Monthly Archives: October 2014

Scientists and Their Gods Henry F. Schaefer III (Quotes Erwin Schrodinger, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar,C. P. Snow,Richard Feynman,Alan Lightman,Michael Polanyi,Robert Clark,Francis Bacon,Johannes Kepler,Blaise Pascal,Robert Boyle,Isaac Newton,Michael Faraday, and James Clerk Maxwell)

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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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Scientists and Their Gods

Henry F. Schaefer III


Professor Henry F. (Fritz) Schaefer is one of the most distinguished physical scientists in the world.  The U.S. News and World Report cover story of December 23, 1991 speculated that Professor Schaefer is a “five time nominee for the Nobel Prize.” He has received four of the most prestigious awards of the American Chemical Society, as well as the most highly esteemed award (the Centenary Medal) given to a non-British subject by London’s Royal Society of Chemistry. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Moreover, his general interest lectures on science and religion have riveted large audiences in nearly all the major universities in the U.S.A. and in Beijing, Berlin, Budapest, Calcutta, Cape Town, New Delhi, Hong Kong, Istanbul, London, Paris, Prague, Sarajevo, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Tokyo, Warsaw, Zagreb, and Zürich.

For 18 years Dr. Schaefer was a faculty member at the University of California at Berkeley, where he remains Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus. Since 1987 Dr. Schaefer has been Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia.

 


This lecture is also known as Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?

The Genesis of This Lecture

I first began teaching freshman chemistry at Berkeley in the spring of 1983. Typically we lectured in halls that held about 550. On the first day of class you could fit in 680, which we had that particular morning. It was a full auditorium. Those of you who have had freshman chemistry at a large university will know that many have mixed feelings about that course.

I had never addressed a group of 680 people before and was a bit concerned about it. But I had a fantastic demonstration prepared for them. At Berkeley in the physical science lecture hall, the stage is in three parts. It rotated around, so you could go to your part of the stage and work for several hours before your lecture, getting everything ready. My assistant, Lonny Martin who did all the chemistry demonstrations at Berkley, was in the process of setting up 10 moles of a large number of quantities—10 moles of benzene, iron, mercury, ethyl alcohol, water, etc. At just the right time, at the grand crescendo of this lecture, I was going to press the button and Lonny would come turning around and show them the ten moles of various items. The student would have great insight as they realized that all these had in common was about the same number of molecules of each one.

It was going to be wonderful. We got to that point in the lecture and I said, “Lonny, come around and show us the moles.” I pressed the button to rotate the stage but nothing happened. I didn’t realize that he was overriding my button press because he wasn’t ready with the moles. This was very embarrassing. I went out in front of the 680 students and was really at a complete loss of what to say, so I made some unprepared remarks. I said, “While we’re waiting for the moles, let me tell you what happened to me in church yesterday morning.”

I was desperate. There was great silence among those 680 students. They had come with all manner of anticipations about freshman chemistry, but stories about church were not among them!

I continued, “Let me tell you what my Sunday School teacher said yesterday.” That raised their interest even more. “I was hoping the group at church would give me some support, moral, spiritual, or whatever for dealing with this large class, but I received none. In fact, the Sunday School teacher asked the class, in honor of me:

What was the difference between a dead dog lying in the middle of the street and a dead chemistry professor lying in the middle of the street?

The class was excited about this and I hadn’t even gotten to the punch line. They roared with laughter. The very concept of a dead chemistry professor lying in the middle of the street was hilarious to them. I’m sure some of them began to think, “If this guy were to become a dead chemistry professor very close to the final exam, we probably wouldn’t have to take the final exam. They’d probably give us all passing grades and this would be wonderful.”

I told them my Sunday school teacher had said that the difference between the dead dog lying in the middle of the road and the dead chemistry professor lying in the middle of the road is that there are skid marks in front of the dead dog.

The class thought this was wonderful! Just as they settled down, I pressed the button and around came Lonny with the moles. It was a wonderful beginning to my career as a freshman chemistry lecturer.

About 50 students came down at the end of class. About half had the usual questions like “Which dot do I punch out of this registration card?” There is always some of that. But about half of these students all had something like the same question. Basically they wanted to know “What were you doing in church yesterday?” One in particular said, “The person I most have admired in my life was my high school chemistry teacher last year. He told me with great certainty that it was impossible to be a practicing chemist and have any religious view whatever. What do you think about that?”

We didn’t have a long discussion at that time, but the students asked me if I would speak further on this topic. That became the origin of this lecture.

I gave this talk in Berkeley and in the San Francisco area many times. When I moved to the University of Georgia several years ago, the interest increased. And some faculty members complained to the administration. It was an interesting chapter in my life. The Atlanta Journal and Constitution, the largest newspaper in the southeastern United States, came out with an editorial supporting my right to give this talk, saying, “Fanatics are demanding rigorous control over the dissemination of ideas.”

A Perspective on the Relation of Science and Christianity

Let’s put this question of the relationship between science and Christianity with as broadest, most reasonable perspective we can. The relation between science and other intellectual pursuits has not always been easy. Therefore, many feel there has been a terrible warfare between science and Christianity. But I feel this is not the whole story.

For example, the recent literature text by Susan Gallagher and Roger Lundeen says,

Because in recent history, literature has often found itself in opposition to science, to understand modern views about literature the dominance of science in our culture. For several centuries, scientists have set the standards of truth for Western culture. And their undeniable usefulness in helping us organize, analyze, and manipulate facts has given them an unprecedented importance in modern society.

Not everybody has liked that. For example, John Keats, the great romantic poet, did not like Isaac Newton’s view of reality. He said it threatened to destroy all the beauty in the universe. He feared that a world in which myths and poetic visions had vanished would become a barren and uninviting place. In his poem Lamia, he talks about this destructive power. In this poem, he calls “science” “philosophy”, so I will try to replace the word “philosophy” with “science” because that is what he means.

Do not all charms fly
At the mere touch of cold science?
There was an awful rainbow once in heaven
We knew her woof and texture.
She is given in the dull catalog of common things.
Science will clip an angels wings,
Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,
Empty the haunted air and gnome’s mind,
Unweave a rainbow.

My point is there has been some sparring between science and virtually every other intellectual endeavor. So it should not be entirely surprising if there weren’t a bit of that between science and Christianity.

Has Science Disproved God?

Nevertheless, the position is commonly stated that “science has disproved God.” C. S. Lewis says, in his autobiography Surprised by Joy, that he believed that statement. He talks about the atheism of his early youth and credits it to science. He says,

You will understand that my atheism was inevitably based on what I believed to be the findings of the sciences and those findings, not being a scientist, I had to take on trust, in fact, on authority.

What he’s saying is that somebody told him that science had disproved God and he believe it, even though he didn’t know anything about science.

A more balanced view is this by one of my scientific heroes, Erwin Schrodinger. He was the founder of wave mechanics and the originator of what is the most important equation in science, Schrodinger’s equation. He says,

I’m very astonished that the scientific picture of the real world is very deficient. It gives a lot of factual information, puts all our experience in a magnificently consistent order, but it is ghastly silent about all and sundry that is really near to our heart, that really matters to us. It cannot tell us a word about red and blue, bitter and sweet, physical pain and physical delight, knows nothing of beautiful 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.

People do tell good stories. Scientists do tell some interesting stories about religion. This one is from Chemistry in Britain, which is kind of like the Time Magazine of they chemical profession in England. Talking about the release of a new book on science policy, they explore an interesting idea.

If God applied to the government for a research grant for the development of a heaven and earth, he would be turned down on the following grounds:

  • His project is too ambitious.
  • He has no previous track record.
  • His only publication is only a book and not a paper in a refereed journal.
  • He refuses to collaborate with his biggest competitor.
  • His proposal for a heaven and earth is all up in the air.

The Alternatives to Belief in the Sovereign God of the Universe

Lev Landau

I want to give examples of two atheists. The first is Lev Landau, the most brilliant Soviet physicist of this century. He was the author of many famous books with his coworker Lifchets. I actually used some of these books as a student at M.I.T. This is a story about Landau from his good friend and biographer Kolotnikov. This appeared in Physics Today. This is a story from the end of Landau’s life. Kolotnikov says

The last time I saw Landau was in 1968 after he had an operation. His health had greatly deteriorated. Lifchets and I were summoned to the hospital. We were informed that there was practically no chance he could be saved. When I entered his ward, Landau was lying on his side with his face turned to the wall. He heard my steps, turned his head, and said, “Kollat, please save me.” Those were the last words I heard from Landau. He died that night.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Chandrasekhar was a famous astrophysicist. He won the Nobel prize in physics in 1983. He was a faculty member at the University of Chicago for many years. At the back of his biography is an interview. Chandrasekhar says,

In fact, I consider myself an atheist. But I have a feeling of disappointment because the hope for contentment and a peaceful outlook on life as the result of pursuing a goal has remained largely unfulfilled.

His biographer is astonished. He says:

What? I don’t understand. You mean, single–minded pursuit of science, understanding parts of nature and comprehending nature with such enormous success still leaves you with a feeling of discontentment?

Chandrasekhar continues in a serious way, saying:

I don’t really have a sense of fulfillment. All I have done seems to not be very much.

The biographer seeks to lighten up the discussion a little saying that everybody has the same sort of feelings. But Chandrasekhar will not let him do this, saying:

Well that may be, but the fact that other people experience it doesn’t change the fact that one is experiencing it. It doesn’t become less personal on that account.

And Chandrasekhar’s final statement:

What is true in my own personal case is that I simply don’t have that sense of harmony which I’d hoped for when I was young. I’ve persevered in science for over fifty years. The time I’ve devoted to other things is miniscule.

Is it Possible to be a Scientist and a Christian?

So the question I want to explore is the one that I was asked by that young man after my freshman chemistry class at Berkeley, “Is it possible to be a scientist and a Christian.” The student and his high school chemistry teacher obviously thought it was not possible.

C. P. Snow

Let me begin from pretty neutral ground by quoting two people with no particular theistic inclination. The first one is C. P. Snow. C. P. Snow used to be very famous as the author of a book called The Two Cultures. C. P. Snow was a physical chemist at Oxford University. He discovered about halfway through his career that he also was a gifted writer and he began writing novels. They are about university life in England. One in particular is called Masters, which I would recommend. C. P. Snow became quite wealthy doing this and then he was able to sit in an in–between position, between the world of the sciences and the world of literature.

He wrote this book, which in it’s time was very famous, about the two cultures—the sciences and the humanities. He said statistically slightly more scientists are in religious terms, unbelievers, compared with the rest of the intellectual world, although there are plenty that are religious and that seems to be increasingly so among the young. So is it possible to be a scientist and a Christian? C. P. Snow, who was certainly not a Christian, said yes.

Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman, Nobel prize in physics in 1965, was a very unusual person. He said some 9 years before receiving the Nobel prize, “Many scientists do believe in both science and God, the God of revelation, in a perfectly consistent way.” So is it possible to be a scientist and a Christian? Yes according to Richard Feynman.

A good summary statement in this regard is by Alan Lightman, who has written a very well–received book called Origins. He’s an M.I.T. professor who has published this book with Harvard University Press. He says,

References to God continued in the scientific literature until the middle to late 1800’s. It seems likely that the lack of religious references after this time seem more from a change in social and professional conventions among scientists rather than from any change in underlying thought. Indeed, contrary to popular myth, scientists appear to have the same range of attitudes about religious matters as does the general public.

Now one could regard that statement as strictly anecdotal. Americans love statistics. Here’s the result of a poll of the professional society Sigma Zi. Three thousand three hundred responded, so this is certainly beyond statistical uncertainty. The headline says, “Scientists are anchored in the U. S. mainstream.” It says that half participate in religious activities regularly. Looking at the poll is that 43% of Ph.D. scientists are in church on a typical Sunday. In the American public, 44% are in church on a typical Sunday. So it’s clear that whatever it is that causes people to have religious inclinations is unrelated to having an advanced degree in science.

Michael Polanyi

Let go a little deeper with a statement from Michael Polanyi, professor of chemistry and then philosophy at the University of Manchester. His son, John Polanyi, won the Nobel prize in 1986. I think that it’s probably true that when John Polanyi’s scientific accomplishments, which have been magnificent, have been mostly forgotten, his father’s work will continue.

Michael Polanyi was a great physical chemist at the University of Manchester. About halfway through his career, he switched over to philosophy. He was equally distinguished there. His books are not easy to ready. His most influential book is called Personal Knowledge. He was of Jewish physical descent. He was born in Hungary. About the same time he switched from chemistry to philosophy, he joined the Roman Catholic church. He said,

I shall reexamine the suppositions underlying our belief in science and propose to show that they are more extensive than is usually thought. They will appear to coextend with the entire spiritual foundations of man and to go to the very root of his social existence. Hence I will urge our belief in science should be regarded as a token of much wider convictions.

If you read the rest of the book, you will probably make the same conclusion that I make. I’ve concluded that Polanyi is pointing out that the observer is always there in the laboratory. He always makes conclusions. He is never neutral. Every scientist brings presuppositions to his or her work. A scientist, for example, never questions the basic soundness of the scientific method. This faith of the scientist arose historically from the Christian belief that God the father created a perfectly orderly universe.

Now I want to give you some evidence of that.

Science Developed in a Christian Environment

I’d like to begin with an outrageous statement that always causes reaction. This is a statement from a British scientist, Robert Clark. It will make you think. He says,

However we may interpret the fact scientific development has only occurred in a Christian culture. The ancients had brains as good as ours. In all civilizations, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, India, Rome, Persia, China and so on, science developed to a certain point and then stopped. It is easy to argue speculatively that science might have been able to develop in the absence of Christianity, but in fact, it never did. And no wonder. For the non–Christian world felt there was something ethically wrong about science. In Greece, this conviction was enshrined in the legend of Prometheus, the fire–bearer and prototype scientist who stole fire from heaven thus incurring the wrath of the Gods.”

I’d prefer if he had said “sustained scientific development.” I think he’s gone a little too far here, but this will certainly give people something to think about.

Francis Bacon

Let’s explore the idea involved in the statements that Clark and Polanyi made, that is, that science grew up in a Christian environment. I was taught that Francis Bacon discovered thescientific method. The higher critics now claim he stole it from somebody else and just popularized it. We’ll leave that to the science historians to settle.

