Monthly Archives: October 2015

SANCTITY OF LIFE SATURDAY Transcript and Video of Francis Schaeffer speech in 1983 on the word “Evangelical”

Transcript and Video of Francis Schaeffer speech in 1983 on the word “Evangelical”

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SOUNDWORD LABRI CONFERENCE VIDEO – Names and Issues – Francis A. Schaeffer

Published on Apr 20, 2014

This video is from the 1983 L’Abri Conference in Atlanta. The full lecture with Q&A time has been included. The lecture was also previously given on May 11, 1983 in Minneapolis at the Evangelical Press Association Convention. A transcript of this lecture is available here: http://edmontonbpc.org/wp/2012/02/nam…

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“Names and Issues” by Francis Schaeffer

Home > Pastor’s Blog > “Names and Issues” by Francis Schaeffer

francis schaeffer 11 “Names and Issues” by Francis SchaefferJanuary 30, 2012 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Francis A. Schaeffer (1912-1984), the first man to be ordained into the then newly formed Bible Presbyterian Church. Providentially I was following Dr. Schaeffer’s work before I became Presbyterian in doctrine and/or Bible Presbyterian in affiliation. Although he left the BPC in the mid 1950′s, towards the end of his life he became more pronounced and dogmatic in some of his views, especially in his book The Great Evangelical Disaster. Some even accused him of having returned to his Bible Presbyterian roots ;-).

 

I was involved in some correspondence with Dr. Schaeffer just before he went to be with the Lord. He sent me a copy of the following article entitled “Names and Issues” with permission to reprint it. It was an address given to the Evangelical Press Association Convention on May 11, 1983. It was his view that his message was falling on deaf ears. Although that was almost 30 years ago, I believe the message is still very necessary and relevant. I pray that you will read and understand.

 

 

Names and Issues

A speech given at the
Evangelical Press Association Convention
May 11, 1983 in Minneapolis
by Francis A. Schaeffer

Author’s Note: This is a speech – not fully edited

© Francis A. Schaeffer All Rights Reserved

 

Names are a funny thing, and especially in the connotations they are given, to enhance or to destroy.

 

In the 1920’s the Liberals who were taking over a number of the seminaries, and many of the major denominations, and many of the Christian publications, put out what they called, “The Auburn Affirmation”. This effectively undercut the position of historic Christianity.

 

In response, the Bible-believing Christians, under the leadership of such scholars as J. Gresham Machen and Robert Dick Wilson issued what they called, “The Fundamentals of the Faith”. Dr. Machen and the other men never thought of making this an “ism”. They considered these things an expression of the historic Christian faith and position. It was the fundamentals of the faith doctrine which was true to the Bible, Truth, they were interested in and committed to. Dr. Machen, whom I knew as a student, simply called himself a “Bible-believing Christian”. This same thing was true of the publications which were also committed in that day to doctrine and teaching true to the Bible. One can think of the old Sunday School Times under Howard and Trumbull.

 

Soon, however, the word “Fundamentalist” was in use. As used at first it had nothing problematic with its use, in either definition or in connotation — though I personally preferred Machen’s term: “Bible-believing Christian” because that was what the discussion was all about.
As time passed, however, the term “Fundamentalist” took on, for many people, a connotation which had no necessary relationship to its original meaning. It began to connote a form of pietism which shut Christian interest up to only a very limited view of spirituality, and thus in which all other things were suspect. It also, at times, became overly harsh and lacking in love, while properly saying that the Liberal doctrine which was false to the Bible had to be met with confrontation.

 

Therefore, a new name was entered, “Evangelical”. This was picked up largely from the British scene. In Britain in those years it largely meant what Machen and the others had stood for in this country — namely, Bible-believing Christianity as opposed to the inroads of various forms and degrees of Liberal theology. It was often used in the United States to have the connotation of being Bible-believing without shutting one’s self off from the interests of life and in trying to bring Christianity into effective contact with the current needs of society, government and culture. It had a connotation of leading people to Christ as Saviour, but then trying to be the salt and light in the culture.

 

It was in this general period that my lectures and books began to be of some influence from the 1950’s onward. My lectures and early books stressed the Lordship of Christ over all of life in the areas of culture, art, philosophy and so on — while also strongly stressing the need to be Bible-believing with loving but true confrontation against not only false theology but also against the destructive results of the false worldview about us.

 

While not over emphasizing their importance, for many of that period and especially in the radical 60’s, these books did help to open a new door to a Christianity which was viable in an age of collapsing values and when all the older cultural norms were being turned on their heads by an ethos dominated by the concept that the final reality was material or energy which had existed forever in some form and which had its present form by chance. The young people of the 60’s sensed that this position left all standards in relativistic flux, and life as meaningless, and they began to think and live in this framework. In this setting happily, a certain number did find L’Abri’s presentation of Christianity — as touching all of thought and life, along with a life of prayer, to demonstrate Christianity’s viability and became Bible-believing, consecrated Christians.

 

But note: This rested upon two things: 1.) Being truly Bible-believing, and 2.) Facing the results of the surrounding wrong worldview that was current with loving, but definite confrontation. By the grace of God this emphasis had some influence in many countries and in many disciplines.

 

Now, however, we find this matter of names, with their connotations, entering again. Gradually, though there was no need for it from the original use of the word, an appreciable section known as “Evangelical” began a drift toward accommodation. Note: there was no need for this from the original use of the word, nor largely from the stance of the men and women who originally had begun to use the word.

 

It was a kind of mirror situation of what had occurred previously with the word “Fundamentalism”. Thus, the changing, destructive surrounding culture tended to stand increasingly unchallenged. On one side there were those with a mistaken pietism which saw any such challenge as unspiritual — that the Christian’s job was only to lead people to Christ, and then to know something of a personalized spirituality. On the other side there was a tendency to talk about a wider, richer Christianity, but to accommodate at each crucial point. Thus, the two positions ended up with similar results. It rather reminds me of the young people whom we worked with at Berkeley and other universities, including certain Christian colleges, and those who came to us in large numbers with packs on their backs at L’Abri in the 1960’s.

 

They were rebels. They knew they were for they wore the rebel’s mark — the worn-out blue jeans. But they did not seem to notice that the blue jeans had become the mark of accommodation; that indeed, everyone was in blue jeans. This does seem to me to be a close parallel to what we see in much of the connotation which grew out of the new meaning of the word “Evangelical”.

 

Complicating the matter is our own tendency to lack balance. Each issue demands balance under the leadership of the Holy Spirit while carefully living within the circle of that which is taught in Scripture. Each issue must be met with holiness and love simultaneously. And to he really Bible-believing and true to our living Christ, each issue demands a balance which says “no” to two errors. Or to say it another way: The Devil never gives us the luxury of fighting on just one front.

 

In order to show forth the love and holiness of God, Who does exist, and Who does call upon His people in every generation to be faithful to Him and to stand against accommodation with the world’s values of that day, and to present the Good News to the generation in such a way that the message has viability, we must try in a balanced way not to fall into the “blue jean” mistake of thinking that we are courageous and “with it” when we really are fitting into what is the accepted thought form of the age about us.

 

We have not done well here and I do not think the publishers have been particularly helpful in these things. All too often, it seems to me, the “being with it” simply has been a dealing with the current popular topics, but really not being in a balanced, but clear, confrontation with them.

 

The spirit of our age is syncretism because with the prevailing world view that the final reality is a silent universe which gives no value judgements, therefore truth as final truth does not exist and thus there can be various differences of personal opinions but not the confrontation of truth versus error, as not only the Christians, but also the classical philosophers and thinkers of the past believed to be the case. Thus syncretism rules and we are surrounded by the spirit of accommodation.

 

The matter of human life is a good case in point. When Dr. Koop, Franky, and I began to work on the project Whatever Happened to the Human Race?, the battle was being lost simply by it being called a Roman Catholic issue because so few non-Catholics were doing anything about it. The mistaken pietists thought battles in the area of government were unspiritual, the other stream had acquired the habit of accommodation and it would have meant “rocking the boat” badly to come out with forthrightness on this issue.

 

“I personally am against abortion, but. . .”, became the mediating phrase not only of Christians in government but also of many in the pulpit and in publications as well. Happily more are committed now, but still the damage has been done. If voices had been clearly raised in confrontation when abortion and the general lowering of the view of human life began to be openly advocated, the widely accepted flood of these concepts in all probability could not have prevailed and the Roe vs Wade ruling by the Supreme Court might easily not have been made. And if the heat had been kept on by the publications, the Christians who are in Congress would not have found it so convenient to say they were personally against abortion, but then, for example, vote against limitations on government funding of abortions.

 

It is ironic that so many who were opposed to Christianity being shut up to a removed and isolated spirituality by a poor position now have by a process of accommodation ended up just as silently on the issues which go against the current commonly accepted thought forms. It is so easy to be radical in wearing blue jeans when it fits into a general wearing of blue jeans.

 

Truth really does bring forth confrontation, loving confrontation, but confrontation — whether it is in regard to those who take a lower view of the Scriptures than both the original users of the terms “Fundamentalist” and “Evangelical” took, or in regard to holding a lower view of human life. This lowering of the view of human life may begin with talking about extreme cases in regard to abortion but it flows on to infanticide and on to all of human life being open to arbitrary, sociological judgements of what human life is worthy to be lived, including your human life when you become a burden to society. Last year’s Broadway play Good was most perceptive in showing the development of a Nazi, beginning with his acceptance of euthanasia.

 

One Christian leader tied the issues of Scripture and abortion together: “I see the emergence of a new sort of fundamentalist legalism. That was the case in the thrust concerning ‘false evangelicals’ in the inerrancy issue and is also the case on the part of some who are now saying that the evangelical cause is betrayed by any who allow exceptions of any sort in government funding of abortions.”

 

What is involved here is not the health of the mother. I know of no Protestant who does not take into account the health of the mother.
And, of course, the term “fundamentalist legalism” must be examined. If what is meant is the loveless thing some of us have known in the past, we, of course, reject it totally. And if “fundamentalist legalism” means the down-playing of the Humanities (including not just the classics but the interest in the whole scope of human creativity by both Christians and non-Christians) as a reflection of Man being made in the image of the great Creator, then all my books, from the earliest ones, oppose that.

 

But when we come to the central things of doctrine, (including the Bible’s emphasis that it is without mistake not only when it touches religious things, but also when it gives information concerning history and the cosmos), and in such a matter of human life, then if we understand Truth, we understand it does bring forth confrontation and not just a “with it” interest in the issues which are in vogue at the moment but then an accommodation to the answers being generated by the non-Christian world view about us.

 

This accommodation has been costly, largely in losing in the last forty years most of the Christian ethos we have had in our culture.
It is comfortable to accommodate that which is in vogue about us as that which flows from the now generally accepted thought forms based on the concept of final reality being material or energy, shaped into it’s present form by chance — therefore, truth as truth becomes absorbed by syncretism and relativism. It is not surprising that the film Gandhi received all of the Oscars. This fits into the religious syncretism of our day, and also into its romantic failing to understand the political realities of a fallen world. One can be thankful for Richard Grenier’s review, “The Gandhi Nobody Knows” in Commentary magazine and now published as a book by Thomas Nelson publishers. One could have wished the Christian press had uniformly shown the same comprehension. And the accommodation comes so easily in failing to see and courageously confront the change of ethos from what has been, to what today is so monolithic about us.

 

One magazine came out with the conclusion that the concern about the results of the secular humanism about us is only a bogieman. Rightly defined, secular humanism is no bogieman; it is a vicious enemy. Here again balance is important by means of careful definition, as I do in A Christian Manifesto. The word “Humanism” is not to be confused with the word “Humanitarianism” nor the word “Humanities”. But “Humanism”, as man being the measure of all things, because the final reality is material or energy which has existed forever and has its present form only by chance and therefore there is no one but man to then set purely relative values and a purely relativistic base for law and government, is no bogieman. It stands totally against all that original “Fundamentalists” and the original meaning of “Evangelicals” stood for, and it guarantees destruction to the individual in the life to come and in the present life as well.

 

We do well to remember what the end purpose of those leading the Man-centered crusade is. On a Phil Donahue show concerning voluntary school prayer, one of the Vice-Presidents of the Civil Liberties Union who was opposing voluntary school prayer was asked what he thought of the prayer that has existed in Congress since the beginning, the use of the word “God” in the opening of the Supreme Court sessions, etc. He answered, “I do not think it is appropriate.”

 

The issue is not voluntary school prayer or the right of the free exercise of forum for religion using school property or any of these things. The goal of these people is to shut out religion, specifically Christianity, from the flow of life. It is instructive that before his death Judge Leon Jaworski, of the Watergate trials, was concerned enough to involve himself in the Lubbock, Texas, case for freedom of forum in the use of public school property. What is involved is religious freedom of speech, this is the issue.

 

It is intriguing that a Roman Catholic historian like Professor James Hitchock, Professor of History at St Louis University, sees this so clearly that in his book, What is Secular Humanism? he uses the sub-title, “How The West Was Lost”, while our own press so often whistles in the dark rather than facing the realities.

 

And it is curious that Norman Lear’s group and The Performing Arts Committee for Civil Liberties, and the thinkers on the other side all the way back to the Huxleys understood the profundity of the battle, and many of us still go on and live and write as though it was a cream puff battle, as long as our own boat is not rocked.

 

And it is curious that there is such a generally accepted accommodation (or confusion) by some who are “Evangelical” in fitting in with a current Christian Century article which says anyone trying to bring Christian principles into play in government is against the position of the separation of Church and State. We can understand The Christian Century doing that — although that is in itself curious when they have been in the forefront of trying to bring to bear their own principles upon government for so many years. But it is more curious that some “Evangelicals” who should know better fit into this.

 

Here again, of course, there must be balance. Not all the Founding Fathers were Christian, and not all who were Christian were always totally consistent in their political thinking. And, of course, we must not confuse our pariotism with our Christianity. I said that clearly enough in A Christian Manifesto for all to know that I strongly stress this. Incidentally, when I was a pastor in this country I opposed the placing of the country’s flag in the church — that is hardly Constantinianism. And, as I spelled out in A Christian Manifesto, we must stress that we are opposed to a Theocracy in word or in fact. What we want is freedom of speech for all religion, in which Christianity can present what is truth in the free market place of ideas — something we do not possess today in the public schools and in much of the media.

 

The battle to regain freedom of speech in schools and government, to bring Christian values into contact with government, is not in any way related to an opposition to the separation of State and Church.

 

It is sheer lack of comprehension to then accommodate by not seeing that one can say all this strongly and then not to forget that there was much Christian knowledge in the early days of our country and that this produced something in total confrontation with what the “Man as the measure of all things” concept produced in the French and Russian revolutions — or what is being produced all about us in our day when that which was the cause of the failure of the French and Russian Revolutions is now the increasing base for our education, culture, and law. Because this is now so much the base of our own day it is producing the chaos and destruction we see all about us, including the family, in the views of sex, including divorce without boundaries (and this includes this view’s infiltration into the Evangelical Church). And this being the case, there must be consistent confrontation with the base which produces these things and many more like them. The confrontation is not incidental but is imperative because we love the God who does exist and because we love our neighbour as our self.

 

And the accommodation to the acceptable in our culture touches other matters. To love my neighbour as myself means I must stand against tyranny — from whatever side it might come. This includes the tyranny that exists in the Soviet block, and the natural expansionist and thus extended tyranny of that system. That system is totally based on the same view of final reality which under the name “Humanism” (rightly defined) is producing the destruction of our own country and culture.

 

This, of course, again needs balance: Our country was never perfect. In a fallen world nothing and nobody is perfect — including you and I and including John Calvin who knowing this as a Bible-believer, would not allow himself to be the authoritarian ruler of either the Church or the State in Geneva.

 

Our country was never perfect, and now it certainly is less perfect. It has been years since I have prayed for justice on our country — I pray only for mercy. With all the light we have had and the results of Biblical influence, for us to have walked on what we had, and that walking includes the Christians not confronting the destruction which has occurred — we deserve God’s judgement. However, that does not cause us not to see that the Soviet position is even further down the road, and loving our neighbour as we should means, on one hand, doing all we can to help those persecuted by that system now (and especially not minimizing the persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters in the Soviet block); and, on the other hand, not assisting the spread of the oppression to other countries. We assist in the spread of oppression to other countries when we fail to remember that we live in a fallen world and then support the contemporary vogue of an utopian position of practical unilateral disarmament which, in a fallen world, and in the light of even recent history, guarantees war (including nuclear war) and the expansion of oppression.

 

It seems obtuse not to understand this when all of the leaders of the European governments, from the Conservatives to the Socialists (including Willy Brandt) see the only hope of Europe having peace, or not being under blackmail, is to keep a balance of defense. If we accept accommodation at this point, how can we say we love our neighbour as ourselves?

 

Accommodation, accommodation, how the mind-set of accommodation grows and expands!

 

Now coming back to names and issues: I used to shift away uncomfortably when I was called a “Fundamentalist”, because of the connotation which had become attached to it. But now it seems that as soon as one stands in confrontation with that which is un-Biblical (instead of accommodation) that this confrontation is given the automatic label of “Fundamentalist”. That is the way Kenneth Woodward used it in Newsweek concerning me. That is, as a put down. And when Bible-believing Christians get taken in by the connotation of words it is much sadder.

 

Incidentally, for those of you of the Christian press who think we are in a gentleman’s discussion party, you should know that Ken Woodward had a two hour dinner with Franky at the New York Princeton Club just the day before the deadline of that article, and at that time he had never read any of my books. It was also Woodward who personally wrote the later Periscope piece.

 

Let us also think of the term “The New Right”. It, too, has become a term with a negative connotation, but when one examines this, it, too, is usually not defined and seems often also to mean that one is ready to stand against the slide in our day rather than going along with an accommodation.

 

I repeat, there must be balance. The country was never fully Christian but it was different from that produced by the world-view of the French and Russian Revolutions, and it was (up to the lifetimes of some of us here) vastly different, with its influence of a Christian consensus or ethos, than it is today.

 

Certainly what I have stressed many times is correct: Merely being conservative is no better that being non-conservative per se, and that Conservative Humanism is no better than Liberal Humanism. What is wrong is wrong, no matter what tag is placed upon it. But with the term “The New Right” as it is often used today, and too often by Christians, it seems to mean that on all these issues we have spoken of, there is a willingness to have confrontation, (even balanced and loving confrontation) rather than the automatic mentality of accommodation. And, if this is so, then we must not shy away merely because of the weapon of the connotations placed on terms which can have the possibility of meaning something quite different when analyzed. A sensible person must conclude that all such terms can mean different things as used in different ways, and then go on hoping the wrong connotations will not be used by those who as Christian brothers and sisters should know better than to use them without proper definitions rather than with thoughtless connotation. This is the case whether we do, or do not care to use any of these terms in regard to ourselves. We are to reject what is wrong regardless of tags, and not fearing proper confrontation regardless of the tags then applied.

 

If the Christians in this country (and the Christian publishers) had been in Poland two weeks ago instead of in the United States, would they have been on the side of confrontation or on the side of accommodation? Would they have marched in great personal danger in the Constitution Day protests and two days earlier in the May Day demonstrations, or would they have been in the ranks of acceptable accommodation? The government was great in using terms with adverse connotations as weapons — hooligans, extremists!
I cannot be sure where many Christians in this country would have marched in the light of the extent of the accommodation in our country when there are no bullets, no water cannons, no tear gas, and most rarely, any prison sentences.

 

It does seem to me that the Christian publishers have a very special responsibility not to just go along with the Blue Jean syndrome of not noticing that their attempts to be “with it” so often take the same forms as those who deny the existence, or deny the holiness of the living God.

 

Accommodation leads to accommodation, which leads to accommodation.

 

 

Copyright by Francis A. Schaeffer, 1983, “Names and Issues”. A speech given in Minneapolis on May 11, 1983 at the Awards Banquet of The Evangelical Press Association. Permission granted to reprint. Formatted and electronically published by Rev. John T. Dyck, Edmonton Bible Presbyterian Church.

 

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Walter E. Williams: Milton Friedman was an economist’s economist 12-6-06

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Milton Friedman on Donahue – 1979

Uploaded on Aug 26, 2009

Dr. Milton Friedman, Nobel Laureate, promoting “Free to Choose” on the show Donahue.

Walter E. Williams: Milton Friedman was an economist’s economist

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 6 2006 12:00 a.m. MST

Nobel laureate and professor Milton Friedman, at age 94, succumbed to heart failure on Nov. 16. While the man is gone, those of us who hold personal liberty as society’s highest end will always remember his steadfast support of the principles of personal liberty.

Friedman, above all, was an economist’s economist. During his professional life, his research on statistical techniques, consumption behavior and monetary theory became part and parcel of today’s accepted wisdom among economists. His research on monetary theory and the role of money in an economy has provided central banks worldwide with the knowledge, whether they use it or not, for monetary stability.

Friedman will surely be remembered for these intellectual contributions, but what he’ll be remembered for the most is his steadfast support for personal liberty. In 1947, he joined with Friedrich Hayek and 40 other free-market academics, mostly economists of international distinction, to form the Mont Pelerin Society. The Society’s founding purpose was to reduce the academic isolation among liberty-oriented scholars at a time when socialism was seen as the wave of the future.

The Mont Pelerin Society now boasts more than 500 members worldwide, eight of whom have been Nobel laureates. I’m proud to be a member.

Friedman’s first big step into public policy issues, as an indefatigable defender of personal liberty, came in his 1962 book “Capitalism and Freedom.” In it he argued that educational vouchers were the solution to poor education; free markets make racial discrimination more costly; government regulations are the primary sources for harmful monopolies; and Social Security is an unfair and unsustainable system. At the time these weren’t popular ideas, even seen as heresy, but today they are much more widely accepted.

In 1980, Friedman co-authored “Free to Choose” with his wife, Rose Friedman, which was written as a follow-up to his 10-part PBS series with the same name. Among the topics discussed: The Great Depression was not a failure of capitalism, as so often claimed, but a failure of government, mainly the Federal Reserve Bank and the U.S. Congress; our welfare system creates permanent wards of the state; and we should decriminalize drugs by treating abuse as a medical problem.

Friedman made a major intellectual contribution to the formation of a voluntary army. In testimony before President Richard Nixon’s commission on eliminating the draft, Gen. William Westmoreland said he did not want to command an army of mercenaries. Friedman interrupted, “General, would you rather command an army of slaves?” Westmoreland replied, “I don’t like to hear our patriotic draftees referred to as slaves.” Friedman then retorted, “I don’t like to hear our patriotic volunteers referred to as mercenaries. If they are mercenaries, then I, sir, am a mercenary professor, and you, sir, are a mercenary general; we are served by mercenary physicians, we use a mercenary lawyer, and we get our meat from a mercenary butcher.”

Whether one agreed or disagreed with Friedman, they found him to be a friendly, witty and tolerant person. My first encounter with him occurred during the mid-1960s while I was a graduate student at UCLA and he was a visiting lecturer. I’ve since forgotten my statement to him during a lecture, but I recall he had patiently replied, “Walter, you don’t really mean that,” and proceeded to show me why.

During my guest-hosting stints on the Rush Limbaugh show, Friedman was a guest on several occasions. His responses to caller questions demonstrated the real teacher in him — the ability to explain complex phenomena in a way that ordinary people can readily understand.

In terms of his scholarly output and worldwide contributions to ideas on liberty, Friedman was the 20th century’s greatest economist.


Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 83 THE BEATLES (Why was Karlheinz Stockhausen on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s? ) (Feature on artist Nam June Paik )

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Karlheinz Stockhausen was friends with both Lennon and McCartney and he influenced some of their music. Today we will take a close look at his music and his views and at some of the songs of the Beatles that he influenced.

 

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? Episode 9 (Promo Clip)

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John Lennon – Imagine HD

Below a Christmas Card in 1969 from John and Yoko to Karlheinz Stockhausen:

Spin Magazine article

KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN

Christopher R. Weingarten // September 6, 2012

German splatter-composer Karlheinz Stockhausen saw no limits to what you could do (or reasonably should do) with sound, rhythm or texture; so he broke every rule and invented new ones over the course of a career that spanned more than 50 years. He’d make orchestras battle or compose for music boxes; he’d make manipulated tapes ooze into live instruments; he’d bring ring modulators into concert halls. His slurred tapes, synesthesia-inducing sounds, and expressionist bursts of percussion accidentally mirrored the effects of hallucinogenics; so, of course, he influenced everyone from the Beatles to The Who to Zappa to Miles Davis to Kraftwerk (former students!) to Björk to AnCo.

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

The Beatles were looking for lasting satisfaction in their lives and their journey took them down many of the same paths that other young people of the 1960’s were taking. No wonder in the video THE AGE OF NON-REASON Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” 

As everyone knows John Lennon did not believe in a personal God but he looked at life from a secular point of view and Paul McCartney seems to have followed that path too. How then can finite people hope to find a lasting purpose for their lives in an impersonal universe? Many secular people have struggled with this problem for many years and some like Karlheinz Stockhausen have turned to Evolution for the answer. Others such as the composer John Cage (who influenced Stockhausen) have turned to chance for the answers and painters Paul Klee,  and Francis Bacon  truly thought that a word of direction could come forward from an impersonal universe possibly.

It is beyond dispute that Stockhausen had a major impact on Lennon and McCartney and even talked to them many times and certainly that is why he is on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s!!!! Is it possible that his philosophic ideas on why he believed in FRAGMENTATION also filtered down to them? I don’t have the answer to that question but I do want to look at the ideas of Stockhausen and examine the ideas in the culture that may have influenced him too.

Stockhausen on Human evolution – 1972


Stockhausen and his children, early 1970s:
Back: Markus, Stockhausen, Christel, Suja.
Front: Majella, Simon, Julika

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karlheinz stockhausen GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE


Karlheinz Stockhausen & Robert Moog
enjoying themselves at the Lundberg interview…
(Royal College of Music, Stockholm, 13th May 2001)

Lecture 1 [PARTE 1/4] Stockhausen Karlheinz – English Lectures (1972)

Sgt. Pepper’s footnote: Karlheinz Stockhausen passes
[Posted by Dave Haber on Tuesday, 12/18/07 7:34 am] [Full Blog] [Tweet] [Facebook]

It was announced last week that Karlheinz Stockhausen , one of the most important and controversial postwar composers, passed away on Friday, December 7 at his home in western Germany. He was 79.

So taken were the Beatles by Stockhausen’s music that he was included among the Beatle’s other heroes and idols on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.


See this page on our sister-site, The Internet Beatles Album, for more about the Sgt. Pepper’s cover.

There are at least four songs that   Stockhausen’s influence could be easily seen and here they are below:  

The Beatles – Strawberry Fields Forever – Lyrics

The Layla Story

The Beatles – “Tomorrow Never Knows” Mono

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Revolution 9 from The Beatles

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Horrific: This is the wreckage of the car belonging to Tara Browne, friend of Beatles

Beatles – A day in the life (studio version)

Francis Schaeffer pictured below

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Francis Schaeffer observed in his film series HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?:

The man who perhaps most clearly and consciously showed this understanding of the resulting absurdity for all things was Marcel Duchamp (1887-1969). He carried the concept of fragmentation further in Nude Descending a Staircase (1912), one version of which is now in the Philadelphia Museum of Art–a painting in which the human disappeared completely. The chance and fragmented concept of what is led to the devaluation and absurdity of all things. All one was left with was a fragmented view of a life which is absurd in all its parts. Duchamp realized that the absurdity of all things includes the absurdity of art itself. His “ready-mades” were any object near at hand, which he simply signed. It could be a bicycle wheel or a urinal. Thus art itself was declared absurd.

Marcel Duchamp, 1917.

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Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? noted on pages 200-203:

Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) is perhaps the clearest example in the United States of painting deliberately in order to make the statements that all is chance. He placed canvases horizontally on the floor and dripped paint on them from suspended cans swinging over them. Thus, his paintings were a product of chance. But wait a minute! Is there not an order in the lines of paint on his canvases? Yes, because it was not really chance shaping his canvases! The universe is not a random universe; it has order. Therefore, as the dripping paint from the swinging cans moved over the canvases, the lines of paint were following the order of the universe itself. The universe is not what these painters said it is.

The third way the idea spread was through music. This came about first in classical music, though later many of the same elements came into popular music, such as rock. In classical music two streams are involved: the German and the French.

The first shift in German music came with the last Quartets of Beethoven, composed in 1825 and 1826. These certainly were not what we would call “modern,” but they were a shift from the music prior to them. Leonard Bernstein (1918-) speaks of Beethoven as the “new artist–the artist as priest and prophet.” Joseph Machlis (1906-) says in INTRODUCTION TO COMTEMPORARY MUSIC (1961), “Schoenberg took his point of departure from the final Quartets of Beethoven.” And Stravinsky said, “These Quartets are my highest articles of musical belief (which is a longer word for love, whatever else), as indispensable to the ways and meaning of art, as a musician of my era thinks of art and has to learn it, as temperature is to life.”

Schoenberg Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31

Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg

Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg Photo: INTERFOTO/ALAMY

Then came Schoenberg (1874-1951), and with him we are into the music which was a vehicle for modern thought. Schoenberg totally rejected the past tradition in music and invented the “12 tone row.” This was “modern” in that there was perpetual variation with NO RESOLUTION. This stands in sharp contrast to Bach who, on his biblical base, had much diversity but always resolution. Bach’s music had resolution because as a Christian he believed that there will be resolution both for eah individual life and for history. As the music which came out of the biblical teaching of the Reformation was shaped by that world-view, so the world-view of modern man shapes modern music.

