Monthly Archives: April 2014

Open letter to President Obama (Part 572) FREE TO CHOOSE “Who protects the consumer?” Video and Transcript Part 5 of 7 “The most anti-consumer measures on our statute books are restrictions on foreign trade.”

Open letter to President Obama (Part 572) (Emailed to White House on July 15, 2013)

President Obama c/o The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

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

From the original Free To Choose series Milton asks: “Who Protects the Consumer?”. Many government agencies have been created for this purpose, yet they do so by restricting freedom and stifling beneficial innovation, and eventually become agents for the groups they have been created to regulate.

Milton Friedman rightly noted, “The most anti-consumer measures on our statute books are restrictions on foreign trade.”
Pt 5
MCKENZIE: Milton, I don’t quite understand your position on this. Are you saying, though, that there’s no place for government to test consumer product safety at all?
FRIEDMAN: I am saying, lets separate issues. I am saying there is no place for government to prohibit consumers from buying products, the effect of which will be to harm themselves. There is, of course, a place __
MCKENZIE: But how do they know that effect?
FRIEDMAN: Well, for a moment I’m trying to separate the issues. There is a place for government to protect third parties. If we go to your automobile case __
CLAYBROOK: Well, how about children? Children don’t __ aren’t choosers.
FRIEDMAN: No, no.
CLAYBROOK: They don’t make choices because they ride in the cars.
FRIEDMAN: The parents make their choices. But let’s go __
O’REILLY: But if the industry has it there’s no choice.
FRIEDMAN: We can only take one issue at a time. We’re a little difficult to take them all at once. Let’s take one at a time. I say there is no place for government to require me to do something to protect myself.
(Applause)
FRIEDMAN: Now if government has information __
MCKENZIE: Has of obtains?
FRIEDMAN: __ for a moment, suppose it has information, then it should make that public and available. The next question is: are there circumstances under which it’s appropriate for government to collect information? There may be some such circumstances. They have to be considered one at a time. Sometimes there is and sometimes there isn’t. But you see, I want to get back. Take your area Miss Claybrook, you are now involved on the airbag problem.
CLAYBROOK: That’s right.
FRIEDMAN: If I understand the situation, I don’t know anything about the technical aspects of it, but the airbag, in a car, is there to protect me as a driver. It doesn’t prevent me from having an accident, hurting somebody else because it’s only activated by an accident. All right then, why shouldn’t I make that decision? Who are you to tell me that I have to spend whatever it is, two hundred, three hundred, four hundred dollars on that airbag.
CLAYBROOK: Well we don’t tell you that. What we say is that when a car crashes into a brick wall at 30 miles an hour, the front seat occupants have to have automatic protection built into that car.
FRIEDMAN: Have to, why have to?
CLAYBROOK: And it’s a very __ it’s a very minimal __
FRIEDMAN: Why have to? I don’t care whether it’s an airbag or a seatbelt.
CLAYBROOK: The reason why __ well, there are two reasons why. One is that the sanctity of life is a fairly precious entity in this country.
FRIEDMAN: It’s more precious to me than it is to you. My life is more precious to me than to you.
MCKENZIE: Well, you know.
CLAYBROOK: Do you wear you seatbelt?
FRIEDMAN: Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t.
CLAYBROOK: I see. Well then it couldn’t be too precious to you because if it were you’d wear it all the time.
FRIEDMAN: I beg you pardon.
CLAYBROOK: Yes.
FRIEDMAN: Other things are precious too.
CLAYBROOK: Yes. Okay, but wearing your seatbelt is a relatively simple thing to go into.
FRIEDMAN: But now my question is __ but I want an answer, a direct answer.
CLAYBROOK: But there is a very __ there’s a very basic reason why.
FRIEDMAN: Yes.
CLAYBROOK: And it’s because a person does not know when they buy a car what that car is gonna do when it performs in various and sundry different ways. That’s number one. Number two, there’s a basic minimum standard, it’s performance standard. It’s not a requirement that you have certain pieces of products in your cars, but it’s a basic performance standard built into your car that when you buy it no one’s going to have less than that. So that you don’t have people needlessly injured on the highway, the cost to society, the cost to the individuals, the trauma to their families and so on. You’re suggesting theoretically that it’s much better to let people go out and kill themselves even though they really don’t know that that’s what’s gonna happen to them when they have that crash.
FRIEDMAN: Excuse me. You’re evading the fundamental issue. If you have the information, give it to them. The question is not a question of giving them the information. The question is what is your right to force somebody to spend money to protect his own life, not anybody else, but only himself and the next question I’m gonna ask you: do you doubt for a moment that prohibiting alcohol would save far more lives on the highways than an airbag, seatbelts and everything else, and on what grounds are you opposed to prohibition on grounds of principle or only because you don’t think you can get it by the legislature?
CLAYBROOK: I’m opposed to prohibition because I don’t think it’s gonna work. That’s the reason I’m opposed to it.
FRIEDMAN: But suppose it would work? I want to get to the __ I want to get to the principle.
CLAYBROOK: Can I answer you __ sure.
FRIEDMAN: I want to __ suppose you could believe it would work. Suppose you could believe__
MCKENZIE: Prohibition?
FRIEDMAN: Prohibition could work. Would you be in favor of it?
CLAYBROOK: No. What I am in favor of is building products __ I am in favor of building products so that at least they service the public.
FRIEDMAN: I was fascinated by some of the initial comments. Everybody agrees that the old agencies are bad, but the new agencies that we haven’t had a chance ___
MCKENZIE: No. You’re trying to sweep them into your net. They didn’t agree to that. But anyway __ hole on to your point.
O’REILLY: When you talk about __ the basic principle is: give me the information. Let me choose for myself. If that’s the ultimate goal, why is it that in any hearings that you’ve every gone to and I beg anyone to find me an exception, whether it’s airbags or DES, saccharine, whatever, you never; you never have the victims of the injury who lost their arm because of a lawnmower, standing up and saying “thank God that you gave me the right to become incapacitated.” Never do you hear a victim thanking the government for backing off. Never do you hear the victim of an anti-competitive action thanking the Justice Department for not bring a suit.
MCKENZIE: Dr. Landau, I promised you could make an observation on that without going into great detail.
LANDAU: Now, when DES was used to preserve pregnancies in women 25 and 30 years ago, there was absolutely zero evidence that it would cause cancer in anybody, certainly not in the children of the women who were pregnant and for you to say that it is __
O’REILLY: Then you’re ignoring the 1941 studies that show just that.
LANDAU: There is no 1941 study. This happens to be my area of expertise, I’m an endocrinologist. There was nothing.
O’REILLY: Well, there are a lot __
MCKENZIE: Now let’s not go any further down that road.
CRANDALL: Let me ask you __ yeah, let me ask Miss O’Reilly a question. I don’t see __ if the problem in drugs is that there is a lack of competition, there are a number of drug companies in the United States __
O’REILLY: That’s one of them.
CRANDALL: __ and around the world; and a lack of innovation, how regulation, which is designed to keep products off the market, that is further restrict the supply of drugs is going to enhance either competition or innovation; as a matter of fact, everything that I have learned in economics would tell me that that is likely to reduce innovation and reduce competition. And one of the great benefits of drug regulation is that if I’m a pharmaceutical company with an old tried and true drug on the market, I really want the FDA to keep new drugs off the market. It will enhance the market value of that drug. I think that’s the lesson that you learn from government regulation, whether it’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration regulation of fuel economy standards, be it drugs, be it pollution controls, their effect is anti-competitive, it’s not pro-competitve at all.
FRIEDMAN: It I go on with Bob’s point for just a moment. He and I, I’m sure, and all economists would agree that the most effective way to stimulate competition would be to have complete free trade and eliminate tariffs. The most anti-consumer measures on our statute books are restrictions on foreign trade.
MCKENZIE: Milton __
FRIEDMAN: Has the Consumer Federation of America testified against tariffs?
O’REILLY: We haven’t even been asked to.
(Laughter)

 

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Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” Part 19

Review of Woody Allen’s latest movie “Blue Jasmine” Part 19

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.)

Today we are looking at a review of Woody Allen’s latest movie Blue Jasmine.

Richard Roeper’s Reviews : Blue Jasmine Review

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Review: Blue Jasmine

This review was originally published in my column at Towleroad

Cate Blanchett can’t shut up in Blue Jasmine, Woody Allen’s latest dramedy which added more cities this weekend for its platform rollout. We join Jasmine (real name “Jeanette”) in medias res on a flight to San Francisco as she’s chattering away with, no, at an older companion. She goes on and on (and on some more!) about her love affair with her husband Hal (Alec Baldwin) all the way through to baggage claim.

But Jasmine is a liar or at least a half truth-teller. We will immediately discover that her great love affair ended in ruin. Hal was a criminal, a financial con artist who pampered Jasmine with other people’s fortunes and ruined everyone including Jasmine. She’s moving in with her estranged adopted sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins), also ruined by Hal’s crimes, now that she’s destitute. Jasmine hasn’t adjusted to her new facts, though, treating her cabbie from the airport like a personal chauffeur, and leaving him a big tip considering she’s supposed to be penniless.Jasmine isn’t always “in the now” as it were. She never is actually, talking or bragging or obsessing over the past. [More…]

Jasmine & Ginger hit a party

When she’s not downing xanax like breath mints she’s dreaming of the future which looks suspiciously like the past with socioeconomic status restored and rich husband (albeit a new one) to care for her. Once Jasmine is living with Ginger, and bristling at her sister’s low class digs (pretty spacious and nice for a check-out girl’s salary!) and her unsophisticated boyfriend Chili (Bobby Cannavale), the mashup of A Streetcar Named Desire and the Bernie Madoff scandal becomes apparent.

