hicks, New Edition Legacy Marching Band, Pedro Santiago. Design & Graphics: Open, Uros Perisic. Archival Photography: Library of Congress, Prelinger Archives. Artwork Courtesy: Abigail DeVille. Performance Co-Creator & Director: Charlotte Brathwaite. Performers: M. Liz Andrews, Mikel Banks, Asim Barnes, Flip Barnes, JM Denson, Avram Fefer, Asma Feyijinmi, Daniela Fifi, Paula Henderson, Ayesha Jordan, Ifasen Kwame, Shango Kwame, André Lassalle, Hiroyuki Matsuura, Nina Angela Mercer, Candace Mickens, Paul Pryce, Sheldon Scott, Jessica Silva, André D. Singleton, Greg Tate, Ibrahim Turay, LaFrae Sci, Ayinde Utsey. Thanks: Rushern Baker IV, Kent Barrett, Holly Bass, Asha Elana Casey, The Contemporary, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, Oscar Cornejo, Sandra Cornejo, DC Commission on the Arts & Humanities, Stephen Crouch, Jessica Denson, The DeVille Family, David O. Fakunle, Catherine Feliz, Arianne Gelardin, Jackson Gilman-Forlini, Angela Goerner, Deana Haggag, Jennifer Harrison Newman, Lauren Haynes, Lee Heinemann, Ariel Jackson, Amanda Jiron-Murphy, Anthony Joshua, Nathan Lewis, The Loading Dock, Deirdre Ehlen MacWilliams, Samuel Margai, Dr. Joanne Martin, Michael Metcalf, MICA, Kenita Miller, Morris-Jumel Mansion, National Great Blacks in Wax Museum, Jared M. Nickerson, Mary Olin Geiger , The Peale Center for Baltimore History & Architecture, Philip A. Robinson, Terry Scott, Jazmin Smith, Ginevra Shay, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Monica Utsey, Kimberly J. Wade, Nico Wheadon. “New York Close Up” is supported, in part, by The Lambent Foundation; public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; and by individual contributors.

 

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149 QQ Sir Bertrand Russell is critical of the view that Jesus was Moral Paragon

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

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I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.

Nathan Ketsdever

Defining Terms:

Russell’s definition of Christian is helpful because its an improvement from one which only looks at people who label themselves Christian. Unfortunately, the second component of the definition deals with the issue of religiousity or adherence to creeds.

Even if Russell is Nearly 100% Correct–Christianity is True:

Russell really doesn’t answer the core two arguments for faith, and as such doesn’t do what He sets out to do:

  1. Historical Jesus http://www.garyhabermas.com/
  2. Sin and Redemption and Heaven

His answer to Thomas Aquinas doesn’t recognize the definition of God, so basically strawpersons his argument (ergo not refuting it).

Moreover, most people find evidence in their own lives, the lives of their friends. And faith is experiential and relational in nature–not a math problem or a spreadsheet.

Neglecting these four arguments is a T.K.O. to his argument.

Jesus as Moral Paragon:

He contradicts himself on the ethics of Jesus, at the beginning saying he was a good person and then later saying he wasn’t. In fact at one place Russell claims to be a Christ follower in terms of his behavior, so this would seem to be the acid test on this question.

Skepticism as Methodology vs True Critical Thinking:

This is not critical thinking….this is skeptical thinking. Skeptical thinking doesn’t help us to act or lead. It helps us justify our inaction.

True critical thinking takes place by:
1) precision and specificity
2) representivieness
3) comparison and context
Comparison and context are almost always lacking in his arguments. And there is no evidence to suggest his examples are representative. Merely asserting examples is not enough. So on both of these accounts as well as that skepticism will never lead to action, but paralysis, the Russellian case falls and falls hard.

Abuse of Ideology/Abuse of Christian Values

People abusing “religion” in pursuit of their own personal idols is an argument for faith and humility. This captures the vast majority of Russell’s true criticisms of Christianity. However, again…this would (often) get back to a question of what is Christian behavior. All ideologies in the history of men and women have had to deal with this issue (security, human rights, democracy…the list goes on). Why should ideologies have to justify themselves in the face of people abusing their texts and ideas to do the exact opposite of intended.

Christianity, Fear, and Grace

Russell’s other problem with religion deals with fear, but fails to take into account actual credible arguments for the Christian faith which mean those fears are rational. For instance, denying all fears, denial of sin, denial of death–all seem to be bad denials. Second, I think the notion of grace and forgiveness–something I’m not sure Russell is entirely acquainted with is a way in which his argument about fear falls apart. Third, atheists play both sides of this coin (ie Christianity is comforting), so I’m not sure of these arguments it true. The real scientific evidence, however, says that Christians are more mentally fulfilled and balanced than atheists. [sorry there are multiple citations here from meta-studies of peer reviewed science]

The Rest of Russell’s Mixed Bag of Arguments:

Russell’s attempted refutation of natural law seems stressed given he runs up against the laws of science. But attempts to deny causality undermine science as much as they do Christianity. Plus, even Quantum Mechanics didn’t end the laws in various disciplines of science or change causality in social science. We live in a world of cause and effect, although not a perfect one. If you want more nuggets to chew on in this regard, you might check out Penrose on the failure of physics: Discover Interview: Roger Penrose Says Physics Is Wrong, From String Theory to Quantum Mechanics [note: I’m suggesting here a criticism of physicalism or perhaps rather the limits of physicalism]

Russell plays to the issue of bad design with rabbits tails being an easy target, but this is a question of mutualism, food chains, and much bigger systems than Russell analyzing.

Russell also makes an argument for steady state, but given his time of speaking, I’m going to assume he didn’t know the Big Bang would win out–which further suggested the Universe needed a cause or prime mover.

Russell at one point inserts “its all just probabilities” (not exact quote) for an argument that needs much more development. At best this seems like a weak application of perhaps Quantum Mechanics (although I think his speech predates its discovery and popularity I believe). Fred Hoyle’s (and others) mathematical analysis of probabilities stands as mathematical evidence. And there are a number of these probabilities in terms of fine tuning in the universe, the Penrose number, the evolution information, and not to mention scientific laws themselves as well as math, geometry, and the periodic chart.

Finally, many of Russell’s arguments amount to name-calling and assertions rather than arguments that have both claims and warrants. For instance, Russell mentions dogma, but never defines it or contrasts it versus principle or explains why dogma is a bad thing.

At the end of the day….when you miss the message of Christ…..you miss the message of Christianity. By failing to do so…..Russell ends up criticizing a straw-person of Christianity rather than the Risen Savior from Nazareth.

Source:
Evidence for Its Fine Tuning

Sorry I don’t have a link for the Penrose number or the peer reviewed literature link soon hopefully. Here is one of those mega-studies however:

A 2012 review of more than 326 peer-reviewed studies of mainly adult populations found that out of those 326 studies, 256 (79%) found only significant positive associations between religiosity/spirituality and well-being. The author postulated that the positive influence of religion or spirituality on well-being can be explained through a few key mechanisms, such as religion’s role as a coping strategy and as a support system for prosocial behaviors. In addition, religious beliefs can potentially alter the way individuals cognitively react to stressors, and often, the regulations of most faiths decrease the likelihood of individuals experiencing particularly stressful life events (such as divorce or incarceration) (2).

Source: Spiritual Engagement and Meaning

We need a transcendent ontic point of reference which only God can provide. Naturalism doesn’t provide a transcendent ontic point of reference.

Nietzshce proves atheism to be wrong, not the other way around.

This is Ravi Zachrias, who is an amazing thinker explaining, “Why I’m Not an Atheist” Zacharias has an acute and on-point understanding of the human experience, history, and philosophy. He is simply an intellectual force to be listened to and experienced. He weaves quite a case for Christianity:

Ravi at Princeton University – Why I’m Not an Atheist

Published on Apr 17, 2013

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Ravi Zacharias and Vince Vitale spoke an overflow crowd at Princeton University titled, “Why I’m Not An Atheist.”

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Francis Schaeffer below:

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Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

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Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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Related posts:

 

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Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:   Gareth Stedman […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were  atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 (More On) Woody Allen’s Atheism As I wrote in a previous post, I like Woody Allen. I have long admired his […]

John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

______ Top 10 Woody Allen Movies PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 01 PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 02 __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Great debate Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

MUSIC MONDAY Avicii – True Believer (Lyric Video)

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Avicii – True Believer (Lyric Video)

  • Avicii revealed that he made hundreds of versions of his track with Chris Martin, and the Coldplay frontman was still not satisfied. “Chris is one of the most artistic people I’ve ever met. And a perfectionist,” the Swedish DJ told the Sunday Times. “We did like, 600 versions of the song and still he’s asking me to tweak the vocals.”
  • Avicii and Chris Martin previously collaborated on the 2014 Coldplay single “A Sky Full Of Stars.”

 

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 149  PP Sir Bertrand Russell “There was never a cogent presentation of the Christian faith, for instance, from someone who really believed in it” 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

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Harry Kroto

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I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

_

 

In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

Bertrand Russell and Christianity, Part 2

Bertrand Russell is perceived as one of the most formidable foes of the Christian religion that our century has known. In Part 1 we noted that Russell’s essay, “Why I Am Not a Christian,” offered two general reasons for his unbelief. The first of these we have considered already. The second was this: in order to be a Christian, one must have “some kind of belief about Christ.” He then added: “I do not think Christ was the best and wisest of men, although I grant him a very high degree of moral goodness” (1957, 5).

Belief in Christ

There are a few things that should be said about this statement before we address the philosopher’s specific objections to Christ and his teaching.

First, he ought to have identified his source of information regarding the Lord. Where did he learn about Christ? From the New Testament, of course. And yet he repeatedly impeaches this document as a reliable source of information. He simply wanders through the Gospel accounts, taking what he wishes to exploit and rejecting the rest. His approach to the New Testament was grossly dishonest. Russell’s daughter wrote about her exposure to Christian history at his feet: “[W]e heard ‘the other side’ only from people who disagreed with it. There was never a cogent presentation of the Christian faith, for instance, from someone who really believed in it” (1975, 94). Again she declared: “When [father] wanted to attack religion, he sought out its most egregious errors and held them up to ridicule, while avoiding serious discussion of the basic message” (Ibid., 188).

