Monthly Archives: February 2016

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 64 Arif Ahmed Cambridge, “There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow…These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence!”

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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

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Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Today I look at Arif Ahmed but here are some of my earlier posts:

Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart EhrmanIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldAlan Guth, Jonathan HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganStuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

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Arif Ahmed has been a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy since October 2011 at University of Cambridge

Books

In  the third video below in the 148th 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)

Below is the letter I wrote to Dr. Ahmed and in the letter is his quote that I responded to with evidence.

Dr. Arif Ahmed, University of Cambridge, Philosophy Dept,

February 23, 2015

Dear Dr. Ahmed,

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 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-), Harry Kroto (1939-), Edward O. WIlson(1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton (1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes (1906-1999), Glenn Branch, 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.”

Here is a quote I ran across recently from you:

 There are other examples in life where committing oneself means staking your life like flying on a plane to France tomorrow. That is committing your life to something or taking a drug which is comitting your life to something. These are precisely not cases where you should make a leap in the absence of evidence. These are the cases we demand evidence the most strongly and it seems to me that religious belief if it is genuine is the case then that demand is the same and even raised to higher degree.
In this letter I want to discuss this issue of faith and evidence and your statement above is a good starting point on this very issue. I AGREE THAT ONE SHOULD NOT “MAKE A LEAP IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE.” Francis Schaeffer has a wonderful story that he tells on this same subject and I wanted to share with you later in this letter.
Many secularists have claimed that Christians do not even have the right to have a place at the table. However, the vast majority of great scientists of the last 500 years did hold the view that we live in an open system and they did not hold the view of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system. Recently I read the article ANSWERING THE NEW ATHEISTS, by  KerbyAnderson,  Sunday, January 30 th, 2011, and that article notes:

Are science and Christianity at odds with one another? Certainly there have been times in the past when that has been the case. But to only focus on those conflicts is to miss the larger point that modern science grew out of a Christian world view. In a previous radio program based upon the book Origin Science by Dr. Norman Geisler and me, I explain Christianity’s contribution to the rise of modern science.{27}

Sean McDowell and Jonathan Morrow also point out in their book that most scientific pioneers were theists. This includes such notable as Nicolas Copernicus, Robert Boyle, Isaac Newton, Blaise Pascal, Johannes Kepler, Louis Pasteur, Francis Bacon, and Max Planck. Many of these men actually pursued science because of their belief in the Christian God.

Alister McGrath challenges this idea that science and religion are in conflict with one another. He says, “Once upon a time, back in the second half of the nineteenth century, it was certainly possible to believe that science and religion were permanently at war. . . . This is now seen as a hopelessly outmoded historical stereotype that scholarship has totally discredited.”{28}

.Do religious people have a blind faith? Certainly some religious people exercise blind faith. But is this true of all religions, including Christianity? Of course not. The enormous number of Christian books on topics ranging from apologetics to theology demonstrate that the Christian faith is based upon evidence.

But we might turn the question around on the New Atheists. You say that religious faith is not based upon evidence. What is your evidence for that broad, sweeping statement? Where is the evidence for your belief that faith is blind?

Orthodox Christianity has always emphasized that faith and reason go together. Biblical faith is based upon historical evidence. It is not belief in spite of the evidence, but it is belief because of the evidence.

The Bible, for example, says that Jesus appeared to the disciples and provided “many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God” (Acts 1:3).

Peter appealed to evidence and to eyewitnesses when he preached about Jesus as “a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know” (Acts 2:22).

The Christian faith is not a blind faith. It is a faith based upon evidence. In fact, some authors contend that it takes more faith to be an atheist than to believe in God.{7}

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Francis Schaeffer also has discussed the nature of proper Christian faith with this story below:

Suppose we are climbing in the Alps and are very high on the bare rock, and suddenly the fog rolls in. The guide turns to us and says that the ice is forming and that there is no hope; before morning we will all freeze to death here on the shoulder of the mountain. Simply to keep warm the guide keeps us moving in the dense fog further out on the shoulder until none of us have any idea where we are. After an hour or so, someone says to the guide, “Suppose I dropped and hit a ledge ten feet down in the fog. What would happen then?” The guide would say that you might make it until the morning and thus live. So, with absolutely no knowledge or any reason to support his action, one of the group hangs and drops into the fog. This would be one kind of faith, a leap of faith.

Suppose, however, after we have worked out on the shoulder in the midst of the fog and the growing ice on the rock, we had stopped and we heard a voice which said, “You cannot see me, but I know exactly where you are from your voices.  I am on another ridge. I have lived in these mountains, man and boy, for over sixty years and I know every foot of them. I assure you that ten feet below you there is a ledge. If you hang and drop, you can make it through the night and I will get you in the morning.

I would not hang and drop at once, but would ask questions to try to ascertain if the man knew what he was talking about and it he was not my enemy. In the Alps, for example, I would ask him his name. If the name he gave me was the name of a family from that part of the mountains, it would count a great deal to me. In the Swiss Alps there are certain family names that indicate mountain families of that area. In my desperate situation, even though time would be running out, I would ask him what to me would be the adequate and sufficient questions, and when I became convinced by his answers, then I would hang and drop.

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What kind of evidence is today that would convince you that God exists and the Bible is true? I submit to you that Biblical Archaeology is a field that has advanced tremendously in the last few decades and I propose you look in that area. Did you know that Charles Darwin was looking for evidence that confirmed the Bible’s accuracy back in the 19th century and this is one of the exact areas that he mentioned.

Darwin wrote in his Autobiography in 1876:

“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 and “man can do his duty.” Instinctively this of brains understood where this whole thing was going to eventually go…

SINCE CHARLES DARWIN’S DEATH WE NOW HAVE LOTS OF HISTORICAL RECORDS AND MUCH EVIDENCE FROM THE FIELD OF ARCHAEOLOGY THAT SHOW THE BIBLE IS HISTORICALLY ACCURATE.

Just like Darwin you need to ask yourself this same question but you will be doing it almost a century and a half later: Is the Bible historically accurate and have I taken the time to examine the evidence? Obviously Darwin was hoping that archaeology would provide some hope for the accuracy of the Bible. 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.,

AFTER ADEQUATE AND SUFFICIENT QUESTIONS OF YOURS BEING ANSWERED THEN YOU CAN BECOME CONVINCED AS SCHAEFFER’S STORY POINTS OUT.

This might interest you that my good friend in Little Rock  Craig Carney has an uncle named  Warren Carney who lives in Dayton, Tennessee, and  Warren was born in 1917 and he is last living witness of the Scopes Monkey trial. His father took him to the trial every day since they lived in Dayton and it was the biggest happening in the town’s history. Also I attended the funeral of Dr. Robert G. Lee (1886-1978) at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis and he is the minister who presided over William Jennings Bryan’s funeral in 1925. Of course, William Jennings Bryan took on Clarence Darrow at that famous trial. Below is an excerpt from the CD I sent you from Adrian Rogers on DARWINISM and it mentions some evidence presented by evolutionists in favor of Evolution. DOES THIS EVIDENCE FROM EVOLUTIONISTS EVEN COMPARE TO THAT I HAVE PUT FORTH CONCERNING THE ACCURACY OF THE BIBLE?

ADRIAN ROGERS FROM HIS MESSAGE ON “DARWINISM”:

The evolutionist can’t explain the steadfastness, the fixity, of the species. Now, what does the Bible say about the species? Well, Genesis 1, verses 11–12: “And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit”—now, listen to this phrase—“after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:11–12). You continue this passage. Ten times God uses this phrase, “after his kind”—“after his kind,” “after his kind”—because like produces like.

Now, the evolutionist must believe that reproduction does not always come kind after kind. There has to be a mutation—or a transmutation, rather—between species—that you can become a protozoa; and then you can become an un-segmented worm; and then you may become a fish; and then you may become a reptile, and move from one species to another. Now, all of us know there is such a thing as mutation. If you have roses, you can get various varieties of roses. If you have dogs—canines—you can have everything from a poodle to a Great Dane, but they’re still canines; they’re still dogs. The scientists have bombarded fruit flies with gamma rays or some kind of rays to cause mutations, and they get all kinds of strange fruit flies. But, they never get June bugs; they’re still fruit flies. You see, there are variations and adaptations that God has built, but you never have one species turning to another species. You never have a cat turn into a dog that turns to a cow that turns to a horse. You just don’t have that.

Now, men have tried to do that. I heard, one time, about a marine biologist who tried to take one of these beautiful shell creatures called an abalone and cross it with a crocodile. What he got was a crock of baloney. And, anytime anybody tries this, that’s exactly what they come up with.
Now, you say, “Pastor Rogers, why are you so certain about the fixity of the species, the steadfastness of the species?” Number one: because the Bible teaches it, and that’s enough for me. But, let’s move beyond that. We’re not talking about theological reasons now; we’re talking about logical reasons. Friend, if this is true, you would expect to find transitional forms in the fossils. There are billions of fossils; there are trillions of fossils— multiplied fossils. In not one instance—are you listening?—in not one instance do we find a transitional form. None—there are none.

Now, there are some people who will attempt to show you a proof of these, but I can tell you that eminent scientists have proven that these are not true. You would think that if man has evolved for millions and billions of years, and that life has evolved from one-celled life, some amoeba, to what we have today, that, in the fossils in the earth, we would find these transitional forms. But, they’re not there. The people talking about finding the missing link… Friend, the whole chain is missing—the whole chain is missing. Now, you ask them to prove it—that that is not true; and, they cannot come up with evidence. Well, you say, “But Pastor, they seem to have the proof. What about these ape-men? What about these people who lived in caves—these cave dwellers?” We have cave dwellers today. People have lived in caves through the years. “But, what about these things that we see in the museum? What about these creatures in this Time-Life advertisement?” Those are the products of imagination, and artistry, and plaster of Paris.

Some years ago—in 1925, I believe it was—in Tennessee—Dayton, Tennessee— we had something called The Monkey Trial. Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan were in a court case. A teacher had taught evolution in school, and there were people who sued that evolution should not be taught in school. Now it is reversed— you’re sued if you don’t teach evolution in school. But, there was a great debate, and Clarence Darrow, who was a very brilliant lawyer, was presenting evidence for evolution. Part of the evidence that Clarence Darrow presented was Nebraska Man, and he had all of these pictures.

Now, what had happened is there was a man named Harold Cook. And, Harold Cook had found a piece of evidence, and out of that piece of evidence the artist had created this half-man, half-ape—this Nebraska Man. Well, what was it that Clarence Darrow used as evidence that Harold Cook had discovered? It was a tooth. I didn’t say, “teeth”; I said, “tooth.” He had a tooth; and, with that tooth, he had devised a race—male and female.

I was interested in reading, in my research for this message, where a creationist went to the University of Nebraska, where they have the campus museum. And, since he’s named Nebraska Man, they have the replica of Nebraska Man there, in the museum. So, this creationist went in there and said, “I want to see Nebraska Man.” So, they took him in there, and in a case were the skull and the skeleton of Nebraska Man. And, the creationist said, “Are these the actual bones of Nebraska Man?” “Oh,” he said, “no, they’re not the actual bones.” “Well,” the man said, “where could I see the actual bones?” “Oh,” he said, “well, we don’t have the bones. These are plaster of Paris casts of Nebraska Man.” “Well, you must have had the bones to make the cast.” The man in charge seemed embarrassed. “We don’t have any bones. All we have is a tooth.” That’s Nebraska Man. And, what they had done was to take a tooth, take some imagination, take an artist, take plaster of Paris, take some paste and some hair, and glue it on him—make a male, make a female, make a civilization called Nebraska Man out of one—one—tooth.

 What about the Piltdown man? I, in college, was introduced to the Piltdown man. Where’d we get his name? Well, Charles Dawson, in Piltdown, England, found in a gravel pit a piece of a jaw, two molar teeth, and a piece of a skull. For 50 years, this was known as “the Piltdown man,” but it was later shown to be a hoax. And, The Reader’s Digest, in 1958, said this—and I quote: “The great Piltdown hoax was an ape only 50 years old. Its teeth had been filed down and artificially colored.” Well, we laugh at that, and we say anybody could have a joke pulled on him. Yes, but friend, the scientists took this and put it in the museum for 50 years. Do you see how anxious man is to make a monkey of himself? I mean, it was a hoax.

Is your faith in the evidence that supports the theory of evolution comparable to the faith I have in the Word of God being true and God creating the world? Recently I ran across the term “Implicit Faith” and I thought of your view that evolution must be true and we have to be living in a closed system. When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters, I also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer. I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you 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.

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:—

By further reflecting that the clearest evidence would be requisite to make any sane man believe in the miracles by which Christianity is supported,—and that the more we know of the fixed laws of nature the more incredible do miracles become,—that the men at that time were ignorant and credulous to a degree almost incomprehensible by us,”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

 He now says who can accept the miracles? But notice again this is an argument from presuppositions, because what this means is that he has accepted the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system which I say is the basic presupposition  of modern man. So therefore since he has accepted a closed system he assumes there is no miracle, but that doesn’t mean he has any evidence that there were no miracles. It doesn’t mean he  is at ease as a man because he has ruled these things out. Darwin is a man in tension. Does  the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system explain the wonder of the universe and secondly the mannishness of man? He himself feels caught on these two great hooks of the real world. In others I would say, “DARWIN your presuppositions don’t even satisfy you. You rule miracles on the basis of your presuppositions but your belief of the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system does not even satisfy you.” Darwin went to his death unsatisfied and yet  he was forced to give up his own presuppositions but he never gave them up. It seems to me you have the old man Darwin perspiring in his tension that you can only think of Paul’s conclusion in Romans 1, that when men deliberately turn away from the truth that is there, the external universe and the mannishness of man, God gives them up to an unsound mind. If there even was anybody that ever demonstrated this it was Darwin himself  at the end of his life. It is a position that Darwin holds with implicit faith. You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. 

