My correspondence with Daniel Bell and Irving Kristol about the rebirth of Israel!!!!

Irving Kristol pictured below:

In 1980 I read the books HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? by Francis Schaeffer and WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by both Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop and I saw the film series by the same names. In those two books Daniel Bell was quoted. In HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? In the chapter entitled, “Our Society,” these words are found:

Daniel Bell (1919-), professor of socialogy at Harvard University, sees an elite composed of select intellectuals. He writes in THE COMING OF POST-INDUSTRIAL SOCIETY (1973), in the chapter entitled “Who will Rule,” that “the university–or some other knowledge institute–will become the central institution of the next hundred years because of its role as the new source of innovation and knowledge.” He says that crucial decisions will come from government, but more and more the decisions of both business and government will be predicated on government-sponsored research, and “because of the intricately linked nature of their consequences, [the decisions] will have an increasingly technical character.” Society thus turns into a technocracy where “the determining influence belongs to technicians of the administration and of its business, its education, its government, even the daily pattern of the ordinary man’s life–becomes a matter of control by the technocratic elite. They are the only ones who know how to run the complicated machinery of society and they will then, in collusion with the government elite, have all the power necessary to manage it.

“Bell’s most astute warning concerns the ethical implications of this situation: ‘A post-industrial society cannot provide a transcendent ethic….The lack of a rooted moral belief system is the cultural contradiction of a society, the deepest challenge to its survival.’ He adds that in the future, men can be remade, their behavior conditioned, or their consciousness altered. The constraints of the past vanish. To the extent that Bell’s picture of this future is fulfilled, Galbraith’s form of the elite will be the actuality.” (Schaffer, p. 224-225)

In the 1990’s I took the opportunity to confront many of the scholars of the sort that Francis Schaeffer had mentioned in his books and Adrian Rogers was mentioning in his sermons and confront them with the evidence that showed that Old Testament prophecies were true and that the Bible could be trusted. Daniel Bell and his good friend Irving Kristol were two of the intellectuals that I had the opportunity to correspond with.

I sent them both a letter that included many scriptures from the Old Testament that showed that the prophets predicted  the Jews would be brought back from all over the world to rebirth the country of Israel again. Daniel Bell responded in a letter dated September 23, 1995:

Dear Mr. Hatcher, Thank you for your thoughtful letter. I don’t know whether or not the prophecies of the Ezekiel are being fulfilled. The very nature of such prophecy, or the parables of Jesus, are inherently ambiguous, and so always opaque. As to the survival of the Jewish people, I think of the remark of Samuel Johnson that there is nothing stronger than the knowledge that one may be hanged the next day to concentrate the mind–or the will. Sincerely, Daniel Bell

On September 21, 1995 his good friend Irving Kristol added this comment, “I am leery of taking Biblical prophecies too literally. They always seem to get fulfilled, some way or other, whatever happens. They are inspiring, of course, which enough for me.”

Let me make a few observations about Irving Kristol who I was very fascinated with because of some of his comments in the 1990’s. First, isn’t it worth noting that the Old Testament predicted that the Jews would regather from all over the world and form a new reborn nation of Israel. Second, it was also predicted that the nation of Israel would become a stumbling block to the whole world. Third, it was predicted that the Hebrew language would be used again as the Jews first language even though we know in 1948 that Hebrew at that time was a dead language!!!Fourth, it was predicted that the Jews would never again be removed from their land.

Now let’s take a look at Irving Kristol’s comments on God.

