Monthly Archives: May 2017

WOODY WEDNESDAY Reviews of past Woody Allen Movies PART 4

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Small Time Crooks Water Main Scene

Celebrity (1998)

113 min., rated R.
Grade: C 

Woody Allen stays behind the camera this time around in his ensemble piece “Celebrity.” Kenneth Branagh, in the “Woody role,” apes the flustered tics, and even his fickle ways of never settling with one woman, to the best of his ability. But he’s miscast and nobody plays Woody better than Woody. 

Branagh plays Lee, a journalist who has run-ins with some of Hollywood’s celebrities and there’s never a dull moment. He’s recently divorced from his schoolteacher ex-wife, Robin (Judy Davis, very neurotic and brittle), who was devastated to find Lee was having an affair. 

By turns entertaining and boring, with vignettes that work and others that do not, the shallow, scattershot “Celebrity” doesn’t have much to say besides, most transparently, how we and Allen view celebrities. At least it’s crisply shot in black and white by Sven Nykvist (his fourth collaboration with Allen), though Allen’s beloved New York is used to little effect. 

The large cast recruited here is handled better here than the one in last year’s “Deconstructing Harry.” Davis brings her fidgeting in full swing here and she’s easily the most interesting thing in the film as Robin, who actually has the biggest arc after meeting a man in the TV industry (Joe Mantegna) that gives her the confidence she needs. Everyone else mostly gets a laugh or a moment, then walks off. Charlize Theron is stunning as a libidinous supermodel. Melanie Griffith rings true as a movie star who thinks she’s still being faithful to her husband if she only cheats from the waist up. Leonardo DiCaprio is wildly off-the-wall but probably playing close to the truth as a rebellious young movie star who trashes a hotel room, beats his girlfriend (Gretchen Mol), drinks and does drugs, and has a threesome. Bebe Neuwirth, as a hooker, has a hilarious scene with Davis where she teaches her how to perform oral sex on a banana; it’s a delirious bit of physical comedy. Winona Ryder also sparkles as a struggling actress that Lee goes after. 

With that cast, it’s watchable, but even the greatest filmmakers have disappointments and “Celebrity” counts as Woody Allen’s most disappointing.


Small Time Crooks (2000)
95 min., rated PG.
Grade: B 

Writer-director Woody Allen shows his face on screen for the first time since 1997’s “Deconstructing Harry” in the lead with “Small Time Crooks,” classic Allen that’s no more and no less a sweetly enjoyable caper. 

Allen plays Ray, an ex-con New York dishwasher who lives paycheck to paycheck in a cramped apartment with Frenchy (Tracey Ullman), his loud, straight-shooting stripper-turned-Fmanicurist wife. So he thinks up a half-baked get-rich-quick scheme: buy out a closed-down pizza shop so they can tunnel through the basement wall and rob the bank next door. With his gang of three dummies (Michael Rapaport, Tony Darrow, Jon Lovitz), Ray is the “brains” behind the operation and Frenchy distracts the public upstairs baking cookies. Then their cookie-store “front” becomes such an overnight sensation that wealth goes to their head. And as Frenchy strives to become a more cultured and sophisticated socialite, Ray and her grow apart. 

The plot is ever so thin and shapeless as an episode of “The Honeymooners,” but it’s more about the funny one-liners and endearing performances. Allen’s screen character is still a nervous jokester but he plays Ray as a less intelligent schmo. Ullman is a delight and hilariously on par with Allen, delivering sharp-tongued wisecracks. Screenwriter Elaine May does wonderfully daft supporting work, stealing every scene as Frenchy’s cousin, May, a dumb broad who hasn’t a clue what’s going on but always speaks the truth. Hugh Grant, the major star here, is only okay as a con artist whom Frenchy hires to educate her on art and opera. 

“Small Time Crooks” is certainly a small time effort from Allen’s canon but still fun. 


The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (2001)
104 min., rated PG-13.
Grade: B 

Mr. Woody Allen has fallen into a slump of just making slight movies rather than great movies, but it’s still Allen, and “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” is a wispy little screwball comedy. Natch, the Brooklyn-based Big Apple lover sets his film in Manhattan but in the 1940s, and it’s just a pleasure to watch. 

He stars as CW Briggs, a crack insurance investor and ladies’ man who’s considered a dinosaur by his firm’s new efficiency expert, Betty Ann Fitzgerald (Helen Hunt). At a nightclub, they both get hypnotized by a con artist (with the swing of a jade scorpion) into loving each other and whenever “Constantinople” or “Madagascar” is uttered on the phone they’re put under and go into a trance robbing jewels from an estate safe. And even though CW is old, short, and nearsighted, can Fitzgerald tame him? 

All of “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion” feels gentle and old-fashioned with the Woodman’s classic sharpness still showing up in his mostly zingy dialogue. Attractively shot, the film has a sparkling period flavor of a ’40s film noir, and all the women are groomed like Veronica Lake. 

At 65 years old, Allen is still at it with his fidgety, stammering persona and a lot of his one-liners work. In the dame role, Hunter keeps up with Allen’s “His Girl Friday”-style spitballing and gives it right back to him with insulting barbs in a battle-of-the-sexes. Theron gets some playful wordplay as a promiscuous actress when trying to seduce Briggs. For instance, when the hot little number first meets C.W., she purrs “You don’t seem tough enough to go after criminals,” and he jumps back with “Really? Maybe if I slapped you around a little bit you’d change your mind.” (Side note: it’s starting to become less charming that Allen takes home women 30 years his junior.) Other supporting cast members shine as well, like Dan Aykroyd, Wallace Shawn, and Elizabeth Berkley. 
The chuckles and smiles are pretty consistent through the lightweight fun of “Jade Scorpion,” even if the romance is so contrived that only a hypnotist could make Hunt fall in love with Allen. They can love to hate each other, but the attraction between the two is inconceivable. 

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Geoffrey Hawthorn, Cambridge, Professor of Politics, “I recognize religious feeling when I see it, and I am drawn to it and I want to hear about it”

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

Image result for 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. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif AhmedHaroon Ahmed,  Jim Al-Khalili, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BateSir Patrick BatesonSimon Blackburn, Colin Blakemore, Ned BlockPascal BoyerPatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky, Brian CoxPartha Dasgupta,  Alan Dershowitz, Frank DrakeHubert Dreyfus, John DunnBart Ehrman, Mark ElvinRichard Ernst, Stephan Feuchtwang, Robert FoleyDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Stephen HawkingHermann Hauser, Robert HindeRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodGerard ‘t HooftCaroline HumphreyNicholas Humphrey,  Herbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart KauffmanMasatoshi Koshiba,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George Lakoff,  Rodolfo LlinasElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlaneDan McKenzie,  Mahzarin BanajiPeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  P.Z.Myers,   Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff, David Parkin,  Jonathan Parry, Roger Penrose,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceVS RamachandranLisa RandallLord Martin ReesColin RenfrewAlison Richard,  C.J. van Rijsbergen,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerJohn SulstonBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisMax TegmarkNeil deGrasse Tyson,  Martinus J. G. Veltman, Craig Venter.Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John Walker, James D. WatsonFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

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Geoffrey Hawthorn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Geoffrey Hawthorn (28 February 1941 – 31 December 2015) was a British Emeritus Professor on International Politics and Social and Political Theory at the University of Cambridge and a well known author.[1][2]

Education[edit]

Hawthorn studied at Jesus College, Oxford (BA) and the London School of Economics and Political Science (MA).

Academic career[edit]

Hawthorn was a lecturer in Sociology at the University of Essex, 1964–1970. In 1970 he began a longstanding academic association with the University of Cambridge: lecturer in Sociology, 1970–1985; reader in Sociology and Politics, 1985–1998; professor of International Politics, 1998–2007; fellow, Churchill College, 1970–1976; fellow, Clare Hall since 1982. Visiting Professor of Sociology at Harvard University between 1973 and 1974 and between 1989 and 1990; visiting member of the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, New Jersey, 1989–1990. As from 2007 he was an emeritus professor of International Politics and Social and Political Theory at the University of Cambridge. According to Stefan Collini in Hawthorn’s obituary at the The Guardian: “It is thanks to him more than to any other individual that Cambridge now boasts a flourishing Department of Politics and International Studies”. He was a member of the editorial board of the Cambridge Review of International Affairs.[3][4][5][6]

Publications[edit]

  • The Sociology of Fertility, London, Collier-Macmillan, 1970
  • Enlightenment and Despair, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1976, 1987
  • Population and Development, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1977
  • The Standard of Living, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987
  • Plausible Worlds: Possibility and Understanding in History and the Social Sciences, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991
  • The Future of Asia and the Pacific, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998
  • Thucydides on Politics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2014.

His ideas on contrafactual history are well known and have been highly influential. Hawthorn was also the author of numerous papers in learned journals and other periodicals.[4][7][8][9]

In  the third video below in the 138th 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)

An interview of Geoffrey Hawthorn – part 1

Uploaded on Nov 25, 2009

An interview about the life and work of the sociologist and political theorist, Geoffrey Hawthorn, filmed by Alan Macfarlane on 23 April 2009. For a higher quality, downloadable version with a detailed summary, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com

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An interview of Geoffrey Hawthorn – part 2

Geoffrey Hawthorn interviewed by Alan Macfarlane 23rd April 2009

Quote by Dr. Hawthorn:

I suppose that intellectually I am an atheist, but socially I hope I am a tolerant agnostic. I recognize religious feeling when I see it, and I am drawn to it and I want to hear about it.

My response to  Dr. Hawthorn’s quote:

 

I would like to give 3 responses to the above assertion made by Dr. Hawthorn.

FIRST, Romans 1 points that every person has a God-given conscience instead of them that tells them that God exists. I go into this further in a June 17, 2014 letter I wrote to Harry Kroto (which is below). The interesting factor is that this can be tested by a lie-detector. This tells us why DR. HAWTHORN WAS DRAWN TO HEAR ABOUT OTHER’S IDEAS  ABOUT GOD!!!!!!

SECOND, let me recommend a book  by Sean McDowell and Jonathan Marrow, called Is God Just a Human Invention? And Seventeen Other Questions Raised by the New Atheists. I have included a review of it later in this post.

THIRD, Solomon showed very clearly in the Book of Ecclesiastes that without God in the picture when one looks at life UNDER THE SUN the only conclusions one can reach is that life is meaningless and there is no satisfaction anywhere.  H.J.Blackham founded the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION, and he  has eloquently stated:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

Harold John Blackham (31 March 1903 – 23 January 2009)

Image result for h.j. blackham british humanist

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In fact, I sent Hawthorn a  sheet of quotes  that included that quote above from  H.J. Blackham but I never received a return letter from him.  Here is another section from that letter:

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Schaeffer noted that Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun:  The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—  and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness,  and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).
  5. There is no ultimate lasting meaning in life. (1:2)

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

______________________

Harry Kroto, Dept of Chemistry and Biochemistry, c/o Florida State

June 17, 2014

Dear Dr. Kroto,

I noticed that you are on the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP) and that prompted me to send this material to you today.

A couple of months ago I mailed you a letter that contained correspondence I had with Antony Flew and Carl Sagan and I also included some of the material I had sent them from Adrian Rogers and Francis Schaeffer. Did you have a chance to listen to the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? CD yet? I also wanted to let know some more about about Francis Schaeffer. Ronald Reagan said of Francis Schaeffer, “He will long be remembered as one of the great Christian thinkers of our century, with a childlike faith and a profound compassion toward others. It can rarely be said of an individual that his life touched many others and affected them for the better; it will be said of Francis Schaeffer that his life touched millions of souls and brought them to the truth of their creator.”

Thirty years ago the christian philosopher and author Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) died and on the 10th anniversary of his passing in 1994 I wrote a number of the top evolutionists, humanists and atheistic scholars in the world and sent them a story about Francis Schaeffer in 1930 when he left agnosticism and embraced Christianity. I also sent them  a cassette tape with the title “Four intellectual bridges evolutionists can’t cross” by Adrian Rogers (1931-2005) and some of the top  scholars who corresponded with me since that time include Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), (Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), and Michael Martin (1932-).

Corliss Lamont and Herbert A. Tonne pictured above. 

The truth is that I am an evangelical Christian and I have enjoyed developing relationships with skeptics and humanists over the years. Back in 1996 I took my two sons who were 8  and 10 yrs old back then to New York, Washington, Philadelphia, Delaware, and New Jersey and we had dinner one night with Herbert A. Tonne, who was one of the signers of the Humanist Manifesto II. The Late Professor John George who has written books for Prometheus Press was my good friend during the last 10 years of his life. (I still miss him today.) We often ate together and were constantly talking on the phone and writing letters to one another.

