Milton Friedman’s religious views

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John Lofton noted: “DR. FRIEDMAN an evolutionist with ‘values’ of unknown origin but he said they were not ‘accidental.’ “

If anyone takes time to read my blog for any length of time they can not question my respect for the life long work of Milton Friedman. He has advanced the cause of freedom more than any other person I know of in the last 100 years except for Ronald Reagan who I give credit to for the collapse of the Berlin Wall.

I only had onc chance to correspond with Milton Friedman and he quickly answered my letter. It was a question concerning my favorite christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer. I had read  in the 1981 printing of The Tapestry: the Life and Times of Francis and Edith Schaeffer on page 644 that Edith mentioned “that the KUP SHOW  in Chicago, a talk show Francis was on twice, once with the economist Milton Friedman, with whom he still has a good correspondence.”  I asked in a letter in the late 1990’s  if Friedman remembered the content of any of that correspondence and he said he did not.

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1947: Economists representing the emerging Chicago School: Milton Friedman, George Stigler, and Aaron Director,


Published on Dec 3, 2013

1969 edit of Judy Garland’s 1967 appearance on Chicago based “Kup’s Show.”

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I was hoping the answer would have been yes because I also wanted to talk to Friedman about some religious subjects. I knew that Friedman had rejected religion at an early age. James A. Nuechterlein noted in 2007, “Milton Friedman grew up in Rahway, New Jersey, the son of Hungarian Jewish immigrants. (His parents were moderately observant, but Friedman, after an intense burst of childhood piety, rejected religion altogether.)

It is my understanding that Friedman did express more interest in religious subjects later in his life.  Here is a portion of an article from Human Events that led me to believe that:

Milton’s mind was bright and alert to the end, although he suffered from pain in his legs and he had a hard time walking. He also had gone through two open-heart surgeries in the 1980s. This year, when he turned 94, I asked him, “Do you think you will live to be 100?” His reply: “I hope not!” But Milton was almost always upbeat about life, even to the end. He was not a particularly religious man, but he expressed interest in religious topics near the end of his life.

John Lofton, editor of noted in “An Exchange: My Correspondence With Milton Friedman About God, Economics, Evolution And “Values”:

One of the saddest things to see is a truly brilliant individual, with a keen intellect, but who does not believe in God, in Jesus Christ, in the Bible. A case in point: Dr. Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize-winning, libertarian, free market economist. In a letter-to-the-editor to the “Wall Street Journal” (10/30/92), Dr. Friedman made the point that he is a “radical,” get-to-the-root-of-the-problem kind of guy. So, although I knew, generally, what his answer would be, but not exactly, I wrote Dr. Friedman, at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University, and asked him:

Do you believe in God? And what, if anything, does God have to do with economics? He replied, in a handwritten note on my original letter:

“I am an agnostic. I do not ‘believe in’ God, but I am not an atheist, because I believe the statement, ‘There is a god’ does not admit of being either confirmed or rejected. I do not believe God has anything to do with economics. But values do.”

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Okay. So, I write Dr. Friedman again, thank him for his prompt response, and ask: What is the distinction you make between ‘agnosticism’ and ‘atheism?” And where do these ‘values’ you say you believe in come from? Again, Dr. Friedman writes back, quickly:

“(1) Agnosticism ‘I do not know.’ (2) Atheism ‘I know that there is no god.’ (3) I do not know where my values come from, but that does not mean (a) I don’t have them, (b) I don’t hold them as strongly as you hold your belief in God. (c) They turn out — not accidentally, I believe — to be very much like these held by most other people whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, atheist, agnostic, or abstract. (d) Which leads me to believe that they are a product of the same evolutionary process that accounts for the rest of our customs as well as physical characterizations.”

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John Lofton rightly notes that “Dr. Friedman was an evolutionist with ‘values’ of unknown origin but he said they were not ‘accidental.’ I encountered the same approach from Carl Sagan. He wanted to say their was no afterlife and we were all products of chance but then he wanted to jump back and grab words like “precious” to describe us as if we could attain lasting meaning to our lives without God in the picture.