Second, do not forget Russell’s statement that he attributed to Christ “a very high degree of moral goodness.” That will ring quite phoney as he subsequently castigates the Lord for his alleged cruelty, etc.

Finally, how did the professor determine what constitutes “moral goodness”? He really had not a clue. In an essay titled, “What I Believe,” he penned this shocking statement: “Outside human desires there is no moral standard” (Ibid., 62). Could human conduct ever be judged immoral if “human desire” were the only standard? But let us consider some of Russell’s objections to Jesus and his teaching.

The Existence of Jesus

Incredibly, Mr. Russell wrote: “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if He did we do not know anything about Him” (Ibid., 16). What shall we say of this?

  • It ignores a vast body of historical evidence which establishes the existence of Jesus. The New Testament documents, Jewish testimony (e.g., Josephus and the Talmud), and Roman history (Tacitus, Suetonius) all declare the historical existence of Christ (see Jackson 1986, 29ff).
  • It is impossible that a religion that has impacted humanity as Christianity has, was grounded in a man who did not even exist.
  • If Christ never existed, why do men like Russell consume so much time opposing him? Do they expend such energy on other “mythical” characters?
  • Most infidels are at least candid enough to concede the existence of Jesus (see Allen 1990, 229).

Defective Teaching

Ignoring his personal inclination—that Christ did not exist—Russell affirmed that Jesus “as He appears in the Gospels,” was quite defective in his teaching. For one thing, he argued, Christ “certainly thought His second coming would occur in the clouds of glory before the death of all the people who were living at that time” (Ibid., 16).

He is obviously alluding to Matthew 16:28. Having no concept at all as to how to interpret Scripture, Mr. Russell failed to recognize that the term “coming” is employed in several different senses in the New Testament (see Jackson 2005, 31ff), and that in the passage cited above, the Lord was not speaking of his Second Coming. Rather, he was alluding to a representative coming in his kingdom, which, in fact, occurred on the day of Pentecost (cf. Mark 9:1; Acts 1:8; 2:4).

The Moral Problem

Russell alleged that “a very serious defect” in “Christ’s moral character” was that “He believed in hell” (Ibid., 17). The professor declared that “any person who is really profoundly humane” could not believe in everlasting punishment. Hell, he asserted, is a doctrine of “cruelty” (Ibid., 18).

Does this objection have any real validity? It does not, and for the following reasons.

Elsewhere Russell argued that “outside of human desires there is no moral standard” (Ibid., 62), which means he had no business attempting to define what is “humane” or what is “cruel.”

The “hell” of the Bible is eternal separation from the Creator (cf. Matthew 25:41,46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9). Would the popular philosopher contend that it is humane to force ungodly rebels to spend eternity in the presence of the God they have denied and despised?

Even Russell acknowledged that the punishment of criminals is necessary for the welfare of society (Ibid., 72). He just thinks he knows more than God about how to deal with criminals in eternity (see Jackson 1992, 55-62).

Mr. Russell found fault with Christ in connection with the destruction of the Gadarene swine (Matthew 8:28-34), and the “curious story of the [cursing of] the fig tree,” recorded in Matthew 21 (Ibid., 18-19). As to the narrative regarding the swine we must note: the Son of God, as sovereign over the creation (Colossians 1:16), has a right to use his creatures in any way that is consistent with his plan for the benefit of humanity.

The destruction of the swine was doubtless motivated by a desire to awaken the people of this region to a higher level of spirituality. A parallel narrative clearly indicates that the Gadarene citizens were more concerned with their animals than they were human beings (Mark 5:16-17).

Moreover, there is nothing at all difficult about the record concerning the fig tree. Christ did not blight the fig tree merely because it was not bearing fruit at a time in the year when figs were unavailable. Rather, the tree was one of nature’s oddities. It was leafed out, but without figs. The Palestinean order of a certain species was: figs first, then leaves. The tree gave the appearance of having fruit, but it had none.

It was thus a fitting illustration of the Jewish nation—a people professing fruit, but bearing none. The Savior destroyed the tree as a visual-aid lesson to proclaim the coming doom of national Israel. Of course men like Russell do not take the time to explore the background of a biblical context; they aim to discredit Christ no matter what it takes.

The Emotional Factor

Russell said that men do not accept religion as a result of intellectual argument; rather, they adopt it on “emotional grounds” (Ibid., 19). He illustrated this by suggesting that society is told that if it does not accept Christianity, wickedness will reign. Since most folks do not want a world of this nature, they emotionally embrace the Christian system without carefully analyzing the facts.

We must say two things in response to this.

  1. The same charge could be made regarding unbelief. Atheism is accepted emotionally rather than intellectually. Dr. Joshua Liebman declared that much of atheism has “roots” in the “soil of emotion” long before the unbeliever has been exposed to philosophy or science. Aldous Huxley openly admitted that his rejection of religion was due to the fact that he did not want his sexual freedom hindered! (Jackson 1974, 3).
  2. Christianity is a great deterrent to evil, and no person, who has any respect for the facts of history, will deny this.

Hindrance to Progress

Repudiating history, Russell callously wrote: “I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principle enemy of moral progress in the world” (Ibid., 21). That is a strange statement indeed—particularly in view of other things the philosopher said. For example, elsewhere he wrote: “In antiquity, when male supremacy was unquestioned and Christian ethics were still unknown, women were harmless but rather silly, and a man who took them seriously was somewhat despised” (1950, 101; emphasis added). Again:

Christianity, as soon as it conquered the state, put an end to gladiatorial shows. . . . Christianity also did much to soften the lot of slaves. It established charity on a large scale, and inaugurated hospitals . . . . In a new form, it passed over into modern Liberalism, and remains the inspiration of much that is most hopeful in our somber world (Ibid., 137).

The philosopher was hopelessly confused!

Many of the moral objections the professor entertained against Christianity were really not directed against its pristine form, but rather against modern abuses of the system (e.g., the perversions of the Roman Catholic Church).

Bertrand Russell’s charges against Christianity were without merit. The religion of Jesus Christ shines brighter after every critic’s attack.

REFERENCES
  • Allen, Steve. 1990. Steve Allen on the Bible, Religion, & Morality. Buffalo, NY: Prometheus.
  • Jackson, Wayne. 1974. Fortify Your Faith. Stockton, CA: Apologetics Press.
  • Jackson, Wayne. 1986. What Think Ye Of Christ? Essays in Apologetics. Vol. 2. Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press.
  • Jackson, Wayne. 1992. The Goodness of God And An Eternal Hell. Essays in Apologetics. Vol. 5. Montgomery, AL: Apologetics Press.
  • Jackson, Wayne. 2005. The A.D. 70 Theory—A Review of the Max King Doctrine. Stockton, CA: Courier Publications.
  • Russell, Bertrand. 1950. Unpopular Essays. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  • Russell, Bertrand. 1957. Why I Am Not a Christian and other essays on religion and related subjects. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  • Tait, Katharine. 1975. My Father Bertrand Russell. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
Matthew 16:28; Mark 9:1; Acts 1:8, 2:4; Matthew 25:41, 46; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9; Matthew 8:28-34; Matthew 21; Colossians 1:16; Mark 5:16-17
CITE THIS ARTICLE
Jackson, Wayne. “Bertrand Russell and Christianity, Part 2.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: July 7, 2018. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/16-bertrand-russell-and-christianity-part-2

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Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

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Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

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Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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Related posts:

 

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part C (Kroto’s admiration of Bertrand Russell examined)

Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:   Gareth Stedman […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were  atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 (More On) Woody Allen’s Atheism As I wrote in a previous post, I like Woody Allen. I have long admired his […]

John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

______ Top 10 Woody Allen Movies PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 01 PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 02 __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Great debate Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 232 Letters to Burt Reynolds (Feature on artist Louise Despont )

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deLUKWp1d7E

Lynda Hollenbeck of the Saline Courier conducted an interview with Burt Reynolds in Benton, Arkansas during the filming of “White Lightning” in 1972 and it was republished in the September 7, 2018 edition of the newspaper. Here is an excerpt:

As fate would have it, I met a man named Bill Waits from Little Rock who had appeared as an extra for several scenes in the film. He introduced to members of the crew and eventually to Arthur Wilde, who handled publicity for the production…While Wilde couldn’t arrange a formal interview, he suggested that I hang around and spot a time when Reynolds was relaxing between scenes. The moment finally arrived when the crew took a lunch break…My courage in tow, I walked up to Reynolds, stated my name and purpose and almost fainted when he smiled and said he’d be delighted to talk to me while he ate lunch. He said, “While it probably won’t be an Oscar contender, it’s a film that doesn’t put the south down. It’s strictly southern—the bad guys are southern, the good guys are southern, they aren’t any Yankees at all! all the cast members are southern people, so there aren’t faked accents.”

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I was real sad to read about the passing of Burt Reynolds. I grew up watching his movies and I attended a 2 hour show in Little Rock when he told his life story back in the mid 1990’s and I read his autobiography in 2015.
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Burt Reynolds grew up and went to the high school where my pastor Adrian Rogers led the team to a state title as quarterback (while Burt was in the 7th grade.) Burt actually told a friend of mine that Adrian Rogers was a hero to him. Another good friend of  his was the pastor Jess Moody.
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Jess Moody, a pastor, tells a joke about Burt Reynolds. Burt wanted to hunt, but they could only go to one land. The landowner doesn’t like Jess, but when he got there he was excited to see him and asked him to kill his mule since it was ill. He plays a trick on Burt and tells him it went bad and kills the mule in front of him. Burt kills two of his cows and they run. (This joke can be seen on You Tube as told by Moody.)
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I actually wrote three letters to Burt and here is the first one below.

Pablo Picasso: Midnight in Paris

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Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) and Marical e Fonzo Bo (Picasso) in ‘Midnight in Paris’.

(In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS you have the may character Gil Pender very interested in Picasso’s mistress Adriana,  played by Marion Cotillard. PICTURED ABOVE.)

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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January 1, 2016

Burt Reynolds, c/o G.P.Putnam’s Sons, 345 Hudson Street, New York, NY, 10014,

Dear Burt,

I really enjoyed your book BUT ENOUGH ABOUT ME and in it I took special notice of this from the first chapter:

The FSU football coach, Tom Nugent, called me into his office.