One of Francis Bacon’s statements is called the two–books statement. It’s very famous. He said:

Let no one think or maintain that a person can search too far or be too well studied in either the book of God’s word or the book of God’s works.

He’s talking about the Bible as the book of God’s words and nature as the book of God’s works. He is encouraging learning as much as possible about both. So right at the beginning of the scientific method, we have this statement.

Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler posited the idea of elliptical orbits for planets. He’s considered the discoverer of the laws of planetary motion. He was a devout Lutheran Christian. When he was asked the question “Why do you do science?”, he answered that he desired in his scientific research to obtain a sample test of the delight of the Divine Creator in his work and to partake of his joy. This has been said in many ways by other people, to think God’s thoughts after him, to know the mind of man. Kepler might be considered a Deist based on this first statement alone. But he later said:

I believe only and alone in the service of Jesus Christ. In him is all refuge and solace.

Blaise Pascal

Blaise Pascal was a magnificent scientist. He is the father of the mathematical theory of probability and combinatorial analysis. He provided the essential link between the mechanics of fluids and the mechanics of rigid bodies. He is the only physical scientist to make profound contributions to Christian thinking. Many of these thoughts are found in the little book, The Pensees, which I had to read as a sophomore at M.I.T. (They were trying to civilize us geeks at M.I.T., but a few years later decided that it wasn’t working, so we didn’t have to take any more humanities courses.)

Pascal’s theology is centered on the person of Jesus Christ as Savior and based on personal experience. He stated:

God makes people conscious of their inward wretchedness, which the Bible calls “sin” and his infinite mercy. Unites himself to their inmost soul, fills it with humility and joy, with confidence and love, renders them incapable of any other end than Himself. Jesus Christ is the end of all and the center to which all tends.

Pascal also said:

At the center of every human being is a God–shaped vacuum which can only be filled by Jesus Christ.

Robert Boyle

Robert Boyle was perhaps the first chemist. He developed the idea of atoms. Many of my freshman chemistry students know Boyle’s law. Every once in a while I’ll meet one of my former chemistry students. I ask them “What do you remember from the course?” Occasionally they will say: pv = nrt. Then I know I was successful. This is the ideal gas law of which Boyle’s law is a part.

Boyle was a busy man. He wrote many books. One is The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation. He personally endowed an annual lectureship promoted to the defense of Christianity against indifferentism and atheism. He was a good friend of Richard Baxter, one of the great Puritan theologians. He was governor of the Corporation for the Spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ in New England.

Isaac Newton

Although I disagree, a recent poll on who the most important person of history was gave that honor to Sir Isaac Newton. Newton was a mathematician, physicist, co–discoverer with Liebnitz of calculus, the founder of classical physics. He was the first of the three great theoretical physicists. He wrote about a lot of other things. He tried to do chemistry, but was a little bit before his time. He wrote more books on theology than on science. He wrote one about the return of Jesus Christ entitled Observations on the prophecy of Daniel and the Revelation of Saint John. He said:

This most beautiful system of the sun, planets and comets could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being.

One might assume from this statement that Newton was a Deist (system of natural religion that affirms God’s existence but denies revelation). However, quotes like this shows this is not true:

There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.

One concludes that Newton was a Biblical literalist. It was not enough that an article of faith could be deduced from Scripture, he said:

It must be expressed in the very form of sound words in which it was delivered by the apostles. For men are apt to run into partings about deductions. All the old heresies lie in deductions. The true faith was in the Biblical texts.

George Trevellian, a secular historian, summarized the contributions of these individuals as follows:

Boyle, Newton and the early members of the Royal Society were religious men who repudiated the skeptical doctrines of Thomas Hobbs. But they familiarized the minds of their countrymen with the idea of law in the universe and with scientific methods of inquiry to discover truth. It was believed that these methods would never lead to any conclusions inconsistent with Biblical history and miraculous religion. Newton lived and died in that faith.

Michael Faraday

My very favorite—and probably the greatest experimental scientist of all—is Michael Faraday. The two hundredth birthday of Michael Faraday’s birth was recently celebrated at the Royal Institution (multi–disciplinary research laboratory in London). There was an interesting article published by my friend Sir John Thomas, who said if Michael Faraday had been living in the era of the Nobel prize, he would have been worthy of at least eight Nobel prizes. Faraday discovered benzene and electromagnetic radiation, invented the generator and was the main architect of classical field theory.

Let me contrast the end of his life with the end of Lev Landau’s life. Faraday was close to death. A friend and well–wisher came by and said, “Sir Michael, what speculations have you now?” This friend was trying to introduce some levity into the situation. Faraday’s career had consisted of making speculations about science and then dash into the laboratory to either prove or disprove them. It was a reasonable thing to say.

Faraday took it very seriously. He replied:

Speculations, man, I have none. I have certainties. I thank God that I don’t rest my dying head upon speculations for “I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto him against that day.”

James Clerk Maxwell

The second of the three great theoretical physicist of all time would certainly have been James Clerk Maxwell. Someone has documented Maxwell’s career this way:

Maxwell possessed all the gifts necessary for revolutionary advances in theoretical physics—a profound grasp of physical reality, great mathematical ability, total absence of preconceived notions, a creative imagination of the highest order. He possessed also the gift to recognize the right task for this genius—the mathematical interpretation of Faraday’s concept of electromagnetic field. Maxwell’s successful completion of this task resulting in the mathematical [field] equations bearing his name, constituted one of the great achievements of the human intellect.

I disagree with one statement made above. If Maxwell indeed had a total absence of preconceived notions, he would have accomplished a total absence of science. So this is obviously written by somebody who is not a scientist (a squishyhead). However, this statement is basically good.

Maxwell said:

Think what God has determined to do to all those who submit themselves to his righteousness and are willing to receive his gift [of eternal life in Jesus Christ]. They are to be conformed to the image of his Son and when that is fulfilled and God sees they are conformed to the image of Christ, there can be no more condemnation.

Maxwell and Charles Darwin were contemporaries. Many wonder what he thought of Darwin’s theories. In fact, once he was to go to a meeting on the Italian Riviera in February to discuss new developments in science and the Bible. If you’ve ever spent time in Cambridge, England, you know it is very gloomy in the wintertime. If I had been a faculty there, I would have taken an opportunity to go to the Italian Riviera at this time of the year.

Maxwell turned down the invitation. He explained:

The rate of change of scientific hypotheses is naturally much more rapid than that of Biblical interpretation. So if an interpretation is founded on such a hypothesis it may help to keep the hypothesis above ground long after it ought to be buried and forgotten.

This is true. An example of this is the steady–state theory, which was popularized by Fred Hoyle and many others. It is one of the two competing theories of the origin of the universe. The steady–state hypothesis basically says that what you see is what was always there. It became less tenable in 1965 with the observation of the microwave background radiation by Arnold Pansias and Robert Wilson. There are not very many people left who believe in the steady–state hypothesis. It is interesting to go back to about 1960 and find commentaries on the book of Genesis and see how they explain how the steady–state hypothesis can be reconciled with the first chapter of Genesis. Any reasonable person can see that Genesis is talking about a beginning from nothing (ex nihilo), so it takes interesting explanations to reconcile a beginning with the steady–state hypothesis.

The steady–state hypothesis is going to be, within about 20 years, gone and forgotten. These commentaries will probably still be available in libraries and no one will be able to understand them.

Science is Inherently a Tentative Activity

[Shaefer shows audience a well–known cartoon].

In checking with several mathematicians, I came to realize that the equation in this cartoon means absolutely nothing at all, but the punch line is appropriate. [One character] says, “What is most depressing is the realization that everything we believe will be disproved in a few years.” I hope that is not true of my work in quantum chemistry. I don’t think it will be true, but there is some truth to this in that science is inherently a tentative activity. We come to understandings that are subjected to, at least, some further refinement.

Somebody who obviously not an admirer of the Christian of Faraday and Maxwell said:

The religious decisions of Faraday and Maxwell were inelegant, but effective evasions of social problems that distracted and destroyed the qualities of the works of many of their ablest contemporaries.

What he is saying is that because they were Christians, Maxwell and Faraday did not become alcoholics nor womanizers nor social climbers as their able colleagues appeared to do.

Organic Chemists

William Henry Perkin

I need to put a little organic chemistry in here so that my colleagues on the organic side will know that I paid a little attention to them also. William Henry Perkin represents perhaps the first great synthetic organic chemist. Discoverer of the first synthetic dye and the person for whom the Perkin transactions of the Royal Society of London is named, Perkin sold his highly profitable business and retired to private research and church missionary ventures at the age of 35 in the year 1873.

George Stokes

We can read about George Stokes in any issue of the Journal of Chemical Physics, which is the best journal in my field. In recent issues, Coherent Anti–Stokes Romin Spectroscopy (CARS) has been a subject of discussion. He is one of the great pioneers of spectroscopy, study of fluids and fluorescence. He held one of the most distinguished chairs in the academic world for more than fifty years, the Lucasian Professorship of Mathematics at Cambridge—a position held by Sir Isaac Newton and currently by Stephen Hawking. He was also president of the Royal Society of London.

Stokes wrote on other topics besides organic chemistry, including the topic of natural theology. Concerning the issue of miracles, Stokes said:

Admit the existence of a personal God and the possibility of miracles follows at once. If the laws of nature are carried out in accordance with his will, he who willed them may will their suspension….

William Thomson

William Thomson was later known as Lord Kelvin. Thomson was a fantastic scientist. He is recognized as the leading physical scientist and the greatest science teacher of his time. His early papers on electromagnetism and heat provide enduring proof of his scientific genius. He was a Christian with a strong faith in God and the Bible. He said:

Do not be afraid to be free thinkers. If you think strongly enough, you will be forced by science to the belief in God.

J. J. Thomson

In 1897, J. J. Thomson discovered the electron. He was the Cavendish professor of physics at Cambridge University.

The old Cavendish laboratory sits in the middle of Cambridge campus. So much was discovered there that it was turned into a museum. A total of fifteen Nobel Prizes resulted from work done there. Inscribed over its door is a Latin phrase “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” [A new] Cavendish laboratory was rebuilt out in the country. However, it also has this sentence from the book of Proverbs written over the door, but in English rather than Latin.

J. J. Thomson made this statement in Nature,

In the distance tower still higher [scientific] peaks which will yield to those who ascend them still wider prospects and deepen the feeling whose truth is emphasized by every advance in science, that great are the works of the Lord.

Theoretical Chemist

Charles Coulson

Charles Coulson is one of the three principal architects of the molecular orbital theory. He probably would have received the Nobel prize but he did not pass the first test. The first test to get the Nobel prize is to live to be 65 years old. The second test is to have done something very important when you were about 30 years old. Coulson did very significant work when he was in his thirties, but he died at 64, thus disqualifying himself from the Nobel prize.

Coulson, a professor of mathematics at Oxford University for many years was also a Methodist lay minister. He was a spokesman for Christians in academic science and the author of the term “God of the gaps” theology.

From the biographical memoir of the Royal Society after Charles Coulson’s death, we read a description of his conversion to faith in Jesus Christ in 1930 as a 20–year–old student at Cambridge University. Coulson testified:

There were some ten of us and together we sought for God and together we found Him. I learned for the first time in my life that God was my friend. God became real to me, utterly real. I knew Him and could talk with Him as I never imagined it before and these prayers were the most glorious moment of the day. Life had a purpose and that purpose coloured everything.

Coulson’s experience is fairly similar to my own at Berkeley. It would be nice if I could say there was a thunderclap from heaven and God spoke to me in audible terms and that is why I became a Christian. However, it did not happen that way, but I did have this same perception Coulson is talking about—this sense of purpose and more of a vividness to the colors of life.

The successor to Coulson as theoretical chemistry professor at Oxford, was Norman March, a good friend of mine. He as well is a Methodist lay minister.

Robert Griffiths, a member of our U.S. Academy of Sciences, Otto Stern professor of physics at Carnegie Mellon University received one of the most coveted awards of the American Physical Society in 1984 on his work in physical mechanics and thermodynamics. Physics Today said he is an evangelical Christian who is an amateur theologian and who helps teach a course on Christianity and science.

He recently said:

If we need an atheist for a debate, I’d go to the philosophy department—the physics department isn’t much use.

At Berkeley University, among 55 chemistry professors, we only had one who was willing to openly identify himself as an atheist, my good friend Bob, with whom I still have many discussions about spiritual things.

Richard Bube

For many years, Bube was the chairman of the department of materials science at Stanford and carried out foundational work on solid state physics concerning semiconductors. He said:

There are proportionately as many atheistic truck drivers as there are atheistic scientists.

John Suppe

Member of the U.S. Academy of Sciences and noted professor of geology at Princeton, expert in the are of tectonics, began a long search for God as a Christian faculty member. He began attending services in the Princeton Chapel, reading the Bible and other Christian books. He committed Himself to Christ and had his first real experience of Christian fellowship in Taiwan, where he is on a fellowship. He states:

Some non–scientist Christians, when they meet a Christian, will call on to debate evolution. That is definitely the wrong thing to do. If you know what problems scientists have in their lives—pride, selfish ambition, jealousy—that’s exactly the kind of thing Jesus Christ said that He came to resolve by His death on the cross. Science is full of people with very strong egos who get into conflict with each other. The gospel is the same for scientists as it is for anyone. Evolution is basically a red herring; if scientists are looking for meaning in their lives, it won’t be found in evolution. I have never met a non–Christian who brought up evolution with me.

Charles H. Townes

My candidate for the scientist of the century is Charlie Townes. (Of course, he is a friend of mine and there could be some bias here.) He did something fairly significant when he discovered the laser. He almost got a second Nobel Prize for the first observation of an interstellar molecule. He has written his autobiography, entitled Making Waves (a pun referring to the wavelike phenomenon of lasers).

An excerpt from his life’s story:

You may well ask, “Where does God come into this,” to me, that’s almost a pointless question. If you believe in God at all, there is no particular “where”—He is always there, everywhere….To me, God is personal yet omnipresent. A great source of strength, He has made an enormous difference to me.

At eighty [years old], Charlie Townes still has a very active research program at Berkeley.