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Milton Friedman had no valid basis for his morality. He was borrowing from a Judeo-Christian basis.

I will give agnostics credit when they realize that without God in the picture everything is left to chance. I posted earlier. Neo-Darwinist Richard Dawkins recognized the purposelessness of such a system:

In a universe of blind physical forces and genetic replication some people are going to get hurt, other people are going to get lucky, and you won’t find any rhyme or reason in it, nor any justice. The universe we observe has precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil and no good, nothing but blind, pitiless indifference.22

Without God in the picture life is meaningless ultimately.  Also without God providing punishment in the afterlife for evil then there is no reason to do good without an enforcement factor.

H.J.Blackham below

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I would love to hear from any atheist that would present a case for lasting meaning in life apart from God. It seems to me that H. J. Blackham was right in his accessment of the predictament that atheists face:

On humanist assumptions [the assumption that there is no God and life has evolved by time and chance alone], life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does 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 another they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads to nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere. . . It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all . . . such a situation is a model of futility (H. J. Blackham et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).)

I do not accept evolution at all. Adrian Rogers noted three problems with evolution:

1. The fossil record. Not only is the so-called missing link still missing, all of the transitional life forms so crucial to evolutionary theory are missing from the fossil record. There are thousands of missing links, not one!
2. The second law of thermodynamics. This law states that energy is winding down and that matter left to itself tends toward chaos and randomness, not greater organization and complexity. Evolution demands exactly the opposite process, which is observed nowhere in nature.
3. The origin of life. Evolution offers no answers to the origin of life. It simply pushes the question farther back in time, back to some primordial event in space or an act of spontaneous generation in which life simply sprang from nothing.


Arthur F. Burns with Milton Friedman below

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The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

Solomon is said to be the wisest man who ever lived.Solomon went to the extreme in his searching in the Book of Ecclesiastes for this something more,  but he did not find any satisfaction in pleasure (2:1), education (2:3), work (2:4), wealth (2:8) or fame (2:9). All of his accomplishments would not be remembered (1:11) and who is to say that they had not already been done before by others (1:10)?   Also Solomon’s upcoming death depressed him because both people and animals alike “go to the same place — they came from dust and they return to dust” (3:20).

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me thatKerry 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.”

Both Kerry Livgren and 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. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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.”

You can hear Kerry Livgren’s story from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)


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  • Aayush Priyank  On April 15, 2017 at 8:53 am

    The second law of thermodynamics argument is false and inapplicable since it talks of a closed system which is not the case with Earth. (sunlight, as a source of energy, enters the planet)
    The missing links is hardly a mystery considering the years that have passed by. The DNA evidence is pretty compelling if you look at it.
    I think it’s hypocritical of a theist to accuse evolution of pushing the question back. When we talk about origin of life, theists do the same thing. The starting argument is “The Universe had to be created.” and the answer given is “God created it” with no explanation as to the creation of God in the first place.
    As for purpose: what’s the purpose of life if God does exist? The purpose to follow rules and appease someone or something that we have never personally interacted with? How do you know that of all the religions that exist, yours is the correct one? And if there exists an afterlife, then there is no purpose to life. What’s the purpose of these 70-80 years that you live, if all eternity is to be spent somewhere else? If heaven is so pleasant, why don’t you just kill yourself?
    I personally think that purpose has to be created. I actually wrote about purpose of life from an atheistic perspective, if you wish to read about it.

    • Everette Hatcher III  On April 15, 2017 at 11:28 am

      Thanks for writing today and also I have read your article THE PURPOSE OF LIFE and I enjoyed it very much and will be responding to it in the next few days. Let me say a few things about what you wrote today and I will say more later.
      FIRST, there is a problem with missing links and even Darwin said this.
      THIRD, I do agree with you that there is no lasting meaning if we were created by chance. The apostle Paul said that too in I Corinthians 15 along with Solomon in Ecclesiastes.
      Corinthians 15 asserts:

      12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

      I would like to send you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “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.”

      Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. 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. 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.

      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 You Tube 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.

      This is only to start our discussion and I will come back to it soon. Below are some supporting pieces:

      The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God from Antony Flew!

      Imagine entering a hotel room on your next vacation. The CD player on the bedside table is softly playing a track from your favorite recording. The framed print over the bed is identical to the image that hangs over the fireplace at home. The room is scented with your favorite fragrance…You step over to the minibar, open the door, and stare in wonder at the contents. Your favorite beverage. Your favorite cookies and candy. Even the brand of bottled water you prefer…You notice the book on the desk: it’s the latest volume by your favorite author…

      Chances are, with each new discovery about your hospitable new environment, you would be less inclined to think it has all a mere coincidence, right? You might wonder how the hotel managers acquired such detailed information about you. You might marvel at their meticulous preparation. You might even double-check what all this is going to cost you. But you would certainly be inclined to believe that someone knew you were coming. There Is A God (2007) p.113-4


      At this link ( ) you can read this fine article on Missling Links:

      What’s a Missing Link?
      by John D. Morris, Ph.D.
      Resources › Earth Sciences Resources › Fossil Record

      Evolutionists often speak of missing links. They say that the bridge between man and the apes is the “missing link,” the hypothetical ape-like ancestor of both. But there are supposed missing links all over the evolutionary tree. For instance, dogs and bears are thought to be evolutionary cousins, related to each other through a missing link. The same could be said for every other stop on the tree. All of the animal types are thought to have arisen by the transformation of some other animal type, and at each branching node is a missing link, and between the node and the modern form are many more.

      If you still don’t know what a missing link is, don’t worry. No one knows what a missing link is, because they are missing! We’ve never seen one. They’re still missing. Evolution depends on innumerable missing links, each of which lived in the unobserved past and have gone extinct, replaced by their evermore evolved descendants.

      While we don’t really know what a missing link is (or was), we can know what they should be. As each type evolves into something else, there should be numerous in-between types, each stage gaining more and more traits of the descendant while losing traits of the ancestor.

      If some type of fish evolved into some type of amphibian, there should have been distinct steps along the way of 90% fish/10% amphibian; then 80% fish/20% amphibian; etc., leading to the 100% amphibians we have today. You would suspect that unless evolution has completely stopped, there might even be some transitional links alive today, but certainly they lived and thrived for a while in the past before they were replaced.

      Actually, evolutionists don’t mention missing links much anymore. With the introduction of “punctuated equilibrium” in the early 70s, they seem to have made their peace with the lack of transitional forms in the fossil record. Their claim is that basic animal types exhibited “stasis” (or equilibrium) for a long period, but they changed rapidly (punctuation) as the environment underwent rapid change, so rapidly they had little opportunity to leave fossils. Thus we wouldn’t expect to find transitional forms or missing links. Fair enough, but the fact is we don’t find them. Evolution says they did exist, but we have no record of them. Creation says they never existed, and agree that we have no record of them.

      Some of these gaps which should be filled in by missing links are huge. Consider the gap between invertebrates and vertebrate fish. Which marine sea creature evolved into a fish with a backbone and internal skeleton? Fish fossils are even found in the lower Cambrian, and dated very early in the evolution scenario. But there are no missing links, no hint of ancestors. The missing links, which should be present in abundance, are still missing!

      Both creation and evolution are views of history, ideas about the unobserved past, and both sides try to marshal evidence in their support. Creation says each basic category of life was created separately, thus there never were any “missing links.” Evolution says links existed whether or not we find them. The fact is we don’t find them. The question is: which historical idea is more scientific, and which is more likely correct?

      * Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research.