It is a funny story how I met Dr. George. As an evangelical Christian and a member of the Christian Coalition, I felt obliged to expose a misquote of John Adams’ I found in an article entitled “America’s Unchristian Beginnings” by the self-avowed atheist Dr. Steven Morris. However, what happened next changed my focus to the use of misquotes, unconfirmed quotes, and misleading attributions by the religious right.

In the process of attempting to correct Morris, I was guilty of using several misquotes myself. Professor John George of the University of Central Oklahoma political science department and coauthor (with Paul Boller Jr.) of the book THEY NEVER SAID IT! set me straight. George pointed out that George Washington never said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible. I had cited page 18 of the 1927 edition of HALLEY’S BIBLE HANDBOOK. This quote was probably generated by a similar statement that appears in A LIFE OF WASHINGTON by James Paulding. Sadly, no one has been able to verify any of the quotes in Paulding’s book since no footnotes were offered.

Paul F. Boller Jr.: 1916–2014

After reading THEY NEVER SAID IT! I had a better understanding of how widespread the problem of misquotes is. Furthermore, I discovered that many of these had been used by the leaders of the religious right. I decided to confront some individuals concerning their misquotes. WallBuilders, the publisher of David Barton’s THE MYTH OF SEPARATION, responded by providing me with their “unconfirmed  quote” list which contained a dozen quotes widely used by the religious right.

Sadly some of the top leaders of my own religious right have failed to take my encouragement to stop using these quotes and they have either claimed that their critics were biased skeptics who find the truth offensive or they defended their own method of research and claimed the secondary sources were adequate.

I have enclosed that same CD by Adrian Rogers that I sent 20 years ago although the second half does include a story about  Charles Darwin‘s journey from  the position of theistic evolution to agnosticism. Here are the four bridges that Adrian Rogers says evolutionists can’t cross in the CD  “Four Bridges that the Evolutionist Cannot Cross.” 1. The Origin of Life and the law of biogenesis. 2. The Fixity of the Species. 3.The Second Law of Thermodynamics. 4. The Non-Physical Properties Found in Creation.  

In the first 3 minutes of the CD is the hit song “Dust in the Wind.” In the letter 20 years ago I gave some of the key points Francis Schaeffer makes about the experiment that Solomon undertakes in the book of Ecclesiastes to find satisfaction by  looking into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

I later learned this book of Ecclesiastes was Richard Dawkins’ favorite book in the Bible. Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” No wonder Ecclesiastes is Richard Dawkins’ favorite book of the Bible! 

Here the first 7 verses of Ecclesiastes followed by Schaeffer’s commentary on it:

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem. Vanity of vanities, says the Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun? A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises, and the sun goes down, and hastens to the place where it rises. The wind blows to the south and goes around to the north; around and around goes the wind, and on its circuits the wind returns. All streams run to the sea, but the sea is not full; to the place where the streams flow, there they flow again.  

Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. (E.O.Wilson has marveled at Solomon’s scientific knowledge of ants that was only discovered in the 1800’s.) Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

(Harvard’s E.O. Wilson below)

Image result for e.o.wilson

Solomon doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is in the cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age.

(Francis Schaeffer pictured above)

There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man (at the age of 18 in 1930). I remember standing by the sea and the moon arose and it was copper and beauty. Then the moon did not look like a flat dish but a globe or a sphere since it was close to the horizon. One could feel the global shape of the earth too. Then it occurred to me that I could contemplate the interplay of the spheres and I was exalted because I thought I can look upon them with all their power, might, and size, but they could contempt nothing. Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed.

You are an atheist and you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more.

Livgren wrote:

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.”

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren‘s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

Harold John Blackham (31 March 1903 – 23 January 2009)

_____________________________________

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 youtube 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.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

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.

Now on to the other topic I wanted to discuss with you today. I wanted to write you today for one reason. IS THERE A GOOD CHANCE THAT DEEP DOWN IN YOUR CONSCIENCE  you have repressed the belief in your heart that God does exist and IS THERE A POSSIBILITY THIS DEEP BELIEF OF YOURS CAN BE SHOWN THROUGH A LIE-DETECTOR? (Back in the late 1990’s I had the opportunity to correspond with over a dozen members of CSICOP on just this very issue.)

I have a good friend who is a street preacher who preaches on the Santa Monica Promenade in California and during the Q/A sessions he does have lots of atheists that enjoy their time at the mic. When this happens he  always quotes Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s 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. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). Then he  tells the atheist that the atheist already knows that God exists but he has been suppressing that knowledge in unrighteousness. This usually infuriates the atheist.

My friend draws some large crowds at times and was thinking about setting up a lie detector test and see if atheists actually secretly believe in God. He discussed this project with me since he knew that I had done a lot of research on the idea about 20 years ago.

Nelson Price in THE EMMANUEL FACTOR (1987) tells the story about Brown Trucking Company in Georgia who used to give polygraph tests to their job applicants. However, in part of the test the operator asked, “Do you believe in God?” In every instance when a professing atheist answered “No,” the test showed the person to be lying. My pastor Adrian Rogers used to tell this same story to illustrate Romans 1:19 and it was his conclusion that “there is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

(Adrian Rogers at White House)

It is true that polygraph tests for use in hiring were banned by Congress in 1988.  Mr and Mrs Claude Brown on Aug 25, 1994  wrote me a letter confirming that over 15,000 applicants previous to 1988 had taken the polygraph test and EVERY-TIME SOMEONE SAID THEY DID NOT BELIEVE IN GOD, THE MACHINE SAID THEY WERE LYING.

It had been difficult to catch up to the Browns. I had heard about them from Dr. Rogers’ sermon but I did not have enough information to locate them. Dr. Rogers referred me to Dr. Nelson Price and Dr. Price’s office told me that Claude Brown lived in Atlanta. After writing letters to all 9 of the entries for Claude Brown in the Atlanta telephone book, I finally got in touch with the Browns.

Adrian Rogers also pointed out that the Bible does not recognize the theoretical atheist.  Psalms 14:1: The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”  Dr Rogers notes, “The fool is treating God like he would treat food he did not desire in a cafeteria line. ‘No broccoli for me!’ ” In other words, the fool just doesn’t want God in his life and is a practical atheist, but not a theoretical atheist. Charles Ryrie in the The Ryrie Study Bible came to the same conclusion on this verse.

Here are the conclusions of the experts I wrote in the secular world concerning the lie detector test and it’s ability to get at the truth:

Professor Frank Horvath of the School of Criminal Justice at Michigan State University has testified before Congress concerning the validity of the polygraph machine. He has stated on numerous occasions that “the evidence from those who have actually been affected by polygraph testing in the workplace is quite contrary to what has been expressed by critics. I give this evidence greater weight than I give to the most of the comments of critics” (letter to me dated October 6, 1994).

There was no better organization suited to investigate this claim concerning the lie detector test than the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP). This organization changed their name to the Committe for Skeptical Inquiry in 2006. This organization includes anyone who wants to help debunk the whole ever-expanding gamut of misleading, outlandish, and fraudulent claims made in the name of science. I AM WRITING YOU TODAY BECAUSE YOU ARE ASSOCIATED WITH CSICOP.

I read The Skeptical Review(publication of CSICOP) for several years during the 90’s and I would write letters to these scientists about taking this project on and putting it to the test.  Below are some of  their responses (15 to 20 years old now):

1st Observation: Religious culture of USA could have influenced polygraph test results.
ANTONY FLEW  (formerly of Reading University in England, now deceased, in a letter to me dated 8-11-96) noted, “For all the evidence so far available seems to be of people from a culture in which people are either directly brought up to believe in the existence of God or at least are strongly even if only unconsciously influenced by those who do. Even if everyone from such a culture revealed unconscious belief, it would not really begin to show that — as Descartes maintained— the idea of God is so to speak the Creator’s trademark, stamped on human souls by their Creator at their creation.”

2nd Observation: Polygraph Machines do not work. JOHN R. COLE, anthropologist, editor, National Center for Science Education, Dr. WOLF RODER, professor of Geography, University of Cincinnati, Dr. SUSAN BLACKMORE,Dept of Psychology, University of the West of England, Dr. CHRISTOPHER C. FRENCH, Psychology Dept, Goldsmith’s College, University of London, Dr.WALTER F. ROWE, The George Washington University, Dept of Forensic Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

3rd Observation: The sample size probably was not large enough to apply statistical inference. (These gentlemen made the following assertion before I received the letter back from Claude Brown that revealed that the sample size was over 15,000.) JOHN GEOHEGAN, Chairman of New Mexicans for Science and Reason, Dr. WOLF RODER, and Dr WALTER F. ROWE (in a letter dated July 12, 1994) stated, “The polygraph operator for Brown Trucking Company has probably examined only a few hundred or a few thousand job applicants. I would surmise that only a very small number of these were actually atheists. It seems a statistically insignificant (and distinctly nonrandom) sampling of the 5 billion human beings currently inhabiting the earth. Dr. Nelson Price also seems to be impugning the integrity of anyone who claims to be an atheist in a rather underhanded fashion.”

4th Observation: The question (Do you believe in God?)  was out of place and it surprised the applicants. THOMAS GILOVICH, psychologist, Cornell Univ., Dr. ZEN FAULKES, professor of Biology, University of Victoria (Canada), ROBERT CRAIG, Head of Indiana Skeptics Organization, Dr. WALTER ROWE, 
 
5th Observation: Proof that everyone believes in God’s existence does not prove that God does in fact exist. PAUL QUINCEY, Nathional Physical Laboratory,(England), Dr. CLAUDIO BENSKI, Schneider Electric, CFEPP, (France),
6th Observation: Both the courts and Congress recognize that lie-detectors don’t work and that is why they were banned in 1988.  (Governments and the military still use them.)
Dr WALTER ROWE, KATHLEEN M. DILLION, professor of Psychology, Western New England College.
7th Observation:This information concerning Claude Brown’s claim has been passed on to us via a tv preacher and eveybody knows that they are untrustworthy– look at their history. WOLF RODER.
______________
Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”
Gene Emery, science writer for Providence Journal-Bulletin is a past winner of the CSICOP “Responsibility in Journalism Award” and he had the best suggestion of all when he suggested, “Actually, if you want to make a good case about whether Romans 1:19 is true, arrange to have a polygraph operator (preferably an atheist or agnostic) brought to the next CSICOP meeting. (I’m not a member of CSICOP, by the way, so I can’t give you an official invitation or anything.) If none of the folks at that meeting can convince the machine that they truly believe in God, maybe there is, in fact, an innate willingness to believe in God.”

DO YOU HAVE ANY REACTIONS TO ADD TO THESE 7 OBSERVATIONS THAT I GOT 15 YEARS AGO? 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

 

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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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Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus 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,

Alan Dundes

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alan Dundes with a wooden Norwegian statue of a tale called “Squeezing the Stone”

Alan Dundes (September 8, 1934 – March 30, 2005)[1] was a folklorist at the University of California, Berkeley. His work was said to have been central to establishing the study of folklore as an academic discipline.[citation needed]He wrote 12 books, both academic and popular, and edited or co-wrote two dozen more.[2] One of his most notable articles was called “Seeing is Believing” in which he indicated that Americans value the sense of sight more than the other senses.

He introduced the concept “allomotif” (coined in an analogy with “allomorph“, to complement the concept of “motifeme” (cf. “morpheme“) introduced by Kenneth L. Pike) as concept to be used in the analysis of the structures of folktales in terms of motifs identified in them.[3][4]

Career[edit]

Dundes attended Yale University, where he studied English[1] and met his wife Carolyn. Sure that he would be drafted upon completion of his studies, Dundes joined the ROTC and trained to become a naval communications officer. When it turned out that the ship he was to be posted to, stationed in the Bay of Naples, already had a communications officer, Dundes asked what else that ship might need, not wanting to give up such a choice assignment. He then spent two years maintaining artillery guns on a ship in the Mediterranean. Upon completion of his service, Dundes attended Indiana University to pursue a Ph.D in folklore. At Indiana, he studied under the father of American Folklore, Richard Dorson.[1] He quickly established himself as a force to be reckoned with in the field of folkloristics. He completed his degree very quickly and went on to a teaching position at the University of Kansas where he stayed for only a year before being offered a position in the University of California, Berkeley anthropology department teaching folklore. Dundes held this position for 42 years, until his death in 2005.

Teaching methods[edit]

Alan Dundes was an engaging lecturer, his Introduction to Folklore course attracting many students. In this course, students were introduced to the many various forms of folklore, from myth, legend, and folktale to proverbs and riddles to jokes, games, and folkspeech (slang), to folk belief and foodways. The final project for this course required that each student collect, identify, and analyze 40 items of folklore. All of this material (about 500,000 items) is housed and cataloged in the Berkeley Folklore Archives. Dundes also taught undergraduate courses in American folklore, and psychoanalytic approaches to folklore (his favorite approach) in addition to graduate seminars on the history of folkloristics, from an international perspective, and the history and progression of folklore theory.