“What’s Miami giving you?” he said.

“A lot, coach,” I said.

“Can they give you this?” he asked, pointing to a chart on the wall showing a seven-to-one ratio of women to men on campus. The number was so high because FSU had been a girls’ school until only a few years before. He let that sink in for a while and then he pulled down a blackboard and drew a chalk figure 7 and then a 1. He pointed to the 7 and said, “This represents the girls. Then he pointed to the 1 and said, “This is you. Think about that!”

I thought about it. And about the fact that if I went to FSU, Peanut and I would still be together.

“Coach,” I said, “I think I know where I can get a hell of an education.”

_________

It is obvious throughout your book that you have tried to get as much sex  as you can during your life. In fact, at one  point you mention  that Rev Jess Moody would look  out over  the congregation  many times and  see you with a different  lady every week. With this in mind I want  to recommend (your friend) Woody Allen’s movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS to you  because I think you would find Picasso’s character in the story very intriguing, and I wanted to compare Picasso to King Solomon and to you in this letter since they both tried to get sexual satisfaction by the sheer volume of their sexual conquests.  According to the Bible Solomon actually slept with  over 1000 women ( Eccl 2:8, I Kings 11:3).

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The Woody Allen movie Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask)

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Painting of King Solomon below

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Woody Allen made it known that his pessimistic view on life started at a young age when he learned about man’s mortality. But in the Bible Solomon’s first book was the SONG OF SOLOMON which was written in his early 20’s and is very upbeat. The Book of PROVERBS was written probably when he was in the middle of his life. Finally,  the Book of ECCLESIASTES was written at the end of his life and is extremely pessimistic!

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Concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes Francis Schaeffer noted: 

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself MALE AND  FEMALE SINGERS AND THE PLEASURES OF MEN–MANY CONCUBINES.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure…

Image result for burt reynolds white lightning

If one would flee to alcohol, then surely one may choose sexual pursuits to flee to. Solomon looks in this area too.

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman. (Good News Translation on verse 28)

One can understand both Solomon’s expertness in this field and his bitterness.

(Jennifer Billingsley sits on the dock with Burt Reynolds in a scene from the United Artist)

Image result for burt reynolds white lightning
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I Kings 11:1-3 (New American Standard Bible) 

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.

An expert but also the reason for his bitterness. Certainly there have been many men over the centuries who have daydreamed of Solomon’s wealth in this area [of women], but at the end it was sorry, not only sorry but nothing and less than nothing. The simple fact is that one can not know woman in the real sense by pursuing 1000 women. It is not possible. Woman is not found this way. All that is left in this setting if one were to pursue the meaning of life in this direction is this most bitter word found in Ecclesiastes 7:28, “I have looked for other answers but have found none. I FOUND ONE MAN IN A THOUSAND THAT I COULD RESPECT, BUT NOT ONE WOMAN.” (Good News Translation on verse 28) He was searching in the wrong way. He was searching for the answer to life in the limited circle of that which is beautiful in itself but not an answer finally in sexual life. More than that he finally tried to find it in variety and HE DIDN’T EVEN TOUCH ONE WOMAN AT THE END.

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BURT, may I be bold enough to ask you this same question? Through your whole life you have bedded many women but have you even touched one women the way that God designed man to do?

In the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20) and he concluded that his search UNDER THE SUN was just a striving after the wind!!Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”
I have enclosed a gospel tract called HAPPY HOUR and I hope you have time to read it.
Sincerely,
Everette Hatcher, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com, P.O.Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221,

Louise Despont Draws Deep | ART21 “New York Close Up”

Featured artist is Louise Despont

Louise Despont

Louise Despont was born in 1983 in New York; she lives and works in New York and in Bali, Indonesia. Since discovering the potential of working with pencil and architectural stencils on paper, Despont has adopted an intuitive process in which she allows her drawings to develop as she creates them, resulting in an almost devotional object comprised of dense colors and shapes.

Preferring to draw on ledger paper with preexisting lines, Despont sees a parallel between the mathematical accounting the paper was designed to organize and the way that her practice is an accounting of her time spent. Even when Despont creates large-scale installations—such as for her 2016 solo exhibition at the Drawing Center, New York—her practice remains personally labor intensive. Having collected images for many years, Despont complements her broad visual references with her interest in energy and spirituality.

Links:
Artist’s website
@louisedespont on Instagram

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Related posts:

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 53 THE BEATLES (Part E, Stg. Pepper’s and John Lennon’s search in 1967 for truth was through drugs, money, laughter, etc & similar to King Solomon’s, LOTS OF PICTURES OF JOHN AND CYNTHIA) (Feature on artist Yoko Ono)

The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

 

MUSIC MONDAY Avicii’s 10 Best Songs: Critics’ Picks Part 2

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Avicii’s 10 Best Songs: Critics’ Picks

Avicii may have retired from touring, he may have just announced a break with his long-time manager who helped make him a superstar and he may be one of the most media-shy DJs on the planet Earth, but the 27-year-old Swede is and will always be one of the most recognizable and omnipotent electronic dance producers the genre has ever seen.

3. Avicii – “Fade Into Darkness”

 

Did you even realize “Fade Into Darkness” predates “Levels?” Sometimes we forget there was an Avicii before that song took over the whole world. Listening to this tune today, we can hear a lot of that country-western influence just begging to bubble up to the surface. Replace the piano with acoustic guitar and it could totally be one of those cross-genre hits.

2. Avicii – “Wake Me Up”

Avicii – Wake Me Up (Official Video)

Published on Jul 29, 2013

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We will never forget the collective head-scratch moment that hit Ultra Music Festival in Miami when Avicii first debuted this song. No one had ever even conceived of melding country music with electronic dance until Avicii showed people the way.

1. Avicii – “Levels”

 

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Listing of transcripts and videos of Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” on www.theDailyHatch.org

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Image result for milton friedman free to choose
Milton Friedman in his series “Free to Choose” used a pencil as a simple example to should have the “invisible hand” of the freemarket works (phrase originally used by Adam Smith).
Milton Friedman congratulated by President Ronald Reagan. © 2008 Free To Choose Media, courtesy of the Power of Choice press kit

Here are some great quotes about Milton Friedman:

“Milton Friedman is a scholar of first rank whose original contributions to economic science have made him one of the greatest thinkers in modern history.”
President Ronald Reagan

“How grateful I have been over the years for the cogency of Friedman’s ideas which have influenced me. Cherishers of freedom will be indebted to him for generations to come.”
Alan Greenspan, former Chairman, Federal Reserve System

“Right at this moment there are people all over the land, I could put dots on the map, who are trying to prove Milton wrong. At some point, somebody else is trying to prove he’s right That’s what I call influence.”
Paul Samuelson, Nobel Laureate in Economic Science

“Friedman’s influence reaches far beyond the academic community and the world of economics. Rather than lock himself in an ivory tower, he has joined the fray to fight for the survival of this great country of ours.”
William E. Simon, former Secretary of the Treasury

“Milton Friedman is the most original social thinker of the era.”
John Kenneth Galbraith, former Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Perhaps Friedman’s greatest success began in 1979 when he and his wife Rose authored the book, Free to Choose, based on the famous ten-part TV series for PBS by the same title. Both the TV program and the book were drawn from an earlier series of lectures presented by Friedman. Because it aired during a period of critical economic distress during the Carter Administration and in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, Watergate scandal, and Richard Nixon’s resignation as President, the program is widely regarded as being a major factor in shifting American public opinion toward appreciating the need to dismantle government largess. The series was shown in England, Japan, Italy, Australia, Germany, Canada, and many other countries, and the book was translated for distribution around the world, selling more than one million copies.

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No other issue is more misunderstood today than equality. President Obama has used class warfare over and over the last few months and according to him equality at the finish line is the equality that we should all be talking about. However, socialism has never worked and it has always killed incentive to produce more. Milton Friedman expressed the conversative’s best and I am glad that I had the chance to be studying his work for over 30 years now.

In 1980 when I first sat down and read the book “Free to Choose” I was involved in Ronald Reagan’s campaign for president and excited about the race. Milton Friedman’s books and film series really helped form my conservative views. Take a look at one of my favorite films of his:

Created Equal [1/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose (1980)

Uploaded by on May 30, 2010

In this program, Milton Friedman visits India, the U.S., and Britain, examining the question of equality. He points out that our society traditionally has embraced two kinds of equality: equality before God and equality of opportunity. The first of these implies that human beings enjoy a certain dignity simply because they are members of the human community. The second suggests societies should allow the talents and inclinations of individuals to unfold, free from arbitrary barriers. Both of these concepts of equality are consistent with the goal of personal freedom.

In recent years, there has been growing support for a third type of equality, which Dr. Friedman calls “equality of outcome.” This concept of equality assumes that justice demands a more equal distribution of the economic fruits of society. While admitting the good intentions of those supporting the idea of equality of outcome, Dr. Friedman points out that government policies undertaken in support of this objective are inconsistent with the ideal of personal freedom. Advocates of equality of outcome typically argue that consumers must be protected by government from the insensitivities of the free market place.

Dr. Friedman demonstrates that in countries where governments have pursued the goal of equality of outcome, the differences in wealth and well being between the top and the bottom are actually much greater than in countries that have relied on free markets to coordinate economic activity. Indeed, says Dr. Friedman, it is the ordinary citizen who benefits most from the free market system. Dr. Friedman concludes that any society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither. But the society that puts freedom before equality will end up with both greater freedom and great equality.

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FREE TO CHOOSE 5: “Created Equal” (Milton Friedman)
Free to Choose ^ | 1980 | Milton Friedman

Posted on Friday, July 21, 2006 3:58:44 PM by Choose Ye This Day

FREE TO CHOOSE: Created Equal

Friedman: From the Victorian novelists to modern reformers, a favorite device to stir our emotions is to contrast extremes of wealth and of poverty. We are expected to conclude that the rich are responsible for the deprivations of the poor __ that they are rich at the expense of the poor.