Arthur Schawlow

Schawlow won a Nobel Prize in physics, 1981, serves as physics professor at Stanford and identifies himself as a Christian. He makes this unusual statement which I think could only be made by a scientist:

We are fortunate to have the Bible, and especially the New Testament, which tells so much about God in widely accessible, human terms.

Allan Sandage

The world’s greatest observational cosmologist, an astronomer at the Carnegie Institution, was called the Grand Old Man of cosmology by The New York Times when he won a $1 million prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He said:

The nature of God is not to be found within any part of the findings of science. For that, one must turn to the Scriptures.

In one book, Sandage was asked the classic question, “Can one be a scientist and a Christian?” and he replied, “Yes, I am.” Ethnically Jewish, Sandage became a Christian at the age of fifty—if that doesn’t prove that it’s never too late, I don’t know what does!

This is the man who is responsible for our best values for the age of the universe: something like 14 billion years. Yet, when this brilliant cosmologist is asked to explain how one can be a scientist and a Christian, he doesn’t turn to astronomy, but rather to biology:

The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance…I am convinced that the existence of life with all its order and each of its organisms is simply too well put together.

William Phillips

Now in physics, you can be a lot younger and get the [Nobel] Prize. Phillips is not even 50 years old and he’s got it already. His citation was for the development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. At a press conference following the announcement of his winning the Nobel Prize, he said:

God has given us an incredibly fascinating world to live in and explore.

According to The New York Times, Phillips “formed and sings in the gospel choir at Fairhaven United Methodist Church, a multi–racial congregation of about 300 in Gaithersburg, Maryland. He also teaches Sunday School and leads Bible studies.” If you read further in that article, you find out that every Saturday afternoon, he drives with his wife into downtown Washington, D.C. to pick up a blind, 87–year–old African American lady to take her grocery shopping and then to dinner.

David Cole & Francis Collins

Since my area of expertise is right between chemistry and physics, I cannot speak as well for the field of biological sciences. However, my longtime colleague, Berkeley biochemist David Cole and cystic fibrosis pioneer, Francis Collins—director of the Human Genome Project, the largest scientific project ever undertaken—are both well–known as outspoken Christians.

Why Are There So Few Atheists Among Physicists?

Many scientists are considering the facts before them. They say things like:

The present arrangement of matter indicates a very special choice of initial conditions.
—Paul Davies

In fact, if one considers the possible constants and laws that could have emerged, the odds against a universe that produced life like ours are immense.
—Stephen Hawking

A common sense interpretation of the facts suggests that a superintellect has monkeyed with physics, as well as with chemistry and biology, and that there are no blind forces worth speaking about in nature.
—Fred Hoyle

As the Apostle Paul said in his epistle to the Romans:

Since the creation of the world, God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.

Why the Perception of Ongoing Battle?

The last question I want to ask, then, is this, Why do so many people still think that there is an ongoing battle between science and Christianity? I don’t deny that there is an ongoing discussion. But I think the facts are that, what you think about God doesn’t depend on whether you have a Ph.D. in the sciences.

Why would some people like to think that this supposed battle rages on? At least in part, I honestly feel it is a misrepresentation. Let me give you just one example. Andrew Dickson White was the first president of Cornell University, the first university in the United States formed on strictly secular principles. (All others had been founded on a Christian basis.) He wrote a very famous book, The History of the Warfare of Science With Theology, in 1896. An excerpt:

[John] Calvin took the lead in his commentary on Genesis, by condemning all who asserted that the earth is not the center of the universe. He clinched the matter by the usual reference to the first verse of the 93rd Psalm and asked, “Who will venture to place the authority of Copernicus above that of the Holy Spirit?”

(This is not making John Calvin look very good!) What’s the real story behind this? Alistair McGrath, Brampton Lecturer at Oxford University and perhaps the greatest living scholar on Calvin, has recently written an authoritative biography of Calvin, in which he goes into question with great detail:

This assertion of Calvin is slavishly repeated by virtually every science writer on the theme of religion and science, such as Bertrand Russell in his History of Western Philosophy. Yet it may be stated categorically that Calvin wrote no such words in his Genesis commentary and expressed no such sentiments in any of his known writings. The assertion that he did is to be found characteristically unsubstantiated in the writings of the nineteenth century….

It would be fair to ask what Calvin really thought of Copernicus’ heliocentric theory of the solar system, and the answer is that we don’t know. He probably didn’t even know about him—Copernicus was not exactly a household name in France or Switzerland in 1520. But in his preface of his translation of the New Testament into French, Calvin wrote:

The whole point of Scripture is to bring us to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and, having come to know Him with all that this implies, we should come to a halt and not expect to learn more.

Conclusion

I hope that I have given you a flavor of the history of science. Those of you who have taken a freshman chemistry or physics course will surely find many of these people familiar. In fact, the reason I have prepared this talk is that these represent the very people I have taught in such courses.

There is a tremendous tradition of distinguished scientists who were and are Christians. I hope that my work is considered sufficiently outstanding to fall into the distinguished among that category. I also hope I have given you enough evidence that you will never again believe that it is impossible to be a scientist and a Christian.


 

Copyright © 2001 by Henry F. Schaefer III. All rights reserved.

 

________________

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Sam Harris rightly noted earlier this month on Bill Maher’s show that liberals are still getting “agitated over the abortion clinic bombings that happened in 1984” but they are not upset at what is happening in the Muslim world right now!!!!

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Real Time with Bill Maher: Ben Affleck, Sam Harris and Bill Maher Debate Radical Islam (HBO)

Sam Harris rightly noted earlier this month on Bill Maher’s show that liberals are still getting “agitated over the abortion clinic bombings that happened in 1984” but they are not upset at what is happening in the Muslim world right now!!!! There is really no comparison at all between Christianity and Islam concerning the areas of freedom of religion, freedom of press and political freedom.

Bill Maher, Ben Affleck and Islam

Dennis Prager | Oct 07, 2014

Last Friday night a rare dialogue/debate took place on American television. It was rare because it involved criticism of Islam, one of the many taboo subjects that are labeled “politically incorrect.” And it took place on the program “Real Time with Bill Maher,” a show not generally known for taking politically incorrect positions.

But on this night the host, Bill Maher, along with atheism-advocate Sam Harris, had a vigorous debate with Actor Ben Affleck, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, and former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

Bill Maher, a man of the left on virtually every issue, began by defending liberalism’s honor against liberal hypocrisy on the subject of Islam:

“Liberals need to stand up for liberal principles. … Liberal principles like freedom of speech, freedom to practice any religion you want without fear of violence, freedom to leave a religion, equality for women, equality for minorities including homosexuals — these are liberal principles that liberals applaud for [pointing to his audience], but then when you say in the Muslim world this is what’s lacking, then they get upset.”

Sam Harris then added:

“Liberals have really failed on the topic of theocracy. They’ll criticize … Christians; they’ll still get agitated over the abortion clinic bombing that happened in 1984, but when you talk about the treatment of women and homosexuals and free thinkers and public intellectuals in the Muslim world, I would argue that liberals have failed us. And the crucial point of confusion is that we have been sold this meme of ‘Islamophobia,’ where every criticism of the doctrine of Islam gets conflated with bigotry toward Muslims as people. That’s intellectually ridiculous.”

Ben Affleck and Nicholas Kristof — along with, sad to say, a former chairman of the Republican National Committee — would have none of that.

Affleck’s first response to the indictment of the liberal double standard was to ask Sam Harris: “Are you the person that understands the officially codified doctrine of Islam?”

To which Harris responded: “I’m actually well-educated on this topic.”

Affleck, presumably not desirous of comparing his knowledge of Islam with that of Harris, moved on: “You’re saying that Islamophobia is not a real thing?”

“It’s gross! It’s racist!” Affleck continued, in answer to his own question.

“It’s like saying, ‘I’m not your shifty Jew,'” comparing an antisemitic epithet to what Maher and Harris were saying.

To which Harris pointed out that there is no comparison between attacks on all members of a group and attacks on ideas: “We have to be able to criticize bad ideas. And Islam is the mother lode of bad ideas.”

That really set Affleck off.

“Jesus! It’s an ugly thing to say.”

This was classic leftist thinking. The question of whether an assertion is true is of little or no interest to the left. The question of concern to the left is whether something is politically incorrect.

Then the New York Times columnist, Kristof, offered his take:

“The picture you’re painting is to some extent true, but it is hugely incomplete. It is certain that plenty of fanatics and jihadis are Muslim, but [so are] the people who are standing up to them — Malala [the Pakistani 12-year-old shot and critically wounded by Islamists for attending school and advocating that other girls do so], Muhammad Ali Dadkhah in Iran, in prison for nine years for speaking up for Christians, [and] a friend that I had in Pakistan [who] was shot this year, Rashid Rahman, for defending people accused of apostasy.”

Kristof’s response is a frequent one. So it is worth responding to.

It is quite true that there are heroic Muslims who are fighting the Islamists throughout the Muslim world — and that some of them have been murdered for doing so. These people are moral giants. But their existence has nothing to do with the criticisms leveled by Maher and Harris, since they never said or implied that all Muslims are bad. There were heroic Germans who fought Hitler and the Nazis. Therefore what? If Kristof had been present when people criticized Germany’s values, would he have labeled them “Germanophobes?”

But it was later in the dialogue that Kristof expressed the most dishonest of the left’s arguments on this issue: “The great divide is not between Islam and the rest. It’s rather between the fundamentalists and the moderates in each faith.”

“In each faith,” Kristof?

Where, sir, are the Christian and Jewish jihadists? The only Jewish state in the world is one of the freest countries on earth, with protections for minority religions and women and homosexuals unknown anywhere in the Muslim world. And virtually every free country in the world is in the Christian world.

Presumably, these are just “ugly” facts.

This debate was valuable. Even more valuable would be if Maher and Harris came to realize that the death of Judeo-Christian values and their being supplanted by leftism is producing hundreds of millions of people who think like Ben Affleck and Nicholas Kristof.

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 704) 17 Reasons the large national debt is a big deal!!!

Open letter to President Obama (Part 704)

(Emailed to White House on 6-25-13.)

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 corruptionThe 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.

______________________

17 Reasons the large national debt is a big deal!!!

We got to stop spending so much money and start paying off our national debt or the future of our children and grandchildren will be very sad indeed. Everyone knows that entitlement spending must be cut but it seems we are not brave enough to do it. I have contacted my Congressmen and Senators over and over but nothing is getting done!!! At least there are 66 conservative Republicans in the House that have stood up  and voted against raising the debt ceiling.

June 17, 2013 at 7:13 am

GO-Debt-Denial-rev_600

Remember the debt? That $17 trillion problem? Some in Washington seem to think it’s gone away.

The Washington Post reported that “the national debt is no longer growing out of control.” Lawmakers and liberal inside-the-Beltway organizations are floating the notion that it’s not a high priority any more.

We beg to differ, so we came up with 17 reasons that $17 trillion in debt is still a big, bad deal.

1. $53,769 – Your share of the national debt.  

As Washington continues to spend more than it can afford, every American will be on the hook for this massive debt burden.

willrogers_450

SHARE this graphic.

2. Personal income will be lower.

The skyrocketing debt could cause families to lose up to $11,000 on their income every year. That’s enough to send the kids to a state college or move to a nicer neighborhood.

3. Fewer jobs and lower salaries.

High government spending with no accountability eliminates opportunities for career advancement, paralyzes job creation, and lowers wages and salaries.

4. Higher interest rates.

Some families and businesses won’t be able to borrow money because of high interest rates on mortgages, car loans, and more – the dream of starting a business could be out of reach.

5. High debt and high spending won’t help the economy.

Journalists should check with both sides before committing pen to paper, especially those at respectable outlets like The Washington Post and The New York Times. A $17 trillion debt only hurts the economy.

6. What economic growth?

High-debt economies similar to America’s current state grew by one-third less  than their low-debt counterparts.

7. Eventually, someone has to pay the nation’s $17 trillion credit card bill, and Washington has nominated your family.

It’s wildly irresponsible to never reduce expenses, yet Washington continues to spend, refusing to acknowledge the repercussions.

>>>Watch this video to see how scary $17 trillion really is for your family.

8. Jeopardizes the stability of Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid.

Millions of people depend on Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security, but these programs are also the main drivers of the growing debt. Congress has yet to take the steps needed to make these programs affordable and sustainable to preserve benefits for those who need them the most.

9. Washington collects a lot, and then spends a ton. Where are your tax dollars going?

In 2012, Washington collected $2.4 trillion in taxes—more than $20,000 per household. But it wasn’t enough for Washington’s spending habits. The federal government actually spent $3.5 trillion.

>>> Reality check: See where your tax dollars really went.

10. Young people face a diminished future.

College students from all over the country got together in February at a “Millennial Meetup” to talk about how the national debt impacts their generation.

>>>Shorter version: They’re not happy. Watch now.

11. Without cutting spending and reducing the debt, big-government corruption and special interests only get bigger.

The national debt is an uphill battle in a city where politicians too often refuse to relinquish power, to the detriment of America.

12. Harmful effects are permanent.

Astronomical debt lowers incomes and well-being permanently, not just temporarily. A one-time major increase in government debt is typically a permanent addition, and the dragging effects on the economy are long-lasting.

13. The biggest threat to U.S. security.

Even President Obama’s former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff thinks so:

Mullen_450

SHARE this graphic.

14. Makes us more vulnerable to the next economic crisis.

According to the Congressional Budget Office’s 2012 Long-Term Budget Outlook, “growing federal debt also would increase the probability of a sudden fiscal crisis.”

15. Washington racked up $300 billion in more debt in less than four months.

Our nation is on a dangerous fiscal course, and it’s time for lawmakers to steer us out of the coming debt storm.

16. High debt makes America weaker.

Even Britain’s Liam Fox warns America: Fix the debt problem now, or suffer the consequences of less power on the world stage.

17. High debt crowds out the valuable functions of government.

By disregarding the limits on government in the Constitution, Congress thwarts the foundation of our freedoms.

Read the Morning Bell and more en español every day at Heritage Libertad.