Dundes was also a great supporter of the New Student Orientation Program at UC Berkeley (CalSO). He frequently gave the opening address during summer orientation programs, whetting students’ appetites about the type of instruction they might receive at the University. These addresses were littered with jokes and stories which were a trademark of Dundes’ lectures in his popular anthropology class and were a favorite of both in-coming students and the orientation staff alike.[citation needed]

Controversy[edit]

Strongly opinionated, Dundes was not at all averse to the controversy that his theories often generated. He dealt frequently with folklore as an expression of unconscious desires and anxieties and was of the opinion that if people reacted strongly to what he had to say, he had probably hit a nerve and was probably on to something. Some of his more controversial work involved examining the New Testament and the Qur’an as folklore.[5] However, of all his articles, the one that earned him death threats was “Into the Endzone for a Touchdown”, an exploration of the homoerotic subtext inherent in the terminology and rituals surrounding American football.[6] In 1980, Dundes was invited to give the presidential address at the American Folklore Society annual meeting.[7] His presentation, later published as a monograph titled “Life is Like a Chicken Coop Ladder”, uses folkspeech, customs, material culture, and so forth seeking to demonstrate an anal-erotic fixation of German national character.[6] Reaction to this paper was incredibly strong[6] and because of it, Dundes declined to attend the AFS annual meeting for the next 20 years.[citation needed] When he finally did attend again, in 2004, he again gave a plenary address, this time taking his fellow folklorists to task for being weak on theory. In his opinion, the presentation of data, no matter how thorough, is useless without the development and application of theory to that data. It is not enough to simply collect, one must do something with what one has collected.[8] In 2012, linguist Anatol Stefanowitsch credited Dundes with having given rise to a still prevalent “stereotype about Germany as a culture enamored with excretion”, but called his monograph “unstructured, poorly argued and flimsily sourced” and “methodologically flawed because he only looked for evidence supporting his theory, and not – as even a folklorist should – for evidence against his theory”.[9]

Endowment of a professorship[edit]

Dundes fiercely defended the importance of the discipline of folkloristics throughout his career. Towards the end of his life, he received an envelope containing a check from a former student, which he asked his wife to open. She read the figure out as $1,000. In fact, the check was for $1,000,000. This money allowed Dundes to endow the university with a Distinguished Professorship in Folkloristics, thereby ensuring that upon his retirement folklore would not be abandoned in the department.[10]

The former student and benefactor wished to remain anonymous. Apparently he or she called the university prior to the donation to find out if Dundes was still teaching, or as Dundes told it, “to see if I was still alive.” The student mentioned that he or she intended to send a check, but Dundes said he was not sure the student would follow through.

The check was made out to the university, Dundes said, but with instructions that he could use it in any manner he saw fit.

“I could just take all my students to Fiji and have one hell of a party,” he said.

The professor instead decided to invest it in the study of folklore. The money funds a Distinguished Professorship of Folkloristics and helps fund the university’s folklore archives and provides grants for folklore students.[11]

Interview by Flemming[edit]

Shortly before his death, Dundes was interviewed by filmmaker Brian Flemming for his documentary, The God Who Wasn’t There. He prominently recounted Lord Raglan’s 22-point scale from his 1936 book The Hero, in which he ranks figures possessing similar divine attributions.[12] An extended interview[13] is on the DVD version of the documentary.

 

 The God Who Wasn’t There

 

Published on Jan 8, 2014

http://www.amazon.com/The-God-Who-Was…
Video uploaded for educational purposes protected by S.107 of the U.S.C.

Former fundamentalist Christian Brian Flemming places the core concepts of his former religion under the microscope in a documentary that attempts to do for religion what Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me did for the fast-food industry. In his bold quest to seek answers to the difficult questions that few are willing to pose, Flemming is joined by Deconstructing Jesus author Robert M. Price, renowned historian Richard Carrier, and The End of Faith author Sam Harris.

From the ignorance of many contemporary Christians as to the origin of their religion to the striking similarities between Jesus Christ and the deities worshipped by ancient pagan cults and the Christian obsession with blood and violence, this faith-shaking documentary explores the many mysteries of the Christian faith as never before.

This documentary argues the “mythicist” case in the historical Jesus debate. This position says that Jesus of Nazareth wasn’t a real person but a fiction based on Jewish scriptures and mystery religions of the Roman Empire. It doesn’t make sense to talk about a “real” Jesus — there

________________

Death[edit]

Dundes collapsed and died while giving a graduate seminar.[2]

Influence[edit]

Before the term folkloristics can be fully understood, it is necessary to understand that the terms folk and lore are defined in many different ways. While some use the word folk to mean only peasants or remote cultures, the folklorist Alan Dundes (1934–2005) of the University of California at Berkeley calls this definition a “misguided and narrow concept of the folk as the illiterate in a literate society” (Devolutionary Premise, 13).

Dundes is often credited with the promotion of folkloristics as a term denoting a specific field of academic study and applies instead what he calls a “modern” flexible social definition for folk: two or more persons who have any trait in common and express their shared identity through traditions. Dundes explains this point best in his essay, The Devolutionary Premise in Folklore Theory (1969):

“A folk or peasant society is but one example of a ‘folk’ in the folkloristic sense. Any group of people sharing a common linking factor, e.g., an urban group such as a labor union, can and does have folklore. ‘Folk’ is a flexible concept which can refer to a nation as in American folklore or to a single family. The critical issue in defining ‘folk’ is: what groups in fact have traditions?” (emphasis in the original, see footnote 34, 13)

With this expanded social definition of folk, a wider view of the material considered to be folklore also emerged that includes, as William Wilson points out, “things people make with words (verbal lore), things they make with their hands (material lore), and things they make with their actions (customary lore)” (2006, 85).

Another implication of this broader defining of the term folk, according to Dundes, is that folkloristic work is interpretative and scientific rather than descriptive or devoted solely to folklore preservation. In the 1978 collection of his academic work, Essays in Folkloristics, Dundes declares in his preface, “Folkloristics is the scientific study of folklore just as linguistics is the scientific study of language. [. . .] It implies a rigorous intellectual discipline with some attempt to apply theory and method to the materials of folklore” (vii). In other words, Dundes advocates the use of folkloristics as the preferred term for the academic discipline devoted to the study of folklore.

According to Dundes, folkloristic work will probably continue to be important in the future. Dundes writes, “folklore is a universal: there has always been folklore and in all likelihood there will always be folklore. As long as humans interact and in the course of so doing employ traditional forms of communication, folklorists will continue to have golden opportunities to study folklore” (Devolutionary Premise, 19). According to folklorist William A. Wilson, “the study of folklore, therefore, is not just a pleasant pastime useful primarily for whiling away idle moments. Rather, it is centrally and crucially important in our attempts to understand our own behavior and that of our fellow human beings” (2006, 203).

Works[edit]

In  the second video below in the 56th 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)

_________________________________

 

Alan Dundes comment in the You Tube film series Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2): 

“I found the best evidence for my own research was going to Christian bookstores. There were all these books about apparent contradictions in the Bible, seeming inconsistencies, books and books of these things…and that gave me all the evidence I needed….They were my research assistants, these people who were trying to reconcile…”

MY RESPONSE:

Alan Dundes was keen  on pointing out inconsistencies in the Bible as compared to actual history and the BOOK OF DANIEL has been a prime target. However, I have found that many of the critics have had to backtrack some on some key issues. Take a look below:

 

Farrell Till has asserted that reputable Bible scholars believe that the book of Daniel was not written by an individual named Daniel during the sixth century B.C. (TSR, Vol 4.3, p. 12). These scholars hold that the writer lived in the time of the Maccabees, and his “purpose was to give his countrymen reason to believe that centuries earlier a prophet of Yahweh had foreseen the rise of the Seleucid Empire and had predicted the triumph of the Maccabean struggle for independence against Antiochus Epiphanes” (TSR, Vol. 7.3, p. 3). William Sierichs, Jr. also takes this position in his article, “Daniel in the Historians’ Den” (TSR, Vol. 7.4, p.8). Sierichs comments, “Daniel can’t get Babylonian history straight, but he does pretty well by the Hellenistic era. Obviously, whoever wrote the book was a very solid citizen of the 2nd century B.C.E., whose `prophecies’ were wholly retroactive.”

Both Till and Sierichs have been influenced by biblical scholars who have embraced the higher critical views of the 1800’s. However, most people have overlooked the fact that these same scholars have made several admissions which are damaging to their Maccabean thesis.

The first admission concerns the conservative’s view that Rome is the fourth kingdom identified in Daniel’s prophecy. Till states the critic’s logic: “A flaw in this interpretation is the obvious fact that the writer of Daniel considered the median and Persian kingdoms to be separate empires, because he had the Neo-Babylonian empire falling to `Darius the Mede’ (5:30-31). This is historically inaccurate (just one of many historical inaccuracies in the book of Daniel), because reliable records of the time indicate that Cyrus the Great captured Babylon and ended the Neo-Babylonian kingdom. Nevertheless, the writer of Daniel told of a reign under “Darius the Mede: that preceded the reign of the Persian king, Cyrus the Great (6:28; 10:1). So if the writer believed that the Neo-Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes and then the Medes fell to the Persians, then the fourth kingdom in Daniel’s interpretation would have been Alexander’s Hellenistic empire” (TSR, Vol. 4.3, p. 12).

Notice that Till bases his conclusion on the “obvious fact that the writer of Daniel considered the Median and Persian kingdoms to be separate empires….” However, the famous Bible critic, Dr. Samuel Driver, admitted, “In the book of Daniel the `Medes and Persians’ are, it is true, sometimes represented as united (Daniel 5:28; 6:8, 12, 15, cf. 8:20)” (The Book of Daniel: Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges, Cambridge: University Press, 1900, p. 29). Conservative scholar Stephen Miller comments: “Such an admission seems fatal to Driver’s position, for if the author was aware at one point that the two nations were united into one empire, he certainly would not have construed them as separate both physically and chronologically elsewhere in the same book” (Daniel: The New American Commentary, Nashville, TN, Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994, p. 95).

Moreover, in Daniel 5:28, the word peres has the same consonants (only the consonants were written in ancient Aramaic and Hebrew scripts) as the Aramaic term translated “Persians” and likely was a paronomasia (a word play) hinting that the division of the kingdom would be accomplished by the Persian armies. Bible critic Norman W. Porteous admits this hints at “the victory of Persia over Babylon” (Daniel, The Old Testament Library, Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965, p. 81). Furthermore, the Bible critic John A. Montgomery agrees (“A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel,” International Critical Commentary, T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1979, p. 263).

Arthur Jeffrey claims the author assumed from his reading of Old Testament prophecies (Isaiah 13:17; 21:2, and Jeremiah 51:11, 28) that the Medes conquered Babylon before the Persians (Arthur Jeffrey, “The Book of Daniel,” Interpreter’s Bible, Nashville: Abingdon, 1956, p. 434). However, Isaiah 21:2 blows this theory out of the water, because it speaks of Elam and Media as the joint-conquerors of Babylon. The critic H. H. Rowley admits: “This was doubtless written after Cyrus, king of Anshan, in southwest Elam, had brought the rest of Elam under his sway, when to the Hebrew observer it appeared likely that these two powers might unite in the destruction of Babylon. And since Elam is mentioned first, it is possible that the passage dates from a time after the absorption of Media by Cyrus” (H. H. Rowley, Darius the Mede and the Four World Empires in the Book of Daniel, 1935; reprint, Cardiff: University of Wales, 1964, p. 58).

Till correctly notes that the writer of Daniel had “Darius the Mede” conquering Babylon, but nowhere does the writer state that Darius was “the king of the Medes” or the “king of Media.” Dr. Robert H. Pfeiffer of Harvard University admitted the author of Daniel was “a very learned man” and “a sage” (Robert H. Pfeiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948, p. 757), but Pfeiffer must have assumed that this “sage” had never read 2 Chronicles 36:20 where it is said that the Jews were servants to Nebuchadnezzar “and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia.” Clearly this indicates that the Persian reign came immediately after the Babylonian reign.

The second admission concerns the madness of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter four. William Sierichs, Jr., states that “the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity may be a reference to a bout of insanity or lengthy depression in Nabonidus, who apparently was very unpopular in Babylon…” (TSR, Vol. 7.4, p. 8). This is the position held by many modern critical scholars today. Conservatives prefer a different explanation. Stephen Miller comments: “Some scholars have deemed this chapter primarily a fictional account, likely derived from the same source as the so-called `prayer of Nabonidus’ (4QPrBab), an Aramaic fragment discovered at Qumran in 1952 (D. N. Freedman, “The Prayer of Nabonidus,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Vol. 145, 1957, pp. 31-32). Though affinities exist between Daniel 4 and the “Prayer of Nabonidus,” they are far outweighed by the differences (e.g., name of the king, nature of the illness, and location). It seems reasonable to categorize the Nabonidus story as a distorted version or a later application of the biblical narrative” (p. 145).