Whether it is in the slums of New Delhi or in the affluence of Las Vegas, it simply isn’t fair that there should be any losers. Life is unfair __ there is nothing fair about one man being born blind and another man being born with sight. There is nothing fair about one man being born of a wealthy parent and one of an indigenous parent. There is nothing fair about Mohammed Ali having been born with a skill that enables him to make millions of dollars one night. There is nothing fair about Marleena Detrich having great legs that we all want to watch. There is nothing fair about any of that. But on the other hand, don’t you think a lot of people who like to look at Marleena Detrich’s legs benefited from nature’s unfairness in producing a Marleena Detrich. What kind of a world would it be if everybody was an absolute identical duplicate of anybody else. You might as well destroy the whole world and just keep one specimen left for a museum. In the same way, it’s unfair that Muhammed Ali should be a great fighter and should be able to earn millions. But would it not be even more unfair to the people who like to watch him if you said that in the pursuit of some abstract idea of equality we’re not going to let Muhammed Ali get more for one nights fight than the lowest man on the totem pole can get for a days unskilled work on the docks. You can do that but the result of that would be to deny people the opportunity to watch Mohammad Ali. I doubt very much he would be willing to subject himself to the kind of fights he’s gone through if he were to get the pay of an unskilled docker.

This beautiful estate, its manicured lawns, its trees, its shrubs, was built by men and women who were taken by force in Africa and sold as slaves in America. These kitchen gardens were planted and tended by them to furnish food for themselves and their master, Thomas Jefferson, the Squire of Monticello. It was Jefferson who wrote these words: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal. That they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. These words penned by Thomas Jefferson at the age of 33 when he wrote the Declaration of Independence, have served to define a basic ideal of the United States throughout its history.

Much of our history has revolved about the definition and redefinition of the concept of equality, about the intent to translate it into practice. What did Thomas Jefferson mean by the words all men are created equal? He surely did not mean that they were equal and/or identical in what they could do and what they believed. After all, he was himself a most remarkable person. At the age of 26, he designed this beautiful house of Monticello, supervised its construction and indeed is said to have worked on it with his own hands. He was an inventor, a scholar, an author, a statesman, governor of Virginia, President of the United States, minister to France, he helped shape and create the United States. What he meant by the word “equal” can be seen in the phrase “endowed by their creator”. To Thomas Jefferson, all men are equal in the eyes of God. They all must be treated as individuals who have each separately a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Of course, practice did not conform to the ideals. In Jefferson’s life or in ours as a nation, he agonized repeatedly during his lifetime about the conflict between the institution of slavery and the fine words of the declaration. Yet, during his whole life, he was a slave owner.

This is the City Palace in Jaipur, the capitol of the Indian state of Rajasthan, is just one of the elegant houses that were built here 150 years ago by the prince who ruled this land. There are no more princes, no more Maharajas in India today. All titles were swept away by the government of India in its quest for equality. But as you can see, there are still some people here who live a very privileged life. The descendants of the Maharajas financed this kind of life partly by using other palaces as hotels for tourists __ tourists who come to India to see how the other half lives. This side of India, the exotic glamorous side, is still very real. Everywhere in the world there are gross inequalities of income and wealth. They offend most of us.

A myth has grown up that free market capitalism increases such inequalities, that the rich benefit at the expense of the poor. Nothing could be further from the truth. Wherever the free market has been permitted to operate, the ordinary man has been able to attain levels of living never dreamed of before. Nowhere is the gap between rich and poor. Nowhere are the rich richer and the poor poorer than in those societies that do not permit the free market to operate, whether they be feudal societies where status determines position, or modern, centrally-planned economies where access to government determines position.

Central planning was introduced in India in considerable part in the name of equality. The tragedy is that after 30 years, it is hard to see any significant improvement in the lot of the ordinary person.

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Other segments:

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 7 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [7/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Liberals’ solution for the poor is more welfare, but that will not work

Milton Friedman’s solution to limiting poverty Liberals like Michael Cook just don’t get it. They should listen to Milton Friedman (who is quoted in this video below concerning the best way to limit poverty). New Video Shows the War on Poverty Is a Failure Posted by Daniel J. Mitchell The Center for Freedom and Prosperity has […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 6 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [6/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

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Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [5/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Republican debate Oct 18, 2011 (last part) with video clips and transcript

Republican debate Oct 18, 2011 (last part) with video clips and transcript Below are video clips and the transcript. pt 5 pt 6 pt 7 COOPER: We’re going to move on to an issue very important here in the state of Nevada and throughout the West. We have a question from the hall. QUESTION: Yeah, […]

Milton Friedman discusses Reagan and Reagan discusses Friedman

Uploaded by YAFTV on Aug 19, 2009 Nobel Laureate Dr. Milton Friedman discusses the principles of Ronald Reagan during this talk for students at Young America’s Foundation’s 25th annual National Conservative Student Conference MILTON FRIEDMAN ON RONALD REAGAN In Friday’s WSJ, Milton Friedman reflectedon Ronald Reagan’s legacy. (The link should work for a few more […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 4 of transcript and video)

Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. Created Equal [4/7]. Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose […]

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video)

Friedman Friday” Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 3 of transcript and video) Liberals like President Obama want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other […]

Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 2 of transcript and video)

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Free to Choose by Milton Friedman: Episode “Created Equal” (Part 1 of transcript and video)

 Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan Liberals like President Obama (and John Brummett) want to shoot for an equality of outcome. That system does not work. In fact, our free society allows for the closest gap between the wealthy and the poor. Unlike other countries where free enterprise and other freedoms are not present.  This is a seven part series. […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 231 J. Gresham Machen  (Feature on artist Raúl de Nieves )

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Fighting the Good Fight: The Life and Legacy of J. Gresham Machen | Stephen Nichols, PhD

Published on Aug 23, 2015

Bethlehem Bible Church (2012) – Stephen J. Nichols is a professor and Bible and Theology department chair at Lancaster Bible College (PA) and Graduate School. Buy Nichols’ book J. Gresham Machen: A Guided Tour of His Life and Thought: http://www.amazon.com/J-Gresham-Mache…

John Gresham Machen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
John Gresham Machen
J.G.Machen.jpg
Born July 28, 1881
Baltimore, Maryland
Died January 1, 1937 (aged 55)
Bismarck, North Dakota
Occupation Theologian and church leader

John Gresham Machen (/ˈɒn ˈɡrɛsəm ˈmən/; July 28, 1881 – January 1, 1937) was an American Presbyterian theologian in the early 20th century. He was the Professor of New Testament at Princeton Seminary between 1906 and 1929, and led a conservative revolt against modernist theology at Princeton and formed Westminster Theological Seminary as a more orthodox alternative. As the Northern Presbyterian Church continued to reject conservative attempts to enforce faithfulness to the Westminster Confession, Machen led a small group of conservatives out of the church to form the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. When the northern Presbyterian church (PCUSA) rejected his arguments during the mid-1920s and decided to reorganize Princeton Seminary to create a liberal school, Machen took the lead in founding Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia (1929) where he taught New Testament until his death. His continued opposition during the 1930s to liberalism in his denomination’s foreign missions agencies led to the creation of a new organization, the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (1933). The trial, conviction and suspension from the ministry of Independent Board members, including Machen, in 1935 and 1936 provided the rationale for the formation in 1936 of the OPC.

Machen is considered to be the last of the great Princeton theologians who had, since the formation of the college in the early 19th century, developed Princeton theology: a conservative and Calvinist form of Evangelical Christianity. Although Machen can be compared to the great Princeton theologians (Archibald Alexander, Charles Hodge, A. A. Hodge, and B. B. Warfield), he was neither a lecturer in theology (he was a New Testament scholar) nor did he ever become the seminary’s principal.

Machen’s influence can still be felt today through the existence of the institutions that he founded—Westminster Theological Seminary, The Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions, and the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. In addition, his textbook on basic New Testament Greek is still used today in many seminaries, including PCUSA schools.

Asked how to say his name, he told The Literary Digest, “The first syllable is pronounced like May, the name of the month. In the second syllable the ch is as in chin, with e as in pen: may’chen. In Gresham, the h is silent: gres’am.”[1]

Who was J. Gresham Machen? | W. Robert Godfrey, PhD

Early life[edit]

Machen was born in Baltimore to Arthur Webster Machen and Mary Jones Gresham. Arthur, a Baltimore lawyer, was 45 and Mary was 24 when they married. While Arthur was an Episcopalian, Mary was a Presbyterian, and taught her son the Westminster Shorter Catechism from an early age. The family attended Franklin Street Presbyterian Church.

Machen’s upbringing was considered[who?] to be privileged. He attended a private college and received a classical education including Latin and Greek. He also learnt to play the piano.[citation needed]

Early Adulthood[edit]

American Student Life[edit]

In 1898, the 17-year-old Machen began studying at Johns Hopkins University for his undergraduate degree, and performed sufficiently well to gain a scholarship. He majored in classics and was a member of the Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. Machen was a brilliant scholar and in 1901 was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa Society after graduation.

Despite having some indecisiveness about his future, in 1902 Machen opted to study theology at Princeton Seminary, while simultaneously studying a Master of Arts in Philosophy at Princeton University.

Encountering German Liberalism[edit]

He also pursued theological studies in Germany for a year in 1905. In a letter to his father, he admitted being thrown into confusion about his faith because of the liberalism taught by Professor Wilhelm Herrmann. Although he had an enormous respect for Herrmann, his time in Germany and his engagement with Modernist theologians led him to reject the movement and embrace conservative Reformed theology more firmly than before.

Pre War Period[edit]

Princeton 1906-1916[edit]

In 1906, Machen joined the Princeton Seminary as an instructor in the New Testament, after receiving an assurance that he would not have to sign a statement of faith. Among his Princeton influences were Francis Landey Patton, who had been the prosecutor in a nineteenth-century heresy trial, and B. B. Warfield, whom he described as the greatest man he had ever met. Warfield maintained that correct doctrine was the primary means by which Christians influenced the surrounding culture. He emphasised a high view of scripture and the defence of supernaturalism. It appears that under their influence Machen resolved his crisis of faith. In 1914, he was ordained and the next year he became an Assistant Professor of New Testament studies.