_____________

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

FRIEDMAN FRIDAY “The Tyranny of Control” in Milton Friedman’s FREE TO CHOOSE Part 5 of 7 (Transcript and Video) “There is no measure whatsoever that would do more to prevent private monopoly development than complete free trade”

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. In this episode “The Tyranny of Controls” Milton Friedman shows how government planning and detailed control of economic activity lessens productive innovation and consumer choice.

In this episode Milton Friedman asserts, “The best way to limit the control of a few is free trade on a worldwide basis. There is no measure whatsoever that would do more to prevent private monopoly development than complete free trade. It would do __ be far more effective than all the antitrust suite in the world.

Milton Friedman’s Free to Choose – Ep.2 (5/7) – The Tyranny of Control

McKENZIE: Could we go __ Milton. There’s a direct challenge. What would you do about displaced workers, or let the slack be taken up by other __

FRIEDMAN: I believe that you have to separate, and should separate sharply the issue of what you do about people in distress, from how you handle the industrial system. I do not believe you ought to have a special program for displaced workers. What you ought to have, and what all societies do have, is some mechanism, voluntary or governmental, which will assist people in distress. We have another program in this series which deals with exactly that issue, in which I come out, as you know, in favor of a negative income tax as a way to do it. But I think it’s a great mistake to try to link it directly with tariffs. And the reason is that many people who are displaced are not in trouble. Many of those have good alternatives. Some of them will benefit from it. There are some who will be in distress, of course, but there are always people who are in distress for all sorts of reasons. In a dynamic society, demands are going up here, demands are going up there, there is no more reason in my opinion to have a special program for those who are displaced because of the changes in demand and supply in the international scene, than because of the changes on the domestic scene.

McKENZIE: A quick reaction to that __

DEASON: Why would you want to return to a concept that this country exists, you know, had in 1900? Why would you want to return to where a few control the economic destiny of every working man and woman?

FRIEDMAN: It’s exactly the other way, Mr. Deason. The best way to limit the control of a few is free trade on a worldwide basis. There is no measure whatsoever that would do more to prevent private monopoly development than complete free trade. It would do __ be far more effective than all the antitrust suite in the world.

DEASON: I totally disagree. You would wind up with a situation like in the movie Rollerball, where corporations carved out their spheres of economic influence throughout the world, and controlled everything. It would be controlled by corporations __

FRIEDMAN: You saw the __

DEASON: __ in its entirety.

FRIEDMAN: Excuse me. You saw the picture of Hong Kong, didn’t you?

DEASON: Yes.

FRIEDMAN: Where are those corporations there?

McKENZIE: We might get down that alley and have difficulty in finding our way out of it. Could we move to another big theme in the film: that is, that the third world countries have, broadly speaking, made a very serious error in moving into planned economies, from beginning to end, and you use a phrase in the case of India, “Central planning has condemned the Indian masses to poverty and misery.” Now, what’s your reaction to that, sir?

BHAGWATI: I partly agree with Milton as well as I largely disagree with him. I think it is true that the invisible hand ought to be seen more in the poor countries, (Laughter) than it is, and I would like to see the iron fist disappear. Unfortunately, it’s the other way around. On the other hand, I think it cannot be maintained that laissez faire is the answer, either that it’s a necessary or a sufficient condition for development. Let me go to Milton’s examples and, you know, refer to Japan. Japan is a prime example, actually, of where the visible hand is invisible to everybody who is outside of Japan. But it’s writ large on the wall for the Japanese. The Japanese government, right from the major restoration, has taken a very active interest in the development of the country. It has regulated technology and imports. Even to this date the government and business have a strong symbiotic relationship. I think it’s just __

McKENZIE: Highly paternalistic.

BHAGWATI: __ and business is highly paternalistic. I don’t think it’s a valid example at all of what I believe was the implication of Milton’s program.

McKENZIE: Let’s bring in Helen Hughes. On this theme, has the third world made a disastrous mistake in almost unanimously moving into planned economies rather than the free market?

HUGHES: Well, first of all, it hasn’t almost unanimously moved into planned economies.

McKENZIE: Overwhelmingly so.

HUGHES: Not even overwhelmingly. I mean, India is a large country, but the majority of developing countries are not centrally planned. They have some sort of planning, and secondly, some of the countries which have been most successful have had the highest government intervention. The best examples are Taiwan, Korea, Brazil, Singapore. And even in Hong Kong, which is often held up as an example of no government intervention, I mean this is just not true. The Hong Kong government has provided the infrastructure. It has provided the roads and the ports and schools. And it’s been very important. But when you move to a country like Malawi or Papua New Guinea, you can’t do without government intervention. There is nothing there. There are no entrepreneurs in place, and the American entrepreneurs are not interested in small places like that.

FRIEDMAN: I’m not in favor of no government intervention. I never have been. I point out in the film that what the government did in Hong Kong was very important. The question is: What kind of intervention? And in the states you’ve described, in the places you have described where you’ve had success, governmental intervention has been of a rather special kind. It has provided infrastructure. It has not tried to determine the outline of industrial production, the areas in which industry should go, exactly what the allocation of __ it has not gone in for central planning.

HUGHES: Well that’s just not true in Korea. I mean, you are factually wrong because in Korea the government has actually __

FRIEDMAN: Oh, it is true in Taiwan.

HUGHES: It’s fairly true in Taiwan, but not in Korea, which has grown faster than any other country. Where Korean exports have been determined to a very large extent, by direct government intervention. I think your point is, what sort of government intervention, what for, and what are the tradeoffs between government intervention and the free market. These are the relevant issues.

McKENZIE: What is the role of government in relation to the market economy? How do you see it performing, Don Rumsfeld, do you want to see government, as it were, enforcing competition by chasing down monopoly, restrictive practices, and all the rest of it in the society?

RUMSFELD: The record’s clear that they don’t do it well. They can’t manage the __

McKENZIE: But does that mean they shouldn’t do it at all, or do it better?

RUMSFELD: Take the wage price controls in the United States of America, I happen to have been involved, and I don’t say it with any great pride. The real world is __ I don’t care about good intentions, I don’t care about brains, I don’t care about integrity, the fact of the matter is they’re not smart enough to manage the wages and prices of every American, 215 million strong. They can’t do it well. They do it poorly. And the weight of that is harmful. It’s graphically shown in every document issued by the Council of Economic Advisors in the United States.

McKENZIE: But what about the additional question, though, does the government properly, in this or elsewhere, insure competition by other devices. I’m not talking now about price control, wage control, but insuring competition rather than permitting price fixing or agreements and monopoly. What do you feel about it?

DEASON: I feel the government properly acts in that area. It must __ the government must be there to insure competition.

RUMSFELD: The government’s not smart enough __ look at the Antitrust Law. You talk about a patch __ the implementation of antitrust regulations in the United States, between the Department of Justice and the FTC. It’s a __ it’s a patchwork mess. There isn’t any logic to it. People don’t know what to do. They don’t __ they can’t get answers. They’re inhibited from mergers and consolidations that would make a lot of sense from the standpoint of the consumer.

DEASON: And would make even more sense from the point of multinational corporations.

HUGHES: I think that one of the points you’re making is that it’s very hard for the government to intervene in a very large country, like India or the United States. But compare government intervention in some of the small, homogenous countries of Europe or Singapore, and I think that’s very important. Switzerland has a great deal of government intervention. Sweden, Denmark, Norway __ I’ve just quoted you the four highest income countries in the world. They do have intervention to try and protect the functioning of the market system, and to make it more efficient.

BHAGWATI: Milton is absolutely right, that if you’re talking about central planning that has been disastrous. Absolutely, in terms of having targeted industrial allocations and so on; I mean there’s absolutely no doubt in anybody’s mind who has studied the problem over the last twenty years.

McKENZIE: Disasters in India, too.

BHAGWATI: In India as well, very definitely.

McKENZIE: You advised on that, didn’t you?

BHAGWATI: No, not on centralized planning, no. (Laughing)

RUMSFELD: That wasn’t a clear question anyway. (Laughter)

FRIEDMAN: That’s all right. I was over there as an advisor, too.

BHAGWATI: I’m on the side of the angels on that. For a number of years __ I’m supposed to be a friend of Milton’s there, which is disastrous. (Laughing)

DEASON: To give advice is one thing. To have it taken is a different one.

FRIEDMAN: I agree very much with what Helen Hughes has said, that the more homogenous the country, the less harm the government will do by intervening. I don’t believe it does positive good. I just simply believe it does less harm. But, as to antitrust __

McKENZIE: Yeah.

FRIEDMAN: I am in favor of the laws which make agreements and restraint of trade illegal.

McKENZIE: Yes.

FRIEDMAN: Most of the rest of the antitrust apparatus has promoted monopoly instead of hindered monopoly. If you look at where there are monopolistic elements in the world, and in the United States, including the multinationals you want to refer to, in almost every case that monopoly derived from a special grant by government. And therefore, the problem is not how does government enforce competition, how do you keep government from setting up monopolies? That’s the real problem, if you look at the real world, and not at the preamble, the language, of antitrust measures and similar laws.

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To all interested Jews who want to investigate the claims of Jesus!!!!

One of my favorite messages by Adrian Rogers is called  “WHO IS JESUS?”and he goes through the Old Testament and looks at the scriptures that describe the Messiah.  I want to encourage you to listen to this audio message which I will send to anyone anywhere anytime. I have given thousands of these CD’s away over the years that contain this message and they all contain the following story from Adrian Rogers.  Here is how the story goes:

Years ago Adrian Rogers counseled with a NASA scientist and his severely depressed wife. The wife pointed to her husband and said, “My problem is him.” She went on to explain that her husband was a drinker, a liar, and an adulterer. Dr. Rogers asked the man if he were a Christian. “No!” the man laughed. “I’m an atheist.”

“Really?” Dr. Rogers replied. “That means you’re someone who knows that God does not exist.”

“That’s right,” said the man.

“Would it be fair to say that you don’t know all there is to know in the universe?”

“Of course.”

“Would it be generous to say you know half of all there is to know?”

“Yes.”

“Wouldn’t it be possible that God’s existence might be in the half you don’t know?”

“Okay, but I don’t think He exists.”

“Well then, you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic. You’re a doubter.”

“Yes, and I’m a big one.”

“It doesn’t matter what size you are. I want to know what kind you are.”

“What kinds are there?”

“There are honest doubters and dishonest doubters. An honest doubter is willing to search out the truth and live by the results; a dishonest doubter doesn’t want to know the truth. He can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”

“I want to know the truth.”

“Would you like to prove that God exists?”

“It can’t be done.”

“It can be done. You’ve just been in the wrong laboratory. Jesus said, ‘If any man’s will is to do His will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’ (John 7:17). I suggest you read one chapter of the book of John each day, but before you do, pray something like this, ‘God, I don’t know if You’re there, I don’t know if the Bible is true, I don’t know if Jesus is Your Son. But if You show me that You are there, that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is Your Son, then I will follow You. My will is to do your will.”

The man agreed. About three weeks later he returned to Dr. Rogers’s office and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord.

When I was 15 I joined my family on an amazing trip with our pastor Adrian Rogers to the land of Israel in 1976 and the most notable event to me was our visit to the Western Wall (or Wailing Wall) where hundreds of orthodox Jews were praying and kissing the wall. At the time we were visiting the wall I noticed that Dr. Rogers was visibly moved to tears because he knew that these Jews had missed the true messiah who had come and died on a cross almost 2000 years before. They were still looking for the messiah to come for the first time sometime in the future.

That one event encouraged my interest in presenting the gospel to the Jews.  At about the same time in Little Rock two Jews by the names of Dr. Charles Barg and Dr. Jack Sternberg were encountering that gospel message.   I have posted before about their life stories and they can be easily found on the internet.

I THOUGHT OF YOU ON  10-16-14 WHEN OUR TEACHING PASTOR BRANDON BARNARD AT FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH IN LITTLE ROCK TAUGHT ON JESUS’ MESSAGE TO THOSE JEWS SKEPTICAL OF HIS CLAIMS TO BE THE MESSIAH AND THE SON OF GOD.  After hearing this message I went straight to our church bookstore and asked for any books that deal with Jewish skeptics and I bought the books BETWEEN TWO FATHERS by Dr. Charles Barg and CHRISTIANITY: IT’S JEWISH ROOTS by Dr. Jack Sternberg.  I highly recommend both of these books.

If  someone is truly interested in investigating the Old Testament Scriptures then all they have to do is google “Bible Evidence Archaeology” or  click on the links on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org and the evidence is there showing that Christ is the Messiah predicted in the Old Testament. Here are some of my past posts on this subject, 1. My correspondence with Daniel Bell and Irving Kristol about the rebirth of Israel!!!!, 2. My personal visit with Bill Kristol on 7-18-14 in Hot Springs, Arkansas!!!!, 3. Simon Schama’s lack of faith in Old Testament Prophecy, 4. Who are the good guys: Hamas or Israel?, 5. “A Jewish Doctor Speaks Out: Why I Believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah” written by Dr. Jack Sternberg (author of the book CHRISTIANITY: THE JEWISH ROOTS), and 6.  Jesus Christ in the Old Testament by Adrian Rogers,

Brandon’s sermon started with these words from Jesus to the Jewish skeptics of his day:

John 5:18-47 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Jesus’ Equality with God

18 For this reason therefore the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He not only was breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.

19 Therefore Jesus answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever[a]the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20 For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Himgreater works than these, so that you will marvel. 21 For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes. 22 For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.

24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.

Two Resurrections

25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. 26 For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; 27 and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is [b]the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, 29 and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.

30 “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

31 “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not [c]true. 32 There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.

Witness of John

33 You have sent to John, and he has testified to the truth. 34 But the testimony which I receive is not from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35 He was the lamp that was burning and was shining and you were willing to rejoice for [d]a while in his light.

Witness of Works

36 But the testimony which I have is greater than the testimony of John; for the works which the Father has given Me to accomplish—the very works that I do—testify about Me, that the Father has sent Me.

Witness of the Father

37 And the Father who sent Me, He has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time nor seen His form. 38 You do not have His word abiding in you, for you do not believe Him whom He sent.

Witness of the Scripture

39 [e]You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it isthese that testify about Me; 40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. 41 I do not receive glory from men; 42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. 44 How can you believe, when youreceive [f]glory from one another and you do not seek the [g]glory that is from the one andonly God? 45 Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; the one who accuses you is Moses, in whom you have set your hope. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me, for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”

Then Brandon gave the quote below from C.S. Lewis:

I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.
     We are faced, then, with a frightening alternative. This man we are talking about either was (and is) just what He said or else a lunatic, or something worse. Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form.