      Cite this article: Morris, J. 2006. What’s a Missing Link? Acts & Facts. 35 (4).

      Resources › Earth Sciences Resources › Fossil Record

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      • Aayush Priyank  On April 15, 2017 at 11:59 am

        Now what I notice is that you bring in the instance of whether it is good to believe in a God, which is an entire topic by itself. It’s better to determine one thing before moving to the other, as I hope you would agree.

        To begin with, even if the thought of a God may make the concept of Death more bearable for some, it doesn’t add anything to the enquiry about the truth of the matter.
        Personally, I’d consider eternal afterlife extremely boring, for life has value only because it ends. It’s a basic demand supply economic formula, which holds true here as well. You’d value chocolates more if you got them once a month than you would if you got them every hour.

        I have heard the song you mention, though it was a long time ago.

        Here are the two faults which I spot with the fine tuning argument.

        1) The world is not as suitable as the hotel in the analogy. There are various vulnerabilities in the human body. As Neil DeGrasse Tyson humorously asks, “What sort of a creator would make the sewage and the entertainment system in the same place?”
        If I had to make an analogy, I’d say this: You won a lottery. There were a billion other people who could’ve won, but you did. Extremely unlikely odds, right? Might even compel you to think there was someone behind this who helped you win. But if you look at it, someone had to have won. And whoever won may have well asked the same question. So even if it wasn’t humans who evolved, it may well have been some other intelligent creatures, they would’ve considered that everything was planned out for their existence. The thing is that though our existence may seem unlikely, it is only because we consider a single scenario. If we take into accounts all the planets that exist and the vastness of the Space, it does not seem unlikely that in some planet there would emerge intelligent life.
        2) Even going by your fine tuning argument we’d not reach any religion. We would reach a scenario where there would be a certain God responsible for creation of universe. I fail to see how existence of God, which is in this context essentially a variable for whatever made everything, makes any religion correct. Religion is much more narrower than God, with preposterous claims such as that the entire Universe is created for sole purpose of our existence (approximately 70-80 years). And then, we go to heaven or hell depending upon the choices that the omniscient God already predicted we’d make. So the fine tuning argument fails to provide a route from existence of a God to the existence of a specific religion’s God. And its argument seems shaky and based upon incredulity rather than philosophical ideas that would actually convince me.
        I would research some more before commenting on your claims on evolution’s missing link. I do respect your openness towards conflicting views and willingness to engage in rational exchange of ideas. This is rare of most theists.

  • Everette Hatcher III  On April 17, 2017 at 7:21 am

    Let give you 3 initial responses to your second post:

    1ST POINT, the FINE TUNING ARGUMENT does not make any one religion correct by itself but then I would point to Biblical Archaeology showing that the Bible is accurate versus other religions that don’t have this evidence.

    You can see a great contrast here with Mormonism since they claim that the same conditions existed in Palestine 2000 years as they did in North America. But we see an absence of verification of cities in North American that they claim existed, and we also don’t find any evidence that horses or the wheel existed here then either.

    2ND POINT, there is a funny story that happened to me when I get started back in the mid 1990’s writing skeptics and I will share it with you concerning how my side (the religious right) was misusing quotes that had not been said by the FOUNDERS and I want to share it with you below for my second point.

    It was nice of you to say, “I do respect your openness towards conflicting views and willingness to engage in rational exchange of ideas. This is rare of most theists.” Maybe this story will tell you a little why I do respect many of my opponents on theological issues and have had long friendships along the way.

    3RD POINT, I wanted to discuss the Woody Allen movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with you because it demonstrates that the existence of God does affect how we look at morality. You can rent it at NETFLIX or watch it on YOUTUBE
    ( ).

    I agree with your statement, “Now what I notice is that you bring in the instance of whether it is good to believe in a God, which is an entire topic by itself. It’s better to determine one thing before moving to the other, as I hope you would agree.” However, if you take time to watch this movie you will see why my statement is hard to disagree with too.



    Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicle, of Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, 9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets. 10. Cyrus Cylinder, 11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E., 12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription, 13. The Pilate Inscription, 14. Caiaphas Ossuary, 14 B Pontius Pilate Part 2, 14c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

    A while back I put up this post on my blog

    RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 28 (Dr. Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in Physics, University of Texas, “[Science] It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too!”)

    (found at this link: )

    In this post I have the following article by J. Warner Wallace (who I have heard personally speak at our church FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH):

    “The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament”

    (can be found also at this link: )

    The Comparatively Rich Archaeological Corroboration of the Old Testament

    When I first began examining the claims of the Book of Mormon, I was an atheist who had just become interested in the person of Jesus. As a skeptic, I understood the importance of corroborative evidence when trying to determine if a witness statement is reliable. I began looking for corroboration related to both the Christian and Mormon scripture. I was immediately struck by the stark contrast between what has been discovered related to Old Testament history and what has been not been discovered related to the alleged history recorded in the Book of Mormon. There’s a reason for the absence of maps in the Mormon collection of scripture. There are no archaeological discoveries of any cities described in the book of Mormon. Worse yet, there aren’t any discoveries of any of the names of characters mentioned in the 1,000 year span of American continental history chronicled in the Book of Mormon (from 600BC to 400AD). I don’t expect archaeology to verify everything recorded in an ancient book, but I do expect it to verify something.

    The archaeological evidence supporting the Old Testament demonstrates a striking contrast when compared to the Book of Mormon in both the generalities and specificities confirmed by archaeology:

    Overarching Generalities
    Many of the Old Testament accounts bearing strong resemblances to other ancient accounts discovered through the efforts of historians and archaeologists. The Great Flood account in Genesis 6-9, for example, is very similar to Babylonian and Akkadian accounts discovered in the same region of the world. Some of these accounts may even pre-date the writings of Moses, but all describe a catastrophic flood event predating the generation of the authors. In addition, the Sumerian King List records kings who reigned for long periods of time. Following the great flood, this Babylonian document records much shorter reigns, mirroring the life expectancy patterns described in the Old Testament. The 11th tablet of the Babylonian Gilgamesh Epic speaks of an ark, animals taken on the ark, birds sent out during the course of the flood, the ark landing on a mountain, and a sacrifice offered after the ark landed.

    In addition to the flood story, there are other non-Biblical accounts recording events found in the Old Testament. The Mesopotamian Story of Adapa tells of a test for immortality involving food, similar to the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Sumerian tablets record the confusion of language as we have in the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). This Sumerian account records a golden age when all mankind spoke the same language. Speech was then confused by the god Enki, lord of wisdom. The Babylonians had a similar account in which the gods destroyed a temple tower and “scattered them abroad and made strange their speech” (Stephen L. Caiger, Bible and Spade, 1936, p. 29). There are many points of agreement in overarching narrative generalities between the Old Testament and the surrounding ancient cultures.

    Detailed Specificities
    In addition to these generalities, many specific events and historical characters described in the Old Testament have now been confirmed by extra-Biblical sources. Consider the following examples (this list is abbreviated from the work of Dr. Bryant Wood):

    The campaign into Israel by Pharaoh Shishak
    (1 Kings 14:25-26) is recorded on the walls of the Temple of Amun in Thebes, Egypt.

    The revolt of Moab against Israel
    (2 Kings 1:1; 3:4-27) is recorded on the Mesha Inscription.

    The fall of Samaria
    (2 Kings 17:3-6, 24; 18:9-11) to Sargon II, king of Assyria, is recorded on his palace walls.

    The defeat of Ashdod by Sargon II
    (Isaiah 20:1) is recorded on his palace walls.

    The campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah
    (2 Kings 18:13-16) is recorded on the Taylor Prism.

    The siege of Lachish by Sennacherib
    (2 Kings 18:14, 17) is recorded on the Lachish reliefs.