Woody is a smart enough screenwriter to avoid direct this equals that correlations, though. A Streetcar Named Desire is untouchable and the basic template is a solid enough melody to riff jazzily on. Cannavale, for instance, has the “Stanley Kowalski” macho-crybaby role minus the danger. The “Mitch” role has a few suitors but none of them ever quite work. As for Blanchett’s own “Blanche”, well Jasmine’s fall is less innocent and poetic but she’s no less of a mess than that Southern Belle once she hits bottom.

If your protagonist is going to babble incessantly for 98 minutes –as Jasmine does, to herself and to others — you can’t do much better than casting Cate Blanchett. Her voice has always been her greatest asset as a star actress, full of affect, sure (and that suits Jasmine who is always putting on airs), but melodious and extremely flexible to character. Her chords can hit you with delicate tremors of feeling or tectonic shifts in tone that level whole scenes.The cacophony of her chatter peaks with hilariously inappropriate life-lessons for her dumbfounded nephews:

“There’s only so much trauma a person can withstand before they take to the streets and start screaming.”

But the most inspired beat in her angry self-pitying performance may well be a silent one.[Spoiler Alert] While shopping with her new boyfriend Dwight (Peter Sarsgaard), Jasmine is confronted by a figure from her past who exposes her myriad lies and mentions her son Danny (Alden Ehrenreich) whom she has conveniently denied existed. Blanchett goes dead silent for a moment in the space where she’d usually be lying, lost not in the humiliation of exposure — she doesn’t even seem to register Dwight’s outrage –but shocked into temporary bracing present tense reality. [/Spoiler]

Blue Jasmine is fleet and vivid at 98 minutes and funny, too, despite its tragic nature. Yet it’s also in some ineffable way kind of blurry, a half success which never quite comes into focus or shakes off its duller sideshow impulses. It hasn’t worked out what to do with Ginger, underusing the excellent Sally Hawkins by saddling her with both reductive Hollywood tropes (As in Titanic and many other films “the poor” are exotically adaptable creatures, freer and happier than the upper-classes) and with a half-hearted subplot with Louis CK that never truly connects to the movie. The pressing question the movie fails to answer: If Ginger is a convenience and crutch for Jasmine, what exactly is Jasmine to Ginger? Hannah and Her Sisters is probably untoppable in this regard but couldn’t the sibling relationship be clearer?

The problem may be that the movie has ceded all of itself to Hurricane Blanchett who doesn’t share the scenes so much as spin madly at their center (less a flaw of performance than the nature of Jasmine’s psychology). Just days later it’s difficult to recall individual moments, not because they’re repetitive (less a flaw of filmmaking than the nature of Jasmine’s psychology) but because the past keeps intruding on the present and entirely overwhelming it.

In some troubling way, Blue Jasmine begins as a bastard progeny of Streetcar but morphs into a sour sibling of Midnight in Paris. Woody Allen, like Jasmine, may well be lost in conversation with himself now. Gil in Midnight in Paris managed to see delusional nostalgia for the trap it is and wrestle free, but Jasmine (and maybe Woody?) is weaker, less aware of her own culpability in her ruts and troubles. In the merciless finale, Jasmine only sees the past leaving little hope that she has any kind of future.

Grade: B
WANT MORE BLUE JASMINE? Try the spoilery Podcast
Oscar Chances: It’s the hot topic among awards aficionados at the moment but can this film survive six months of scrutiny? Cate Blanchett has a shot at gold in Best Actress though it’s far too early to declare anything or anyone a lock when 80% of the competitive field is still unseen. If the film does stay alive in conversation (and at the box office a la Midnight in Paris) more nominations are possible starting with Original Screenplay (28% of his screenplays get nominated… though there are weird misses like Vicky Cristina Barcelona even when people like the film) and ending with longshots in both Supporting Actress and Picture.

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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

(Part 1 William Faulkner) June 13, 2011 – 3:19 pm

I love Woody Allen’s latest movie “Midnight in Paris”, June 12, 2011 – 11:52 pm

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Blue Jasmine has huge opening for Woody Allen film but I doubt it will top “Midnight in Paris” overall performance!!!!!!

Blue Jasmine — Movie Review Published on Jul 25, 2013 Blue Jasmine directed by Woody Allen and starring Cate Blanchett , Alex Baldwin, and Louis C.K. is reviewed by Ben Mankiewicz (host of Turner Classic Movies), Grae Drake (Senior Editor of Rotten Tomatoes), Alonso Duralde (TheWrap.com and Linoleum Knife podcast) and Christy Lemire (Movie critic). ___________________ […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events | Edit | Comments (0)

Did Antony Flew include George Wald quote after listening to cassette tape I sent him in late 1990s?

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Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew

Published on Jan 2, 2014

Date: September 20-23, 1976
Location: North Texas State University

Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren
Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew

For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/

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Antony Flew and his conversion to theism

Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011

Antony Flew, a well known spokesperson for atheism for several decades, changed his mind and turned from atheism to Deism. Professor Flew, who was Professor of Philosophy at the University of Reading, has given clear reasons why he made that transition. These reasons have been presented briefly in this compilation.

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The Bible and Science (Part 01)

Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas

Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008

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Moral Implications of Atheism – Kyle Butt

Quotes William Provine, Dan Barker, Charles Darwin,Peter Singer, James Rachels, Eric R. Pianka,  Richard Dawkins, and Sam Harris

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Ricky Gervais act outs atheist bewilderment and frustration in the face of nice Christian nonsense

Uploaded on Jan 20, 2010

Scene from Extras series one, “Kate Winslet”, in a conversation all atheists will recognise only too well.

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Is There a God? William Lane Craig vs Victor J. Stenger (University of Hawaii, 2003)

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During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer and challenge them with the evidence for the Bible’s historicity and the claims of the gospel. Usually I would send them a cassette tape of Adrian Rogers’ messages “6 reasons I know the Bible is True,” “The Final Judgement,” “Who is Jesus?” and the message by Bill Elliff, “How to get a pure heart.”  I would also send them printed material from the works of Francis Schaeffer and a personal apologetic letter from me addressing some of the issues in their work. My second cassette tape that I sent to both Antony Flew and George Wald was Adrian Rogers’ sermon on evolution.  This cassette included the George Wald quoted mentioned in Flew’s last book. Did Antony Flew include George Wald quote after listening to cassette tape I sent him in late 1990s?

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Photo of Pastor Adrian Rogers Memorial Tribute

Below is the video of Rogers’ sermon on Evolution.

Check out this short article by Adrian Rogers:

I think that Antony Flew may have pondered this quote from George Wald which was in Adrian Rogers’ sermon.

Dr. George Wald of Harvard:

“When it comes to the origin of life, we have only two possibilities as to how life arose. One is spontaneous generation arising to evolution; the other is a supernatural creative act of God. There is no third possibility…Spontaneous generation was scientifically disproved one hundred years ago by Louis Pasteur, Spellanzani, Reddy and others. That leads us scientifically to only one possible conclusion — that life arose as a supernatural creative act of God…I will not accept that philosophically because I do not want to believe in God. Therefore, I choose to believe in that which I know is scientifically impossible, spontaneous generationarising to evolution.” – Scientific American, August, 1954.

Adrian Rogers said the lack of an  answer for the  origin of life was a big reason Rogers rejected evolution.  Rogers noted, “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.”

I actually had the chance to correspond with George Wald twice before his death. He wrote me two letters and in the first one he suggested that he was just using hyperbole when he made the assertion that is quoted by Dr. Rogers. He also suggested the religion of Buddhism although he said he was not a Buddhist himself, but he thought that would be closest to the truth which he thought was atheism. This does seem to contradict what Flew says of Wald’s views in the 1990’s. Flew contended concerning Wald:

In later years, he concluded that a preexisting mind, which he posits as the matrix of physical reality, composed a physical universe that breeds life: ‘the stuff of which physical reality is constructed is mind-stuff. It is mind that has composed a physical universe that breeds life…’ 

In my letters to both Wald and Flew in the 1990’s I demonstrated that  there is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

Fortunately some modern philosophers and scientists are starting to wake up and realize that materialistic chance evolution was not responsible for the origin of the universe but it was started by a Divine Mind. In fact, Antony Flew who was probably the most famous atheist of the 20th century took time to read several letters I sent him the 1990’s which included much material from Francis Schaeffer and he listened to several cassette tapes I sent him from Adrian Rogers and then in 2004 he reversed his view that this world came about through evolution and he left his atheism behind and  because a theist.  I still have several of the letters that Dr. Flew wrote back to me and I will be posting them later on my blog at some point. One of the letters I got back in 1994 said specifically that he enjoyed listening to whole cassette tape.

This fine article below was written two years before Antony Flew’s death in 2010. In Flew’s book THERE IS A GOD he quotes George Wald as saying, “We choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance.”

A short summary of the book, THERE IS A GOD (how the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind) in which Antony Flew explains why he changed his mind.

