FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 128 Will Provine, Determinism, Part F (Featured artist is Pierre Soulages )

Today I am bringing this series on William Provine to an end.  Will Provine’s work was cited by  Francis Schaeffer  in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? I noted:

I was sad to learn of Dr. Provine’s death. William Ball “Will” Provine (February 19, 1942 – September 1, 2015) He grew up an evangelical in Tennessee which is the state that I grew up in, but when confronted by evolution he gave up his former beliefs in the Bible and embraced his new secular worldview. I was introduced to his work by the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop in 1979. I contacted Dr. Provine twice and one time I included a link to this post below that I did on him on June 12, 2014.

Dr Provine is a very honest believer in Darwinism. He rightly draws the right conclusions about the implications of Darwinism. I have attacked optimistic humanism many times in the past and it seems that he has confirmed all I have said about it.

I am not a proponent of determinism, but Will Provine was.

Image result for william provine phillip johnson

Editor’s note: Though saddened by the occasion, Evolution News is gratified to welcome the godfather of the modern ID movement, Phillip E. Johnson, Professor of Law Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law and author of Darwin on Trial and other books. He is Program Advisor to Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture. Look here for Professor Johnson’s articles, reviews of his books, and multimedia files of his interviews and lectures.

I have just learned that Will Provine has died. I am sad to hear that, as I had hoped to see him again. After he retired several years ago, he contacted me to see if I would welcome a visit if he and his wife got to California. I gave him a warm affirmative, but it never happened.

Will Provine was one of those rare people with a strong viewpoint who is still willing to imagine that there is an opposing view that is worth hearing. He taught evolutionary science for much of his career at Cornell University and believed that evolution tells us that we have no need for God and that none of us has free will, but that our actions and lives are determined by our genes and our experiences. He even gave an introductory lecture to entering freshmen expressing this way of thinking about the world.

Nonetheless, he welcomed me into his classroom on a number of occasions to present a very different way of understanding the world. Some years, he even had his students read my book Darwin on Trial. He would certainly try to tear my arguments to shreds with the students, but at least he let them hear a different viewpoint. It is highly unusual for a professor of evolution to even admit that there is a different way of thinking, except among a few backwoods Bible-thumpers. Provine always treated me with respect, and never tried to marginalize me as a “literal-minded creationist.”

We enjoyed each other’s company, perhaps because we understood that we had a lot in common. We had come to our differing understandings honestly and with careful study, rather than because of what we had been told by others or because of peer pressure.

One of the most popular of my videos is of a debate held at Stanford between Provine and me. I never used technology in my talks, relying on my voice and my arguments. Provine liked technology and had many visuals with his presentation. Whenever I made a statement he disagreed with and it was his turn, he would bring out “the bull,” indicating that what I had said was all wrong.

Over the course of the debate, this began to wear on people. My wife noticed that one woman, who clearly agreed with Provine, began to waver as she realized he wasn’t making coherent arguments, but was essentially name-calling. This video has been seen and discussed widely and has helped our cause.

Despite the fact that he had different views from my own, Provine was a friend and, in his own way, helped me by emphasizing the right issues, rather than hiding them.

Image: Will Provine, 1994, debating Phillip Johnson at Stanford University.

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Dr. Johnson correctly summed up Dr. Provine’s views with these words, “believed that evolution tells us that we have no need for God and that none of us has free will, but that our actions and lives are determined by our genes and our experiences.” I have been able to correspond with a proponent of  determinism by the name of Christof Koch and below is one of the letters I wrote to him.

Image result for christof koch

Wikipedia notes Christof Koch (/kɑːx/;[1] born November 13, 1956) is an American neuroscientist best known for his work on the neural bases of consciousness. He is the Chief Scientific Officer of the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle. From 1986 until 2013, he was a professor at the California Institute of Technology.[2]

Quote:

I was raised as a Roman Catholic and I think a lot about it. Certainly it’s difficult to reconcile some of these ideas with a classical Roman Catholic doctrine of a really independent actor, and this relates to the question we haven’t talked about, the question of free will and volition; but neuroscience, of course, like all of science, throws some doubts on that, some “water” on the idea that I can really truly act like the unmoved mover, the uncaused cause. Because how would that be? If I can truly act independent, that means that something happens without there being any something happening before, and how is that supposed to work in real life? So, those are issues I’m profoundly interested in, to reconcile, to come to a single understanding of everything in the universe, including things outside the universe.