    The assassination of Sennacherib by his own son
    (2 Kings 19:37) is recorded in the annals of his son Esarhaddon.

    The fall of Nineveh as predicted by the prophets Nahum and Zephaniah
    (2 Kings 2:13-15) is recorded on the Tablet of Nabopolasar.

    The fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon
    (2 Kings 24:10-14) is recorded in the Babylonian Chronicles.

    The captivity of Jehoiachin, king of Judah, in Babylon
    (2 Kings 24:15-16) is recorded on the Babylonian Ration Records.

    The fall of Babylon to the Medes and Persians
    (Daniel 5:30-31) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

    The freeing of captives in Babylon by Cyrus the Great
    (Ezra 1:1-4; 6:3-4) is recorded on the Cyrus Cylinder.

    The historical record of the Old Testament is not alone in the history it records. There are other ancient records affirming the overarching generalities and specific details of the Old Testament. There are no such corroborative ancient records providing similar verification for the history of the Book of Mormon. It is the singular lonely voice related to the historical narrative it describes. While archaeology continues to corroborate the Old and New Testament, archaeology only exposes the erroneous nature of the Mormon record.

    Related Posts In This Series:

    Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Trustworthy Process of Transmission
    Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: A Timely Test of Transmission
    Establishing the Reliability of the Old Testament: The Ardent Testimony of the Ancients
    A Brief Sample of Old Testament Archaeological Corroboration
    From Reliable to Divine: Fulfilled Prophecy in the Old Testament

    J. Warner Wallace is a Cold-Case Detective, a Christian Case Maker, and the author of Cold-Case Christianity

    – See more at:


    Over the last 25 years I have read many books written by skeptics and have taken time to correspond with many of them. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996), Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-), Daniel Dennett (1942-), Brian Charlesworth (1945-), Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010), Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-), Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-), Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn Branch, Geoff Harcourt (1931-) and Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

    I am an evangelical Christian and I have enjoyed developing relationships with skeptics and humanists over the years. Back in 1996 I took my two sons who were 8 and 10 yrs old back then to New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey and we had dinner one night with Herbert A. Tonne, who was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II. The Late Professor John George who has written books for Prometheus Press was my good friend during the last 10 years of his life. We often ate together and were constantly talking on the phone and writing letters to one another.

    It is a funny story how I met Dr. George. As an evangelical Christian and a member of the Christian Coalition, I felt obliged to expose a misquote of John Adams’ I found in an article entitled “America’s Unchristian Beginnings” by the self-avowed atheist Dr. Steven Morris. However, what happened next changed my focus to the use of misquotes, unconfirmed quotes, and misleading attributions by the religious right.

    In the process of attempting to correct Morris, I was guilty of using several misquotes myself. Professor John George of the University of Central Oklahoma political science department and coauthor (with Paul Boller Jr.) of the book THEY NEVER SAID IT! set me straight. George pointed out that George Washington never said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” I had cited page 18 of the 1927 edition of HALLEY’S BIBLE HANDBOOK. This quote was probably generated by a similar statement that appears in A LIFE OF WASHINGTON by James Paulding. Sadly, no one has been able to verify any of the quotes in Paulding’s book since no footnotes were offered.

    After reading THEY NEVER SAID IT! I had a better understanding of how widespread the problem of misquotes is. Furthermore, I discovered that many of these had been used by the leaders of the religious right. I decided to confront some individuals concerning their misquotes. WallBuilders, the publisher of David Barton’s THE MYTH OF SEPARATION, responded by providing me with their “unconfirmed quote” list which contained a dozen quotes widely used by the religious right.

    Sadly some of the top leaders of my own religious right have failed to take my encouragement to stop using these quotes and they have either claimed that their critics were biased skeptics who find the truth offensive or they defended their own method of research and claimed the secondary sources were adequate. Even though I have quoted extensively from D. James Kennedy’s book What if Jesus Had Never Been Born, Kennedy was one of the leaders who failed to remove his quotes even though I gave him evidence that they were UNCONFIRMED QUOTES.