World War One[edit]

Machen did not serve “conventionally” during World War I, but instead went to France with the YMCA to do volunteer work near and at the front – a task he continued with for some time after the war. Though not a combatant, he witnessed first-hand the devastations of modern warfare. Suspicious of his family friend Woodrow Wilson‘s project of spreading democracy and of imperialism, he was staunchly opposed to the war, and upon returning to the U.S., he saw that many of the provisions of, “the Treaty of Versailles constituted an attack upon international and interracial peace….[W]ar will follow upon war in a wearisome progression.”[2]

J. Gresham Machen 1/6

Post War Period[edit]

Princeton 1918-1926

After returning from Europe, Machen continued his work as a New Testament scholar at Princeton. During this period he gained a reputation as one of the few true scholars who was able to debate the growing prevalence of Modernist theology whilst maintaining an evangelical stance. The Origin of Paul’s Religion (1921) is perhaps Machen’s best known scholarly work. This book was a successful attempt at critiquing the Modernist belief that Paul’s religion was based mainly upon Greek philosophy and was entirely different from the religion of Jesus. Christianity and Liberalism (1923) is another of Machen’s books that critiqued theological modernism. The book compared conservative and Protestant Christianity to the rising popularity of Modernist (or “Liberal”) theology. He concluded that “the chief modern rival of Christianity is Liberalism”. In What is Faith? (1925) he set before him the pastoral task of anchoring faith in the historical fact of Christ’s atonement. He found liberal theology anti-intellectual, insofar as it spiritualized Christianity and treated it as merely an expression of individual experience, thus emptying the Bible and creeds of all definitive meaning. These books, along with a number of others, placed Machen firmly in one theological camp within the Presbyterian Church. His work throughout the 1920s was divided between his time at Princeton and his political work with evangelical Presbyterians. Despite his conservative theological beliefs, Machen was never able to fully embrace popularist fundamentalism either. His refusal to accept premillennialism and other aspects of Fundamentalist belief was based upon his belief that Reformed Theology was the most biblical form of Christian belief – a theology that was generally missing from Fundamentalism at the time. Moreover, Machen’s scholarly work and ability to engage with modernist theology was at odds with Fundamentalism’s anti-intellectual attitude.[original research?]

Controversies[edit]

Between 1924 and 1925, relations among the Princeton faculty deteriorated when The Presbyterian questioned if there were two different parties on the faculty. In response Machen remarked that his differences with Charles Erdman related to the importance they attributed to doctrine. He noted that Erdman was tolerant of those in doctrinal error. Erdman wrote privately ‘he (Dwight L. Moody) knew that controversialists do not usually win followers for Christ.’

Westminster Theological Seminary[edit]

The 1929 General Assembly voted to reorganise Princeton Seminary and appointed two of the Auburn Affirmation signatories as trustees. The Auburn Affirmation was a response by liberals[3] within the Northern Presbyterian Church that condemned the General Assembly’s response to the controversy arising out of Harry Emerson Fosdick‘s May 1922 sermon “Shall the Fundamentalists Win?”. Machen and some colleagues withdrew and set up Westminster Theological Seminary to continue reformed orthodox theology.

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church[edit]

In 1933, Machen, concerned about liberalism tolerated by Presbyterians on the mission field, formed The Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions. The next Presbyterian General Assembly reaffirmed that Independent Board was unconstitutional and gave the associated clergy an ultimatum to break their links. When Machen and seven other clergy refused, they were suspended from the Presbyterian ministry. The controversy divided Machen from many of his fundamentalist friends including Clarence Macartney who dropped away at the prospect of schism. Ultimately, Machen withdrew from the Northern Presbyterian Church and formed what later came to be known as the Orthodox Presbyterian Church.

In his book The Great Evangelical Disaster, Francis Schaeffer details the theological shift in American Christianity from conservatism to liberalism. In that discussion, Schaeffer describes how Machen’s “defrocking” rightly became front page news in the secular media of the country. Schaeffer concludes: “A good case could be made that the news about Machen was the most significant U.S. news in the first half of the twentieth century. It was the culmination of a long trend toward liberalism within the Presbyterian Church and represented the same trend in most other denominations” (p 35).

Religion and politics[edit]

Machen was suspicious of mixing religion and politics. He found attempts to establish a Christian culture by political means insensitive to minorities.[4] He was even more concerned about the corrupting influence of politics on Christianity and saw the social gospel as a terrible warning. He opposed school prayer and Bible reading in public school[citation needed]. This position, however, implied that Christians should run their own schools.[5]

Historian George Marsden has described Machen as “radically libertarian. He opposed almost any extension of state power and took stands on a variety of issues. Like most libertarians, his stances violated usual categories of liberal or conservative.”[6] He opposed the establishment of a federal Department of Education, suggesting before a joint Congressional committee that government control of the children was the ultimate sacrifice of freedom.[7] He was not against locally operated public schools per se, but feared the influence of materialist ideology and opposition to higher human aspirations.[8] He also opposed Prohibition – a costly stance in an age when abstinence was almost a creed among Protestants.[6] He was opposed to a foreign policy of imperialism and militarism.[9]

Death[edit]

Much to the sadness of those who had been involved in the movements that he had led, Machen died in 1937 at the age of 55. Some commentators (notably Ned Stonehouse) point out that Machen’s “constitution” was not always strong, and that he was constantly “burdened” with his responsibilities at the time.[citation needed]

Machen had decided to honor some speaking engagements he had in North Dakota in December, 1936, but developed pleurisy in the exceptionally cold weather there. After Christmas, he was hospitalized for pneumonia and died on January 1, 1937. Just before his death, he dictated a telegram to long-time friend and colleague John Murray—the content of that telegram reflected deeply his lifelong faith: “I’m so thankful for active obedience of Christ. No hope without it.”[10] He is buried in Greenmount Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland. The stone covering his grave bears, very simply, his name, degree, dates, and the phrase “Faithful Unto Death,” in Greek.

Machen’s grave

The Baltimore-born journalist, H. L. Mencken, wrote an editorial on Machen in December 1931[11] and later contributed an obituary entitled “Dr. Fundamentalis” which was published in the Baltimore Evening Sun on January 18, 1937. While disagreeing with Machen’s theology, Mencken nevertheless articulated a great respect and admiration for his intellectual ability. He noted that Machen “fell out with the reformers who have been trying, in late years, to convert the Presbyterian Church into a kind of literary and social club, devoted vaguely to good works,” and that “though he lost in the end and was forced out of Princeton, it must be manifest that he marched off to Philadelphia with all the honors of war.” Mencken also compared Machen to William Jennings Bryan, another well-known Presbyterian, with the statement, “Dr. Machen himself was to Bryan as the Matterhorn is to a wart.”[12]

Machen left half his considerable estate to Westminster Seminary in Philadelphia. Giving $10,000 outright to the seminary, Dr. Machen provided that half of the balance, after certain bequests to his brothers and others were cared for, should be placed in the hands of five trustees to be held for the benefit of Westminster Seminary. Ten per cent of the residuary estate was to go to the Independent Board. The will was drawn in 1935, before the establishing of The Presbyterian Guardian and before the organization of the new Church. The gross estate was estimated at $175,000.[13]

Works[edit]

In addition to those mentioned in the main article, Machen’s works include:

  • The Literature and History of New Testament Times (1915)
  • Recent criticism of the book of Acts (1919)
  • The Origin of Paul’s Religion (1921) online
  • Teaching the Teacher; A First Book in Teacher Training (1921) (Contributing author)
  • A Brief Bible History; a Survey of the Old and New Testaments (1922)
  • New Testament Greek for Beginners (1923)
  • Christianity and Liberalism (1923) ISBN 0-8028-1121-3
  • What is Faith? (1925)
  • The Virgin Birth of Christ (1930)
  • The Christian faith in the modern world (1936)
  • The Christian view of man (1937)
  • God Transcendent (1949) edited by Ned B. Stonehouse from Machen’s sermons, ISBN 0-85151-355-7.
  • What is Christianity? And Other Addresses (1951) edited by Ned B. Stonehouse
  • The New Testament : An Introduction to its Literature and History (1976) edited by W. John Cook from two sets of Machen’s course materials, ISBN 0-85151-240-2.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Coray, Henry W. (1981). J. Gresham Machen: A Silhouette. Grand Rapids 1981, Kregel Publications. ISBN 0-8254-2327-9.
  • Gatiss, L (2008). Christianity and the Tolerance of Liberalism: J.Gresham Machen and the Presbyterian Controversy of 1922-1937. London, Latimer Trust ISBN 978-0-946307-63-0
  • Hart, D. G. (2003). Defending the Faith: J. Gresham Machen and the Crisis of Conservative Protestantism in Modern America. P & R Publishing. ISBN 0-87552-563-6
  • Machen, J. Gresham (1923). Christianity and Liberalism. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN 0-8028-1121-3
  • Marsden, George M.. “Understanding J. Gresham Machen.” In Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism p. 182-201. Grand Rapids 1991, Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-0539-6.
  • Noll, M. A. (1988). “John Gresham Machen”. In S. B. Ferguson, D. F. Wright, and J. I. Packer (Eds.), The New Dictionary of Theology. Inter-Varsity Press, Leicester. ISBN 0-8308-1400-0
  • Stonehouse, Ned B. (1987). J. Gresham Machen – A Biographical Memoir (3rd ed.). Banner of Truth Trust, Edinburgh. ISBN 0-85151-501-0. (Republished by the Committee for the Historian of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church. ISBN 0-934688-97-4.)

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Charles Earle Funk: What’s the Name, Please?, Funk & Wagnalls, 1936.
  2. Jump up^ Douglas M. Jones III: J. Gresham Machen Was Right About the Gulf Crisis ANTITHESIS January/February 1991 – Volume 2, Number 1.
  3. Jump up^ The Auburn Heresy at opc.org
  4. Jump up^ J. Gresham Machen: Christianity & Liberalism p. 149, 151. New York 1923, MacMillan.
  5. Jump up^ J. Gresham Machen: “The Necessity of the Christian School,” in What Is Christianity? And Other Essays by J. Gresham Machen, ed. by Ned B. Stonehouse. Grand Rapids, Mich. 1951
  6. ^ Jump up to:a b George M. Marsden: Understanding Fundamentalism and Evangelicalism p. 196. Grand Rapids 1991, Eerdmans.
  7. Jump up^ Testimony before the House & Senate Committees on the Proposed Department of Education February 25, 1926.
  8. Jump up^ J. Gresham Machen: Christianity & Liberalism pp. 13f. New York 1923, MacMillan.
  9. Jump up^ https://www.lewrockwell.com/2008/08/laurence-m-vance/soldier-worship/
  10. Jump up^ J. Gresham Machen’s Response to Modernism at http://www.desiringgod.org.
  11. Jump up^ H.L. Mencken, “The Impregnable Rock,” American Mercury, v. 24, no. 96 (December 1931) 411-412.
  12. Jump up^ H. L. Mencken, “Dr. Fundamentalis“, an obituary of Rev. J. Gresham Machen, Baltimore Evening Sun (January 18, 1937), 2nd Section, p. 15.
  13. Jump up^ “The Presbyterian”. 21 January 1937.