Nevertheless, the critics insist there is no hint in the historical record that indicates it was Nebuchadnezzar with this strange case of madness that resulted in a seven-year absence. R. H. Pfeiffer called Daniel chapter four an “unhistorical tale,” and “a confused reminiscence of the years when Nabonidus spent at Tema in Arabia” (p. 758). Norman W. Porteous states, “indeed there is no record of Nebuchadnezzar’s having had leave of absence from his royal duties on account of insanity” (p. 70). However, later on the same page Porteous admits that fellow Bible critics Bevan, Montgomery, Bentzen, and Jeffrey have recorded such a story. Abydenus’s account is preserved by Eusebius (Praeparatio Evangelica, 9.41.1) and is reproduced by John A. Montgomery (p. 221).

Abydenus says that in the last days of Nebuchadnezzar, the king was “possessed by some god or other” while in his palace, and announced the coming of a Persian mule (i.e., Cyrus), who would bring the people into slavery. Then says Abydenus, “He, when he had uttered this prediction, immediately disappeared” (Praeparatio Evangelica, 9.41.1). Surely Porteous is wrong to admit the existence of this story by the historian Abydenus, and at the same time insist that “there is no record of Nebuchadnezzar’s having had leave of absence from his royal duties…”

The third and fourth admissions concern linguistic arguments. Farrell Till asserts: “Bible fundamentalists like to think that Daniel was written in the sixth century B. C., shortly after the events that the book closes with during the reign of Cyrus the Great, who had conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. Few reputable Bible scholars, however, would fix the date that early, because the book exhibits signs of a much later authorship. Scholars cite the writer’s obvious confusion about political events of the time that a contemporary would have surely been familiar with, the linguistic style (especially the section written in Aramaic), and other factors too numerous to discuss in detail as evidence that the book was written at the extreme end of the Old Testament period (no sooner than the second century)” (TSR, Vol. 4.3, p. 13).

Dr. Samuel Driver also made much of the Aramaic of the Book of Daniel. he stated, “The Aramaic of Daniel (which is all but identical with that of Ezra) is a Western Aramaic dialect, of the type spoken in and about Palestine” (p. 59 of the introduction of Driver’s commentary on Daniel), and he went on to suggest that archaeology had confirmed this. However, Jeffrey admits that the Aramaic in the Book of Daniel “cannot be pressed as evidence for a particular date, for it is that type of Aramaic which grew up for official use in the chancelleries and came to be widely used in the ancient Near East” (p. 349). Jeffrey cites more recent discoveries of fifth-century Aramaic texts that totally discredit Driver’s view (Franz Rosenthal, Die Aramaistische Forschung, [Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1939] pp. 66-71).

Till has highly recommended Jeffrey’s work on Daniel (TSR, Vol. 7.3, p. 3, and Vol 7.4, p. 8). According to Till, Jeffrey’s material “gives a detailed analysis of the Book of Daniel to show, first of all, that it was not written by its namesake who allegedly lived in Babylon during the captivity, but by an unknown author during the time of the Seleucid Empire, which arose from the partitioning of Alexander’s kingdom after his death” (TSR, Vol. 7.3, p. 3). Does Jeffrey’s work accomplish this feat? Let’s look at a couple of popular arguments that he uses.

The fourth admission by the critics concerns the term “Chaldeans.” Jeffrey argues: “The use of the word kasdim (Chaldeans), not in the proper ethnic sense which it has, for example, in Jeremiah, but to mean a caste of wise men, points to a time when the word was commonly used for a class of priestly astrologers, diviners, or magicians, a sense the word has in the pages of Strabo or Diodorus Siculus, who wrote in the first century B.C. (p. 349).

Dr. Driver agrees that the argument concerning the use of the term “Chaldeans” is very convincing. So much that he places it first in the list of his three strongest arguments that show that the book of Daniel was composed in Palestine “during the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes” (pp. 47-56 of the Introduction).

How strong is this argument? On page 12 of Driver’s commentary, Driver himself takes exceptions to some of the assertions made by Jeffrey. Driver admits that in Daniel 5:30, and 9:1 the author of the book of Daniel did use the ethnic sense of the word “Chaldeans.” Then on the same page Driver admits this term “Chaldeans” is found “in Herodotus (Herodotus, Histories, 1.181-183, c. 440 B.C.), and is common afterwards in the classical writers” (p. 12). Furthermore, Driver also admits that evidence indicates that such a group of wise men as pictured in the book of Daniel did exist as a group as early as 2000 B.C. (p. 14).

Francis Schaeffer summarized Driver’s argument: “Remember this is his first strong argument. he is going to take the book of Daniel and throw away its historical date on the basis of these `so-called’ strong arguments. Now we have defined this question in regard to the term “Chaldeans.” The writer knew the ethnic sense. This group did exist from a long time before. About 90 years later everybody acknowledges that the word was used in this sense to the wise men. And so he is going to throw away the book of Daniel and its dating and all that it means on the basis that this specific group of wise men, who were well known from long before and afterwards, were not called this term in this 90-year span (530 B.C. to 440 B.C.). Now, once you word it this way, it doesn’t look so strong” (Francis Schaeffer’s five part series, Dr. Driver’s Criticism of the Book of Daniel, tape #2).

Is it any wonder that the bible critic J.J. Collins admits that the author’s use of the term “Chaldeans” cannot be used to date his material (Daniel, Hermeneia, Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994, pp. 137-138). In fact, Jeffrey makes a similar error in his commentary on Daniel 10:1. He states: “Cyrus is here called `king of Persia.’ This may be merely a statement of fact, for he was king of Persia, but if it is meant as an official title, it is an anachronism in the mouth of Daniel. The title ‘king of Persia’, was Hellenistic usage and not the usage of the Achaemenid kings at this time” (p. 500).

Jeffrey overlooked the fact that Robert Dick Wilson contradicted this view expressly with what he found in the tablets of the Persian period (Robert Dick Wilson, “The Title `King of Persia’ in the Scriptures,” The Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 15, 1917, pp. 90-145). Wilson commented: “It is evident therefore, that there are thirty-eight distinct extra-biblical instances of the use of this title from 545 to about 400 B.C.; and that these instances are found in twenty different works by nineteen different persons (p. 100).”

This argument of Jeffrey’s is completely put to flight concerning Daniel 10:1. It shows how much many of these scholars continue to repeat the same old arguments. No doubt, Jeffrey had read this argument in Driver’s commentary (p. 152), but he had failed to read the refutation provided by Wilson seventeen years later. I must admit that I have just repeated the arguments of others on occasion without taking a closer look at both sides of the argument…. there are two other issues in chapter 5 that I will press, and they both concern Belshazzar. In the article “Daniel in the Historians’ Den,” William Sierichs, Jr., states that Belshazzar was not the “son” of Nebuchadnezzar, and “Belshazzar was not the ruler as the Book of Daniel claims, and he was never king” (TSR, Vol. 7.4, p. 8).

These are two of the most common arguments used against the book of Daniel, but even the radical critic, Dr. Philip R. Davies has admitted that both are “weak arguments” (Philip R. Davies, Daniel, Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985, p. 31). He stated: “Critical commentaries, especially around the turn of the century, made much of the fact that Belshazzar was neither a son of Nebuchadnezzar, nor king of Babylon. This is still sometimes repeated as a charge against the historicity of Daniel, and resisted by conservative scholars. But it has been clear since 1924 (J.A. Montgomery, Daniel, International Critical Commentary, Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1927, pp. 66-67) that although Nabonidus was the last king of the Neo-Babylonian dynasty, Belshazzar was effectively ruling Babylon. In this respect, then, Daniel is correct. The literal meaning of son should not be pressed” (pp. 30-31).

I call Davies a radical critic because he refuses to accept the archaeological evidence that indicates that king David existed (Philip R. Davies, “`House of David’ built on Sand,” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1994, pp. 54-55), and more recently he suggested that Hezekiah’s tunnel was not dug by Hezekiah’s men when the Bible claims, but was constructed centuries later. However, several eminent archaeologists put this reinterpretation to rest (“Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997, pp. 41-50). For Davies to concede anything, it must really be self-evident. Therefore, I put forth his admissions as especially meaningful. Furthermore, Davies does not accept the same view that Till and Sierichs do concerning the date of the authorship of the first six chapters of Daniel.

In the 19th century the consensus among Bible critics was that all of the chapters of Daniel were written in Palestine during the 2nd century B.C. However, in the 20th century most of the critics admit the first six chapters could have been written as early as the 6th century B.C. in Babylon. Philip R. Davies comments, “According to nearly every modern commentator, the tales of chapter 1-6 are originally products of a Jewish community in a Gentile environment” (Philip R. Davies, “Eschatology in the Book of Daniel,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Vol. 17, 1980, p. 33).

Could it be that the archaeological, linguistic, and historical evidence concerning Daniel will lead next century’s critics to consider the traditional theological view? This reminds me of an amazing quote from the astronomer Dr. Robert Jastrow: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries” (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, New York: Warner Books, 1978, p. 111).

(Everette Hatcher III, P. O. Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221)

 I have been amazed at the prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled in history. John MacArthur went through every detail of the prophecy concerning Tyre and how history shows the Bible prophecy was correct. There is evidence out there if anyone is interested in investigating!!!
The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt)

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MUSIC MONDAY George Harrison – What Is Life

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George Harrison – What Is Life

Published on Nov 29, 2016

Music video by George Harrison performing What Is Life. (C) 2002 G.H. Estate Ltd, under exclusive licence to Calderstone Productions Limited, a division of Universal Music Group

http://vevo.ly/bcFeST

George Harrison-US Tour 1974 (rare!)

Uploaded on Oct 17, 2011

The North American Tour 1974
songs:
What Is Live,Dark Horse

What Is Life – George Harrison

What Is Life

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This article is about the George Harrison song. For other uses, see What is Life (disambiguation).
“What Is Life”
What Is Life (George Harrison single - cover art).jpg

US picture sleeve
Single by George Harrison
from the album All Things Must Pass
A-side My Sweet Lord(UK)
B-side Apple Scruffs(except UK)
Released 15 February 1971 (US)
Format 7-inch vinyl
Genre Rock, soul
Length 4:22
Label Apple
Writer(s) George Harrison
Producer(s) George Harrison, Phil Spector
George Harrison singles chronology
My Sweet Lord
(1970)
What Is Life
(1971)
Bangla Desh
(1971)
All Things Must Pass track listing

What Is Life” is a song by the English musician George Harrison, released on his 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass. In many countries, it was issued as the second single from the album, in February 1971, becoming a top-ten hit in the United States, Canada and elsewhere, and topping singles charts in Australia and Switzerland. In the United Kingdom, “What Is Life” appeared as the B-side to “My Sweet Lord“, which was the best-selling single there of 1971. Harrison’s backing musicians on the song include Eric Clapton and the entire Delaney & Bonnie Friends band, with whom he had toured during the final months of the Beatles. Harrison co-produced the recording with Phil Spector, whose Wall of Sound production also employed a prominent string arrangement by John Barham and multiple acoustic rhythm guitars, played by Harrison’s fellow Apple Records signings Badfinger.

An uptempo composition in the soul genre, “What Is Life” is one of several Harrison love songs that appear to be directed at both a woman and a deity. Harrison wrote the song in 1969 and originally intended it as a track for his friend and Apple protégé Billy Preston to record. Built around a descending guitar riff, it is one of Harrison’s most popular compositions and was a regular inclusion in his live performances. Rolling Stone magazine has variously described it as a “classic”[1] and an “exultant song of surrender”.[2]

“What Is Life” has appeared in the soundtrack for feature films such as Goodfellas (1990), Patch Adams (1998), Big Daddy (1999) and This Is 40 (2012). Harrison’s original recording was included on the compilations The Best of George Harrison and Let It Roll, and live versions appear on his album Live in Japan (1992) and in Martin Scorsese‘s 2011 documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World. In 1972, Olivia Newton-John had a UK hit with her version of the song. Ronnie Aldrich, the Ventures, the Four Freshmen and Shawn Mullins are among the other artists who have covered the track.