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If you believe that man is a product of blind chance plus time then I can see how you can believe in determinism. However, the Bible says otherwise.

“The Biblical position is clear — man cannot be explained as totally determined and conditioned — a position that built the concept of the dignity of man.  People today are trying to hang on to the dignity of man, and they do not know how to because they have lost the truth that man is made in the image of God.  He was an unprogrammed man, a significant man in a significant history, and he could change history.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, Escape from Reason

Here is a letter I recently wrote to Dr. Koch:

February 16, 2015

Dear Dr. Christof Koch,

Today I writing concerning an issue that was very dear to your mentor Francis Crick also and it is the subject of Determinism. 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.”

Recently I noticed this comment by you:

I was raised as a Roman Catholic and I think a lot about it. Certainly it’s difficult to reconcile some of these ideas with a classical Roman Catholic doctrine of a really independent actor, and this relates to the question we haven’t talked about, the question of free will and volition; but neuroscience, of course, like all of science, throws some doubts on that, some “water” on the idea that I can really truly act like the unmoved mover, the uncaused cause. Because how would that be? If I can truly act independent, that means that something happens without there being any something happening before, and how is that supposed to work in real life? So, those are issues I’m profoundly interested in, to reconcile, to come to a single understanding of everything in the universe, including things outside the universe.

This quote from you made me think of you when I read the book Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters because of what Darwin said the phrase MAN MUST DO HIS DUTY. I am going to quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. I have also enclosed a CD with two messages from Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff concerning Darwinism.

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

I am sure you will excuse my writing at length, when I tell you that I have long been much out of health, and am now staying away from my home for rest.It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. 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…….Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. I am, also, induced to defer to a certain extent to the judgment of the many able men who have fully believed in God; but here again I see how poor an argument this is. The safest conclusion seems to me that the whole subject is beyond the scope of man’s intellect;but man can do his duty.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

What he is saying is that at this point I have no answer. You find Darwin already in a modern hell. On his own position ruling out an answer but yet not being able to live without an answer.  What he (Darwin) is saying is that at this point I have no answer, but the interesting thing is he puts a semicolon after that and then says, “but man can do his duty.” Darwin understands, he is a brilliant man,  what he has said undercuts all duty and all morals. So he adds as a faith sentence, “but man can do his duty.” It doesn’t fit really, but he adds it because he sees that he must say this because otherwise what happens to man? You can switch on further down the road and Darwin would be appalled to see where his own position has been taken, through Freud and Deterministic psychology. Modern Man has a dilemma because the word “duty” doesn’t have a meaning anymore. (Determinism: The doctrine that human action is not free, but results from such causes as psychological and chemical makeup which render free-will an illusion.)

You will remember the thing I have quoted to you about Richard Speck and the psychologists who would stand in the evolutionary stream of Freud. Let me read to you from Newsweek September 25, 1967, a review of the book by Marvin Ziporyn BORN TO RAISE HELL interestingly enough printed by Groth Press, which is this psychologist’s analysis of Richard Speck in Chicago who killed these nurses in Chicago. It runs like this:

Ziporyn who lost his post at Chicago for publishing his work with Speck, diagnosed his patient as a man unable to control himself as a result of his own medical and emotional past. You weren’t any more responsible for what you did than a man is responsible for sneezing. he said to Speck at one point.  That is Zoporyn’s biggest problem which is convincing Speck there is no difference in a sneeze and eight murders. Ziporyn admits he is a strict determinist and he is an adherent to Freud’s dictum that biology is destiny. He advocates rehabilitation. Determinists strive to change or regulate conditions rather than men but to avoid such tragedies as Richard Speck the scope of change it requires staggers the imagination.

The bigger dilemma is that man disappears. Who is hurt? The eight nurses are hurt, including their pain, terror and their sexual violation and it becomes nothing, zero in this type of analysis. Society has a terrible problem because there is no right and wrong in society, and that will deal with Darwin’s words “but man can do his duty” because those who take Darwin’s theory and extend it have eradicated the possibility of the word “duty.” …Darwin I think senses this but he doesn’t know how to handle it.

In Chapter 7, “THE MAN WITHOUT THE BIBLE,” of the book DEATH IN THE CITY, Schaeffer writes concerning Richard Speck and “Determinism”: 

This view raises three serious questions. First of all, what about the nurses who were killed, some of them in a very violent fashion? These must then be written off. With this kind of explanation they become zero. Second, what about society? Society and the problems of ordering it also are written off. In such a situation, order in society is merely like a big machine dealing on a machine level with little machines. Third, what about Speck himself? The psychologist’s explanation does the most harm to him, for as a man he disappears. He simply becomes a flow of consciousness. He, too, becomes a zero.