There was an amazing man by the name of  H.J.Blackham (1903-2009) and he was the former president of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION. Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop quoted him in their book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79

One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

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To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)

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

 

 

Is Belief in God More Reasonable than Disbelief – Arif Ahmed vs William Lane Craig

WILLIAM LANE CRAIG DEBATES ARIF AHMED: DOES GOD EXIST?

I thought that I would summarize a debate that occurred at Cambridge University between Dr. William Lane Craig and Dr. Arif Ahmed. Everyone knows Dr. Craig, but I should say that Arif Ahmed is a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy at Cambridge University.

The full MP3 is available here.

Below, I’ve summarized the two opening speeches from each debater.

Here is Dr. Craig’s opening speech: (1:24)

Craig’s case for God.

1) The origin of the universe (3:10)
– an eternal universe is not compatible with mathematics
– the impossibility of an actual infinite in nature (cites David Hilbert)
– an eternal universe is not compatible with science
– the big bang theory requires space and time to come into being out of nothing (cites PCW Davies)
– even radical alternative theories require an absolute beginning (cites Stephen Hawking)
– atheists must believe that the origin of space and time came from nothing and by nothing (cites Anthony Kenny)

Argument:
P1.1) Whatever begins to exist requires a cause
P1.2) The universe begin to exist
C1.3) Therefore, the universe requires a cause

What can the cause be:
– it must be eternal, because it caused time to exist
– it must be non-physical, because it caused space to begin to exist

Why must the cause of the universe be a person instead of a force?
Only minds can exist non-physically
– the only non-physical entities we know of are abstract objects and minds
– but abstract objects can’t cause physical effects
– therefore, the cause universe is a personal mind

Only minds can cause effects in time without antecedent conditions
– causally prior to the universe’s beginning, there were no antecedent conditions
– the only entity capable of acting freely, not based on antecedent conditions, are free agents
– therefore, the cause of the universe is a free agent

2) The fine-tuning of the initial conditions of the universe (9:15)
– the fine-tuning of the universe is supported by science
– the constants and quantities given in the big bang can take any of a range of values
– the actual values are within a extremely narrow range that supports the requirements of life
– he gives the example of the fine-tuning of the gravitational constant
– he gives the example of the fine-tuning of the weak force

Argument:
P2.1) The fine-tuning is either due to law, chance or design
P2.2) It is not due to law, because the numbers are independent of the law
P2.3) It cannot be due to chance, the life-permitting band is tiny compared to the possible values
C2.4) Therefore, the fine-tuning is due to design

3) Objective moral values are plausibly grounded in God (12:41)
– objective moral values are values that exist and are binding regardless of what individuals think
– objective moral values cannot be rationally grounded on an atheistic worldview (cites Michael Ruse)
– atheists can recognize moral values and act on them, but they cannot explain their origin and existence
– atheists can only appeal to personal or cultural preferences to say what is right and wrong
– the existence of objective moral is undeniable

Argument:
P3.1) If God does not exist, then objective moral values do not exist
P3.2) Objective moral values do exist
C3.3) Therefore, God exists

4) The resurrection of Jesus implies that God exists (16:04)
– if the resurrection of Jesus happened, then it would be a miracle, implying that God exists
– three facts are recognized by the majority of scholars
– the tomb was found empty after his death (cites Jacob Kramer)
– individuals and groups saw Jesus after his death (cites Gerd Ludemann)
– the belief in the resurrection of Jesus was totally unexpected (cites N.T. Wright)
– naturalistic explanations of these facts have been rejected by the consensus of scholars

Argument:
P4.1) The 3 minimal facts are established
P4.2) The hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead is the best explanation for these facts
P4.3) The hypothesis that God raised Jesus from the dead entails that God exists
C4.4) Therefore, God exists

5) God can be known directly by personal experience (20:02)
– God can be experienced just like you experience a relationship with human persons

Dr. Ahmed’s first opening speech: (22:10)

Rebuttal to Craig’s case for God.

0) Craig is wrong about faith and reason (25:20)
– Craig’s book Reasonable Faith, he makes a number of statements about faith and reason
– He writes that Christianity is not accountable to reason if reason goes against Christianity
– He writes that the truth of Christianity is knowable without rational arguments
– He writes that even if there are no reasons to believe, and many reasons to disbelieve, humans are still obligated to believe
– Question for Craig: is Christianity reasonable or isn’t it? Do reasons matter or don’t they?

1) Response to Craig’s first argument: the origin of the universe (28:27)
– what mathematicians say about the contradictory nature of subtraction and division for actual infinities is wrong
– what cosmologists and physicists say about the beginning of time is wrong, every event follows another one, there is no first event
– even if the universe is 15 billion years old, the act of Creation requires time and there was no time prior to the supposed beginning of the universe for God to act in
– the cause of the universe need not be a personal agent
– all minds are made of matter so a mind cannot be the cause of the universe, because all the people who pre-suppose materialism like me think that minds must be made of matter
– it is impossible for a person to act outside of time,because all the persons I know act in time
– why did God wait 15 billion years before creating humans and relating to them? – i wouldn’t have done it that way

2) Response to Craig’s second argument: the fine-tuning of the creation (32:38)
– where do these probabilities that Craig is using come from?

3) Response to Craig’s third argument: the moral argument (34:07)
– I have personal preferences about what counts as right and wrong, and they are superior to God’s preferences
– moral intuitions are not a good way of discovering objective moral values, so therefore objective moral values don’t exist

4) Response to Craig’s fourth argument: the resurrection (36:00)
– the number of eyewitnesses is not enough, because groups number of eyewitnesses can be fooled by illusions, as in David Copperfield illusions
– the Gospels contradict themselves, e.g. – the story of Matthew’s earthquake and walking dead isn’t in Mark – so that’s a contradiction, so the Gospels are not reliable sources for Craig’s 3 minimal facts

5) Response to Craig’s fourth argument: personal experience (37:30)
– there are many different religious experiences because there are many different religions
– if lots of people disagree about something, then no one can be right

Ahmed’s case against God.

1) Absence of evidence is evidence of absence (39:00)
– if there is are no reasons to believe in God, then this alters reality to make it true that he doesn’t exist

2) The inductive argument from evil (40:04)
– some evil is gratuitous – events cause people to suffer, and has no benefit that I can see, based on my limited knowledge in time and space and my personal preference of what counts as a benefit and what doesn’t
– God would not have allowed people to suffer, because God’s job is to make us feel happy in this life

3) Belief in God makes people evil (41:52)
– all genuinely religious people are very immoral, according to my personal preferences about what counts as right and wrong

Further study

In case you are wondering about his inductive argument from evil, please read this summary on the problems of evil and suffering, which is taken from my list of arguments for and against Christian theism.  Keep in my mind that I am a software engineer with two degrees in computer science… not philosophy!

Craig mentions a paper by the late William P. Alston of Syracuse University in his rebuttal to the inductive problem of evil. The paper lists six limitations on human cognitive capacities that make it difficult for humans to know that some instance of  apparently gratuitous evil really is gratuitious – that God has no morally sufficient reason for permitting this specific instance of evil.  Since Ahmed is making the claim that some evil is gratuitous, he bears the burden of proof.

_______________________________________

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“Truth Tuesday” Debating the Founding Fathers with Ark Times Bloggers Part 8 Thomas Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor

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 , but the issue of the founding fathers’ views on religion got one of the biggest responses.

It is true that 29 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had degrees with Bible Colleges or Seminaries and these men we know were God-fearing Protestants. This means they had a biblical view of man with an understanding of our sin nature and this led them to come up with a limited government with many checks and balances. They had a strong belief in the afterlife and in future punishments and rewards. They also encouraged Christianity and were not hostile to religion. However, they did not set up a Christian Theocracy but wanted freedom of religion.

People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruptionThe recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes President Obama made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control.  Here is a clip discussing the founders and what their religious views were.

David Barton: Declaration and Constitution Are Based Entirely On The Bible

Here is some comments from our debate on the Arkansas Times Blog in July of 2013:

Citizen1 talks about my views as if I am in favor of the government having crown jewels pilfered from the peasants. Nothing can be further from my view. I think that the government should lower taxes and return the responsibility for the poor back to private organizations and then eliminate the welfare trap that traps people in poverty.

http://www.vindicatingthefounders.com/libr…

Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Milligan

April 6, 1816

[Jefferson affirms that the main purpose of society is to enable human beings to keep the fruits of their labor. — TGW]

To take from one, because it is thought that his own industry and that of his fathers has acquired too much, in order to spare to others, who, or whose fathers have not exercised equal industry and skill, is to violate arbitrarily the first principle of association, “the guarantee to every one of a free exercise of his industry, and the fruits acquired by it.” If the overgrown wealth of an individual be deemed dangerous to the State, the best corrective is the law of equal inheritance to all in equal degree; and the better, as this enforces a law of nature, while extra taxation violates it.

[From Writings of Thomas Jefferson, ed. Albert E. Bergh (Washington: Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), 14:466.]
_______________

Jefferson pointed out that to take from the rich and give to the poor through government is just wrong. Franklin knew the poor would have a better path upward without government welfare coming their way. Milton Friedman’s negative income tax is the best method for doing that and by taking away all welfare programs and letting them go to the churches for charity.

https://thedailyhatch.org/2012/09/06/privat…

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MUSIC MONDAY Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 3 (Larry met Paul McCartney)

Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 3 (Larry met Paul McCartney)

I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry Norman’s music in the 1970’s and his album IN ANOTHER LAND came out in 1976 and sold an enormous amount of copies for a Christian record back then.

Larry Norman – 7 – Deja Vu – Look Into Jesus – In Another Land (1976)

Larry Norman – 8 – I Am A Servant – In Another Land (1976)

 

 

 

Larry Norman on John Lennon, Paul McCartney and the Beatles

John Lennon: One of Jesus’ “Biggest Fans”

By Jesse Carey
Interactive Media Producer

CBN.com During his lifetime, he became one of the most controversial figures in popular culture, effecting not just how people listen to music, but how many view religion and faith. But a recently discovered interview with the late Beatles frontman John Lennon indicates the singer’s real views about Jesus and Christianity. The interview, which was unearthed two weeks ago, took place in 1969 for a segment on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation show before getting lost in studio obscuirty for nearly 40 years.

Lennon’s views on Christianity first came into focus when he made his infamous 1966 proclamation that the Beatles were “bigger than Jesus.” The statement drew scorn and boycotts like nothing rock ‘n roll had seen before. Christians decried Lennon and his band, blasting the audacity of such an irreverent statement. But, according to the interview, irreverence wasn’t the singer’s intention. And, as it turns out, he was actually really interested in Jesus.

“It’s just an expression meaning the Beatles seem to me to have more influence over youth than Christ,” he said in the interview. “Now I wasn’t saying that was a good idea, ‘cos I’m one of Christ’s biggest fans. And if I can turn the focus on the Beatles on to Christ’s message, then that’s what we’re here to do.”

He went on to express how he felt many Christians seemed to be very “uptight” and even hypocritical for not allowing him to marry Yoko Ono in church because he had been divorced. He said that his original distaste for church first came at a young age, when he was kicked out for giggling. But, in the interview, Lennon said that his feelings only extended to the organized church, not Jesus Himself.

“If the Beatles get on the side of Christ, which they always were, and let people know that, then maybe the churches won’t be full, but there’ll be a lot of Christians dancing in the dance halls. Whatever they celebrate, God and Christ, I don’t think it matters as long as they’re aware of Him and His message,” his voice says on the unearthed recording.

And though this is the first time many Beatles fans have heard this particular conversation, Lennon’s interest in Christ was no secret in the early ‘70s. In his book, The Gospel According to the Beatles, writer Steve Turner said that there was a period in his life when the world’s most famous songwriter deeply wanted to know who Jesus was. According to the book, in an effort to escape the chaos of public life, Lennon would often retreat to television and became a regular viewer of the era’s most influential evangelists including Billy Graham, Oral Roberts and even Pat Robertson.

In 1972, Lennon even took part in a written correspondence with Roberts, in which he apologized and further explained his statement about being “bigger” than God. The Beatles frontman, who had experimented with a variety of drugs and spiritual ideas wrote this to Roberts:

“The point is this, I want happiness. I don’t want to keep on with drugs. Paul told me once, ‘You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you will regret it in the end.’ Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phoney? Can He love me? I want out of hell.”

Oral Roberts sent him a long response, giving him a copy of his book Miracle of Seed Faith and a detailed explanation of God’s love for him.

Five years later, in 1977, Lennon became deeply moved by NBC’s broadcast of the movie Jesus of Nazareth and told his friends that he had become a born-again Christian. A week after seeing the film, Lennon returned to church on Easter Sunday with his wife Yoko and son Sean in tow.

It was during this time that Lennon even penned several Christian songs (“Talking with Jesus” and “Amen”), and according to Turner’s book, even called The 700 Club prayer line.

The change in his life disturbed his wife Yoko Ono, who pulled her husband away from his new religion, and eventually, after months of isolation in Tokyo, Lennon found his life going in a dark direction, and ended up abandoning his faith and retreating into New Age practice and further searching. Before he was murdered in 1980, Lennon embraced a universalistic belief of religion and no longer seemed interested in his born-again lifestyle.

Although the new interview doesn’t change what we know about John Lennon at the end of his life, it does shed some light on what help developed his view of Christianity in the first place. It wasn’t confusion about theology or the nature of God. It wasn’t the pull of a conflicting lifestyle. According to Lennon, it was Christians who made him not want to be a part of the church.

Many unbelievers (and believers for that matter) could say that some Christians can be “hypocrites” and “uptight” and may even be responsible for turning people away from church. But that shouldn’t be a discouragement. Rather, it should be an encouragement to prove them wrong.

No one is perfect, and we can’t undo the actions of others (even when they are well-intentioned fellow believers), but we can change people’s perspectives by being the change. Reading between the lines of scripture shows that Jesus was pretty good at that. Even His own disciples couldn’t figure out what He was going to do next. Whether it was healing on the Sabbath (a major taboo in religious circles), dining with sinners or preaching messages of love and forgiveness, Christ didn’t always please the religious establishment of His day.