There Is A God  (How The World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind)

BOOK REVIEW: There is a God (How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind)

“Following the evidence wherever it may lead”42

Antony Flew became an atheist at the age of 15. He has been a champion of atheism for over six decades, has held positions at Oxford and the University of Keele and has published thirty-five works.

To the surprise of many, in 2007 Flew published his book entitled: “There is a God (How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind)”.

Flew writes, “I have embraced since the beginning of my philosophical life – (the principle) of following the argument no matter where it leads.”75 Following the argument has led Antony Flew to conclude “I now believe there is a God!”1 (Words in bracket added.)

Richard Dawkins’ comical effort to explain the origin of life – ‘it’s game over!’

In an interview with Dr. Benjamin Wikera, Flew commented on Richard Dawkins’ comical effort to argue in ‘The God Delusion’ that the origin of life can be attributed to a lucky chance.  “If that’s the best argument you have, then the game is over. No, I did not hear a Voice. It was the evidence itself that led me to this conclusion.”a

“We choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance”131

(Flew also cited the Nobel Prize-winning physiologist George Wald who made the above comment.)

Flew was persuaded by the argument that showed the absolute impossibility of producing a Shakespearean sonnet (let alone a living thing) using time and chance.b Flew writes “ … it’s simply absurd to suggest that the more elaborate feat of the origin of life could have been achieved by chance”. 78

DNA – “looked to me like the work of intelligence”75

When Flew looked at the extraordinary complexity and subtlety of the workings of DNA, he concluded “it looked to me like the work of intelligence. … What I think the DNA material has done is that it has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved in getting these extraordinary diverse elements to work together”. 75

When Flew mentions the DNA material, he is referring to the massive increase in our knowledge of DNA over the last 50 years.

Brilliant modern day scientists – not all hardened atheists!

There is sometimes a false perception that the only position for any modern, logical thinking scientist is one of disbelief in the existence of God. The author of this article once had this false idea. The below scientists may not have believed in the God of the Bible but they did believe there was a God.

To the question “Who wrote the laws of nature?” Flew answers, “This is certainly the question that scientists from Newton to Einstein to Heisenberg have asked – and answered. Their answer was the Mind of God.”96

Albert Einstein – humble in the face of a vastly superior spirit
“Every one who is seriously engaged in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that the laws of nature manifest the existence of a spirit vastly superior to that of men, and one in the face of which we with our modest powers must feel humble.”102

Stephen Hawking – the Mind of God
“… We shall all … be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason – for then we should know the mind of God.”97

[Sadly, Stephen Hawking has now concluded that the ‘mind of God’ is no longer required and that the universe can supposedly create itself from nothing!]

Werner Heisenberg – science and religion pointing to the same reality
“In the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought [science and religion], for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point.”103

Paul Dirac – ‘God is a mathematician of a very high order’
“God is a mathematician of a very high order and He used advanced mathematics in constructing the universe.”105

Erwin Schrodinger – science is deficient … it knows nothing of good, God or beauty
“The scientific picture of the world around me is very deficient … It knows nothing of beauty and ugly, good or bad, God and eternity. Science sometimes pretends to answer questions in these domains, but the answers are very often so silly that we are not inclined to take them seriously. Science is reticent too when it is a question of the great Unity of which we somehow form a part, to which we belong. The most popular name for it in our time is God, with a capital “G”.104

Max Plank – science and religion fighting the incessant battle against skepticism
“There can never be any real opposition between religion and science; for one is the compliment of the other.”105

“Religion and natural science are fighting a joint battle in an incessant, never relaxing crusade against skepticism … against unbelief and superstition … [and therefore] ‘On to God!’”105

Scientists know about the reality of invisible things

These brilliant modern-day scientists (Einstein, Hawking, Heisenberg, Dirac, Schrodinger and Plank) were all well accustomed with demonstrating that invisible things were a reality.

Because of the consistency of the universe, these great scientists saw “a direct connection between their scientific work and their affirmation of a “superior mind,” the Mind of God.”c To these scientists, God who is invisible, was a reality. They may not have all believed in a personal God with whom they could communicate but they did believe there was a God who was real.

What Antony Flew believes

“I now believe that the universe was bought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source.”88

“The design that is apparent in nature suggests the existence of a cosmic Designer” … “I have since come to see … a persuasive case for the existence of God.”95

“The only satisfactory explanation for the origin of such ‘end-directed, self-replicating’ life as we see on earth is an infinitely intelligent Mind.”132

‘The endemic evil of dogmatic atheism’

“And in this, it seems to me, lies the peculiar danger, the endemic evil, of dogmatic atheism. Take such utterances as ‘We should not ask for an explanation of how it is that the world exists; it is here and that’s all’ or “Since we cannot accept a transcendent source of life, we choose to believe the impossible: that life arose spontaneously by chance from matter” or “The laws of physics are ‘lawless laws’ that arise from the void – end of the discussion.”

“They look at first sight like rational arguments that have a special authority because they have a no-nonsense air about them. Of course, this is no more a sign that they are either rational or arguments.”86

Christianity is the one to beat!

Although Antony Flew does not claim to be a Christian, he is very sympathetic towards Christianity.

He writes, “As I have said more than once, no other religion enjoys anything like the combination of a charismatic figure like Jesus and a first-class intellectual like St. Paul. If you’re wanting omnipotence to set up a religion, it seems to me that this is the one to beat!”157

We urge you to get to know the true living God

If you have concluded in your mind that God exists, we urge you come to know the only true living God. The only way the Bible says you can do this is through Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the ONLY way to God.

Come to know the Creator

References

a In a desperate attempt to override the very powerful argument that life could never arise by chance, Richard Dawkins conjectures that “If the odds of life originating spontaneously on a planet were a billion to one against …” (The God Delusion, Richard Dawkins, Bantam Press, London, page 138.)

A billion to one is only 1 in 10 raised to the power of 9. BUT the probability of even one single protein molecule consisting of 200 amino acids arising spontaneously by chance is 1 in 10 raised to the power of 260. This is calculated by raising 20 (the number of different types amino acids available) to the power of 200 (the number of amino acids in the protein chain).

Even if the whole universe was packed with amino acids combining frantically for billions of years, it would not produce even one such protein molecule let alone produce a living cell!

The chance of producing a Shakespearean sonnet by chance is 26 (number of letters in the alphabet) raised to the power of 488 (number of letters in a sonnet) which equals 10 to the power of 690. If the whole universe was packed with typewriters frantically typing out letters for billions of years, not even one such Shakespearean sonnet would be produced.

c From the preface (page XXIII) of “There is a God”. Preface is written by Roy Abraham Varghese.

All numbers noted are page numbers from the book: “There is a God: How the world’s most notorious atheist changed his mind” written by Antony Flew (with Roy Abraham Varghese), Harper One Publications, New York, 2007. All quotes in italics are directly from Antony Flew’s book.

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Related posts:

ANTONY FLEW’S SIGNIFICANCE IN THE HISTORY OF ATHEISM by Roy Abraham Varghese

________________ ________ Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008 Has Science Discovered God? A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most […]

Antony Flew did not make a public profession of faith in Christ but will his conversion from atheism to theism have an impact?

____________ Jesus’ Resurrection: Atheist, Antony Flew, and Theist, Gary Habermas, Dialogue Published on Apr 7, 2012 http://www.veritas.org/talks – Did Jesus die, was he buried, and what happened afterward? Join legendary atheist Antony Flew and Christian historian and apologist Gary Habermas in a discussion about the facts surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join the […]

Concerning the book THERE IS A GOD Antony Flew stated, “This is my book and it represents my thinking!

_______ ________ Does God Exist?: William Lane Craig vs Antony Flew Uploaded on Dec 16, 2010 http://drcraigvideos.blogspot.com – William Lane Craig and Antony Flew met in 1998 on the 50th anniversary of the famous Copleston/Russell debate to discuss the question of God’s existence in a public debate. Unlike Richard Dawkins, Flew was one of the most […]

Bill Muehlenberg’s review of “There Is a God” By Antony Flew

_________________   Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his […]

Former Atheist Antony Flew noted that Evolutionists failed to show “Where did a living, self-reproducing organism come from in the first place?”

____   Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew Published on Jan 2, 2014 Date: September 20-23, 1976 Location: North Texas State University Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/ ______________________ Antony Flew and his conversion to theism Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011 Antony Flew, a well known […]

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__________ Discussion (1 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010 A discussion with Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas. This was held at Westminster Chapel March, 2008 Debate – William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens – Does God Exist? Uploaded on Jan 27, 2011 April 4, 2009 – Craig […]

Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’ “monkey theorem was a load of rubbish”

________   William Lane Craig versus Eddie Tabash Debate Uploaded on Feb 6, 2012 Secular Humanism versus Christianity, Lawyer versus Theologian. Evangelical Christian apologist William Lane Craig debates humanist atheist lawyer Eddie Tabash at Pepperdine University, February 8, 1999. Visit http://www.Infidels.org andhttp://www.WilliamLaneCraig.com ________________ Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee […]

Article from 2005 indicated Antony Flew abandoned atheism because of Law of Biogenesis!!!!

___________   Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew Published on Jan 2, 2014 Date: September 20-23, 1976 Location: North Texas State University Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/ ______________________ Antony Flew and his conversion to theism Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011 Antony Flew, a well known […]

The Christian influence on society is real and that is one of the reasons Antony Flew left Atheism!!!