In our generation there is a constant tendency to explain sin lightly and think that such an explanation is more humanitarian. But it is not. It decreases the importance and significance of man. Consequently, we can be glad for the sake of man that the Bible’s explanation is so emphatic.
Paul repeats it in verse 25: “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature [that which has been created] rather than the Creator.” This is the second of the three repetitions.

Paul was thinking of the gods of silver and stone and also the worship of the universe or any part of it. He says men have made such gods rather than worshipping the living God. Even on the basis of what they know themselves to be, they should have known better. Isaiah said 700 years before, ‘Aren’t you silly to make gods that are less than yourself. You must carry them; they don’t carry you. Now isn’t it silly to make an integration point that is less than you yourself are.’ Paul used precisely the same argument on Mars Hill. Men who refuse to bow before God take the facts concerning the universe and man, push these facts through their own presuppositional grid, fail to carry their thinking to a reasonable conclusion, and so are faced with an overwhelming lie. Idols of stone are obvious lies because they are less than man, but so are non-Christian presuppositions such as the idea of the total uniformity of natural cause and effect in a closed system, the final explanation of the impersonal plus time plus chance, which ultimately makes man only a machine.

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Below is the larger biblical passage of scripture that Schaeffer was referring to in Chapter 7, “THE MAN WITHOUT THE BIBLE,” of the book DEATH IN THE CITY:

Romans 1:18-32New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Unbelief and Its Consequences

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 becausethat which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures.

24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; 32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

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In your article in SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, How Physics and Neuroscience Dictate Your “Free” WillPhysics and neurobiology can help us understand whether we choose our own destiny, May 7, 2012 |By Christof Koch, you noted:

In a remote corner of the universe, on a small blue planet gravitating around a humdrum sun in the outer districts of the Milky Way, organisms arose from the primordial mud and ooze in an epic struggle for survival that spanned aeons.
Despite all evidence to the contrary, these bipedal creatures thought of themselves as extraordinarily privileged, occupying a unique place in a cosmos of a trillion trillion stars. Conceited as they were, they believed that they, and only they, could escape the iron law of cause and effect that governs everything. They could do this by virtue of something they called free will, which allowed them to do things without any material reason.

Can you truly act freely? The question of free will is no mere philosophical banter; it engages people in a way that few other metaphysical questions do. It is the bedrock of society’s notions of responsibility, praise and blame. Ultimately it is about the degree of control you exert over your life.

Let’s say you are living with a loving and lovely spouse. A chance meeting with a stranger turns this life utterly upside down. You begin talking for hours on the phone, you share your innermost secrets, you start an affaire de coeur. You realize perfectly well that this is all wrong from an ethical point of view; it will wreak havoc with many lives, with no guarantee of a happy and productive future. Yet something in you yearns for change.

Such gut-churning choices confront you with the question of how much say you really have in the matter. You feel that you could, in principle, break off the affair. Despite many attempts, you somehow never manage to do so.

In my thoughts on these matters of free will, I neglect millennia of learned philosophical debates and focus on what physics, neurobiology and psychology have to say, for they have provided partial answers to this ancient conundrum.

Shades of Freedom
I recently served on a jury in United States District Court in Los Angeles. The defendant was a heavily tattooed member of a street gang that smuggled and sold drugs. He was charged with murdering a fellow gang member with two shots to the head.

As the background to the crime was laid out by law enforcement, relatives, and present and past gang members—some of them testifying while handcuffed, shackled and dressed in bright orange prison jumpsuits—I thought about the individual and societal forces that had shaped the defendant. Did he ever have a choice? Did his violent upbringing make it inevitable that he would kill? Fortunately, the jury was not called on to answer these irresolvable questions or to determine his punishment. We only had to decide, beyond a reasonable doubt, whether he was guilty as charged, whether he had shot a particular person at a particular place and time. And this we did.

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You can see easily why your comments reminded me of the Richard Speck case and Schaeffer’s comments concerning Darwin and Freud.