Quotes from Mere Christianity, Part 20
For enquiring minds, see the Wikipedia article: Lewis’s trilemma
C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins: 2001) 52-53.

In this passage from John Jesus gives his identity (Son of God verse 25) and his authority (v.27-28 to judge and give life). It also discusses the four witnesses in Christ behalf. Then Brandon asked, “How does the identity and authority of Jesus affect you? He asserted, “It is impossible to honor God apart from honoring Jesus Christ.”

Brandon’s last point of the sermon was this:

PEOPLE DON’T DESIRE THE GLORY OF GOD BECAUSE THEY WANT IT FOR THEMSELVES.

______________

If someone truly wants to worship the Jewish Messiah of the Old Testament then they should take a close look at what the Old Testament says about that Messiah. Both Dr. Barg and Dr. Sternberg found the Old Testament prophecies very convincing and they both are now members of my church in Little Rock which is Fellowship Bible Church. Take a look at some of these verses which are mentioned in Adrian Rogers’ short article below.

Jesus Christ in the Old Testament

Acts 10:43

“Digging Deeper” into Scripture, you’re going to find that all of the Bible—Old Testament as well as New—is about Jesus Christ.  Yes, He appears in the Old Testament—if you know how to find Him there. The Lord Jesus, the Second Person of the Trinity, is found throughout the Old Testament in prophecy, types and shadows.

In this study we’ll see how that occurs.

Did you know there are about 300 prophecies in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah? Professor Peter Stoner was chairman of the mathematics and astronomy departments at Pasadena City College until 1953, then was Chairman of the Science Department at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. He wrote a book titled Science Speaks. He proved that it is impossible, by the law of mathematical probability, for Jesus Christ not to be the one true Messiah of Israel and the Son of God

Later in this study we’re going to look at that, so keep reading.

But first let’s begin with something the apostle Peter said, confirming Jesus’ presence in the Old Testament:

1. Turn to Acts 10:43.  Peter, testifying in the household of Cornelius about Jesus, says:       “To Him,” [to Jesus,] “give all the prophets witness.”

When Peter made this statement, the New Testament had not yet been written. So when Peter says “the prophets,” who is he talking about?

Peter wanted Cornelius, a Roman officer, to know that throughout the Old Testament, the prophets were looking ahead, predicting and proclaiming the arrival of the Messiah.

When we get to the New Testament, we find the fulfillment.

  • In the gospels, we see Jesus as the Prophet preaching the kingdom of God.
  • In the epistles and Acts you see Jesus Christ, the ascended Priest, interceding for the people of God.
  • In the book of Revelation, you see Jesus Christ as the King, coming to rule and reign.

Each of these offices is a portrait of Jesus Christ.
All of the Old Testament pictures Jesus as prophet, priest, and king.
All of the New Testament shows Jesus as the fulfillment.
He is the Prophet, Priest, and King.

Portraits of Jesus in the Old Testament:

Jesus is the second Adam because the first Adam prophesied Him.
Jesus is a beloved, rejected, exalted son and world bread supplier like Joseph.
Jesus is that root out of dry ground, born of a virgin. (Is. 53:2)
Jesus is a priest like Aaron and Melchizedek because they prefigured Him.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the offering of Isaac on Mount Moriah (the same
mount as Mt. Calvary, where Jesus literally died.)
Jesus is the Passover lamb.
Jesus is a prophet like Moses because Moses typified Him.
Jesus is the water that came from the rock in the wilderness.
Jesus is the manna that fell from the sky.
Jesus is the brazen serpent lifted up in the wilderness.
Jesus is the scapegoat bearing away the sins of the people.
Jesus is pictured in the Ark of the Covenant.
Jesus is the mercy seat where the shekinah glory of God dwells.
Jesus is the sacrifice upon the brazen altar in the tabernacle and the temple.
Jesus is a champion like Joshua, whose name literally means “Jesus.”
Jesus is a king like David.
Jesus is a wise counselor like Solomon.
Jesus is the lion of Judah.
Jesus is the good shepherd, “The Lord is my shepherd.”
Jesus is the fruitful branch.
Jesus is that one without form or comeliness yet altogether lovely. (Is 53:2)

_________

Prophecies of Jesus in the Old Testament

Fulfilled prophecy is one of the great proofs of the Deity of Jesus Christ.

God began to prepare the world for the coming of Jesus with a multitude of prophecies in the Old Testament concerning Him. There can be no mistake that Jesus is the Messiah. As Professor Peter Stoner pointed out, the law of mathematical probability makes it totally impossible that anyone other than Jesus else could be the Messiah.

The law of probability is not an abstract law. Life insurance policies, for example, are based on mathematical probability.

Let’s look at just 8 out of 108 Old Testament prophecies Jesus fulfilled.

1. The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem. (Micah 5:2)
Fulfillment: Luke chapter 2 and Matthew 2:1

2. The Messiah will have a forerunner. (Malachi 3:1)
“Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple…”

Fulfillment: Matthew 3:1-3 “In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias [Isaiah], saying, ‘The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight.’”

3. The Messiah would make His triumphant entry riding on a donkey (now what king does that?)
Zechariah 9:9 “Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a ___________, Even on a colt, the foal of a ___________.

Fulfillment: Matthew 21:7, John 12:14-16

4. The Messiah would die by crucifixion. (Psalm 22, especially vv. 11-18)
“…for dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they have pierced  my hands  and feet.”

Fulfillment: Luke 23:33, Matthew 27:35, Mark 15:24 John 19:23

5. Those who arrested Him would cast lots for His garments (Psalm 22:18)
“They part my garments among them, and _______ ______ upon my vesture.

Fulfillment: Luke 23:34
34 “Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted His raiment, and cast lots.” Also John 19:23, Mark 15:24, and
Matthew 27:35, “and parted His garments, casting lots.”

6. Messiah would be betrayed by one of His own friends. (Zechariah 11:6)
6 “And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my ___________.’

Fulfillment: Matthew 26:14-16, “14 Then ____ of the __________, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests…” Also Mark 14:10-11, John 18:2

7. Messiah would be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12)

Fulfillment: Matthew 26:15-16
15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for _________ pieces of _________. 16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

8. The Messiah will remain silent when He is accused and afflicted. (Isaiah 53:7)
“He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not his mouth: He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He openeth not His mouth.”

Fulfillment: Mark 14:61, 61 But He held his peace, and answered nothing.”
1 Peter 2:23 23 Who, when He was reviled, reviled not again; when He suffered, He threatened not; but committed Himself to Him that judgeth righteously:”

These are just 8 examples of Old Testament prophecies Jesus fulfilled. There are at least 108, many of which He had no control over, if He were only a human being (such as the place of His birth and the prophesied “flight to Egypt” when He was a child.)

The odds of any one person being able by accident to fulfill even 8 of the 108 prophecies is a number so astronomical, our minds cannot conceive of it. Professor Stoner calculated it to be 1in 1017 or 1 in 100 quadrillion.

Is Jesus Christ found in the Old Testament? He is found in type and shadow in every book of the Old Testament.

Thank you for taking time to read this and feel free to contact me back at everettehatcher@gmail.com or 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

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Brandon Barnard pictured below:

Dr. Charles Barg’s book below:

Dr. Jack Sternberg below:

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Dancing at the Wailing Wall in 1967:

Picture of Wailing Wall from 1863


Source: Earthly Footsteps of the Man of Galilee, p. 147.

 

President Carter with Adrian and Joyce Rogers in 1979 at the White House:
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Adrian Rogers in the White House pictured with President Ronald Reagan below:

 

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Adrian and Joyce Rogers with President Bush at Union University in Jackson, TN:

 

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Adrian Rogers pictured below on national day of prayer with President Bush.

 

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 31 David Hume and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist William Pope L. )

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

 

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How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

The clip above is from episode 9 THE AGE OF PERSONAL PEACE AND AFFLUENCE

10 Worldview and Truth

In above clip Schaeffer quotes Paul’s speech in Greece from Romans 1 (from Episode FINAL CHOICES)

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Published on Dec 18, 2012

A video important to today. The man was very wise in the ways of God. And of government. Hope you enjoy a good solis teaching from the past. The truth never gets old.

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : 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,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted,Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not aphilosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplifiedintellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pillbecause Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art andculture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about thembecause they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not that of acautious academic who labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts andthey have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where ourwestern society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youthenthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decadesbecause of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true asSchaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This linkshows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in 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 chanceplus matter.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTSARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULTOF MINDLESS CHANCE.

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Schaeffer asserted:

 

How do we know we know?

 

Take another example out of the history of this new approach in philosophy, that of David Hume (1711-1776). In 1732 he shocked the world with A Treatise of Human Nature. John Locke (1632-1704) had already denied the concept of “innate ideas” of right and wrong; that is, Locke denied that these ideas are inherent in the mind from birth. This had troubled many. Then Hume burst on the scene with a challenge which went further.

What was most startling was his progression beyond skepticism concerning God and other things of the “invisible world” to a skepticism about the visible world as well. Among other things, he questioned the concept of causality. That is, Hume challenged the notion that there is a reality in the external world which leads us to speak about one thing as being the cause of another. When we see a tree bending and swaying and its leaves falling to the ground and racing off across the field, we naturally speak of the wind as causing this phenomenon. Hume challenged this.
Following on from Locke, who said that all knowledge comes only from the senses, Hume argued that causality is not perceived by the senses. What we perceive are two events following closely upon each other. It was custom, he argued, which led us to speak in terms of causality, not any objective “force” working in the things themselves. Anyone can see where this thinking leads, and it was so understood at the time. If causality is not real, science becomes impossible – for what scientists are doing is tracing the path of cause and effect from one event to the next.
A modern British humanist, Kathleen Nott, has written perceptively about Hume in Objections to Humanism (1967): “Among great philosophers, Hume … hung his nose as far as any over the nihilistic abyss.”83 This is right. Hume was questioning the most basic elements of our experience. Yet he was trying to be consistent to his presuppositions (that is, his starting point). Where did this lead him? To a skepticism about knowledge itself. Hume wrote designedly against the Christian world-view which prevailed in England at the time. He wanted to dismantle the system of ideas which came out of the Bible, of a God before whom man was responsible, of people being more than matter, of a life after death which seemed to defy all natural law. Where he ended, though, was with uncertainty even about the ordinary things of life. As Kathleen Nott continues: “Hume’s philosophizing was indeed a radical skepticism, which left no convincing logical grounds for believing that anything natural, let alone supernatural, was there at all.”84
But there is something even more striking about Hume. Skepticism was the direction in which his philosophy led him; yet he was not able to live with it himself. He “hung his nose over the nihilistic abyss” – and we can picture him standing on the edge and peering over – but what then? Nott says he “withdrew it sharply when he saw the psychological risks involved.” Hume himself said in A Treatise of Human Nature (Volume I):
Should it be asked me whether I sincerely assent to this argument which I have been to such pains to inculcate, and whether I be really one of those skeptics who hold that all is uncertain … I … should reply … that neither I nor any other person was ever sincerely and constantly of that opinion … I dine, I play backgammon, I converse and am merry with my friends; and when, after 3 or 4 hours amusement, I would return to these speculations, they appear so cold and strained and ridiculous that I cannot find in my heart to enter into them any further. Thus the skeptic still continues to reason and believe, though he asserts that he cannot defend his reason by reason; and by the same rule, he must assent to the principle concerning the existence of body, though he cannot pretend, by any argument of philosophy, to maintain its veracity.85
We believe there are only two basic alternatives in the search for the source of knowledge. One is that a person attempts to find the answers to all his questions alone. The other is that he seeks revealed truths from God. We shall come to the second later. Now we are looking at the former, and we are suggesting that this is the basic problem with which all humanistic systems must wrestle: the problem of knowledge.
We could go into many other details concerning the subsequent history of the ideas we have dealt with, including in particular Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) and his own “Copernican revolution” in philosophy and also the developments surrounding Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) and linguistic philosophy in the twentieth century. We shall stop here, partly to keep the discussion of modern philosophy from becoming too technical, but mainly because the basic difficulties had already been expressed within a century of the birth of modern philosophy.
Starting with himself, a person cannot establish an adequate explanation for the amazing possibility that he can observe the world around him and be assured that his observations have a correspondence with reality. The problem is not just that a person cannot know everything. The need is not for exhaustive knowledge; the need is for a base for any knowledge at all. That is, even though we know we cannot exhaustively perceive even the smallest things in our experience, we want assurance that we have really perceived something – that is “perception” is not simply an “image” in our brain, a model or symbol of reality which we have projected out from ourselves. We want to know that we have had a real contact with reality. Even Hume had to admit that his philosophizing did not make sense, that it did not fit into his own experience of the world. On the humanist side this is the great tension – to have no reason for reason and yet at the same time to have to live continuously on the reality of reason.
At this point, someone is bound to ask, “But why is it necessary to have an `adequate explanation’ for knowledge?” Agreeing that Descartes, Hume, and others could find no theoretical base which tied in with their experience, isn’t it sufficient to just reason? Probably many of you have been wanting to ask this, as you have followed along. It is a good question, for the bulk of the world never bothers about the issues which Locke, Hume, and others like them raised. Most people simply live, going about their daily lives, never troubling themselves about reality and fantasy, the subject and the object, and so on. And we are not suggesting that their experience in itself is invalid, as if to imply that they are not perceiving and knowing the universe around them. They are. What we are saying is that – whether they know it or not – their experience is possible only because they are living in the universe the Bible describes, that is, in a universe which was created by God. Their internal faculty of knowing was made by God to correspond to the world and its form which He made and which surrounds them.
If, however, we attempt to bypass the question, “Why is it possible for man to have knowledge in this way?” we must then remember the other two great problems any system which starts only from man. Recall the illustration of the oil tanker and the rock. The rock is the problem of knowledge which we have been considering. That is the central problem. But there are two forms of pollution which flow from the broken ship of knowledge: first, the meaninglessness of all things and, second, the relativity of morals.