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 571) Gosnell Guilty; Now What?

Open letter to President Obama (Part 571)

(Emailed to White House on 5-17-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here. I know that you don’t agree with my pro-life views but I wanted to challenge you as a fellow Christian to re-examine your pro-choice view.

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Many in the world today are taking a long look at the abortion industry because of the May 14, 2013 guilty verdict and life term penalty handed down by a jury (which included 9 out of 12 pro-choice jurors)  to Dr. Kermit Gosnell. During this time of reflection I wanted to put forth some of the pro-life’s best arguments.

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

Francis Schaeffer

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I truly believe that many of the problems we have today in the USA are due to the advancement of humanism in the last few decades in our society. Ronald Reagan appointed the evangelical Dr. C. Everett Koop to the position of Surgeon General in his administration. He partnered with Dr. Francis Schaeffer in making the video below. It is very valuable information for Christians to have.  Actually I have included a video below that includes comments from him on this subject.

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION

Francis Schaeffer: What Ever Happened to the Human Race? (Full-Length Documentary)


Part 1 on abortion runs from 00:00 to 39:50, Part 2 on Infanticide runs from 39:50 to 1:21:30, Part 3 on Youth Euthanasia runs from 1:21:30 to 1:45:40, Part 4 on the basis of human dignity runs from 1:45:40 to 2:24:45 and Part 5 on the basis of truth runs from 2:24:45 to 3:00:04

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

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Illustration: Lisa Nolan

Illustration: Lisa Nolan

There is much rejoicing tonight in pro-life circles over the conviction of Dr. Kermit Gosnell on first degree murder charges for his having cruelly severed the spines of babies born alive in his abortion house of horrors. I don’t begrudge folks their joy at justice for the little ones. I’m just not there.

Much as I am opposed to the death penalty, this 72 year-old serial killer should spend the rest of his life on death row fighting off the efforts of those in power over him to take his life. That might bring about some much needed insight into who and what he has become and what it is that he did. Apart from the babies killed in utero, his decades of infanticide, if evidence could show it, would make Gosnell the biggest serial killer in American history. There is less joy and more a sense of relief when a serial killer is neutralized by incarceration.

But this day only serves to highlight the psychosis of American jurisprudence. Were the same spinal cord severings carried out in utero, Gosnell would be regarded as a model abortionist, a man practicing legal medicine.

Location, location, location…

If that sounds glum, it is equally an opportunity moving forward. Having been convicted of first degree murder, Gosnell has perversely catapulted the argument away from justifying abortion on the grounds that we are not sure when life begins, and into its rightful home: personal predilection. If the murder of these babies is indeed regarded as first degree murder because of their location, then their abortions would have been no less an act of murder five minutes earlier when inside their mothers.

If Gosnell is put to death by the state it will not be for taking these babies’ lives at the developmental stages when they were killed. No, Gosnell will be put to death for not following medical protocol as dictated by law, namely failing to call 911 and to keep the baby alive because it couldn’t be murdered in a place prescribed by law.

That’s the true insanity and malignant evil in this case. Are we too far gone to recognize that it is our jurisprudence that is riddled with cancer? Giving abortionists the death penalty is not the answer, and I pray that Gosnell lives thirty years longer with all of his mental faculties intact, that he might repent and atone for his monstrous evil.

Curing the American character after 55 million murders is going to take a bit longer, if indeed we are not already too far gone.

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Tony Perkins: Gosnell Trial – FOX News

Published on May 13, 2013

Tony Perkins: Gosnell Trial – FOX News

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Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

By Bob Gorrell – May 03, 2013

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______________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband. I also respect you for putting your faith in Christ for your eternal life. I am pleading to you on the basis of the Bible to please review your religious views concerning abortion. It was the Bible that caused the abolition movement of the 1800’s and it also was the basis for Martin Luther King’s movement for civil rights and it also is the basis for recognizing the unborn children.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.com

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” (Schaeffer Sundays)

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 6 “The Scientific Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

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Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

E P I S O D E 5 How Should We Then Live? Episode 5: The Revolutionary Age I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Francis Schaeffer noted, “Reformation Did Not Bring Perfection. But gradually on basis of biblical teaching there […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 4 “The Reformation” (Schaeffer Sundays)

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“Schaeffer Sundays” Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance”

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 3 “The Renaissance” Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 3) THE RENAISSANCE I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer really shows why we have so […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 2 “The Middle Ages” (Schaeffer Sundays)

  Francis Schaeffer: “How Should We Then Live?” (Episode 2) THE MIDDLE AGES I was impacted by this film series by Francis Schaeffer back in the 1970′s and I wanted to share it with you. Schaeffer points out that during this time period unfortunately we have the “Church’s deviation from early church’s teaching in regard […]

Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 1 “The Roman Age” (Schaeffer Sundays)

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By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

 

Truth Tuesday:Francis Schaeffer: A Student’s Appreciation of a Distinct Approach by Rick Pearcey

Francis Schaeffer: A Student’s Appreciation of a Distinct Approach by Rick Pearcey

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode 5 – The Revolutionary Age

NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN

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I love the works of Francis Schaeffer and I have been on the internet reading several blogs that talk about Schaeffer’s work and the work below by Rick Pearcey was really helpful. Schaeffer’s film series “How should we then live?  Wikipedia notes, “According to Schaeffer, How Should We Then Live traces Western history from Ancient Rome until the time of writing (1976) along three lines: the philosophic, scientific, and religious.[3] He also makes extensive references to art and architecture as a means of showing how these movements reflected changing patterns of thought through time. Schaeffer’s central premise is: when we base society on the Bible, on the infinite-personal God who is there and has spoken,[4] this provides an absolute by which we can conduct our lives and by which we can judge society.  Here are some posts I have done on this series: Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age”  episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” .

In the film series “WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?” the arguments are presented  against abortion (Episode 1),  infanticide (Episode 2),   euthanasia (Episode 3), and then there is a discussion of the Christian versus Humanist worldview concerning the issue of “the basis for human dignity” in Episode 4 and then in the last episode a close look at the truth claims of the Bible.

On June 4, 1955, Francis and Edith Schaeffer made the decision to start L’Abri Fellowship in Huemoz, Switzerland.  This article was posted elsewhere in June of this year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of that founding decision, and is now published here with minor changes. “Francis Schaeffer: A Student’s Appreciation of a Distinct Voice” also therefore appears at Sue Bob’s Diary, Challies.com, and the website of the MacLaurin Institute.  I thank all concerned for their willingness to make this article available in June.

   The Schaeffers have correctly emphasized that Christianity is a total worldview based on truth that is rationally accessible and meant to be applied with authenticity to the whole person across every field of human achievement and creativity.  Many people have many reasons to be thankful for what they were able to see, hear, think about, and test over time at L’Abri, or perhaps after L’Abri.  I am one of these, for L’Abri is where I found, among other things, something for which I was not searching: a 20-year-old blonde named Nancy. 


Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

NoMirrorHDDHrorriMoN

 

Francis Schaeffer- How Should We Then Live? -8- The Age of Fragmentation

Joseph Rozak·

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEmwy_dI2j0

Francis Schaeffer: A Student’s Appreciation of a Distinct Approach

By Rick Pearcey

It happened one summer day in the early ‘70s on the campus of Georgia Tech in Atlanta.  That’s when I first heard about an individual unlike any Christian sort I had ever met, and about an approach to people and ideas that was unlike any I had ever known.  Strange as it may seem, Francis Schaeffer and his distinctive approach would begin to have an impact on this college student’s life before I knew anything about him or his work.

How can this be?  For an answer, we begin where Francis and Edith Schaeffer began, when L’Abri Fellowship entered the world in 1955 hidden from view in the village of Huemoz, Switzerland, when the couple set out several principles to guide their new work.  As we shall see, each of the principles emphasized prayer as a way to achieve their overarching purpose of “[showing] forth by demonstration, in our life and work, the existence of God.”  After ten years as a pastor in America, and then a few years in Europe as a missionary, Schaeffer was ready to act on the conviction that a real God who is personal would be able to act and communicate in space and time, in the present moment of history, and that living and working on the basis of prayer was key to demonstrating the existence of such a God in a “hard, hard world” that could sniff out phonies a mile away.

For Schaeffer, “belief” that such a God exists was not a matter of subjective “faith,” but rather a reasoned conclusion based on evidence.  As a teenager, and then again later as an adult, Schaeffer had worked through agnosticism and concluded that the Judeo-Christian worldview is objectively true—that is, that the system of thought and life set forth in the Old and New Testaments alone answers the basic philosophic questions of life in a way that is rationally consistent, historically verifiable, and existentially livable.  In addition to taking God seriously, Schaeffer also took students and other searching people seriously as individuals whose questions should not be relegated to “smokescreen” status, as a front for spiritual rebellion, for example, but rather respected as the searchings of people who need answers to basic questions.  This is why he tried to give “an honest answer to honest questions” to those who wondered whether God exists, truth is real, or life has any meaning.

But, however important (and Biblical) is this emphasis on having solid intellectual grounds for affirming the existence of God, Schaeffer felt something else was needed — namely, “the demonstration [italics added] that the Personal-Infinite God is really there in our generation,” as he wrote in the foreword of Edith’s book, L’Abri, which was published in 1969.