Why is determinism dangerous? Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? tells why it is dangerous:

Modern determinists have not presented only abstract theories.  Rather, there have been two practical results.  First, and most important, as their ideas about what people are have been increasingly accepted, people consciously or unconsciously have opened themselves to being treated as machines and treating other people as machines.  Second, each theory of determinism has carried with it a method of manipulation.  So even though many — even most — people may reject the concept that man is totally a product of psychological, sociological, or chemical conditioning, manipulation by these methods is still very much a live possibility.  In fact, these techniques are all at the disposal of of authoritation states, and they are in some degree already being used.

Paul Chopan has rightly noted:

Naturalism takes for granted the following tenets:

  • Nature is all there is.
  • All reality is comprised of or rooted in matter.
  • There is no supernatural—no Creator, no miracles, no souls,
    no angels, no life after death.
  • Science becomes the only (or best) means of knowledge.

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What is the answer to the problem of DETERMINISM? It is found in the Biblical view that the Bible is true and there was a place named THE GARDEN OF EDEN and the fact that God did create this world and it was not created by impersonal chance plus time. 

Francis A. Schaeffer on Human Free WillTHE GOD WHO IS THERE, (DOWNERS GROVE, IL: INTERVARSITY PRESS, 1968), P 131.

The historic Christian position is that man’s dilemma has a moral cause. God, being nondetermined, created man as a nondetermined person. This is a difficult idea for anyone thinking in twentieth-century terms because most twentieth-century thinking sees man as determined. He is determined either by chemical factors, as the Marquis de Sade held and Francis Crick is trying to prove, or by psychological factors, as Freud and others have suggested, or by sociological factors, such as B.F. Skinner holds. In these cases, or as a result of a fusion of them, man is considered to be programmed. If this is the case, then man is not the tremendous thing the Bible says he is, made in the image of God as a personality who can make a free first choice. Because God created a true universe outside of himself (or as an extension of his essence), there is a true history which exists, man as created in God’s image is therefore a significant man in a significant history, who can choose to obey the commandments of God and love him, or revolt against him.

THE CRUX OF THE ISSUE IS DID MAN HAVE A CHOICE AND IS MAN RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS CHOICES?

REMEMBER THAT GREAT PASSAGE FROM ROMANS CHAPTER ONE THAT I QUOTED EARLIER IN THIS LETTER AND DARWIN’S WORDS IN THE APRIL 2, 1873 LETTER TO  Doedes, N. D.?

Darwin noted, It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. 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……”

Franicis 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… 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, what I would call two things in the real world. The universe and it’s form and I usually quote Jean Paul Sartre here, and Sartre says the basic philosophic problem is that something is there rather than nothing is there and I then I add at the point the very thing that Darwin feels and that is it isn’t a bare universe that is out there, it is an universe in a specific form. I always bring in Einstein and the uniformity of the form of the universe and that it is constructed as a well formulated word puzzle or you have Carl Gustav Jung who says two things cut across a man’s will that he can not truly be autonomous, the external world and what Carl Gustav Jung would call his “collected unconsciousness.” It is the thing that churns up out of man, the mannishness of man. Darwin understood way back here this is a real problem. So he says “the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous  universe,” part one, the real world, the external universe, and part two “with our conscious selves arose through chance” and then he goes on and says this is not “an argument of real value.” 

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.

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Dr. Koch can you still look at God’s beautiful creation and say that it just appears to be the work of an intellect? If so then you like Darwin  can say, “I am like a man who has become colour-blind.”

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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

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

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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Adrian Rogers on Darwinism

Featured artist today is Pierre Soulages

biography

© Laurent Dupuis

© Laurent Dupuis

Pierre Soulages is born December 24, 1919 in Rodez.

Very young he was attracted by the Romanesque art and prehistory. He began painting in this isolated province that have not penetrated the contemporary artistic trends.

At 18, he went to Paris to prepare the professorship of drawing and the entrance examination to the higher National School of Fine Arts. There is accepted but convinced of the poor education they are receiving immediately refuses to enter and leaves for Rodez. During this short stay in Paris he frequented the Louvre, he saw exhibitions of Cézanne and Picasso which are for him revelations.

Mobilized in 1940, he will be demobilized in 1941. occupied Paris, he went to Montpellier and regularly attends the Musée Fabre.

Montpellier in turn occupied, began for him a period of hiding to escape the STO during which he no longer paints.

It was not until 1946 that he can devote all his time to painting. He then settled in the Paris suburbs. His paintings where black dominates are abstract and dark. They are immediately noticed as they differ from the semi-figurative painting and colorful post-war.