 

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David Hume (1711-1776) generally regarded as the most important philosopher ever to write in English — the last of the great triumvirate of “British empiricists” — was also noted as an historian and essayist. A master stylist in any genre, Hume’s major philosophical works — A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740), the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and Concerning the Principles of Morals(1751), as well as the posthumously published Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779) — remain widely and deeply influential, despite their being denounced by many of his contemporaries as works of scepticism and atheism. While Hume’s influence is evident in the moral philosophy and economic writings of his close friend Adam Smith, he also awakened Immanuel Kant from his “dogmatic slumbers” and “caused the scales to fall” from Jeremy Bentham’s eyes. Charles Darwin counted Hume as a central influence, as did “Darwin’s bulldog,” Thomas Henry Huxley. The diverse directions in which these writers took what they gleaned from reading Hume reflect not only the richness of their sources but also the wide range of Hume’s empiricism. Comtemporary philosophers recognize Hume as one of the most thoroughgoing exponents of philosophical naturalism. [1]

 David Hume and “Radical Skepticism”
Generally regarded as the most important philosopher ever to write in English, David Hume (1711-1776) —
the last of the great triumvirate of “British empiricists” — was also noted as an historian and essayist. A
master stylist in any genre, Hume’s major philosophical works — A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-1740),
the Enquiries concerning Human Understanding (1748) and concerning the Principles of Morals (1751), as
well as the posthumously published Dialogues concerning Natural Religion (1779) — remain widely and
deeply influential, despite their being denounced by many of his contemporaries as works of scepticism and
atheism.
Quotes by David Hume in which he cannot find any rational, scientific “proof” that the principle of “cause
and effect” exists. His “radical skepticim” demonstrates that for the philsophically consistent atheist,
science (which presupposes “cause and effect” and the uniformity of nature) cannot lead to any knowledge
about the nature of reality whatsoever:
It appears that, in single instances of the operation of bodies, we never can, by our utmost
scrutiny, discover any thing but one event following another, without being able to
comprehend any force or power by which the cause operates, or any connexion between it
and its supposed effect. The same difficulty occurs in contemplating the operations of mind
on body- where we observe the motion of the latter to follow upon the volition of the
former, but are not able to observe or conceive the tie which binds together the motion and
volition, or the energy by which the mind produces this effect. The authority of the will
over its own faculties and ideas is not a whit more comprehensible: So that, upon the whole,
there appears not, throughout all nature, any one instance of connexion which is conceivable
by us. All events seem entirely loose and separate. One event follows another; but we never
can observe any tie between them. They seemed conjoined, but never connected. And as we
can have no idea of any thing which never appeared to our outward sense or inward
sentiment, the necessary conclusion seems to be that we have no idea of connexion or force
at all, and that these words are absolutely without meaning, when employed either in
philosophical reasonings or common life. (David Hume, 1737)
..all arguments concerning existence are founded on the relation of cause and effect; that
our knowledge of that relation is derived entirely from experience; and all our experimental
conclusions proceed upon the supposition that the future will be conformable to the past. ….
Without the influence of custom, we should be entirely ignorant of every matter of fact
beyond what is immediately present to the memory and senses. (Hume, 1737)
I shall venture to affirm, as a general proposition, which admits of no exception, that the
knowledge of this relation is not, in any instance, attained by reasonings a priori; but arises
entirely from experience, when we find that any particular objects are constantly conjoined
with each other. (Hume, 1737)
It is impossible, therefore, that any arguments from experience can prove this resemblance
of the past to the future; since all these arguments are founded on the supposition of that
resemblance. Let the course of things be allowed hitherto ever so regular; that alone,
without some new argument or inference, proves not that, for the future, it will continue so.
(Hume, 1737)

I say then, that, even after we have experience of the operations of cause and effect, our
conclusions from that experience are not founded on (a priori) reasoning, or any process of
the understanding.(Hume, 1737)
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Francis Schaeffer, in The God Who is There, argues that the more philosophically consistent atheists are
with their worldview, the less they will live in the real world. Conversely, the more they live in the real
world, the less philosophically consistent they will be.
Applying this principle to Hume, we find a “point of tension” between his philosophy and the way he lived
his life:
Should it be asked me whether I sincerely assent to this argument which I have been to
such pains to inculcate, whether I be really one of those skeptics who hold that everything
is uncertain, I should reply that neither I nor any other person was ever sincerely and
constantly of that opinion. I dine, I play backgammon, I converse and am merry with my
friends and when after three or four hours of amusement I would return to these
speculations, they appear so cold and strange and ridiculous that I cannot find in my heart
to enter into them any further. Thus the skeptic still continues to reason and believe
though he asserts he cannot defend his reason by reason. (Hume)
“Among great philosophers Hume, who hung his nose as far as any over the nihilistic abyss, withdrew it
sharply when he saw the psychological risks involved and he advised dilution of metaphysics by playing
backgammon and making merry with his friends. The conclusion of Hume’s philosophizing was indeed a
radical skepticism which left no convincing logical grounds for believing anything natural was there at all
and he saved his reason by refusing to take the implications of his philosophy to heart.”
Kathleen Knott – Objections to Humanism

_________________

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

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

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

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

Featured artist is William Pope L.

Tom Wolfe on Modern Art in Sept of 2011

Uploaded on Oct 11, 2011

Washington and Lee University alumnus Tom Wolfe presented a lecture on Modern Art during the 60th reunion of his class, the Class of 1951, held on the campus in September 2011

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William Pope.L 2012 Joyce Award

Uploaded on Jan 26, 2012

William Pope.L working with SPACES in Cleveland to create,” Parade: a large-scale public project that interweaves the memories, dreams and histories of Clevelanders.”

[ARTS 315] The (Spiritual) Crisis of Abstract Expressionism: Mark Rothko – Jon Anderson

Published on Apr 5, 2012

Contemporary Art Trends [ARTS 315], Jon Anderson

The (Spiritual) Crisis of Abstract Expressionism: Mark Rothko

September 2, 2011

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[ARTS 315] Clement Greenberg and Post-Painterly Abstraction – Jon Anderson

Published on Apr 5, 2012

Contemporary Art Trends [ARTS 315], Jon Anderson

Clement Greenberg and Post-Painterly Abstraction

September 2, 2011

William Pope.L interview excerpt

Here is some of William Pope L. art below:

WILLIAM POPE L.
Evan J. Garza
Reviews
SAMSØN – BOSTON“Color Isn’t Matter,” the title for William Pope L.’s recent exhibition of tightly scattered works at Samsøn in Boston, seems at first pretty self-explanatory. Viewers must walk through a blue tarp to enter the show and are met by an aquarium filled with red liquid, a large cactus (and an adjacent wall) covered in splattered paint and several small pops of color throughout the room. Even the mound of rich, brown dirt in the center of the gallery is marked by pools of greentintedsoil, leaked from a mug of ink held by a mannequin-like performer in baggy blue scrubs and an Obama mask. Closer inspection of the exhibition (and of the artist’s other motive here) reveals that the color in question is, in fact, race. It’s a coy trick, and the show is full of them.
WILLIAM POPE L., Plant, 2009-10. Cactus, shelf & spray painton wall, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist, Mitchell, Innes& Nash, New York and Samsøn, Boston.
Square-shaped vinyl pieces, scattered throughout the gallery and mixed in with found/altered works on paper, feature phrases like “Negro Idea #38” and “By any means necessary Dec. 20,1964,” taken from a speech by Malcom X on that date, nearly invisible in white letters on white material. The installation is raw, down to the details (including the gallery’s ladder leaning on awall), and a smattering of wooden boards from crates are exhibited alongside original works. Peanut butter covers two stuffed animals mounted to wooden trophy bases, installed flush against the walls. Even Obama’s clothes, which are largely proportioned, are a euphemism, in this case for “the clothes are too big for the man.” Everything feels both remarkable and remarkably unfinished, effectively placing Pope L.’s confrontational wit on view here instead of the work itself. And surprisingly, it works. The installation is a perfunctory affair, and the messy nature of the show ultimately takes a back seat to the investigation of color, in both racial andtonal conditions.
Flash Art 272 MAY – JUNE 2010

Food.

| March 11, 2009

moldy nectarines

In his past work, William Pope.L has regularly used food as a medium. In both performance and installation work, processed foods have become symbolic of poverty, the scarcity of life below the welfare line, and of life in households where food is not consistently available. Hot dogs, mayonnaise, pop tarts, and milk are consumables that, when left in the open air, ultimately will lose their nutritive qualities. In the piece Map of the World (2002), for example, Pope.L constructed a map of the United states entirely out of hot dogs. Over time, the piece changed, transforming from a sterile work with self-contained meat sausages into a moldy, smelly, decomposing map of our country. This is not necessarily a blunt comment on the corruption of American society—Pope.L’s art is more oblique than that—but rather it invites the viewer to consider the relation between food and culture. It invites you to fully experience, through sight and smell, the relation between our usual composed existence and the inevitable decomposition that we pretend does not exist.

In considering Pope.L’s method, his artistic style, I’ve been musing on how his use of food relates to his other work. With food, there is a literal decomposition of the image. Over time someone who sees the exhibit can experience several stages of the same piece, receiving a different experience with each visit. I believe his other work also relates to decomposition. When he crawls across Manhattan or when he eats the Wall Street Journal, he is calling upon stock images from daily culture. Anyone who has lived in a city has encountered homeless men and women who lie prone on the ground. The Wall Street Journal, as an elite newspaper, carries another kind of symbolic power. Through Pope.L’s interaction with these symbols, he transforms our perception of them. He crawls down the street in business suits and superman suits, rather than rags. By chewing on the Wall Street Journal, Pope.L literally deconstructs the integrity of the newspaper. In each case, he twists or transforms an image to reveal something of the essential truth behind it. Like the food, as these images transform, many elements are literally the same. The newspaper is still ink and pulp, and a man on the ground is still a man on the ground, yet the bystanders relationship with those images has changed completely.

All of this makes me wonder: what will Pope.L change or transform in his visit to Haverford?

William Pope.L

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William Pope.L (also known as Pope.L, born 1955 in Newark, New Jersey) is an American visual artist best known for his work in performance art, and interventionist public art. However, he has also produced art in painting, photography and theater. He was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial and is a Guggenheim Fellow.

Education

Pope.L attended Pratt Institute from 1973 to 1975 and participated in the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program from 1977 to 1978. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Montclair State University, Montclair, New Jersey in 1978. Each summer he worked assisting severely disabled persons at camps in rural environments. He received a Master of Fine Arts degree in visual arts from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey in 1981.

Early work

From in 1990 to 2010, Pope.L was a lecturer of Theater and Rhetoric at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. As a faculty member he directed a production of Lorraine Hansberry‘s A Raisin In the Sun, in which he used both African-American and Caucasian actors as members of the same family.

For ATM Piece, performed in 1997, he attached himself with an eight-foot length of Italian sausage to the door of a Chase bank in midtown Manhattan wearing nothing but a skirt made out of dollar bills.[1]

eRacism, a project that Pope.L began during the late 1970s, included over 40 endurance-based performances consisting of “crawls”, varying in length and duration. In one example titled Tompkins Square Crawl (1991) Pope.L dressed in a business suit and crawled through the gutter in Tompkins Square Park, New York, pushing a potted flower with one hand. Another example titled The Great White Way, involved a crawl which stretched over 22 miles and took five years to complete. For this performance he donned a Superman outfit and strapped a skateboard to his back. The crawl stretched the entire 22 miles of Broadway, in New York City.[2] Documentation of this performance was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial. He attended Upper St. Clair High School where he donated much money for the reconstruction of the school; Upper St. Clair named their school library after him.[citation needed]

2001 onward

In 2001 The National Endowment for the Arts advisory renew panel granted Pope.L $42,000 in financing for a traveling retrospective called William Pope.L: eRacism. Shortly after announcing the award, the acting chairman, Robert S. Martin, rescinded funding for the grant.[3] Joel Wachs, then president of the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, stated in the December 21st issue of The New York Times:

“It is important, particularly in light of what I would consider an attack on freedom of expression, to stand firm. We want this exhibition to occur; we want other funders to step forward; we don’t want the N.E.A.’s decision to be something that has the effect of stopping what I think is going to be an important exhibition of art.”

The Warhol Foundation, in partnership with the Rockefeller Foundation and the LEF Foundation provided $50,000 in funding for the traveling retrospective to tour the United States.[4] eRacism exhibited at the Institute of Contemporary Art at Maine College of Art; Diverse Works Art space, Houston, 2003; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA), Oregon, 2003; and Artists Space, New York, 2003 .

The catalog “William Pope.L: Friendliest Black Artist in America” was produced by curator Mark Bessire in conjunction with the retrospective exhibition.[5]

In 2002 Pope.L received a Foundation for Contemporary Arts grant. In 2004 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship.[6] In 2005 The Black Factory, an art installation on wheels, traveled from Maine to Missouri as part of The Interventionists show organized by the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (Mass MOCA). “Typically the Factory arrives at a city or town and sets up its interactive workshop on the street. People bring objects that represent blackness to them. The Factory’s workers use these objects in tightly rehearsed but loosely performed skits to stimulate a conversation — a flow of ideas, images and experiences. Most objects are photographed and made part of the Factory’s virtual library, some are housed in the Factory’s archive for later use, and some are pulverized in the Factory’s workshop to make new products available in the Factory’s gift shop.”[7]

In 2006 he was selected as one of the United States Artists fellows,[8] for which he was awarded a $50,000 unrestricted grant.[9]

He was featured alongside other performing artists: Sean Penn, Willem Dafoe, Brad Pitt, Steve Buscemi, and Juliette Binoche in Robert Wilson‘s LAB HD portraits. In 2008, Pope.L’s piece “One Substance, Eight Supports, One Situation” was selected to participate in The Renaissance Society‘s group exhibition, “Black Is, Black Ain’t”.[10]

In 2010 Pope.L was appointed faculty at the University of Chicago.[11]

Quotes

Pope.L’s art focuses on issues of consumption, social class, and masculinity as they relate to race. He is quoted as saying of his own work:

“I am a fisherman of social absurdity, if you will… My focus is to politicize disenfranchisement, to make it neut, to reinvent what’s beneath us, to remind us where we all come from.[12]

In his Foundation for Contemporary Arts Fellowship bio, he writes:

“Like the African shaman who chews his pepper seeds and spits seven times into the air, I believe art re-ritualizes the everyday to reveal something fresh about our lives. This revelation is a vitality and it is a power to change the world.”.[13]

References

Further reading

  • William Pope.L: The Friendliest Black Artist in America, Mark H. C. Bessire, The MIT Press: Cambridge, MA, 2002 (ISBN 0-262-02533-7).
  • The Whole Entire World: Interview with William Pope.L by Amy Horschak in Dak’Art 2006, La Biennale de Dakar: Dakar, 2006, p. 382-383.