External links[edit]

Francis Schaeffer

I remember like yesterday hearing my pastor Adrian Rogers in 1979 going through the amazing fulfilled prophecy of Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of the city of Tyre. In 1980 in my senior year (taught by Mark Brink) at Evangelical Christian High School, I watched the film series by Francis Schaeffer called WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Later that same year I read the book by the same name and I was amazed at the historical accuracy of the Bible and the many examples from archaeology that Schaeffer gave and recently I have shared several of these in my current series on Schaeffer and the Beatles. The reason I did that was because many people in the 1960’s had taken non-rational leaps into such areas as communism, the occult, drugs, and eastern mysticism,  but sitting right there in front of them was the historical accurate Bible which contained sufficient evidence to warrant trust.

(Adrian Rogers met with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.)

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(This was the average sanctuary crowd when I was growing up at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis)

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Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that politically Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan were my heroes. Spiritually my heroes have been both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. An interesting fact about both of these two men and that is they both believed the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Both men defended the historical accuracy of the Bible even though both of the religious denominations they belonged to started to shift to the liberal view that the Bible contains errors in it.

H. L. Mencken
H l mencken.jpg

J. Gresham Machen

J. Gresham Machen

Francis Schaeffer’s battle on this issue came in the 1930’s when he got to know Dr. J. Gresham Machen was involved in a battle with  the Presbyterian Church USA over their leftward shift in theology. Francis Schaeffer observed:

H.L. Mencken died when I was a young man and I read some of the stuff he wrote and he came at just the point of the total collapse of the American consensus back in the 1930’s or a little before. H.L.Mencken was very destructive to the American consensus and he was way out. It is he who said the famous thing about Dr. J. Gresham Machen. Dr. Machen was the man who was fighting the battle for historic Christianity against the liberals in the big denominations and expressly the Presbyterian denomination and the liberals were trying to laugh Machen out of court. But H.L. Mencken said a remarkable thing, “Well, if you really want to be a Christian there is only one kind of Christian to be and that is the Machen kind.” This is wonderful. This is exactly where the battlefield is. When you take Christianity and chip away at it like the liberals wanted to do then you don’t have anything left. This is no halfway war. If you are going to be a Christian you have to be a biblical Christian. Machen and Mencken understood this and this is my position too.  

Adrian Rogers also was that type of Christian too. Recently a relative told me that his Bible Study Teacher at the church he started attended recently started a series on Genesis and he said on the front end that evolution is true. I encouraged my relative to ask the simple question: DO YOU BELIEVE IN A LITERAL “ADAM AND EVE?” I sent him the sermon on Evolution by Adrian Rogers and here is a portion of it below:

H.G. Wells

H. G. Wells, the brilliant historian who wrote The Outlines of History, said this—and I quote: “If all animals and man evolved, then there were no first parents, and no Paradise, and no Fall. If there had been no Fall, then the entire historic fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin, and the reason for the atonement, collapses like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells says—and, by the way, I don’t believe that he did believe in creation—but he said, “If there’s no creation, then you’ve ripped away the foundation of Christianity.”

Now, the Bible teaches that man was created by God and that he fell into sin. The evolutionist believes that he started in some primordial soup and has been coming up and up. And, these two ideas are diametrically opposed. What we call sin the evolutionist would just call a stumble up. And so, the evolutionist believes that all a man needs—he’s just going up and up, and better and better—he needs a boost from beneath. The Bible teaches he’s a sinner and needs a birth from above. And, these are both at heads, in collision.

What is evolution? Evolution is man’s way of hiding from God, because, if there’s no creation, there is no Creator. And, if you remove God from the equation, then sinful man has his biggest problem removed—and that is responsibility to a holy God. And, once you remove God from the equation, then man can think what he wants to think, do what he wants to do, be what he wants to be, and no holds barred, and he has no fear of future judgment.

Francis Schaeffer & the SBC

Actually Francis Schaeffer’s good friend Paige Patterson talked Adrian Rogers into running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 and the liberal shift was halted. In the article “Francis Schaeffer ‘indispensable’ to SBC,” (Thursday, October 30, 2014,)  David Roach wrote:

The late Francis Schaeffer was known to pick up the phone during the early years of the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence. Paige Patterson knew to expect a call from Schaeffer around Christmas with the question, “You’re not growing weary in well-doing are you?”

Patterson, a leader in the movement to return the SBC to a high view of Scripture, would reply, “No, Dr. Schaeffer. I’m under fire, but I’m doing fine. And I’m trusting the Lord and proceeding on.”

To some it may seem strange that an international Presbyterian apologist and analyst of pop culture would take such interest in a Baptist controversy over biblical inerrancy.

But to Schaeffer it made perfect sense.

He believed churches were acquiescing to the world, abandoning their belief that the Bible is without error in everything it said. A watered-down theology left the SBC with decreased power to battle cultural evils. To Schaeffer the convention was the last major American denomination with hope for reversing this “great evangelical disaster,” as he put it.

Thirty years after Schaeffer’s death, Baptist leaders still remember how he took time from his speaking, writing and filmmaking schedule to quietly encourage Patterson; Paul Pressler, a judge from Texas with whom Patterson worked closely during the conservative resurgence; Adrian Rogers, a Memphis pastor who served three terms SBC president; and others.

By the early 1990s, conservatives had elected an unbroken string of convention presidents and moved in position to shift the balance of power on all convention boards and committees from the theologically moderate establishment. But at the time of Schaeffer’s annual calls, the outcome of the controversy was still in doubt.

(Paige Patterson)

“I strongly suspect that he was afraid I would not hold strong,” Patterson, now president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, told Baptist Press. “He had seen so many people fold up under pressure that he assumed we probably would too. So he would call and ask for a report.”

Schaeffer’s interest in engaging culture made him particularly appealing to Southern Baptist conservatives. He helped provide them with a “battle plan” to fight cultural evils and what they perceived as theological drift in their denomination, Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told BP.

Along with theologian Carl F.H. Henry, Schaeffer was the key intellectual influence on leaders of the conservative resurgence, Land said. When conservatives started to be elected as the executives of Baptist institutions, Henry spoke at Land’s inauguration at the Christian Life Commission (the ERLC’s precursor), R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Timothy George’s at Beeson Divinity School in Alabama.

“If Schaeffer had still been alive, we would have had him come,” Land said. He noted that Schaeffer was “close” to Rogers and “admired” by Bailey Smith, two conservative SBC presidents. Edith Schaeffer and Patterson’s wife Dorothy were close friends and traveled together in the early 1980s speaking on the importance of the home.

Clark Pinnock, a former New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor who mentored conservative resurgence leaders before taking a leftward theological turn in his own thinking, served on Schaeffer’s staff at L’Abri.

(ADRIAN ROGERS, chairman of the committee that drafted changes to the Baptist Faith & Message, joins Al Mohler, Chuck Kelley and Richard Land in a news conference shortly after the new statement of faith was adopted by messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando, Fla)

Mount Sinai is one of the most important sites of the entire Bible. It was here that the Hebrew people came shortly after their flight from Egypt. Here God spoke to them through Moses, giving them directions for their life as newly formed nation and making a covenant with them.

The thing to notice about this epochal moment for Israel is the emphasis on history which the Bible itself makes. Time and time again Moses reminds the people of what has happened on Mount Sinai:

Deuteronomy 4:11-12New International Version (NIV)

11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fireto the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 Then the Lordspoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;there was only a voice.

Moses emphasized that those alive at the time had actually heard God’s voice. They had received God’s direct communication  in words. They were eyewitnesses of what had occurred–they saw the cloud and the mountain burning with fire. They saw and they heard. Moses says, on the basis of what they themselves have seen and heard in their own lifetime, they are not to be afraid of their present or future enemies.

On the same basis too, Moses urges them to obey God: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen…” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Thus the people’s confidence and trust in God and their obedience to Him are alike rooted in truth that is historical and open to observation…The relationship between God and His people was not based on an upward experience inside their own heads, but upon a reality which was seen and heard. They were called to obey God not because of a leap of faith, but because of God’s real acts in history. For God is the LIVING GOD….”Religious Truth” according to the Bible involves the same sort of truth which people operate on in their everyday lives. If something is true, then its opposite cannot also be true.

From the Bible’s viewpoint, all truth finally rests upon the fact that the infinite-personal God exists in contrast to His not existing. This means that God exists objectively. He exists whether or not people say He does. The Bible also teaches that God is personal.
Much of the Bible is in the sphere of normal existence and is observable. God communicated himself in language. This is not surprising for He  was the creator of people who use language in communicating with other people.
In the Hebrew (and biblical) view, truth is grounded ultimately in the existence and character of God and what has been given us by God in creation and revelation. Because people are finite, reality cannot be exhausted by human reason.
It is within this Judeo-Christian view of truth that, by its own insistence, we must understand the Bible. Moses could appeal to real historical events as the basis for Israel’s confidence and obedience into the future. He could even pass down to subsequent generations physical reminders of what God had done, so that the people could see them and remember.

________________

A 700 Club Special! ~ Francis Schaeffer 1982

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Faith, Seeing & Believing

John 21:1-14New International Version (NIV)

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

__________

The resurrected Christ stood there on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. Before the disciples reached the shore, He had already prepared a fire with fish cooking on it for them to eat. It was a fire that could be seen and felt; the fire cooked the fish, and the fish and bread could be eaten for breakfast.

When the fire died down, it left ashes on the beach; the disciples were well fed with bread and fish and Christ’s footprints would have been visible on the beach…

Thomas, Christ tells us,  should have believed the ample evidence given to him of the physical evidence of the resurrection by the other apostles. Christ rebuked him for not accepting this evidence.He at that time and we today have the same sufficient witness of those who have seen and heard and were able to touch the resurrected Christ and were able to observe what He had done.