But He wasn’t out to ruffle feathers and just change people’s minds. He was out to change hearts.

Christ wanted people to see that God desired a personal relationship, and wanted His church to reflect His passion for loving others. Though God is perfect, we (Christians who make up the church) are often victims of our own imperfection. But, as the apostle John noted, a key to becoming effective in reaching the lost is this prayer: “He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:30, NIV).

So whether it’s an artist looking for answers like John Lennon in the early ‘70s, an “uptight” fellow Christian who is focused more on church rules than Christ’s love, or just an unbelieving neighbor who may have had their own bad experience with church, showing the real message of Christ (and a genuine picture of His Body, the church), a little bit of truth can go a long way.

Send Jesse your comments on this article.

Read more book excerpts and author interviews on CBN.com.

Discuss: In light of the recent interview uncovered about his thoughts concerning Jesus, how did John Lennon’s music influence the way you view culture?

Check out Jesse’s Blog, The Morning Five


Jesse CareyJesse Carey is the Interactive Media Producer for CBN.com. With a background in entertainment and pop-culture writing, he offers his insight on music, movies, TV, trends and current events from a unique perspective that examines what implications the latest news has on Christians.

For more stories like this one, sign up to receive Entertainment News from CBN.com in your email every Friday.

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SCHAEFFER SUNDAY Review of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?   by Kevin Rhyne THE BREAKDOWN IN PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE THEME: IF THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES, THEN THE PARTICULARS, THE INDIVIDUAL THINGS, HAVE NO MEANING.

10 Worldview and Truth

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

How Should We Then Live? (8)

THE BREAKDOWN IN PHILOSOPHY AND SCIENCE

THEME: IF THERE ARE NO ABSOLUTES, THEN THE PARTICULARS, THE INDIVIDUAL THINGS, HAVE NO MEANING.

What is meant by universal?  What is meant by particular? Examples?

Francis Schaeffer | This Bread Always

Francis Schaeffer | This Bread Always

Clear place we see this is in morals: “Who are you to be judge over us?”  If no universal giving meaning to marriage and sex, then each man defines marriage and sex according to what is right in his own eyes.

Why is that the result?

If there is no absolute beyond man’s ideas, then there is no final appeal to judge between individuals and groups whose moral judgments conflict. We are merely left with conflicting opinions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 166). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

Schaeffer makes the point that it is not just morality that takes a hit without absolutes, meaning in existence itself, knowing that we know what we know, takes a hit without absolutes.

What were the characteristics of the non-Christian philosophers before the shift he describes in this chapter?

  1. Rationalists – man (though he is finite and limited) can begin from himself and gather enough particulars to make his own universals.
  2. Serious about reason – thought in terms of antithesis. A is A, and A is not non-A.
  3. Optimistic that man could find an absolute to give meaning starting with himself.

What were the shifts that came?

Shifts in science, shifts in philosophy and shift in theology.

SCIENCE

Move from the uniformity of natural causes in an open system to a uniformity of natural causes in a closed system.  Everything within the cause-and-effect machine, including psychology and sociology.

Notice especially that the scientists who gave birth to the earlier great breakthroughs of science would not have accepted this concept. It arose not because of that which could be demonstrated by science, but because the scientists who took this new view had accepted a different philosophic base. The findings of science, as such, did not bring them to accept this view; rather, their world-view brought them to this place. They became naturalistic or materialistic in their presuppositions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 168). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

What is the effect of this presupposition?

Man becomes part of the machine.  Life is pointless and devoid of meaning.

In moving to a completely closed system, Schaeffer says that “man disappears”?  Why?

Everything is a part of the cosmic machine, including people. To say this another way: prior to the rise of modern modern science (that is, naturalistic science, or materialistic science), the laws of cause and effect were applied to physics, astronomy, and chemistry. Today the mechanical cause-and-effect perspective is applied equally to psychology and sociology.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, pp. 167–168). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

What does this totally mechanized system do to the concept of freedom of choice?

“Love dies, there is no place for love in a totally closed cause-and-effect system.”

How is this different from a worldview where God determines all things according to the counsel of His will?

 

The mechanized cause-and-effect world led to another principle called “survival of the fittest.”  What has been the logical conclusion of that concept?

Abortion of black babies.  Abortion of only the girls or the boys.  Social engineering is a more subtle gas chamber.  As is socialized medicine…

PHILOSOPHY

The trend was from optimism to pessimism.  Why?

Move from reason is king to feeling is king.  Happiness is the trutha…

You see the tension between “lower story” – reason leads to the closed system, but we can’t live that way.  So, gradual movement to the “upper story” – irrational “leap of faith” to give the basis for meaning without reason.

It became clear that those who held the rationalistic position on the sole basis of their own reason increasingly were forced to conclude that everything, including man, is a machine. But one could not hold simultaneously the concept of everything’s being a machine and the ideal of a person’s having freedom. Thus, the concept of a unified knowledge of what reality is (on the basis of reason alone)—which almost all previous thinkers had as their aspiration—was under great strain. By the time of Rousseau and his followers there was a tendency for the concepts (everything as a machine and man’s autonomous freedom) to split apart and go marching off in divergent directions.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, p. 177). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

There was discussion of making nature the moral basis, the idea of Natural Law.  What’s the problem with that?

Nature is both cruel and non-cruel.  “What is is right.”  Leads to Sadism.

What was Hegel’s solution to the tension?

Synthesis rather than antithesis.  Truth in both thesis and antithesis, so synthesize them.  Another contradiction in the new synthesis and whole process starts again.  Thus the universe and man’s understanding of it unfolds in a series of teachable moments.  “In short, the universe with its consciousness – man – evolves.”

Man is the consciousness of the universe?

Is this not the mentality of our day?  “Only the Sith deal in absolutes.”

Here, then, becomes the synthesis of the “upper story” and the “lower story”:

This equation of the impersonal plus time plus chance producing the total configuration of the universe and all that is in it, modern people hold by faith. And if one does in faith accept this, with what final value is he left? In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance.

Schaeffer, F. A. (1982). The complete works of Francis A. Schaeffer: a Christian worldview (Vol. 5, pp. 181–182). Westchester, IL: Crossway Books.

The unifying principle is biological continuity of the human race.

If that’s the unifying principle, then why same-sex marriage?

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

A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live? Episode 1 of 10

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 2

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 3

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 4

HowShouldWeThenLive Episode 5

HowShouldweThenLive Episode 6 Scientific Age

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

How Should We Then Live – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Article by Peter Robinson 6/19/2009 @ 12:01AM Medical Analysis By Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman on Medical Care (Full Lecture)

Published on Feb 2, 2014

I have written about Obamacare over and over again on this blog. Dan Mitchell has shared many funny cartoons about Obamacare too. Milton Friedman has spoken out about government healthcare many times in the past and his film series FREE TO CHOOSE is on You Tube and I encourage you to watch it. It is clear that the federal government debt is growing so much that it is endangering us because if things keep going like they are now we will not have any money left for the national defense because we are so far in debt as a nation.

We have been spending so much on our welfare state through food stamps and other programs that I am worrying that many of our citizens are becoming more dependent on government and in many cases they are losing their incentive to work hard because of the welfare trap the government has put in place. Other nations in Europe have gone down this road and we see what mess this has gotten them in. People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruption. Also raising taxes on the job creators is a very bad idea too. The Laffer Curve clearly demonstrates that when the tax rates are raised many individuals will move their investments to places where they will not get taxed as much.

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

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 1/4

6/19/2009 @ 12:01AM

Medical Analysis By Milton Friedman

President Obama, the press, all the Democrats and a fair number of the Republicans in Congress share the same assumption about health care. Whatever you believe should be done about the problem, it sure is complicated.

Yet one man figured it out.

In 2001 the economist Milton Friedman read up on health care, discovered that the inefficiencies in our system trace back to a single policy mistake, worked out a policy test that would help us correct it and then described his findings in a few thousand words of plain English.

Since the end of the Second World War, Friedman explained, medical care in the U.S. has displayed three features: technological advances, increases in spending and rising dissatisfaction.

The first of the three was common to one sector of the economy after another. Agriculture, manufacturing, electronics, communications–all had experienced technological progress. Yet the two final features proved unique to health care. While we were paying less and getting more when buying food or computers, in health care the opposite was happening.

Why?

Because, Friedman saw, most payments for medical care are made not by the patients who receive the care but by third parties, typically employers. Since, in Friedman’s phrase, “nobody spends somebody else’s money as wisely as he spends his own,” this third-payer system by its very nature introduces inefficiencies throughout the health care system.

The reason for this wasteful third-party system? The tax code. Money spent on health care is exempt from the income tax only if the health care is provided through an employer. “We have become so accustomed to employer-provided medical care,” Friedman wrote, “that we regard it as part of the natural order. Yet it is thoroughly illogical.”

The policy mistake that produced this illogical mess took place during World War II, when the government imposed wage controls. Unable to compete for workers by paying them more, employers began providing medical care, and the new benefit spread rapidly.

When the Internal Revenue Service caught on, requiring employers to include the value of medical benefits as part of the wages they reported, workers, who had grown accustomed to the benefits, protested. Congress responded with legislation that made employer-provided medical benefits tax-exempt.

By the time the 1960s arrived, Americans were used to having third parties pay their medical bills. Thus the enactment of Medicare and Medicaid–under which the government, rather than employers, acted as the third party–seemed perfectly reasonable.

Friedman wrote: “Third-party payment has required the bureaucratization of medical care. … A medical transaction is not simply between a caregiver and a patient; it has to be approved as ‘covered’ by a bureaucrat. … The patient has little … incentive to be concerned about the cost since it’s somebody else’s money. The caregiver has become, in effect, an employee of the insurance company or, in the case of Medicare and Medicaid, of the government. … An inescapable result is that the interest of the patient is often in direct conflict with the interest of the caregiver’s ultimate employer.”

In that one paragraph of under 100 words, a diagnosis of our ailment.

What should we do about it? Ideally, Friedman argued, we should reverse the mistake that started all the trouble, repealing the tax exemption of employer-provided medical care. Yet Friedman was a realist. Vested interests, he recognized, would make such a radical reform impossible. Instead he believed we should seek incremental changes, asking of each proposal simply whether it would move health care “in the right direction.”

Expanding savings accounts that allow individuals control over relevant spending, Friedman argued, would move health care in the right direction. So would extending the tax exemption to all medical expenses, whether they are paid by employers or individuals. A “sweeping socialization of medicine [such as that] proposed by Hilary Clinton”–and, now, by Barack Obama–would not.

Wherever possible, reduce the role of third parties. Increase the autonomy of individuals. Get the government and vast, bureaucratic insurance companies out of the way, permitting the free market to work its effects in health care, just as it does in virtually every other sector of the economy.

That’s not too complicated, now, is it?

Peter Robinson, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and contributor to RobinsonandLong.com, writes a weekly column for Forbes.

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 2/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 3/4

Milton Friedman – Health Care Reform (1992) pt 4/4

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 97 THE BEATLES (The Beatles and Paramhansa Yogananda ) (Feature on artist Ronnie Wood)

 

Today I am going to look at Paramhansa Yogananda who appeared on the cover of SGT. PEPPERS because the Beatles were at the time interested in what Eastern Religions had to offer. One of the problems with Hinduism is that has no way to explain the existence of evil in the world today. However, Christianity explains evil entering into the world in a space and time event called the fall. Concerning Paramhansa Yogananda Francis Schaeffer says the following in his book GENESIS IN SPACE AND TIME: 

Words have become so devalued today that we often have to use cumbersome terms to make what we mean understood. The word fact does not necessarily mean anything anymore. Fact can just mean upperstory religious truth, and therefore we have to use an awkward term like brute fact. In this particular case, we are fortunate because the liberal theologians themselves use the term brute fact for what they don’t mean by facts. The historic Fall is not an interpretation: It is a brute fact. There is no room for hermeneutics here, if by hermeneutics we mean explaining away the brute factness of the Fall. That there was a Fall is not an upper-story statement that is, it is not in this sense a “theological” or “religious” statement. Rather, it is a historic, space-time, brute fact, propositional statement. There was time, spacetime history, before the Fall, and then man turned from his proper integration point by choice, and in so doing there was moral discontinuity; man became abnormal.

In speaking of facts and brute facts, we are speaking of facts in the space-time sense, that which is open to the normal means of verification and falsification. As I stress in the Appendix to The Church before the Watching World, this does not mean they are then to be taken as sterile facts. These biblical facts are facts in past history, but they have, and should have, meaning in our present existential, moment by-moment lives.

Furthermore, in speaking of the Bible’s statements as propositional truth we are not saying that all communication is on the level of mathematical formula. There can be other levels (for example, figures of speech or the special force of poetry); but there is a continuity-a unity not a discontinuity-between these “other levels” and a flow of propositions given in normal syntax and using words in their normal definition, and this is a continuity which reason can deal with. Take an example outside of the Bible: Shakespeare’s communication with his figures of speech is a much richer human communication than is mere mathematical formula. The “other levels” (for example, his figures of speech) add enrichment. Yet, if, as in far-out modern prose and poetry, there are only, or almost only, figures of speech, with no adequate running continuity that can be stated in propositional form using normal syntax and words with normal meanings, no one knows what is being said. As a matter of fact, some modern writers and artists deliberately work this way so that this will be the case. Their work becomes only a quarry for subjective experiences and interpretations inside of the head of the reader or viewer. The early chapters of Genesis quickly come to this place if they are read other than as in propositional form using normal syntax and words in their normal meaning. As an example, Paramahansa Yogananda did this in his book Autobiography of a Yogi and most easily turned these chapters into a powerful Hindu tract.