He finds a studio in Paris, rue Schoelcher, near Montparnasse. In 1948 he participated in exhibitions in Paris and Europe, including “Französische abstrakte malerei” in several German museums. It is by far the youngest of this small group of painters where the first masters of abstract art are, Kupka, Domela, Herbin, etc. The poster is made with one of his black and white paintings.

1949 personal exhibition in Paris, Lydia Conti gallery and group exhibitions in New York, London, Sao Paulo and Copenhagen.

From 1949 to 1952, achieving three ballets and theater sets. First engravings in etching the Lacourière workshop.

Other group exhibitions in New York then travel several American museums. This is the case of “Advancing french art” (1951), the “Younger European Artists’ Guggenheim Museum (1953) and” The New Decade “, Museum of Modern Art (1955).

He exhibited regularly at the Kootz Gallery, New York, and later at the Galerie de France, Paris.

By the early 50s, works acquired by the Phillips Gallery, Washington, the Guggenheim Museum and the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Tate Gallery, London, the National Museum of Modern Art, Paris, the Museu de arte moderna, Rio de Janeiro, etc … Today, Pierre Soulages is represented in more than 110 museums on all continents with over 230 paintings.

1960 first retrospective exhibitions in museums in Hanover, Essen, Zurich, The Hague.

1966-1968, several new retrospective devoted to his work including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (1966), where for the first time he “tends” his canvases with steel cables, between floor and ceiling. In 1968 he created a ceramic wall with Mégard workshop for a building in Pittsburgh.

In 1979 he exhibited at MNAM – Centre Georges Pompidou his first single pigment paints based on the reflection of light by the black surface finish. This nascent pictorial light of the difference between two obscurities carries a great emotional power and great potential for development, it would later call “black light” and “outrenoir”.

From 1987 to 1994, he produced the 104 windows in the abbey of Conques.

Between 1994 and 1998, 3 volumes of the publication of the catalog raisonné “Soulages, complete works: paintings,” by Pierre Encrevé, Seuil, Paris.

Other works have appeared where rhythm, space and light are born violent contacts of black and white on the entire surface of the canvas, another pictorial light.

He is the first living artist invited to exhibit at the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg and the Tretyakov Gallery in Moscow (2001).

Attached to his homeland, Soulages consents in 2005 with his wife Colette, an exceptional donation to the Community of agglomeration of Grand Rodez: 500 pieces, all of engravings (etchings, lithographs, serigraphs) preparatory work for windows of Conques, paintings on canvas and paper (a single set, including gouache, inks and walnut husk), documentation, books, photographs, films, correspondence …

In December 2012, Pierre Soulages and his wife make a new donation to the Grand Rodez Urban Community: 14 new paintings covering the period from 1946 to 1986. A donation estimated then at 6.8 million euros which allows the museum Ruthénois to host almost all painter works on very few periods in the largest collection of Soulages in the world.

The Soulages museum in Rodez was inaugurated in May 2014 with the opening of the first exhibition “Outrenoir in Europe, museums and foundations.”

In 2007, the Fabre Museum in Montpellier devotes a room to present the donation made by the artist to the city. This donation includes 20 paintings from 1951 to 2006 including the major works of the 1960s, two great outrenoir 1970s and several large polyptychs.

On the occasion of its 90th anniversary, the Centre Pompidou presents in October 2009 the largest retrospective ever devoted to a living artist with the Centre since the early 1980s, with more than 2000 m2 of exhibition space. Despite three weeks of closure due to staff strike, exposure receives 502,000 visitors, ranking fourth in the most popular exhibitions in the history of the Centre Pompidou. Meanwhile, the Louvre exhibits the same year a painting by the artist 300 × 236 cm, dated 9 July 2000, in the Salon Carré of the Denon wing.

He is the favorite painter of his peers, French artists.

Volume 4 of the catalog raisonné “Soulages, complete works: paintings,” by Pierre Encrevé, Gallimard, Paris, was released in late November, 2015.

Pierre Soulages, “Peinture 130.2 x 162.5 cm, 27 juillet 1956” (1956) (all images courtesy Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin)

On the third floor of the Pierre Soulages show currently on view at Dominique Lévy gallery, viewers will discover paintings from the 1950s and 60s. Some are small and others medium-scale.  In each case, they are typically dense in their structure, but given to a more inadvertent openness than most of his recent work. These earlier paintings contain overlapping black and umber brushwork at vertical, horizontal, and diagonal angles, holding forth shimmers of light – discreet underpinnings of ochre and yellow – peering between constructed sections. While the boldness of the artist’s strokes is present, they have little to do with action painting. They are neither expressionist nor endowed solely through the immediacy of their painterly application. Rather they appear definitive in their positioning and precise in their execution. They are the kind of paintings that made an impression on important New York curators, such as James Johnson Sweeny, and gallerists, including Betty Parsons, Sidney Janis, and Samuel Kootz in the late forties and early fifties. For many, Pierre Soulages was regarded as the Parisian counterpart to the abstract expressionists in New York.  The only problem was that the French audience, in general, appeared less interested in his work than the Americans.