Irving Kristol 1/6 – Father of Neoconservatism

Irving Kristol 2/6 – Father of Neoconservatism

Irving Kristol 3/6 – Father of Neoconservatism

In this video clip above you will find this exchange:

Mr. KRISTOL: Oh, I’ve never had a problem with God, never. Even when I was a young Trotskyist, I never had a problem with God. I mean, the so-called existence of God was never a problem for me. I mean, I–however you define God–and that is a serious theological matter, what you mean when you use the word `God’ is a serious theological matter. But I had no doubt, ever since I read the opening of the Bible, that, yes, there is such a thing as original sin, and we all live with it. And if you want to understand the human condition, reading the f–opening of the Bible is as good a place as any, the best I think. And so that part of religion has simply never been a problem for me.
LAMB: The last several essays in your book, of the 41, is about Judaism or about being a Jew.
Mr. KRISTOL: Mm-hmm.
LAMB: Where are you? Are you a practicing Jew?
Mr. KRISTOL: Sort of. That is, I’m a member of a Jewish congregation, and I go to synagogue on the high holidays. I attend bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs. I do not observe Jewish law because I never did. I think if I had it to do over again, I would be more observant. But I don’t have it to do over again, and I’m not going to completely change my life now. That’s rather silly, I think. But being Jewish has never been a problem for me.
LAMB: What does that mean?
Mr. KRISTOL: Well, I–I–you know, I…
LAMB: What is being Jewish? I mean, what i–what’s the culture?
Mr. KRISTOL: Well, it’s not a question of culture. It’s a question of identity. I always knew I was Jewish. I never thought of not being Jewish. I was always very pleased to be Jewish. After all, not everyone is a member of the chosen people, and so I just went along. Even when I was not all that observant–I still am not all that observant–being Jewish just came naturally to me.
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Burt Reynolds knew the gospel when he was young and he when he became  rich and successful he said that he would live his life for his selfish desires when he was young but when he was old he would repent and serve God. Adrian Rogers in a sermon noted that he doubted very seriously if Reynolds would ever get around to repenting when he was old. Irving Kristol’s statement above reminded me of Reynolds. Kristol noted, “I think if I had it to do over again, I would be more observant. But I don’t have it to do over again, and I’m not going to completely change my life now. That’s rather silly, I think.”
Here the words of Christ tells us how those who are not righteous after they did really do long for their friends and relatives to follow the Bible’s directives, but they will not even accept the evidence of someone coming back from the gave if they don’t accept what the prophets had to say.

Luke 16:19-31 The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.________________The famous preacher Charles Finney had some very insightful comments on this passage:The wicked dread to have their friends come to them in this place of torment. You see this feeling most distinctly manifested in this parable. The reason of the feeling is obvious. They are still human beings and therefore it can be no joy to them to have their earthly friends come into their place of woe. They have human feelings. They know they can look for no alleviation of their own woe from the presence of their friends. They know that if those friends come there as they did they can never escape; therefore they beg that those friends may never come. Therefore this rich man prays that Abraham would send Lazarus to his five brethren, to testify to them, lest they also come into that place of torment.The state of mind that rejects the Bible would reject any testimony that could be given. This is plainly taught here, and can be proved. It can be proved that the testimony of one who should rise from the dead is no better or stronger than that of the Bible…When unbelief has taken possession of the mind, you may pile miracle on miracle; men will not believe it. Suppose ever so many should rise from the dead. Men who reject the Bible would not believe their testimony. They would insist either that they had not been really dead, or that if they had been, they did not bring back a reliable report from that other country. They would make a thousand objections, as they do now, against the Bible, and with much more plausibility then than now. Now, they only know their objections are really unfounded; then they would have more plausible objections to make, and would be sure to give them credit enough to refuse to repent under their teachings. They would not be persuaded even then.

My Dinner with Irving

On evangelicals, the evangelical Left, and the Jews

My Dinner with Irving

Several years ago, I gave a lecture at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) on the subject of religion and secularism. Afterward, the discussion continued at a relaxed and intimate dinner for selected guests—an occasion greatly enlivened by the presence of the late Irving Kristol, then an AEI senior fellow, and his wife Gertrude Himmelfarb, the distinguished historian. As usual, Irving had plenty to say. In particular, when the subject turned to the distinctive character of evangelical Christianity, he pronounced himself in a manner that I (and others in the room) remember vividly to this day. “Well, after all,” he remarked, with casual assurance, “religion is what you’re born with.”