I Am The Walrus With Lyrics

Monday, February 25, 2013

Besides his devotion to God, George was also devoted to Hindu teachers, especially Paramahansa Yogananda. Paramanhansa Yogananda is famous for being the wisdom of Hinduism to the West, and he taught the fundamental unity between Yoga and Christianity. George wrote his song, Fish on the Sand, from the 1987 Cloud Nine album about his devotion and reliance on Yogananda. George often enjoyed visits to the Self-Realization Fellowship Center in Encinitas, California, which was founded by Yogananda.

“India India” rare Beatles song and pictures

 

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

How Should We Then Live – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

How Should We Then Live – Episode 9 – The Age of Personal Peace & Affluence

“The people of India have a tremendous spiritual strength, which I don’t think is found elsewhere. The spirit of the people, the beauty, the goodness—that’s what I’ve been trying to learn about.” – George Harrison, 1966 

1974, George Harrison and Ravi Shankar pose in front of musicians from the album Ravi Shankar Family and Friends.

 

 

___________

Press conference, 1969, with members of the London Radha Krishna Temple

 

___________

 

(left to right) John Lennon, Paul McCartney, the Maharishi, George Harrison, Mia Farrow and Donovan. Photo:THE HINDU ARCHIVES

__

If God has not revealed Himself, then there are no absolutes. Good is evil and evil is good. We see this in Hinduism.

The new theologians also have no way to explain why evil exists, and thus they are left with the same problem the Hindu philosophers have; that is, they must say that finally everything that is is equally in God. In Hindu thought one of the manifestations of God is Kali, a feminine representation of God with fangs and skulls hanging about her neck. Why do Hindus picture God this way? Because to them everything that exists now is a part of what has always been, a part of that which the Hindus would call “God”—and therefore cruelty is equal to noncruelty. Modern humanistic man in both his secular and his religious forms has come to the same awful place. Both have no final way to say what is right and what is wrong, and no final way to say why one should choose noncruelty instead of cruelty.

IN THE VIDEO BELOW take notice at the 14:00 minute mark Schaeffer talks about the BEATLES and at the 22:30 minute mark  Schaeffer mentions the Hindu god Kali.

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

Rishikesh – Beatles With The Maharishi (1968)

The Biblical view concerning how sin entered the world is explained in the book GENESIS  IN SPACE AND TIME by Francis Schaeffer, Chapter 5  pages 33  -41:

chapter 5

The space-time fall and its results

Eve was faced with a choice, she pondered the situation and then she put her hand into the history of man and changed the course of human events.

The Fruit Is Eaten

The Genesis account is short and to the point: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Gen. 3:6).1 The flow is from the internal to the external; the sin began in the thought-world and flowed outward. The sin was, therefore, committed in that moment she believed Satan instead of God. At this point the whole matter was decided. Nonetheless, a history is involved, for first she believed Satan, then she ate, and then she gave the fruit to Adam.

Genesis 3:17 refers to this historical flow, for God in speaking to Adam says that he has “hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree.” And we are reminded, as we have seen in 2 Corinthians 11:3, that as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety (at her point of history) so our own minds (at our point of history) may also be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

Paul in 1 Timothy 2:14 points out something further: “And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.” Temptation is extremely hard to resist when it is bound up with the man-woman relationship. For example, in Exodus 34:16 we are warned not to let the man-woman relationship lead us into idolatry (spoken of as going “a whoring after their gods”).

Two great drives are built into man. The first is his need for a relationship to God, and the second his need for a relationship to the opposite sex. A special temptation is bound up with this sexual drive. How many young women are there who are faithful as Christians until they come to a certain age and feel with their whole being, without ever analyzing it, the need for marriage and are then swept over into marrying a non-Christian man? And how many men are there who are faithful until they feel the masculine drive and give up their faithfulness to God by marrying a woman who carries them into spiritual problems for the rest of their life? I look upon such young men and young women as I see them going through this, and I cry for them, because in a way there is no greater agony than suddenly to fall in love and then to realize that one must say no to this natural drive because it leads in that particular case to a severing of our greater relationship-our relationship to God. While what happened in the Garden of Eden was a spacetime historic event, the man-woman relationship and force of temptation it must have presented to Adam is universal.

The Results of the Fall for the Human Race

The results of Adam and Eve’s action are recorded in many places in Scripture, but nowhere more clearly than in Romans 5:12-19 where Paul emphasizes that Adam and Eve’s action marked the entrance of sin into the human  race. I will quote here part of this passage: “Therefore, as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin; and so death passed [spread] unto all men, for that all sinned:-for until the law sin was in the world; but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the likeness of Adam’s transgression, who is a figure of him that was to come…. For if by the trespass of the one the many died…. For if, by the trespass of the one, death reigned through the one…. So then as through one trespass the judgment came unto all men to condemnation…. For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners . . .” (ASV).

The repetition makes the point obvious: By the action of one man in a historic, space-time situation, sin entered into the world of men. But this is not just a theoretical statement that gives us a reasonable and sufficient answer to man’s present dilemma, explaining how the world can be so evil and God still be good. It is that in reality, from this time on, man was and is a sinner. Though some men do not like the teaching, the Bible continues like a sledge hammer, driving home the fact that evil has entered into the world of man, all men are now sinners, all men now sin. Listen to God’s declaration concerning the human race in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”

Incidentally, in one way it is easier today than it was a few years ago to proclaim the sinfulness of man. On every side artists, novelists and protest singers are saying, “What’s wrong with man? Something’s wrong with man.” The Bible agrees and gives us a realistic view of life: “The heart is deceitfully wicked.”

I think the strongest words were spoken by Jesus himself in John 8:44, where he turns on those who are claiming the fatherhood of God and says: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do” (ASV). In other words, Jesus is saying, “You choose to be in Satan’s parade.”

Isaiah writes, “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way” (Is. 53:6). It is obvious that if “all we like sheep have gone astray,” I can no longer merely say they have gone astray, but I must say I have gone astray. I, too, sin. Paul picks this up in the letter to the Romans as he summarizes the status of all the races-first the Gentiles and then the Jews: “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one” (Rom. 3:10-12). If there is none that is righteous, no, not one, then I am included. I have written the word me in the margin of my Bible at this place. Galatians 3:10 carries the force: “For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.” All mankind stands in this place. Not only the revealed law of God but also every moral motion of every man who has ever lived condemns men, because men keep neither the revealed law of God nor even live consistently according to their own moral motions. This is the point of Romans 2:1-2: “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.”

What Paul says involves the whole man as he comes to Scripture. The Bible never leaves this as a generalization or as an abstraction. Paul writes, “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man.” Perhaps the most important part of this is that it is in the singular, for it speaks to every individual who hears or reads: “Whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.” The simple fact is that it is not only the man who has the written law of God, the Bible, who stands under the judgment of law, but every man who ever lived. I have pointed out elsewhere that wherever anthropologists and sociologists have been, they have found that men have moral motions. The specific standards may be different, but all men operate under moral categories. So Paul says here that a man stands condemned on the basis of his own moral motions, for every time he condemns another man he has put himself under the same condemnation. Every man makes moral judgments concerning other men and then does not keep them himself. The results? All men are sinners, and all men sin.

This indictment includes those who are now Christians as well as non-Christians. Men are not born Christians, a sort of special race. Every single man who is now a child of God was at one time a rebel. We are all hewn from the same rock, whether we come from a church background or a non-church background. No sacerdotalism can help man.

Am I a Christian today? Never forget, then, that yesterday I was as much a rebel as anyone who walks on the face of the earth. As Ephesians 2:2-3 says in burning words: “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience.” He is talking here to the church at Ephesus. But he continues and adds himself to the list, he steps over and joins us, for it is not just “ye” but “we”: “Among whom also we all had our conversation [meaning here our total way of life, our “life-form”] in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” This is who we are. If we are Christians today, this is who we have been. We had a different king-the father of lies. We must not be proud, for as Ephesians 5:8 says, “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now ye are light in the Lord.” Remember, you were also marked by Adam’s sin, and you were sinners: “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Col. 1:21).

Don’t be proud. As you look out across the world of sinners, weep for them. Be glad indeed if you are redeemed, but never forget as you look at others that you have been one of them, and in a real sense we are still one with them, for we still sin. Christians are not a special group of people who can be proud; Christians are those who are redeemed-and that is all!

Everywhere we turn we find the same thing: “For we ourselves [notice the “we” again] also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another” (Tit. 3:3). Paul never allowed those who followed his teaching to forget that they were not a special kind just because they may have been Jews at the beginning and circumcised or just because they were now baptized Christians. Each one must say, “I have been the rebel, I have been the sinner.” The force of this is perhaps brought most fully in the great statement in 1 John 1:10: “If we say that we have not sinned, we make him [God] a liar, and his word is not in us.” To forget in our emotional reactions as well as in our words that we indeed have been sinners, not only involved in the results of Adam’s sin but deliberately sinning ourselves over and over and over again -to forget this is to call God a liar.

Thus, all men are under the judgment of God. Even the marvelous chapter that speaks so clearly of hope, the third go chapter of the Gospel of John, twice emphasizes that men are under God’s judgment. We read, for example, these words in John 3:18: “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” The testimony of John the Baptist in the last verse of this chapter is even more emphatic: “He that believeth on the Son has everlasting life: but he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (v. 36). In a world that loves synthesis, the Bible stands with a message of total antithesis: He who believes has life but he who does not is subject to the wrath, the judgment, of God. Here, then, is the basic result of the space-time fall that we are considering in the flow of history-men are rebels and under the judgment of God.

Guilt before God

Other results of sin were immediately evident in the Garden of Eden: “And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons” (Gen. 3:7). The word aprons in the Hebrew is interesting. Actually, it simply means to “gird yourself about,” so people have translated the word in various ways. One Bible, the Breeches Bible of 1608, got its name from the way it translated this word. But whatever an apron is, it is something one puts around himself.

The significance is that Adam and Eve were brought to a realization of what they had done. They began to feel afraid and to feel guilt-and well they might, for their guilt feelings were rooted in true guilt. When a man has sinned against God, he not only has guilt feelings, he has true guilt; and he has true guilt even if he does not have feelings of guilt.

“And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden” (v. 8). This is the verse we have used in our previous studies to indicate the wonder of the open communication which God had with man. In the garden in the cool (or the wind) of the day, there was open fellowship, open communion-open propositional communication between God and man before the Fall. But now that which was his wonder and his joy, the fulfillment of his need, an infinite, personal reference point with whom he could have communion and communication became the reason for his fear. He was going to meet God face to face! Once man had shaken his fist in the face of God, what had been so wonderful became a just reason for fear, because God was really there.

So we read: “And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard the voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldst not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat” (vv. 9-13).

The first thing we notice here is that Adam and Eve immediately begin to try to pass the guilt from themselves to another, and we have, therefore, the division which is at the very heart of man’s relationship with man from this point on. The human race is divided-man against man. We do not have to wait for modern psychologists to talk about alienation. Here it is. Man is alienated from his wife-the wife from her husband-as they turn against each other, especially at the points of blame and guilt. All the alienation that any poet will ever write about is here already. In a way, both Adam and Eve were right. Eve had given the fruit to Adam, and Satan had tempted Eve. But that does not shift the responsibility. Eve was responsible and Adam was responsible, and they stood in their responsibility before God.

God’s Judgment on Man and Nature

As God speaks to the parties involved at this moment of history, we find four steps in his judgment of their action. First, he speaks to the serpent who has been used by Satan: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above [from among] all cattle, and above [from among] every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life” (v. 14). As we shall see, all nature becomes abnormal yet the serpent is singled out in a special way “from among all cattle.'”

Second, in verse 15 he speaks to Satan; we will return to that.

Third, he speaks to the woman: “Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy pain [this is more accurate than the King James word sorrow] and thy conception; in pain thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” There are two parts here: the first relates to the womanness of the woman-the bearing of children-and the second to her relationship to her husband. In regard to the former, God says that he will multiply two things-not just the pain but also the conception. It seems clear that if man had not rebelled there would not have been as many children born.

In regard to the relationship to her husband, he says, “And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.” This one sentence puts an end to any pure democracy. In a fallen world pure democracy is not possible. Rather, God brings structure into the primary relationship of man-the man-woman relationship. In a fallen world (in every kind of society-big and smalland in every relationship) structure is needed for order. God himself here imposes it on the basic human relationship. Form is given and without such form freedom would only be chaos.

It is not simply because man is stronger that he is to have dominion (that’s the argument of the Marquis de Sade). But rather he is to have dominion because God gives this as structure in the midst of a fallen world. The Bible makes plain that this relationship is not to be without love. As the New Testament puts it, the husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church (Eph. 5:23). In a fallen world it is not surprising to find that men have turned this structure into a kind of slavery. It is not meant to be a slavery. In fact, it is in cultures where the Bible has been influential that the balance has been substantially restored. The Bible balances the structure and the love.

Nevertheless, it is still true: Since the Fall what God. says in verse 16 is to be the structure or the form of the basic human relationship-the man-woman relationship. It is right that a woman should feel a need for freedom, a feeling of being a “human being” in the world. But when she tries to smash the structure of this basic relationship, finally what she does is to hurt herself. It is like unravelling the knot that holds the string of human relationships together. All other things flow from it-the loss of her own children’s obedience and the crumbling of society about her. In a fallen world we need structure in every social relationship.

The Abnormal Universe

Fourth, God speaks to the man: “And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in toil [the word sorrow in the King James is inaccurate] shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life” (v. 17). In other words, at this point the external world is changed.

It is interesting that almost all of the results of God’s judgment because of man’s rebellion relate in some way to the external world. They are not just bound up in man’s thought life; they are not merely psychological. Profound changes make the external, objective world abnormal. In the phrase for thy sake God is relating these external abnormalities to what Adam has done in the Fall.

All of these changes came about by fiat. Creation, as we have already seen, came by fiat. And, though we have come to the conclusion of creation with the creation of Eve, yet fiat has not ceased. The abnormality of the external world was brought about by fiat. Putting it into twentieth-century terminology, we can say this: The universe does not display a uniformity of cause and effect in a closed system; God speaks and something changes. We are reminded here of the long arguments that date back to the time of Lyell and Darwin concerning whether there could be such a thing as catastrophe-something that cut across the uniformity of cause and effect. Scripture answers this plainly: Yes, God spoke and that which he had created was changed.