Background and composition[edit]

Even before his temporary departure from the Beatles in January 1969 (documented in the song “Wah-Wah“),[3] their Apple Records label was an “emancipating force” for Harrison from the creative restrictions imposed on him within the band, according to his musical biographer, Simon Leng.[4] In his “definitive” article on All Things Must Pass for Mojo magazine, John Harris has written of Harrison’s “journey” as a solo artist beginning in November 1968 – when he spent time in Woodstock with Bob Dylan and the Band – and incorporating a series of other collaborations through the following eighteen months, including various Apple projects and a support role on Delaney & Bonnie and Friends’ brief European tour.[5] One of these projects, carried out intermittently from April to July 1969,[6] was his production of That’s the Way God Planned It, an album by Billy Preston, whom Harrison had met during the Beatles’ Hamburg years and had recently recruited to guest on the band’s troubled Get Back sessions.[7][8] It was while driving up to a Preston session in London from his home in Esher, Surrey, that Harrison came up with the song “What Is Life”.[9]

In his autobiography, I, Me, Mine, Harrison describes it as having been written “very quickly” and recalls that he thought it would be a perfect, “catchy pop song” for Preston to record.[10] His lyrics, while simple, were similarly uplifting and universal:[11][12]

What I feel, I can’t say
But my love is there for you any time of day
But if it’s not love that you need
Then I’ll try my best to make everything succeed.

Tell me, what is my life without your love?
And tell me, who am I without you, by my side?

These lyrics have caused some debate among biographers and music critics, as to whether “What Is Life” should be viewed as a straightforward love song – perhaps a “lovingly crafted paen” to Harrison’s wife Pattie, as Alan Clayson puts it[13] – or a devotional song like many of Harrison’s compositions.[12][14] Ian Inglis writes that the song title suggests a “philosophical debate about the meaning of life”, yet its rendering as “what is my life” in the choruses “reshapes [the meaning] completely”.[11] Theologian Dale Allison finds no religious content in “What Is Life” but notes the “failure of words to express feelings” implied in the opening line (“What I feel, I can’t say“), a recurring theme of Harrison’s spiritual songs such as “That Is All“, “Mystical One” and “Pisces Fish“.[15] Joshua Greene, another religious academic, identifies the song as part of its parent album’s “intimately detailed account of a spiritual journey”: where “Awaiting on You All” shows Harrison “convinced of his union with God”, “What Is Life” reveals him to be “uncertain that he deserved such divine favor”.[16]

The song’s second verse repeats what Inglis refers to as the “somewhat confusing promise” from Harrison (in lines 3 and 4) should his love be “rejected”:[11]

What I know, I can’t do
If I give my love out to everyone like you
But if it’s not love that you need
Then I’ll try my best to make everything succeed.

Musically, Simon Leng describes “What Is Life” as “Motown-spiced” and a comparatively rare example of its composer’s willingness to embrace the role of “entertainer” in his songwriting.[17]

In I Me Mine, Harrison recalls that he changed his mind about offering “What Is Life” to Preston once he’d arrived at Olympic Studios and found the singer busy working on more typical material – or “playing his funky stuff” as Harrison puts it.[10][9] Rather than attempt it with the Beatles during the band’s concurrent Abbey Road sessions, he stockpiled the track with his many other unused songs from the period – “All Things Must Pass“, “Let It Down“, “I’d Have You Anytime” and “Run of the Mill” among them[18] – and revisited it a year later, after completing work on Preston’s second Apple album, Encouraging Words.[19]

Recording[edit]

By May 1970, having recently collaborated with “genuine R&B heavy-weights” such as Doris Troy and Preston, as well as participating in the “blue-eyed soul[20] Delaney & Bonnie European tour, along with Eric Clapton, the previous December, Harrison was well placed to record “What Is Life”, Leng observes.[21] With Phil Spector as co-producer and all the Friends team on hand, the song was among the first tracks taped for Harrison’s debut post-Beatles solo album;[22] recording took place at Abbey Road Studios in London, during late May or early June.[22][23] The same core of musicians – Bobby Whitlock, Carl Radle, Jim Gordon, Bobby Keys and Jim Price – would similarly elevate other All Things Must Pass tracks such as “Awaiting on You All”, “Art of Dying” and “Hear Me Lord“.[24]

The recording is defined by Harrison’s descending, fuzztone guitar riff,[2] which also serves as the motif for the chorus.[12] The track opens with this riff,[25] which is then joined by Radle’s bass and “churning” rhythm guitar from Clapton, before Gordon’s drums bring the full band in.[9][26] During the verses, Gordon moves to a square, Motown-style beat – or “rock-steady Northern soul backbeat” in Leng’s words[21] – before returning to the “galloping rhythm” of the more open, “knockout” choruses,[2] and the song is driven equally by Badfinger drummer Mike Gibbins‘ powerful tambourine work.[27]

On “What Is Life”, Spector provided what music critic David Fricke terms “echo-drenched theater”, in the form of reverb-heavy brass, soaring strings (arranged by John Barham) and “a choir of multitracked Harrisons”.[2] The vocals and Barham’s contribution, along with a brief slide-guitar commentary from Harrison over the final verse,[12] were overdubbed at Trident Studios, most likely during late August through September.[28] Dated 19 August, Spector’s written comments on Harrison’s early mix of the song had suggested a “proper background voice” was still needed;[29] like sound engineer Ken Scott,[30] Spector would be impressed with the result, saying, “He was a great harmoniser … he could do all the [vocal] parts himself” and rating Harrison “one of the most commercial musicians and songwriters and quintessential players I’ve ever known in my entire career”.[31]

Release[edit]

“What Is Life” was released in late November 1970 as the first track on side two of All Things Must Pass, in its original, triple LP format.[32][33] Along with “My Sweet Lord” and “Isn’t It a Pity“, the song had already been identified as a potential hit single by Allan Steckler, manager of Apple’s US operation.[33] Backed by another album track, “Apple Scruffs“, “What Is Life” was issued as a single in America on 15 February 1971 (as Apple 1828), just as the “My Sweet Lord”/”Isn’t It a Pity” double A-side was finally slipping out of the top ten.[34][35]

French picture sleeve for the “What Is Life” single – a cropped and colorised version of Barry Feinstein‘s cover image for All Things Must Pass

The front of the single’s US picture sleeve consisted of a photo of Harrison playing guitar inside the central tower of his recently purchased home, Friar Park, in Henley-on-Thames.[36] The tower’s sole, octagonal-shaped room was an area that Harrison had adopted as his personal temple and meditation space.[37] This picture was taken by photographer Barry Feinstein, whose Camouflage Productions partner, Tom Wilkes, originally used it as part of an elaborate poster intended as an insert in the album package. The poster featured a painting of the Hindu deity Krishna watching a group of naked maidens beside a bathing pond.[38] Harrison apparently felt uncomfortable with the symbolism in Wilkes’s design – the Friar Park tower image filled the top half of the poster, floating among clouds above the Krishna scene – so Wilkes abandoned the concept and instead used a darkened photo of Harrison inside the house as the album poster.[39] The more common picture sleeve internationally was a close-up of Feinstein’s All Things Must Pass front-cover image, taken on the main lawn of Friar Park.[40] In Denmark, the sleeve featured four shots of Harrison, again with guitar,[41] taken on stage during the Delaney & Bonnie tour.[42]

At the end of March, “What Is Life” peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100[43] and number 7 on Cash Boxs Top 100 chart,[44] making Harrison the first ex-Beatle to have two top-ten hits in the United States.[45][46] The single was a success internationally, climbing to number 1 in Switzerland[47] and on Australia’s Go-Set National Top 60,[48] and reaching the top three elsewhere in Europe and in Canada.[49] In Britain, where Harrison had resisted issuing a single from All Things Must Pass until midway through January,[50] “What Is Life” appeared on the B-side to “My Sweet Lord”[51] – a combination that became the top-selling single of 1971 in that country.[52]

Reception[edit]

“What Is Life” is one of Harrison’s most commercial and popular songs[53] – a “spiritual guitar quest” that “became [a] classic”, according to Rolling Stone magazine.[1] On release, Billboard magazine’s reviewer wrote of “What Is Life” and “Apple Scruffs” as “intriguing rhythm follows-ups” to Harrison’s previous single, which were “sure to repeat that success” and “should prove big juke box items”.[54] In their Solo Beatles Compendium, authors Chip Madinger and Mark Easter refer to it as an “intensely catchy track” and view its pairing with “My Sweet Lord” in the UK as perhaps the strongest of all of Harrison’s singles.[22] Writing in 1981, NME critic Bob Woffinden grouped “What Is LIfe” with “My Sweet Lord”, “Isn’t It a Pity” and “Awaiting on You All” as “all excellent songs”.[55]

Reviewing the 2001 reissue of All Things Must Pass, for Rolling Stone, James Hunter wrote of how the album’s music “exults in breezy rhythms”, among which “the colorful revolutions of ‘What Is Life’ … [move] like a Ferris wheel“.[56] The following year, in Rolling Stone Press’s Harrison tribute book, David Fricke included “What Is Life” among his selection of “essential Harrison performances” (just three of which date from the ex-Beatle’s solo years) and described the track as an “exultant song of surrender”, abetted by Harrison’s “pumping fuzz guitar” and the song’s “singalong magnetism”.[57] AllMusic‘s Richie Unterberger similarly praises “What Is Life” for its “anthemic” qualities, “particularly snazzy horn lines”, and a guitar riff that is “one more entry in the catalog of George Harrison’s book of arresting, low, descending guitar lines”.[12]

Writing in the book 1,000 Recordings to Hear Before You Die, author Tom Moon refers to “the upbeat single ‘What Is Life'” as an example of how Harrison “grabs what he needs from his old band – that insinuating hook sense – and uses it to frame an utterly comfortable metaphysical discourse”.[58] Alan Clayson describes “What Is Life” as a seemingly “lovey-dovey pop song” that “craftily renewed the simplistic tonic-to-dominant riff cliché”,[27] while Simon Leng credits Harrison’s “innate ability to write very fine pop-rock songs” and deems the result “as innovative an exercise in rock-soul as The Temptations’ ‘Cloud Nine‘”.[21] Among Harrison biographers, only Ian Inglis is less than enthusiastic, acknowledging that Barham’s orchestration and the other musicians give the track “undoubted excitement and energy”, but lamenting that the song offers “little overall coherence between words and music”.[11]

In a 2010 poll to find the “10 Best George Harrison Songs”, AOL Radio listeners voted “What Is Life” third behind “My Sweet Lord” and “Blow Away“.[59] A similar list by Michael Galluci of Ultimate Classic Rock placed it second (behind “My Sweet Lord”), as Galluci wrote of the track having “a giant pop hook as its guide” as well as “the catchiest chorus Harrison ever penned”.[25] In 2009, Matt Melis of Consequence of Sound listed it sixth among his “Top Ten Songs by Ex-Beatles”, writing: “it’s arguable that Harrison’s All Things Must Pass is the best solo album put out by a Beatle. ‘What is Life’ … with its riff-driven bounce, soaring harmonies on the choruses, and perfectly placed sax and trumpet, [is] probably Harrison’s catchiest pop song.”[60] In the 2005 publication NME Originals: Beatles – The Solo Years 1970–1980, Adrian Thrills rated it first among Harrison’s “ten solo gems”, adding: “One of Harrison’s greatest guitar riffs – brilliant pop.”[61] The song is said to be a favourite of Foo Fighters singer Dave Grohl.[2] In a Rolling Stone readers’ poll, titled “10 Greatest Solo Beatle Songs”, the song placed fourth, with the editor commenting: “The track is deceptively simple, and more layers become apparent the more often you play it.”[62] “What Is Life” has featured in Bruce Pollock’s book The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944–2000, Treble website’s “The Top 200 Songs of the 1970s” (ranked at number 101) and Dave Thompson‘s 1000 Songs That Rock Your World (at number 247).[63]

Subsequent releases and appearances in films[edit]

“What Is Life” was included on the 1976 compilation The Best of George Harrison as well as 2009’s Let It Roll: Songs by George Harrison.[64] The song has also been featured in a number of popular movies: Martin Scorsese‘s Goodfellas (1990), during the “May 11, 1980” sequence; Tom Shadyac‘s Patch Adams (1998); and, more recently, Sam MendesAway We Go (2009).[65] In late 2012, “What Is Life” was used in advance promotion for the film This Is 40, directed by Judd Apatow,[66] although it was omitted from the accompanying soundtrack album.[67] According to Rolling Stone: “Today, many people know it merely as a song from all those soundtracks: it’s in This Is 40, Patch Adams, Goodfellas and many more. It’s almost as ubiquitous as ‘Let My Love Open the Door‘ or ‘Solsbury Hill.'”[62] In Scorsese’s 2011 documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, “What Is Life” plays over a sequence of 1969 photos of Harrison – with, variously, Preston, Jackie Lomax, the Plastic Ono Band, Clapton and Ravi Shankar – immediately before which, archive footage shows him discussing the restrictions he felt within the Beatles and how the band “had to implode”.[68]