But no, I insisted in response, that was precisely what evangelicals don’t believe. There are no grandchildren in the kingdom of heaven, they like to say, which is their way of asserting that religious truth is something each person must come to individually through a process of personal conversion, a process that does not require a church or a priest but is thought to be a direct and unmediated act of “coming to Jesus.” Hence there are no legacy admissions, for this faith cannot be inherited or otherwise passed along; it must be re-appropriated freshly by each generation. This is why evangelicals say, following Jesus’ words to Nicodemus, that one must be “born again.” The first birth is not the one that counts.

Irving was completely unmoved by my impromptu catechesis. “Religion is what you’re born with,” he repeated, unraveling an amused smile and seemingly all the more pleased with a formulation that had kicked up some dust in the room. Even his wife sitting next to him, who knows a very great deal about Anglo-American evangelicalism, clearly thought him off-base. “Irving, you don’t understand. . . ,” she started, but then gently shook her head in an exasperation no doubt earned through years of experience.

As for me, with my deep respect for Irving, I couldn’t help beginning to wonder whether he may have understood something important that I was missing.

This little episode came to mind as I read Robert W. Nicholson’s thoughtful open letter to American Jews about evangelical-Jewish relations. It came to mind partly because Kristol was one of the first prominent American Jewish intellectuals to proclaim that Jews ought to be less dismissive of their evangelical admirers, but indeed should learn to cherish evangelicals as loyal and reliable allies, preferable in most ways to secular liberals. This declaration brought down on him a level of wrath and ridicule and repudiation that was stunning in its vehemence. Irving fully expected that reaction, and never showed any sign of being upset by it. He realized that the religion that his Jewish detractors were born with—militantly secular liberalism, welded to a sense of ethnic identity—would impel them to deal harshly, even savagely, with his apostasy.

One thing that Nicholson perhaps underestimates, given his typically evangelical generosity to the ideal of the free and uncoerced conscience, is just how difficult, how very nearly unthinkable, it is for most American Jews to imagine taking seriously the beliefs of most evangelicals. It is hard to judge—and as a non-Jew, I perhaps have no business even trying—whether the greater force in producing this near-unanimity is cultural consensus or cultural fear. Both probably play a role, and the fears involved are powerful ones, manifested not only publicly but on the most intimate levels.

I think of a Jewish friend, a man of impressive intellect and great moral courage, who converted to Christianity after two decades of waiting . . . for his mother to die. If this sounds like the material for a great Jewish joke, it is also powerful testimony to Irving’s contention that religion is what you are born with. For if this man had really fully believed that his eternal salvation depended on his acceptance of Jesus as his savior, would he have waited all those years? Would he have waited ten minutes?

That may be putting it ungenerously. Loyalty to what you were born with carries a weight of moral obligation all its own, not only for Jews but perhaps for Jews especially. Strangely, it seems that this logic of loyalty persists even when the specifically religious elements in Jewish identity have been all but banished in favor of full-bore secular liberalism. That would certainly help explain the vehement reaction to Irving’s daring to say a good word about an evangelical-Jewish alliance.

All this goes to underscore the importance of Nicholson’s message. It is a message that today needs to be heard more than ever as Israel faces mortal peril in a world where it is increasingly alone and abandoned, with anti-Semitism, having acquired a new lease on life, on the rampage. Under the circumstances, American Jews need especially to overcome their hardwired prejudices and see the clear truth that 300 million evangelicals have been, and still are, arguably Israel’s most stalwart non-Jewish allies in the Western world.

Just as important, what needs to be understood is that this stalwart support is not imperishable and that it cannot be taken for granted in the future. Nicholson supports with his own research and interviews the important work of Gerald McDermott in identifying the rise of an anti-Israel movement within American evangelicalism, potentially a very serious and consequential departure.

Nicholson is right about this, and the movement he describes is real. At the same time, however, I would urge caution lest one exaggerate the extent or the durability of anti-Israel evangelicalism—or, for that matter, the size and influence of the American evangelical Left altogether.