So now the earth itself is abnormal. We read, for example, in Genesis 5:29, which speaks of the world before the flood: “And he [Noah’s father] called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” The name Noah itself simply means rest or comfort. The Scripture says that at this point in the flow of biblical history men knew very well that the toil of their hands was a result of God’s having changed the earth.

Why is it like this? Because, one might say, you, O unprogrammed and significant Adam, have revolted. Nature has been under your dominion (in this sense it is as an extension of himself, as a king’s empire is an extension of himself). Therefore, when you changed, God changed the objective, external world. It as well as you is now abnormal.

It is interesting that in each of the steps of God’s judgment toil is involved: The serpent goes upon his belly; the woman has pain in childbirth; the man has toil in his work.

Verse 18 continues: “Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee.” The word thistles here means luxuriously-growing but useless plants. The phrase it shall bring forth to thee has in the Hebrew the sense of “it shall be caused to bud.” This phrase, therefore, suggests that here, too, the change was wrought by fiat. Furthermore, the phrase suggests the modern biological term mutation, a non-sterile sport. That is, the plants had been one kind of thing and were reproducing likewise, and then God spoke and the plants began to bring forth something else and continue to reproduce in that new and different form.

The introduction of toil does not mean the introduction of work, because in Genesis 2:15, as we have seen, God took man and put him in the Garden of Eden “to dress it and to keep it.” There was work before the Fall, but certainly we can see the force of the distinction before and after the Fall, in the language of Genesis 5:29, where labor is called the “toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.” Since the whole structure of the external world has changed, the meaning of work has changed. Thus Genesis 3:19 says: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till [the concept of “until” is important here] thou return unto the ground; for out of it was thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”

The results are twofold. First, man shall have his food (and all else) by the sweat of his brow. Second, there is an end to this-an end that is not a release. The end is the greatest abnormality in the external world-the dissolution of the total man. A time will come at the end of each man’s life when he physically dies and the unity of man the unity of body and soul-is torn asunder. Christianity is not platonic; the soul is not considered all-important. Rather, at physical death that unity which man is meant to be is fractured. This is the second kind of death brought about by the Fall, the first being immediate separation from fellowship with God and the third being eternal death as men are judged in their rebellion and separated from God forever.

Christianity as a system does not begin with Christ as Savior, but with the infinite-personal God who created the world in the beginning and who made man significant in the flow of history. And man’s significant act in revolt has made the world abnormal. Thus there is not a total unbroken continuity back to the way the world originally was. Non-Christian philosophers almost universally agree in seeing everything as normal, assuming things are as they have always been. The Christian sees things now as not the way they have always been. And, of course, this is very important to the explanation of evil in the world. But it is not only that. It is one way to understand the distinction between the naturalistic, non-Christian answers (whether spoken in philosophic, scientific or even religious language) and the Christian answer. The distinction is that as I look about me I know I live in an abnormal world.

Among contemporary philosophers Martin Heidegger in his later writings has suggested a sort of space-time fall. He says that prior to Aristotle, the pre-Socratic Greeks thought in a different way. Then when Aristotle introduced the concept of rationality and logic, there was an epistemological fall. His notion, of course, has no moral overtones at all, but it is intriguing to me that Heidegger has come to realize that philosophy cannot explain reality if it begins with the notion that the world is normal. This the Bible has taught, but the Bible’s explanation for the present abnormal world is in a moral Fall by a significant man, a fall which has changed the external flow of history as no epistemological fall could do. Heidegger’s problem is that, while he well sees the need of a fall, he will not bow before the existence of the God who is there and the knowledge that God has given us. Hence he ends up with an insufficient fall and an insufficient answer.

Separations

Another way to look at the results of the Fall is to notice the separations that are caused by sin. First is the great separation, the separation between God and man. It underlies all other separations, not only in eternity but right now. Man no longer has the communion with God he was meant to have. Therefore, he cannot fulfill the purpose of his existence-to love God with all his heart, soul and mind-to stand as a finite personal point before an infinite-personal reference point and be in relationship with God himself. When man sinned, the purpose of his existence was smashed. And modern man is right when he says that man is dead. It is not that man is nothing, but that he is no longer able to fulfill his mannishness. Genesis 3:23-24 shows this separation between man and God in a real, historic, graphic sense.

As evangelicals we sometimes emphasize the first separation and fail to properly emphasize all the others that now exist. The second great separation is separation of man from himself. Man has fear. Man has psychological problems. How does a Christian understand these? Primarily as the abnormal separation of man from himself. Man’s basic psychosis is his separation from God carried into his own personality as a separation from himself. Thus we have self-deception. All men are liars, but, most importantly, each man lies to himself. The greatest falsehood is not lying to other men but to ourselves. A related aspect is the loss of ability to acquire true knowledge. All his knowledge is now out of shape because the perspective is wrong, the framework is wrong. That is, man does not lose all his knowledge, but he loses “true knowledge,” especially as he makes extensions from the bits and pieces of knowledge he does have.

Furthermore, man has separated his sexual life from its original high purpose as a vehicle of communication of person to person. Sexuality loses its personal dimension; men and women treat each other as things to be exploited. Finally, at physical death comes the separation of the soul from the body, the great separation of a man from himself.

The third of the great separations is man from man. This is the sociological separation. We have seen already how Adam was separated from Eve. Both of them immediately tried to pass off the blame for the Fall. This signals the loss of the possibility of their walking truly side by side in utopian democracy. Not only was man separated from his wife, but soon brother became separated from brother, Cain killing Abel. And, as we will see in the following chapter, there is a separation between the godly and the ungodly line of men. The godly line (those men who have returned to God) and the ungodly line (the unsaved humanity going on in rebellion) constitute two humanities. In one sense, of course, there is one humanity because we all come from one source. We are one blood, one flesh. But in the midst of one humanity, there are two humanities the humanity that still stands in rebellion and the humanity that is redeemed.

Soon in the flow of history we come to the tower of Babel, and with it we have the division of languages. Modern linguistics has helped us to understand how great the issues are here. So much is involved with language. Then after the time of Abraham comes the division between Jew and Gentile. These separations (and others related to them) are like titanic sonic booms in the sociological upheavals coming down to, and perhaps especially in, our day.

The fourth separation is a separation of man from nature and nature from nature. Man has lost his full dominion, and now nature itself is often a means of judgment. There is, for example, the flood at the time of Noah and, of course, nature pitted against Job. The separation of man from nature and nature from nature seems also to have reached a climax in our day.

Man’s sin causes all these separations between man and God, man and himself, man and man, and man and nature. The simple fact is that in wanting to be what man as a creature could not be, man lost what he could be. In every area and relationship men have lost what finite man could be in his proper place.

But there is one thing which he did not lose, and that is his mannishness, his being a human being. Man still stands in the image of God-twisted, broken, abnormal, but still the image-bearer of God. Man did not stop being human. As we have seen in Genesis 9:6 and in James 3:9, even after the Fall men are still in the image of God. Modern man does not see man as fallen, but he can find no significance for man. In the Bible’s teaching man is fallen but significant.

Let us not be misled: Man is still man. The unsaved painter can still paint. The unsaved lover can still love. He still has moral motions. And, though twisted, the unsaved thinker can still think. And furthermore, he lives on after his own death. He doesn’t just come to the end of his life and suddenly the clock stops. Man has meaning and significance. He may think that his history is just trash and junk, but it is not so.

Watch a man as he dies. Five minutes later he still exists. There is no such thing as stopping the existence of man. He still goes on. He has not lost his being as a human being. He has not lost those things which he intrinsically is as a man. He has not become an animal or a machine. And as I look out over the human race and see the lost-separated from God, separated from themselves, separated from other man, separated from nature-they are still men. Man still has tremendous value.

 

During the filming of the movie Help!, on location in the Bahamas,

____________

Today’s featured artist is Ronnie Wood!!

Not just a guitarist after all: Ronnie Wood cashes in on his artistic abilities as he puts £300,000 piece he painted up for sale

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Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood could be in for some satisfaction after putting one of his paintings of the band up for sale for £300,000.

The rock ‘n’ roll legend’s painting of his band is 1.5 metres by two metres in size and on display at Castle Fine Art, at the ICC, in Birmingham City Centre.

The 66-year-old, who listens to Mozart at his easel and whose first love was art, took formal training at Ealing College of Art, London.

Star treatment: This painting by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood of the band has gone on sale for £300,000

Star treatment: This painting by Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood of the band has gone on sale for £300,000

Talent: Ronnie Wood (in front of a previous painting he put on display) took formal training at Ealing College of Art in London

Talent: Ronnie Wood (in front of a previous painting he put on display) took formal training at Ealing College of Art in London

Wood said: ‘When I get inspired, I get almost possessed and I just have to paint.

‘There is no kind of therapy like the one you have from starting and seeing a picture through to the end.’

It was as a child Wood showed early signs of artistic skill.

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At school, he was pulled out of science classes to paint murals. When he was 14, his music teacher paid him £4 for a snow scene.

Wood said: ‘My dad used to slave away all week for that. I gave half to my mum.’

'He could have been a professional artist': Beth McCarthy, gallery manager at Castle Fine Art at the ICC Birmingham, with some of Wood's other works

‘He could have been a professional artist’: Beth McCarthy, gallery manager at Castle Fine Art at the ICC Birmingham, with some of Wood’s other works

I can get a lot of satisfaction: Prices for Wood's Raw Instinct collection range from £1,500 for a signed limited edition print

I can get a lot of satisfaction: Prices for Wood’s Raw Instinct collection range from £1,500 for a signed limited edition print

Prices for Wood’s Raw Instinct collection range from £1,500 for a signed limited edition print.

Gallery manager Beth McCarthy said of the 40 original works, about 20 were still available.

She said the art gave an insight into Wood’s mind.

‘His life has been very well documented,’ she said. ‘He could have been a professional artist.

‘If you’re not necessarily a singer, but a musician, someone who creates music and writes songs, that gives people a sort of poetic sensibility.

Prolific: Gallery manager Beth McCarthy said of the 40 original works, about 20 were still available

Prolific: Gallery manager Beth McCarthy said of the 40 original works, about 20 were still available

‘They’re also, just by virtue of doing that, quite brave. It’s a similar thing with painting.’

The exhibition runs until August 9.

It will be followed by never-before-seen works by Bob Dylan in his Drawn Blank 2013 Collection. Beth said Dylan told the gallery he found art relaxing.

She said: ‘It’s physically hard work touring night after night.

‘For Ronnie Wood and Bob Dylan it’s almost like meditation making a drawing. Hours and hours go by without you noticing.’

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Image result for sergent peppers album cover

Francis Schaeffer’s favorite album was SGT. PEPPER”S and he said of the album “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.”  (at the 14 minute point in episode 7 of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? ) 

Image result for francis schaeffer how should we then live

How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

Francis Schaeffer

Image result for francis schaeffer

______

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 202 the BEATLES’ last song FREE AS A BIRD (Featured artist is Susan Weil )

February 15, 2018 – 1:45 am

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 200 George Harrison song HERE ME LORD (Featured artist is Karl Schmidt-Rottluff )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 184 the BEATLES’ song REAL LOVE (Featured artist is David Hammonds )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 170 George Harrison and his song MY SWEET LORD (Featured artist is Bruce Herman )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 168 George Harrison’s song AWAITING ON YOU ALL Part B (Featured artist is Michelle Mackey )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 167 George Harrison’s song AWAITING ON YOU Part A (Artist featured is Paul Martin)

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 133 Louise Antony is UMass, Phil Dept, “Atheists if they commit themselves to justice, peace and the relief of suffering can only be doing so out of love for the good. Atheist have the opportunity to practice perfect piety”

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 166 George Harrison’s song ART OF DYING (Featured artist is Joel Sheesley )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 165 George Harrison’s view that many roads lead to Heaven (Featured artist is Tim Lowly)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 164 THE BEATLES Edgar Allan Poe (Featured artist is Christopher Wool)

PART 163 BEATLES Breaking down the song LONG AND WINDING ROAD (Featured artist is Charles Lutyens )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 162 A look at the BEATLES Breaking down the song ALL WE NEED IS LOVE Part C (Featured artist is Grace Slick)

PART 161 A look at the BEATLES Breaking down the song ALL WE NEED IS LOVE Part B (Featured artist is Francis Hoyland )

 

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 160 A look at the BEATLES Breaking down the song ALL WE NEED IS LOVE Part A (Featured artist is Shirazeh Houshiary)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 159 BEATLES, Soccer player Albert Stubbins made it on SGT. PEP’S because he was sport hero (Artist featured is Richard Land)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 158 THE BEATLES (breaking down the song WHY DON’T WE DO IT IN THE ROAD?) Photographer Bob Gomel featured today!