An alternative studio version of “What Is Life” – in fact, a rough mix of the original backing track with different orchestration (in this case, piccolo trumpet and oboe)[69] – was issued as one of five bonus tracks on the 2001 remaster of All Things Must Pass.[70] In the accompanying booklet, Harrison writes that this orchestral arrangement was discarded because he “didn’t like the feel”.[71] Speaking to Billboard editor-in-chief Timothy White in December 2000, Harrison explained the reason for the lack of a guide vocal on this version: “I’m playing the fuzz guitar part that goes all through the song. So all I could do on the [initial] take was to give the band the cue line – the first line of each verse – and then go back to playing that riff. So that rough mix without the vocal – I’d forgot all about it …”[72] The track also appears on the 2014 Apple Years 1968–75 reissue of All Things Must Pass.[73]

Live performance[edit]

A live version of the song, recorded with Eric Clapton and his band in December 1991, is available on Harrison’s 1992 album Live in Japan album.[74] The performance was recorded at Tokyo Dome on 17 December,[75] during the final show of the tour.[76]

Part of a concert performance of “What Is Life” from Harrison’s 1974 North American tour with Shankar is included in Scorsese’s George Harrison: Living in the Material World.[77] While challenging the commonly held view that this controversial 1974 tour was a “disaster”,[78][79] Simon Leng writes of a Fort Worth performance of “What Is Life” that was “greeted with a reception that matched anything the New York audience at the Bangla Desh concerts expressed”.[80]

Cover versions[edit]

“What Is Life”
Picture sleeve for Olivia Newton-John single What Is Life.jpg

German picture sleeve
Single by Olivia Newton-John
from the album Olivia
B-side “I’m a Small and Lonely Light”
Released 1972
Genre Country, pop
Length 3:21
Label Pye International
Writer(s) George Harrison
Producer(s) Bruce Welch, John Farrar

Olivia Newton-John[edit]

Australian pop singer Olivia Newton-John recorded “What Is Life”, along with a version of Harrison’s All Things Must Pass track “Behind That Locked Door“,[81] for her 1972 album Olivia.[82] The song was arranged and produced by Bruce Welch of the Shadows and John Farrar,[83] who was Newton-John’s regular producer and collaborator during the 1970s.[84]

Released as a single in some countries, this version reached the UK top 20 in March 1972,[27][85] peaking at number 16.[86][nb 1] It has since appeared on Newton-John compilation albums such as Back to Basics: The Essential Collection 1971–1992 (1992)[89] and The Definitive Collection (2002).[90]

Other artists[edit]

In 1971, British easy listening pianist Ronnie Aldrich covered “What Is Life” (as well as “My Sweet Lord”) on his album Love Story.[91] That same year, a version by the Ventures appeared on their New Testament album.[92]Also in 1971, a Finnish-language version of the song, titled “Mikä Saa Ihmisen Elämään”, was released as a single by local singer Oliver – better known as Veikko Laiho, of the Laiho Trio.[93]

The Four Freshmen recorded “What Is Life” for their album Fresh! in 1986,[94] six years after which Nicola Sirkis covered the song on the album Dans La Lune …[95] A version by Shawn Mullins was released as a single in 1999[96] and plays over the closing credits of the Adam Sandler movie Big Daddy (1999).[65][97]

Following Harrison’s death, Japanese band the Collectors contributed a recording of “What Is Life” to the Gentle Guitar Dreams tribute album, released in May 2002.[98] Classical guitarist Joseph Breznikar recorded a version of the song for his 2003 tribute album George Harrison Remembered: A Touch of Class.[99] In November 2004, Neal Morse released his recording of “What Is Life” on the special-edition version of his album One.[94] Les Fradkin included a cover of “What Is Life” on his 2005 tribute CD Something for George.[100]

Personnel[edit]

The following musicians are believed to have played on “What Is Life”:[9][26]

Chart performance[edit]

George Harrison version[edit]

Weekly charts
Chart (1971) Peak
position
Australian Go-Set National Top 60[48] 1
Austrian Singles Chart[102] 5
Belgian Ultratop Singles[103] 5
Canadian RPM 100 Singles[104] 3
Dutch MegaChart Singles[105] 2
French SNEP Singles Chart[106] 6
Japanese Oricon Singles Chart[107] 19
New Zealand NZ Listener Chart[108] 2
Norwegian VG-lista Singles[109] 7
South African Springbok Singles Chart[110] 4
Swiss Singles Chart[47] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[111] 10
US Cash Box Top 100[112] 7
West German Media Control Singles[113] 3
Year-end charts
Chart (1971) Position
Canadian RPM Singles Chart[114] 41
Dutch Singles Chart[115] 45
US Cash Box[116] 48

Olivia Newton-John version[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
position
Irish Singles Chart[117] 18
UK Singles Chart[86] 16

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Peter Atkins

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peter William Atkins
Peter Atkins - EdSciFest 2014.jpg
Born 10 August 1940 (age 76)
Amersham, Buckinghamshire, England
Residence Oxford, England
Fields Physical chemistry
Institutions
Alma mater University of Leicester
Doctoral advisor MCR Symons
Doctoral students
Known for Academic level chemistry text books
Notable awards RSC Meldola Medal
Spouse
  • Judith Kearton (m. 1964; div. 1983)
  • Susan Greenfield (m. 1991; div. 2005)
  • Patricia-Jean Nobes (m. 2008)

Peter William Atkins FRSC (born 10 August 1940) is an English chemist and former Professor of Chemistry at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Lincoln College. He is a prolific writer of popular chemistry textbooks, including Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, and Molecular Quantum Mechanics. Atkins is also the author of a number of popular science books, including Atkins’ Molecules, Galileo’s Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science and On Being.

Career[edit]

Atkins left school (Dr Challoner’s Grammar School, Amersham) at fifteen and took a job at Monsanto as a laboratory assistant. He studied for A-levels by himself and gained a place, following a last-minute interview, at the University of Leicester.

Atkins studied chemistry there, obtaining a BSc degree in chemistry, and a PhD degree in 1964 for research into electron spin resonance spectroscopy, and other aspects of theoretical chemistry. Atkins then took a postdoctoral position at UCLA as a Harkness Fellow of the Commonwealth fund.[1] He returned to Britain in 1965 as a fellow and tutor of Lincoln College, Oxford, and lecturer in physical chemistry (later, professor of physical chemistry). In 1969, he won the Royal Society of Chemistry‘s Meldola Medal. He retired in 2007, and since then has been a full-time author.[2]

He has honorary doctorates from the University of Utrecht, the University of Leicester (where he sits on the university Court), Mendeleev University in Moscow, and Kazan State Technological University.

He was a member of the Council of the Royal Institution and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He was the founding chairman of IUPAC Committee on Chemistry Education, and is a trustee of a variety of charities.

Atkins has lectured in quantum mechanics, quantum chemistry, and thermodynamics courses (up to graduate level) at the University of Oxford. He is a patron of the Oxford University Scientific Society.

Views on religion[edit]

Atkins is a well-known atheist.[3] He has written and spoken on issues of humanism, atheism, and the incompatibility of science and religion. According to Atkins, whereas religion scorns the power of human comprehension, science respects it.[4]

He was the first Senior Member of the Oxford University Secular Society, a Distinguished Supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. He is also a member of the Advisory Board of The Reason Project, a US-based charitable foundation devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society. The organisation is led by fellow atheist and author Sam Harris. Atkins has regularly participated in debates with theists such as Alister McGrath, Stephen C. Meyer, William Lane Craig,[5][6] Rabbi Shmuley Boteach,[7] and Richard Swinburne.

In December 2006, Atkins was featured in a UK television documentary on atheism called The Trouble with Atheism, presented by Rod Liddle. In that documentary Liddle asked Atkins: “Give me your views on the existence, or otherwise, of god”. Atkins replied: “Well it’s fairly straightforward: there isn’t one. And there’s no evidence for one, no reason to believe that there is one, and so I don’t believe that there is one. And I think that it is rather foolish that people do think that there is one”.[8]

Atkins is known for his use of astringent language in criticising religion: he appeared in the 2008 documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, in which he told interviewer Ben Stein that religion was “a fantasy”, and “completely empty of any explanatory content. It is also evil”.[9] He appeared on a television panel about science and religion with Richard Dawkins and Richard Swinburne. When the latter tried to explain the Holocaust as God’s way of giving Jews the opportunity to be brave and noble, Atkins growled: “May you rot in hell”.[10]

In 2007, Atkins’s position on religion was described by Colin Tudge in an article in The Guardian as being non-scientific. In the same article, Atkins was also described as being ‘more hardline than Richard Dawkins’, and of deliberately choosing to ignore Peter Medawar‘s famous adage that “Science is the art of the soluble”.[11]

Private life[edit]

Atkins married Judith Kearton in 1964 and they had one daughter, Juliet (born 1970). They divorced in 1983. In 1991, he married fellow scientist Susan Greenfield (later Baroness Greenfield). They divorced in 2005. In 2008, he married Patricia-Jean Nobes (née Brand).

Categories:

Quote from Dr. Atkins and my reaction to it today:

“I think a lot of theology is grappling with phantoms. So theologians have invented this almost self-consistent subject which has no contact with physical reality at all. And they invent all sorts of questions which they then taunt humanity with . One of them is cosmic purpose. They say ‘there must be a purpose; you and your science can’t explain it.’ And typical of theologians, they don’t respect the power of the human intellect anyway. And they infer that no one will ever understand it; it is ineffable; God’s purpose cannot be discerned. And of course that’s – those are fine words, but utterly meaningless–why should the thing have a purpose?” –Peter Atkins, world-reknowned Oxford professor of chemistry

 

In  the first video below in the 10th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them is in a letter that I wrote to him a couple of years ago. Today is May 28, 2017 and I want to make a few additional comments concerning his quote. 

I had a close friend and relative who passed away on April 7, 2017. My friend’s favorite sermon was called WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers and he gave hundreds of that CD copies away.  Let me share a little from that message but first let me give you some background information.

In 1979 I went  on a mission trip to Toronto and  then to Europe  with my good friend David Rogers. We were involved with the group  Operation Mobilization (OM). After the OM Mission Conference in Belgium,  David went to Austria and I went to England. In Manchester, England our group went to the homes of Muslims and Hindus and shared  the gospel.

Fast forward several years later, I  got involved in my family business, but David continued in  missions and  moved to Spain.

Image result for adrian rogers who is jesus?

Now the illustration from the sermon WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers:

The other day we called our son David in Madrid, Spain. Momma Bear is burning up our telephone and our bill is going to be big, talking to David and Kelly and little Jonathan. It is an amazing thing that in Memphis,  Tennessee when she picks up a phone  she eliminates everyone that doesn’t have a phone. And then when she dials the first digit that deals with the country Spain she eliminates all other countries. And then when she dials a couple more digits she eliminates all the other cities in Spain except Madrid. And then when she dials a couple more digits she eliminates a lot of people in a particular city in Spain. And then when she dials that last digit it eliminates every home except the very last home which belongs to our son David. 

That is amazing that there are billions of people in the world and  with a phone you can start closing the focus. My friend that is what the Old Testament does.

In Genesis 3, we read about the One who will bruise the head of the serpent. In Genesis 12, He is going to come from the seed of Abraham. In Genesis 22, we read about the sacrifice of Isaac on the very mountain where Jesus was later crucified! The entire book of Leviticus is filled with pictures of blood-atoning sacrifices for sin. You’ll read about the prophetic crucifixion of Jesus in Psalm 22. In Micah 5:2, it is told clearly that Jesus will be born in Bethlehem. There is only one person on the end of the line and his name is Jesus. 

No wonder my friend chose the song YOURS WILL BE to be sung at his funeral. It blessed me tremendously today when I heard it sung. Look it up on You Tube “Yours will Be (The Only Name)”  by Big Daddy Weave:

Big Daddy Weave- The only name (Yours will be)

Image result for big daddy weave

Yours will be
The only name that matters to me
The only one whose favor I seek
The only name that matters to me

Yours will be
The friendship and affection I need
To feel my Father smiling on me
The only name that matters to me

And Yours is the name, the name that has saved me
Mercy and grace, the power that forgave me and Your love
Is all I’ve ever needed

When I wake up in the Land of Glory
With the saints I will tell my story
There will be one name that I proclaim, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, just that Name

The answer to find MEANING in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Just two days ago I attended a U2 concert in Dallas and I heard them sing the song I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR. That  song was perplexing to me because in the song they claim to be believers in Christ, but they are still looking for satisfaction and meaning to their lives outside of Christ.

(Bono spent the day with George W. Bush at his ranch earlier in the day on May 26, 2017 before doing the concert for us that evening in Dallas)

Image result for u 2 concert dallas 2017 george bush

(Brandon Barnard pictured below)

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This morning in his sermon, Brandon Barnard, one of our teaching pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH noted concerning Hebrews 12:1-3:

We have to look to Jesus , the Founder and Perfecter of our faith. Jesus is the one who completes us. The problem is that many of us are looking to other things to give us joy, peace, hope, meaning and purpose in life. We are looking to relationships, leisure, hobbies and all these other places to fulfill us, but we should look to Jesus. 