External links

___________

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 703)

Open letter to President Obama (Part 703) (Emailed to White House on July 29, 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.

______________________________

Dan Mitchell shows how ignoring the Laffer Curve is like running a stop sign!!!!

I’m thinking of inventing a game, sort of a fiscal version of Pin the Tail on the Donkey.

Only the way it will work is that there will be a map of the world and the winner will be the blindfolded person who puts their pin closest to a nation such asAustralia or Switzerland that has a relatively low risk of long-run fiscal collapse.

That won’t be an easy game to win since we have data from the BISOECD, and IMF showing that government is growing far too fast in the vast majority of nations.

We also know that many states and cities suffer from the same problems.

A handful of local governments already have hit the fiscal brick wall, with many of them (gee, what a surprise) from California.

The most spectacular mess, though, is about to happen in Michigan.

The Washington Post reports that Detroit is on the verge of fiscal collapse.

After decades of sad and spectacular decline, it has come to this for Detroit: The city is $19 billion in debt and on the edge of becoming the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy. An emergency manager says the city can make good on only a sliver of what it owes — in many cases just pennies on the dollar.

This is a dog-bites-man story. Detroit’s problems are the completely predictable result of excessive government. Just as statism explains the problems of Greece. And the problems of California. And the problems of Cyprus. And theproblems of Illinois.

I could continue with a long list of profligate governments, but you get the idea. Some of these governments are collapsing at a quicker pace and some at a slower pace. But all of them are in deep trouble because they don’t follow my Golden Rule about restraining the burden of government spending so that it grows slower than the private sector.

Detroit obviously is an example of a government that is collapsing sooner rather than later.

Why? Simply stated, as the size and scope of the public sector increased, that created very destructive economic and political dynamics.

More and more people got lured into the wagon of government dependency, which puts an ever-increasing burden on a shrinking pool of producers.

Meanwhile, organized interest groups such as government bureaucrats used their political muscle to extract absurdly excessive compensation packages, putting an even larger burden of the dwindling supply of taxpayers.

But that’s not the main focus of this post. Instead, I want to highlight a particular excerpt from the article and make a point about how too many people are blindly – perhaps willfully – ignorant of the Laffer Curve.

Check out this sentence.

Property tax collections are down 20 percent and income tax collections are down by more than a third in just the past five years — despite some of the highest tax rates in the state.

This is a classic “Fox Butterfield mistake,” which occurs when someone fails to recognize a cause-effect relationship. In this case, the reporter should have recognized that tax collections are down because Detroit has very high tax rates.

The city has a lot more problems than just high tax rates, of course, but can there be any doubt that productive people have very little incentive to earn and report taxable income in Detroit?

And that’s the essential insight of the Laffer Curve. Politicians can’t – or at least shouldn’t – assume that a 20 percent increase in tax rates will lead to a 20 percent increase in tax revenue. They also have to consider the degree to which a higher tax rate will cause a change in taxable income.

In some cases, higher tax rates will discourage people from earning more taxable income.

In some cases, higher tax rates will discourage people from reporting all the income they earn.

In some cases, higher tax rates will encourage people to utilize tax loopholes to shrink their taxable income.

In some cases, higher tax rates will encourage migration, thus causing taxable income to disappear.

Here’s my three-part video series on the Laffer Curve. Much of this is common sense, though it needs to be mandatory viewing for elected officials (as well as the bureaucrats at the Joint Committee on Taxation).

The Laffer Curve, Part I: Understanding the Theory

Uploaded by  on Jan 28, 2008

The Laffer Curve charts a relationship between tax rates and tax revenue. While the theory behind the Laffer Curve is widely accepted, the concept has become very controversial because politicians on both sides of the debate exaggerate. This video shows the middle ground between those who claim “all tax cuts pay for themselves” and those who claim tax policy has no impact on economic performance. This video, focusing on the theory of the Laffer Curve, is Part I of a three-part series. Part II reviews evidence of Laffer-Curve responses. Part III discusses how the revenue-estimating process in Washington can be improved. For more information please visit the Center for Freedom and Prosperity’s web site: http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

Part 2

Part 3

P.S. Just in case it’s not clear from the videos, we don’t want to be at the revenue-maximizing point on the Laffer Curve.

P.P.S. Amazingly, even the bureaucrats at the IMF recognize that there’s a point when taxes are so onerous that further increases don’t generate revenue.

P.P.P.S. At least CPAs understand the Laffer Curve, probably because they help their clients reduce their tax exposure to greedy governments.

P.P.P.P.S. I offered a Laffer Curve lesson to President Obama, but I doubt it had any impact.

___________________________

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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WHY DID MESSIAH HAVE TO DIE? by Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

________________

Picture of a Jew praying at the Wailing Wall:

______

WHY DID MESSIAH HAVE TO DIE?

by Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum

© 1983, 2005 Ariel Ministries. All rights reserved. This manuscript is for your
personal use only. No part of this manuscript may be reproduced in any form, except
in brief quotation in a review or professional work, without written permission from the publishers.
Email: Homeoffice@ariel.org • Website: www.ariel.org.

INTRODUCTION

Since the whole concept of a dying Messiah is so foreign to modern Judaism, although it was once a part of Judaism, there is a question that must be answered: “Why did the Messiah have to die?” In the course of answering this question, a second one arises: “What is the means of redemption?”

If there is one theme that seems prevalent throughout the entire Scriptures, it is the theme of redemption by blood.

I. ACCORDING TO THE OLD TESTAMENT

Redemption became necessary when sin entered the human sphere and separated man from God. When Adam and Eve committed that first act of disobedience, sin entered and separated them from God. From that point on, the means of bridging the separation of man from God was by means of blood. This bridging of the gap is called “redemption.” In the history of God’s dealing with His People, the means of redemption was always by blood.

The redemptive element of blood begins to come into the theme of Scripture at the same time that sin does, for until sin came no blood was necessary.

We read in Genesis 3:21, that just as soon as man is expelled from the Garden of Eden: Jehovah God made for Adam and for his wife coats of skins, and clothed them.

The skins were animal skins. The nakedness that the element of sin now revealed, needed to be covered. But the covering required the death of several animals, and so for the first time in history, blood was shed. This provides the root meaning of the Hebrew word for atonement, which is “a covering.”

The necessity of blood was a lesson soon learned by the sons of the first human couple. The time came for both Abel and Cain to bring their sacrifices before God (Gen. 4:3-16). Cain offered for sacrifice the fruit of his labors in the field. The offering was vegetable, and it was bloodless. Abel brought a blood-offering taken from his flock. When God passed judgment on the two types of offerings, that of Cain was rejected, and that of Abel was accepted. So a lesson was taught: One cannot approach God by whatever means one chooses. It is man who sinned and offended the holy God; it is God who must do the forgiving. Therefore, it is not for man to choose the means of forgiveness, but for God, and God has chosen the means to be blood. Cain had chosen to approach God in his own way, but he was rejected. Abel chose the way God demanded, and his sacrifice was accepted.

As biblical history develops in the Book of Genesis, we find that all the ones with whom God was pleased came to Him by means of blood. Noah immediately offered up blood sacrifices when he left the ark. He was followed by other great men in Jewish history: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, all of whom were careful to approach God by means of blood. When Moses received the Law at Mount Sinai, the redemptive element of blood ran throughout the entire Law with its 613 commandments.

A great summary statement for the entire Law is found in The Third Book of Moses, Leviticus 17:11: For the life of the flesh is in the blood; and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that makes atonement by reason of the life.

It can easily be said that all of the Law revolves around this one statement. There were commandments which God gave in the Law that were to be obeyed. Disobedience was sin. If disobedience did take place, the means of atonement for the sin was blood. The Book of Leviticus opens by giving great detail to the different types of blood-sacrifices. All of these different sacrifices had the same purpose: that the Jew might be rightly related to God.

All seven feasts of Israel: Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Pentecost, Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Tabernacles required the shedding of blood. The Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement ceremony was greatly detailed in Leviticus 16, where careful instructions are given for the shedding of blood to atone for the sins of the Jewish nation. The Tabernacle and the Temple both were built to expedite and to make efficient the required shedding of blood for the atonement of the people’s sins. The Holy of Holies that contained the Shechinah Glory, the visible manifestation of the presence of God, could be entered only once a year by only one man, the high priest. In order for him to enter, he had to have the blood of the Yom Kippur sacrifice with him, and this blood had to be sprinkled on the Ark of the Covenant, which contained the tablets of the Law itself.

This is detailed in Leviticus 16:15-17:

Then shall he kill the goat of the sin-offering, that is for the people, and bring his blood within the veil, and do with his blood as he did with the blood of the bullock, and sprinkle it upon the mercy-seat, and before the mercy-seat: and he shall make atonement for the holy place, because of the uncleannesses of the children of Israel, and because of their transgressions, even all their sins: and so shall he do for the tent of meeting, that dwells with them in the midst of their uncleannesses. And there shall be no man in the tent of meeting when he goes in to make atonement in the holy place, until he come out, and have made atonement for himself, and for his household, and for all the assembly of Israel.

And so the principle stood throughout the remainder of Old Testament history. But it was a burden to the individual. These blood-sacrifices had to be repeated year in and year out and they had to be done in the Temple at Jerusalem. For the Jews living elsewhere in the country, miles from Jerusalem, it was a burden to come every year to offer their sacrifices to the Lord for the atonement of their sins. Only the faithful few, those whom the prophets referred to as the Remnant, loved God and His Law enough to do so in spite of the burden it created.

Others built their own altars on mountains and hills closer to home and offered their sacrifices there. But no atonement was granted at these rival altars, and the prophets of God railed against these practices and condemned this deviation from the Law of God. Many had failed to learn the lesson of Cain: that one cannot come to God for forgiveness in any way one may choose, but one must come in the way God Himself has chosen.

It was Isaiah the Prophet who first provided the hope that the day would come when the yearly burden would be lifted. In Isaiah 53, God declared that the Suffering Servant, the Messiah, would be the sacrifice for sin.

In Isaiah 53:10-11 we read:

Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise him; he has put him to grief: when you shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of Jehovah shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities.

The point of Isaiah 53 is basically this: the animal sacrifices under the Mosaic Law were intended to be of temporary duration, a temporary measure only. God’s intent was for there to be one final blood-sacrifice and that would be the sacrifice of the Messiah Himself.

That is why Isaiah 53 uses the same type of wording, figures and emphasis found in the Book of Leviticus. For example, in verse 10b we have the expression: you shall make his soul an offering for sin.

This is a sacrificial concept; these are words that come out of the Mosaic Law itself.

And in verse 11b we read: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many; and he shall bear their iniquities.

Not only are these words of sacrifice used generally in the Old Testament Law, but more specifically, we read of these very terms in Leviticus 16, which is the chapter that expounds and explains all the details regarding the Yom Kippur or Day of Atonement sacrifice.

This, then, was the reason why Messiah had to die: to provide the blood-sacrifice for sin once and for all. No longer would the Jews be burdened with the yearly sacrifices. All a person would need to do is accept the Messiah’s death on his behalf and his sins are forgiven. Messiah had to die in order to provide that atonement, for blood is the means of redemption.

Another key issue is found in these two verses from Isaiah 53. There is a statement here that is somewhat confusing. Verse 11b reads: by the knowledge of himself shall my righteous servant justify many.

A more literal translation from the Hebrew text would read like this: “the knowledge of him shall my righteous justify many.”

The word for knowledge is a Hebrew word that emphasizes experiential knowledge, not mere head knowledge. This is a knowledge of the heart or a knowledge of faith. Those who have a faith-knowledge of this Servant, by “the knowledge of him,” that He died for our sins, not by the knowledge of himself, He will, as a result, justify us. Justification means, “to be declared righteous.” We cannot be declared righteous unless our sins have been atoned for. Our sins can only be atoned for by the shedding of blood; the Messiah’s blood would be the final blood that would be sacrificed.

II. ACCORDING TO THE NEW TESTAMENT

The Book of Hebrews in the New Testament is the counterpart of the Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament. To understand Hebrews, one must first understand Leviticus. Just as Leviticus had a central verse in 17:11 around which the entire book and Law revolved, so the Book of Hebrews also makes the very same point in its central verse, Hebrews 9:22: And according to the law, I may almost say, all things are cleansed with blood, and apart from shedding of blood there is no remission.

In Leviticus 17:11, the principle was that the blood made atonement for the soul. In the New Testament, using different words but giving the same message, it says that apart from the shedding of blood there is no remission. All things are cleansed with blood.

The Book of Hebrews was written by a Hebrew believer to a group of Messianic assemblies in Israel. It picks up the theme of Leviticus and the prophecy of Isaiah to show the superiority of the sacrifice of the Messiah. A number of passages bring out these things. Notice carefully how the author definitely has two things in the back of his mind: first, the Book of Leviticus with animal sacrifices; and second, Isaiah 53 with the Messiah being the final sacrifice.

In Hebrews 2:16-18 we read as follows:

For verily not to angels does he give help, but he gives help to the seed of Abraham. Wherefore it behooved him in all things to be made like unto his brethren, that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself has suffered being tempted, he is able to succor them that are tempted.

This passage makes the point that the Messiah came as a Jew and underwent all the problems that a Jew had to go through in order that he might become a merciful and sympathetic high priest. The reason the Messiah came as a Jew was so that He, too, would live under the Law and take upon Himself the burden of the Law. He could clearly sympathize with the Jewish state under the Law.

Another central passage is Hebrews 4:14-15:

Having then a great high priest, who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that has been in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

This passage develops further the very same point that Yeshua (Jesus) is the sympathetic high priest, for He understands what an individual has to undergo because He Himself underwent all these things.