Charlie Chaplin, Gertrude and Arnold Schoenberg, David Raskin. Photograph by Max Munn Autrey

Among Schoenberg’s pupils were Allen Berg (1885-1935), Anton Webern (1883-1945), and John Cage (1912-). Each of these carried on this line of nonresolution in his own way. Donald Jay Grout (1902-) in A HISTORY OF WESTERN MUSIC speaks of Schoenberg’s and Berg’s subject matter in the modern world: “…isolated, helpless in the grip of forces he does not understand, prey to inner conflict, tension, anxiety and fear.” One can understand that a music of nonresolution is a fitting expression of the place to which modern man has come.

(Stockhausen pictured above)

In INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY MUSIC Joseph Machlis says of Webern that his way of placing the weightier sounds on the offbeat and perpetually varying the rhythmic phrase imparts to his music its indefinable quality of “hovering suspension.” Machlis adds that Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-), and the German Cologne school in general, take up from Webern with the formation of electronic  music which “generates, transforms and manipulates sounds electronically.” Stockhausen produced the first published score of electronic music in his ELECTRONIC STUDIES. A part of his concern was with the element of chance in composition. As we shall see, this ties into the work of John Cage, whom we will study in more detail below.

Stockhausen & John Cage 1972 (Photo: Felicitas Timpe)

(Luigi Nono, Nuria Schoenberg, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bruno Maderna pictured above)

(John Cage pictured above)

John Cage provides perhaps the clearest example of what is involved in the shift of music. Cage believed the universe is a universe of chance. He tried carrying this out with great consistency. For example, at times he flipped coins to decide what the music should be. At other times he erected a machine that led an orchestra by chance motions so that the orchestra would not know what was coming next. Thus there was no order. Or again, he placed two conductors leading the same orchestra, separated from each other by a partition, so that what resulted was utter confusion. There is a close tie-in again to painting; in 1947 Cage made a composition he called MUSIC FOR MARCEL DUCHAMP. But the sound produced by his music was composed only of silence (interrupted only by random environmental sounds), but as soon as he used his chance methods sheer noise was the outcome.

But Cage also showed that one cannot live on such a base, that the chance concept of the universe does not fit the universe as it is. Cage is an expert in mycology, the science of mushrooms. And he himself said, “I became aware that if I approached mushrooms in the spirit of my chance operation, I would die shortly.” Mushroom picking must be carefully discriminative. His theory of the universe does not fit the universe that exists.

All of this music by chance, which results in noise, makes a strange contrast to the airplanes sitting in our airports or slicing through our skies. An airplane is carefully formed; it is orderly (and many would also think it beautiful). This is in sharp contrast to the intellectualized art which states that the universe is chance. Why is the airplane carefully formed and orderly, and what Cage produced utter noise? Simply because an airplane must fit the orderly flow lines of the universe if it is to fly!

Sir Archibald Russel (1905-) was the British designer for the Concorde airliner. In a NEWSWEEK: European Edition interview (February 16, 1976) he was asked : “Many people find that the Concorde is a work of art in its design. Did you consider its aesthetic appearance when you were designing it?” His answer was, “When one designs an airplane, he must stay as close as possible to the laws of nature. You are really playing with the laws of nature and trying not to offend them. It so happens that our ideas of beauty are those of nature. That’s why I doubt that the Russian supersonic airplane is a crib of ours. The Russians have the same basic phenomena imposed on them by nature as we do.”

Cage’s music and the world-view for which it is the vehicle do not fit the universe that is. Someone might here bring in Einstein, Werner Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty and quantum, but we have considered them on page 162, and so will not repeat the discussion here. The universe is not what Cage in his music and Pollock in his painting say it is. And we must add that Cage’s music does not fit what people are, either. It has had to become increasingly spectacular to keep interest; for example, a nude cellist has played Cage’s music under water.

A further question is: Is this art really art? Is it not rather a bare philosophic, intellectual statement, separated from the fullness of who people are and the fullness of what the universe is? The more it tends to be only an intellectual statement, rather than a work of art, the more it becomes anti-art.

Below Francis Schaeffer discusses below the art of Francis Bacon then he skips over to Paul Klee, Jackson Pollock, and John Cage and compares them to Bacon in their view that possibly that a message break forth  from the impersonal chance universe:

I have an essay on Francis Bacon by John Russell. Methuan published it in London in 1964.

Bacon goes on, “In my case all painting–and the older I get, the more it becomes so–is an accident.” Now this is very important and to think of Jackson Pollock putting on his paint as a pure accident and you may remember my lecture on Paul Klee.

(Paul Klee, Obstbergweg 6, Bern, 1897)

Paul Klee (1879-1940) speaks of some of his paintings as though they were a kind of Ouija board. Klee thinks that the universe can speak through his paintings. Not because he believes there are spirits there to speak, but because he hopes that the universe will push through and cause a kind of automatic writing, this time in painting. It is an automatic writing with no one there, as far as anyone knows, but the hope that the “universe” will speak.We think of John Cage with the universe speaking though chance.

(Painting: Francis Bacon, Self-Portrait, 1969)

Now Bacon continues and he says something very similar to what Pollock, Cage and Klee believed, “I foresee it and yet I hardly ever carry it out as I foresee it. It transforms itself by the actual paint. I don’t in fact know very often what the paint will do, and it does many things that are very much better than I could make it do. Perhaps one could say it’s not an accident, because it becomes a selective process what part of the accident one chooses to preserve.”

Now here from Francis Bacon’s own viewpoint. An absurd universe in a total sense and in some element of the paint taking on its own personality and a message may come through from impersonal source.

(Francis Bacon below)

 

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Head VI (1949, by Francis Bacon)

Lecture 1 [PARTE 2/4] Stockhausen Karlheinz – English Lectures (1972)

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Electronic Music Pioneer

People + Opinion : Artists / Engineers / Producers / Programmers

Karlheinz Stockhausen lectures on <em>Kontakte</em>, one of his most significant works, at the well–known summer school in Darmstadt, Germany, 1961. Karlheinz Stockhausen lectures on Kontakte, one of his most significant works, at the well–known summer school in Darmstadt, Germany, 1961.Photo: Archive of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Kuerten

Few individuals have influenced the development of electronic music as much as Karlheinz Stockhausen, who died last December. We look back at his life and celebrate his many achievements.

Tim Whitelaw

As you glance over Peter Blake’s iconic cover artwork for Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, take a closer look at the face fifth from the left on the top row. It is the face of Karlheinz Stockhausen, the German composer of over 350 pieces of classical music, in his mid–30s in this photo, who died on December 5th at the age of 79.

For over 50 years, Stockhausen was a giant of the classical music world: iconoclastic, innovative, and often controversial. He was renowned for his refusal to accept conventional forms and boundaries, and his music was often conceived in outlandishly large terms — his seven–day–long opera Licht, 26 years in the making, will finally receive its first performance in 2008. But his influence and admirers extend far beyond the frontiers of classical music, and artists as diverse as Björk, the Beatles, Kraftwerk, Pink Floyd, Brian Eno, Frank Zappa, David Bowie and Miles Davis have all noted or paid tribute to Stockhausen’s influence on their work.

Post–African Repetitions

At first, this might seem strange; after all, Stockhausen was a fastidious critic of popular music, complaining of its reliance on repetition and consequent predictability. In a memorable exchange published in The Wire in 1995, he recommended that Aphex Twin (aka Richard James) listen to more of his music “because he would then immediately stop with all these post–African repetitions”. Richard James retorted that Stockhausen should listen to more Aphex Twin; “then he’d stop making abstract random patterns you can’t dance to”.

So how did Stockhausen, whose own music could ostensibly not be further from most popular music in its sensibility and scope, end up being admired by popular musicians around the globe — not to mention having a spot on the Sergeant Pepper album cover alongside such pop culture icons as Marilyn Monroe, Marlon Brando and Bob Dylan?

Karlheinz StockhausenThe answer lies in his prodigious output of electronic music. Throughout the course of his 50–year composing career, Stockhausen produced over 140 works employing electronics in some capacity, and many of those works (particularly those from the ’50s and ’60s) played a pivotal role in anticipating and helping to form what might be described as the grammar of electronic music. He was among the first to employ techniques such as sampling, directional sound, the blending of live and electronic performance, the complex analysis of acoustic sounds and the mimicking of their characteristics in electronic music, and much else besides. In the days when electronic music was largely uncharted territory, Stockhausen was one of its boldest and most influential pioneers.

Lecture 1 [PARTE 3/4] Stockhausen Karlheinz – English Lectures (1972)

The Art Of The State

To understand his impact, a little context might be helpful. Although popular music has largely led the way in producing innovative electronic music techniques and developments over the last 30 years or so, it wasn’t always this way. Before the advent of commercial synthesizers, the expense of the equipment required for creating electronic music (not to mention the space needed to accommodate it) was so prohibitive that it largely confined experimentation to universities and state broadcasters — institutions which tended to patronise classical composers. At that stage, the union of electronic music, then based on tape recording techniques, and popular music, then based very much around live performance, seemed to be a far–fetched idea.

Therefore, in the postwar period, Europe’s most technically advanced facilities were often run by state broadcasters: the WDR Electronic Studio in Germany, built in 1951, hosted many of Europe’s electronic composers in the ’50s and ’60s. Later, the BBC’s Radiophonic Workshop, established in London in 1958, would lead the way in British electronic music. In the US, meanwhile, the world’s first programmable electronic music synthesizer — the room–sized RCA Mark II — was built at Columbia University in New York in 1957, funded by a massive grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. Suffice to say, in its infancy, electronic music creation was a serious and expensive business, beyond the reach, and probably the interest, of most pop musicians.

It was onto this landscape that Stockhausen emerged as a young classical composer in the ’50s. Born in the village of Moedrath, near Cologne, in 1928, he became a student of musicology, philosophy and German literature at the University of Cologne in his late teens. Following the completion of his degree, he studied in Paris for a short time, before taking up a position at the then newly established WDR music studio in Cologne. He dabbled, as did most electronic composers at that time, in musique concrète — the art of creating musical pieces from recorded sounds and manipulating them via tape techniques. But the limitations of this approach soon became apparent to Stockhausen, and he began to seek to expand the creative horizons of electronic music.

His first important electronic pieces — Studie I and II of 1952 and 1953 respectively — are sonic explorations using pure sine waves, sometimes reverberated, cut off or reversed. Although the pieces are fascinating artifacts of early electronic music, Stockhausen later admitted that they were constrained by both his command of the technology and the limitations of the technology itself. But they are undoubtedly milestones of a sort, in that they are among the first pieces composed by a musician using electronic sounds created from raw waveforms. The task of creating music in this way was complex enough that up to that time few musicians had attempted it, musique concrète being the preferred medium.

Making Contact

Stockhausen at work on the electronic elements of <em>Hymnen</em> in the WDR Electronic Studio, Cologne, where much of his most important work was completed.Stockhausen at work on the electronic elements of Hymnen in the WDR Electronic Studio, Cologne, where much of his most important work was completed.Stockhausen’s first electronic masterpiece arrived in 1956 with Gesang der Junglinge (Song of the Youths) — apparently, Paul McCartney’s favourite piece of his. Created at the WDR studios, it is a 13–minute work of beguiling complexity. It is built around 11 basic electronic elements (mainly sine waves, filtered and modulated in different ways, and electronic clicks) interacting with recordings of the voice of a boy singing (hence the title), producing some highly intricate and fresh–sounding musical effects. Significantly, it was the first piece that combined synthesized sounds with musique concrète, setting the purity and sterility of one against the familiarity of the other, a dramatic contrast then quite new in electronic music.

The piece also represented one of the first musical experiments with spatial effects: creating the piece for five–channel tape, with each channel played back through a different loudspeaker, allowed Stockhausen to begin exploring the directionality of sound in performance, adding another dimension to electronic music performance, which he would develop further in subsequent works.

In 1960, Stockhausen completed Kontakte (Contacts), which would soon be regarded as a key work in the evolution of electronic music. It was among the first to combine electronics and live performance, employing a four–channel tape recording along with live percussion instruments and piano.

The piece’s innovations are numerous. For example, Stockhausen wanted to be able to imitate the live percussion with his electronic sounds. To do this, he engaged in an incredibly detailed spectral analysis of the acoustic sound sources — drums, bells and the like — using their characteristics to shape the electronic sounds. The result doesn’t attempt to mimic the sounds precisely, but uses their characteristics to come up with electronic doppelgangers for them. His distillation of the character of these timbres of metal, skin, and wood into electronic sounds remains incredibly impressive considering the means at his disposal, and anticipates the sound–shaping techniques that would help form much of the electronic sound palette before the advent of sampling.

Kontakte also further explored the directionality of recorded sound, this time combined with live performers. A four–channel tape with four loudspeakers allowed Stockhausen to pass his sounds around and across the audience in an elaborate and dramatic use of acoustic space that might be seen as an early precursor to surround sound.

The WDR Electronic Studio also housed an EMS Synthi 100 modular synthesizer; this photo shows the composer during the production of his piece <em>Sirius</em>. The WDR Electronic Studio also housed an EMS Synthi 100 modular synthesizer; this photo shows the composer during the production of his piece Sirius.Today, to hear Kontakte, even if only in its stereo reduction, is to marvel at its sonic complexity. The detail and intricacy of its sound world is stunning, even to ears accustomed to the limitless possibilities of modern sampling and synthesis. Try to imagine how the piece might have sounded to young musicians of the late ’50s or early ’60s, and you get some understanding of why Stockhausen began to attract attention from across the wider musical world.

His 1967 work Hymnen (Anthems) was particularly significant in this respect. A nearly two hour–long work for tape, Hymnenbegins with scattered fragments of short–wave radio public broadcasts, which are gradually joined by recordings of various national anthems from around the world, as well as synthesized electronic sounds. The piece slowly evolves in to a sort of hallucinatory collage, with the radio broadcasts, national anthems and electronic sounds weaving in and out of one another. With its trance–like sound world and leftish political overtones, Hymnen cast its spell far outside classical music circles — in fact, of all Stockhausen’s electronic works, it seemed to become the one pop musicians became most often enamoured of. Indeed, by the mid–’60s, many of the innovative popular musicians of the era were beginning to take note of the possibilities that Stockhausen’s work seemed to unveil. And among his admirers were the most popular pop musicians of all: Paul McCartney and John Lennon.

Lecture 1 [PARTE 4/4] Stockhausen Karlheinz – English Lectures (1972)

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More Helicopter!

Stockhausen retained his interest in electronic composition throughout his life. This photo, again taken in WDR, dates from 1996.Stockhausen retained his interest in electronic composition throughout his life. This photo, again taken in WDR, dates from 1996.Stockhausen continued composing with electronics throughout his life, and in his later years he could often be found at electronic music festivals across Europe, attending performances of his own pieces or overseeing new works. His passion for pushing the envelope never seemed to dim; perhaps the most striking work of his later years is theHelicopter String Quartet of the mid–’90s, a piece which called for four helicopters, a string quartet, and swathes of loudspeakers, televisions and audio processing equipment. Electronically blending the music of the string quartet with the rotor noise of the helicopters, the piece seemed conceived to prove Stockhausen’s theory that “any sound can become music if it is related to other sounds”.

It’s unlikely, of course, that the sampled beats of hip–hop or the studio experiments of rock musicians, or indeed the “post–African repetitions” of Aphex Twin, were what he had in mind in saying this. But whether he intended it or not, his was the path that helped lead the way..

Further Investigation

If you want to find out more about the life, work and opinions of Karlheinz Stockhausen, a good starting point would be a visit to his web site (www.stockhausen.org). This offers a range of resources, including an on–line shop selling CDs, scores, books and videos.

Stockhausen Interview

2 Answers

Jon Pennington

Jon Pennington, Aspiring Beatleologist

In 1961, several years before she met John Lennon, Yoko Ono was the main performer at a concert in Carnegie Hall, which featured experimental and electronic music that could be viewed as a precursor to Revolution 9.  The section of the 1961 concert that most closely resembles Revolution 9 appears to be a performance piece called “Of a Grapefruit in the World of Park.”  I cannot locate a video or recording of this performance (which can be fortunate or unfortunate, depending on your point of view), but a description of the performance piece I found in somebody’s thesis describes it as consisting of “a taped background of mumbled words and wild laughter, musicians playing atonally, and a performer reading the accompanying text with an unemotional voice.”In addition to Yoko Ono’s own experience staging concerts where electronic music was played, she was heavily involved in the Fluxus art movement, which allowed her to develop close relationships with several experimental composers.  First of all, in 1961, Yoko Ono was still married to her first husband, the Japanese electronic composer, Toshi Ichiyanagi.  In addition, while she was living in New York, Ono and her husband took courses in experimental music at the New School for Social Research, where they met another electronic composer, Richard Maxfield.  Maxfield influenced Ono’s early 1960s work, and he’s even listed as “electronic technical assistant” in the poster for Ono’s 1961 Carnegie Hall concert.  Ono’s previous friendship with Richard Maxfield is probably one of the most frequently unacknowledged influences on Revolution 9.

Another influence on the development of Revolution 9 is the friendly competition between Paul McCartney and John Lennon to see who could come up with the most innovative compositional techniques. As early as 1965, Paul McCartney privately began making homemade experimental recordings of tape music that relied heavily on splices from a reel-to-reel tape recorder andmusique concrète sound effects.  In February 1966, Paul McCartney went with his close friend Barry Miles to a concert by the Italian electronic composer, Luciano Berio, after which McCartney and Berio had a little mutual admiration society.  By April 1966, perhaps emboldened by his previous encounter with Berio, McCartney brought one of his homemade experimental tapes to the studio, which was incorporated into the track Tomorrow Never Knows.

Paul McCartney meets Italian electronic composer Luciano Berio.

By the time John Lennon was thinking about releasing his own experimental tape music in 1968, Paul had been experimenting with similar compositional techniques for almost three years.  In his book John Lennon In My Life, Lennon’s close friend Pete Shotton describes how Revolution 9 developed in the spring after the Beatles returned from their trip to India:

Perhaps the most memorable evening I ever spent with John Lennon began routinely enough in the recording studio at the far end of his attic. We shared a piece of LSD, smoked a few joints, and idly amused ourselves with John’s network of Brunell tape recorders. [sic]

Since John had recently become infatuated with the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen, one of our favorite pastimes at that particular juncture—May 1968—was to improvise “music concrete” [sic] by fiddling about with feedback, running our recordings backwards, and constructing tape loops.  This time we opened the windows to the spring air, and were shouting out whatever came into our heads at the uncomprehending trees while the tapes rolled in the room behind us. I, for one, had no inkling that this particular evening’s lark was destined to be captured for posterity on the Beatles’ “White Album,” as part of “Revolution 9.”

This is the point where Yoko steps in.  A day after making his experimental tape with Pete Shotton, John Lennon calls Yoko Ono and encourages her to take a taxi to his home in Weybridge. John plays the experimental tape he made with Pete Shotton, not knowing that Ono had a prior history of making experimental tapes of her own.  According to Pete Shotton,

After they added some touches to “Revolution 9,” Yoko suggested they make a tape of their own. As John twirled his dials with growing abandon, all her inhibitions evaporated, and she let rip with her trademark squawks, shrieks, and other free-form vocal effects. It was then that John suddenly “realized that someone else was as barmy as me,” that Yoko, indeed, was “me in drag!” At sunrise—with the squawks of the birds outside the still-open windows providing counterpoint to Yoko’s—they completed their first “unfinished music” composition, which they titled Two Virgins. Then John and Yoko made love for the first time.

Lennon then took the demo that he made with Shotton and Ono to Abbey Road Studios, where he continued working on it through June 1968.  He incorporated sound effects material from the Abbey Road archives, most notably the sound of a test engineer repeating “Number nine, number nine.”  As for why Lennon wanted to include Revolution 9 on the White Album, one possible answer is that the song is a permanent souvenir of the beginning of John & Yoko’s intimate relationship.  Or to put it another way, it’s a souvenir of the most musically avant-garde first date in the history of all human courtship.

Another reason for including Revolution 9 on the White Album is the possible influence of the Fluxus art movement via Yoko Ono.  The members of Fluxus were generally left-wing or anarchist artists who wanted to see art freed from confines of art galleries and other institutions of high culture.  Instead, they were fascinated with mass-produced consumer products and artworks that engaged with such products, such as the readymades of Marcel Duchamp.  The idea was that by engaging with mass-produced consumer goods you could somehow “reach the masses” in a way that you could not through an art gallery or other highbrow cultural institutions.  In this sense, what could be more consistent with the goals of Fluxus than to sneak in an avant-garde music composition into a mass-produced consumer good made by the most popular music group all time?

Sources:

You can find discussion of Paul McCartney’s early 1965 experiments with tape music in Barry Miles, Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now, pp. 218-221.  The quotes from Pete Shotton are from Pete Shotton and Nicholas Schaffner,John Lennon In My Life, pp. 167-168.

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

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

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

September 19, 2011

By Elvis Costello

My absolute favorite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver. On both records you can hear references to other music — R&B, Dylan, psychedelia — but it’s not done in a way that is obvious or dates the records. When you picked up Revolver, you knew it was something different. Heck, they are wearing sunglasses indoors in the picture on the back of the cover and not even looking at the camera . . . and the music was so strange and yet so vivid. If I had to pick a favorite song from those albums, it would be “And Your Bird Can Sing” . . . no, “Girl” . . . no, “For No One” . . . and so on, and so on. . . .

Their breakup album, Let It Be, contains songs both gorgeous and jagged. I suppose ambition and human frailty creeps into every group, but they delivered some incredible performances. I remember going to Leicester Square and seeing the film of Let It Be in 1970. I left with a melancholy feeling.

60

‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
John Downing/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: February 1 and 2, March 3 and 6, 1967
Released: June 2, 1967
Not released as a single

The Beatles were looking for a way to kill their old Fab Four image altogether by late 1966, and McCartney had an idea: “I thought, ‘Let’s not be ourselves,'” he said, and suggested that they invent a fake band. “Everything about the album,” McCartney said, “will be imagined from the perspective of these people, so it doesn’t have to be the kind of song youwant to write, it could be the song they might want to write.” McCartney proposed the mock-Victorian-era “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (the name came from a joke with roadie Mal Evans about salt and pepper packets), and he wrote a title song to introduce the premise at the album’s outset: a fiery piece of psychedelic hard rock. The Beatles were all fans of Jimi Hendrix; McCartney saw Hendrix play two nights before they recorded “Pepper.” Hendrix was paying attention right back: He played “Pepper” to open his live show in London two days after the album’s U.S. release.

Appears On: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

 

59

‘I Want You (She’s So Heavy)’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Simpson/Express/Getty Images

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: February 22, April 18 and 20, August 8 and 11, 1969
Released: October 1, 1969
Not released as a single

“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” was the first track started for Abbey Road and one of the last completed. It’s a mass of overdubbed guitars, with a slow-building wall of white noise generated by Harrison’s brand-new Moog synthesizer (“I had to have mine made specially,” he said, “because Mr. Moog had only just invented it”), supplemented with Starr spinning a wind machine found in the studio’s instrument closet.

Lennon’s lyrics were an experiment in minimalism — for much of the song, he just repeats the lines “I want you/I want you so bad” over and over. “‘She’s So Heavy’ was about Yoko,” he told Rolling Stone. “When you’re drowning, you don’t say, ‘I would be incredibly pleased if someone would have the foresight to notice me drowning and come and help me.’ You just scream.” At the mixing session, Lennon told stunned engineer Geoff Emerick to abruptly cut the tape in the middle of a bar, creating the startling end to the first side of Abbey Road.

Appears On: Abbey Road

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

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies

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

Monday, August 06, 2012

(More On) Woody Allen’s Atheism

As I wrote in a previous post, I like Woody Allen. I have long admired his films. I’m an Ingmar Bergmann fan, too, and Allen is indebted to Bergmann. (See “Ingmar Bergman Slips Into the Darkness…”)

Allen is (as Bergmann was) an atheist. He brings (as did Bergmann) his atheism into his films, overtly and covertly. Allen is not hiding the fact that: God does not exist (for Allen, not for me); therefore life is absurd, pointless. But of course. Any atheist who thinks otherwise is just another village atheist in denial. I find Allen’s atheism honest and lived-out.

The Wall Street Journal recently interviewed Woody (“Older, Mellower, but Still Woody”).
Allen is asked:

Some say your view is that life is pointless, and others say you’re a romantic realist who believes in being true to yourself. Which is it?

Allen: “I think that’s the best you can do, but the true situation is a hopeless one because nothing does last. If we reduce it absurdly for a moment, you know the sun will burn out. You know the universe is falling apart at a fantastically accelerating rate and that at some point there won’t be anything at all. So whether you are Shakespeare or Beethoven or Michelangelo, your stuff’s not going to last. So, given that, even if you were immortal, that time is going to come. Of course, you have to deal with a much more critical problem, which is that you’re not going to last microscopically close to that. So, nothing does last. You do your things. One day some guy wakes up and gets the Times and says, “Hey, Woody Allen died. He keeled over in the shower singing. So, where do you want to have lunch today?””

Allen is correct on the following points:

  • With no God, our true situation is hopeless. Why? Because “nothing does last.” “The sun will burn out.” “The universe is falling apart.” “At some point there won’t be anything at all.”
  • Your stuff, your little creations, are not going to last.
  • When you die, not only will there be no “you,” but no one or nothing is going to care (relatively speaking, in a massive sense).

Philosopher-atheist Bertrand Russell, in his famous “A Free Man’s Worship,” concluded the same things. (See “Bertrand Russell – A Free Man’s Worship & the Logic of Atheism”)
Russell wrote:

“Such, in outline, but even more purposeless, more void of meaning, is the world which Science presents for our belief. Amid such a world, if anywhere, our ideals henceforward must find a home. That man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins — all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”

In my opinion Woody Allen’s best movie is CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS!!!!

Crimes and Misdemeanors 1989 Woody Allen

Existentialism and the Meaningful Life [The Common Room]

Published on Jul 7, 2015

Torrey Common Room Discussion with Janelle Aijian, Matt Jenson, and Diane Vincent

Woody Allen Crimes and Misdemeanors Nihilism Nietzsche’s Death of God

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Complete Transcript and Vidoe of R.G. Lee sermon PAYDAY SOMEDAY

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Bellevue Baptist in 1930

R.G.Lee, Ramsey Pollard and Adrian Rogers in 1972 in front of Bellevue Baptist.

 

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Pay Day – Someday by Dr. R. G. Lee

Uploaded by on May 22, 2007

Dr. R. G. Lee, 1886-1978, Biography –
http://www.swordofthelord.com/biographies/LeeRG.htm .

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“Payday Someday” | Dr. Jonathan Akin

Published on Apr 21, 2015

Dr. Jonathan Akin | 04-19-15 PM | 1 Kings 21:1-26

Bellevue Baptist Church, Memphis, TN | bellevue

R.G. Lee – Payday Someday

Uploaded on Oct 6, 2011

From http://www.JackHyles.com – Dr. R.G. Lee and his famous classic sermon, “Payday Someday”.

Tony Merida – Payday Someday – 1 Kings 21:1-16

Published on Sep 13, 2013

Preaching from 1 Kings 21:1-16, Merida calls us to be ready to suffer for righteousness’ sake and to act for the sake of the oppressed.

Great Sermon:

Payday Somedayby Robert G. Lee (1886-1974)

Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither he is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine . . And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel (I Kings 21:18,19,23).

I introduce to you Naboth. Naboth was a devout Israelite who lived in the town of Jezreel. Naboth was a good man. He abhorred that which is evil. He clave to that which is good. He would not dilute the stringency of his personal piety for any profit in money. He would not change his heavenly principles for loose expediencies. And this good man who loved God, his family and his nation, had a little vineyard which was close by the summer palace of Ahab, the king — a palace unique in its splendor as the first palace inlaid with ivory. This little vineyard had come to Naboth as a cherished inheritance from his forefathers — and all of it was dear to his heart.I introduce to you Ahab, the vile human toad who squatted upon the throne of his nation — the worst of Israel’s kings. King Ahab had command of a nation’s wealth and a nation’s army, but he had no command of his lusts and appetites. Ahab wore rich robes, but he had a sinning and wicked and troubled heart beneath them. He ate the finest food the world could supply — and this food was served to him in dishes splendid by servants obedient to his every beck and nod — but he had a starved soul. He lived in palaces sumptuous within and without, yet he tormented himself for one bit of land more. Ahab was a king with a throne and a crown and a scepter, yet he lived nearly all of his life under the thumb of a wicked woman — a tool in her hands. Ahab pilloried himself in the contempt of all God-fearing men as a mean and selfish rascal who was the curse of his country. The Bible introduces him to us in words more appropriate than these when it says:

But there was none like unto Ahab, which did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up. And he did very abominably in following idols, according to all things as did the Amorites, whom the Lord cast out before the children of Israel . . . And Ahab made a grove; and Ahab did more to provoke the Lord God of Israel to anger than all the kings of Israel that were before him (I Kings 21:25,26; 16:33).