Because Thomas insisted on seeing and touching we have a more sure witness than we otherwise would have  had. In the testimony of those who saw and heard we have a sure witness and this includes Thomas’ doubt and his personal verification which removed that doubt. WE SHOULD BOW BEFORE THE TOTAL WITNESS OF THE RECORD WHICH WE HAVE  IN THE BIBLE, OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE AND IT’S FORM AND THE UNIQUENESS OF MAN. IT IS ENOUGH! BELIEVE HE HAS RISEN.

John 20:24-29New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

_______________

 

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

 

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

 

Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?

Tim Brister —  July 26, 2006 — 6 Comments

In the appendix of his book, He Is There and He Is Not Silent, Francis Schaeffer wrote a little piece called “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?” Schaeffer explains that, “To modern man, and much modern theology, the concept of propositional revelation and the historic Christian view of infallibility is not so much mistaken as meaningless” (345). The 20th century came with many challenges to theological formulation, not the least of which was the assault on propositional truth and revelation. Such camps as existentialists and logical positivists attempted to remove religious truth from the reason and revelation while others sought to justify meaning, reality, and truth with other criterion of verification such as experience and perception. However, center to the Christian faith is the belief that God has spoken and revealed himself in the written Word of God. In this revelation, God used language as the medium to carry and convey biblical truths and realities. This is not to say that God has revealed himself exhaustively, but it does mean that he has revealed himself truly and definitively. Schaeffer makes two points which I would like to mention here:

  1. Even communication between one created person and another is not exhaustive; but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true.
  1. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unthinkable for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise, as a finite being, the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point.

Schaffer makes some salient points here that deserve to be brought up in the 21stcentury. While we do not disagree that revelation is also personal, we cannot flinch on the assault on propositional revelation. God has revealed himself to us, his nature and his acts, through propositional revelation (i.e. the Bible), and the implications of this truth is that we do not have the rights to reinvent or rename the God Who Is There. If we do not begin with God and his revelation, Schaeffer is correct to conclude that there are many things we could not know about God based on such a limited, finite reference point as ourselves. It is no coincidence that, at the time of Schaeffer’s publishing of this book (1972), John Hick was advancing his pluralistic hypothesis which argued for the ineffability of the “Real” which argued that one cannot know anything about God as he is (ding an sich).Adapting the Kantian model of the noumenal and phenomenal worlds, Hick argues that God (“Real”) has not and cannot reveal himself truly and definitely; furthermore, it is impossible to know anything at all about the Real (except that it is ineffable and that it exists which is something he claims to know). The result when God is not the beginning, the reference point, the apriori grounds of knowledge and revelation, then knowing and defining God is a free-for-all to anyone who wants to postulate their phenomenological interpretations as religious truth. Schaeffer concludes his little article with this important paragraph in which he said:

“The importance of all this is that most people today (including some who still call themselves evangelical) who have given up the historical and biblical concept of revelation and infallibility have not done so because of the consideration of detailed problems objectively approached, but because they have accepted, either in analyzed fashion or blindly, the other set of presuppositions. Often this has taken place by means of cultural injection, without their realizing what has happened to them” (349, emphasis added).

In the days ahead, I hope to share how propositional truth is foundational to personal truth and give a few examples of the redefinition of revelation in contemporary contexts.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Hebrews 1:1-2

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The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Raúl de Nieves is an American Artist | Art21 “New York Close Up”

Featured artist is Raúl de Nieves

Raúl de Nieves

Raúl de Nieves was born in 1983 in Michoacán, Mexico and lives and works in New York. De Nieves, who works in sculpture and performance, attributes his art practice to his childhood education in Mexico, where he was taught to sew and crochet.

Originally planning to enroll in art school in San Francisco, de Nieves ultimately changed his mind and decided to study on his own, taking cues from his friends who were enrolled in classes, but leaving himself the liberty to follow his own instincts and interests—and allowing him to work for several years on the same pieces. De Nieves makes intricate sculptures using plastic beads that require intensive manual labor. He has gained recognition in both the art and fashion worlds, and has often worked with discarded shoes, resulting in pieces that are more fantastical than practical (though still possible) to wear. The expansive faux stained glass window and beaded sculptures he presented at the 2017 Whitney Biennial were among the exhibition’s most acclaimed works.

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Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part M “Old Testament prophecy fulfilled?”Part 3(includes film DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE)

  I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is […]

Evidence for the Bible

Here is some very convincing evidence that points to the view that the Bible is historically accurate. Archaeological and External Evidence for the Bible Archeology consistently confirms the Bible! Archaeology and the Old Testament Ebla tablets—discovered in 1970s in Northern Syria. Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place […]

 

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Dr. Jack Graham Challenges Agnostic Woody Allen’s ‘Hopeless State of Mind’ By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter

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Dr. Jack Graham Challenges Agnostic Woody Allen’s ‘Hopeless State of Mind’

By Nicola Menzie , Christian Post Reporter | 

Prolific Hollywood filmmaker and religious skeptic Woody Allen maintains in a recent interview that human life on earth is “just an accident” filled with “silly little moments,” and the “best you can do to get through life is distraction.”

Dr. Jack Graham, pastor of Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano, Texas, and PowerPoint Ministries broadcaster, called Allen’s suggestions “sad” and “tragic” and “a hopeless state of mind.”

Allen, whose latest film “Blue Jasmine” is currently in theaters, is agnostic and grew up in a Jewish household. His worldview comes across strongly, and in some cases purposefully, in his four dozen films — which “often drip with pessimism (some would say nihilism),” one observer noted.

Allen also has talked openly on more than one occasion about what he believes is the futility of life — described in a 2006 Washington Post article as one of the few subjects about which the filmmaker is “evangelically passionate.” He doesn’t think the existence of God as plausible, and considers people who put their “faith in religion” as delusional.

The award-winning filmmaker reemphasizes those views in Esquire’s September 2013 issue.

“It’s just an accident that we happen to be on earth, enjoying our silly little moments, distracting ourselves as often as possible so we don’t have to really face up to the fact that, you know, we’re just temporary people with a very short time in a universe that will eventually be completely gone,” Allen, 77, says in the interview.

“And everything that you value, whether it’s Shakespeare, Beethoven, da Vinci, or whatever, will be gone. The earth will be gone. The sun will be gone. There’ll be nothing. The best you can do to get through life is distraction. Love works as a distraction. And work works as a distraction. You can distract yourself a billion different ways. But the key is to distract yourself.”

Graham was asked for a response to Allen’s comments during his Aug. 20 appearance on “The Janet Mefferd Show,” and the minister immediately brought up Jesus.

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?” Graham quoted Jesus from the Gospels. “The soul exists and we are not just an accident of time or matter or space. We are created by God for an eternal purpose, therefore we do matter.”

“You matter to God, we matter to God,” the former Southern Baptist Convention president went on. “Because not only were we created by God but in Christ we are recreated to have an eternal life with him.

“So how sad, how tragic that so many people like Woody Allen, whether they can express it like that or not, are just living for self, and living for pleasure and living for things.”

The megachurch pastor referenced Philippians 1:21: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”

“To live is Christ means that Christ is the focus and the hero, the joy, the reason for living. Therefore, to die is gain,” Graham added. “But if you can’t say to live is Christ, then you have to say to die is loss. There’s no fun and games in a grave without Christ and a future without Christ.”

“That’s the sadness of the lostness of people all around us,” he concluded.

Graham suggested that Christians need to get more “aggressive” in building relationships with people who seem hopeless.

Allen discussed similar issues with Billy Graham in the ’60s for a television program and jokingly expressed his hope to convert the renowned evangelist to agnosticism by the end of their talk (watch part 1 and part 2).

The filmmaker also has many diehard fans, surprisingly it seems, among evangelical Christians, according to a Washington Post “Under God” blog entry published in 2011 and titled “Woody Allen and evangelicals: A surprisingly romantic pair.”

“Many of Allen’s films wrestle in a complex way with core moral themes, such as the nature of forgiveness, what to do with sin, whether life can have any meaning without God. And he does this as an agnostic,” Michelle Boorstein writes in the blog post.

Richard Land, seminary president, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission and executive editor of The Christian Post, is “a huge Allen fan and can rattle off an amazing amount of dialogue,” according to the article.

Land suggested that Allen had lost some of his “light touch” and “confidence,” and that his more recent movies expose an awareness of “his own mortality.”

The Southern Baptist leader said Allen “asks all the right questions, he just doesn’t have the right answers.”

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopelessmeaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of his own secular view. I salute him for doing that. That is why I have returned to his work over and over and presented my own Christian worldview as an alternative.

My interest in Woody Allen is so great that I have a “Woody Wednesday” on my blog www.thedailyhatch.org every week. Also I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in his film “Midnight in Paris.” (Salvador Dali, Ernest Hemingway,T.S.Elliot,  Cole Porter,Paul Gauguin,  Luis Bunuel, and Pablo Picasso were just a few of the characters.)