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 118 THE BEATLES (Why was Tony Curtis on cover of SGT PEP?) (Feature on artist Jeffrey Gibson )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 117 THE BEATLES, Breaking down the song WITHIN YOU WITHOUT YOU Part B (Featured artist is Emma Amos )

Related posts:

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 85 (Breaking down the song “When I’m Sixty-Four” Part B) Featured Photographer and Journalist is Bill Harry

One would think that the young people of the 1960’s thought little of death but is that true? The most successful song on the  SGT PEPPER’S album was about the sudden death of a close friend and the album cover was pictured in front of a burial scene.   Francis Schaeffer’s favorite album was SGT. […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 84 (Breaking down the song “When I’m Sixty-Four”Part A) Featured Photographer is Annie Leibovitz

_________ I think it is revolutionary for a 18 year old Paul McCartney to write a song about an old person nearing death. This demonstrates that the Beatles did really think about the process of life and its challenges from birth to day in a  complete way and the possible answer. Solomon does that too […]

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 )

_____________ 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) […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 82 THE BEATLES, Breaking down the song DEAR PRUDENCE (Photographer featured is Bill Eppridge)

Mia and Prudence Farrow both joined the Beatles in their trip to India to check out Eastern Religions. Francis Schaeffer noted, ” The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason. […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 81 THE BEATLES Why was Dylan Thomas put on the cover of SGT PEPPERS? (Featured artist is sculptor David Wynne)

    Dylan Thomas was included on SGT PEPPER’S cover because of words like this, “Too proud to cry, too frail to check the tears, And caught between two nights, blindness and death.” Francis Schaeffer noted: This is sensitivity crying out in darkness. But it is not mere emotion; the problem is not on this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 80 THE BEATLES (breaking down the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” ) (Featured artist is Saul Steinberg)

John Lennon was writing about a drug trip when he wrote the song LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS and Paul later confirmed that many years later. Francis Schaeffer correctly noted that the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s brought the message of drugs and Eastern Religion to the masses like no other means of communication could. Today […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 79 THE BEATLES (Why was William Burroughs on Sgt. Pepper’s cover? ) (Feature on artist Brion Gysin)

______________ Why was William S. Burroughs put on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band? Burroughs was challenging the norms of the 1960’s but at the same time he was like the Beatles in that he was also searching for values and he never found the solution. (In the last post in this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 78 THE BEATLES (Breaking down the song TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS) Featured musical artist is Stuart Gerber

The Beatles were “inspired by the musique concrète of German composer and early electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen…”  as SCOTT THILL has asserted. Francis Schaeffer noted that ideas of  “Non-resolution” and “Fragmentation” came down German and French streams with the influence of Beethoven’s last Quartets and then the influence of Debussy and later Schoenberg’s non-resolution which is in total contrast […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 77 THE BEATLES (Who got the Beatles talking about Vietnam War? ) (Feature on artist Nicholas Monro )

It was the famous atheist Bertrand Russell who pointed out to Paul McCartney early on that the Beatles needed to bring more attention to the Vietnam war protests and Paul promptly went back to the group and reported Russell’s advice. We will take a closer look at some of Russell’s views and break them down […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 76 THE BEATLES (breaking down the song STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER) (Artist featured is Jamie Wyeth)

Francis Schaeffer correctly noted: In this flow there was also the period of psychedelic rock, an attempt to find this experience without drugs, by the use of a certain type of music. This was the period of the Beatles’ Revolver (1966) and Strawberry Fields Forever (1967). In the same period and in the same direction […]

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“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 13 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part L Ernest Hemingway 1st part “Declare yourself the best writer!!!”)

Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’

AT THE 27 MIN MARK Woody Allen says:

I have never gotten to the point where I can give an optimistic view of anything. I have these ideas for stories that I hope are entertaining and I am always criticized for being pessimistic or nihilistic. To me this is just a realistic appraisal of life. There are these little Oasis’s these little distractions you get. Last night I was caught up in the Bulls and Heat basketball game on television and for the time being I was thinking about who was going to win. I wasn’t thinking about my mortality or the fact that I am finite and aging. That was not on my mind. Labron James was on my mind and the game. That is the best you can do is get a little  detraction. What I have learned over the years is that there is no other solution to it. There is no satisfying answer. There is no optimistic answer I can give anybody.

The outcome of that basketball game is no less meaningful or no more meaningful than human life if you take the long view of it. You could look at the earth and say who cares about those creatures running around there and just brush it. Ernest Hemingway in one of his stories ( A FAREWELL TO ARMS) is looking at a burning log with ants running on it. This is the kind of thinking that has over powered me over the years and slips into my stories.

I have always been an odd mixture, completely accidentally, I was a nightclub comic joke writer whose two biggest influences were Groucho Marx, who I have always adored and he still makes me laugh  and Igmar Bergman. I have always had a morbid streak in my work and I when I do something that works , it works to my advantage because it gives some substance and depth to the story, but I when I fail the thing could be too grim or too moralizing or not interesting enough. Then someone will say we only like you when you are funny.

I love sleep.  My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know? — Ernest Hemingway

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway says that he is very competitive in his writing and he wanted to be the best. However, later in his life he embraced a very pessimistic view of life and of his work.

HEMINGWAY:Writers are competitive.

GIL PENDER:I’m not gonna be competitive with you.

HEMINGWAY:You’re too self-effacing.It’s not manly.If you’re a writer, declare yourself the best writer!But you’re not, as long as I’m around. Unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it?

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS correctly notes what Hemingway’s outlook on life was in the 1920’s but later in life he seems to agree with Ecclesiastes outlook.

Keith Porter has rightly noted that Solomon takes the view in Ecclesiastes that The materialistic, naturalistic, secularist world-view of life under the sun is futile...I believe Solomon is merely telling us what he himself concluded when God became absent from his life.  That life without God is futile, meaningless and empty.   As a wise man, inspired by God, Solomon is attempting to get us to think about what life would be like without God in our lives.   Because most of us enjoy an awareness of the God-image which all humans possess, our thinking tends to default in terms of the eternal, life ABOVE THE SUN, or with eternity in our hearts.   I believe Solomon is attempting to get us to think about life without an overwhelming God-presence so we might be more grateful and motivated to enjoy life UNDER THE SON and follow God with all of our hearts, mind, soul and strength.”

Famed Author Ernest Hemingway Experienced World War II From the Caribbean to D-day’s Normandy

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Matadors Luis Miguel Dominguin and Antonio Ordonez, with American Writer Ernest Hemingway

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Scott F. Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, Pablo Picasso, James Joyce, Joan Miro and John Gris meet and mingle.

 

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Description: Nancy “Slim” Hawks Hayward, Ernest Hemingway, and Lauren Bacall sitting and laughing outside a café, probably in Pamplona, Spain. Summer, 1959.

 

This series deals with the Book of Ecclesiastes and Woody Allen films.  The first post  dealt with MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT and it dealt with the fact that in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon does contend like Hobbes  and Stanley that life is “nasty, brutish and short” and as a result has no meaning UNDER THE SUN.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed.

Paris: The Luminous Years

A love letter affair: A personal and rather racy letter Ernest Hemingway wrote to actress Marlene Dietrich (pictured together in 1938) in 1955 is expected to fetch $50,000 at an upcoming auction

The Lost Generation A&E Biography. I DO NOT OWN THIS MATERIAL.

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SCOTT FITZGERALD: Greetings and salutations.You’ll forgive me. I’ve been mixing grain and grape.Now, this a writer. uh…Gil. Yes?- Gil…

GIL PENDER: Gil Pender.- Gil Pender.

Hemingway & Fitzgerald Clip – Midnight in Paris

HEMINGWAY:Hemingway.

GIL PENDER:Hemingway?

HEMINGWAY:You liked my book?

GIL PENDER:Liked? I loved! All your work.

HEMINGWAY:Yes, it was a good book,because it was an honest book,and that’s what war does to men.And there’s nothing fine and noble about dying in the mud,unless you die gracefully,and then it’s not only noble, but brave.

ZELDA FITZGERALD:Did you read my story? What’d you think?

HEMINGWAY:There was some fine writingin it, but it was unfulfilled.-

ZELDA FITZGERALD: I might’ve known you’d hate it.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD:But darling, you’re too sensitive.

ZELDA FITZGERALD:You liked my story, but he hates me!

SCOTT FITZGERALD:Please, old sport, you make matters extremely difficult.

ZELDA FITZGERALD:I’m jumpy. Suddenly I don’tlike the atmosphere here any more.Ah! Where’re you going?

JUAN BELMONTE:Para reunirse con mis amigos en Saint-Germain.(To meet some friends on Saint-Germain.)-

ZELDA FITZGERALD:He’s going to Saint-Germain. I’mgoing with him. –

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Zelda, sweetheart…

ZELDA FITZGERALD:If you’re going to stay here and drink with him, I’m going with the toreador.

SCOTT FITZGERALD:Would you bring her back at a reasonable time?-

HEMINGWAY:She’ll drive you crazy, this woman.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD: She’s exciting,and she has talent.

HEMINGWAY:This month it’s writing. Last month it was something else.You’re a writer. You need time to write. Not all this fooling around.She’s wasting you because she’s really a competitor. Don’t you agree?

GIL PENDER:Me?

HEMINGWAY:Speak up, for Christ’s sake! I’m asking ifyou think my friend is making a tragic mistake.

GIL PENDER: Actually, I don’t know the Fitzgeralds that well.

HEMINGWAY:You’re a writer. You make observations.You were with them all night!

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Could we not discuss my personal life in public?

HEMINGWAY:She’s jealous of his gift, and it’s a fine gift. It’s rare.- You like his work? You can speak for it.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Stop it! Stop it.

HEMINGWAY:You like Mark Twain?

SCOTT FITZGERALD: I’m going to find Zelda. I don’t like the thought of her with that Spaniard.

GIL PENDER: May I?

HEMINGWAY:Yeah,

Midnight in Paris (2011) Scene: “What are you writing?”/’Hemingway’

Published on Jul 15, 2015

Gil (Owen Wilson) sits down and has a chat with Ernest Hemingway (Corey Stoll) about his unfinished novel.

‘Midnight in Paris’; A film by Woody Allen.

Starring: Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Tom Hiddleston, Marion Cotillard, Corey Stoll, Alison Pill, Adrien Brody & Kathy Bates.

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GIL PENDER:I’m actually ahuge Mark Twain fan.I think you can even make the casethat all modern American literaturecomes from Huckleberry Finn.-

HEMINGWAY:You box?-

GIL PENDER:No. Not really. No.

HEMINGWAY:What’re you writing?-

GIL PENDER:A novel.-

HEMINGWAY:’Bout what?

GIL PENDER:It’s about a man who works in a nostalgia shop.

HEMINGWAY:What the hell is a nostalgia shop?

GIL PENDER:A place where they sell old things. Memorabilia.and… Does that sound terrible?

HEMINGWAY:No subject is terribleif the story is true.If the prose is clean and honest, and ifit affirms grace and courage under pressure.

GIL PENDER:No good.Can I ask you the biggestfavor in the world?-

HEMINGWAY:What is it?-

GIL PENDER:Would you read it?-

HEMINGWAY:Your novel?-

GIL PENDER:Yeah, it’s like 400 pages long, and I’m just looking for, you know, an opinion.

HEMINGWAY:My opinion is I hate it.

HEMINGWAY:GIL PENDER:I mean, you haven’t even read it.

HEMINGWAY:If it’s bad, I’ll hate it because I hate bad writing,and if it’s good, I’ll be envious and hate it all themore. You don’t want the opinion of another writer.

GIL PENDER:Yeah.You know, it’s just… You know what it is?I’m having a hard time,you know, trusting somebody to evaluate it.

HEMINGWAY:Writers are competitive.

GIL PENDER:I’m not gonna be competitive with you.

HEMINGWAY:You’re too self-effacing.It’s not manly.If you’re a writer, declare yourself the best writer!But you’re not, as long as I’m around. Unless you want to put the gloves on and settle it?

GIL PENDER:No, I don’t.

HEMINGWAY:Hey, I’m not gonna read your novel,but I’ll tell you what I’ll do.

GIL PENDER:Yes?

HEMINGWAY:I’ll bring it to Gertrude Stein’s.She’s the only one I trust with my writing.

GIL PENDER:You’ll show my novel to Gertrude Stein?-

HEMINGWAY: Give it to me.-

GIL PENDER:I’ll bring it to you.-

HEMINGWAY:And she gets back from Spain tomorrow.-

GIL PENDER:Great.I’m gonna go get it. I’m gonna…I can’t tell you how excited I am! This is gonna be such a lift!My heart is just racing right now!I’m gonna get it, and I’ll be back.Whoa, whoa, Gil! Take it easy!You had a big night.Fitzgerald. Hemingway!Papa! You gotta…OK, we never said where we were gonna meet.

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Futility — Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

Keith Porter pastor of Hillsdale Free Methodist Church

Solomon went through the process of thinking what life would be like without God, to discover that and then you will really appreciate life with God. Solomon wants you to know that the only way you can have real life is to recognize God in it. Eccl 1:1-11

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

[a]Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher,
[b]Vanity of vanities! All is [c]vanity.”

What advantage does man have in all his work
Which he does under the sun?
A generation goes and a generation comes,
But the earth [d]remains forever.
Also, the sun rises and the sun sets;
And [e]hastening to its place it rises there again.
[f]Blowing toward the south,
Then turning toward the north,
The wind continues [g]swirling along;
And on its circular courses the wind returns.
All the rivers [h]flow into the sea,
Yet the sea is not full.
To the place where the rivers [i]flow,
There they [j]flow again.
All things are wearisome;
Man is not able to tell it.
The eye is not satisfied with seeing,
Nor is the ear filled with hearing.
That which has been is that which will be,
And that which has been done is that which will be done.
So there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there anything of which one might say,
“See this, it is new”?
Already it has existed for ages
Which were before us.
11 There is no remembrance of [k]earlier things;
And also of the [l]later things which will occur,
There will be for them no remembrance
Among those who will come [m]later still.

September 15th, 2013

Ecclesiastes 1:1-11

“Futility”

Most men would rather die, than think. Most men do.  —Bertrand Russell

That God does not exist, I cannot deny; That my whole being cries out for God I cannot forget.  — Jean-Paul Sartre

Life has no meaning the moment you lose the illusion of being eternal. — Jean-Paul Sartre

Everything has been figured out, except how to live — Jean-Paul Sartre

Life has no meaning a priori.  Before you come alive, life is nothing; it’s up to you to give it a meaning and value is nothing else but the meaning that you choose — Jean-Paul Sartre

No finite point has meaning without an infinite reference point — Jean-Paul Sartre

Man is a useless passion. — Jean-Paul Sartre

I love sleep.  My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know? — Ernest Hemingway

Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know. — Ernest Hemingway

But man is not made for defeat.  A man can be destroyed but not defeated. —  Ernest Hemingway

I know only that what is moral is what you feel good after and what is immoral is what you feel bad after. — Ernest Hemingway

More than any other time in history, mankind faces a crossroads.  One path leads to despair and utter hopelessness.  The other, to total extinction.  Let us pray we have the wisdom to choose correctly. — Woody Allen

 

The question to be answered is . . . Why does Solomon promote such a futile, meaningless and empty perspective of life while writing the book of Ecclesiastes?