I introduce to you Jezebel, daughter of Ethbaal, King of Tyre (I Kings 16:31), and wife of Ahab, the King of Israel — a king’s daughter and a king’s wife, the evil genius at once of her dynasty and of her country. Infinitely more daring and reckless was she in her wickedness than was her wicked husband. Masterful, indomitable, implacable, a devout worshiper of Baal, she hated anyone and everyone who spoke against or refused to worship her pagan god. As blunt in her wickedness and as brazen in her lewdness was she as Cleopatra, fair sorceress of the Nile. She had all the subtle and successful scheming of Lady Macbeth, all the adulterous desire and treachery of Potiphar’s wife (Gen. 39:7-20), all the boldness of Mary Queen of Scots, all the cruelty and whimsical imperiousness of Katherine of Russia, all the devilish infamy of a Madame Pompadour, and, doubtless, all the fascination of personality of a Josephine of France. Most of that which is bad in all evil women found expression through this painted viper of Israel. She had that rich endowment of nature which a good woman ought always to dedicate to the service of her day and generation. But, alas! This idolatrous daughter of an idolatrous king of an idolatrous people engaging with her maidens in worship unto Ashtoreth — the personification of the most forbidding obscenity, uncleanness, and sensuality — became the evil genius who wrought wreck, brought blight and devised death. She was the beautiful and malicious adder coiled upon the throne of the nation.

I introduce to you Elijah, the Tishbite, prophet of God at a time when by tens of thousands the people had forsaken God’s covenants, thrown down God’s altars, slain God’s prophets with the sword (I Kings 19:10). The prophet, knowing much of the glorious past of the now apostate nation, must have been filled with horror when he learned of the rank heathenism, fierce cruelties and reeking licentiousness of Ahab’s idolatrous capital. Holy anger burned within him like an unquenchable Vesuvius. He wore the roughest kind of clothes, but he had underneath these clothes a righteous and courageous heart. He ate bird’s food and widow’s fare, but he was a great physical and spiritual athlete. He was God’s tall cedar that wrestled with the paganistic cyclones of his day without bending or breaking. He was God’s granite wall that stood up and out against the rising tides of the apostasy of his day. Though much alone, he was sometimes attended by the invisible hosts of God. He grieved only when God’s cause seemed tottering. He passed from earth without dying — into celestial glory. Every where courage is admired and manhood honored and service appreciated, he is honored as one of earth’s greatest heroes and one of heaven’s greatest saints. He was a seer who saw clearly. He was a great heart who felt deeply. He was a hero who dared valiantly.

And now with the introduction of these four characters — Naboth, the devout Jezreelite — Ahab, the vile human toad who squatted befoulingly on the throne of the nation — Jezebel, the beautiful adder beside the toad — and Elijah, the prophet of the living God, I bring you the tragedy of “Payday Someday.”

And the first scene in the tragedy of “Payday Someday” is:

THE REAL ESTATE REQUEST

“Give me thy vineyard.”

And it came to pass after these things, that Naboth the Jezreelite had a vineyard, which was in Jezreel, hard by the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. And Ahab spake unto Naboth, saying, Give me thy vineyard, that I may have it for a garden of herbs, because it is near unto my house: and I will give thee for it a better vineyard than it; or, if it seem good to thee, I will give thee the worth of it in money (I Kings 21:1,2).

Thus far Ahab was quite within his rights. No intention had he of cheating Naboth out of his vineyard or of killing him to get it. Honestly did he offer to give him its worth in money. Honestly did he offer him a better vineyard for it. Perfectly fair and square was Ahab in this request and, under Circumstances ordinary, one would have expected Naboth to put away any mere sentimental attachment which he had for his ancestral inheritance in order that he might please the king of his nation — especially when the king’s aim was not to defraud or rob him. Ahab had not, however, counted upon the reluctance of all Jews to part with their inheritance of land. By peculiar tenure every Israelite held his land, and to all land-holding transactions there was another party, even God, “who made the heavens and the earth.” Throughout Judah and Israel, Jehovah was the real owner of the soil; and every tribe received its territory and every family its inheritance by lot from Him, with the added condition that the land should not be sold forever.

The land shall not be sold for ever: for the land is mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me … So shall not the inheritance of the children of Israel remove from tribe to tribe: for every one of the children of Israel shall keep him-self to the inheritance of the tribe of his fathers … but every one of the tribes of the children of Israel shall keep himself to his own inheritance (Lev. 25:23; Num. 36:7,9).

Thus we see that the permanent sale of the paternal inheritance was forbidden by law. Ahab forgot — if he had ever really known it — that for Naboth to sell for money or to swap for a better vineyard his little vineyard would seem to that good man like a denial of his allegiance to the true religion when jubilee restoration was neglected in such idolatrous times.So, though he was Ahab’s nearest neighbor, Naboth, with religious scruples blended with the pride of ancestry, stood firmly on his rights — and, with an expression of horror on his face and with tones of terror in his words, refused to sell or swap his vineyard to the king. Feeling that he must prefer the duty he owed to God to any danger that might arise from man, he made firm refusal. With much fear of God and little fear of man, he said: “The Lord forbid it me, that I should give the inheritance of my fathers unto thee” (I Kings 21:3).

True to the religious teachings of his father with loyalty to the covenant God of Israel, he believed that he held the land in fee simple from God. His father and grandfather and doubtless grandfather’s father, had owned the land before him. All the memories of childhood were tangled in its grapevines. His father’s hands, folded now in the dust of death, had used the pruning blade among the branches, and because of this every branch and vine was dear. His mother’s hands, now doubtless wrapped in a dust- stained shroud, had gathered purple clusters from those bunch-laden boughs, and for this reason he loved every spot in his vineyard and every branch on his vines. The ties of sentiment, of religion and of family pride bound and endeared him to the place. So his refusal to sell was quick, firm, final and courteous. Then, too, doubtless working or resting or strolling as he often did in his vineyard hard by the king’s castle, Naboth had had glimpses of strange and alien sights in the palace. He had seen with his own eyes what orgies idolatry led to when the queen was at home in her palace in Jezreel; and Naboth, deeply pious, felt smirched and hurt at the very request. He felt that his little plot of ground, so rich in prayer and fellowship, so sanctified with sweet and holy memories, would be tainted and befouled and cursed forever if it came into the hands of Jezebel. So with “the courage of a bird that dares the wild sea,” he took his stand against the king’s proposal.

And that brings us to the second scene in this tragedy. It is:

THE POUTING POTENTATE

“He came into his house heavy and displeased.”

Naboth’s quick, firm, courteous, final refusal took all the spokes from the wheels of Ahab’s desires and plans. Naboth’s refusal was a barrier that turned aside the stream of Ahab’s desire and changed it into a foiled and foaming whirlpool of sullen sulks.

And Ahab came into his house heavy and displeased because of the word which Naboth the Jezreelite had spoken to him: for he had said, I will not give thee the inheritance of my fathers. And he laid him down upon his bed, and turned away his face, and would eat no bread (I Kings 21:4).

What a ridiculous picture’ A king acting like a spoiled and sullen child — impotent in disappointment and ugly in petty rage! A king, whose victories over the Syrians have rung through many lands — a conqueror, a slave to himself — whining like a sick hound! A king, rejecting all converse with others, pouting like a spoiled and petulant child who has been denied one trinket in the midst of one thousand play-things! A king, in a chamber “cieled with cedar, and painted with vermilion” (Jer. 22:14), prostituting genius to theatrical trumpery.

Ahab went into his ivory house, while the sun was shining and the matters of the daytime were all astir, and went to bed and “turned his face to the wall” – his lips swollen with his mulish moping, his eyes burning with cheap anger-fire, his wicked heart stubborn in perverse rebellion against the commandment of God. Servants brought him his meal, plenteously prepared on platters beautiful, but he “would eat no bread.” Doubtless, musicians came to play skillfully on stringed instruments, but he drove them all away with imperious gestures and impatient growlings. He turned from his victuals as one turns from garbage and refuse. The conqueror of the Syrians is a low slave to dirt-cheap trivialities. His spirit, now devilishly sullen, is in bondage.

What an ancient picture we have of great powers dedicated to mean, ugly, petty things. Think of it! In the middle of the day, the commander-in-chief of an army seized by Sergeant Sensitive. General Ahab made prisoner by Private Pouts! The leader of an army laid low by Corporal Mopishness! A monarch moaning and blubbering and growlingly refusing to eat because a man, a good man, because of the commandments of God and because of religious principles, would not sell or swap a little vineyard which was his by inheritance from his forefathers. Ahab had lost nothing — had gained nothing. No one had injured him. No one had made attempt on his life. Yet he, a king with a great army and a fat treasury, was acting like a blubbering baby. Cannon ability was expressing itself in popgun achievement. A massive giant sprawling on the bed like a dwarf punily peevish! A whale wallowing and spouting angrily about because he is denied minnow food! A bear growling sulkily because he cannot lick a spoon in which is a bit of honey! An eagle shrieking and beating his wings in the dust of his own displeasure like a quarreling sparrow fussily fighting with other sparrows for the crumbs in the dust of a village street! A lion sulkily roaring because he was not granted the cheese in a mouse trap! A battleship cruising for a beetle!

What an ancient picture of great powers and talents prostituted to base and purposeless ends and withheld from the service of God! What an ancient spectacle! And how modern and up-to-date, in this respect, was Ahab, king of Israel. What a likeness to him in conduct today are many talented men and women. I know men and women — you know men and women — with diamond and ruby abilities who are worth no more to God through the churches than a punctured Japanese nickel in a Chinese bazaar! So many there are who, like Ahab, withhold their talents from God — using them in the service of the devil. People there are, not a few, who have pipe organ abilities and make no more music for the causes of Christ than a wheezy saxophone in an idiot’s hands. People there are, many of them, who have incandescent light powers who make no more light for God than a smoky barn lantern, with smoke-blackened globe, on a stormy night. People there are — I know them and you know them — with locomotive powers doing pushcart work for God. People there are — and how sad ’tis true — who have steam-shovel abilities who are doing teaspoon work for God. Yes! Now look at this overfed bull bellowing for a little spot of grass outside his own vast pasture lands — and, if you are withholding talents and powers from the service of God, receive the rebuke of the tragic and ludicrous picture.

And now, consider the third scene in this tragedy of “Payday Someday.” It is:

THE WICKED WIFE

“And Jezebel his wife.”

When Ahab would “eat no bread,” the servants went and told Jezebel. What she said to them, we do not know. Something of what she said to Ahab we do know. Puzzled and provoked at the news that her husband would not eat — that he had gone to bed when it was not bedtime — Jezebel went to investigate. She found him in bed with his face turned to the wall, his lips swollen with mulish moping, his eyes burning with cheap anger-fire, his heart stubborn in wicked rebellion. He was groaningly mournful and peevishly petulant — having, up to the moment when she stood by his bedside, refused to eat or cheer up in the least.

Looking at him then, she doubtless, as is the custom with women until this day, put her hand on his forehead to see if he had fever. He had fever-without doubt! He was set on fire of hell, even as is a wicked tongue (Jas. 3:6). Then, in a voice of “Sweet” solicitation, she sought the reason of his anger. She asked, to put it in the semi-slang language of our day: “What’s the matter with you, Big Boy?” But, in the words of the Bible: “Why is thy spirit so sad, that thou eatest no bread?” (I Kings 21:5). Then, with his mouth full of grouches, with his heart stubborn in rebellion against the commandment of God, he told her — his every word full of mopish petulance:

Because I spake unto Naboth the Jezreelite, and said unto him, Give me thy vineyard for money; or else, if it please thee, I will give thee another vineyard for it: and he answered, I will not give thee my vineyard (I Kings 21:6).

Every word he said stung like a whip upon a naked back this wickedly unscrupulous woman who had never had any regard for the welfare of anyone who did not worship her god, Baal — who never had any conscientious regard for the rights of others, or for others who did not yield to her whimsical imperiousness.Hear her derisive laugh as it rings Out in the palace like the shrill cackle of a wild fowl that has returned to its nest and has found a serpent therein! With her tongue, sharp as a razor, she prods Ahab as an ox driver prods with sharp goad the ox which does not want to press his neck into the yoke, or as one whips with a rawhide a stubborn mule. With profuse and harsh laughter this old gay and gaudy guinea of Satan derided this king of hers for a cowardly buffoon and sordid Jester What hornet like sting in her sarcasm! What wolf mouth fierceness in her every reproach! What tiger fang cruelty in her expressed displeasure! What fury in the shrieking of her rebuke! What bitterness in the teasing taunts she hurled at him for his scrupulous timidity! Her bosom with anger was heaving! Her eyes were flashing with rage under the surge of hot anger that swept over her.

“Are you not the king of this country?” she chides bitingly, her tongue sharp like a butcher’s blade. “Can you not command and have it done?” she scolds as a common village hag who has more noise than wisdom in her words “Can you not seize and keep?” she cries with reproach. “I thought you told me you were king in these parts! And here you are crying like a baby and will not eat anything because you do not have courage to take a bit of land. You! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! You, the king of Israel, allow yourself to be disobeyed and defied by a common clodhopper from the country. You are more courteous and considerate of him than you are of your queen! Shame on you! But you leave it to me! I will get the vineyard for you, and all that I require is that you ask no questions. leave it to me, Ahab!”

And Jezebel his wife said unto him, Dost thou now govern the kingdom of Israel? arise, and eat bread, and let thine heart be merry: I will give thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite (I Kings 21:7).

Ahab knew Jezebel well enough to know that she would do her best, or her worst, to keep her wicked promise. So, as a turtle that has been sluggish in the cold winter’s mud begins to move when the spring sunshine warms the mud, Ahab crawled out of the slime of his sulks — somewhat as a snake arouses and uncoils from winter sleep. Then Jezebel doubtless tickled him under the chin with her bejewelled fingers or kissed him peckingly on the cheek with her lips screwed in a tight knot, and said: “There now! Smile! And eat something. I will get thee the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite!”Now, let us ask, who can so inspire a man to noble purposes as a noble woman? And who can so thoroughly degrade a man as a wife of unworthy tendencies? Back of the statement, “And Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the Lord above all that were before him” (I Kings 16:30), and back of what Elijah spoke, “Thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord” (I Kings 21:20), is the statement explaining both the other statements: “Whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” She was the polluted reservoir from which the streams of his own iniquity found mighty increase. She was the poisonous pocket from which his cruel fangs fed. She was the sulphurous pit wherein the fires of his own iniquity found fuel for intenser burning. She was the Devil’s grindstone which furnished sharpening for his weapons of wickedness.

Search the pages of the Bible all you will; study history all you please. And you will find one truth that stands out above some other truths. What is that truth? The truth that the spiritual life of a nation, city, town, school, church, or home never rises any higher than the spiritual life of women. When women sag morally and spiritually, men sag morally and spiritually. When women slump morally and spiritually, men slip morally and spiritually. When women take the downward road men travel with them. When women are lame morally and spiritually, men limp morally and spiritually. The degeneracy of womanhood helps the decay of manhood.

Yes — we ask again — who can so degrade a man as a woman of wicked tendencies and purposes? Is not a woman without spiritual religion and love of God in her heart like a rainbow without color — like a strong poisoned well from which the thirsty drink — like a heated stove whose heat is infection — like kissing lips spread with deadly poison?

What a tragedy when any woman thinks more of paint than purity, of vulgarity than virtue, of pearls than principles of adornment with righteous adoration, of hose and hats than holiness, of dress than duty, of mirrors than manners! What a tragedy when any woman sacrifices decency on the altar of degradation — visualizing the slimy, the tawdry, the tinseled!

We ask — just here — some questions. Who dominated the papacy in its most shameful days? Lucretia Borgia — a woman. Who really ordered the massacre of Saint Bartholomew’s day? Catherine de Medici — a woman. Who breathed fury through Robespierre in those dark and bloody days in France when the guillotine was chopping off the heads of the royalty? A woman — determined, devilish, dominant! Who caused Samson to have his eyes punched out and to be a prisoner of the Philistines, after he had been a judge in Israel for twenty years? Delilah — a woman! Who caused David to stake his crown for a caress? Bathsheba — a woman. Who danced Herod into hell? Herodias — a woman! Who was like a heavy chain around the neck of Governor Felix for life or death, for time and eternity? Drusilla — a woman! Who, by lying and diabolical stratagem, sent the spotless Joseph to jail because he refused her dirty, improper proposal? Potiphar’s wife. Who suggested to Haman that he build a high gallows on which to hang Mordecai, the Jew? Zeresh — a woman — his wife! Who told Job in the midst of his calamities, financial and physical, to curse God and die? A woman — his wife. Who ruined the career of Charles Stewart Parnell and delayed Home Rule for Ireland in the good days of good Queen Victoria? Kitty O’Shea — a woman. Who caused Anthony to throw away the world at the battle of Actium and follow the enchantress of the Nile back to Egypt? The enchantress herself, Cleopatra — a woman — the lovely serpent coiled on the throne of the Ptolemies.

So also it was a woman, a passionate and ambitious idolatress, even Jezebel, who mastered Ahab. Take the stirring crimes of any age, and at the bottom, more or less consciously concerned, the world almost invariably finds a woman. Only God almighty knows the full story of the foul plots hatched by women.

But we know enough to say that some of the foulest plots that have been hatched out of Satan’s incubator were hatched out of eggs placed therein by women’s hands.

But let me say, incidentally, if women have mastered men for evil, they have also mastered them for good — and we gladly make declaration that some of the fairest and most fragrant flowers that grow in the garden of God and some of the sweetest and most luscious fruit that ripens in God’s spiritual orchards are there because of woman’s faith, woman’s love, woman’s prayer, woman’s virtue, woman’s tears, woman’s devotion to Christ.

But as for Ahab, it was Jezebel who stirred him up to more and mightier wickedness than his own wicked mind could conceive or his own wicked hand could execute.

Let us come to the next terrible scene in this tragedy of sin. The next scene is:

A MESSAGE MEANING MURDER

“She wrote letters.”

Jezebel wrote letters to the elders of Jezreel. And in these letters she made definite and subtle declaration that some terrible sin had been committed in their city, for which it was needful that a fast should be proclaimed in order to avert the wrath of Heaven.

So she wrote letters in Ahab’s name, and sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters unto the elders and to the nobles that were in his city, dwelling with Naboth. And she wrote in the letters, saying, Proclaim a fast, and set Naboth on high among the people: and set two men, sons of Belial, before him, to bear witness against him, saying, Thou didst blaspheme God and the king. And then carry him Out, and stone him, that he may die (I Kings 21:8-10).

This letter, with cynical disregard of decency, was a hideous mockery in the name of religion. Once get the recusant citizen accused of blasphemy, and, by a divine law, the property of the blasphemer and rebel went to the crown. “Justice! How many traitors to sacred truth have dragged the innocent to destruction!”

Surely black ink never wrote a fouler plot or death scheme on white paper since writing was known among men. Every drop had in it the adder’s poison. Every syllable of every word of every line of every sentence was full of hate toward him who had done only good continually. Every letter of every syllable was but the thread which, united with other threads, made the hangman’s noose for him who had not changed his righteous principles for the whim of a king. The whole letter was a diabolical death-warrant.

The letters being written, must be sealed; and the sealing was done, as all these matters of letter writing and sealing were done, by rubbing ink on the seal, moistening the paper, and pressing the seal thereon. And when Jezebel had finished with her iniquitous pen, she asked Ahab for his signet ring; with that ring she affixed the royal seal. She sealed the letters with Ahab’s ring (I Kings 21:8). When Ahab gave it to her he knew it meant crime of some sort, but he asked no questions. Moreover, Jezebel’s deeds showed that when she went down to market, as it were, she would have in her basket a nice vineyard for her husband when she returned. She said to herself: “This man Naboth has refused my honorable lord on religious grounds, and by all the gods of Baal, I will get him yet on these very same grounds.” She understood perfectly the passion of a devout Jew for a public fast; and she knew that nothing would keep the Jews away. Every Jew and every member of his household would be there.

“Proclaim a fast!” Fasting has ever been a sign of humiliation before God. of humbling one’s self in the dust before the “high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity.” The idea in calling for a fast was clearly to declare that the community was under the anger of God on account of a grave crime committed by one of its members, which crime is to be exposed and punished. Then, too, the fast involved a cessation of work, a holiday, so that the citizens would have time to attend the public gathering.

“Set Naboth on high!” “On high” meant before the bar of justice, not in the seat of honor. “On high” meant in the seat of the accused, and not in the seat to be desired. “On high” meant that Naboth was put where every eye could watch him closely and keenly observe his bearing under the accusation. “And set two men, base fellows, before him.” How illegal she was in bringing about his death in a legal way! For the law required two witnesses in all cases where the punishment was death. “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he . . . be put to death” (Deut. 17:6). The witnesses required by Jezebel were men of no character, men who would take bribes and swear to any lie for gain.

And let them “bear witness against him”! In other words, put him out of the way by judicial murder, not by private assassination. “And then Carry him out, and stone him, that he may die.” A criminal was not to be executed within a city, as that would defile it! Thus Christ was crucified outside the walls of Jerusalem! We see that Jezebel took it for granted that Naboth would be condemned.

And so one day, while Naboth worked in his vineyard, the letters came down to Jezreel. And one evening, while Naboth talked at the cottage door with his sons or neighbors, the message meaning murder was known to the elders of the city. And that night, while he slept with the wife of his bosom, the hounds of death let loose from the kennels of hell by the jewel-adorned fingers of a king’s daughter and a king’s wife were close on his heels. The message meaning murder was known to many but not to him, until they came and told him that a fast had been proclaimed — proclaimed because God had been offended at some crime and that His wrath must be appeased and the threatening anger turned away, and he himself, all unconscious of any offense toward God or the king, was to be set in the place of the accused, even “on high among the people,” to be tried as a conspicuous criminal.

THE FATAL FAST

“They proclaimed a fast.”

And what concern they must have created in the household of Naboth, when they knew that Naboth was to be “set on high,” even in the “seat of the accused,” even before the bar of “justice,” because of a ferocious message calling religion in to attest a lie. And what excitement there was in the city when, with fawning readiness to carry out her vile commands, the elders and nobles “fastened the minds” of the people upon the fast — proclaimed as if some great calamity were overhanging the city for their sins like a black cloud pretending a storm, and proclaimed as if something must be done at once to avert the doom. Curious throngs hurried to the fast to see him who had been accused of the crime which made necessary the appeasing of the threatening wrath of an angered God.

Yes, the rulers of Jezreel, either in dread of offending one whose revenge they knew was terrible, or eager to do a service to one to whom in temporal matters they were so largely indebted, or moved with envy against their own iniquity, carried out her instructions to the letter. They were ready and efficient tools in her hands. No doubt she had tested their character as her “butcher boys” in the slaughter of the prophets of the Lord.

And they did! “And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat down before him” (I Kings 21:13). Satan’s hawks ready to bring death to God’s harmless sparrow! Satan’s eagles ready to bury their cruel talons in God’s innocent dove. Satan’s bloody wolves ready to kill God’s lamb! Satan’s boars ready with keen tusks to rip God’s stag to shreds! Reckless and depraved professional perjurers they were! “And the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme God and the king” (I Kings 21:13).

Then strong hands jerked Naboth out of the seat of the accused. Doubtless muttering curses the while, they dragged him out from among the throngs of people, while children screamed and cried, while women shrieked in terror, while men moved in confusion and murmured in consternation. They dragged him roughly to a place outside the walls of the city and with stones they beat his body to the ground.

Naboth fell to the ground as a lily by hailstones beaten to earth, as a stately cedar uprooted by furious storm. His head by stones is crushed, as eggs crushed by the heel of a giant. His legs are splintered! His arms are broken! His ribs are crushed. Bones stick out from the mass of human flesh as fingers of ivory from pots of red paint. Brains, emptied from his skull, are scattered about. Blood splatters like crimson rain. Naboth’s eyes roll in sockets of blood. His tongue between broken jaws becomes still. His mauled body becomes — at last — still. His last gasp is a sigh. Naboth is dead — dead for cursing God and the king as many were led to believe!

And we learn from II Kings 9:26, that by the savage law of those days his innocent sons were involved in his overthrow. They, too, that they might not claim the inheritance, were slain. And Naboth’s property, left without heirs, reverted to the crown.

Thus it came to pass that in an orderly fashion, in the name of religion and in the name of the king, Naboth really fell, not by the king’s hand, but by the condemnation of his fellow citizens. Yes, the old-fashioned conservatism of Naboth was, in the judgment of many, sorely out of place in that “progressive” state of society. No doubt Naboth’s righteous austerity had made him extremely unpopular in many ways in “progressive Jezreel.” And since Jezebel carried out her purpose in a perfectly legal and orderly way and in a “‘wonderfully” democratic manner, we see a fine picture of autocracy working by democratic methods. And when these “loyally patriotic citizens” of Jezreel had left the bodies of Naboth and his sons to be devoured by the wild dogs which prowled after nightfall in and around the city, they sent and told Queen Jezebel that her orders had been bloodily and completely obeyed! “Then they sent to Jezebel, saying, Naboth is stoned, and is dead” (I Kings 21:14).

I do not know where Jezebel was when she received the news of Naboth’s death. Maybe she was out on the lawn watching the fountains splash. Maybe she was in the sun parlor, or somewhere listening to the musicians thrum on their instruments. But, if I judge this painted human viper by her nature, I say she received the tragic news with devilish delight, with jubilant merriment. What was it to her that yonder, over twenty miles away, sat a little woman who the night before had her husband but who now washed his crushed and ghastly face with her tears? What did it matter to her that in Jezreel only yesterday her sons ran to her at her call hut today were mangled in death? What did it matter to her that outside the city walls the dogs licked the blood of a godly husband? What mattered it to her that Jehovah God has been defied, His commandments broken, His altars splattered with pagan mud, His holy Name profaned? What mattered it to her that the worship of God had been dishonored? What did she care if a wife, tragically widowed by murder, walked life’s way in loneliness? What did she care that there was lamentation and grief and great mourning, “Rachel weeping for her children because they were not”? What did she care if justice had been outraged just so she had gotten the little plot of land close by their palace, within which was evil girt with diadem? Nothing! Did pang grip her heart because innocent blood had been shed? Just as well ask if the ravenous lion mourns over the lamb it devours.

Trippingly, as a gay dancer, she hurried to where Ahab sat. With profuse caresses and words glib with joy she told him the “good” news. She had about her the triumphant manner of one who has accomplished successfully what others had not dared attempt. Her “tryout” in getting the vineyard was a decided “triumph.” She had “pulled the stunt.” She had been “brave” and “wise” — and because of this her husband now could arise and hie him down to the vineyard and call it his own.

In her words and manner there was jubilant elation bordering on the satanic. “Arise!” she said. “Get thee down and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth. I told thee I would get his vineyard for thee. And I got for nothing what thou wast going to give a better vineyard for!”

And it came to pass, when Jezebel heard that Naboth was stoned, and was dead, that Jezebel said to Ahab, Arise, take possession of the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, which be refused to give thee for money: for Naboth is not alive, but dead (I Kings 21:15).

It was the plot hatched in her own mind and it was her hand, her lily-white hand, her queen’s hand, that wrote the letters that made this tragic statement true.The next scene in this tragedy of “Payday Someday” is:

THE VISIT TO THE VINEYARD

“Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard.”

How Jezebel must have paraded with pride before Ahab when she went with tidings that the vineyard which he wanted to buy was now his for nothing! How keen must have been the sarcasm of her attitude when she made it known by word and manner that she had succeeded where he failed — and at less cost! How gloatingly victorious were the remarks which she made which kept him warmly reminded that she had kept her “sacred” promise! What a lovely fabric, stained and dyed red with Naboth’s blood, she spread before him for his “comfort” from the loom of her evil machinations!

“And it came to pass, when Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose up to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it” (I Kings 21:16). Ahab rose up to go down — from Samaria to Jezreel. He gave orders to his royal wardrobe keeper to get out his king’s clothes, because he had a little “business” trip to make to hook over some property that had come to him by the shrewdness of his wife in the real estate market!

Yes, Naboth, the good man who “feared the lord,” is dead; and Ahab expresses no condemnation of this awful conspiracy, culminating in such a tragic horror. Though afraid or restrained by his conscience from committing murder himself, he had no scruple in availing himself of the results of such crime when perpetrated by another. He flattered himself that, by the splendid genius of his queen in bloody matters, he, though having no part in the crime which did Naboth to death, might, as well as another, “receive the benefit of his dying.”

And you will notice just here that not one noble or elder had divulged the terrible secret which had given the semblance of legality to atrocious villainy. And, Ahab, rejoicing in the bloody garment woven on the loom of his wife’s evil machinations, gave orders to those in charge of livery stables to get ready his royal chariot for an unexpected trip. Jehu and Bidkar, the royal charioteers, make ready the great horses such as kings had in those days. Jehu was the speed-breaking driver of his day, known as the one who drove furiously. The gilded chariot is drawn forth. The fiery horses are harnessed and to the king’s chariot hitched. The outriders, in gorgeous garments dressed, saddle their horses and make ready to accompany the king in something of military state. Then, amid the chatter of prancing hoofs and the loud breathing of the chariot horses — eager-eyes, alert, strong-muscled, bellows-lunged, stouthearted, and agile of feet — Jehu drives the horses and the chariot up to the palace steps. Out from the palace doors, with Jezebel walking, almost strutting, proudly and gaily at his side, comes Ahab. Down the steps he goes while Jezebel, perhaps, waves a bejeweled hand to him or speaks a “sweet” good-by. Bidkar opens the chariot door. Ahab steps in. Then, with the crack of his whip or a sharp command by word of mouth, Jehu sends the great horses on their way — away from the palace steps, away from the palace grounds, away through the gates, away, accompanied by the outriders, away down the road to Jezreel!