Anti-Israel sentiment among evangelical elites is strongest in the academic world and in international missions and relief groups. But the actual influence of such groups on the larger world of American evangelical churches is debatable. One can count on the fingers of two hands, with fingers left over, the number of voluble and publicity-savvy figures on the evangelical Left like Sojourner’s Jim Wallis. (Frank Schaeffer, whom Nicholson quotes as urging “an end to the largely unchallenged influence of Christian Zionism,” is a convert to Eastern Orthodoxy.) And Bethlehem Bible College, while a seedbed for the kind of pro-Palestinian revisionism that is enjoying a run of popularity with the American evangelical Left, is not itself an American college.

So I would be wary and vigilant, but not unduly panicked. The fact is that evangelicalism thrives on a flat and somewhat amorphous ecclesiastical structure, without popes or bishops or prelates. This renders it hard to be captured by ideological missionaries—particularly ones who openly reject the authority of the Bible as so many on the evangelical Left do.

Moreover, figures like Wallis have badly tarnished their credibility by their near-total identification with Democratic-party politics. They made a reputation for themselves post-9/11 by opposing the Bush administration’s anti-terror policies, but their abject and total silence as the Obama administration has continued those same policies, expanding them into areas like the use of unmanned drones to assassinate putative terrorists, has left them utterly discredited in the eyes of many of their idealistic young followers. For years, the evangelical Right has been accused of choosing Caesar over God by aligning itself with the Republican party and conservative politics. Now the charge applies in spades to the evangelical Left.

In any event, much more important, and more worthy of concern, are the “mainline” Protestant denominations, including the Presbyterian Church USA, the Episcopal Church, and others. Their antagonism to Israel is blatant and of long standing; of even longer standing is their fealty to the standard desiderata of theological and political liberalism. Indeed, the growing liberalization of American evangelicalism can itself be seen as a convergence with the beliefs and views of these churches, bleaching out the particularisms inherent in the Jewish and Christian faiths and reducing them to a bland universalism. This is a movement that speaks to the status anxieties of the rising generation of young evangelicals, affluent, suburban-bred, and socially mobile, who are intent that, whatever else their church will be, it will not be the church of their fathers. That is generally what they mean in proclaiming their ideal of a “countercultural” faith.

I do not mean to sound dismissive of this generation. I often lecture in evangelical colleges, and I love the students I meet there. But I am struck by some of the very phenomena that Nicholson describes. They appear to be getting a very limited education, particularly in politics and economics. Instead, they are heavy on emotivism, a disposition that leaves them prepared to speculate endlessly about what they imagine “Jesus would do” but poorly equipped for engagement with challenging points of view.

How to overcome these limitations and what they might portend? I can think of few better ways than by bringing such students into a fuller awareness of the Jewish roots of their own faith. For how can one possibly grasp the Christian doctrine of vicarious atonement, or the meaning of the Eucharist, without understanding how those ideas are grounded in Jewish understandings of sin, guilt, and expiation? How to understand the source of human rights and inviolable dignity without recurring to the biblical belief that man is made in the image of God?

To be sure, the evangelical-Jewish alliance will always be at least partially a matter of strange bedfellows. That can’t be helped, and it shouldn’t be denied. The differences are profound. But at the same time, there is a deep commonality, going to the heart of both faiths and revealed by and through the course of two millennia of human history. It is, I think, most succinctly expressed in the idea that both traditions worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. That phrase carries the weight of a distinct cosmology, anthropology, and moral universe.

This, in other words—and in ways that Jews perhaps understand better than evangelicals—is the religion that both groups have indeed been “born with,” as Irving was right to suggest. That bedrock fact points to at least the possibility of an alliance destined, in the fullness of time, to be of far more than mere political convenience.

___________________

Wilfred M. McClay is the Blankenship Chair in the history of liberty at the University of Oklahoma and director of its Center for the History of Liberty. 

_______________________

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

The answer to finding out more about God is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted.

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Adrian Rogers: An Old Testament Portrait of Christ

Published on Jan 27, 2014

I own nothing, all the rights belong to Adrian Rogers (R.I.P.) & his website http://www.lwf.org. Story of Abraham is told.

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Adrian Rogers: Why I Believe in Jesus Christ

Adrian Rogers: The Biography of the King

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