 

U2 – I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (Dallas 05.26.17) HD

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)

 

 

 

December 25, 2014

Professor Peter Atkins, University of Oxford,

Dear Dr. Atkins,

I saw your debate with William Lane Craig on you tube and I read the transcript too and felt like it was one of the most competitive debate of that sort that I have ever seen. I also recently ran across this quote from you:

“I think a lot of theology is grappling with phantoms. So theologians have invented this almost self-consistent subject which has no contact with physical reality at all. And they invent all sorts of questions which they then taunt humanity with . One of them is cosmic purpose. They say ‘there must be a purpose; you and your science can’t explain it.’ And typical of theologians, they don’t respect the power of the human intellect anyway. And they infer that no one will ever understand it; it is ineffable; God’s purpose cannot be discerned. And of course that’s – those are fine words, but utterly meaningless–why should the thing have a purpose?” –Peter Atkins, world-reknowned Oxford professor of chemistry

I wanted to reference later in this letter the Book of Ecclesiastes which has a lot to say about this subject.

I spent a whole summer in England in 1979 and it was a very interesting experience for several reasons. I was part of the organization OPERATION MOBILIZATION and we were an Christian Evangelical group that in that summer went to the homes of Muslims and Hindus and shared the gospel with them in the Manchester area. I also spent some time in  London and got to attend All Souls Church, Langham Place, and hear the famous John Stott preach and I got to meet Michael Baughen who was the pastor (or Rector as you would say in England) at the time.  Three noteworthy events during that time and one was attending a MANCHESTER UNITED soccer game. Secondly, I met several people who had recently visited with Cat Stevens and they told me he had recently converted to Islam and changed with name to Yusuf Islam. Cat Stevens had performed the song “Morning Has Broken” a few years earlier and it was one of my favorite songs. Thirdly, I got depressed in August because the sun only came out about 4 or 5 times that whole summer in England.

Billy Graham with John Stott:

Image result for John Stott

Cat Stevens pictured below:

Image result for Cat Stevens

SINCE YOU ARE INTO SOCCER (BRITISH FOOTBALL LIKE ALL BRITS ARE) THEN YOU MAY BE FAMILIAR WITH “EVERTON GOAL KEEPER TIM HOWARD?” He lives in Collierville, Tennessee in his off season time and my niece often sees him at the fitness club where they both belong. We are big fans of the sport. YOU NEED TO GET OUT AND SEE THAT MOVIE about Stephen Hawking called THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING because it was really good!!!

Image result for tim howard everton jersey

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Image result for the theory of everything

A great movie

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto  who I have been corresponding with 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

__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I saw that you were featured in this film series. I have been responding to some of the statements concerning God and I plan on responding to what you have said on this issue too.

I have taken a look at the lives of many atheists and I still find that they have this longing from inside to find God. Let me present you with some evidence that God exists and also discuss some of these atheists that am talking about.

I wanted to write you today for two reasons. First, I wanted to make some observations about the life of Carl Sagan and I would love to hear your thoughts on his life too.

Image result for carl sagan young

Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist.

Image result for antony flew there is a god

Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Image result for francis schaeffer

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

On December 5, 1995, I got a letter back from Carl Sagan and I was very impressed that he took time to answer several of my questions and to respond to some of the points that I had made in my previous letters. I had been reading lots of his books and watching him on TV since 1980 and my writing today is a result of that correspondence. It is my conclusion that Carl Sagan died an unfulfilled man on December 20, 1996 with many of the big questions he had going unanswered.

Image result for carl sagan

Much of Carl Sagan’s aspirations and thoughts were revealed to a mass audience of movie goers just a few months after his death. The movie “CONTACT” with Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey  is a fictional story written by Sagan  about the SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI). Sagan visited the set while it was filming and it was released on July 11, 1997 after his unfortunate death.

The movie CONTACT got me thinking about Sagan’s life long hope to find a higher life form out in the universe and I was reminded of Dr. Donald E. Tarter of NASA who wrote me  in a letter a year or so earlier and stated, “I am not a theist. I simply and honestly do not know the answer to the great questions…This brings me to why I am interested in the SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI)…Let me assure you, one of the first questions I would want to ask another intelligence if one were discovered is, DO YOU BELIEVE IN OR HAVE EVIDENCE OF A SUPREME INTELLIGENCE?”

Jim Fagan (Dr. Donald Tarter Video Interview)

Image result for carl sagan contact movie

Was Sagan ever satisfied with the answers he came up with in his life? It is my view that  true peace and satisfaction can come from a personal relationship with Christ and only in the Bible can we find absolute answers that touch this world we live in. The Apostle Paul was totally content when he wrote the book of Philippians from a jail in Rome right before he was beheaded (according to tradition). Paul observed, “Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.  I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.  I can do all things through him (Christ) who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:11-13). On March 11, 2012 my pastor Brandon Bernard at Fellowship Church Little Rock read that scripture and then commented:

Image result for Brandon Bernard at Fellowship Church Little Rock

Paul is reminding us that in every circumstance and in everything he has gone through that his satisfaction is found deeply in Christ. You think about this guy who is writing from prison. He is in this prison cell and it is a hardship in his life, but him of all people is saying that “I am writing to you but I am content and I am satisfied.” That is a statement you don’t hear from a lot of people these days… A lot of people are discontent and dissatisfied… Think about the poets from your generation or the generation before us. How about the deep theologians called “The Rolling Stones.” Remember them. They wrote this song “I can’t get no satisfaction.” And you know what they say after that phrase? “And I try and I try and I try.” I am not sure how deep most of their lyrics are, but they voice the cry of many people. “I can’t get no satisfaction and I try and I am trying and I am trying.”

Image result for rolling stones i can't get no satisfaction

What about one of those other poets by the name of Bono who wrote a song called, “I still haven’t found what I am looking for.” It is interesting. “I still haven’t found what I am looking for.” It has a nice melody to it but there is probably a reason why it is so popular because there is a lot of people deep down in their soul feel like they haven’t found what they are looking for. It is true. What is so funny to me is that what is so desired is so elusive. 

(Bono with his band U 2 pictured below)

Image result for u 2 - i still haven't found what i'm looking for

Rice Broocks in his book GOD’S NOT DEAD noted:

Image result for Rice Broocks in his book GOD'S NOT DEAD

Astronomer Carl Sagan was a prolific writer and trustee of the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) founded in 1984 to scan the universe for any signs of life beyond earth. Sagan’s best-selling work COSMOS also became an award-winning television series explaining the wonders of the universe and exporting the belief not in an intelligent Creator but in potential intelligent aliens. He believed somehow that by knowing who they are, we would discover who we as humans really are. “The very thought of there being other beings different from all of us can have a very useful cohering role for the human species” (quoted from you tube clip “Carl Sagan appears on CBC to discuss the importance of SETI [Carl Sagan Archives]” at the 7 minute mark, Oct 1988 ). Sagan reasoning? If aliens could have contacted us, knowing how impossible it is for us to reach them, they would have the answers we seek to our ultimate questions. This thought process shows the desperate need we have as humans for answers to the great questions of our existence. Does life have any ultimate meaning and purpose? Do we as humans have any more value than the other animals? Is there a purpose to the universe, or more specifically, to our individual lives?

Image result for carl sagan cosmos

Carl Sagan had to live  in the world that God made with the conscience that God gave him. This created a tension. As you know the movie CONTACT was written by Carl Sagan and it was about Dr. Arroway’s SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE (SETI) program and her desire to make contact with aliens and ask them questions. It is my view that Sagan should have examined more closely  the accuracy of the Bible and it’s fulfilled prophecies from the Old Testament in particular before chasing after aliens from other planets for answers. Sagan himself had written,”Plainly, there’s something within me that’s ready to believe in life after death…If some good evidence for life after death was announced, I’d be eager to examine it; but it would have to be real scientific data, not mere antedote”(pp 203-204, The Demon Haunted World, 1995).

Image result for carl sagan demon haunted world

Sagan said he had taken a look at Old Testament prophecy and it did not impress him because it was too vague. He had taken a look at Christ’s life in the gospels, but said it was unrealistic for God to send a man to communicate for God. Instead, Sagan suggested that God could have written a mathematical formula in the Bible or put a cross in the sky. However, what happens at the conclusion of the movie CONTACT?  This is Sagan’s last message to the world in the form of the movie that appeared shortly after his death. Dr Arroway (Jodie Foster) who is a young atheistic scientist who meets with an alien and this alien takes the form of Dr. Arroway’s father. The alien tells her that they thought this would make it easier for her. In fact, he meets her on a beach that resembles a beach that she grew up near so she would also be comfortable with the surroundings. Carl Sagan when writing this script chose to put the alien in human form so Dr. Arroway could relate to the alien. Christ chose to take our form and come into our world too and still many make up excuses for not believing.

Image result for contact dr. arroway father beach

(That evening she (future Dr. Arroway)  makes contact with a truck driver in Pensacola, Florida over her CB radio and she asks her Dad how far her radio can reach)

Image result for contact dr. arroway father

 

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Related image

Lastly, Carl Sagan could not rid himself of the “mannishness of man.” Those who have read Francis Schaeffer’s many books know exactly what I am talking about. We are made in God’s image and we are living in God’s world. Therefore, we can not totally suppress the objective truths of our unique humanity. In my letter of Jan 10, 1996 to Dr. Sagan, I really camped out on this point a long time because I had read Sagan’s  book SHADOWS OF FORGOTTON ANCESTORS  and in it  Sagan attempts to  totally debunk the idea that we are any way special.

Image result for carl sagan shadows of forgotten ancestors

However, what does Dr. Sagan have Dr. Arroway say at the end of the movie CONTACT when she is testifying before Congress about the alien that  communicated with her? See if you can pick out the one illogical word in her statement: “I was given a vision how tiny, insignificant, rare and precious we all are. We belong to something that is greater than ourselves and none of us are alone.”

Image result for contact dr. arroway testifying

 

Dr Sagan deep down knows that we are special so he could not avoid putting the word “precious” in there. Francis Schaeffer said unbelievers are put in a place of tension when they have to live in the world that God has made because deep down they know they are special because God has put that knowledge in their hearts.We are not the result of survival of the fittest and headed back to the dirt forevermore. This is what Schaeffer calls “taking the roof off” of the unbeliever’s worldview and showing the inconsistency that exists.

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

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In several of my letters to Sagan I quoted this passage below:

Romans 1:17-22 (Amplified Bible)

17For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.18For 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. 19For 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. 20For 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],21Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and [a]godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

(Ravi Zacharias pictured below)

Image result for Ravi Zacharias

Can a man  or a woman find lasting meaning without God? Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “under the sun” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

Image result for king solomon

Let me show you some inescapable conclusions if you choose to live without God in the picture. Solomon came to these same conclusions when he looked at life “under the sun.”

  1. Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)
  2. Chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else under the sun:  The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”)
  3. Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1; “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed—
    and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors—  and they have no comforter.” 7:15 “In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these: the righteous perishing in their righteousness,  and the wicked living long in their wickedness. ).
  4. Nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20).
  5. There is no ultimate lasting meaning in life. (1:2)

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

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. In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had and that “all was meaningless.” I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that.

Livgren wrote, “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.”

Both Kerry Livgren and 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 youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

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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

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01TcHB8xcjc

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

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

#85 Debate – Peter Atkins vs William Lane Craig – The Evidence For The Existence Of God – 1998

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________________ … Kansas – Dust In The Wind “Live” HD Rolling Stones: “Satisfaction!” U2 Still Haven’t Found (with lyrics) __________________________________________________ On December 5, 1995, I got a letter back from Carl Sagan and I was very impressed that he took time to answer several of my questions and to respond to some of the points that […]

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

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)jh68

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Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part I “Old Testament Bible Prophecy” includes the film TRUTH AND HISTORY and article ” Jane Roe became pro-life”

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John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 2

I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]

John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 1

I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]

John MacArthur: Fulfilled prophecy in the Bible? (Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of Tyre, video clips)

Prophecy–The Biblical Prophesy About Tyre.mp4 Uploaded by TruthIsLife7 on Dec 5, 2010 A short summary of the prophecy about Tyre and it’s precise fulfillment. Go to this link and watch the whole series for the amazing fulfillment from secular sources. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qvt4mDZUefo ________________ John MacArthur on the amazing fulfilled prophecy on Tyre and how it was fulfilled […]

John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 2)

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John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1) I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry […]

Adrian Rogers: “Why I believe the Bible is true”

Adrian Rogers – How you can be certain the Bible is the word of God Great article by Adrian Rogers. What evidence is there that the Bible is in fact God’s Word? I want to give you five reasons to affirm the Bible is the Word of God. First, I believe the Bible is the […]

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Is there any evidence the Bible is true? Articles By PleaseConvinceMe Apologetics Radio The Old Testament is Filled with Fulfilled Prophecy Jim Wallace A Simple Litmus Test There are many ways to verify the reliability of scripture from both internal evidences of transmission and agreement, to external confirmation through archeology and science. But perhaps the […]

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part M “Old Testament prophecy fulfilled?”Part 3(includes film DEATH BY SOMEONE’S CHOICE)

 

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

George Harrison – “Dehra Dun”

Uploaded on Mar 21, 2011

George Harrison “Dehra Dun”

Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun…
Many roads can take you there, many different ways
One direction takes you years, another takes you days
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun…
Many people on the roads looking at the sights
Many others with their troubles looking for their rights
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun…
See them move along the road in search of life divine
Beggers in a goldmine
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun…
Many roads can take you there, many different ways
One direction takes you years, another takes you days
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun, dehra dun dun
Dehra dehra dun

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George Harrison sings, “Many roads can take you there, many different ways.” However, Christ said in John 14:6:

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John MacArthur: Is Jesus the Only Way?