 

Answer: I believe Solomon is merely telling us what he himself concluded when God became absent from his life.  That life without God is futile, meaningless and empty.   As a wise man, inspired by God, Solomon is attempting to get us to think about what life would be like without God in our lives.   Because most of us enjoy an awareness of the God-image which all humans possess, our thinking tends to default in terms of the eternal, life ABOVE THE SUN, or with eternity in our hearts.   I believe Solomon is attempting to get us to think about life without an overwhelming God-presence so we might be more grateful and motivated to enjoy life UNDER THE SON and follow God with all of our hearts, mind, soul and strength.

The Word for the Day is . . . Futile

 

What is Solomon trying to get us to see in the prologue of Ecclesiastes?:

I.  The materialistic, naturalistic, secularist world-view of life under the sun is futile.  (Eccl 1:2-11)

(GET EXACT QUOTE AT 17 MIN MARK) This is what so crazy about so many of these atheistic philosophers and that is they wanted God to be in their life but they did not find him because they thought that the existence of evil in the world proves he doesn’t exist and it is funny that many of them such as Nietzsche, Hemingway, Bertrand Russell and Sartre had bad childhoods.

Life on planet Earth is not a bowl full of cherries; it’s the pits.  Instead of enrichment and joy, we find emptiness and sorrow.  (Charles R. Swindoll, Living on the Ragged Edge, 7)

We must see one thing right from the beginning: this book is an examination of secular wisdom and knowledge.  The book clearly states at the outset that it limits itself primarily to things that are apparent to the natural mind.  One of its key phrases is the continual repetition, under the sun.  (Ray Stedman, Is This All There Is to Life?, 9)

Ecclesiastes, then, is a summation of what man is able to discern under the sun–that is, in the visible world.  The book does consider revelation that comes from beyond man’s powers of observation and reason, but only as a contrast to what the natural mind observes.  (Ray Stedman, Is This All There Is to Life?, 10)

Vanity characterizes all human activity (1:14; 2:11): joy (2:1) and frustration (4:4, 7-8; 5:10) alike, life (2:17; 6:12; 9:9), youth (2:15, 19), diligent and idle (2:21, 23, 26).

All is literally “the whole.”  All earthly experience, seen as a unit, is “subject to vanity” (cf. Rom 8:20).  The same expression occurs in the Hebrew of 1:14; 2:11, 17; 3:1, 19; 12:8.  A qualification is found in v. 3 (“under the sun”), repeated in 1:14; 2:11, 17; and, with variation, 3:1.  It is only to one seeking satisfaction in disregard of God that the Preacher’s message stops at “All is vanity.”  For any who adopt his total world-view he has a note of encouragement.  When a perspective of faith is introduced “All is vanity” is still true, but it is not the whole picture; “under the sun” it is the whole truth.  When, in 2:24-3:22 and intermittently thereafter, new factors are brought in (the generosity of God, divine providence, divine judgment), the “vanity” of life is not obliterated or forgotten; but the new factors transform the perspective and turn pessimism into faith.  This prefigures the NT perspective in which the believer is “outwardly…wasting away” (2 Cor 4:16), is “subjected to vanity” and “groans” with creation “right up to the present time” (Rom 8:20-22).  Yet he “knows’ what is happening (Rom 8:22), “gazes” at a different perspective (2 Cor 4:18), “waits” for something different (Rom 8:25).  The new perspective does not cancel out the old, the believer is living in an overlap.  But the new perspective revolutionizes his outlook.  (Michael A. Eaton, Tyndale OT Commentaries: Ecclesiastes, 56-57)

If his resources are entirely this-worldly, “No profit” is the motto over all he does.  There is another realm altogether, the Preacher will contend later (5:2), when he will speak of God who may be approached and worshiped (5:1-7).  Meanwhile the abyss of pessimism has to be explored.  (Michael A. Eaton, Tyndale OT Commentaries: Ecclesiastes, 58)

Ecclesiastes is a testament to the spiritual insights of its author, Solomon.  It comes from his deep seeing into the nature of reality.  Solomon looked and saw that all is empty of permanence; he also saw that human energies are largely invested in a pursuit of permanence–a pursuit that is doomed from the start.  Ecclesiastes is his report of his journey to the heart of reality and his insights into how we should live, given the fact of life’s impermanence.  (Rami Shapiro, The Way of Solomon, 2)

Related posts:

A list of the most viewed posts on the historical characters mentioned in the movie “Midnight in Paris”

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 38,Alcoholism and great writers and artists)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 36, Alice B. Toklas, Woody Allen on the meaning of life)

Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 35, Recap of historical figures, Notre Dame Cathedral and Cult of Reason)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 34, Simone de Beauvoir)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 33,Cezanne)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 32, Jean-Paul Sartre)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 31, Jean Cocteau)

The characters referenced in Woody Allen’s movie “Midnight in Paris” (Part 30, Albert Camus)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 29, Pablo Picasso)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 8, Henri Toulouse Lautrec)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 7 Paul Gauguin)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 6 Gertrude Stein)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 5 Juan Belmonte)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 4 Ernest Hemingway)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 3 Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 2 Cole Porter)

The Characters referenced in Woody Allen’s “Midnight in Paris” (Part 1 William Faulkner)

MUSIC MONDAY Cole Porter “Let’s Do it, Let’s Fall in Love” in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 63 Robert M. Price “The burden of proof is on the person who says that there was [a historical Jesus]”

 

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

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Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:

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I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Today I look at Robert M. Price but here are some of my earlier posts:

Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Patricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart EhrmanIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldAlan Guth, Jonathan HaidtHermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesShelly KaganStuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, Elizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaDouglas Osheroff,   Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Robert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

I was introduced to the writings of Robert M. Price back in the 1990’s by my skeptic friend Ed Babinski who is pictured below:

Robert M. Price

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named Robert Price, see Robert Price.
Robert M. Price
Robert M. Price 1.jpg
Born Robert McNair Price
July 7, 1954 (age 61)
Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.[1]
Residence North Carolina
Education BA, MTS (1978)
PhD in Systematic Theology (1981)
PhD in New Testament (1993)[1]
Alma mater Montclair State University
Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary
Drew University
Occupation Theologian
Employer Professor of biblical criticism for the Council for Secular Humanism‘s Center for Inquiry Institute[2]
Known for Views on the historicity of Jesus
Spouse(s) Carol Selby Price[3]
Children Victoria and Veronica[1]
Website robertmprice.mindvendor.com

Robert McNair Price (born July 7, 1954) is an American theologian and writer.[4] He teaches philosophy and religion at the Johnnie ColemonTheological Seminary,[5] is professor of biblical criticism at the Center for Inquiry Institute, and the author of a number of books on theology and thehistoricity of Jesus, asserting the Christ myth theory.

A former Baptist minister, he was the editor of the Journal of Higher Criticism from 1994 until it ceased publication in 2003. He has also written extensively about the Cthulhu Mythos, a “shared universe” created by the writer H. P. Lovecraft.[6] He also co-wrote a book with his wife, Carol Selby Price, Mystic Rhythms: The Philosophical Vision of Rush (1999), on the rock band Rush.

Price is a fellow of the Jesus Seminar, a group of 150 writers and scholars who study the historicity of Jesus, the organizer of a Web community for those interested in the history of Christianity,[7] and sits on the advisory board of the Secular Student Alliance.[3] He is a religious skeptic, especially of orthodox Christian beliefs, occasionally describing himself as a Christian atheist.

Background[edit]

Price was formerly a Baptist minister in New Jersey, with doctorates in theology (Drew University 1981), and New Testament (Drew 1993).[8]

Religious writings[edit]

In books like The Incredible Shrinking Son of Man and Deconstructing Jesus, Price challenges biblical literalism and argues for a more skeptical andhumanistic approach to Christianity.

He views Jesus of Nazareth as an invented figure conforming to the Mythic Hero Archetype. [9] In the documentary The God Who Wasn’t There, Price supports a version of the Jesus myth hypothesis, suggesting that the early Christians adopted the model for the figure of Jesus from the popular Mediterranean dying-rising saviour myths of the time, such as that of Dionysus. He argues that the comparisons were known at the time, as early church father, Justin Martyr had admitted the similarities. Price suggests that Christianity simply adopted themes from the dying-rising god stories of the day and supplemented them with themes (escaping crosses, empty tombs, children being persecuted by tyrants, etc.) from the popular stories of the day in order to come up with the narratives about Christ.[citation needed] He has argued that there was an almost complete fleshing out of the details of the gospels by a Midrash (haggadah) rewriting of the Septuagint, Homer, Euripides’ Bacchae, and Josephus.[10] At the same time, Price cautiously concludes that “a genuine historical figure” ultimately lies at the root of the Christian religion.[11] Because that figure (about whom no mundane, secular information seems to have survived) was eventually made into God, Price describes his view on Jesus as “euhemerist,” namely, the view that a person of history ultimately underwent deification through apotheosis. But Price admits uncertainty in this regard. He writes at the conclusion of his 2000 book Deconstructing Jesus: “There may have been a real figure there, but there is simply no longer any way of being sure.”[12]

H. P. Lovecraft scholarship[edit]

As editor of the journal Crypt of Cthulhu[13] (published by Necronomicon Press) and of a series of Cthulhu Mythos anthologies,[14][15][16] Price has been a major figure in H. P. Lovecraft scholarship and fandom for many years.[17] In essays that introduce the anthologies and the individual stories, Price traces the origins of Lovecraft’s entities, motifs, and literary style. The Cthulhu Cycle, for example, saw the origins of the octopoid entity in Alfred Lord Tennyson‘s “The Kraken” and particular passages from Lord Dunsany, while The Dunwich Cycle points to the influence of Arthur Machen on Lovecraft’s “The Dunwich Horror.”

Price’s religious background often informs his Mythos criticism, seeing gnostic themes in Lovecraft’s fictional god Azathoth[18] and interpreting “The Shadow Over Innsmouth” as a kind of initiation ritual.[19]

Most of the early Cthulhu books by Chaosium were overseen by Price; his first book was The Hastur Cycle (1993), a collection of short stories which traced the development of a single Lovecraftian element, and this was followed by Mysteries of the Worm (1993), a collection of Robert Bloch‘s Mythos fiction.[20]

Other works[edit]

Price runs The Bible Geek, a broadcast show where Price answers listeners questions.[21] In 2010 he became one of three new hosts on Point of Inquiry (the Center for Inquiry‘s podcast), following the retirement of host D. J. Grothe from the show. Having appeared on the show twice before as a guest (see external links below), he hosted until 2012.[22]

In 2005, he appeared in Brian Flemming‘s documentary film The God Who Wasn’t There.

Debates[edit]

In 1999, he debated William Lane Craig, arguing against the historicity of Jesus’ resurrection.[23] In 2010, he debated James White, arguing against the reliability of the Bible.

External links[edit]

_____________________________

In  the second video below in the 75th 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)

_________________________________

HERE IS THE QUOTE FROM THE FILM AND BELOW IT MY LETTER TO DR. PRICE RESPONDING TO IT:

“I don’t think it would be a lot better  if there were no Jesus. It is a matter of indifference and there might have been. The burden of proof is on the person who says that there was because it is special pleading. You special treatment for you favorite savior.”

December 16, 2015

Dr. Robert M. Price, North Carolina

Dear Dr. Price,

About 20 years ago I read the book LEAVING THE FOLD by my friend Ed Babinski and Ed told me about you. Since then I have read some of your other material and have even seen you on TV several times. Also I read your article “Atheists for Huckabee” posted on 

Recently I ran across this quote from you:

“I don’t think it would be a lot better if there were no Jesus. It is a matter of indifference and there might have been. The burden of proof is on the person who says that there was because it is special pleading. You special treatment for you favorite savior.”

This reminds me also of your paper THE OLD-TIME RELIGION AND THE NEW PHYSICS which includes this portion:

In closing, we may ask what can possibly motivate the kind of blatant axe-grinding and special pleading we have observed here, as well as in the Creationist assault on evolution. Fundamentalists say they love the truth, yet they seem to be guilty of the worst kind of intellectual dishonesty. The trouble arises from the fact that fundamentalists see the truth as something already possessed (a “faith delivered once-and-for-all to the saints” ­(Jude 3), rather than something to be pursued. Apologist Francis Schaeffer issues this challenge to his followers:

The truth of Christianity is that it is true to what is there. You can go to the end of the world and you need never be afraid, like the ancients, that you will fall off the end and the dragons will eat you up. You can carry out your intellectual discussion to the end of the game, because Christianity is not only true to the dogma, it is not only true to what God has said in the Bible, but it is also true to what is there, and you will never fall off the end of the world! (He is There and He is Not Silent, p. 17)

With this striking metaphor, Schaeffer means to assure his readers in advance that all the evidence will be found to agree with the evangelical, biblicist view of things. The fundamentalist can count on never having to change his mind. What wonder that this assurance becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as the bib­licist runs up against evidence that does not easily comport with his view. It will be made to do so, or to seem to do so. Either it will be denied in the name of the biblical text (d. the Creationist attack on evolution), or it will be ventriloquistically co-opted (as in the case of the new physics).