Schaeffer understood that talk, indeed, “is cheap,” and that words written in books also can be “cheap” if they are just “God-talk” that give readers a momentary buzz that disappears soon after the book is put down.  He realized that people need to see an exhibition that God actually exists, and that’s why he felt led to live a life, and begin a ministry, based on principles that emphasized verifiably answerable prayer, so that atheists, agnostics, and doubting Christians (sometimes hobbled by other Christians), could observe living evidence of God at work in the modern world.  Schaeffer’s vision was that when “people come to L’Abri they are faced with these two aspects simultaneously” — honest answers to honest questions and the practical demonstration of the existence of God — “as the two sides of a single coin.”

Madison Avenue vs. God
The first of L’Abri’s founding principles was to “make our financial and material needs known to God alone, in prayer, rather than sending out pleas for money.”  From his own experience, Schaeffer knew that some in leadership positions at huge Christian organizations speak as if they believe it is God who is at work in providing financing, but in reality, if you go behind the scenes, one may learn that, despite the God-talk, it isn’t so much God at work, but rather what Schaeffer regarded as the “arm of the flesh”—that is, a “Madison Avenue” sales mentality that relies on marketers, fundraisers, PR people, researchers, and all the rest, to come up with clever ways to “sell” Jesus or the ministry, its necessity, effectiveness, influence, and so on, to the public.

For Schaeffer, Christianity is worthless if it isn’t true.  But if it is true, its principles have to be practiced in a way that is observable to any who care to take a look, whether they be French existentialist, German agnostic, Cambridge student or London dockworker.  PR is cheap.  It is one thing to affirm, “We believe in prayer,” for example, and yet have a fundraising apparatus that spits out hundreds of thousands of impersonal form letters, sometimes of questionable veracity, written by marketers and signed by a machine that inscribes the name of a well-known persona.  It is quite another thing, as Schaeffer knew from personal experience, to actually live and operate a ministry on the basis of the principle that “we believe that He can put into the minds of the people of His choice the share they should have in the work.”  Witnessing specific answers to specific prayers at L’Abri helped many skeptics “to see” that a personal God actually exists and that Christianity may have more going for it than they had thought.

Schaeffer was once talking with a group at L’Abri, and he said that people sometimes ask him about the practicality of L’Abri’s bringing financial requests to the Lord as opposed to making such requests known publicly.  “What do you do if the money doesn’t come in?” would be the question.  Schaeffer gave perhaps the only possible honest answer—if he authentically believed what he said about a God who is really there and who can act into history today in response to human communication: “Well, I guess we’ll be smaller.”  In the real world of some big-time Christian ministries, fundraising too often makes the world go round, and a financial shortfall might well result not in an honest reexamination of one’s methods and a renewed questioning regarding where God may be leading, but rather in firing staff and re-oiling the money machine.  Schaeffer regarded such an approach not just as un-Biblical, but also as profoundly ugly and destructive, regardless of how much outward “success” or “influence for Christ” an organization or person might appear to achieve in this life.

People of God’s Choice
L’Abri’s second founding principle was that they would “pray that God will bring the people of His choice to us, and keep all others away.”  Such a prayer may seem an odd way to build a ministry or conduct “outreach,” but Schaeffer understood that, if God is real and can speak and act in the modern world, it follows that such a God ought to be able to lead people who need help to a hidden-away place such as L’Abri.  “There are no advertising leaflets,” Edith explained in L’Abri, “and this book is the first to be written about the work.”  Schaeffer’s mindset is decisive here.  He wasn’t focused on trying to build a powerbase to shape politics, create a constituency, lead a huge organization, rehabilitate a reputation, craft an image, or leave behind a positive legacy.  Rather, he simply made himself available to God to be helpful to people and decided to let the results take care of themselves.  Edith’s book describes some of the unusual ways in which people heard about the Schaeffers, or just happened upon a chalet door at L’Abri to find a new world of concern for truth and for the individual.

A personal story may help illustrate this.  To build on what I said earlier, in the summer of 1971, I was college student living with a group of people in Atlanta in a fraternity house on the campus of Georgia Tech.  Many of us, myself included, were enrolled elsewhere and had traveled to Atlanta to participate in a summer program with an organization called the Navigators.  During one weekend, I was sitting with others in the large living room of the house, where we had gathered to hear a talk about a person I’d never heard of.  If you met this person on the street, said the speaker, and asked him how he was doing, he might well reply, “What do you mean?”  Members of the audience chuckled, and I remember thinking that that could be the start of an intriguing interchange.  Little else about the talk stands out in my mind.  But something happened during the presentation that has stayed with me ever since.

At some point during the presentation, a muscle on the back of my neck began to tighten up, a kind of pinching sensation.  It felt like one of those occasions when your grandmother grabs you with her thumb and index finger and pinches the back of your arm while you’re doing something you ought not be doing.  Except that in this case there was no pain in the “pinch” I felt in the back of my neck, on the left side.  It wasn’t unpleasant in any way.  But it did get my attention.  “Strange,” I thought.  In fact, I’d never had a sensation like it before—nor since.  The sensation stayed with me, so much so that I decided to take note of the surroundings, in case there was something else happening that perhaps I needed to be aware of.  I looked around the room and considered the setting, the speaker, the other people sitting in chairs.  At first, nothing seemed to stand out.  Then it occurred to me.  There was something new—the unusual individual the speaker was talking about.  I made a mental note to keep in mind the name of a person about whom I knew next to nothing: Francis Schaeffer.

At the time, I had no idea that I might be on the receiving end of the Schaeffers’ prayer that God would bring the people of His choice to L’Abri.  By August the next year, I was hitchhiking through Luxembourg and Germany on my way to Switzerland.  There are many such stories that could be recounted, each with its own peculiarities, which help demonstrate to many searching people that God exists and acts into history today.

Your Planning Is Too Small
A third principle that helped set Schaeffer apart from his contemporaries, whether Christian or otherwise, was his attitude toward planning.  He did not reject planning per se, but he did specifically reject the practice of allowing human planning to replace the existential leadership of the Lord.  For this reason, the third founding principle of L’Abri was that “we pray that God will plan the work, and unfold His plan to us (guide us, lead us) day by day, rather than planning the future in some clever or efficient way in committee meetings.”

Schaeffer reasoned that the Infinite-Personal God could be far more effective than any human committee or charismatic leader with a plan, even if such leadership had vast financial resources, or other avenues of power, at its disposal.  The history of L’Abri appears to bear this out, as the Schaeffers worked in principled obscurity with individuals one by one in simply trying to address the intellectual and personal concerns of those who crossed their doorstep.

L’Abri Fellowship had no master plan, a shoestring budget, and no formula for becoming a ministry of international reach and reputation.  If the Lord so led, Schaeffer was quite content to work hidden away on the side of a mountain.  There was no plan to write books, build a chapel, create a study center, begin a cassette program, film documentaries, hold conferences, or expand into other countries—all of which eventually happened.  In fact, from the point of view of secularized marketing or some “steamroller” Christian organizations (so-called in Schaeffer’s book of letters), Schaeffer did it all wrong.  But his own life struggles had brought him to a place of understanding that the practice of being alive to God moment by moment is far more crucial to authentic success in ministry, to real victory in the seen and unseen world, than any plan or program devised by the well-heeled and powerful ever could be. The thousands of diverse individuals, believer and unbeliever alike, who found their way to L’Abri and a more humane Christianity would likely agree.

No Little Workers
I recall that Schaeffer on occasion expressed his gratitude that, of all the people who had come to work on staff at L’Abri, not one had left Huemoz on bad terms.  As is known by many who have worked with religious organizations and celebrities, and by several books on spiritual abuse, the record of Christians in this regard could be better.  Schaeffer was concerned about the trail of hurt people left in the wake of many of sterling public repute whose stated aim is to win the world for Christ, let us say, but whose methods of ministry are in sharp contrast to Christ.  It was not at all uncommon to hear a struggling Christian (whether young or old) say that he had come to L’Abri as his “last hope,” having been nearly flattened by some steamroller “hard-charging” Christian or group on a mission from God and don’t you dare get in the way.

Schaeffer’s demonstration of substantial healing in the area of helping hurting people may have something to do with L’Abri’s fourth founding principle — namely, that “we pray that God will send the workers of His choice to us, rather than pleading for workers in the usual channels.”  Again, the point is not that Schaeffer rejected normal employment practices per se, but rather that he felt led to rely on prayer in this area, at his moment of history, so that the existence of God could be demonstrated to Christian and non-Christian alike in a very practical and observable way.  And, naturally, if Schaeffer understood that L’Abri workers were sent by the Lord, it followed that they had to be respected for who they are in their own right, and not be used up as fodder for a leader’s ego or an organization’s expansion.