Where is God? Where is God? ls He blind that He cannot see? Is He deaf that He cannot hear? Is He dumb that He cannot speak? Is He paralyzed that He cannot move? Where is God? Well, wait a minute, and we shall see.

Over there in the palace Jezebel said to Ahab her husband:

“Arise! Get thee down and take possession of the vineyard of Naboth.” And over in the wilderness way, out where the tall cedars waved against the moon like green plumes against a silver shield, out where the only music of the night was the weird call of whippoorwill and the cough of coyote and the howl of wolf, out there God had an eagle-eyed, hairy, stout-hearted prophet, a great physical and spiritual athlete, Elijah. “And the Word of the Lord came to Elijah.” And God said to Elijah: “Arise, go down.”

Over here, in the palace, Jezebel said to Ahab: “Arise, get thee down!” And out there, near Carmel, God said to Elijah: “Arise!” I am so glad that I live in a universe where, when the Devil has his Ahab to whom he can say, “Arise,” God has His Elijah to whom He can say, “Arise!”

And the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite, saying, Arise, go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, which is in Samaria: behold, he is in the vineyard of Naboth, whither be is gone down to possess it. And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? And thou shalt speak unto him, saying, Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth, shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine (I Kings 21:17-19).

As Ahab goes down to Jezreel, the voice of Jehu, as he restrains the fiery horses, or the lash of his whip as he urges them on, attracts the attention of the grazing cattle in adjacent pasture hand. The sound of clanking hoofs of cantering horses resounds in every glen by the roadway. The gilded chariot catches the light of the sun and reflects it brightly, but he who rides therein is unmindful of the bloodstains on the ground where Naboth died. Dust clouds arise from the chariot’s wheels and wild winds blow them across the fields where the plowman or the reaper wonders who goes so swiftly along the highway. The neighing steeds announce to all that Ahab’s royal horses tire not in Carrying him down from Samaria to Jezreel. And soon many know that the chariot carried the king who was going down to possess what had reverted to the crown, even the vineyard of Naboth, which Naboth refused to sell to him. Would the “game” be worth the “candle”? Would Ahab learn that sin buys pleasure at the price of peace? We shall see — and that right soon!And that brings us to the other scene in his tragedy of “Payday Someday.” It is:

THE ALARMING APPEARANCE

“The word of the Lord came to Elijah.”

The journey of twenty-odd miles from Samaria to Jezreel is over. Jehu brings the horses to a stop outside the gate to the vineyard. The horses stretch their necks trying to get slack on the reins. They have stood well the furious pace at which they have been driven. Around the rim of their harness is the foam of their sweat. On their flanks are, perhaps, the marks of Jehu’s whip. They breathe as though their great lungs were a tireless bellows. The outriders line up in something of military formation. The hands of ready servants open the gate to the vineyard. Bidkar opens the chariot door. And Ahab steps out into Naboth’s vineyard. There, no doubt, he sees, in the soft soil, Naboth’s footprints. Close by, doubtless, the smaller footprints of his wife he sees. Naboth is dead, and the coveted vineyard is now Ahab’s through the “gentle scheming” of the queen of his house. Perhaps Ahab, as he walks into the vineyard, sees Naboth’s pruning hook among the vines. Or he notices the fine trellis work which Naboth’s hands had fastened together for the growing vines. Perhaps, in a corner of the vineyard is a seat where Naboth and his sons rested after the day’s toil, or a well where sparkling waters refreshed the thirsty or furnished water for the vines in time of drought.

Ahab walks around his newly-gotten vineyard. The rows of vines glisten in the sunlight. Maybe a breeze moves the leaves on the vines. Ahab admires trellis and cluster. As he walks, he plans how he will have the royal gardener to pull up those vines and plant cucumbers, squash, garlic, onions, cabbage and other vegetables that he may have his “garden of herbs.”

And while Ahab strolls among the vines that Naboth tended, what is it that appears? Snarling wild boasts? No. Black clouds full of threatening storm? No, not that. Flaming lightning which dazzles him? No. War chariots of his ancient enemies rumbling along the road? No. An oncoming flood sweeping things before it? No; not a flood. A tornado goring the earth? No. A huge serpent threatening to encircle him and crush his bones in its deadly coils? No; not a serpent. What then? What alarmed Ahab so? let us follow him and see.

As Ahab goes walking through the rows of vines, he begins to plan how he will have that vineyard arranged by his royal gardener, how flowers will be here and vegetables yonder and herbs there. As he converses with himself, suddenly a shadow falls across his path. Quick as a flash Ahab whirls on his heels, and there, before him, stands Elijah, prophet of the living God. Elijah’s cheeks are swarthy; his eye is keen and piercing; like coals of fire, his eyes burn with righteous indignation in their sockets; his bosom heaves; his head is held high. His only weapon is a staff: his only robe a sheepskin, and a leather girdle about his loins. Like an apparition from the other world, like Banquo’s ghost at Macbeth’s feast, Elijah, with suddenness terrifying, stands before Ahab. Ahab had not seen Elijah for five years. Ahab thought Elijah had been cowed and silenced by Jezebel, but now the prophet confronts him with his death warrant from the Lord God Almighty.

To Ahab there is an eternity of agony in the few moments they stand thus, face to face, eye to eye, soul to soul! His voice is hoarse, like the cry of a hunted animal. He trembles like a hunted stag before the mouths of fierce hounds. Suddenly his face goes white. His lips quiver. He had gone to take possession of a vineyard, coveted for a garden of herbs; and there he is face to face with righteousness, face to face with honor, face to face with judgment. The vineyard, with the sun shining upon it now, is as black as if it were part of the midnight which has gathered in judgment. Like Poe ‘s raven “his soul from out that shadow shall be” lifted — nevermore.

“And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy?” (I Kings 21:20) and Elijah, without a tremor in his voice, his eyes burning their way into Ahab’s guilty soul, answered: “I have found thee: because thou has sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord.” Then, with every word a thunderbolt, and every sentence a withering denunciation, Elijah continued:

Hast thou killed, and also taken possession? . . . Thus saith the Lord, In the place where dogs licked the blood of Naboth shall dogs lick thy blood, even thine . . . Behold, I will bring evil upon thee, and will take away thy posterity . . . And will make thine house like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijah, for the provocation wherewith thou hast provoked me to anger, and made Israel to sin! (I Kings 21:l9, 21,22).

And then, plying other words mercilessly like a terrible scourge to the Cringing Ahab, Elijah said:

And of Jezebel also spake the Lord, saying, The dogs shall eat Jezebel by the wall of Jezreel. Him that dieth of Ahab in the city the dogs shall eat: and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat (I Kings 21:23,24).

And, with these words, making Ahab to cower as one cowers and recoils from a hissing adder, finding Naboth’s vineyard to be haunted with ghosts and the clusters thereof to be full of blood, Elijah went his way — as was his custom so suddenly to appear and so quickly to disappear.Ahab had sold himself for nought, as did Achan for a burial robe and a useless ingot, as did Judas for thirty pieces of silver which so burned his palms and so burned his conscience and so burned his soul that he found relief in the noose at the rope’s end. And when Ahab got back in the chariot to go back to Jezebel — the vile toad who squatted upon the throne to be again with the beautiful adder coiled upon the throne — the hoofs of the horses pounding the road pounded into his guilty soul Elijah’s words: “Someday — the dogs will lick thy blood! Someday the dogs will eat Jezebel by the ramparts of Jezreel.” God had spoken! Would it come to pass?

And now we come to the last scene in this tragedy, “Payday Someday.” It is:

PAYDAY ITSELF

Did God mean what He said? Or was He playing a prank on royalty? Did payday come? “Pay Day — Someday” is written in the constitution of God’s universe. The retributive providence of God is a reality as certainly as the laws of gravitation are a reality.

And to Ahab and Jezebel, payday came as certainly as night follows day, because sin carries in itself the seed of its own fatal penalty.

Dr. Meyer says: “According to God’s constitution of the world, the wrongdoer will be abundantly punished.” The fathers sow the wind and the children reap the whirlwind. One generation labors to scatter tares, and the next generation reaps tares and retribution immeasurable. To the individual who goes not the direction God points, a terrible pay-day comes. To the nation which forgets God, payday will come in the awful realization of the truth that the “nations which forget God shall be turned into hell.” When nations trample on the principles of the Almighty, the result is that the world is beaten with many stripes. We have seen nations slide into Gehenna — and the smoke of their torment has gone up before our eyes day and night.

To the home that has no room for the Christ, death and grave clothes are certain. “Ichabod” will be written about the church that soft-pedals on unpleasant truth or that stands not unwaveringly for “the faith once delivered” — and it will acknowledge its retribution in that it will become “a drifting sepulcher manned by a frozen crew.”

A man can prostitute God’s holy Name to profane lips if he will, but he is forewarned as to the pay-day in the words: “The lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain (Ex. 20:7).

A man can, if he will, follow the way of some wicked woman; but God leaves him not without warning as to the payday, in the words:

He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; Till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life . . . For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death (Prov. 7:22,23, 26, 27).

People can drink booze, if they will, and offer the damnable bottle to others, if they will, but the certainty of “Payday Someday” is read in the words: No drunkard “shall inherit the kingdom of God,” (I Cor 6:10) and in the words: “At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.” (Prov. 23:32). The certainty of “Payday Someday” for all who regard not God or man is set forth in the words of an unknown poet:You’ll pay. The knowledge of your acts will weigh
Heavier on your mind each day.
The more you climb, the more you gain,
The more you’ll feel the nagging strain.
Success will cower at the threat
Of retribution. Fear will fret
Your peace and bleed you for the debt;
Conscience collects from every crook
More than the worth of what he took,
You only thought you got away
But in the night you’ll pay and pay.

Churchill expressed the certainty of God’s retributive justice when, speaking of Mussolini, he said.

Mussolini is swept into the maelstrom of his own making. The flames of war he kindled burn himself. He and his people are taking the stinging lash of the whip they applied to Ethiopia and Albania. They pay for Fascist sins with defeat, despair, death. Mussolini’s promise of life like a lion turns into the existence of a beaten cur!

Years before the statesman, Winston Churchill, spoke these words, Ralph Waldo Emerson, in his Compensation wrote:

Crime and punishment grow out of one stem. Punishment is a fruit that unsuspected ripens within the flower of the pleasure that concealed it. Cause and effect, means and ends, seed and fruit, can rot be severed, for the effect already blooms in the cause. The end pre-exists in the means — the fruit in the seed.

Paul Lawrence Dunbar showed wisdom as great as the wisdom of Churchill and a knowledge of Nature’s laws as great as Emerson’s knowledge when he wrote the autobiography of many individual sinners in these poetic and potent words:

This is the price I pay —
Just for one riotous day —
Years of regret and of grief,
And sorrow without relief.
Suffer it I will, my friend,
Suffer it until the end,
Until the grave shall give relief.
Small was the thing I bought,
Small was the thing at best,
Small was the debt, I thought,
But, O God! — the interest.

All these statements are but verification of Bible truth:

  • Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein: and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him (Prov. 26:27).
  • Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices. For the turning away of the simple shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them (Prov. 1:31,32).
  • Even as I have seen, they that plow iniquity, and sow wickedness, reap the same (Job 4:8).
  • For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind (Hos. 8:7).
  • The gods are just — and of our vices make instruments to scourge us.

When I was pastor of the First Baptist Church of New Orleans, all that I preached and taught was sent out over the radio. In my “fan mail” I received letters from a young man who called himself ‘”Chief of the Kangaroo Court.” Many nasty, critical things he said. Sometimes he wrote a nice line–and a nice line was, in all the vulgar things he wrote, like a gardenia in a garbage can. One day I received a telephone call from a nurse in the Charity Hospital of New Orleans. It was about this fellow who so often dipped his pen in slop, who seldom thrust his pen into nectar. She said: “Pastor, there is a young man down here whose name we do not know, who will not tell us his name. All he will tell us is that he is chief of the Kangaroo Court. He is going to die. He says that you are the only preacher in New Orleans that he has ever heard — and he has never seen you.He wants to see you. Will you come down?” “Yes,” I replied. And I quit what I was doing and hurried down to the hospital.

The young nurse met me at the entrance to the charity ward and took me in. A glance around showed me cots on the north side, cots on the south side, beds on the east side and beds on the west side – and clusters of cots in the center of the huge ward. In a place by itself, somewhat removed from all other cots and beds, was a bed on which lay a young man about nineteen or twenty years of age — big of frame, though the ravages of disease had brought a slenderness. The nurse, with little ado, introduced me to the young man, saying: “This, sir, is the Chief of the Kangaroo Court.”

I found myself looking into two of the wildest, weirdest eves I have ever seen. As kindly as I could, I spoke, saying “Hello.” “Howdy do?” he answered in a voice that was a discourteous and furious snarl — more like the voice of a mad wolf than the voice of a rational man. ‘”Is there something I can do for you?” I asked as kindly as I could speak.

“No. Nothing! Not a thing. Nothin’ ‘tall! — unless you throw my body to the buzzards when I am dead — if the buzzards will have it!” he said, with half a shout and with a sort of fierce resentment that made me wonder why he had ever sent for me.

Then his voice lost some of the snarl — and he spoke again. “I sent for you, sir, because I want you to tell these young fellows here something for me. I sent for you because I know you go up and down the land and talk to many young people. And I want you to tell ’em, and tell ’em every chance you get, that the Devil pays only in counterfeit money.”

Oh! I wish I could tell all men and women and all boys and girls everywhere to believe the truth that Satan always pays in counterfeit money, that all his pearls are paste pearls, that the nectar he offers is poisoned through and through. Oh, that men would learn the truth and be warned by the truth that if they eat the Devil’s corn, he will choke them with the cob.

I stayed with this young man nearly two hours. Occasionally he spoke. There was a desperate earnestness in the young man’s voice as he looked at me with wild eyes where terror was enthroned. After while I saw those eyes become as though they were glass as he gazed at the ceiling above. I saw his huge lean chest heave like a bellows. I felt his hand clutch at mine as a drowning man would grab for a rope. I held his hand. I heard the raucous gurgle in his throat. Then he became quiet — like a forest when the cyclone is long gone.

When he died, the little nurse called me to her, excitedly. “Come here!” she called.

“What do you want, child?” I asked.

“I want to wash your hands!” She meant she wanted to wash my hands with a disinfectant. Then she added — with something of fright in her words, “It’s dangerous to touch him!”

The Devil had paid the young man off in counterfeit money.

But what about Ahab? Did payday come for him? Yes. Consider how. Three years went by. Ahab was still king. And I dare say that during those three years Jezebel had reminded him that they were eating herbs out of Naboth’s vineyard. I can hear her say something like this as they sat at the king’s table: “Ahab, help yourself to these herbs. I thought Elijah said the dogs were going to lick your blood. I guess his dogs lost their noses and lost the trail.”

But I think that during those three years, Ahab never heard a dog bark that he did not jump.

One day Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, visited Ahab. The Bible tells us what took place — what was said, what was done:

And the king of Israel said unto his servants, Know ye that Ramoth in Gilead is ours, and we be still, and take it not out of the hand of the king of Syria? And he said unto Jehoshaphat, Wilt thou go with me to battle to Ramoth-gilead? And Jehoshaphat said to the king of Israel, I am as thou art, my people as thy people, my horses as thy horses (I Kings 22:3,4).

So the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat the king of Judah went up to Ramoth-gilead (I Kings 22:29).

Ahab, after Jehoshaphat had promised to go with him, in his heart was afraid, and had sad forebodings, dreadful premonitions, horrible fears. Remembering the withering words of Elijah three years before, he disguised himself — put armor on his body and covered this armor with ordinary citizen’s clothes.

And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, I will disguise myself, and enter into the battle; but put thou on thy robes. And the king of Israel disguised himself, and went into the battle (I Kings 22:30).

The Syrian general had given orders to slay only the king of Israel — Ahab.

But the king of Syria commanded his thirty and two captains that had rule over his chariots, saying, Fight neither with small nor great, save only with the king of Israel (I Kings 22:31).

Jehoshaphat was not injured, although he wore his royal clothes.

And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots saw Jehoshaphat, that they said, Surely it is the king of Israel. And they turned aside to fight against him: and Jehoshaphat cried out. And it came to pass, when the captains of the chariots perceived that it was not the king of Israel, that they turned back from pursuing him (I Kings 22:32,33).

While war steeds neighed and war chariots rumbled and shields clashed on shields and arrows whizzed and spears were thrown and swords were wielded, a death-carrying arrow, shot by an aimless and nameless archer, found the crack in Ahab’s armor.

And a certain man drew a bow at a venture, and smote the king of Israel between the joints of the harness: wherefore he said unto the driver of his chariot, Turn thine hand, and carry me out of the host; for I am wounded. And the battle increased that day: and the king was stayed up in his chariot against the Syrians, and died at even: and the blood ran out of the wound into the midst of the chariot . . . And one washed the chariot in the pool of Samaria; and the dogs licked up his blood; and they washed his armour; according unto the Word of the Lord which He spake (I Kings 22:34, 35, 38).

Thus we learn that no man can evade God’s laws with impunity. All of God’s laws are their own executioners. They have strange penalties annexed. Stolen waters are sweet. But every ounce of sweetness makes a pound of nausea. Nature keeps honks pitilessly. Man’s credit with her is good. But Nature collects. And there is no land to which you can flee and escape her bailiffs. Every day her bloodhounds track down the men and women who owe her.But what about Jezebel? Did her payday come? Yes — after twenty years. After Ahab’s death, after the dogs had licked his blood, she virtually ruled the kingdom. But I think that she went into the temple of Baal on occasions and prayed her god Baal to protect her from Elijah’s hounds.

Elijah had been taken home to heaven without the touch of the deathdew upon his brow. Elisha had succeeded him.

And Elisha the prophet called one of the children of the prophets, and said unto him, Gird up thy loins, and take this box of oil in thine hand, and go to Ramoth-gilead: And when thou comest thither, look out there Jehu the son of Jehoshaphat the son of Nimshi, and go in, and make him arise up from among his brethren, and carry him to an inner chamber; Then take the box of oil and pour it on his head, and say, Thus saith the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then open the door and flee, and tarry not. So the young man, even the young man the prophet, went to Ramoth-gilead . And when he came, behold, the captains of the host were sitting; and he said, I have an errand to thee, O captain. And Jehu said, Unto which of all us? And he said, To thee, O captain. And he arose, and went into the house; and he poured the oil on his head, and said unto him, Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I have anointed thee king over the people of the Lord, even over Israel. And thou shalt smite the house of Ahab thy master, that I may avenge the blood of My servants the prophets, and the blood of all the servants of the Lord, at the hand of Jezebel . . . And I will make the house of Ahab like the house of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, and like the house of Baasha the son of Ahijab: And the dogs shall eat Jezebel in the portion of Jezreel, and there shall be none to bury her. And be opened the door, and fled (II Kings 9:1- 7,9,10).

Jehu was just the man for such an occasion — furious in his anger, rapid in his movements, unscrupulous, yet zealous to uphold the law of Moses.

Then Jehu came forth to the servants of his lord: and one said unto him, Is all well? wherefore came this mad fellow to thee? And he said unto them, Ye know the man, and his communication. And they said, It is false; tell us now. And he said, Thus and thus spake he to me, saying, Thus saitb the Lord, I have anointed thee king over Israel. Then they basted, and took every man his garment, and put it under him on the top of the stairs, and blew with trumpets, saying, Jehu is king (II Kings 9:11-13).

Mounting his chariot, commanding and taking with him a company of his most reliable soldiers, furiously did he drive nearly sixty miles to Jezreel.

So Jehu rode in a chariot, and went to Jezreel; for Joram lay there. And Ahaziah king of Judah was come down to see Joram. And there stood a watchman on the tower in Jezreel, and he spied the company of Jehu as he came, and said, I see a company. And Joram said, Take an horseman, and send to meet them, and let him say, Is it peace? So there went one on horseback to meet him, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu said, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, The messenger came to them, but he cometh not again. Then he sent out a second on horseback, which came to them, and said, Thus saith the king, Is it peace? And Jehu answered, What hast thou to do with peace? turn thee behind me. And the watchman told, saying, He came even unto them, and cometh not again: and the driving is like the driving of Jehu the son of Nimshi; for he driveth furiously. And Joram said, Make ready. And his chariot was made ready. And Joram king of Israel and Ahaziab king of Judah went out, each in his chariot, and they went out against Jehu, and met him in the portion of Naboth the Jerreelite. And it came to pass, when Joram saw Jehu, that he said, Is it peace, Jehu? And he answered, What peace, so long as the whoredoms of thy mother jezebel and her witchcrafts are so many? And Joram turned his hands, and fled, and said to Ahaziah, There is treachery, O Ahaziah. And Jehu drew a bow with his full strength, and smote Jehoram between his arms, and the arrow went out at his heart, and he sunk down in his chariot. Then said Jehu to Bidkar his captain, Take up, and cast him in tlie portion of the field of Naboth the Jezreelite: for remember how that, when I and thou rode together after Ahab his father, the Lord laid this burden upon him; Surely I have seen yesterday the blood of Naboth, and the blood of his sons, saith the Lord; and I will requite thee in this plat, saith the Lord. Now therefore take and cast him into the plat of ground, according to the word of the Lord (II Kings 9:16-26).

“And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it.” Pause! Who is Jehu? He is the one who, twenty years before the events of this chapter from which we quote, rode down with Ahab to take Naboth’s vineyard, the one who throughout those twenty years never forgot those withering words of terrible denunciation which Elijah spoke. And who is Jezebel? Oh! The very same who wrote the letters and had Naboth put to death. And what is Jezreel? The place where Naboth had his vineyard and where Naboth died, his life pounded out by stones in the hands of ruffians. “And when Jehu was come to Jezreel, Jezebel heard of it; and she painted her face, and tired her head, and looked out at a window.”Just here I think of what the poet, Leslie Savage Clark, wrote:

From the palace casement she looked down,
Queenly, scornful, proud,
And watched with cold indifferent eyes
The weary ragged crowd.
Of the wage of sin she never thought,
Nor that a crown might fall …
Nor did she note the hungry dogs
Skulking along the wall.

And as Jehu, the new king by the will and word of the lord, entered in at the gate, she asked: “Had Zimri peace who slew his master?” And Jehu lifted up his face to the window and said, “Who is on my side? who? And there looked out to him two or three eunuchs. And he said, Throw her down” (II Kings 9:30-33).

These men put their strong men’s fingers into her soft feminine flesh and picked her up, tired head and all, painted face and all, bejeweled fingers and all, silken skirts and all — and threw her down. Her body hit the street and burst open. Some of her blood splattered on the legs of Jehu’s horses, dishonoring them. Some of her blood splattered on the walls of the city, disgracing them.

And Jehu drove his horses and chariot over her. There she lies, twisting in death agony in the street. Her body is crushed by the chariot wheels. On her white bosom are the black crescent-shapes of horses’ hoofs. She is hissing like an adder in the fire. Jehu drove away and left her there.

And when he was come in he did eat and drink, and said, Go, see now this cursed woman, and bury her: for she is a king’s daughter. And they went to bury her: hut they found no more of her than the skull, and the feet, and the palms of her hands (II Kings 9:34, 35).

God Almighty saw to it that the hungry dogs despised the brains that conceived the plot that took Naboth’s life. God Almighty saw to it that the mangy lean dogs of the back alleys despised the hands that wrote the plot that took Naboth’s life. God Almighty saw to it that the lousy dogs which ate carrion despised the feet that walked in Baal’s courts and then in Naboth’s vineyard.These soldiers of Jehu went back to Jehu and said: “We went to bury her, O king, but the dogs had eaten her!”

And Jehu replied:

This is the word of the Lord, which he spake by his servant Elijah the Tishbite saying, In the portion of Jezreel shall dogs eat the flesh of Jezebel. And the carcase of Jezebel shall be as dung upon the face of the field in the portion of Jezreel; so that they shall not say, This is Jezebel (II Kings 9:36, 37).

Thus perished a female demon, the most infamous queen who ever wore a royal diadem.“Payday Someday!” God said it — and it was done! Yes, and from this we learn the power and certainty of God in carrying out His own retributive providence, that men might know that His justice slumbereth not. Even though the mill of God grinds slowly, it grinds to powder.

Yes, the judgments of God often have leaden heels and travel slowly. But they always have iron hands and crush completely.

And when I see Ahab fall in his chariot and when I see the dogs eating Jezebel by the walls of Jezreel, I say, as the Scripture saith: “O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments; then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea” (Isa. 48:18). And as I remember that the gains of ungodliness are weighted with the curse of God, I ask you: “‘Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not?” (Isa. 55:2).

And the only way I know for any man or woman on earth to escape the sinner’s payday on earth and the sinner’s hell beyond — making sure of the Christian’s payday on earth and the Christian’s heaven beyond the Christian’s payday — is through Christ Jesus, who took the sinner’s place upon the Cross, becoming for all sinners all that God must judge, that sinners through faith in Christ Jesus might become all that God cannot judge. Pay Day Some Day.

Archived by Robert L. Cobb
-Administrator, News For Christians Dot Com

 

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Mike Huckabee to Osama bin Laden: “Welcome to Hell” (Part 8)Woody Allen’s movie “Crimes and Misdemeanors” is a perfect example of why hell the only “enforcement factor”

Crimes & Misdemeanors (pictured is Judah and his criminal brother, ultimately his brother hires a hitman to take out Judah’s girlfriend who threatens to turn Judah over to the cops) Crimes And Misdemeanors 1989 9/13 Adrian Rogers – Crossing God’s Deadline Part 4 crimes & misdemeanors Best scene of the movie!!!! _________________________________ John Brummett in […]

Tim Tebow’s Christian faith not abandoned in locker room

I am thrilled to get the chance to share the following article with you today. I got a call from Tim Keown who is a writer for ESPN Magazine a few days ago. He had read a post from my blog on Tim Tebow and wanted to ask me some questions. One of my answers […]

What is God doing with Tim Tebow? Fellowship Bible pastor of Little Rock ponders…

Everyone is wondering if this amazing fourth quarter comeback streak will end for the Denver Broncos and their quarterback Tim Tebow. At the December 11, 2011 early service at Fellowship Bible Church, pastor Mark Henry noted: How many of you have been watching the drama behind Tim Tebow. Tim Tebow is the starting quarterback for […]

Carl Sagan versus RC Sproul

At the end of this post is a message by RC Sproul in which he discusses Sagan. Over the years I have confronted many atheists. Here is one story below: I really believe Hebrews 4:12 when it asserts: For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the […]

Evangelicals react to Christopher Hitchens’ death plus video clips of Hitchens debate (part 4)

DEBATE William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens Does God Exist 11 Below are some reactions of evangelical leaders to the news of Christopher Hitchens’ death: DEBATE William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens Does God Exist 12     DEBATE William Lane Craig vs Christopher Hitchens Does God Exist 13 The Christian Post > World|Fri, Dec. […]

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

E P I S O D E 6 How Should We Then Live 6#1 I am sharing with you a film series that I saw in 1979. In this film Francis Schaeffer asserted that was a shift in Modern Science. A. Change in conviction from earlier modern scientists.B. From an open to a closed natural system: […]

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Francis Schaeffer predicted assisted suicide would come (“Schaeffer Sundays” Part 3)

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THREE TELLING ARGUMENTS AGAINST EVOLUTION by Adrian Rogers (Part 1 of series on Evolution)jh57

The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 1 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2 http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASG http://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog _____________________________________ Do you think the theory of evolution is true? Check out this short article by Adrian Rogers: “O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and […]

Is the Bible historically accurate? (Part 13)

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Ronald Wilson Reagan (Pro-life) Part 32

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 49 Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

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

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

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

Harry Kroto

____________________

Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. Harry Kroto:

________________________

Did Jesus Rise From The Dead -Bart Ehrman Vs William Lane Craig

Bart D. Ehrman

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Ehrman” redirects here. For another historian, see John Ehrman.
Bart D. Ehrman
Bart-d-ehrman-2012-wikipedia.jpg

Professor Bart D. Ehrman, Ph.D., M.Div.
Born October 5, 1955 (age 59)
Lawrence, Kansas, United States
Nationality American
Education BA (1978), MDiv (1981), PhD (1985)
Alma mater Moody Bible Institute
Wheaton College
Princeton Theological Seminary
Employer The Department of Religious Studies, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Known for New Testament authenticationand textual variants, historical Jesus, early Christian writings, orthodox corruption of scripture.
Spouse(s) Sarah Beckwith
Children Kelly and Derek
Website www.bartdehrman.com

Bart D. Ehrman /ərmən/ (born October 5, 1955) is an American New Testament scholar, currently the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a leading scholar in his field, having written and edited over 25 books, including three college textbooks, and has also achieved acclaim at the popular level, authoring five New York Times bestsellers. Ehrman’s work focuses on textual criticism of the New Testament, the historical Jesus, and the development of early Christianity.