ROBERT you say the burden of proof is on the apologist and I wanted to step up the plate and give you some evidence. Our mutual friend Ed Babinski talked to Farrell Till in the late 1990’s and got him to publish a written debate on the date and authorship of the Book of Daniel between Till and myself that ran for about 3 years in 7 or 8 publications of THE SKEPTICAL REVIEW. I enjoyed visiting with Till on the phone and was saddened to learn of his death three years ago. One of his  debate opponents was Norman Geisler. Below is a statement from the debate between skeptic Farrell Till and Geisler: 

(Norm Geisler)

(Farrell Till below)

The science of archaeology has confirmed the basic historical accuracy of the Gospel record. To take but one example, there are the writings of Sir William Ramsay, whose conversion from a skeptical view of the New Testament was supported by a lifetime of research in the near-eastern world. He wrote, “I began with a mind unfavorable to it. More recently I found myself often brought in contact with the book of Acts as an authority for topography, antiquities, and society of Asia minor. It was gradually born in upon me that in various details the narrative showed marvelous truth.” As a result, Ramsay discovered that Luke was a first-rate historian. In Luke’s references to 32 countries, to 44 cities, and 9 islands, there were no errors. This being the case, Luke’s prior narration of Christ’s death and resurrection (which are integral parts of his Gospel) should be accepted as authentic as well. And since it is in accord with that of the other Gospels on the basic facts about the death and resurrection of Christ we have here an archaeological confirmation of the basic historicity of these documents on these essential facts.

WANT SOME MORE EVIDENCE? Take a look at this article below from Walter Kaiser, Jr.

By Walter C. Kaiser, Jr.   •   November 22, 2006

In his “Encyclopedia of Biblical Prophecy,” J. Barton Payne itemized 127 Messianic predictions involving more than 3,000 Bible verses, with a remarkable 574 verses referring directly to a personal Messiah! My book “The Messiah in the Old Testament” examined 65 direct prophecies about the Messiah. These incredible promises formed one of the most central themes of the Old Testament: the coming Messiah.

The word Messiah or Anointed One (or in Greek, Christ), is taken from Psalm 2:2 and Daniel 9:25-26. The term took its meaning from the Jewish practice of anointing their priests and kings. But this term was applied in a special sense to the future Ruler who would be sent from God to sit on the throne of David forever. He is the One that God distinctly identified many years ahead of His arrival on earth, as Acts 3:18 affirms: “But this is how God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, saying that his Christ [Messiah] would suffer” (NIV).

Likewise, according to 1 Peter 1:11, the Old Testament prophets predicted “the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow” (NIV). The Messiah’s coming was not a secret left in a corner, but the repeated revelation of God to His people in the Old Testament.

Here are some of the definite clues about this coming that God gave in the Old Testament:

  • The Messiah would be the seed/offspring of a woman and would crush the head of Satan (Genesis 3:15).
  • He would come from the seed/offspring of Abraham and would bless all the nations on earth (Genesis 12:3).
  • He would be a “prophet like Moses” to whom God said we must listen (Deuteronomy 18:15).
  • He would be born in Bethlehem of Judah (Micah 5:2).
  • He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14).
  • He would have a throne, a kingdom and a dynasty, or house, starting with King David, that will last forever (2 Samuel 7:16).
  • He would be called “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Everlasting Father,” “Prince of Peace,” and would possess an everlasting kingdom (Isaiah 9:6-7).
  • He would ride into Jerusalem on a donkey, righteous and having salvation, coming with gentleness (Zechariah 9:9-10).
  • He would be pierced for our transgression and crushed for our iniquities (Isaiah 53:5).
  • He would die among the wicked ones but be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9).
  • He would be resurrected from the grave, for God would not allow His Holy One to suffer decay (Psalm 16:10).
  • He would come again from the clouds of heaven as the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14).
  • He would be the “Sun of Righteousness” for all who revere Him and look for His coming again (Malachi 4:2).
  • He is the One whom Israel will one day recognize as the One they pierced, causing bitter grief (Zechariah 12:10).

The prophesies about the Messiah were not a bunch of scattered predictions randomly placed throughout the Old Testament, but they form a unified promise-plan of God, where each promise is interrelated and connected into a grand series comprising one continuous plan of God. Thus, a unity builds as the story of God’s call on Israel, and then on the house of David, progresses in each part of the Old Testament.

However, this eternal plan of God also had multiple fulfillments as it continued to unfold in the life and times of Israel. For example, every successive Davidic king was at once both a fulfillment in that day as well as a promise of what was to come when Christ, the final One in the Davidic line, arrived. Each of these successive fulfillments gave confidence that what was in the distant future would certainly happen, because God was working in the fabric of history as well. And although the promise was made to specific persons, such as Eve, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David, it was cosmopolitan in its inclusiveness. What God was doing through Israel and these individuals was to be a source of blessing to all the families of the earth (Genesis 12:3).

Some insist that the Messiah whom Christians revere is not the same one that Jewish people also look forward to meeting. Some years ago, I had an opportunity to be part of a televised debate with a rabbi who is a Jewish New Testament scholar around the question, “Is Jesus the Messiah?” The rabbi explained the Jewish point of view: “Evangelicals believe the Messiah has two comings: one at Christmas and one at His second coming. We Jews believe He will only come once, at a time of peace on earth just as the prophet Zechariah declared in Zechariah 12-14. Since we still experience wars, Messiah has not yet come.”

I responded, “It says in Zechariah 12:10 that ‘They will look on me.’ Who is the one speaking here?”

He replied: “The Almighty, of course.”

I responded, “It says, ‘They will look on me, the one they have pierced.’ How did He get pierced?” He answered that he did not know. I said, “I have an idea. It was at Calvary.” He did not counter with any further argument.

The Bible is saying that on that future day of His Second Coming, Jews and Gentiles will personally see the One who was pierced for the sins of the world. In other words, that “future day” will not be the first time they have seen Him. So even the Old Testament, it turns out, anticipated two comings of the Messiah: one at His birth and another when He comes as triumphant king at His Second Coming.

What would this world be like without the Messiah? What would Christmas be like without the fulfillment of all those ancient promises and the prospect of Messiah’s coming yet once more as King of kings and Lord of lords? His arrival has made the difference between light and darkness itself. Think what His triumphal appearance once more will mean to this world. Everyone, including all of nature itself (Romans 8:20-21), will let out a burst of praise such as has never been heard: Here comes the King Himself, our Lord and our Savior! Joy to the World!

———-

ROBERT you lost your faith because of the scientific evidence evidently that changed your mind about the Bible. Charles Darwin walked down a similar path that you did evidently. Did you know that eventually Darwin lost his love of music and poetry and he blamed that on his conversion at agnosticism? I learned this when I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published lettersI 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.”

(Shakespeare)

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)

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.

(Dave Hope)

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.

(Dave Hope serving still in Florida today)

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.

________

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“Truth Tuesday” Debating the Founding Fathers with Ark Times Bloggers Part 7 James Madison “A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven”

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 , but the issue of the founding fathers’ views on religion got one of the biggest responses.

It is true that 29 of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had degrees with Bible Colleges or Seminaries and these men we know were God-fearing Protestants. This means they had a biblical view of man with an understanding of our sin nature and this led them to come up with a limited government with many checks and balances. They had a strong belief in the afterlife and in future punishments and rewards. They also encouraged Christianity and were not hostile to religion. However, they did not set up a Christian Theocracy but wanted freedom of religion.

People really are losing their faith in big government and they want more liberty back. It seems to me we have to get back to the founding  principles that made our country great.  We also need to realize that a big government will encourage waste and corruptionThe recent scandals in our government have proved my point. In fact, the jokes President Obama made at Ohio State about possibly auditing them are not so funny now that reality shows how the IRS was acting more like a monster out of control.  Here is a clip discussing the founders and what their religious views were.

David Barton: Declaration and Constitution Are Based Entirely On The Bible

Here is some comments from our debate on the Arkansas Times Blog in July of 2013:

Outlier you have studied a lot about James Madison evidently. In the advertisement from the Freedom from Religion Foundation there is a quote from James Madison but these quotes below were omitted. Which quotes best represent his views?

James Madison

SIGNER OF THE CONSTITUTION; AUTHOR OF THE FEDERALIST PAPERS; FRAMER OF THE BILL OF RIGHTS; SECRETARY OF STATE; FOURTH PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

A watchful eye must be kept on ourselves lest, while we are building ideal monuments of renown and bliss here, we neglect to have our names enrolled in the Annals of Heaven.

(. James Madison, Letters and Other Writings of James Madison (New York: R. Worthington, 1884), Vol. I, pp. 5-6, to William Bradford on November 9, 1772. )

I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.

( James Madison, The Papers of James Madison, William T. Hutchinson, editor (Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 1962), Vol. I, p. 96, to William Bradford on September 25, 1773.)

Olphart responded:

Saline, I don’t think that Madison is supporting your cause here. Admittedly, the quote is in the prolix, exceedingly flowery style of the day that’s hard for us to understand today, but excerpting this phrase “declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ”, seems to perfectly describe any Tea Party politician. In other words, by invoking Jesus for political gain, you are deeming yourself to be unsatisfactory.

I responded:

Olphart, on facebook James C. Pugh who I do not know said this about the letter from James Madison to William Bradford in Sept of 1773:

William Bradford, having decided not to pursue the ministry as a career, wrote James Madison asking his advice on the choice between law, medicine, and merchandising. Madison’s response expressed disappointment in Bradford’s decision not to pursue the ministry, yet he remained supportive of any choice his friend would make. The advice that follows is an expression of humility and devotion to Christ. Madison seems to say that too often men in positions of great public influence fail to follow Christ in their public lives. According to Madison, no stronger testimony of Christ can be born than for those who have acquired much reputation and wealth to publicly declare their devotion to the cause of Christ.

Olphart responded:

Saline, thanks for the further research into that quote. The more I look at it the “confuseder” I get. Sometimes eloquent writers can get carried away and Madison might have done that here.

You’ve looked at the context behind the quote anyway so you might be right. I greatly respect the founding fathers; most seemed to be original thinkers or as we would say now days: they thought outside the box.

Of course, they were human; they were flawed men like us all. You and I might disagree what each man’s flaws and virtues were but we’ll have opportunity to discuss that later, I’m sure.

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MUSIC MONDAY Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 2

Christian Rock Pioneer Larry Norman’s Songs Part 2

I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry Norman’s music in the 1970’s and his album IN ANOTHER LAND came out in 1976 and sold an enormous amount of copies for a Christian record back then.

Larry Norman – 4 – I’ve Searched All Around – In Another Land (1976)

Larry Norman – 5 – Righteous Rocker #3 – In Another Land (1976)

This is Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill singing “He is a Friend of Mine” on their last tour together.

You can go to http://www.larrynorman.com to buy the CD (Ten Times Two) with the recordings of the songs from this Tour

____________________________________

LEGENDS

Larry Norman

By CBNmusic

CBN.comIn 1969, Capitol Records released Upon This Rock by 22-year-old California kid Larry Norman. At the time, no one suspected this would be a watershed moment in Christian music history. With one album, a longhaired outcast from San Francisco began a legacy that ushered in the Jesus movement and brought blunt Christianity to rock’n’roll.

Larry Norman was born April 8, 1947. Saved at the age of five, he started singing at nine. By the mid-1960s, he formed the musical group People! and scored a Billboard hit with “I Love You.” Norman toured with artists such as Janis Joplin and the Doors. It was not long before Norman had issues with his record label over the Christian content in his music. In the midst of the success of People!, Norman left to go solo.

After People!, he spent time sharing the gospel on the streets of Los Angeles. A near death experience in 1968 pushed Norman further towards his obsession with the Rapture and salvation. Out of these spiritually awakenings came Upon This Rock, and the 1968 album broke the mold.

It was the first major label record to marry rock music with the gospel. With street language and gritty imagery, Norman was the first to put into practice that Christian music could be powerful in its message yet relevant to the times.

Norman parted ways with Capitol Records soon after and was snatched up by MGM. His first record under the subsidiary Verve label, Only Visiting This Planet, is hailed as Norman’s best work. Its abrasive, urban reality of the gospel was meant to reach the flower children disillusioned by the government and the church. Norman mixed his Christian message with strong political themes. Protest-esque songs like “I Am the Six o’Clock News” and “The Great American Novel” spoke out against racism. The landmark re-recording of “Wish We’d All Been Ready” from Upon This Rock painted an eerie picture of life after the Rapture.

Banned by the Christian music industry, Norman received his early kudos from mainstream audiences. The Billboard magazine named him “the most important writer since Paul Simon.” Norman was loved mostly overseas. He performed across the globe in Australia, Italy and Japan. He sold out the Royal Albert Hall in London six times.

In 1974, Norman started Solid Rock Records after leaving MGM. His 1976 album, In Another Land, put him back in touch musically with the Jesus he proclaimed on Upon This Rock. “Six Sixty Six” was akin to “Wish We’d All Been Ready” in his view of the Antichrist. His testimony strongly shined through “I am a Servant.”

In addition to his contributions to Christian music, Norman discovered and mentored fellow Jesus rocker Randy Stonehill. Norman also launched the careers of Steve Camp, Keith Green, and Daniel Amos.

Norman’s life changed dramatically in 1978 when an airplane accident caused him spinal and brain damage. It would be the beginning of his life-long health battle. He toured less but continued to release live albums. In 1980, he started Phydeauz (pronounced “Fido”) Records.

Norman’s watermark hits such as “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music” continue to inspire. In 1995, during the success of Jesus Freak, dc Talk resurrected “Wish We’d All Been Ready.” The cover, recorded live, introduced a new generation to the Jesus Movement.

After 30 years, the Christian music community recognized Norman for his pioneering efforts. The Gospel Music Association inducted him into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 2001. Only Visiting this Planet was CCM Magazine’s greatest album in Christian music, second only to Amy Grant’s Lead Me On.

With over 50 albums under his belt, Norman is still the righteous rocker. In 2004, he released Snowblind, a live album recorded in Utah containing many of his classic hits. Currently, Norman is recovering from his 2002 quadruple bypass surgery in Oregon.

Larry Norman is a veteran of Christian music in many ways. He survived death threats, censorship, relentless touring, and harsh criticism. He made his name preaching to the outcast, offending the church and making record executives nervous with his brand of Jesus rock. Norman wrote songs that spoke to the heart but aimed for the jugular. It is nothing less than legendary for the original Jesus Freak.

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