Schaeffer aimed to be faithful to God and simply did not concern himself with creating a huge organization to be the “definitive voice” on Christian worldview, for example, or with striving for greater influence, in the greater service of the Lord (which Schaeffer saw as a pernicious temptation and rationalization).  Again, quite practically, and refreshingly, if God didn’t send the workers, well, then L’Abri would just have to be smaller—which is not quite the crisis it could be for someone whose ego isn’t based on size or influence.  Schaeffer wasn’t out to be “the best” at anything, or “branded” as anything, but just to be the best he could be.  He could afford to respect people, including fellow L’Abri workers, and refuse to debase them by reducing them to potential donors, or by reducing their struggles to anecdotal highlights for fundraising letters.  This authenticity regarding people really set Schaeffer apart.  In contrast to some inside and outside the church, he was a giver and not a taker.  He was not looking for “alter egos” or for people whose energy and talents he could sap and then claim their work as his, whether “for the ministry” or “because the message will reach more people,” or for some other unfortunate instance in which the end is used to justify the means.  For Schaeffer, there were “no little people,” a phrase taken from the title of one of his most important sermons.  And that’s one of the reasons so many different kinds of people from around the world, after spending some time at L’Abri, where they could observe Schaeffer’s thinking and living in action, found his distinctive approach such a life-affirming alternative to much of the status quo.

Francis Schaeffer was different.  But, as he himself no doubt understood, we don’t need more cookie-cutter Francis Schaeffers.  Some may covet the mantle of Francis Schaeffer, but the secret is: There isn’t any such mantle.  Rather, we need more individuals willing to embrace truth and then flesh out that truth with a measure of consistency across the whole of their lives, including the nuts and bolts of our methods of ministry.  When a person has said yes to demonstrating the existence of God in one’s life and work, then what happens on the side of a Swiss mountain, or in a fraternity house on a college campus, though largely unnoticed, may change everything.

______________
Rick Pearcey is editor and publisher of The Pearcey Report.

How Should We Then Live? Episode 5 Part 1/2

RebelShutze

How Should We Then Live? Episode 5 Part 2/2

RebelShutze

Francis Schaeffer

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Former atheist Antony Flew: “Although I was once sharply critical of the argument to design, I have since come to see that, when correctly formulated, this argument constitutes a persuasive case for the existence of God!”

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Uploaded on Sep 22, 2010

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The Bible and Science (Part 02)

Former atheist Antony Flew after reviewing the evidence noted, “Although I was once sharply critical of the argument to design, I have since come to see that, when correctly formulated, this argument constitutes a persuasive case for the existence of God!”

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Part Three: Rediscovering the God of the Philosophers

01/01/08

Permalinkby Denyse O’Leary 08:20:48 pm, Categories: Commentary – OpEd, 657 words   English (CA)

Part Three: Rediscovering the God of the Philosophers

by Denyse O’Leary
ARN correspondentFlew, of course, had to deal with Richard Dawkins, a foremost exponent of the new atheist movement, who did not take his altered views lightly. It didn’t help that Flew regarded Dawkins’s landmark work, The Selfish Gene, as “a major exercise in popular mystification.” He observes, as has philosopher Mary Midgley,

Genes … do not and cannot necessitate our conduct. Nor are they capable of the calculation and understanding required to plot a course of either ruthless selfishness or sacrificial compassion. (P. 80)

Flew, one begins to realize, is an old-fashioned thinker who assumes at the outset the possibility of the moral life as a distinct human quality. He is not seeking to ground it in the squabbles of ancestral primates or the mindless hum of genes – let alone demonstrate that it doesn’t exist. In other words, an old-fashioned atheist like Flew thought that you could be moral without God. Many new atheists think that there is no “you” and there is no “moral”, never mind that there is no “God.”

It must have been such a relief to Flew to just walk away from all that. As to what he does believe now, he says,

I now believe that the universe was brought into existence by an infinite Intelligence. I believe that this universe’s intricate laws manifest what scientists have called the Mind of God. I believe that life and reproduction originate in a divine Source. (p. 88)

He had, in fact, been moving in this direction for two decades, so he does not experience it as a “paradigm shift” (p. 89) but a gradual realization that the evidence from science of design in the universe favours the idea that mind precedes matter, and not the other way around.

In the midst of the squabble between theists and atheists over the hot intellectual property he represents, Flew insists that he has NOT had a Billy Graham-style religious experience:

I must stress that my discovery of the Divine has proceeded on a purely natural level, without any reference to supernatural phenomena. It has been an exercise in what is traditionally called natural theology. It has had no connection with any of the revealed religions. Nor do I claim to have had any personal experience of God or any experience that may be called supernatural or miraculous. In short, my discovery of the Divine has been pilgrimage of reason and not of faith (p. 93).

None of this should be a surprise. Prior to the rise of atheistic materialism, recognition of design in the universe was not thought to be in the same category as the claims of revealed religions that God appeared to someone and told them something that they could not have learned from the study of nature. Philosophers who professed no interest in revealed religion assumed that design is a part of our universe. Today, when design is denied or minimized, increasingly bizarre theories – such as string theory or infinitely many universes – are advanced to keep the evidence of design at bay.

On the argument to design, Flew says, “Although I was once sharply critical of the argument to design, I have since come to see that, when correctly formulated, this argument constitutes a persuasive case for the existence of God.” He is thinking particularly of the laws of nature and of the insights of eminent scientists. And, while he cites a number of such scientists, he is particularly concerned to correct the record regarding one of them, Albert Einstein.

Next: Part Four: Einstein’s God and Antony Flew

Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O’Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada’s Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of the forthcoming  The Spiritual Brain: A Neuroscientist’s Case for the Existence of the Soul  (Harper 2007).

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Carl Sagan’s search for the of meaning of life

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Kansas – Dust In The Wind “Live” HD

Rolling Stones: “Satisfaction!”

U2 Still Haven’t Found (with lyrics)

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On December 5, 1995, I got a letter back from Carl Sagan and I was very impressed that he took time to answer several of my questions and to respond to some of the points that I had made in my previous letters. I had been reading lots of his books and watching him on TV since 1980 and my writing today is a result of that correspondence. It is my conclusion that Carl Sagan died an unfulfilled man on December 20, 1996 with many of the big questions he had going unanswered.

Much of Carl Sagan’s aspirations and thoughts were revealed to a mass audience of movie goers just a few months after his death. The movie “CONTACT” with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey  is a fictional story written by Sagan  about the SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI). Sagan visited the set while it was filming and it was released on July 11, 1997 after his unfortunate death.

The movie CONTACT got me thinking about Sagan’s life long hope to find a higher life form out in the universe and I was reminded of Dr. Donald E. Tarter of NASA who wrote me  in a letter a year or so earlier and stated, “I am not a theist. I simply and honestly do not know the answer to the great questions…This brings me to why I am interested in the SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI)…Let me assure you, one of the first questions I would want to ask another intelligence if one were discovered is, DO YOU BELIEVE IN OR HAVE EVIDENCE OF A SUPREME INTELLIGENCE?”

Was Sagan ever satisfied with the answers he came up with in his life? It is my view that  true peace and satisfaction can come from a personal relationship with Christ and only in the Bible can we find absolute answers that touch this world we live in. The Apostle Paul was totally content when he wrote the book of Philippians from a jail in Rome right before he was beheaded (according to tradition). Paul observed, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13). On March 11, 2012 my pastor Brandon Bernard at Fellowship Church Little Rock read that scripture and then commented:

Paul is reminding us that in every circumstance and in everything he has gone through that his satisfaction is found deeply in Christ. You think about this guy who is writing from prison. He is in this prison cell and it is a hardship in his life, but him of all people is saying that “I am writing to you but I am content and I am satisfied.” That is a statement you don’t hear from a lot of people these days… A lot of people are discontent and dissatisfied… Think about the poets from your generation or the generation before us. How about the deep theologians called “The Rolling Stones.” Remember them. They wrote this song “I can’t get no satisfaction.” And you know what they say after that phrase? “And I try and I try and I try.” I am not sure how deep most of their lyrics are, but they voice the cry of many people. “I can’t get no satisfaction and I try and I am trying and I am trying.”

What about one of those other poets by the name of Bono who wrote a song called, “I still haven’t found what I am looking for.” It is interesting. “I still haven’t found what I am looking for.” It has a nice melody to it but there is probably a reason why it is so popular because there is a lot of people deep down in their soul feel like they haven’t found what they are looking for.

It is true. What is so funny to me is that what is so desired is so elusive. 

Rice Broocks in his book GOD’S NOT DEAD noted:

Astronomer Carl Sagan was a prolific writer and trustee of the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) founded in 1984 to scan the universe for any signs of life beyond earth. Sagan’s best-selling work COSMOS also became an award-winning television series explaining the wonders of the universe and exporting the belief not in an intelligent Creator but in potential intelligent aliens. He believed somehow that by knowing who they are, we would discover who we as humans really are. “The very thought of there being other beings different from all of us can have a very useful cohering role for the human species” (quoted from you tube clip “Carl Sagan appears on CBC to discuss the importance of SETI [Carl Sagan Archives]” at the 7 minute mark, Oct 1988 ). Sagan reasoning? If aliens could have contacted us, knowing how impossible it is for us to reach them, they would have the answers we seek to our ultimate questions. This thought process shows the desperate need we have as humans for answers to the great questions of our existence. Does life have any ultimate meaning and purpose? Do we as humans have any more value than the other animals? Is there a purpose to the universe, or more specifically, to our individual lives?