During the last 30 days here are the posts that have got the most hits on my blog on this subject of the “Meaning of Life”:

Francis Bacon: Humanist artist who believed life “is meaningless” (Part 1)

The movie “Les Miserables” and Francis Schaeffer
Danny Woodhead has found satisfaction in his Christian faith, Brady still looking for satisfaction despite 3 Super Bowl rings (Part 2)
2008 article on Woody Allen on the meaning of life

Nihilism can be seen in Woody Allen’s latest film “Midnight in Paris”

Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren of Kansas: Their story of deliverance from drugs jh16c

According to Woody Allen Life is meaningless (Woody Wednesday)

“Is God Enough?” Fellowship Bible sermon outline by Mark Henry July 8, 2012

Here are some posts on the movie “Midnight in Paris”:
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 15, Luis Bunuel)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 9, Georges Braque)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso)
The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 11, Rodin)The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 13, Amedeo Modigliani)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 14, Henri Matisse)
Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)
The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 10 Salvador Dali)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 12, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel)

Related posts:

I love the movie “Midnight in Paris” by Woody Allen and I have done over 30 posts on the historical characters mentioned in the film. Take a look below:

“Midnight in Paris” one of Woody Allen’s biggest movie hits in recent years, July 18, 2011 – 6:00 am

(Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)July 10, 2011 – 5:53 am

 (Part 29, Pablo Picasso) July 7, 2011 – 4:33 am

(Part 28,Van Gogh) July 6, 2011 – 4:03 am

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 26,James Joyce) July 4, 2011 – 5:55 am

(Part 25, T.S.Elliot) July 3, 2011 – 4:46 am

(Part 24, Djuna Barnes) July 2, 2011 – 7:28 am

(Part 23,Adriana, fictional mistress of Picasso) July 1, 2011 – 12:28 am

(Part 22, Silvia Beach and the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore) June 30, 2011 – 12:58 am

(Part 21,Versailles and the French Revolution) June 29, 2011 – 5:34 am

(Part 16, Josephine Baker) June 24, 2011 – 5:18 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

“Woody Wednesday” A 2010 review of Woody Allen’s Annie Hall

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen video interview in France talk about making movies in Paris vs NY and other subjects like God, etc

Woody Allen video interview in France Related posts: “Woody Wednesdays” Woody Allen on God and Death June 6, 2012 – 6:00 am Good website on Woody Allen How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter? If Jesus Christ came back today and […]

“Woody Wednesday” Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

Woody Allen interviews Billy Graham (Woody Wednesday)

A surprisingly civil discussion between evangelical Billy Graham and agnostic comedian Woody Allen. Skip to 2:00 in the video to hear Graham discuss premarital sex, to 4:30 to hear him respond to Allen’s question about the worst sin and to 7:55 for the comparison between accepting Christ and taking LSD. ___________________ The Christian Post > […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

“Woody Wednesday” Great Documentary on Woody Allen

I really enjoyed this documentary on Woody Allen from PBS. Woody Allen: A Documentary, Part 1 Published on Mar 26, 2012 by NewVideoDigital Beginning with Allen’s childhood and his first professional gigs as a teen – furnishing jokes for comics and publicists – WOODY ALLEN: A DOCUMENTARY chronicles the trajectory and longevity of Allen’s career: […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 6)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 5)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

In 2009 interview Woody Allen talks about the lack of meaning of life and the allure of younger women

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Allen Wednesdays” can be seen on the www.thedailyhatch.org

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 If you like Woody Allen films as much as I do then join me every Wednesday for another look the man and his movies. Below are some of the posts from the past: “Woody Wednesday” How Allen’s film “Crimes and Misdemeanors makes the point that hell is necessary […]

Woody Allen on the Emptiness of Life by Toby Simmons

I have spent alot of time talking about Woody Allen films on this blog and looking at his worldview. He has a hopeless, meaningless, nihilistic worldview that believes we are going to turn to dust and there is no afterlife. Even though he has this view he has taken the opportunity to look at the weaknesses of […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 4)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ One of my favorite films is this gem by Woody Allen “Crimes and Misdemeanors”: Film Review By […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 3)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 3 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 3 of 3: ‘Is Woody Allen A Romantic Or A Realist?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, Crimes and Misdemeanors, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca ______________ One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 2)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 2 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 2 of 3: ‘What Does The Movie Tell Us About Ourselves?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _________________- One of my favorite Woody Allen movies and I reviewed it earlier but […]

“Woody Wednesday” Discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” (Part 1)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 Uploaded by camdiscussion on Sep 23, 2007 Part 1 of 3: ‘What Does Judah Believe?’ A discussion of Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, perhaps his finest. By Anton Scamvougeras. http://camdiscussion.blogspot.com/ antons@mail.ubc.ca _____________ Today I am starting a discusssion of the movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” by Woody Allen. This 1989 […]

 

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! PART 149 OO Dr Frank Stootman – L’Abri Fellowship (Australia) comments on Schaeffer’s comments on Bertrand Russell

 

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

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Harold W. Kroto (left) receives the Nobel Prize in chemistry from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm, in 1996.

Soren Andersson/AP

Image result for harry kroto nobel prize

 

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I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

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In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

 

 

I mailed this below to Frank Stootman who  I have a lot of respect for and asked a few questions and he gave me permission to post this response of his.

 

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Pages 119 to 123 of THE GOD WHO IS THERE in chapter 5 (How Do We Know It Is True?) of section three (How Historic Christianity Differs from the New Theology).
All men on their own level face a problem. Confronted with the existence and form of the external universe and the “mannishness” of man, how does it fit together, and what sense does it make?
(Then Schaeffer goes on and talks about propositional communication from the personal God before us, not only the things of the cosmos and history match up… a moral absolute and morals; the universal point of reference and the particulars, and the emotional and aesthetic realities of man as well.)
The Nature of Proof
In dealing with the question of proof which has been raised by the illustration of the book, I want to suggest that scientific proof, philosophical proof and religious proof follow the same rules. We may have any problem before us which we wish to solve; it may concern a chemical reaction or the meaning of man. After the question has been defined, in each case proof consists of two steps:
A. The theory must be non-contradictory and must give an answer to the phenomenon in question.
B. We must be able to live consistently with our theory.
…Then there is the negative consideration. After a careful definition has weeded out the trivial, the other possible answers that do not involve a mystical leap of faith are of the following nature:
  1. That the impersonal plus time plus chance have produced a personal man. But this theory is against all experience and thus usually the advocates of this theory end with a leap of faith, often hidden by connotation words.
  2. That man is not personal, but dead;that he is in reality a machine, and therefore personality is an illusion. This theory could fit the first criterion of being non-contradictory, but it will not fit the second, for man simply cannot life as though he were a machine. This may be observed as far back in the history of man as we have evidence–for example, from the art and artifacts of the caves or from man’s burial rites….Although man may say that he is no more than a machine, his whole life denies it.
  3. That in the future man will find another reasonable answer. Firstly, this could be said about any answer to anything and would bring all thought and science to an end. It must be seen to be an evasion and an especially weak reply if the person using it applies it only to this one question. Secondly, no one can live with this answer, for it simply is not possible to hold one’s breath and wait until some solution is found in the future. Continually the individual makes moral judgments which affect himself and others, and he must be using some working hypothesis from which to start. Thus, if a person offers this seriously as an alternative theory, he should be prepared to go into deep freeze and stop making judgments which touch on the problem of man. Bertrand Russell, for example, should have stopped making sociological decisions which involved others. This position is only possible if one stops the clock.
  4.  That the scientific theory of relativity may in the future prove to be a sufficient answer for human life. But the scientific theory of relativity cannot be applied to human life in this way. The scientific theory is constantly being tested, both as a theory and by measurement. Therefore it does not mean that “anything goes,” as it does when relativity is applied to human values. Moreover, in science the speed of light in a vacuum is considered an absolute standard. Therefore, scientific relativity does not imply that all scientific laws are in a constant state of flux. To use scientific relativity to buttress the concept of relativity in regard to human life and human values is completely invalid.

Response from Stootman:

Francis A. Schaeffer (FAS) in your quote from “TGWIT” gets at the answer to your question. Here we are confronted with two issues: 1) the form of the universe: its laws, principles, structure, function and information. 2) the ‘manishness’ of man as FAS would call it. That is, what makes us so unique in the animal Kingdom. There is something exceptional to being human with all its psychological complexity, search for meaning and values, art, creativity, beauty, rationality and comprehension of the universe.

So, FAS would argue, what answers are there to the issues raised. Indeed he includes a third: Why is the world so broken? Why (as a physicist would say) is the entropy in the universe a net positive?

All these, he would claim, are answered by the existence of God’s personal communication to us in the Bible. Here  are the answers to 1) the form: the universe is created with its form by Someone, 2) the exceptional humanity: we are created in the image & likeness of God, and 3) we are in rebellion with God and he has imposed this characteristic on the universe (Romans 8:20ff).

What FAS also includes in ‘TGWIT’ are the counter arguments. Bertrand Russell lived with the despair of no answers to our existence. Here is an important quote  from Russell, I have often used in my talks:

    • In his essay ‘A Free Man’s Worship’, Bertrand Russell, an atheist, writes in almost despair about all heroism …
      • “That Man is the product of causes which had not prevision of the end they were achieving; are but the outcome of accidental collocation 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 age, 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.” Mysticism and Logic (London, 1918)

On this basis, Russell has no real reasons to make moral pronouncements since it is all meaningless anyway. Any attempt to constrain or advocate particular moral behaviour has no final basis and is  ‘sky hook’ into thin air. He has a philosophically poor basis from his own philosophy to talk as if there is any sociologically ‘right’ view on how to live and behave.

The relativity theory of Einstein has nothing to do with sociological relativism. His theory of special relativity was a synthesis of  Mechanical relativity and Electromagnetic relativity. The velocity of light and physics in all inertial frames of reference remain the same. Thus Einstein’s relativity led to new ontological absolutes and cannot be used to argue for the relativity of everything.

Please write some more if I have not explained your questions well enough.

Best wishes,

Frank

Dr Frank Stootman – L’Abri Fellowship (Australia)

(End of response from Stootman)

Francis Schaeffer noted concerning the IMPLICIT FAITH of Bertrand Russell:

I was lecturing at the University of St. Andrews one night and someone put forth the question, “If Christianity is so clear and reasonable then why doesn’t Bertrand Russell then become a Christian? Is it because he hasn’t discovered theology?”

It wasn’t a matter of studying theology that was involved but rather that he had too much faith. I was surrounded by humanists and you could hear the gasps. Bertrand Russell and faith; Isn’t this the man of reason? I pointed out that this is a man of high orthodoxy who will hold his IMPLICIT FAITH on the basis of his presuppositions no matter how many times he has to zig and zag because it doesn’t conform to the facts.

You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. 

I think that these men are men of a high level of IMPLICIT FAITH in their own set of presuppositions. Paul said (in Romans Chapter One) they won’t carry it to it’s logical conclusion even though they hold a great deal of the truth and they have revolted and they have set up a series of universals in themselves which they won’t transgress no matter if they conform to the facts or not.

Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is “the universe and it’s form.”

Romans 1:18-20 Amplified Bible :

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification].

We can actually see the two points makes playing themselves out in Bertrand Russell’s own life.

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[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]

It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. 

There was evidence during Bertrand Russell’s own life that indicated that the Bible was true and could be trusted.

Here is some below:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98) written by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.

The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.

 

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Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

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Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

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