Another passage is Hebrews 7:22-25:

by so much also has Jesus become the surety of a better covenant. And they indeed have been made priests many in number, because that by death they are hindered from continuing: but he, because he abides for ever, has his priesthood unchangeable. Wherefore also he is able to save to the uttermost them that draw near unto God through him, seeing he ever lives to make intercession for them.

The superiority of the Priesthood of the Messiah is pointed out by the fact of the mortality of all other priests. One high priest would serve, but sooner or later he would die and a new priest would need to be chosen to begin the cycle all over again. The life-and-death cycle proved to be a disadvantage to the old priesthood. The superiority of the Priesthood of the Messiah is shown in that it abides eternally. For Jesus was resurrected, and by virtue of that Resurrection, Jesus remains a high priest forever.

Another shortcoming of the Levitical system of priesthood is found in Hebrews 7:26-27:

For such a high priest became us, holy, guileless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needs not daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people: for this he did once for all, when he offered up himself.

This passage indicates that the sacrifices had to be repeated day in and day out, year in and year out. The Messiah was to be the once for all sacrifice for sin. This is what happened when Jesus came and offered up His own blood as the atonement for sin.

Also, in the old order of priesthood, the high priest had to sacrifice and shed blood for his own sins first before he could sacrifice and shed blood to make atonement for the sins of the people. Since Yeshua was sinless, He did not need to first atone for His own sins, but with His own blood made atonement for all who would accept it. He made atonement for the whole world, of course, but the atonement is only applied to those who would believe.

The first disadvantage of the Levitical Priesthood was that the priests would eventually die. The second disadvantage of the old system was that sacrifices had to be repeated year in and year out. The third disadvantage was that the earthly priest had to atone for his own sins before he could atone for the sins of anyone else. In dealing with the priesthood we have through Jesus the Messiah, all three of these disadvantages rectified.

First, since Jesus by virtue of His Resurrection now lives forever, we never have an interrupted priesthood.

Secondly, since this was Messiah’s innocent blood, this was a one-time shedding. Never again will Yeshua have to shed His blood. So another clear advantage over the Mosaic Law is that the sacrifice of the Messiah does not need to be repeated, it was once and for all.

The third situation lies in the fact that, whereas in the Old Testament system, the earthly priest had to atone for his own sins. That was not the case with our Messiah since our Messiah is a sinless Messiah. There is no need to have Yeshua first offer up a sacrifice for His own sins and then offer up a sacrifice for the sins of the others. In other words, our High Priest is a sinless priest, whereas the Levitical Priesthood was a sinful priesthood.

The concept of the question of why the Messiah had to die in the Book of Hebrews is kept in strict conformity with that which was demanded by the Book of Leviticus and by the hope of Isaiah 53. That which the Old Testament hoped for was found in the New Testament in complete fulfillment by the death of the Messiah.

The superiority of the Messiah as over against all other sacrifices is pointed out in Hebrews 9:11-15:

But Christ having come a high priest of the good things to come, through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this creation, nor yet through the blood of goats and calves, but through his own blood, entered in once for all into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling them that have been defiled, sanctify unto the cleanness of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish unto God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of a new covenant, that a death having taken place for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first covenant, they that have been called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance.

Unlike the animal sacrifices, the sacrifice of Jesus was to bring eternal redemption rather than temporary atonement. This is the fourth distinction between the two systems.

Furthermore, even after the animal sacrifice, the Jew was still conscious of his sins. Faith in the sacrifice of Jesus, however, brings a complete cleansing of the conscience of sins. This is the fifth contrast.

Another passage is found in Hebrews 9:28: so Christ also, having been once offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation.

Here the twofold aspect of the Messiah’s career is pointed out. Yeshua first came to be the sin-offering for the people, just as the Suffering Servant of Isaiah 53 needed to be. Also, just as the Suffering Servant was the One who bore the sins of many, Yeshua did so through His death. Then, the verse states that Yeshua will come a second time for a different purpose. The purpose of the First Coming was to die for sin. The purpose of the Second Coming will be to establish the Messianic Kingdom.

Once again, a contrast is drawn between the animal sacrifices and the blood-sacrifice of Jesus in Hebrews 10:1-4:

For the law having a shadow of the good things to come, not the very image of the things, can never with the same sacrifices year by year, which they offer continually, make perfect them that draw nigh. Else would they not have ceased to be offered? because the worshippers, having been once cleansed, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance made of sins year by year. For it is impossible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins.

The animal sacrifices had to be repeated year in and year out. While these sacrifices provided temporary atonement, they never provided permanent forgiveness of sins. Rather, the yearly sacrifices served to remind the Jewish person of his sins; he knew he would have to bring another sacrifice the next year as well. The consciousness of sins was still there. But the sacrifice of Jesus was once and for all and never needs to be repeated. Acceptance of the sacrifice of Jesus does not bring temporary atonement but permanent forgiveness. By accepting the substitutionary death of Yeshua for one’s sins, one is not continually reminded of those sins, but one receives a complete cleansing. That is why the sacrifice of Yeshua is so superior to the animal sacrifices of the old system.

The last passage is found in Hebrews 10:10-14:

By which will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest indeed stands day by day ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, the which can never take away sins: but he, when he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; henceforth expecting till his enemies be made the footstool of his feet. For by one offering he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified.

This passage again points out how the high priest had to sacrifice day in and day out, and his work was never done. The high priest is viewed as “standing” to indicate this unfinished ministry. But Jesus, who offered Himself as a sacrifice once and for all, is viewed as “sitting at the right hand of God,” thus showing that His work is complete. Furthermore, the animal sacrifices provided a yearly atonement but never permanently took away sins. But those who accept the sacrifice of Jesus are perfected for ever; their sins are permanently removed.

As to the question, “Why did the Messiah have to die?” according to the New Testament, the reason is twofold: first, to fulfill all Old Testament prophecies and requirements, and secondly, to bring in a permanent atonement rather than a temporary one.

CONCLUSION

The conclusion of both the Old and New Testaments is that the means of redemption was by blood, and the permanent blood-sacrifice was to be the Messiah Himself. That is why the Messiah had to die according to the Old Testament. That is why Yeshua did die according to the New Testament. Who killed Yeshua was never the issue as far as the New Testament was concerned, for the Messiah had to die. It only became an issue years later because of anti-Semites seeking excuses to persecute the Jews. The only issue in the New Testament itself is whether or not one will accept the substitutionary sacrifice of Yeshua for oneself.

Dancing at the Wailing Wall in 1967:

Picture of Wailing Wall from 1863


Source: Earthly Footsteps of the Man of Galilee, p. 147.

Dr. Charles Barg’s book below:

Dr. Jack Sternberg below:

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Adrian Rogers: The Biography of the King

Published on Dec 19, 2012

Series: What Child is This?

Who on earth has his biography written 700 years before his birth? The King of Kings. Isaiah looked centuries into the future, divinely inspired, and depicted the supernatural birth, simple life, substitutionary death, saving resurrection, and sovereign reign of Christ the King.
This message references: Isaiah 53:1

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

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Adrian Rogers: How You Can Be Certain the Bible Is the Word of God [#1725] (Audio)

Adrian Rogers

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I want to give you five reasons to affirm the Bible is the Word of God. First, I believe the Bible is the Word of God because of its scientific accuracy. The Truth of the Word of God tells us that God “hangeth the earth upon nothing” (Job 26:7). How did Job know that the earth hung in space before the age of modern astronomy and space travel? The Holy Spirit told him. The scientists of Isaiah’s day didn’t know the topography of the earth, but Isaiah said, “It is [God] that sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word for “circle” here means a globe or sphere. How did Isaiah know that God say upon the circle of the earth? By divine inspiration.

Secondly, the Bible is affirmed through historical accuracy. Do you remember the story about the handwriting on the wall that is found in the fifth chapter of Daniel? Belshazzar hosted a feast with a thousand of his lords and ladies. Suddenly, a gruesome hand appeared out of nowhere and began to write on a wall. The king was disturbed and asked for someone to interpret the writing. Daniel was found and gave the interpretation. After the interpretation, “Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (Daniel 5:29). Basing their opinion on Babylonian records, the historians claim this never happened. According to the records, the last king of Babylon was not Belshazzar, but a man named Nabonidas. And so, they said, the Bible is in error. There wasn’t a record of a king named Belshazzar. Well, the spades of archeologists continued to do their work. In 1853, an inscription was found on a cornerstone of a temple built by Nabonidas, to the god Ur, which read: “May I, Nabonidas, king of Babylon, not sin against thee. And may reverence for thee dwell in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born favorite son.” From other inscriptions, it was learned that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents. Nabonidas traveled while Belshazzar stayed home to run the kingdom. Now that we know that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents, it makes sense that Belshazzar would say that Daniel would be the third ruler. What a marvelous nugget of truth tucked away in the Word of God!

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Third, from Genesis to Revelation, the Bible reads as one book. And there is incredible unity to the Bible. The Bible is one book, and yet it is made up of 66 books, was written by at least 40 different authors over a period of about 1600 years, in 13 different countries and on three different continents. It was written in at least three different languages by people in all professions. The Bible forms one beautiful temple of truth that does not contradict itself theologically, morally, ethically, doctrinally, scientifically, historically, or in any other way.

Fourth, did you know the Bible is the only book in the world that has accurate prophecy? When you read the prophecies of the Bible, you simply have to stand back in awe. There are over 300 precise prophecies that deal with the Lord Jesus Christ in the Old Testament that are fulfilled in the New Testament. To say that these are fulfilled by chance is an astronomical impossibility.

Finally, the Bible is not a book of the month, but the Book of the ages. First Peter 1:25 says: “But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the Word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” No book has ever had as much opposition as the Bible. Men have laughed at it, scorned it, burned it, ridiculed it, and made laws against it. But the Word of God has survived. And it is applicable today as much as it was yesterday and will be tomorrow.

It’s so majestically deep that scholars could swim and never touch the bottom. Yet so wonderfully shallow that a little child could come and get a drink of water without fear of drowning. That is God’s precious, holy Word. The Word of God. Know it. Believe it. It is True.

By Adrian Rogers. © 2006 Love Worth Finding Ministries. Website. www.lwf.org.

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Magic In The Moonlight: Hamish Linklater Exclusive Interview

Review and Pictures and Video Clips of Woody Allen’s movie “MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT” Part 13

 

Film Review: Magic in the Moonlight

JULY 21, 2014

(Re-posted from LimitéMagazine.com)

by Daniel Quitério

Exotic locations. Defined characters. Sharp wit. It’s what you come to expect from the venerable, and oh so prolific Woody Allen. And it’s what you’ll come to find in his latest offering, Magic in the Moonlight. In short, if you hate Woody Allen, you’ll hate this film. But on the other hand, if you love this cinematic mastermind, you’ll be as enamored and enchanted by Magic as this reviewer was.

In recent years, Allen has transported his audiences to San Francisco, Rome, Paris, New York, Barcelona, and London—each city boasting its best qualities on screen. This time, the 1920s French Riviera takes its place in Allen’s filmography, with no shortage of Mediterranean landscapes and opulent homes to ooh and aah at.

As the film opens, we’re introduced to the mesmerizing Wei Ling Soo, performing his unique brand of magic before an inspired German audience. He is the first mystical persona we encounter in the film, but not all is as it seems, as this mysterious man of the Orient is, in fact, a Brit named Stanley Crawford (Colin Firth). He takes pride in his ability to conceive and execute elaborate tricks, but perhaps more so in his aptitude for uncovering the mystery behind others’ illusions. So it makes sense that Crawford’s close confidante Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, 2011) would come to him with a challenge: debunk the young woman who’s convinced the wealthy Catledge family that she’s a spiritual medium. Believing it won’t take long to discredit the convincing Sophie (Emma Stone), Crawford travels to the South of France, where the Catledges keep their villa at which Sophie and her mother (Marcia Gay Harden) are invited guests. Following a series of surprising revelations, the magician comes to question whether the clairvoyant is the real deal.

Magic in the Moonlight is not the only film in theatres that pits the tangible against the unexplained. Mike Cahill’s deeply introspective (and fantastic) I Origins forces audiences to question the existence of God and the unexplainable, despite the hard data to prove it. There are clear parallels between both films, though Magic explores its hypothesis with a lesser sense of importance, as well as the intellectual humor that is so characteristic of Allen’s films. The latter quality is explored in the various scenes between the equally competent Firth and Stone, whose chemistry is undeniable, though neither actor offers his or her best performance in this picture. Firth is superb at channeling a Henry Higgins-esque gruffness that dares audiences to love him, despite his rough edges. Stone does a convincing job of convincing audiences in her character’s mystic abilities. With audiences uncertain of her validity, Crawford certainly has a difficult job on his hands. The cast is rounded out with exceptional performances by Eileen Atkins, Hamish Linklater, and Jacki Weaver.

The cars. The costumes. The jazz. For 97 minutes, Allen transports us to delicious 1920s France for a summer vacation from our current place and time. As if that weren’t enough, this trip is made especially memorable by the exotic location, the defined characters, and the sharp wit. And a hint of magic.Limité Rating: 4/5

Director: Woody Allen

Screenwriter: Woody Allen

Cast: Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Hamish Linklater, Jacki Weaver, Marcia Gay Harden, Eileen Atkins, Simon McBurney.

Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

TRT: 97 min.

Release: July 25

 

 

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MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT – Official Trailer (2014) [HD] Emma Stone, Colin Firth

Published on May 21, 2014

Release Date: July 25, 2014 (limited)
Studio: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Woody Allen
Screenwriter: Woody Allen
Starring: Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Eileen Atkins, Jacki Weaver, Erica Leerhsen, Catherine McCormack, Paul Ritter, Jeremy Shamos
Genre: Comedy, Drama
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for a brief suggestive comment, and smoking throughout)

Official Websites: https://www.facebook.com/MagicInTheMo…

Plot Summary:
“Magic in the Moonlight” is a romantic comedy about an Englishman brought in to help unmask a possible swindle. Personal and professional complications ensue. The film is set in the south of France in the 1920s against a backdrop of wealthy mansions, the Cфte d’Azur, jazz joints and fashionable spots for the wealthy of the Jazz Age.

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