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Carl Sagan had to live  in the world that God made with the conscience that God gave him. This created a tension. As you know the movie CONTACT was written by Carl Sagan and it was about Dr. Arroway’s SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI) program and her desire to make contact with aliens and ask them questions. It is my view that Sagan should have examined more closely  the accuracy of the Bible and it’s fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament in particular before chasing after aliens from other planets for answers. Sagan himself had written,”Plainly, there’s something within me that’s ready to believe in life after death…If some good evidence for life after death was announced, I’d be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere antedote”(pp 203-204, The DemonHaunted World, 1995).

Sagan said he had taken a look at Old Testament prophecy and it did not impress him because it was too vague. He had taken a look at Christ’s life in the gospels, but said it was unrealistic for God to send a man to communicate for God. Instead, Sagan suggested that God could have written a mathematical formula in the Bible or put a cross in the sky. However, what happens at the conclusion of the movie CONTACT?  This is Sagan’s last message to the world in the form of the movie that appeared shortly after his death. Dr Arroway (Jodie Foster) who is a young atheistic scientist who meets with an alien and this alien takes the form of Dr. Arroway’s father. The alien tells her that they thought this would make it easier for her. In fact, he meets her on a beach that resembles a beach that she grew up near so she would also be comfortable with the surroundings. Carl Sagan when writing this script chose to put the alien in human form so Dr. Arroway could relate to the alien. Christ chose to take our form and come into our world too and still many make up excuses for not believing.

Lastly, Carl Sagan could not rid himself of the “mannishness of man.” Those who have read Francis Schaeffer’s many books know exactly what I am talking about. We are made in God’s image and we are living in God’s world. Therefore, we can not totally suppress the objective truths of our unique humanity. In my letter of Jan 10, 1996 to Dr. Sagan, I really camped out on this point a long time because I had read Sagan’s  book SHADOWS OF FORGOTTON ANCESTORS  and in it  Sagan attempts to  totally debunk the idea that we are any way special. However, what does Dr. Sagan have Dr. Arroway say at the end of the movie CONTACT when she is testifying before Congress about the alien that  communicated with her? See if you can pick out the one illogical word in her statement: “I was given a vision how tiny, insignificant, rare and precious we all are. We belong to something that is greater than ourselves and none of us are alone.”

Dr Sagan deep down knows that we are special so he could not avoid putting the word “precious” in there. Francis Schaeffer said unbelievers are put in a place of tension when they have to live in the world that God has made because deep down they know they are special because God has put that knowledge in their hearts.We are not the result of survival of the fittest and headed back to the dirt forevermore. This is what Schaeffer calls “taking the roof off” of the unbeliever’s worldview and showing the inconsistency that exists.

In several of my letters to Sagan I quoted this passage below:

Romans 1:17-22 (Amplified Bible)

17For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.(A)

18For 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.

19For 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.

20For 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],(B)

21Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [a]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

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Can a man  or a woman find lasting meaning without God? Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

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

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun:  The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—  and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness,  and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).
  5. There is no ultimate lasting meaning in life. (1:2)

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:

13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil

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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.

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. 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 and that “all was meaningless.” 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.

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.

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

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Lots of guns in Switzerland and Finland but muder count is down!!!

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Here are some funny posters that Dan put up a while back:

Here’s a poster that captures the blind naiveté of anti-gun activists. I don’t think I need to add any commentary.

Last but not least, here’s a sign that all anti-gun leftists – assuming they have the courage to publicly celebrate their beliefs – should post outside their homes.

If you enjoy these posters, you can view previous editions herehereherehere, and here.

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Lots of guns in Switzerland and Finland but muder count is down!!!

It’s easy to get discouraged if you believe in small government and individual liberty.

It seems that the burden of the public sector is always expanding and that politicians and bureaucrats are always figuring out new ways to restrict our freedoms.

But let’s not lose hope.

We still have a lot of economic liberty, particularly if you count non-fiscal policy factors.

And we still have the Second Amendment.

Heck, we don’t just have the right to keep and bear arms, we exercise that right in massive numbers.

Take a look at this impressive graphic. We’re #1 in some bad ways, but it seems we’re also #1 in a very good way.

Make sure to share this graphic with your statist friends and colleagues. It’s guaranteed to put them in a glum mood for the rest of the day!

And when you share this with your misguided acquaintances, ask them why guns don’t cause murder in nations such as Switzerland and Finland. Maybe you’ll have a breakthrough and they’ll confess that gun control isn’t the solution.

Incidentally, in addition to having lots of guns in America, we also are quite ready to defy the government if politicians try to take them away.

What’s happening in Connecticut is merely one example of this wonderful form of civil disobedience.

Since we’re on the topic of gun ownership vs. gun control, here’s another image that will cause heartburn for your leftist friends.

Schindler guns

Same theme as the 4th image in this post.

And let’s not forget the best-ever poster on gun control.

Last but not least, here’s a poster sent to me by the PotL.

photo1

It’s the same message found at the top of this post and at the bottom of this post.

If you want more info – both serious and humorous – on gun control, click here.

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Gun control posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog Part 10

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Another funny gun poster from Dan Mitchell’s blog

  I have taken the time to write President Obama on this issue of gun control several times and have even got a letter back from the White House on it. Plus a friend of mine by the name of Charlie Collins has even put forth bills in the Arkansas State House of Representatives concerning […]

Gun control posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog Part 5

The rear of the Bath School after the May 18, 1927 bombing. Wikimedia Commons ___________ I have put up lots of cartoons and posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog before and they have got lots of hits before. Many of them have dealt with the economy, eternal unemployment benefits, socialism,  Greece,  welfare state or on gun control. Did […]

Gun control posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog Part 4

I have put up lots of cartons and posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog before and they have got lots of hits before. Many of them have dealt with the economy, eternal unemployment benefits, socialism,  Greece,  welfare state or on gun control. There is no doubt that Hitler took away guns from those he wanted to persecute and […]

Gun control posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog Part 3

I have put up lots of cartoons and posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog before and they have got lots of hits before. Many of them have dealt with the economy, eternal unemployment benefits, socialism,  Greece,  welfare state or on gun control. Raising My Daughter Right March 26, 2010 by Dan Mitchell I got her this t-shirt at the […]

Gun control posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog Part 2

I have put up lots of cartons and posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog before and they have got lots of hits before. Many of them have dealt with the economy, eternal unemployment benefits, socialism,  Greece,  welfare state or on gun control. Amusing Gun Control Picture – Circa 1999 April 3, 2010 by Dan Mitchell Dug this gem out […]

Gun control posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog Part 1

I have put up lots of cartons and posters from Dan Mitchell’s blog before and they have got lots of hits before. Many of them have dealt with the economy, eternal unemployment benefits, socialism,  Greece,  welfare state or on gun control. On 2-6-13 the Arkansas Times Blogger “Sound Policy” suggested,  “All churches that wish to allow concealed […]

 

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 570) Good News: We’re Heading in the Wrong Direction at a Slower Pace

Open letter to President Obama (Part 570)

(Emailed to White House on 6-10-13.)

President Obama c/o The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

I know that you receive 20,000 letters a day and that you actually read 10 of them every day. I really do respect you for trying to get a pulse on what is going on out here.

The federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation. We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruption. The recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes you made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

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TRY BORROWING AT A BANK WITH A FINANCIAL CONDITION LIKE THE USA HAS:

The problem in Washington is not lack of revenue but our lack of spending restraint. This video below makes that point. WASHINGTON IS A SPENDING ADDICT!!!

I love reading this blog by Dan Mitchell. No two people agree on everything but I sure do agree with most everything Dan writes on this blog of his. However, I disagree silently with something he has written today. I think it is encouraging that the Republicans in the House have been able to accomplish some things in slowing down the growth in spending by Obama. I know Dan would agree that more needs to be done. For instance, why don’t they just vote no on the next increase to the debt ceiling limit. I have praised over and over and over the 66 House Republicans that voted no on that before. If they did not raise the debt ceiling then we would have a balanced budget instantly.  I agree that the Tea Party has made a difference and I have personally posted 49 posts on my blog on different Tea Party heroes of mine.

What would happen if the debt ceiling was not increased? Yes President Obama would probably cancel White House tours and he would try to stop mail service or something else to get on our nerves but that is what the Republicans need to do.

I have written hundreds of letters and emails to President Obama and I must say that I have been impressed that he has had the White House staff answer so many of my letters. However, his policies have not changed, and by the way the White House after answering over 50 of my letters before November of 2012 has not answered one since.  President Obama committed to cutting nothing from the budget that I can tell. Republicans must take the next step now and vote no on the debt ceiling increase!!!

In recent months, people have asked me why I’m acting all giddy and optimistic. Am I hooked on cocaine? Have I fallen in love? Did I inherit several million dollars?

These questions started after I said the fiscal cliff was a smaller loss than I expected. Then people wondered what was going on when I wrote that we should celebrate the sequester victory. The questions got more intense when I opined that the Tea Party had made a positive difference. And people were even more nonplussed when I wrote that we should enjoy a win over the IMF.

But I’m not the only person thinking that things may be heading in the right direction.

Conn Carroll explains his optimism in the Washington Examiner. He starts by noting how bad Congress was back in 2009 and 2010.

…its liberal predecessor passed a trillion-dollar stimulus, enacted a government takeover of health care and institutionalized the power of Wall Street’s Too Big To Fail banks by passing the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law.

Then he explains that the new Tea Party Congress has changed the fiscal outlook.