Bart Ehrman vs. James White Debate P1

Education[edit]

Ehrman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas, and attended Lawrence High School, where he was on the state champion debate team in 1973. He began studying the Bible and its original languages at Moody Bible Institute, where he earned the school’s three-year diploma in 1976.[1] He is a 1978 graduate of Wheaton College in Illinois, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He received his PhD and M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary, where he studied under Bruce Metzger. He received magna cum laude for both his BA in 1978 and PhD in 1985.[2]

Was the New Testament Forged? Darrell Bock vs. Bart D. Ehrman

Career[edit]

Ehrman became an Evangelical Christian as a teenager. In his books, he recounts his youthful enthusiasm as a born-again, fundamentalist Christian, certain that God had inspired the wording of the Bible and protected its texts from all error.[1] His desire to understand the original words of the Bible led him to the study of ancient languages and also textual criticism. During his graduate studies, however, he became convinced that there are contradictions and discrepancies in the biblical manuscripts that could not be harmonized or reconciled. He remained a liberal Christian for 15 years but later became an agnostic after struggling with the philosophical problems of evil and suffering.[1]

Ehrman has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 1988, after four years of teaching at Rutgers University. At UNC he has served as both the Director of Graduate Studies and the Chair of the Department of Religious Studies. He was the recipient of the 2009 J. W. Pope “Spirit of Inquiry” Teaching Award, the 1993 UNC Undergraduate Student Teaching Award, the 1994 Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Award for excellence in teaching.[2]

Ehrman currently serves as co-editor of the series New Testament Tools, Studies, and Documents (E. J. Brill), co-editor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae, and on several other editorial boards for journals and monographs. Ehrman formerly served as President of the Southeast Region of the Society of Biblical Literature, chair of the New Testament textual criticism section of the Society, book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature, and editor of the monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers (Scholars Press).[2]

Ehrman speaks extensively throughout the United States and has participated in many public debates, including debates with William Lane Craig, Dinesh D’Souza, Mike Licona, Craig A. Evans, Daniel B. Wallace, Richard Swinburne,Peter J. Williams, James White, Darrell Bock and Michael L. Brown.

In 2006 and 2009 he appeared on The Colbert Report,[3][4] as well as The Daily Show,[5] to promote his books Misquoting Jesus, and Jesus, Interrupted (respectively).

Ehrman has appeared on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, Dateline NBC, CNN, and NPR’s Fresh Air and his writings have been featured in TIME, Newsweek, The New York Times,The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.[6]

Bart Ehrman vs. James White Debate P2

_____________________________

In  the second video below in the 86th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

___________

Quote from Bart Ehrman:

In the book THE TEXTUAL RELIABILITY OF THE NEW TESTAMENT: A DIALOGUE by Bart Ehrman and Daniel B. Wallace and in the film series RENOWNED ACADEMICS SPEAKING ABOUT GOD, Dr. Ehrman noted:

The Bible is the most widely purchased, most thoroughly read, most broadly misunderstood book in the history of human civilization. One of the things that people misunderstand, of course—especially my nineteen-year-old students from North Carolina—is that when we’re reading the Bible, we’re not actually reading the words of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, or Paul. We’re reading translations of those words from the Greek of the New Testament. And something is always lost in translation. Not only that, we’re not reading translations of the originals of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, or Paul, because we don’t have the originals of any of the books of the New Testament. What we have are copies made centuries later—in most instances, many centuries later. These thousands of copies that we have all differ from one another in lots of little ways, and sometimes in big ways. There are places where we don’t know what the authors of the New Testament originally wrote. For some Christians, that’s not a big problem because they don’t have a high view of Scripture. For others, it’s a big problem indeed. What does it mean to say that God inspired the words of the text if we don’t have the words? Moreover, why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if he didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words? If he meant to give us his very words, why didn’t he make sure we received them?

________

I have two responses to Dr. Ehrman’s assertions. First, the Bible is the most well preserved ancient historical document in the world today and you can look at the Dead Sea Scrolls if you want to see how well the Old Testament was preserved over the centuries or you can look the manuscript evidence that Matt Slick provides in the article below concerning the New Testament. In both cases it is amazing how well God preserved these manuscripts for us. I agree with Slick’s conclusion, “The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing.”

Second, I do have a “high view of Scripture” as Dr Ehrman used to when he was an evangelical  and I think that evidence from biblical archaeology backs up my view that the scriptures are historically accurate. I have included some of that evidence below and also a letter of April 14, 2015 written to Dr. Ehrman that included some evidence of that sort.

Manuscript evidence for superior New Testament reliability

by Matt Slick

The New Testament is constantly under attack, and its reliability and accuracy are often contested by critics. If the critics want to disregard the New Testament, then they must also disregard other ancient writings by Plato, Aristotle, and Homer.  This is because the New Testament documents are better preserved and more numerous than any other ancient writings. Because they are so numerous, they can be cross checked for accuracy . . . and they are very consistent.

There are presently 5,686 Greek manuscripts in existence today for the New Testament.1 If we were to compare the number of New Testament manuscripts to other ancient writings, we find that the New Testament manuscripts far outweigh the others in quantity.2

Author Date
Written
Earliest Copy Approximate Time Span between original & copy Number of Copies Accuracy of Copies
Lucretius died 55 or 53 B.C. 1,100 yrs 2 —-
Pliny A.D. 61-113 A.D. 850 750 yrs 7 —-
Plato 427-347 B.C. A.D. 900 1,200 yrs 7 —-
Demosthenes 4th Cent. B.C. A.D. 1100 800 yrs 8 —-
Herodotus 480-425 B.C. A.D. 900 1,300 yrs 8 —-
Suetonius A.D. 75-160 A.D. 950 800 yrs 8 —-
Thucydides 460-400 B.C. A.D. 900 1,300 yrs 8 —-
Euripides 480-406 B.C. A.D. 1100 1,300 yrs 9 —-
Aristophanes 450-385 B.C. A.D. 900 1200 10 —-
Caesar 100-44 B.C. A.D. 900 1,000 10 —-
Livy 59 BC-AD 17 —- ??? 20 —-
Tacitus circa A.D. 100 A.D. 1100 1,000 yrs 20 —-
Aristotle 384-322 B.C. A.D. 1100 1,400 49 —-
Sophocles 496-406 B.C. A.D. 1000 1,400 yrs 193 —-
Homer (Iliad) 900 B.C. 400 B.C. 500 yrs 643 95%
New
Testament
1st Cent. A.D. (A.D. 50-100) 2nd Cent. A.D.
(c. A.D. 130 f.)
less than 100 years 5600 99.5%

As you can see, there are thousands more New Testament Greek manuscripts than any other ancient writing. The internal consistency of the New Testament documents is about 99.5% textually pure. That is an amazing accuracy. In addition, there are over 19,000 copies in the Syriac, Latin, Coptic, and Aramaic languages. The total supporting New Testament manuscript base is over 24,000.

Almost all Biblical scholars agree that the New Testament documents were all written before the close of the First Century. If Jesus was crucified in A.D. 30., then that means the entire New Testament was completed within 70 years. This is important because it means there were plenty of people around when the New Testament documents were penned–people who could have contested the writings. In other words, those who wrote the documents knew that if they were inaccurate, plenty of people would have pointed it out. But, we have absolutely no ancient documents contemporary with the First Century that contest the New Testament texts.

Furthermore, another important aspect of this discussion is the fact that we have a fragment of the Gospel of John that dates back to around 29 years from the original writing (John Rylands Papyri A.D. 125). This is extremely close to the original writing date. This is simply unheard of in any other ancient writing, and it demonstrates that the Gospel of John is a First Century document.

Below is a chart with some of the oldest extant New Testament manuscripts compared to when they were originally penned. Compare these time spans with the next closest, which is Homer’sIliad, where the closest copy from the original is 500 years later. Undoubtedly, that period of time allows for more textual corruption in its transmission. How much less so for the New Testament documents?

Important
Manuscript
Papyri
Contents Date
Original Written
MSS
Date
Approx.
Time Span
Location
p52
(John Rylands
Fragment)3
John 18:31-33, 37-38 circa
A.D. 96
circa
A.D.
125
29 yrs John Rylands Library, Manchester, England
P46
(Chester Beatty Papyrus)
Rom. 5:17-6:3, 5-14, 8:15-25, 27-35,10:1-11, 22, 24-33, 35, 16:1-23, 25-27, Heb., 1 & 2 Cor., Eph., Gal., Phil., Col., 1 Thess. 1:1, 9-10, 2:1-3, 5:5-9, 23-28 50’s-70’s circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
150 yrs
Chester Beatty Museum, Dublin & Ann Arbor, Michigan, University of Michigan library
P66
(Bodmer Papyrus)
John 1:1-6:11, 35-14:26, fragment of 14:29-21:9 70’s circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
130 yrs
Cologne, Geneva
P67 Matt. 3:9, 15, 5:20-22, 25-28 circa
A.D.
200
Approx.
130 yrs
Barcelona, Fundacion San Lucas Evangelista, P. Barc.1

If the critics of the Bible dismiss the New Testament as reliable information, then they must also dismiss the reliability of the writings of Plato, Aristotle, Caesar, Homer, and the other authors mentioned in the chart at the beginning of the paper. On the other hand, if the critics acknowledge the historicity and writings of those other individuals, then they must also retain the historicity and writings of the New Testament authors, after all, the evidence for the New Testament’s reliability is far greater than the others. The Christian has substantially superior criteria for affirming the New Testament documents than he does for any other ancient writing. It is good evidence on which to base the trust in the reliability of the New Testament.

  • 1.Norman Geisler & Peter Bocchino, Unshakeable Foundations, (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2001) p. 256.
  • 2.The above chart was adapted from three sources: 1) Christian Apologetics, by Norman Geisler, 1976, p. 307, 2) the article “Archaeology and History attest to the Reliability of the Bible,” by Richard M. Fales, Ph.D., in The Evidence Bible, Compiled by Ray Comfort, Bridge-Logos Publishers, Gainesville, FL, 2001, p. 163, and 3) A Ready Defense, by Josh Mcdowell, 1993, p. 45.
  • 3.“Deissmann was convinced that p52 was written well within the reign of Hadrian (A.D. 117-38) and perhaps even during the time of Trajan (A.D. 98-117)” (Footnote #2 found on pg. 39 of The Text of the New Testament, by Bruce M. Metzger, 2nd Ed. 1968, Oxford University Press, NY, NY). Bruce Metzger has authored more than 50 books. He holds two Masters Degrees, a Ph.D. and has been awarded several honorary doctorates. “He is past president of the Society of Biblical Literature, the International Society for New Testament Studies, and the North American Patristic Society.”–From, The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel, Zondervan Publishers, 1998, Grand Rapids, MI: pg. 57.

April 14, 2015

Dear Dr. Ehrman,

I have really enjoyed listening to your You Tube videos and I really liked the debate you did with William Lane Craig. In that debate you said you went to Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College. I WONDER IF YOU GOT TO HEAR MY HERO FRANCIS SCHAEFFER SPEAK IN PERSON?  I know that he visited both locations  both in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I just purchased 88 of his messages given on Moody Bible Radio Broadcasts and I know that his first three books were actually transcripts from his speeches at Wheaton in 1967.

As you can tell from reading this letter I am an evangelical Christian and I have made it a hobby of mine to correspond with scientists or academics like yourself over the last 25 years. Some of those who corresponded back with me have been  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn BranchGeoff Harcourt (1931-) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-). I would consider it an honor to add you to this very distinguished list. 

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

I THINK DARWIN OPENED UP ABOUT HIS MOST INNER FEELINGS MUCH MORE THAN HE HAS BEEN GIVEN CREDIT FOR AND THAT IS WHAT I WROTE YOU ABOUT TODAY SINCE YOU ALSO DEALT WITH THIS SAME ISSUE OF LOSING YOUR BECAUSE OF THE PROBLEM OF EVIL!!!!!! Since I wrote you about that issue last time, I am going to just focus on the evolution of his religious views and I thought you could relate to these. By the way there is an article by J. Warner Wallace that discusses some of your views that I thought you may be interested in (Investigating Bart Ehrman’s Top Ten Troublesome Bible Verses).

 Just like Darwin you lost your faith not  overnight but it was  over time. I am sure that you love music like I do and that would make you even more curious about Darwin’s later life.  I read the book Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters  and was surprised because of what Darwin said about science causing him to lose his aesthetic tastes. I am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

 CHARLES DARWIN’S AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Addendum. Written May 1st, 1881 [the year before his death].

“I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds, such as the works of Milton, Gray, Byron, Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Shelley, gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dull that it nauseated me. I have also almost lost my taste for pictures or music. Music generally sets me thinking too energetically on what I have been at work on, instead of giving me pleasure. I retain some taste for fine scenery, but it does not cause me the exquisite delight which it formerly did….My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness, and may possibly be injurious to the intellect, and more probably to the moral character, by enfeebling the emotional part of our nature.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is the old man Darwin writing at the end of his life. What he is saying here is the further he has gone on with his studies the more he has seen himself reduced to a machine as far as aesthetic things are concerned. I think this is crucial because as we go through this we find that his struggles and my sincere conviction is that he never came to the logical conclusion of his own position, but he nevertheless in the death of the higher qualities as he calls them, art, music, poetry, and so on, what he had happen to him was his own theory was producing this in his own self just as his theories a hundred years later have produced this in our culture. 

Darwin, C. R. to Fordyce, John7 May 1879

“I may state that my judgment often fluctuates . . . In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.”

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

What we find now is that he comes to the place in being agnostic, but as we read through this section on religion what we find is in reality his reason leads him against this position, which is interesting but his theory makes him accept the  position of agnosticism….. I think what you have in Darwin is a magnificent example, although a sad one of what I lecture on in apologetics,  and that is if a man takes a set of nonchristian presuppositions he is forced eventually to be in a place of tension. The more consistent he is with his own nonchristian presuppositions the more he is away from the real world. When he is closer to the real world then he is more illogical to his own presuppositions.

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D.2 Apr 1873

“But I  may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, either a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance and Darwin understood this . You will notice that he divides it into the same exact two points that Paul does in Romans chapter one into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two steps that man is confronted with…

______________

Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP) 18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]

In 1879 Charles Darwin was applied to by a German student, in a similar manner. The letter was answered by a member of my father’s family, who wrote:–

“Mr. Darwin…considers that the theory of Evolution is quite compatible with the belief in a God; but that you must remember that different persons have different definitions of what they mean by God.” 

Francis Schaeffer commented:

You find a great confusion in his writings although there is a general structure in them. Here he says the word “God” is alright but you find later what he doesn’t take is a personal God. Of course, what you open is the whole modern linguistics concerning the word “God.” is God a pantheistic God? What kind of God is God? Darwin says there is nothing incompatible with the word “God.”

This, however, did not satisfy the German youth, who again wrote to my father, and received from him the following reply:—

” Science has nothing to do with Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation.”

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he has come to the place as an old man that he doesn’t believe there has been any revelation. In his younger years he held a different position.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—“During these two years* (ft note *October 1836 to January 1839.) I was led to think much about religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

So you find that as a younger man he did accept the Bible. As an older man he has given up revelation but he is not satisfied with his own answers. He is caught in the tension that modern man is caught in. He is a prefiguration  of the modern man and he himself contributed to. Then Darwin goes on and tells us why he gave up the Bible.

Darwin went on to write:

I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1836, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, he would permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, &c., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament? This appeared to me utterly incredible.

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.

Darwin continued:

“BUT I WAS VERY UNWILLING  TO GIVE UP MY BELIEF; I feel sure of this, for I can well remember often and often inventing day-dreams of old letters between distinguished Romans, and manuscripts being discovered at Pompeii or elsewhere, which confirmed in the most striking manner all that was written in the Gospels.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty. I think he didn’t want to come to the position where his accepted presuppositions were driving him. He didn’t want to give it up, just as an older man he understood where it would lead…

———–

The area of Biblical Archaeology has advanced so much since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century!!!!! ASK YOURSELF THIS SIMPLE QUESTION BEFORE YOU PUT YOUR FAITH IN THE ACCURACY OF THE SCRIPTURES: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

Darwin also noted:

“But I found it more and more difficult, with free scope given to my imagination, to invent evidence which would suffice to convince me. Thus disbelief crept over me at a very slow rate, but was at last complete. THE RATE WAS SLOW that I felt no distress. Although I did not think much about the existence of a personal God until a considerably later period of my life,”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

So there is something deficient in his position from the beginning. The word of God if it is going to mean something, must mean a personal God. The word “God” is without much meaning otherwise.

_________________

Francis Schaeffer noted that in Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography that Darwin he is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

“At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons.Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become COLOUR-BLIND.”

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic, these things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that Darwin’s presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is for a very, very , very simple reason: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. He has no answer in his logic and he is left in tension.  He dies and has become less than human because these two great things (such as any kind of art and the beauty of  nature) that would make him human  stand against his theory.

________________

Darwin like you was consistent with his view of the UNIFORMITY OF  NATURAL CAUSES in a closed system and it cost him the love of music, art and the beauty of nature. TWO OTHER ALSO HELD THIS SAME view  of uniformity of natural causes in a closed system in 1978 when their hit song DUST IN THE WIND rose to the top 10 in the music charts.

_______________________________________

IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? I sent you a CD that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

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

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

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

_____________________________

Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

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

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #96)

 

We should take one last step back into the history of the Old Testament. In the previous note we looked first at the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating to around 100 B.C. Then we went back to the period of the Late Monarchy and looked first at the siege of Hezekiah in Jerusalem by Sennacherib in 701 B.C. and also at the last years of Judah down to about 600 B.C. Then we went further back to about 850 B.C., to Ahab and Jezebel, the ivory house, the Black Obelisk, the Moabite Stone and so on–then back again to about 950 B.C., to the time of Solomon and his son Rehoboam and the campaign by Shishak, the Egyptian pharaoh.

This should have built up in our minds a vivid impression of the historic reliability of the biblical text, including even the seemingly obscure details such as the ration tablets in Babylon. We saw, in other words, not only that the Bible gives us a marvelous world view that ties in with the nature of reality and answers the basic problems which philosophers have asked down through the centuries, but also that the Bible is completely reliable, EVEN ON THE HISTORICAL LEVEL.

The previous notes looked back to the time of Moses and Joshua, the escape from Egypt, and the settlement in Canaan. Now we will go back further–back as far as Genesis 12, near the beginning of the Bible.

Do we find that the narrative fades away to a never-never land of myths and legends? By no means. For we have to remind ourselves that although Genesis 12 deals with events a long time ago from our moment of history (about 2000 B.C. or a bit later), the civilized world was already not just old but ancient when Abram/Abraham left “Ur of the Chaldeans” (see Genesis 11:31).

Ur itself was excavated some fifty years ago. In the British Museum, for example, one can see the magnificent contents of a royal burial chamber from Ur. This includes a gold headdress still in position about the head of a queen who died in Ur about 2500 B.C. It has also been possible to reconstruct from archaeological remains what the streets and buildings must have been like at the time.

Like Ur, the rest of the world of the patriarchs (that is, of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) was firm reality. Such places as Haran, where Abraham went first, have been discovered. So has Shechem from this time, with its Canaanite stone walls, which are still standing, and its temple.

Genesis 12:5-9New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions which they had accumulated, and the [a]persons which they had acquired in Haran, and they [b]set out for the land of Canaan; thus they came to the land of Canaan. Abram passed through the land as far as the site of Shechem, to the[c]oak of Moreh. Now the Canaanite was then in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your [d]descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord andcalled upon the name of the Lord. Abram journeyed on, continuing toward the[e]Negev.

Haran and Shechem may be unfamiliar names to us but the Negrev (or Negeb) is a name we have all read frequently in the news accounts of our own day. 

Negev Nuclear Research Center – Israel

The Negev – Israel’s Desert

This article was first published in the Spring 2005 issue of Bible and Spade.
“If the full meaning of a passage [in the Bible] is to be grasped, the context of the passage needs to be appropriately developed” (Greenwold 2004: 72). In his pithy study of Luke’s Gospel account of Elizabeth and Zachariah, Greenwold gives an example of what he means: “All too often in our church lifetime, we end up being given many theological and doctrinal factual ornaments, but seldom are we shown the tree upon which to hang them. It’s as if we have been handed dozens of pieces to a puzzle, but have never seen what the finished picture on the top of the puzzle box looks like” (2004: 73). I think that Greenwold has it right.
Jesus and the woman at Jacob’s well in John 4 is an excellent case in point. The story takes place near the Old Testament city of Shechem. Shechem is mentioned 60 times in the Old Testament. The city had been abandoned by New Testament times, but Stephen reiterates its importance in his speech in Acts 7:16. A small village, Sychar, was near the ruins of Shechem in New Testament times and is mentioned in the John 4 account (Jn 4:5). Unfortunately, most Bible studies of events at or near Shechem, and commentaries on the Book of John, omit Shechem’s pivotal role in Bible history and how it fit into God’s salvation plan.
 