Soulages’s paintings were then, and still are, given to sections more than a holistic intake. The early works suggest a more symbolic aspect than those presently included on the first and second floors on the walls of Galerie Perrotin and Dominique Lévy. Whereas earlier works, such as “Peinture 146 x 97 cm, 10 janvier 1951” and “Peinture 195 x 130 cm, mai 1953,” respectively in the collections of MoMA and the Guggenheim, suggest a kind of contradiction between form and space, between the gesture and the surface, between the support and its interior. These painterly ideas were closer to Soulages than the more metaphorical interpretations of being an expression of post-World War II trauma where hope lingers in the crevices between the charred remnants (a popular interpretation that Soulages attempted to discourage).

Soulages_Peinture 157 x 222 cm, 6 avril 2013

Pierre Soulages, “Peinture 157 x 222 cm, 6 avril 2013” (2013)

The surfaces in the recent work from 2013–14 reveals more literal variations of black pigment, often utilizing an uncompromising matt underpainting as a support for glossy black on top; or, alternatively, light refracting from severe cuts into a hardened density of pigment, unequaled in works associated with subsequent modes of pastiche used in some overworked paintings associated with painters of The New York School in the turbulent late fifties.  By 1979, Soulages had shifted his emphasis by moving away from former juxtapositions toward a more formally ordered surface, yet still latent with energy through his ability to discover light emanating from various angles, reminiscent in some way to the play of light on dark found in an extraordinary brick loggia designed by Josef Albers on the campus of Rochester Institute of Technology (destroyed 2001).  However, the focus on the presence of light continues in the paintings of Soulages to be borne from the blackness as made evident in the paintings of the last two years.

The most recent paintings constitute a latent subterfuge, whereby the light bounces rhythmically from one panel to another within a single painting Three of these are hung off the walls as they are suspended with thin wire to hold them in place in the open space of the galleries. Some paintings reveal a rough-edged contour over a smoothly chiseled surface. The affect reeks with a kind of abdominal essence, a respite from the normative facture found in earlier paintings. The assertion of light in Soulages’s resilient paintings is remarkable in its immediacy, given that the work not only exalts a heightened sensory elegance, but a clearly anchored youthful appearance. They are not at all the works of a retiring artist, but appear to have been made through the strength of accurate perception, thereby suggesting equivalence between the color black the truth of absence.  They are paintings that offer substance to the way we perceive light. The pigment literally emit light by refracting off the surface, a point of view closer to Eastern Taoism than to the traditions of Western painting that began in medieval times.

Pierre Soulages, “Peinture 175 x 222 cm, 23 mai 2013” (2013)

The concurrent showing of work by Soulages at Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin is his first exhibition in New York since 2005, nearly a decade ago. The previous exhibitions were also concurrent, then shown at the Robert Miller Gallery and at Hain Chanin Fine Art. On that occasion, which I believed important, I did an interview with Soulages in which we discussed the emergence of his work independent of any direct influences either in Paris or New York, suggesting that he was a kind of renegade painter in spite of the efforts of a few French gallerists and writers to help him. What made him a renegade was his commitment to the color black, which I believe he understood as a color.

Before 2005, Soulages had not shown in New York since the mid-1970s, which constituted a breath of thirty years. Yet, in spite of the intervals of his relevance to New York, his presence here remains central to the history of the advance in abstract painting shared between the European continent and the United States. Stated succinctly in a talk given by critic Brooks Adams at the opening of this masterfully executed exhibition on Madison Avenue, “This show is a proposal about Post-War abstraction.” Adams’ point is that a reevaluation concerning the painting exalted in this era where silent linkages appear between the two continents is well in order. Soulages is a central figure within this revisionist history, given the highly esteemed, renegade painter that he continues to be.

Pierre Soulages continues at Dominique Lévy and Galerie Perrotin (909 Madison Avenue, Upper East Side, Manhattan) through June 27.

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