…if you look at the hard numbers — if you look at the tax-and-spending trajectory that the United States was on before the 112th Congress was sworn into office, and then look at the path the U.S. is on now — you’d see that Republicans in Congress have made tremendous progress in shrinking the size and scope of the federal government.

But is there any proof?

Conn points out that the CBO “baselines” from early 2011 showed government growing very rapidly.

…the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office released its annual Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2011 through 2021. That document showed the federal government was on track to spend…a total of almost $50 trillion ($49.8 trillion to be exact) through 2021. At the same time, tax revenues were set to rise from just 14.8 percent of GDP in 2011 to 20.8 percent in 2021.

The same estimates from early this year, by contrast, show government growing at a slower pace.

The CBO’s Budget and Economic Outlook for fiscal years 2013 through 2023 shows just how much House Republicans have actually accomplished. The federal government is now on track to spend just $46.2 trillion through 2021. That is a $3.6 trillion spending cut. And instead of taxes eating up 21 percent of the U.S. economy in 2021, now the government is set to take in just 18.9 percent.

Here are the respective baselines from those CBO publications. Let’s start by looking at how spending is projected to grow at a slower pace for the rest of the decade.

2011-2013 Spending Projections

That’s $3.5 trillion of savings. Not genuine spending cuts, of course, but it’s real progress if government doesn’t grow as fast.

Here are the revenue numbers.

2011-2013 Revenue Projections

This data basically shows that the tax burden will be much smaller than projected because about 98 percent of the Bush tax cuts were made permanent as part of the fiscal cliff deal.

And if you believe in the Starve-the-Beast theory (and you should), this will make it harder for politicians to increase the burden of government spending in the future.

Conn also notes that the unemployment rate has fallen.

Despite all of this supposedly economy-killing “austerity,” unemployment has steadily fallen, too. When Republicans took control of the House in 2011, the nation’s unemployment rate was 9 percent. Today, it has fallen to 7.7 percent.

If this seems like a familiar point, it’s because I share his assessment. I wrote back in February of last year that gridlock was a positive thing for the economy since it reduced the likelihood of new bad policies.

What’s remarkable about these developments, as Conn notes, is that folks were expecting Obama to have momentum as his second term began.

Just three months ago, many in Washington were predicting Obama would steamroll Republicans into accepting higher taxes for millions of earners, undoing the sequester and maybe even passing new stimulus spending. Instead, Republicans have stayed unified, outfoxed Obama, preserved and made permanent most of last decade’s tax cuts (including permanent indexing of the Alternative Minimum Tax) and let the sequester cuts occur on schedule. As a result, Obama’s approval ratings have tumbled, and his entire second-term agenda is in jeopardy.

The final sentence in that excerpt explains why I’m feeling semi-optimistic. Obama’s agenda of more taxes and more spending is being thwarted.

To be sure, that doesn’t mean we’re seeing good policies of tax reform and fiscal restraint. And we still face a very dour fiscal future unless entitlements are reformed.

But we’re going in the wrong direction at a slower pace, and that beats the alternative.

_____________________

Thank you so much for your time. I know how valuable it is. I also appreciate the fine family that you have and your commitment as a father and a husband.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733, lowcostsqueegees@yahoo.comRelated posts:

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Antony Flew left atheism because of the way in which DNA seems to be a language that looks like “the work of intelligence!”

Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God

Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008

Has Science Discovered God?

A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most widely reprinted philosophical publication of the last 50 years. Over the decades, he published more than 30 books attacking belief in God and debated a wide range of religious believers.

Then, in a 2004 Summit at New York University, Professor Flew announced that the discoveries of modern science have led him to the conclusion that the universe is indeed the creation of infinite Intelligence.

For More Info Visit:
http://ScienceFindsGod.com

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Is God a Delusion? – William Lane Craig vs Lewis Wolpert

Published on Apr 30, 2012

Professor Craig debated Professor Wolpert at Central Hall, Westminster, Feb. 28, 2007, with John Humphrys in the chair. Professor Wolpert is Professor of Biology as Applied to Medicine at University College, London and is well known for his atheistic beliefs.

We welcome your comments in the Reasonable Faith forums:
http://www.reasonablefaith.org/forums

http://www.reasonablefaith.org

The Bible and Science (Part 01)

Making Sense of Faith and Science

Uploaded on May 16, 2008

Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronts the assertion that one cannot believe in God and be a credible scientist. He explains that the theistic world view of Bacon, Kepler, Pascal, Boyle, Newton, Faraday and Maxwell was instrumental in the rise of modern science itself. Presented as part of the Let There be Light series. Series: Let There Be Light [5/2003] [Humanities] [Show ID: 7338]

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Antony Flew left atheism because of  the way in which DNA seems to be a language that looks like “the work of intelligence!”

Part Two: Following the argument wherever it leads

01/01/08

by Denyse O’Leary
ARN correspondentFlew makes clear that, despite his advanced age (84 as of this writing) his change of mind was not motivated by fear of death. He still does not think he will survive death (p. 2) – despite Bishop Wright’s appendix on special revelation.That’s quite interesting, because a separate line of inquiry, as explored in Mario Beauregard’s and my The Spiritual Brain makes an evidence-based argument for the existence of the soul that does not directly depend on an argument for God. The two subjects are distinct. God might exist but not souls, or souls might exist but not God (as Buddhists think, for example). At any rate, Flew faces mortality as a final extinguishment – convinced nonetheless that God exists, based on evidence.Recounting his adventures in philosophy, Flew provides an answer to a question that had long puzzled me: Where did the intelligent design theorists get their slogan, “Follow the evidence wherever it leads!” It seems to have originated in Plato’s account of Socrates’ command in The Republic, to “Follow the argument wherever it leads.” (p. 22) This exhortation formed the basis of the Oxford Socratic Club, of which Christian apologist C.S. Lewis was president (1942-1954) and of which Flew was a member – and a leading exponent of the principle. Somehow (at least by p. 42), this transmutes to “following the evidence wherever it may lead.”One place it led Flew was the realization that the hot and heavy reasons that caused him to embrace atheism at age 15 were not adequate for a philosopher. He vowed to place atheism on more solid foundations, and sought to construct the best general arguments he could find. In matters of this sort, he was no dogmatist and he could not afford to be. He changed his mind when he saw an intellectual reason to do so, and gives several examples (p. 56ff).Always, he seemed to be in search of the best and finest arguments, the way a curator with a budget is in search of the best and finest works for a collection. No more would Flew allow an inferior argument than such a curator would allow an inferior artifact.And then, after reflecting on the many arguments he developed during his life against the existence of God, Flew explained in May 2004, at a symposium at New York University,

To the surprise of all concerned, I announced at the start that I now accepted the existence of a God. What might have been an intense exchange of opposing views ended up as a joint exploration of the developments in modern science that seemed to point to a higher Intelligence. (p. 74)

His primary reason was the way in which DNA seems to be a language that looks like “the work of intelligence” (p. 75).

Flew’s change of mind, based on the language of DNA, was consistent with the Socratic principle on which he had based his philosophical career, “following the argument no matter where it leads.” As it happens, it led into a storm of controversy.

Next: Part Three: Rediscovering the God of the Philosophers

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Antony Flew rightly noted that Richard Dawkins’ “monkey theorem was a load of rubbish”

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Article from 2005 indicated Antony Flew abandoned atheism because of Law of Biogenesis!!!!

___________   Does God Exist? Thomas Warren vs. Antony Flew Published on Jan 2, 2014 Date: September 20-23, 1976 Location: North Texas State University Christian debater: Thomas B. Warren Atheist debater: Antony G.N. Flew For Thomas Warren: http://www.warrenapologeticscenter.org/ ______________________ Antony Flew and his conversion to theism Uploaded on Aug 12, 2011 Antony Flew, a well known […]

The Christian influence on society is real and that is one of the reasons Antony Flew left Atheism!!!

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Antony Flew, George Wald and David Noebel on the Origin of Life

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

___________ ________ Jesus’ Resurrection: Atheist, Antony Flew, and Theist, Gary Habermas, Dialogue Published on Apr 7, 2012 http://www.veritas.org/talks –Did Jesus die, was he buried, and what happened afterward? Join legendary atheist Antony Flew and Christian historian and apologist Gary Habermas in a discussion about the facts surrounding the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Join […]

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Mark Oppenheimer of Time Magazine claims Antony Flew was convinced by PSEUDOSCIENCE that God exists!!!

___________ ________ Antony Flew – World’s Most Famous Atheist Accepts Existence of God Uploaded on Nov 28, 2008 Has Science Discovered God? A half-century ago, in 1955, Professor Antony Flew set the agenda for modern atheism with his Theology and Falsification, a paper presented in a debate with C.S. Lewis. This work became the most […]

A review of “There is a God” by Antony Flew March 31, 2012

________ Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death […]

Review of Antony Flew Book: THERE IS A GOD Article by R.C. Sproul May 2008

Discussion (2 of 3): Antony Flew, N.T. Wright, and Gary Habermas ______________ Atheist Lawrence Krauss loses debate to wiser Christian Published on Sep 13, 2013 http://www.reasonablefaith.org More of this here The Bible and Science (Part 02) The Kalam Cosmological Argument (Scientific Evidence) (Henry Schaefer, PhD) Published on Jun 11, 2012 Scientist Dr. Henry “Fritz” Schaefer gives a lecture […]

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