The narrow pass where ancient Shechem is located at the modern city of Nablus, view west. Mt. Gerizim is on the left and Mt. Ebal on the right. Dr. James C. Martin.
Archaeological investigations have corroborated much of what the Bible has to say about Shechem’s physical and cultural aspects. Archaeology has confirmed Shechem’s location, its history, and many Biblical details. In this article I will integrate what archaeology has illuminated about this important place and its geographical importance with a macro look at Shechem’s place in revealing God’s promise and plan to restore believers to Him.1
Map of Shechem area showing the location of Tell Balata (ancient Shechem), Joseph’s tomb and Jacob’s Well. ASOR, 2002.
Location and Exploration
About 30 mi (49 km) north of Jerusalem is a low, 15-acre mound, known as Tell Balata. This nondescript ruin covers what was ancient Shechem. The tell rests in a long, narrow, east-west valley with the two highest mountains in central Palestine towering over it, Mt. Ebal on the north and Mt. Gerizim on the south. The Hebrew word shekemmeans “back” or “shoulder,” which probably refers to Shechem’s placement between the two mountains. Coming from the south, the major road from Beersheba, Hebron and Jerusalem splits here. One branch goes east, around Mt. Ebal, and provides access to the Jordan Valley and cities like Beth Shan. The western arm leads to the coastal plain and cities to the north such as Samaria and Dothan. Thus, ancient Shechem and its modern counterpart, Nablus, are in a very strategic location along the watershed road between Judah, the Jordan Valley, Transjordan, and the Galilee.2
In 1903, a group of German scholars under the direction of H. Tiersch examined Tell Balata and concluded it was ancient Shechem. Until that time there had been controversy over whether Tell Balata, or the modern city of Nablus nearby, was the location of ancient Shechem. Tiersch’s identification has never been seriously questioned.
E. Sellin led an Austro-German excavation team to Tell Balata in 1913 and 1914. His work was interrupted by World War I. Sellin began work again in 1926 and continued until 1936. Work was resumed in 1956 by an American team under the direction of G. E. Wright and B. W. Anderson. The latest season of excavations at Tell Balata was in 1973 under the direction of W. G. Dever (Campbell 1993: 1347; Seger 1997:21).
Aerial view of the ruins of Shechem. On the right is the Middle Bronze fortification wall and in the upper center the “Migdal,” or fortress, temple. Holy Land Satellite Atlas, 1999, p. 100.
Abram at Shechem
The first mention of Shechem in the Bible is Genesis 12:6, when Abram first entered Canaan. It is succinctly described: “Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem.” At that time, God promised Abram, “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). The next mention of Shechem is 11 chapters, and about 200 years, later, when the Bible records that Jacob, Abram’s grandson, “camped within sight of the city” (Gn 33:18).
Assuming a conservative dating for the Patriarchal events in the Bible,3 note that Abram camped in Canaan about 2090 BC and there is no mention of a city. However, when Jacob arrived 200 hundred years later, around 1890 BC, the Bible notes that he “camped within sight of the city [Shechem].” In the original Hebrew, the word translated in our English Bible as “city” meant a permanent, walled settlement (Hansen 2003:81, Wood 1999:23). Genesis 34:20 and 24 report that Shechem had a city gate; therefore it was fortified.
Can archaeology clarify if there was or was not a city? Yes. The absence of a “city” and walls at Tell Balata when Abram came through and the existence of a city in the time of Jacob is in complete agreement with what the Bible indicates is Shechem’s early history.
Excavations have revealed that the earliest urbanization at Tell Balata was in MB I (Levels XXII-XXI), about 1900–1750 BC. MB I was when Jacob lived by the city of Shechem. Prior to MB I, in the time of Abram’s visit, archaeology has demonstrated that there was a gap in settlement and an absence of fortification walls. Thus, there was no “city” for Abram to reference, as the Bible correctly infers (Campbell 1993: 1347).
Jacob and Joseph at Shechem
What was the city like when Jacob settled there? Archaeologists have revealed that Tell Balata in MB I had structures with mudbrick walls on stone foundations and they have found an abundance of artifacts typical of domestic living (Toombs 1992: 1179). The Bible records that during Jacob’s stay he purchased land near Shechem. This parcel would become the place where his son, Joseph, would later be entombed (Jos 24:32). The tumultuous Dinah affair also occurred during Jacob’s stay at Shechem. Its aftermath resulted in the murder of Shechem’s male population by two of Jacob’s sons (Gn 33–34). Subsequently, God told Jacob to move to Bethel (Gn 35:1) and then on to Hebron (Gn 35:7).
The next Biblical mention of Shechem is in connection with the story of 17-year-old Joseph, Jacob’s son, who was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers (Gn 37). In the account, Joseph’s brothers were grazing the family’s flocks near Shechem when Jacob sent Joseph to inquire of them. After looking for them at Shechem, he found them a short distance north at Dothan. There, the brothers conspired to sell Joseph into slavery, setting the stage for the subsequent accounts of Joseph’s rise to power, Jacob and his family moving to Egypt and, later, Israel’s oppression by Egyptian Pharaohs.
The earliest known extra-Biblical written record of Shechem comes from the Middle Bronze period. It is an inscription on a stele (an upright standing stone) of an Egyptian, Khu-Sebek, who was a nobleman in the court of Sesostris III (ca. 1880–1840 BC). It was found in 1901 by the renowned archaeologist J. Garstang at Abydos, Egypt. King Sesostris III became ruler shortly after Jacob was at Shechem, and he was probably the king when Jacob died in Egypt. Khu-Sebek’s stele describes how the king’s army campaigned in a foreign country named Sekmem (Shechem) and how “Sekmem fell” (Toombs 1992: 1179). W. Shea believes that the campaign on Khu-Sebek’s stele is none other than the Egyptians’ account of the military encounters experienced by the entourage accompanying Joseph when Jacob’s embalmed body was brought to Canaan for entombment at Machpelah (Gn 50:12–14) (Shea 1992: 38 ff.).
Khu-Sebek’s stele reveals that as early as the 19th century BC, Shechem was an important strategic location and a place worthy of mention in a notable Egyptian’s biography.
Stela of Khu-Sebek. He is shown seated, accompanied by members of his family, his nurse, and the superintendent of the cabinet. Discovered by British archaeologist John Garstang at Abydos, Egypt, in 1901, the stela is now on display in the museum of the University of Manchester, England. Mike Luddeni.
Joshua at Shechem
A little over 400 years later, God rescued the Israelites from Egyptian bondage and led them through the desert wilderness for 40 years. Near the end of this sojourn, their leader Moses said that once they entered the land God had promised them (at Shechem, see Gn 12:7!), they were to erect an altar on Mt. Ebal (Dt 27:4) and read portions of the Law while the people were assembled before Mounts Ebal and Gerizim (Dt 11:26–30; 27:12, 13).
As I noted above, the mountains of Ebal and Gerizim overlook the valley wherein lay Shechem. The mountains form a natural amphitheater in which the recitation of the Law could easily be heard. Despite the mountains’ heights (Ebal is 3,083 ft [940 m] and Gerizim is 2,890 ft [881 m]), there are many contemporary accounts of people speaking from the slopes of the mountains and being heard in the valley below. Even with the noise of the busy modern city of Nablus, I myself have been in the park at the top of Gerizim and clearly heard the voices of children playing in the Balata refugee camp at Gerizim’s base.
Joshua fulfilled Moses’ instructions and led the people directly to Gerizim and Ebal after defeating the stronghold at Ai (Jos 7–8). Assuming an “early Exodus” date (1446 BC), the Israelite entry into Canaan, after 40 years in the wilderness, was approximately 1406 BC, in the Late Bronze (LB) IB period.4 LB IB corresponds with Tell Balata’s Level XIV (Campbell 1993: 1347; Toombs 1992: 1178). During the 350 years of the previous MB period, the city had been fortified with earthen embankments and cyclopean wall fortifications. However, Shechem was destroyed around 1540 BC. The ferocity of the destruction resulted in debris covering the city up to a depth of 5.25 ft (1.6 m). It is surmised that the Egyptian armies of Ahmose I or Amenhotep I were the aggressors (Toombs 1992: 1182).
About 90 years after that catastrophe the city was rebuilt early in the LB I period, around 1450 BC. Level XIV corresponds to this date and is noted for the reconstruction of the city’s defensive walls, homes, and a well built, fortress-type, temple. This Level XIV occupation was the city at which Joshua and the Israelites arrived to fulfill Moses’ orders to read the Law before Ebal and Gerizim around 1406 BC.
The Book of Joshua makes an interesting observation about that visit:
All Israel, aliens and citizens alike…. were standing on both sides of the ark of the covenant of the LORD, facing those who carried it…. There was not a word of all that Moses had commanded that Joshua did not read to the whole assembly of Israel, including the women and children, and the aliens who lived among them (Jos 8:33, 35).
It appears that the crowd who heard the words of the Law that day was composed of both Israelites and native Shechemites (aliens)! The Bible implies that both Shechemites and Israelites co-existed at Shechem. This unusual situation can be further confirmed by the fact that Shechem became one of only three Israelite Cities of Refuge on the west side of the Jordan River, as well as being a city of the Levitical priesthood (Jos 20:7; 21:21). All this occurred even though there is no record in the Bible of it being taken in battle.5
Years later, Joshua again gathered the Israelites at Shechem (Jos 24). He reminded them of God’s promises and how He had fulfilled those promises and delivered them from diversities. Joshua then challenged the people to say whom they would serve and they promised to serve God (Jos 24:14–20). The renewal ceremony between the Israelites and God recognized the promises God made to Abraham (Gn 12:7; 17:7, 8), Jacob, and the people at Sinai through Moses (Ex 24:8).
The next event at Shechem in the Bible was the fulfillment of another promise: the burial of the Patriarch Joseph. Just before his death in Egypt, Joseph asked his brothers to bring his body back to the land “promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” when God delivered them from Egypt (Gn 50:24–25).
And Joseph’s bones, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem in the tract of land that Jacob bought for a hundred pieces of silver from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem. This became the inheritance of Joseph’s descendants (Jos 24:32).
Today, there is a place near Tell Balata venerated by the Jewish and Samaritan faiths as the traditional location of Joseph’s tomb. The shrine marking the tomb, and an associated Jewish school, were reduced to rubble in October 2000 in the wake of the most recent hostilities between the Palestinian Arabs and the State of Israel. Conflicting views have abounded as to whether this was, in fact, Joseph’s final resting place. Unfortunately, no archaeological excavations are known to have taken place at this site that could verify that this was the true location of the tomb of Joseph. Several ancient texts mention the site, but the exact location of Joseph’s tomb is still in question.
The discovery of a LB Egyptian library at Amarna has provided additional insights on the LB period. Letters in the library reveal Egypt’s relationship with Canaan’s rulers in the mid-14th century BC. Some of the letters disclose that the kings of Shechem were independent of Egypt. Further, Shechem’s rulers were criticized by other Canaanite rulers for cooperating with an invading group of desert people called the Habiru. Many conservative evangelical scholars (e.g., Wood 1997; 2003: 269–71) believe the Habiru were the Israelites of the early Judges period.
Letter from Labayu, king of Shechem, to the king of Egypt, probably Amenhotep III. It is defiant in tone, suggesting Labayu had a measure of independence from Egypt (Hess 1993). The letter, numbered El Amarna 252, is written in Akkadian cuneiform, albeit with Canaanite grammar and syntax, and is on display in the British Museum. Mike Luddeni.
Abimelech at Shechem
Later in Bible history, Abimelech, the son of Gideon’s Shechemite concubine (Jgs 8:31), colluded with some Shechemites to kill 70 of Abimelech’s brothers (Jgs 8:30–31; 9). However, Abimelech’s youngest brother Jotham survived (Jgs 9:5). Jotham climbed to the top of Mt. Gerizim and shouted to the Shechemites below. He foretold the destruction of the men of Shechem by fire (Jgs 9:7–21). Later in the same chapter we read that the people of Shechem rose against Abimelech’s leadership. In response, Abimelech fought against the city and razed it. During the attack the leaders of Shechem tried to save themselves in “the stronghold of the temple of El-berith” (Jgs 9:46). The story continues:
He [Abimelech] took an ax and cut off some branches, which he lifted to his shoulders. He ordered the men with him, “Quick! Do what you have seen me do!” So all the men cut branches and followed Abimelech. They piled them against the stronghold and set it on fire over the people inside. So all the people in the tower of Shechem, about a thousand men and women, also died (Jgs 9:48–49).
Archaeologists (e.g., E. Campbell, B. Mazar, G. E. Wright and L. Stager) refer to the “tower of Shechem” as “the Tower (migdal) Temple or Fortress-Temple” of Shechem (Campbell 1993: 1348, Stager 2003: 26 and 68 note 1). Stager recently reexamined the work of Wright who, in 1926, excavated a large building that has been reported to be this Fortress-Temple (Stager 2003). Stager’s conclusions are that this Temple, “Temple 1, ” was, in fact, the migdal referred to in Judges 9. It is the largest such Canaanite structure found in Israel and was 70 ft (21 m) wide, 86 ft (26 m) long with stone foundation walls 17 ft (5.1 m) thick. The foundation supported a multistory mudbrick and timber temple with an entrance flanked by two large towers. Stager hypothesized that the courtyard of this temple could have been where Joshua “took a large stone and set it up there under the oak near the holy place of the LORD” (Jos 24:26).
Stager (2003: 68) places the destruction of the Fortress-Temple around 1100 BC. So does Seger (1997: 22), who correlates the destruction debris found at Level XI as being from the Iron IA period. Campbell (1993: 1347) states that there was a “significant” destruction “around 1100 BCE” and guardedly concludes, “connecting Level XI with the story underlying Judges 9 is plausible” (1993: 1352).
Dating Shechem’s destruction to 1100 BC helps confirm the Biblical date of 1406 BC as the beginning of the Conquest in Canaan. To do this, it is necessary to know that immediately after we read in the Bible of Abimelech’s destruction of Shechem, Jephthah, the ninth Judge, appears (Jgs 11, 12). Jephthah was hired by Israelites who lived in Gilead, east of the Jordan River, to confront the Ammonites who had made war on them for 18 years. Jephthah first attempted diplomacy with the Ammonite king. He reminded the Ammonite king that the Israelites had been in the land east of the Jordan River for “300 years” (Jgs 11:21–26). Jephthah, of course, was referring to the time when Moses led the Israelites through that region and defeated numerous kings (Nm 21:21–31).
Thus, if Abimelech destroyed Shechem ca. 1125–1100 BC (Jgs 9), and Abimelech was a contemporary of Jephthah, the Conquest would have occurred about 300 years earlier, in ca. 1400 BC (1100 BC + 300 years = 1400 BC).
Shechem in the Time of the Divided Monarchy
The Bible sheds little light on Shechem’s role during the reigns of Saul, David or Solomon. Rehoboam, Solomon’s son, was next in line for the throne. All the Israelites assembled at Shechem to anoint Rehoboam king. Rehoboam, however, acted foolishly by chiding the northern tribes and telling them he would tax them heavily. In defense, the northern tribes retaliated by separating themselves from Rehoboam and the southern kingdom. The northern tribes made Jeroboam I king of their region. The country, formerly unified under David and Solomon, became divided. The northern region and tribes, led by Jeroboam I, was known as Israel. The southern area and tribes, first led by Rehoboam, is referred to as Judah in the Bible.
Levels X and IX at Tell Balata represent the Jeroboam I period and are noted for carefully built houses of selected stones. The discovery of stone foundations for stairs suggests two-story, four-room houses, typical homes of that period (Dever 1994: 80–81). Campbell concludes that Level IX (920–810 BC) has “tangible evidence of Jeroboam I’s rebuilding (1 Kg 12:25) and a return to city status” (1993: 1352–53).
The Assyrian invasion of Israel in 724 BC (2 Kgs 17:5–6) brought another destruction to Shechem. The evidence is in Level VII. Toombs noted that in Level VII the city was “reduced to a heap of ruins, completely covered by debris of fallen brickwork, burned beams and tumbled building stones,” typical examples of Assyrian thoroughness (1992: 1185). In addition to the destruction, the Assyrians placed exiled peoples from other nations into the region around Shechem, a common Assyrian practice (2 Kgs 17:23–24).
These new peoples added Yahweh to their own beliefs (2 Kgs 17:25–30). The new religion mimicked Judaism in many respects and Mt. Gerizim was made the center of its worship. New Testament practitioners of the cult are called “Samaritans,” which also referred to the people who lived in the vicinity (Mt 10:5; Lk 9:52, 10:53; 17:16; Jn 4:7, 9, 22, 39, 40; 8:48; Acts 8:25). A remnant of the ancient Samaritans still lives on Mt. Gerizim and they practice sacrifices there just as they did 2,700 years ago.7
Shechem in the Intertestamental Period
Between the Old and New Testaments, Shechem had a modest recovery and there is an abundance of evidence that excellent buildings were constructed in this, the Hellenistic, period (ca. 330–107 BC). It was during this time that the Samaritans built a large temple and sacrificial platform on Mt. Gerizim, the remains of which were still visible in Jesus’ day (Jn 4:20).
As fighting between the Ptolemies and Seleucids swirled around the country in the intertestamental period, physical decline again took place at Shechem. This decline culminated when the Jewish leader, John Hyrcanus, took advantage of the temporary absence of outside armies and destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mt. Gerizim (ca. 126 BC). He leveled the city in 107 BC. Shechem never recovered from this destruction and lay in ruins until identified by Tierschin 1901.
Shechem in the New Testament Period
Samaritans continued to live in the area during the following years, the Roman period. This is confirmed by the discovery of human burials from the period on the lower slopes of Mt. Ebal (Magen 1993: 1358–59). It is known that Samaritans also made several attempts to renew their cult worship on Mt. Gerizim. The Romans suppressed their efforts and in AD 72 constructed a new city, Flavia-Neapolis, about 1 mi (1.6 km) west of Tell Balata (Magen 2001: 40). This new city is now Nablus, a modern Arab city of about 120,000 people8 whose name is probably a corruption of Roman city, Neapolis.
About 500 yd (460 m) southeast of Tell Balata is an ancient well, venerated to be a well that Jacob, the Patriarch, dug when he lived there. Such a well is not mentioned in the Old Testament. There is a small Arab village, Askar, just north of the well. Most scholars associate Askar with Sychar, the village in John 4 near “Jacob’s well” (Jn 4:6). The authenticity of the well is not only based on its physical identification in John 4, but also on “the fact that all traditions-—Jewish, Samaritan, Christian and Muslim-—support it” (Stefanovic 1992: 608). Several churches in Christian history have been built on the site of the well and today it is located under a recently constructed Greek Orthodox church. Access to the well is gained by going down steps from the apse of the new church.
Jacob’s well as it appeared in the 1870s. In the right background is Mt. Gerizim with the tomb of the Arab sheikh, where the ruins of the Samaritan temple were located in New Testament times, visible at the peak.Todd Bolen.
Jacob’s well, at the base of Mt. Gerizim, is at the junction of the main road leading from Jerusalem in the south. Here, the road splits with the eastern branch going toward the Jordan Valley and the western branch leading to Nablus, and in NT times, Samaria and the Galilee. It is an excellent setting for one of the most important passages in the Bible-—the account of Jesus’ verbal Messianic announcement in the fourth chapter of John. In this passage Jesus meets a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, dialogues with her, and tells her He is the long-awaited Messiah.
Mt. Gerizim (left peak) as seen from Jacob’s well. When the Samaritan woman said to Jesus, “Our fathers worshipped on this mountain,” she was no doubt referring to the ruins of the Samaritan temple on top of Mt. Gerizim. The small structure on the peak marks the location of the ruins of the Samaritan temple that easily could have been seen from Jacob’s well in Jesus’ day. Bryant Wood.
Significance of Shechem in Understanding John 4
This article began by stating that context in reading the Bible was important to full understanding of what the original writers wanted the original hearers/listeners to know. In the case of Shechem, it is clear that the writer of John’s Gospel was appealing to the hearer/reader’s understanding of Shechem’s unique historical and theological context.
First, the author established that the event took place at Sychar (Jn 4:6). By making reference to Jacob he reminded his readers/hearers that this is where Jacob first settled when he returned to the Promised Land from Paddan Aram (Gn 33:18). At this spot Abram received God’s promise that “To your offspring I will give this land” (Gn 12:7). In addition to God’s promise given here to Abram, the writer wanted the hearer/reader to remember that many human agreements were made at Shechem in Bible history. Unfortunately, most were corrupted because of man’s sin. For example, Jacob made a promise to spare Hamor and the Shechemites after Dinah was sexually violated. Jacob’s use of circumcision to confirm the agreement with the Shechemites was the same symbol God had ordained as “the sign of the covenant between Me and you” (Gn 17:11). To seal a human agreement in this manner and have it subsequently abrogated as Jacob’s sons had done (Gn 34), could not have escaped the attention of the original hearers/reader.
Later, we read in the Bible that Jacob did not destroy family idols: rather he simply placed them under a tree near Shechem (Gn 35). This whole account is a testimony to the human condition and our willful tendency not to obey God. Jacob, who even had the privilege of a personal revelation from God, still could not totally eliminate idol worship; he played on the edge and placed the idols under a tree rather than destroying them.
The reader/hearer also should have been reminded that Shechem was near the place where Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery and then concocted a lie to explain Joseph’s absence to their father Jacob (Gn 37)—another example of man’s deceit and deception.
All of these accounts are, in themselves, mini-stories that illustrate the human condition and how incapable we are of making a lasting promise to God. As a result, we are in need of rescue and restoration and only God, with His patience, could develop and execute a plan, seen throughout Bible history, for accomplishing a restoration that did not rely on man’s fallible nature.
Juxtaposed against the human failings, lies and deceits, the hearer/reader’s attention was brought to the fact that Shechem was where God reminded the people that He is faithful. Having given Abram the promise of the land, the Israelites were to remember that promise by going to Shechem, building an altar worshipping and re-reading God’s Law. This would refresh in the minds of the Israelites how God had led them out of bondage as He had promised and into a land He had promised. The rededication ceremony was accomplished and is described in Joshua 8. Following the conquest, Joshua again assembled the people at Shechem where he reviewed God’s promises and Israel’s obligations, eliciting from the people an agreement that they would “serve the Lord our God and obey Him” (Jos 24:24). This promise was another one that was repeatedly broken as revealed in the succeeding books of the Old Testament.
Earlier in Israel’s history Joseph, as he lay dying in Egypt, reminded the people that God would lead them to the land He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and his father Jacob. He asked that when they did return, they “carry my bones up from this place” (Gn 50:25). This was fulfilled in Joshua 24:32 when the body of Joseph was placed in a tomb in Shechem.
The Hebrew hearer/reader would also remember that Shechem became the center for the idolatrous worship practices that occurred following Israel’s capture by the Assyrians. Importing peoples from other lands and exporting Jewish believers, syncretism of pagan beliefs and Jewish practices resulted in a corrupted form of worship that became centered at Shechem and on Mt. Gerizim by people who were known as Samaritans. They chose to be worshippers of other gods despite their earlier promise in Joshua 24.

Ruins of a fifth century AD octagonal church on Mt. Gerizim, view north. The church, dedicated to Mary, was built on top of a temple built by the Samaritans in the late fifth century BC. John Hyrcanus destroyed the temple in the late second century BC. The small domed building at the northeast corner, the tomb of an Arab sheikh, is the structure visible from Jacob’s well in the valley below. IAA.
I believe the author of John wanted the reader and hearer to recognize and associate Shechem with God’s eternal unbroken promises, man’s corrupted state, the need for a Rescuer and how a Rescuer had been promised throughout history. In John 4 the Rescuer is revealed. The Samaritan woman makes known the promise: “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” And the Rescuer, Jesus, replied that the Messiah was at hand: “I Who speak to you am He” (Jn 4:26)!
The Samaritan woman’s response was to immediately run into the village, leaving her water jar behind, and tell everyone that the Rescuer was there. What glorious news! The Samaritans rushed to the well, welcomed Him and exclaimed that Jesus was the Rescuer, “the Savior of the world” (Jn 4:42).
It should challenge us to remember that shortly after Jesus’ declaration that He was Messiah, He would complete the promise and achieve the rescue through His death, burial and ascension. As He prepared His disciples for their duties, He told them that they would be His “witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8). The story of Shechem and the Samaritan region had come full circle—from the promises to the Patriarchs to fulfillment of salvation as heard by the woman at the well and declared to the disciples.
Now we have the contextual history of Shechem. It is apparent that the original hearer/reader of John’s Gospel fully understood how Shechem had been a focal point of God’s unbroken promises and man’s fallibility. Hopefully, for the reader of this essay, all pieces of the puzzle of Shechem can now be understood and assembled so one can see the finished picture. And what a wonderful picture it is!
Footnotes
1. The author wishes to express his appreciation to Dr. James C. Martin for permission to use the photographs credited to him in this article.
2. For a discussion of geographical criteria that make for strategic locations in ancient Israel, see Hansen 1991.
3. For these dates, see Davis 1975: 29.
4. For a brief discussion of how this date is derived, see Hansen 2003: 80.
5. See Wood 1997 for his explanation of this unusual situation.
6. For a more thorough discussion of the Amarna tablets and the identity of the Habiru, see Archer 1994: 288–95; Wood 1995 and 2003: 269–71.
7. For a description of the modern Samaritans and how they practice Passover, see Bolen 2001.
Bibliography
Archer, Gleason L.
1994 A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, new and revised ed. Chicago: Moody.
Bolen, Todd
2001 Samaritan Passover. Bible and Spade 14: 41–42.
Campbell, Edward F.
1993 Shechem. Pp. 1345–54 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Davis, John J.
1975 Paradise to Prison: Studies in Genesis. Grand Rapids MI: Baker.
Dever, William G.
1994 Monumental Architecture in Ancient Israel in the Period of the United Monarchy. Bible and Spade 7: 68–87.
Greenwold, Douglas
2004 Zechariah & Elizabeth: Persistent Faith in a Faithful God. Rockville MD: Bible-in-Context Ministries.
Hansen, David G.
1991 The Case of Meggido [sic]. Archaeology and Biblical Research 4: 84–93.
2003 Large Cities that Have Walls up to the Sky: Canaanite Fortifications in the Late Bronze I Period.Bible and Spade 16: 78–88.
Hess, Richard S.
1993 Smitten Ant Bites Back: Rhetorical Forms in the Amarna Correspondence from Shechem. Pp. 95–111 in Verses in Ancient Near Eastern Prose, eds. Johannes C. de Moor and Wilfred G.E. Watson, Alter Orient und Altes Testament 42. Kevelaer, Germany: Butzon & Bercker.
Magen, Itzhak
1993 Neapolis. Pp. 1354–59 in The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land4, ed. Ephraim Stern. New York: Simon & Schuster.
2001 The Sacred Precinct on Mount Gerizim. Bible and Spade 14:37–40.
Seger, Joe D.
1997 Shechem. Pp. 19–23 in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Archaeology in the Near East 5, ed. Eric M. Myers. New York: Oxford University Press.
Shea, William H.
1992 The Burial of Jacob: A New Correlation Between Genesis 50 and an Egyptian Inscription.Archaeology and Biblical Research 5:33–44.
Stager, Lawrence E.
2003 The Shechem Temple where Abimelech Massacred a Thousand. Biblical Archaeological Review28.4:26–35, 68–69.
Stefanovic, Zdravko
1992 Jacob’s Well. Pp. 608–609 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 3, ed. David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Toombs, Lawrence E.
1992 Shechem. Pp. 1174–86 in The Anchor Bible Dictionary 5, ed, David N. Freedman. New York: Doubleday.
Wood, Bryant G.
1995 Reexamining The Late Bronze Era: An Interview with Bryant Wood by Gordon Govier. Bible and Spade 8: 47–53.
1997 The Role of Shechem in the Conquest of Canaan. Pp 245–56 in To Understand the Scriptures: Essays in Honor of William H. Shea, ed. David Merling. Berrien Springs MI: Institute of Archaeology/Siegfried H. Horn Archaeological Museum.
1999 The Search for Joshua’s Ai: Excavations at Kh. el-Maqatir. Bible and Spade 12:21–30.
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Investigating Bart Ehrman’s Top Ten Troublesome Bible Verses

120On the final page of the paperback edition of Misquoting Jesus, Bart Ehrman famously listed the “Top Ten Verses That Were Not Originally in the New Testament.” In an effort to discredit the reliability of the New Testament text, Ehrman offered this list to demonstrate the existence of many late insertions in the text. He found this reality troubling as a young man, and eventually walked away from his Christian faith as a result:

“The Bible began to appear to me as a very human book. Just as human scribes had copied, and changed, the texts of scripture, so too had human authors originally written the texts of scripture. This was a human book from beginning to end.”  (from Misquoting Jesus)

Let’s take a look at Ehrman’s list of troublesome verses and examine how they impact the reliability of the New Testament text:

1 John 5:7
There are three that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one.

John 8:7
Let the one who is without sin among you be the first to cast a stone at her.

John 8:11
Neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.

Luke 22:44
In his anguish Jesus began to pray more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling to the ground.

Luke 22:20
And in the same way after supper Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.“

Mark 16:17
These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons and they will speak with new tongues.

Mark 16:18
And they will take up snakes in their hands, and if they drink poison it will not harm them, and they will lay their hands on the sick and they will become well.

John 5:4
For an angel of the Lord went down at certain times into the pool and disturbed the waters; and whoever was the first to step in when the water was disturbed was healed of whatever disease he had.

Luke 24:12
But Peter rose up and ran to the tomb, and stooping down to look in, he saw the linen clothes by themselves. And he went away to his own home, marveling at what had happened.

Luke 24:51
And when Jesus blessed them he departed from them and he was taken up into heaven

While this list may seem large (and even surprising for those of us who haven’t examined the presence of textual variants in the New Testament), I think this list does little to impact the reliability of the text. In fact, I think Ehrman is profiting from the unfamiliarity that most Christians have with the presence of textual variants. The list does seem shocking and daunting if you’ve never taken the time to examine matters such as these. But if you stop and think about it and examine each verse listed here, the impact is actually very minimal. I recognize four truths about these verses:

The Verses are Designated Earlier
Seven of these passages (John 8:7, John 8:11, Luke 22:44, Luke 22:20, Mark 16:17, Mark 16:18 and John 5:4) are already clearly designated in my Bible (I’m using the ESV for this blog post). It’s not as though these specious verses are hidden; most modern translations do an excellent job of including everything, then identifying those verses that are variants. Check it out for yourself. You’ll see that these verses, like many others in the text, have been clearly marked.

The Verses are Described Elsewhere
Three of these passages (Luke 22:20, Luke 24:12 and Luke 24:51) are simply reiterations of information that is given to us in other gospels. So, although these verses could be removed from Luke, their claims are found elsewhere in passages that are uncontested (see Matthew 26:28, Mark 14:24, John 20:3-7, Acts 1:9-11).

The Verses are Decidedly Extraneous
That leaves only one verse on Ehrman’s list (1 John 5:7) that begs for explanation. But even if this verse can’t be reconciled, it’s clearly extraneous. The doctrine of the Trinity it addresses is found elsewhere in the scripture. Like other scribal variants, it may have been included by a scribe to make the doctrine clearer, but with all the other Biblical evidence for the triune nature of God, this verse has no impact on our understanding of the Trinity. The superfluous nature of this verse is similar to the vast majority of all Biblical textual variants; they have no impact on the theological or historical claims of the text.

The Verses are Detected Easily
Perhaps most importantly, these late entries were easy to detect, given the large number of ancient Biblical manuscripts we possess. By comparing these texts, we are able to determine which verses should not be in our Bible today, and the same discipline that allows us to determine what is specious, allows us to determine what is special. The skill set that allows us to identify what doesn’t belong is the very same skill set that allows us to identify what does belong.

I’ve written a lot more about this issue in a chapter in my book entitled, “Separating Artifacts from Evidence.” It turns out that Ehrman has the ability to complain about the existence of these passages only because we happen to possess the accurate methodology to remove them from consideration in the first place. As a result, we ought to have even more confidence that we possess documents today that are a reliable reflection of what was originally written thousands of years ago.

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

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Dr William Lane Craig was invited by the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Christian Union, London to give a lecture titled “Can we be good without God?” In this video Dr Craig answers a question about the objectivity of morality. Should we consider morals to be objective? If so, why can’t morals be “abiding” and objectively grounded in society?

The lecture formed part of the Reasonable Faith Tour in October 2011. The Tour was sponsored by Damaris Trust, UCCF and Premier Christian Radio.

The entire lecture “Can We Be Good Without God” can be viewed here: http://youtu.be/jzlEnrJfDBc

For more resources visit Dr Craig’s website: http://www.reasonablefaith.org

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

Be sure to visit both of our Youtube channels for more videos:
youtube.com/reasonablefaithorg and youtube.com/drcraigvideos

More videos from the tour can be viewed at: http://www.youtube.com/user/Reasonabl…

____________________________________

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer pictured below:

HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? was both a book and a film series.

______________

_________________

Life without God in the picture is absurdity!!!. That was the view of King Solomon when he wrote the Book of Ecclesiastes 3000 years ago and it is the view of many of the modern philosophers todayModern man has tried to come up with a lasting meaning for life without God in the picture (life under the sun), but it is not possible. Without the infinite-personal God of the Bible to reveal moral absolutes then man is left to embrace moral relativism. In a time plus chance universe man is reduced to a machine and can not find a place for values such as love. Both of Francis Schaeffer’s film series have tackled these subjects and he shows how this is reflected in the arts.

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I wrote:

DeathByInches you contend that we can live a satisfying life with “hard work and great pleasure” without God in the picture and find full satisfaction in our lives. However, the Book of Ecclesiastes tells us that King Solomon found that to be like “chasing the wind.”

Solomon went to the extreme in his searching in the Book of Ecclesiastes for this satisfaction that you are talking about DBI, but he did not find any satisfaction in pleasure (2:1), education (2:3), work (2:4), wealth (2:8) or fame (2:9). All of his accomplishments would not be remembered (1:11) and who is to say that they had not already been done before by others (1:10)?

Kerry Livgren of Kansas wrote a song called “Carry On Wayward Son” and in that song he talks about searching for heaven and “there will be peace when you are done.” Livgren said, “I didn’t know how to get there. How to find it, but I knew I had to keep being a pilgrim.”

Livgren also was searching for satisfaction in fame, girls, work, pleasure and wealth but he said that bubble quickly popped when he got to the top of his field and still did not find satisfaction in all of those things.

Here is several video clips of Kerry Livgren discussing his search and the clips are from 1981 and 2009:

https://thedailyhatch.org/2011/09/08/dave-h…

William Lane Craig has observed that without God in the picture our lives will add up to nothing:

If each individual person passes out of existence when he dies, then what ultimate meaning can be given to his life? Does it really matter whether he ever existed at all? It might be said that his life was important because it influenced others or affected the course of history. But this shows only a relative significance to his life, not an ultimate significance. His life may be important relative to certain other events, but what is the ultimate significance of any of those events? If all the events are meaningless, then what can be the ultimate significance of influencing any of them? Ultimately it makes no difference.

Look at it from another perspective: Scientists say that the universe originated in an explosion called the “Big Bang” about thirteen billion years ago. Suppose the Big Bang had never occurred. Suppose the universe had never existed. What ultimate difference would it make? The universe is doomed to die anyway. In the end it makes no difference whether the universe ever existed or not. Therefore, it is without ultimate significance.

The same is true of the human race. Mankind is a doomed race in a dying universe. Because the human race will eventually cease to exist, it makes no ultimate difference whether it ever did exist. Mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs, for their end is all the same. The same blind cosmic process that coughed them up in the first place will eventually swallow them all again.

And the same is true of each individual person. The contributions of the scientist to the advance of human knowledge, the researches of the doctor to alleviate pain and suffering, the efforts of the diplomat to secure peace in the world, the sacrifices of good people everywhere to better the lot of the human race—all these come to nothing. In the end they don’t make one bit of difference, not one bit. Each person’s life is therefore without ultimate significance. And because our lives are ultimately meaningless, the activities we fill our lives with are also meaningless. The long hours spent in study at the university, our jobs, our interests, our friendships—all these are, in the final analysis, utterly meaningless.

In his poem “The End of the World” Archibald MacLeish portrays life as an idiotic circus, until one day the show is over:

Quite unexpectedly, as Vasserot
The armless ambidextrian was lighting
A match between his great and second toe,
And Ralph the lion was engaged in biting
The neck of Madame Sossman while the drum
Pointed, and Teeny was about to cough
In waltz-time swinging Jocko by the thumb
Quite unexpectedly the top blew off:
And there, there overhead, there, there hung over
Those thousands of white faces, those dazed eyes,
There in the starless dark, the poise, the hover,
There with vast wings across the cancelled skies,
There in the sudden blackness the black pall
Of nothing, nothing, nothing—nothing at all.7

This is the horror of modern man: because he ends in nothing, he is nothing.

But it’s important to see that it is not just immortality that man needs if life is to be meaningful. Mere duration of existence does not make that existence meaningful. If man and the universe could exist forever, but if there were no God, their existence would still have no ultimate significance. I once read a science-fiction story in which an astronaut was marooned on a barren chunk of rock lost in outer space. He had with him two vials: one containing poison and the other a potion that would make him live forever. Realizing his predicament, he gulped down the poison. But then to his horror, he discovered he had swallowed the wrong vial—he had drunk the potion for immortality. And that meant that he was cursed to exist forever—a meaningless, unending life. Now if God does not exist, our lives are just like that. They could go on and on and still be utterly without meaning. We could still ask of life, “So what?” So it’s not just immortality man needs if life is to be ultimately significant; he needs God and immortality. And if God does not exist, then he has neither.