    Why Woody Allen’s movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS blows up the view that morality is not affected by the existence of God or by his absence. (This is an article I wrote for our church’s publication several years ago:

    By Everette Hatcher III

    “Existential subjects to me are still the only subjects worth dealing with. I don’t think that one can aim more deeply than at the so-called existential themes, the spiritual themes.” WOODY ALLEN

    Evangelical Chuck Colson has observed that it used to be true that most Americans knew the Bible. Evangelists could simply call on them to repent and return. But today, most people lack understanding of biblical terms or concepts. Colson recommends that we first attempt to find common ground to engage people’s attention. That then may open a door to discuss spiritual matters.

    Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS , is an excellent icebreaker concerning the need of God while making decisions in the area of personal morality. In this film, Allen attacks his own atheistic view of morality. Martin Landau plays a Jewish eye doctor named Judah Rosenthal raised by a religious father who always told him, “The eyes of God are always upon you.” However, Judah later concludes that God doesn’t exist. He has his mistress (played in the film by Anjelica Huston) murdered because she continually threatened to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. She also attempted to break up Judah ‘s respectable marriage by going public with their two-year affair. Judah struggles with his conscience throughout the remainder of the movie. He continues to be haunted by his father’s words: “The eyes of God are always upon you.” This is a very scary phrase to a young boy, Judah observes. He often wondered how penetrating God’s eyes are.

    Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his religious father had with Judah ‘s unbelieving Aunt May at the dinner table many years ago:

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Woody Allen has exposed a weakness in his own humanistic view that God is not necessary as a basis for good ethics. There must be an enforcement factor in order to convince Judah not to resort to murder. Otherwise, it is fully to Judah ‘s advantage to remove this troublesome woman from his life.

    The Bible tells us, “{God} has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). The secularist calls this an illusion, but the Bible tells us that the idea that we will survive the grave was planted in everyone’s heart by God Himself. Romans 1:19-21 tells us that God has instilled a conscience in everyone that points each of them to Him and tells them what is right and wrong (also Romans 2:14 -15).

    It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” THE HUMANIST, May/June 1997, pp. 38-39)

    Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (THE HUMANIST, September/October 1997, p. 2)

    The secularist can only give incomplete answers to these questions: How could you have convinced Judah not to kill? On what basis could you convince Judah it was wrong for him to murder?

    As Christians, we would agree with Judah ‘s father that “The eyes of God are always upon us.” Proverbs 5:21 asserts, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” Revelation 20:12 states, “…And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done (their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors) in accordance with what was recorded in the books” (Amplified Version). The Bible is revealed truth from God. It is the basis for our morality. Judah inherited the Jewish ethical values of the Ten Commandments from his father, but, through years of life as a skeptic, his standards had been lowered. Finally, we discover that Judah ‘s secular version of morality does not resemble his father’s biblically-based morality.

    Woody Allen’s CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS forces unbelievers to grapple with the logical conclusions of a purely secular morality. It opens a door for Christians to find common ground with those whom they attempt to share Christ; we all have to deal with personal morality issues. However, the secularist has no basis for asserting that Judah is wrong.

    Larry King actually mentioned on his show, LARRY KING LIVE, that Chuck Colson had discussed the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with him. Colson asked King if life was just a Darwinian struggle where the ruthless come out on top. Colson continued, “When we do wrong, is that our only choice? Either live tormented by guilt, or else kill our conscience and live like beasts?” (BREAKPOINT COMMENTARY, “Finding Common Ground,” September 14, 1993)

    Later, Colson noted that discussing the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with King presented the perfect opportunity to tell him about Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Colson believes the Lord is working on Larry King. How about your neighbors? Is there a way you can use a movie to find common ground with your lost friends and then talk to them about spiritual matters?

    (Caution: CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is rated PG-13. It does include some adult themes.)

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