Twentieth-century man came to understand this. Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know. In a tragic portrayal of man, Beckett wrote another play in which the curtain opens revealing a stage littered with junk. For thirty long seconds, the audience sits and stares in silence at that junk. Then the curtain closes. That’s all.

French existentialists Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus understood this, too. Sartre portrayed life in his play No Exit as hell—the final line of the play are the words of resignation, “Well, let’s get on with it.” Hence, Sartre writes elsewhere of the “nausea” of existence. Man, he says, is adrift in a boat without a rudder on an endless sea. Camus, too, saw life as absurd. At the end of his brief novel The Stranger, Camus’s hero discovers in a flash of insight that the universe has no meaning and there is no God to give it one. The French biochemist Jacques Monod seemed to echo those sentiments when he wrote in his work Chance and Necessity, “Man finally knows he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe.”

Thus, if there is no God, then life itself becomes meaningless. Man and the universe are without ultimate significance.

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MUSIC MONDAY The Staple Singers Part 4

The Staple Singers Part 4

Staple Singers – Lets Do It Again

The Staple Singers Respect Yourself Live Filmed Performance 1972

 

Singing for Civil Rights

In 1963, with their celebrity rising thanks to a nationwide folk and blues revival, the Staple Singers delivered a concert in Montgomery, Alabama, that was attended by Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and they had the opportunity to speak with the civil rights leader after the show. The meeting had a profound effect on the group’s direction,

and for the next several years they wrote songs exclusively in support of the American civil rights movement.

“I really like this man’s message,” Pops Staples said of King. “And I think if he can preach it, we can sing it.” The Staple Singers’ civil rights songs included “March Up Freedom’s Highway,” about the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery marches, “Washington We’re Watching You,” “It’s a Long Walk to D.C.” and “Why Am I Treated So Bad,” in honor of the Little Rock Nine. “We sing about what’s happening in the world today, and whatever’s wrong we try to fix it through a song,” Staples recalled her father explaining. “We’re living in dark times, troubled times; we wanted to spread a ray of light on the world.”

Romantic Relationships

Around the same time, Mavis Staples carried on a romance with folk legend Bob Dylan. Dylan had long admired The Staple Singers, covering their song “Dying Man’s Prayer” in 1962, and the Staple Singers had in turn recorded several Dylan compositions. In the late 1960s, Dylan proposed marriage to Staples; although they had dated for seven years, she turned him down.

Although Staples has since come to regret her decision not to marry Dylan, she explained her reasoning at the time: “We had gotten with Dr. King and I was young and stupid, and I was thinking Dr. King wouldn’t want me to marry a white guy.” Dylan has referred to Staples ever since as “the love that I lost.”

Staples was briefly married to a mortician named A.R. Leak, Sr. in the early 1970s, but the pair divorced when Leak demanded that she give up her music career to stay home. “He wanted me to stop singing!” Staples recalled with incredulity. “And I told him I was singing before I met him. It was just a man thing, just want me at home. No way! I keep my songs and I continue to sing, and I let you go.”

Commercial Success

The Staple Sisters achieved their greatest success in the early 1970s as they moved away from traditional gospel and protest songs to record empowerment anthems such as “Respect Yourself” and “I’ll Take You There” and soulful R&B love songs like “Let’s Do It Again,” their only song to reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart.

Although their popularity waned somewhat in the late 1970s and early 1980s, the Staple Singers continued to score modest R&B hits with songs like “I Honestly Love You,” “H-A-T-E (Don’t Live Here Anymore),” “Slippery People” and “Nobody Can Make It on Their Own.”

Solo Career

Beginning with her 1969 self-titled debut solo album, Mavis Staples also maintained a solo career simultaneously while she worked with the Staple Singers. And while she released eight solo albums during the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, all of which received high praise from those critics who noticed, none of her solo material found much of an audience.

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“Schaeffer Sunday” Debating Kermit Gosnell Trial, Abortion and infanticide with Ark Times Bloggers Part 8

C. Everett Koop, 1980s.jpg
Surgeon General of the United States
In office
January 21, 1982 – October 1, 1989
President Ronald Reagan
George H. W. Bush
Francis Schaeffer
Francis Schaeffer.jpg

Founder of the L’Abri community
Born Francis August Schaeffer
January 30, 1912

Died May 15, 1984 (aged 72)

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

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: Whatever Happened to the Human Race Episode 1 ABORTION

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)

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortionhuman rightswelfarepovertygun control  and issues dealing with popular culture . This time around I have discussed morality with the Ark Times Bloggers and particularly the trial of the abortionist Dr. Kermit Gosnell and through that we discuss infanticide, abortion and even partial birth abortion. Here are some of my favorite past posts on the subject of Gosnell: ,Abby Johnson comments on Dr. Gosnell’s guilty verdict, Does President Obama care about Kermit Gosnell verdict?Dr. Gosnell Trial mostly ignored by mediaKermit Gosnell is guilty of same crimes of abortion clinics are says Jennifer MasonDenny Burk: Is Dr. Gosnell the usual case or not?, Pro-life Groups thrilled with Kermit Gosnell guilty verdict,  Reactions to Dr. Gosnell guilty verdict from pro-life leaders,  Kermit Gosnell and Planned Parenthood supporting infanticide?, Owen Strachan on Dr. Gosnell Trial, Al Mohler on Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice, Finally we get justice for Dr. Kermit Gosnell .

In July of 2013 I went back and forth with several bloggers from the Ark Times Blog concerning Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s abortion practice and his trial which had finished up in the middle of May:

Sound Policy you call me a “forced-Birther,” but I would rather be on my side of the fence which is the pro-life side. Your side is the pro-choice side and it looks pretty messy on that side.

____________

“Kermit Gosnell was convicted of murder for severing the necks of just-born babies, but those babies would have died just as painfully if he had killed them inside the womb, as most late-term abortionists do,” commented National Right to Life President Carol Tobias. “The result is the same for the baby whether it meets its end in a shabby clinic like Gosnell’s or a brand new Planned Parenthood facility — a painful death.”

_____________

“We are ecstatic about these verdicts. Justice was done. This could spell the end of Roe v. Wade,” said Troy Newman, President of Operation Rescue. “For the first time, America has gotten a long hard look at the horrors that go on inside abortion clinics. We see documentation of similar shoddy practices in other abortion clinics across our country. Gosnell is not alone by any means. Now it is time for America to do some real soul searching and decide whether the abortion cartel’s unaccountable and out-of-control abuses of vulnerable women are really how we want to treat each other. There are better ways to help women than to subject them to the kind of horrors found at abortion clinics in our nation. It’s time to end the inhumane and barbaric practice of abortion for good.

____________________

Bryan Kemper of Stand True: While this may be a small victory in the grand scheme of the abortion holocaust, it is an important victory for every baby who has ever been killed under the GUISE OF CHOICE. I wept as I realized that after 20 years of fighting abortion full time there is finally some legal justice for these precious babies and an abortionist is found guilty if killing children.

_____________

Charmaine Yoest of Americans United for Life: “I applaud the vedict and thank all those who worked so hard to bring Gosnell to justice. We must now protect women and infants from an abortion industry that steadfastly refuses to police itself. How many women, girls, and infants must die before the abortion industry is held accountable?”

____________

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life: “The guilty verdict on charges of killing babies following abortion shows that the law recognizes a point at which the ‘right to CHOOSE’ must yield to the right to life, and also shows that abortionists don’t know where that point is. Such laws must be strengthened in every state.
_____________

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/05/13/pro-lif…

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Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ _____________ Tony Perkins: Gosnell Trial – FOX News Published on May 13, 2013 Tony Perkins: Gosnell Trial – FOX News ________________ Kermit Gosnell and the Logic of “Pro-Choice” by  Matthew J. Franck within […]

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Do New York late term abortionists need more attention like Dr. Gosnell did?

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

Dr. Gosnell Trial has prompted Texas authorities to take closer look a Houston abortionist

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

Father Frank Pavone reacts to Kermit Gosnell guilty verdict

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ Fr. Pavone: Right to choose must yield to right to life STATEN ISLAND, NY — Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, had the following comment on the verdict in […]

NAF reacts to Dr. Gosnell guilty verdict

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

Hope for Kermit Gosnell’s repentance?

Francis Schaeffer: “Whatever Happened to the Human Race” (Episode 1) ABORTION OF THE HUMAN RACE Published on Oct 6, 2012 by AdamMetropolis ________________ The truth of abortion … the hope for Gosnell’s repentance A conviction in the murder trial of Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell has boosted the efforts of pro-lifers to demonstrate what abortion really […]

The Selfishness of Chris Evert Part 5 (Includes videos and Pictures)

The Selfishness of Chris Evert Part 2 (Includes videos and Pictures) _________________________________ _____________________ _______________________ __________________________ Tennis – Wimbledon 1974 [ Official Film ] – 05/05 Published on May 1, 2012 John Newcombe, Ken Rosewall, Bjor Borg, Jimmy Connors, Cris Evert… ___________________ Jimmy Connors Reflects Published on May 13, 2013 Jimmy Connors visits “SportsCenter” to discuss his memoir, […]

By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Francis Schaeffer, Prolife | Tagged , | Edit | Comments (0)

SANCTITY OF LIFE SATURDAY Transcript and Video of 1997 Interview of Nat Hentoff by Brian Lamb

Transcript and Video of 1997 Interview of Nat Hentoff by Brian Lamb

Nat Hentoff on His Life in Journalism, Social History, Civil Rights and Antiwar Movements (1997)

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Transcript:

BRIAN LAMB, HOST: Nat Hentoff, author of “Speaking Freely: A Memoir,” can you remember in your lifetime when you were the maddest about anything?

Mr. NAT HENTOFF (Author, “Speaking Freely: A Memoir”): Well, it happened so frequently. I think what I was most maddest about–and it’s in the book–when the House and the Senate, back in 1984, were debating a bill that would –at least delay and maybe stop some of the ex–summary execution of disabled children–infants. And the Down syndrome kids and other kids had been, in some cases, routinely let die, to use the euphemism. And I saw the debate on the floor of the House. And I considered myself, at the time, a liberal; I don’t know what I consider myself now. And here are the leading liberals at the time Geraldine Ferraro, Don Edwards, who I’m–I admire enormously, Henry Waxman–saying, `You can’t do that. That’s an interference with the doctor-mother’–not the doctor-infant, but doctor-mother–`relationship.’And I figured, `My God, these are –the–this isn’t fetus time. This is–they’re born children.’ And–and as Harry Blackmun said when he wrote Roe v. Wade, `Once a child is born, the child has basic constitutional rights: due process, equal protection of the laws.’ And they were acting as if you could just dispose of these kids. I was angry.

LAMB: You said that you thought yourself to be a liberal. What would that mean to you?

Mr. HENTOFF: Well, I grew up in a household in which we had a clock that we won at Revere Beach during the Depression–one of those brass clocks that didn’t work–but it showed Franklin D. Roosevelt standing at the wheel of the New Deal. Even though the clock didn’t work, we kept the clock because of how we felt about FDR. A lot since then I knew about FDR I wouldn’t have been so enthusiastic.But a liberal was somebody who expected and hoped that government would help the poor–you know, that whole routine. I did not know then and I’ve learned since that in an area that means a lot to me, free speech, liberals are as bad as many conservatives in trying to censor speech. The whole politically correct movement, if it–if that’s what it is, was spawned by liberals. So I try to avoid categorizing myself.

LAMB: How did you get to the memoir?

Mr. HENTOFF: Well, I had written a book called “Boston Boy” some years ago, and that took me from the time I could speak, I guess, in Boston through the time when I finally left to come to New York. And a lot–that book had a number of sort of rites of passage for me. One was understanding and coping with anti-Semitism. Boston, at the time, was the most anti-Semitic city in the country. And I found out when I was an adolescent that you have to be crazy to go out after dark all by yourself; you’d get your head bashed in. More fulfilling, I was introduced to jazz, and that’s become a basic concern and passion of mine ever since.This book, “Speaking Freely,” starts when I came to New York. And the first chapter is about a man who became a friend of mine, much to our mutual surprise, Malcolm X. And it goes through other rites of passage, I guess you’d say, including the–what I just spoke about, the learning that liberalism isn’t quite as liberal as it pretends to be. And it goes through my adventures with the FBI during the anti-war period and the civil rights period. And a particular moment–and I’m not, to this day, quite sure how I feel about it–I had always wanted to be in the law books–you know, Hentoff vs. something or other. And then Congressman Icord headed a House on American activities committee. It was called the House Internal Security Committee. And he put out a report, and he named a number of very destructive people who lectured at colleges and left arson in their wake and did other terrible things. And he mentioned me and he ascribed to me three organizations to which I’d never belonged, and I decided I would do something about this.

When the ACLU took my case and we got a ruling I think, for the first time, they could–the Congress could put out the report internally but they couldn’t put it out at taxpayers’ expense around the country. And I felt odd about that because I, in a way, I was interfering with free speech, but then, you can’t always win.

LAMB: When has a liberal been the most upset with you to your face?

Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, well, the most controversial subject-issue I’ve ever gotten involved in to this day was when I became pro-life. And liberals are very–many liberals are very angry at me because of that. In part, because–they could understand it, they say, if I came to it from a religious kin–a Catholic perspective. But I’m still a Jewish atheist, and that really bothers them. And I come to it entirely from the point of view of biology. And what Roe v. Wade has led to, I–what I did in the 1980s–I tracked all of the state Supreme Court decisions concerning people who wanted to have their relatives–their husband, their wife, their child–taken off of feeding tubes or respirators.Every time the Supreme Court of a state would say, `That’s OK,’ they based it on Roe v. Wade. And it turned out when–the–in terms of the physician-assisted suicide, the first federal district judge in the history of the United States out in Washington–state of Washington–came to the same conclusion, basing it on Roe v. Wade. And around that time, I met the angel of death, Derrick Humphrey, who introduced the whole concept of assisted suicide, and he was exultant. He was talking about things that had happened to him for the good. He said, `When I came to this country, I couldn’t get my ideas across to anybody, practically, but then a wonderful thing happened and the door opened.’ I said, `What was that?’ He said, `Roe v. Wade, because when Roe v. Wade said that you can remove a fetus for privacy, and privacy is the safeguard of that, then it was extended through the courts to, “You can take the respirator off your husband’s–your husband,” or whatever and, finally, physician-assisted suicide.’ So when I say I’m pro-life, I mean pro-life across the legal board.

LAMB: How do you make your money today?
Mr. HENTOFF: I write a syndicated column for The Washington Post that goes to about 200, 250 papers. I write a column for The Village Voice, which I’ve done since time immemorial, and occasionally–and books. And I occasionally write minor notes for record albums and occasional articles.
LAMB: You wrote some liner notes for Bob Dylan once.
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. I’ve always been amused by Dylan; I don’t think he’s been amused by me. When I first knew him, he lived in the Village. And for a man who, years after, would disdain publicity or any attempts at interviews, whenever I’d write something about him, he’d be on the street corner saying, `When’s it going to run? When’s it going to run?’ But I must say that album that was–it was the second album he did, and though I’ve never been a fan of his guitar-playing, he did–I have to admit, he did catch the Zeitgeist of the time.
LAMB: But what made him mad with you? And what kind of relationship do you have with him today?

Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, that was–he was really mad with my wife. I had asked by Rolling Stone–the only assignment I ever had for them–to do a story on the Rolling Thunder Review, which was Bob Dylan, Alan Ginsberg, Joan Baez and a host of stars. My wife, some weeks before, had written in The New York Times that The Kid wasn’t The Kid anymore and he wasn’t all that winning anymore.So when I approached one of his secretaries for an interview, I was told that Bob didn’t want to see me anymore because of what my wife Margot had written. So I went ahead and did the piece anyway. A reporter is never put off by somebody not wanting to be interviewed. And I got Joan Baez to talk and Alan Ginsberg and some of the guys in the band. And by the end of the piece, another emissary came and said, `Bob is willing to speak to you now.’ And I said with great pleasure, `No, thanks. The piece is over.’

LAMB: When was the last time you talked to him?
Mr. HENTOFF: That–well, I guess I haven’t talked to him since before then. I follow his career. And…
LAMB: When was the date of that? Do you remember?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, gosh, my chronology is not always very good. That was at least–let’s see–at least 30 years ago, maybe more.
LAMB: Where do you live today?
Mr. HENTOFF: I live in the Village right near NYU, which is taking over most of the Village. I’ve lived there for most of my time in New York. One of the things I like about the Village is, it’s considered the kind of area where you can’t have skyscrapers or, actually, many tall buildings. So you can see the sky which, I think, is a benefit.
LAMB: You say that Margot is your third wife?
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. The first one–a very nice person–that didn’t last terribly long. We’d lived together before then. The second one…
LAMB: What was the–how long were you married the first time?
Mr. HENTOFF: Where?
LAMB: How long?
Mr. HENTOFF: How long? About eight months, I think.
LAMB: When?
Mr. HENTOFF: That was back in 1951–’50, ’51. Then the second wife–the best part of that union, our two daughters, and that lasted about five years. And I’ve been married to Margot now for about 38 years.
LAMB: And does Margot have a byline somewhere regularly?
Mr. HENTOFF: I wish she did. She used to write regularly for The Voice, for The New York Review of Books, for Harper’s Bazaar, and she really had the most distinctive writing style, even more than mine, than I’ve ever seen in this business. But she stopped. She decided that she had nothing more to say. And yet, every day, she has a whole lot to say, and I wish she’d write it down.
LAMB: Where are you two politically now together?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, I think one thing we share is a complete bottomless disdain for Bill Clinton. My–mine is based on the fact that he has done–and I’m–this sounds like hyperbole, but he has done more harm to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights than any president since John Adams. And he outshines John Adams in that regard. Margot dislikes him because he’s totally untrustworthy, and you really ought to have some faith in whoever’s going to be your president.
LAMB: What proof do you have that he’s done harm to the Constitution?
Mr. HENTOFF: All right. To begin with, when John Adams–when– James Madison was writing–pretty much writing the Constitution, he got a letter from Thomas Jefferson, who was then-ambassador to France. And Jefferson said–I am paraphrasing–`Do not forget to keep habeas corpus and strengthen it.’ That–in–that’s the oldest English-speaking right. It goes back to the Magna Carta in 1215.
LAMB: What’s it mean?

Mr. HENTOFF: But in our country, it means that if you’ve been sentenced and convicted in a state court, either to death or to some other kind of sentence, you have the right to petition a federal court to review what happened to you. Was it fair? Did you get due process? Was there prosecutorial misconduct? There are any number of things that could happen. And until Clinton, you had three, four, five, even more years I collect records of people who have been on death row for eight, 10, 12, 14 years–this is before Clinton–who finally got a decent lawyer, usually a pro bono lawyer, and an investigator, and were able to find out–they–they’re but approved that they’re–that they were innocent. And now, these days, with DNA, that happens even more often.But under Clinton–under this part of the anti-crime bill that he– had passed with the Republicans–they’re just as bad, but he was the power. Under Clinton, you’re limited to one year. You have one year to petition. If the court doesn’t want to hear it, too bad. And that is outrageous.

LAMB: Do you think he’s doing this consciously?

Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, I think–I don’t think he does anything–I don’t think it’s ill will. I don’t think he’s evil in the sense that he hates the Bill of Rights. He does what he figures will help him politically. It’s like when he was running for president. I’ll never forget this one. He was running in New Hampshire. He was not doing well. And he suddenly, over a weekend, rushed back to Little Rock to execute a guy who had killed a cop, but in the process, the policeman had shot him in the head and he was out of it. He didn’t know today from tomorrow, good, evil, whatever. His lawyer begged–his lawyer was an old friend of Clinton. He begged Clinton not to have this guy executed. It was absurd. But he did it anyway. And that was to show that he wasn’t tough on crime. And the habeas corpus business, that’s to show that he’s not tough on crime. And you have an electorate that wants to see people who are not tough on crime.Oh, and other things he’s done. The immigration bill–the new immigration bill–he has stripped the courts, which Congress can do under the leadership of the president, so that people who had a right to asylum or to petition –for asylum who were legal residents are now unable to go through because that part of the bill has been taken out. I mean, he has called for expanded wiretaps for the FBI. I mean, he goes on and on and on. And he was the man, as a matter of fact, who, in terms of the Communications Decency Act, which would have made the Internet, the whole concept of cyberspace, vulnerable to rampant censorship–he pushed that bill, and I know the man in the Justice Department whom he persuaded — the guy didn’t want to lose his job–to write the bill. And, of course, the Supreme Court, 9-to-nothing, said it was unconstitutional.

I mean, did this happens on a regular basis. And what–the crucial part of it to me is, I–the press is practically uninterested in this. In the last campaign, the ’96 campaign, I can’t remember this coming up in any of the television interviews that were done, the presidential debates that Jim Lehrer held and the like, except for Tony Lewis of The New York Times and maybe one or two other people. Now that is dangerous, when the people don’t know what’s happening to their Constitution.

LAMB: Go back to your wife, Margot. You agree on Bill Clinton. Do you disagree on politics and anything right now?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, we disagree heavily on abortion. She thinks–first of all, she –this I hear from a lot of people beside her. She thinks that men have no business getting into this argument at all unless they’re going to be pro-choice. But it turns out that a fair number of fetuses are male, and besides that, we are all one part of humankind, it seems to me.
LAMB: Where’d you meet her?
Mr. HENTOFF: We had–well, I met her on Fire Island when I had a house there many years ago. And then I was co-editor of the magazine called The Jazz Review, which was a pioneering magazine because it was the only magazine, then or now, in which all the articles were written by musicians, by jazz men. They had been laboring for years under the stereotype that they weren’t very articulate except when they picked up their horn. Anyway, she was the–I guess, the coordinator or the production manager, and we got to know each other and we married.
LAMB: How many children have you had with her?
Mr. HENTOFF: Two boys. One, Nicholas, is a criminal defense attorney in Phoenix in which he –gets into –a lot of very controversial cases. He has sued Sheriff Arpaio, the famous sheriff who keeps people in tents, gives them green bologna and the like. My other son Tom is with Williams & Connolly in Washington, where he does intellectual property defamation cases.
LAMB: You say in the book he fights political correctness?
Mr. HENTOFF: Tom?
LAMB: Yes.
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, yeah. Tom–it started when he was the editor of the paper at Wesleyan and the–members of the staff. This was the first wave of political correctness. The editors of the staff members came and said he must–he must, from now on, stop using `freshmen’ and–in-as part of the policy of the paper. It had to be `freshperson.’ Therefore, you don’t–you’re not discriminating against males or females. They were very fervent about that, and he was equally fervent about not politicizing language. So until he left, `freshmen’ stayed. It is no longer in use there.
LAMB: What about Jessica?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, Jessica is–she is a–one of the great risk-takers in –my experience. When she was at State University of New York at Purchase, they had a 4014 system. You go to –you have four semesters. Then, in between the other four semesters, you can take whatever courses you want. And a pied piper came along, a circus performer–a professional circus performer–and Jessica found her vocation and she became, to my great alarm, a trapeze artist with a friend. She played all over the United States. I boycotted her for a while. I couldn’t stand it because–for example, I’d say, `Why don’t you use a net?’ `Oh, we don’t use a net. Europeans don’t use a net. We don’t use a net.’ And I said, `But people come and expect you to break you neck.’ And I bought her a net, which, of course, was never used. But then I figured, after all, I have my obsessions; she’s entitled to hers. And I did –see her perform, and she was very good. Fortunately, however, she now has three small children; she’s now on the ground. She runs her own everyday circus in St. Louis.
LAMB: Who got her interested in being a circus performer?
Mr. HENTOFF: The pied piper.
LAMB: I mean, is there anything in your background or your wife’s background…
Mr. HENTOFF: No, not at all. No. She’s singular in that respect. I mean, in terms of the boys, I always wanted to be a lawyer and would often talk law with them, but I certainly never wanted to be a trapeze performer.
LAMB: What about your daughter Miranda.
Mr. HENTOFF: Miranda is a complete musician. She’s a composer, a singer. She writes scripts along –with her projects. And she’s a superb teacher. Her teaching pupils have ranged from Itzhak Perlman to Sting. And, it’s one of the great, great pleasures of my life–I mean, talk about vicarious satisfaction from –your kids. She was teaching once at Lincoln Center, and the hall was full of other professionals–musicians, professors, teachers. And she was explaining how Bartok composed his second piano concerto. And she explained how the music was interwoven with the rhythms and what he had in his mind. And I was just stunned. This is a kid who used to work –on a piano with a cracked keyboard.
LAMB: Four children.
Mr. HENTOFF: Four children.
LAMB: Go back to someone you talked about in the book by the name of A.J. Muste.
Mr. HENTOFF: Ah.
LAMB: Who is he? Is he alive?
Mr. HENTOFF: No. A.J. was a–as he likes to say, a radical pacifist; that is, he never engaged in violence but he believed, as Gandhi did–and he knew Gandhi slightly–he believed that a pacifist had to be active in the community. And in that respect, Martin Luther King, whom A.J. advised in the civil rights movement, was also a radical pacifist. He–A.J. never got much credit, never got much attention. For example, I wrote a biography of him and nobody ever heard of it. But he was very influenced–in–influential in the peace movement, in the civil rights movement. And he was extraordinarily calm–the most–I couldn’t–I’ve never known a man who would go through–I mean, the cops would be arresting him. There’d be turmoil around him. And he was just watching and…
LAMB: Where’d he live? Where was he from? How old was he when he died?

Mr. HENTOFF: He was from Michigan and he grew up in the Dutch Reform Church there, which is a fairly strict church. He later came to New York. He was the minister of a labor temple in the–on the East Side. Then he founded, to my knowledge, the first, maybe the only, labor school; that is, Cornell has a labor department and other schools. But this was a school for–entirely for labor organizers, and he was the–the chairman.He was–and this was funny in a way. Trotsky found out about him–Leon Trotsky–because A.J. worked. He was an activist. And he organized the first sit-in strike in Toledo in a factory. And Trotsky was very impressed with that. And…

LAMB: What year would that have been?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, ’33, ’34, something like that.
LAMB: When did A.J. Muste die?
Mr. HENTOFF: A.J. died in the late ’60s, I think. He was 81, something like that.
LAMB: And you knew him?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, I knew him very well. I tried for a while to be like he was, and that is a total pacifist. But then Margot hit me hard in the stomach one day to prove to me that I wasn’t as perfect a pacifist as I thought I was.
LAMB: Tell more about that story, ’cause it’s in the book. She literally hit you?
Mr. HENTOFF: She literally hit me as hard as she could, which is pretty hard.
LAMB: Did she surprise you?
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah, that was the whole point. And I didn’t– hit back, but I knew that if it had been anybody else, I would have hit back, and that was the point of her metaphorical blow.
LAMB: Is she not a pacifist?
Mr. HENTOFF: No.
LAMB: And you said that when she was at The Voice, she had a contrarian attitude about some of these political issues?

Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, yeah, The Voice–to begin with, The Voice has been politically correct in many of its aspects since before that term was ever used. It’s always been–well, I’ll give you an example. I found out–the paper used to go to bed on Tues–on Monday. I found out that on Monday nights, the editors would cut out–literally cut out passages, sometimes whole paragraphs, of some of the writers that might possibly offend blacks, lesbians, gays, radicals. And I wrote a couple of columns about that. And they’re–of course, they were annoyed that I had written about it, but, I mean, it –another example–and she always also conjured that. She was an editor there for a time as well as a writer.But Jules Feiffer once wrote a strip. He was then, as now, a syndicator. Of course, he’s not at The Voice anymore. But his strip would come to The Voice first. And the strip showed an Archie Bunker-type sitting in the kitchen–speaking of stereotypes–with a can of beer, saying, `I can’t say “kike” anymore. I can’t say “fag” anymore. About the only think I can say anymore is “nigger.”‘ There was an uproar at The Voice. Great pressure was put on the editor, David Schneiderman, to not run the strip. It was offensive. It was racist. And nobody apparently read the strip and saw what it was about. And I wrote a column about that.

So the –obviously, the–there have been other very good reporters at The Voice. We’ve done good muckraking stuff, good political stuff. But the–spirit of the paper, until fairly recently, with a new editor who doesn’t go on that route, has been, well, politically correct.

LAMB: What was the story about the column you wrote about Clay Felker when he ran The Voice?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, Felker took over The Voice…
LAMB: Who is he, by the way?
Mr. HENTOFF: Clay Felker was then–he had–to his credit, he had created New York Magazine, which was the first of the city magazines that covered the city and gave all kinds of advice and all that sort of stuff. And there were copies all over the country by the time he left. He had, however, a view of journalism that was very much, I must say, like Tina Brown’s at The New Yorker. You hit ’em hard, fast, give ’em something to talk about the day after the paper comes out, as contrasted with William Shawn, who gave them something to talk about two or three years from then.
LAMB: Who was William Shawn?

Mr. HENTOFF: William Shawn was the editor of The New Yorker and for whom I worked for, God, 27 years; a man I respected enormously because of what he did, –what the magazine was about. Anyway, I got a letter. He took over The Voice and tried to turn it into New York Magazine–very glitzy covers that promised practically nothing in terms of what was inside, very rushed paper anymore. You–not very contemplative, thoughtful or whatever.So I got a letter one day from somebody saying, `You’re always criticizing the press. Why don’t you talk about what Clay Felker is doing to your own paper?’ And my 10-year-old son Tom, now with Williams & Connelly, put in a legal opinion, not –an opinion from the back of the car saying, `You know why? What are you, afraid?’ So I wrote the column. I–you know, –the column simply said that Felker is destroying this paper. And I heard that he was about ready to fire me, but two other people on The Voice interceded and, fortunately, he had a very short attention span, so I wasn’t fired.

LAMB: Any of that being done today?
Mr. HENTOFF: The…
LAMB: Being that contrary with your own publication where you’re…
Mr. HENTOFF: Did I do…
LAMB: Where you being paid–no, anybody. I mean, were you being paid at the time, by the way…
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, yeah. I was…
LAMB: …because –there was a time when The Village Voice didn’t pay.
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah, but I was getting a big fat $100 a week at that time. No, it’s being done–I mean, the most recent example and the most, I think, appalling example was when Martin Peretz, the owner–and I stress owner–of The New Republic fired a journalist who I think was uncommonly skilled and full of integrity and passion and all that stuff. But he had criticized regularly the former pupil and friend of Martin Peretz, Al Gore, so he was fired. That’s contrarianist that went around–that did–that was not rewarded.
LAMB: What’s wrong, though, with an owner of a publication like that firing somebody that won’t support his views?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, it’s perfectly within his rights. It’s a private–you know, th–it’s not censorship. The First Amendment doesn’t come into play because it’s a private magazine. What’s wrong with it is, it lowers, to say the least, the credibility of the magazine. And if I were writing for it, I would feel diminished because the owner had done such a thing.
LAMB: What does it mean to you to be an atheist?
Mr. HENTOFF: It means that I was never able–I mean, I really envy, in some respects, some of the people of faith I’ve known–A.J., for example.
LAMB: What was his religion?
Mr. HENTOFF: He was–he–I don’t know what he finally came out believing in, but it was some kind of higher being. But Kierkegaard said it for me a long time ago. He said, `You can’t really think yourself into a faith, into a religion. It’s something you have to make a leap into faith.’ And I’ve never been able to do that. I wish I could. Then maybe I could believe in an afterlife.
LAMB: What was it like in your family growing up?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, we were–I mean, my parents were Orthodox Jews but not very regular Orthodox Jews. I was bar mitzvahed and all that. But God was hardly ever mentioned in my family. Franklin D. Roosevelt was.
LAMB: They liked him.
Mr. HENTOFF: They liked him a lot.
LAMB: And what about your kids? What are they?
Mr. HENTOFF: I think at least two of them–and I’m–I better not speak them by name because I’m not sure where they are these days, but at least two of them believe in some kind of higher force. The–another is an atheist and the other is still pondering.
LAMB: You had a friendship or still have a friendship with John Cardinal O’Connor?

Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, I like him a lot. He–I started a–to know him–when I asked William Shawn at The New Yorker, `Sh–can I do a profile of Cardinal O’Connor?’ He said, `All right. Find out what he’s like.’ So I went to his office, and I heard somebody–and it turned out to be O’Connor–yelling outside, and I’ve never heard him since raise his voice.At the time there was a hospital strike in New York and the Catholic hospitals were part of a general consortium, and the head of the consortium had decided that they were finally going to replace some of the striking workers. And I hear O’Connor yelling, `Over my dead body will you replace any of those workers! They have a right to strike.’ So I figured, `This is interesting.’ Here is a guy who’s supposed to be the Genghis Khan of the church, the pro-choice people hate him, and I don’t know about his labor background so I figured there must be more to him, and there is. I wrote a book about him.

My favorite story about O’Connor–one of them–is I was in Toronto at a pro-life conference. And I was –I had a session before he was to come on, and I was explaining–I thought very moderately, calmly–that the best way to not have unwanted abortions was to have much more research on contraception. And two very large, true-faith people came out of the audience, wrested the microphone out of my hand and said, `That is im–inappropriate, improper. Pro-lifers do not believe in contraception.’ And O’Connor’s watching this. I get up again and introduce him, and O’Connor said, `I want to tell you I’m delighted that Nat is not a member of the Catholic Church. We have enough trouble as it is.’

LAMB: How close did you get to him?
Mr. HENTOFF: I guess pretty close. He had Margot and me over for drinks a couple of times. That was something I never could have envisioned back when I was a kid in Boston, that a cardinal and I would be, if not breaking bread, at least breaking Scotch. And I’ve I call him from time to time and he calls me. And when I think there’s something he ought to think about doing, I call him and he usually does it.
LAMB: How many books have you written?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, counting the ones I’ve co-edited, I guess about 28 or 29.
LAMB: Can you make a living off of doing…
Mr. HENTOFF: No.
LAMB: No?
Mr. HENTOFF: No. I–this sounds corny, but I once told a kid when I was in a the library conference, the best–not the best, what I really hope for is that someday 20, 30 years from now, some kid, 12-year-old, 15-year-old, in Des Moines will be going through the stacks, if they have stacks anymore–they probably won’t–and find a book of mine and get something from it. But in terms of money, no.
LAMB: Have you been able to make a living–a decent living writing?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, it depends on what you mean by decent. I’m–you know, it’s comfortable. We live in the village. We have a summer place in Westport, Connecticut. We don’t spend a lot on all kinds of things. But I have no complaints.
LAMB: Has your wife worked anymore since she left The Voice?
Mr. HENTOFF: No. Again, I wish she would because–especially now the kind of–I mean, honesty is hardly the word. She writes with a ferocity of clarity that–nobody else around has now.
LAMB: So you’re the breadwinner?
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. And she has some investments and stuff.
LAMB: Where did you go to school originally? What did–how did you train to be a writer?

Mr. HENTOFF: I read like everybody–like every other writer. I’ve been reading since I could read, which was about four or five years old. And I’d pick–my father would bring home about six newspapers. We had 10 in Boston at the time. I went to the library as soon as I could walk. So the training came from reading all kinds of people, from fairy tales and later on to–I don’t know why–Schweitz’s “Life of Christ.”And the book that really, really shaped my politics and has forever is Arthur Koestler’s “Darkness at Noon,” which is a novel based on terrible fact about what it was like in Russia during Stalin’s time when people actually believed that to get to the point where the Proletariat would triumph, anything that was necessary to be done should be done; the means didn’t count. And, of course, that’s not–that’s just not Russia.

But I went to school at a place that also shaped my life, Boston Latin School. Sandra Day O’Connor–once she said that there are–there were no public schools in America until the 18th century, and she overlooked my alma mater because we started–I say we–in 1635. And among the people who went there–and they’re on–the walls in the auditorium, the names are: Ralph Waldo Emerson and Cotton Mather, Benjamin Franklin, except he split when he was 10 years old to go to work. But it–Santiana, all that sort of–but the marvelous part of that school was all kinds of kids went.

It was a competitive examination. Poor kids, Brahmans, middle-class kids. The masters, as the teachers were called, didn’t give a damn about –how we felt, what was– things like at home. I mean, this goes against the current grain. All they thought about was: `You’re here. You made the exam. You can do the work. And if you can’t, we’ll throw you out.’ And it was a great lesson because I found out, and as the other kids did, that I could do the work.

LAMB: But what about your parents? What were they doing then for a living?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, my father–my mother’s always been–well, my mother, when she was younger, worked at Filene’s in Boston. And she was chief cashier. And I always wondered why she never went back to some kind of work ’cause that was a very responsible position. My father had always been a traveling salesman–New England, the South, whatever. He was very impressed when he saw “Death of a Salesman,” I must say. He recognized himself to some extent.
LAMB: In your life, how many different publications have you worked for?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, that’s hard to figure.
LAMB: How about the main jobs?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, the main jobs would be The New Yorker, The Village Voice, The Washington Post and–I’m thinking of the–stray one…
LAMB: You did The Reporter.

Mr. HENTOFF: The Reporter when Max Askeli was there, but I got fired from The Reporter. Max Askeli was a very courageous, principled man up to a point. He had left Italy before he was thrown in jail by Mussolini. And he started this very good magazine. In fact, Meg Greenfield, who’s now the editorial page editor of The Washington Post, was one of the star reporters there. I was in the back of the book doing music. I once did a–the first piece on Malcolm X that anyone had ever seen in the– white press.But I was very much against the Vietnam War, and Max Askeli was visiting Lyndon Johnson in the White House cheering him on, writing editorials. And in The Voice one day I once referred to him as Commander Askeli. And I called in to The Reporter to go over the galleys of a music piece I had written, and the editor whispered to me, `It’s not gonna run. You’re not gonna run. Max Askeli has fired you because of what you said about him.’ You see, the person who has the strong ownership of free speech is the one who owns the press.

LAMB: Why did you–you did that more than once in your life where you had–we just talked about a couple of them.
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah.
LAMB: What makes you do that?
Mr. HENTOFF: I don’t know. It seems to be the thing to do. I don’t like to feel intimidated by where I make a living.
LAMB: Have you ever pulled your punches?
Mr. HENTOFF: I suppose I have. I think it–yeah, I must have. I can’t remember, but it’ll come to me later.
LAMB: And, again, –did you have people in your life, in your family at all that were like this: always kind of flaunting authority or…
Mr. HENTOFF: My father was pretty independent. He was–he was arrested once in Nashville when he was on one of his sales trips because he had a black — guy to lunch. So that took a fair amount of courage at the time. Otherwise, no, I guess not. But I don’t…
LAMB: Did you ever regret doing it?
Mr. HENTOFF: Did I ever…
LAMB: Regret doing that, like criticizing–calling him Commander Askeli?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, I thought it was funny. I mean, I’m sor–I was sorry I lost the gig, but, I mean, I felt better about myself that I did it, rather than have–rather than thinking it and not writing it for being afraid of what might happen to me.
LAMB: You do a chapter on William Shawn, and he comes up all the time over the years.
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah.
LAMB: When did he die?
Mr. HENTOFF: Again, you can see my chronology is terrible. It must have been about seven or eight years ago. It was after he was fired by Newhouse. After New–when Newhouse bought The New Yorker, he said in one of those grand press conferences that `Bill Shawn will stay here as long as he wants to be here.’ Well, he wanted to be here until he died, but he wasn’t allowed to.
LAMB: What was he like?
Mr. HENTOFF: I’ve never met anybody quite like him. He created–and I’m sure it was conscious–an aura about him of quietude. But inside that quietude there was the firmest of wills. He knew exactly what he wanted to do. He–I mean, he didn’t, at least in my case and I think most of the others, he didn’t edit the writers very strongly, but he knew what he wanted. And if he liked the piece, then he would run it. But he wanted the magazine to be something that was more than just a weekly event. And as a result you could pick up a New Yorker under him, as I mentioned before, a year from then or 10 years or 20 years and there would always be something worth reading in it.
LAMB: You say that you had something to do with getting him fired.

Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. I’ve–that I regret. That was stupid and ignorant on my part. I went to a party as a guest of a friend of mine, a lawyer. And he had a client who I didn’t know, except–maybe I’m pretending I didn’t know, but he was a big investor in The New Yorker. And as I found out later in a book about The New Yorker, this guy was very unhappy about Shawn. He thought Shawn was spending out–spending too much money on writers.And then I told him–I was complaining the way writers complain. You know, I said, you know, `He pays very well, but a lot of my pieces don’t get in,’ and that was true of most of the writers there. And then he–but he pays you for them. That’s very–that was very nice of him. This guy didn’t think it was very nice of him. He figured, `Oh, my God, that’s more of my investment gone,’ and paying money to writers for not printing them.

So that became, apparently, one of his weapons against Shawn when he–in the corporate skirmishes that went on. It was a bad mistake on my part.

LAMB: But you ran into Mr. Shawn later.
Mr. HENTOFF: That was–he had been fired. And he had always been in The New Yorker immaculately dressed–quietly, immaculately dressed, very soft-spoken. On the phone I could hardly hear him sometimes. And after he was fired, I was going to the YMHA on the Upper East Side to do a talk on free speech.
LAMB: What’s YMHA?
Mr. HENTOFF: Young Men’s Hebrew Association. YM–yeah. And I went into a coffee shop to get a piece of pie and a coffee, and I was reading a paper and I hear a voice. And it was -it was not a voice I was familiar with, but I looked across the table and I saw Lilian Ross. Lilian Ross was a –veteran writer for The New Yorker. She, in fact, brought me to The New Yorker many years ago. And sitting next to her was William Shawn–no tie, needed a shave. His voice was kind of coarse and rather loud. He wasn’t drunk, but I was just stunned.
LAMB: Did you talk to him?
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. There wasn’t mu–much said, but I was thinking, perhaps unkindly–not unkindly, but on–inaccurately of Theodore Dreiser’s “Carrie,” when the main character in “Carrie” has been brought down by Carrie and his–he– dress is disheveled and all that sort of thing. And that’s the last I ever saw of him.
LAMB: Who was Carl Armstrong?

Mr. HENTOFF: Carl Armstrong was one of those people in the anti-war years who had been so convinced of the righteousness of their cause that he and some friends decided they would blow up a building at the University of Wisconsin, in which they said research was being done to help the war against the Vietnamese. What they blew up at three or four in the morning was a young scientist, who was married and had a couple of kids, who wasn’t working on war stuff at all. And he was killed.And I was less angry at Armstrong, though I was angry at the people who came to his trial: Dan Ellsberg, who ordinarily I respected a lot; Philip Berrigan; the guy who teaches at Princeton still–I can’t remember his name. And they were saying–well, they were saying, really, what Arthur Koestler had people saying on “Darkness at Noon.” The means were unfortunate and, sadly, someone died, but the end is what is important and this was a great symbolic–something or other–sign against the war in Vietnarm–nam. And I thought that was utterly disgusting. Fortunately most of the people who were involved in anti-Vietnam activity did not con themselves into being like the violent people they didn’t want.

LAMB: You mentioned Arthur Koestler again. When did he live?
Mr. HENTOFF: Let’s see…
LAMB: And did you ever know him?
Mr. HENTOFF: I went to a lecture of his once, I never met him. I’m trying to — I know he–he fought in the Spanish Civil War. He was in prison, I think, in Spain and in–and in Russia. He came to the United States; that’s when I saw him in the mid-1940s. Then he went to England where he lived and died, but I’m not sure of the dates of his death. He wrote some other very interesting books, but that book–I mean, if I were teaching, I don’t care what the course is, I would say you really have to read “Darkness at Noon.”
LAMB: And is it still available?
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. It’s in paperback.
LAMB: You remember who gave you the book?
Mr. HENTOFF: I gave me the book. I saw it lying around somewhere. In the library, I guess.
LAMB: Just read it?
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. Sure.
LAMB: You also once decided you wanted to look at your FBI file.

Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. I was writing–at least beginning to write Boston Boy and there were a lot of holes in my so-called research. I didn’t know the towns my mother and father came from in Russia. I didn’t know the name of the clothing store I went to work for when I was 11 years old. I didn’t know a lot of things. So I called for my FBI files, not expecting to have that stuff there, but I wanted to know what they had on me. And–but they did have the towns my mother and father lived in in Russia. They had the grocery store I worked in when I was 11 years old.Then they had a lot of clippings, a lot of articles I’d written. And to me the–the funniest one was–I had done a piece for Playboy about J. Edgar Hoover. I had not been very kind to J. Edgar Hoover. And the field agent had written on –it was sent directly to Hoover–that–the director should see this–`And, besides, Hentoff is a lousy writer.’ And I thought that went a bit far.

LAMB: Can anybody see their FBI file?
Mr. HENTOFF: I think you can apply under the Freedom of Informa…
LAMB: How did you do it?
Mr. HENTOFF: I went through the Freedom of Information Act.
LAMB: What…
Mr. HENTOFF: You know, then they re–as they say, they redact it. If they don’t want you to see something, it comes out black. Then you can appeal. If you have enough money, you can appeal again. But they showed me a lot of stuff.
LAMB: And what year did you do it?
Mr. HENTOFF: Let’s see, I guess 1980, something like that.
LAMB: You have a lot of other people that you talk about in the book, including William Brennan, the former justice of the Supreme Court.
Mr. HENTOFF: Right.
LAMB: What did you think of him?

Mr. HENTOFF: Well, I never expected to get to know him as well as I did. I called his chambers once. I’d gotten the go-ahead from Shawn to do a profile of him. I didn’t even know if he’d agree because most of the justices do not sit for profiles. And he answered the phone and he said, `Sure, come up.’ Gave -a date. And I saw him quite often from time to time.He–I mean, my two heroes are Brennan and, even more so, a man I didn’t able–wasn’t able to write about, but–at least then was William O. Douglas because they both really–they lived the Bill of Rights. They believed, you know, as if it were religious faith, that everybody had the right to speak, the right to assemble; all those things that Clinton has a very dim view of.

And he was–the thing that impressed me about Brennan, he’d been on the court a long time; he had really shaped the jurisprudence of our times until the last 10 or–years or so, and yet he had, as the British say, no side, no pretentiousness, very easy guy. He laughed a lot. He could take criticism. Very impressive fellow.

The one thing he did that I never–I understood it, but I didn’t like it. There was a case against Ralph Ginsberg. Ralph Ginsberg edited a magazine called Eros. Eros was about –erotic material, both in print and pictures, etc. I wrote a piece for it on Sam Hyakowa and his very useful distinction between the lyrics of the blues–the black blues and popular lyrics. Black…

LAMB: Who was Sam Hyakowa?

Mr. HENTOFF: He was a semanticist who later became a rather sleepy United States senator. But he was a good semanticist. And all of a sudden at my door one day, at my office, there appeared a detective from the district attorney’s office carrying a gun. And I was to go forthwith to an interview in the DA’s office about Eros magazine. I was not hip then to the task–I mean, you know, `Where’s your warrant?’ and all that sort of stuff.So there was a real press on to get Eros. And finally, Ginsberg himself was indicted and convicted of pandering. And Brennan, of all people, read the decision from the bench, and Brennan had been the key man on the court to get away from obscenity, let alone pornography, and to say that it also–it’s also subjective it oughtn’t to be justicable. And as he read the decision, his neck grew redder and redder and he was furious. I mean, he could have hit Ginsberg, I guess, except he wasn’t that sort of fellow.

And I asked a clerk, `What is this all about?’ And he said, `Oh, well, Justice Brennan has a daughter, and she’s of the age where he feels she might have been shaped in some way by this magazine.’ So even Brennan at a crucial point–and it didn’t last beyond that decision–succumbed to his visceral feelings rather than his liberal–libertarian feelings.

LAMB: How do you, in your opinion, stay consistent with–I mean, we’ve started talking that you thought you were a liberal, you’re not sure what you are today, and you find yourself, you know, being opposed by the different sides at strange times and being on all different sides of the issue. How do you stay, in your mind, consistent?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, I –first of all, I do believe that everybody, including people I abhor, have the right to speak and not be censored.
LAMB: How far can they go?
Mr. HENTOFF: As far as you want. I can–the only exceptions, I would think, is if someone were to threaten somebody–specifically, a person and say, `I’m gonna see you at dawn and I’m gonna knife you.’ That’s not protected speech.
LAMB: Any language, any words you want to use?
Mr. HENTOFF: Any words at all. Words are–I mean, there is a great–there was a great scene in New York once when Lenny Bruce, who was a friend of mine, was on trial for his words. And Richard Cue, the assistant district attorney, was making a name for himself trying to blast all of the witnesses for the defense. And he got Dorothy Kilgallen, who was a very famous then syndicated columnist, a devout Catholic, a conservative and a great admirer of Lenny Bruce. And he con–he strung together, Cue did, all of the words in Lenny’s monologues that could be considered terribly offensive, and he hit her with them. It was a barrage. `What do you think then, Ms. Kilgallen?’ `Well,’ she said, `they’re words. They’re words. That’s all. Words.’ That’s the way I feel.
LAMB: You resigned from the ACLU.

Mr. HENTOFF: I did, indeed. I had differed with the ACLU in the past, as most of the people in the ACLU do from time to time. But I had a lot of respect for much of what they’re doing, and I still do. I still call the affiliates from time to time to get stories. But they did one thing that was beyond the possibility of my staying.The Centers for Disease Control, since 1988, had been testing infants at birth for various diseases–sickle-cell anemia, syphilis, whatever, and HIV that leads to AIDS. HIV was not allowed to be the results of that test was not told to the parents or the physician–the attending physician because of political reasons. The gay groups and the feminist groups didn’t want that sort of violation of privacy to go on. And the ACLU went along with that.

And, finally, a very brave assemblywoman in New York, who was pro-choice, Nettie Mayersohn, finally got a bill through that made this testing mandatory so that people–for example, if a woman took her child home and the woman was infected and didn’t know it, but the child was not, the child–the woman would breast-feed the child and the child would die. And I kept saying to the people I knew in the ACLU, `How can you allow people to die for the sake of an utterly rigid, wrongheaded principle?’ And they wouldn’t budge, so I left.

LAMB: They ever try to get you back?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, they wouldn’t try to get me back. Like Cardinal O’Connor, I think they’re delighted I’m not there. I’m too much trouble.
LAMB: I’m gonna name a bunch of folks in the time remaining. I just want you give us a little, short snippet of what you think of them…
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah.
LAMB: …and how you knew them. Stokely Carmichael.
Mr. HENTOFF: Stokely was a very bright young man who was active in the Southern civil rights movement, took over SNCC and became what I call a tribalist. He is all for blacks and is a–become a terrible anti-Semite and I think is one of those people who has done a lot of harm not only — to integration, but to the whole sense of possible communality between whites and blacks.
LAMB: How well did you know him?
Mr. HENTOFF: Not well. Too well. I didn’t know him, hardly.
LAMB: Murray Kempton.
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, Murray Kempton was, you know, perhaps the most singular journalist of our time. He was another person who wrote beautifully with great understanding of jazz, as well as politics, as well as what it was like to live.
LAMB: Why was he your mentor?
Mr. HENTOFF: Well, one of the things he told me, the way Izzy Stone did, was, `Don’t go to press conferences ’cause it’s a PR thing to begin with. Anything you want to know, they’re not gonna tell you.’ That’s why they have a press conference is not to tell you things. And also Izzy then said, `Go see some middle-level bureaucrat whom nobody ever asks about–asks to see, and then you’ll find out things,’ which was true. But I liked Murray ’cause of his personality. He –he was quirky and continually interesting.
LAMB: Adlai Stevenson.
Mr. HENTOFF: Adlai Stevenson–you know, I–when he was running for president, I thought he was going to be the hope of our time. But then when he became part of the Johnson administration and was UN ambassador, –our ambassador to the UN–and lied. He lied again and again on the basis of policy that was set for Washington. And a bunch of us went to see him because we wanted–we were trying to get some people of stature to come out against the Vietnam War. And he was marvelously graceful, charming and dishonest. So I didn’t like him.
LAMB: Martin Luther King.
Mr. HENTOFF: I hardly knew him. I interviewed him once. I–the thing about King that–that I especially admire–I mean, obviously what he did in the South. But when he decided to expand his influence to go against the Vietnam War, and this went against the advice of Roy Wilkins and other black leaders and naturally a lot of white politicians, he said, `No. That’s–that’s what I have to do. I mean, that’s the thing we have to talk about.’
LAMB: Dizzy Gillespie.
Mr. HENTOFF: Dizzy was a very warm, brilliant trumpet player, general wise man. I mean, –I don’t mean that in a derogatory sense. It sounds funny, but the thing I most remember about Dizzy–I hadn’t seen him for several years, and I went to a rehearsal of his at Lincoln Center. And as he came down the hall he was talking to somebody, and then he saw me and he gave me a big embrace. And he said to the guy, `It’s like seeing an old broad of yours.’ I thought, `Gee.’
LAMB: Duke Ellington.
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, Duke was–I was–I– got to know him quite well, but I was almost always in awe of him, first because he was the most original composer this country’s ever had; I think Charles Ives is a close second. But there was–the– presence of the man, the– grace, the steel behind the grace–he was an extraordinary person.
LAMB: Was there a difference between Father Coughlin and Louis Farrakhan?
Mr. HENTOFF: Not so it matters to me. And they’re both pre-eminent anti-Semites. Father Coughlin perhaps had a wider range of hatred and bitterness. I mean, he–although now that I think of it, when–I remember when I was a kid I listened to Coughlin, and Coughlin would say that the Jews are the international bankers who take away the widows’ might. At the same time, the Jews run the Politburo in Moscow, which made us very busy. And Farrakhan says pretty much the same thing: `The Jews run the Federal Reserve Board. The Jews get us into wars. The’–I mean, the fact that Farrakhan was named by Time magazine last year as one of the 25 most influential Americans I found chilling.
LAMB: You missed anything in your life that you wanted to do?
Mr. HENTOFF: Yeah. Play the clarinet well so I could be in Duke Ellington’s band, but that’s now impossible. And the other thing I miss is teaching. I did teach for awhile and I love teaching ’cause that’s the fun of getting interplay of ideas, not just talking to your typewriter.
LAMB: Do you have another book you want to write?

Mr. HENTOFF: Well, I’m working on one now. It’s called “Living the Bill of Rights,” and it’s about people–well, it starts with Brennan and Douglas as people who not only live the Bill of Rights, but try to shape the reason for that. But then–the–these are people who–there’s a valedictorian in a high school in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, a born-again Christian, who got into a lot of trouble because she wouldn’t let her principal–this is a public high school–censor or see her valedictorian speech. She said, `No. That’s First Amendment right. I’m gonna do that.’ And the whole school closed against her almost physically.Then there’s a black lawyer in Galveston, Texas, who was the unpaid NAACP general counsel in Texas. He had a great record in housing discrimination, labor discrimination. He decided to take as a client a member of the Ku Klux Klan because the state wanted to get the membership lists of the Klan to find out if they could get something on the Klan. And he said, `I got to take you. I despise you. But we, the NAACP, won that case; NAACP vs. Alabama in the 1950s. Nobody has the right to get your membership lists.’ He was fired from the NAACP. He became a pariah, until he stopped his practice and went around the state talking to black church groups and other black groups explaining why he had done what he had done. To me, he’s a hero.

LAMB: Where was this picture taken?
Mr. HENTOFF: That was taken at the studio of a photographer in Chelsea.
LAMB: What year?
Mr. HENTOFF: Oh, about–let’s see, this year, I think. Yeah, earlier this year.
LAMB: On that note, Nat Hentoff, we’re out of time. “Speaking Freely” is the book. It’s a memoir. And we thank you for joining us.
Mr. HENTOFF: Thank you.

_____________________

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

 

Dr Francis Schaeffer – Whatever Happened to the Human Race – Episode 1

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)

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Open letter to President Obama (Part 541) Atheist Nat Hentoff USED TO THINK that abortion is part of a woman’s fundamental right to privacy

Open letter to President Obama (Part 541) (Emailed to White House on 6-12-13.) 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 […]

Atheist Nat Hentoff USED TO THINK that abortion is part of a woman’s fundamental right to privacy

Nat Hentoff is an atheist, but he became a pro-life activist because of the scientific evidence that shows that the unborn child is a distinct and separate human being and even has a separate DNA. His perspective is a very intriguing one that I thought you would be interested in. I have shared before many   […]

Pro-life Atheist Nat Hentoff: Mr. President, did you mean what you said at Notre Dame about “working together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions”?

Pro-life Atheist Nat Hentoff: Mr. President, did you mean what you said at Notre Dame about “working together to reduce the number of women seeking abortions”? Nat Hentoff is an atheist, but he became a pro-life activist because of the scientific evidence that shows that the unborn child is a distinct and separate human being […]

Pro-life atheist Nat Hentoff: With Obama you will get more abortions!!!

Pro-life atheist Nat Hentoff: With Obama you will get more abortions!!! Nat Hentoff is an atheist, but he became a pro-life activist because of the scientific evidence that shows that the unborn child is a distinct and separate human being and even has a separate DNA. His perspective is a very intriguing one that I […]

Pro-life atheist Nat Hentoff quotes wise 9 yr kid concerning abortion, “It doesn’t matter what month. It still means killing the babies.”

The pro-life atheist Nat Hentoff wrote a fine article below I wanted to share with you. Nat Hentoff is an atheist, but he became a pro-life activist because of the scientific evidence that shows that the unborn child is a distinct and separate human being and even has a separate DNA. His perspective is a […]

Pro-life Atheist Nat Hentoff on the 19 yr old Ana Rosa Rodriguez the survivor of an abortion attempt

Nat Hentoff is an atheist, but he became a pro-life activist because of the scientific evidence that shows that the unborn child is a distinct and separate human being and even has a separate DNA. His perspective is a very intriguing one that I thought you would be interested in. I have shared before many   […]

“Sanctity of Life Saturday” Pro-life Atheist Nat Hentoff: “Link between pro-lifers (of today) to the Abolitionists of 19th century who would not be deterred from their goal of ensuring equal rights for all human beings in this land”

Nat Hentoff is an atheist, but he became a pro-life activist because of the scientific evidence that shows that the unborn child is a distinct and separate human being and even has a separate DNA. His perspective is a very intriguing one that I thought you would be interested in. I have shared before many   […]