Published on May 12, 2015

Religious pluralism is one of the greatest challenges facing Christianity in today’s world. Is Jesus Christ just one way among many valid paths to God? In this message, Dr. John MacArthur explains how pluralism conflicts with the exclusive claims of Christ and undermines Christ’s Great Commission.

This message is from our 2008 West Coast Conference, Tough Questions Christians Face: http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

Purchase this conference on DVD: http://www.ligonier.org/store/tough-q…

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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.

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.

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Image result for francis schaeffer whatever happened to human race?

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Before you even come to the Bible and begin to read it one must realize there are 2 ways to read the Bible. One is just one more religious thing among thousands of other religious is nothing more than another form of a trip, not very, very different actually from a drug trip. The other way is to understand that the Bible is truth and as such what we are listening to is something that is completely contrary to what here about us on every side namely merely statistical averages, relativistic things. Now having said this then I would have to guard myself for the simple reason that it doesn’t mean a person has to believe all of this before he can begin to read the Bible and find truth in the Bible.

I would just say in just passing I was not raised in a Christian family and I was reading much philosophy when I was a young man and I didn’t read the Bible because I believed it was true. I read it simply out of an intellectual honesty, but I did do one thing. I read it exactly as it was written beginning with Genesis 1:1 and going right on, I read it just as I would read another book expecting what was being given was a straight forward statement of what was meant and it wasn’t supposed to be read on a different level than that I would read in another kind of book. As I read it, it answered the questions already at that time I realized that humanistic philosophy couldn’t answer and over a six month period I came to conclude it was truth. Nevertheless, we must keep in the back of our mind how are we reading the Bible, just as another religious trip or am I really wrestling with the question of what is given in all the areas in which it speaks. Is it truth in comparison to merely relativism?

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

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

Featured artist is   Tim Lowly

Tim Lowly & Robert Cozzolino – a conversation (that starts as a monologue)

Published on Nov 22, 2016

Artist Tim Lowly talking with Minneapolis Institute of Art Curator Robert Cozzolino at Saint Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota on 11.10.16.
(Sorry about the blurry picture.)

Featured Artist: Tim Lowly

25/07/2010Posted in: Featured Artist, Painters

Tim Lowly is an artist whose work I have admired for a long time.  Here is some information that his website offers:

Tim Lowly lives and works in Chicago. Among the bags that he carries: making art, making music, curating and teaching. That said, without his wife Sherrie and daughter Temma he would be little more than a guy with some bags. If that.

Lowly has been described as a “bless every blade of grass realist.”  His work is a testimony to a careful and loving perception of particulars.  His daughter, Temma, has made consistent appearances in many of his paintings.  Here is what Image Journal has to say about Lowly’s paintings of Temma:

Temma is multiply impaired — she has a seizure disorder and cortical blindness — and the paintings make us look at the things we train ourselves to avoid seeing: the problems of the body, and the problem of inexplicable suffering of innocents.  But as we look more closely, the portraits call even our notions about suffering into question. Though tender, the images are also startlingly realistic. They don’t flinch from Temma’s condition, but rather than lamenting her, they do a sort of visual theodicy, giving us glimpses of meaning in something we tend to think of as being only senseless and painful. Lowly’s vision, while meditative in style, reminds us that compassion is not the same as pity — rather, compassion is learning to “suffer with” another and to receive, in turn, something inexplicable and grace-filled from the one who suffers.

Please have a look at Tim’s website.

Proximity, 2004.  Acrylic on panel, 14″ x9.5″.  Private collection, Oakland, CA.

Temma on Earth, 1999.  Acrylic gesso with pigment on panel, 8′x 12′.  Frye Art Museum, Seattle, WA.

Untitled (to hope) – 2001.  Acrylic on panel, 12″ x 9″.  Private collection, Washington, DC.

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This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible by Nicholas Reilly

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I was a big Roger Moore fan over the years and  I  loved each James Bond movie he was in. Sean Connery was an outstanding  Bond too.

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BREAKING: Roger Moore Dies, Legendary James Bond Star Dead at 89

Sir Roger Moore Tribute

 

A View To A Kill – Eiffel Tower

Octopussy (1983) – Intro (1/2)

 

Octopussy (1983) – Intro (2/2)

The Spy Who Loved Me – Skiing Opening Scene

Crocodile Farm Escape (Live And Let Die)

 

LIVE AND LET DIE (1973) Crocodile Jump Attempts (Behind the Scenes)

Published on Sep 19, 2014

Ross Kananga secured the feet of three crocodiles to the shallow pond’s bottom, leaving their jaws and tails free. After removing the other reptiles from the pond, Kananga attempted the dangerous cross. He slipped into the water on the first four tries, but fortunately fell out of the crocodiles snapping jaws. On the fifth attempt, he executed the stunt flawlessly.

Live and Let Die (1973) – Intro

Blofeld’s Death: James Bond 007 – For Your Eyes Only 1981 – Helicopter Dropoff – 1080p HD

This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible

This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible
Sir Roger Moore died earlier today (Picture: WENN)

Sir Roger Moore has died after a battle with cancer – and his passing marks the departure of a bonafide screen legend.

But while his heroic on screen credentials are unquestionable, it seems that he was every bit a brilliant man off screen too.

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Scriptwriter Marc Haynes gave proof of this by sharing his experience of meeting Sir Roger Moore on two separate occasions.

The first came during the 1980s, when Marc was a young boy and spotted Sir Roger Moore at Nice Airport – before pleading with his granddad to ask the Bond star for an autograph.

The second meeting, of which we won’t divulge too much, comes decades later – and it is an exchange that shows Sir Roger to be a man of unquestionable class.

Here’s his incredible story.

This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible

This story about Sir Roger Moore meeting a fan is incredible

What a man. What a legend.

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What can we learn from Woody Allen Films?

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“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” ( MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Paul Gauguin’s 3 questions examined!!!)

______________ Gauguin’s 3 Questions Paul Gauguin, now regarded as a French Post-Impressionist artist, was not received well by his old painter friends while living. And having abandoned his wife and children he had no options or resources for getting by. He never found artistic success, either critically or financially in his lifetime. However, there is […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 34 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Picasso and Solomon both had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!) )

Both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Picasso in his painting had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!! Picasso in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS   Pablo Picasso: Self-portrait Facing Death (1972) Does anyone not know the name Picasso? Based on sales of his works at auctions, he holds the title of top ranked […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 33 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Picasso painted his worldview but he couldn’t stand the loss of humanness!!! )

Picasso was a genius as a painter but he deliberately painted his secular  worldview of fragmentation on his canvas but he could not live with the loss of humanness and he reverted back at crucial points and painted those he loved with all his genius and with all their humanness!!! Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates) and […]

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Reviews of past Woody Allen Movies PART 3

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Reviews of past Woody Allen Movies

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Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
98 min., rated R.
Grade: B 

Woody Allen’s first stint since “Alice” behind the camera without being in front of it is “Bullets Over Broadway,” an entertaining Roaring Twenties-period comedy. 

Subbing for Allen is John Cusack as an earnest, nervous playwright, David Shayne, who thinks he’s a real artist and gets his latest play financially backed from a Mob boss (played by who other than Joe Viterelli). There’s a catch: David has to find a part for the gangster’s moll, a helium-voiced, untalented flapper named Olive (Jennifer Tilly). He assembles a flaky crew of thespians, who all put in their two-cents whether David takes them or not, but Cheech (Chazz Palminteri), a glowering gangster that acts as Olive’s bodyguard, ends up influencing David because, hot damn, he knows how people speak in real life. Naturally, as David begins taking Cheech’s suggestions, the play improves. 

The period flavor is tasty from the golden oldies on the soundtrack (Cole Porter’s “Let Misbehave”) to the sumptuous costume design to the art direction, and the dialogue is smart and funny, if not the Woodman’s most memorable (co-written by a new collaborator, Douglas McGrath). It’s the cast that really gooses things up: Dianne Wiest, hilariously over-the-top, as an over-the-hill, pompous Broadway prima donna Helen Sinclair (who sells her catchphrase “Don’t speak!” with theatrical verve); the blowsy Tilly nailing the shrill sex-bomb; Tracey Ullman as a hyper-perky actress with her yippy dog in tote; Jim Broadbent as a gluttonous Englishman who’s always feeding his face; and Palminteri, though playing another gangster, charges his Cheech with charisma and surprising intellect and brings on the darkest laughs. 

“Bullets Over Broadway” isn’t guns-blazing Woody Allen (some praise it as one of his best), but it’s juicily acted and good fun.


Mighty Aphrodite (1995)
95 min., rated R.
Grade: B 
Writer-director Woody Allen’s “Mighty Aphrodite” starts out as a Greek tragedy, with a Greek chorus in a stone amphitheater, but we soon realize it’s Allen’s new device in lieu of his narration. 

Allen is back in frame with his one neurotic personality in New York playing a sportswriter named Lenny. Helena Bonham Carter, obviously in the Mia Farrow role with her lamblike voice, is his art-dealer wife Amanda who wants a baby, so against Lenny’s wishes, they adopt a son. After a bit of detective work, he finds his adopted son’s biological mother, Linda Ash (Mira Sorvino), a flighty hooker and porno actress with a lot of different names including her stage name “Judy Cum.” Sorvino shines as the towering, Mickey Mouse-voiced Linda, who’s more than just an airhead or the hooker-with-a-heart-of-gold stereotype. 

Winning an Oscar for her work, Sorvino showcases her daffy timing and on-screen warmth. The joke is that upon meeting Linda, Lenny squirms at every kitschy knickknack in her apartment to every innocously delivered raunchy lick of dialogue that comes out of her mouth. And Lenny’s conversation with Linda about setting her up with a dumb boxer (Michael Rapaport), also an onion farmer, is hilarious. The editing is sometimes disjointed and the Greek-parody segments, while amusing, get in the way. 

More vulgar and lighter than most of Allen’s work, “Mighty Aphrodite” is still funny and entertaining. Although it’s refreshing Allen doesn’t write himself ending with Linda, the Greek-like deus ex machina is ironic without ever getting too messy.



Everyone Says I Love You (1996)
101 min., rated R.
Grade: B + 

Where else are you going to find hospital orderlies and patients dancing around and singing “Makin’ Whoopee”? A Woody Allen movie, that’s where! His charming and contagiously happy fantasia “Everyone Says I Love You,” his first musical on celluloid, is hard to resist. 

Allen’s character Joe is a divorced writer living in Paris who contemplates suicide after being dumped by his French girlfriend. Instead, he returns to New York, where he’s still on good terms with his charitable ex-wife Steffi (Goldie Hawn), now married to Bob (a very funny Alan Alda), but still loves her. Of course, this is Allen’s movie, so that doesn’t stop him from tailing other *cough* (younger) women like Julia Roberts. Bob’s daughter, Skylar (Drew Barrymore), is about to be engaged to Holden (Edward Norton), a nice schnook in love. She accidentally swallows her Harry Winston ring. 

There’s a lack of story, though told from the point-of-view and narration of Joe and Steffi’s daughter DJ (Natasha Lyonne) telling us about her politically diverse Upper East Side family, but it’s mostly an excuse for Allen to put on a show! 

Everyone seems to be having a good time being in love, gamely breaking into a ditty of ballads from the ’30s and ’40s (the one exception is Barrymore, whose voice was dubbed and it shows) and fancy footwork. Even if the cast wasn’t aware they’d be in a musical until after they signed up, they try their best modestly. Only Alda, Hawn, Norton, and Tim Roth (as an animalistic ex-convict smitten with Skylar) have the most confident pipes, but that doesn’t stop the rest, most of all Allen who’s no Fred Astaire. With very few cuts during the music numbers, the actors (usually surrounded by back-up dancers) show their stuff like in a Broadway show. One quibble: the camera has a tendency to drift away from those singing for no reason other than to get reaction shots from those watching. 

One fun, cleverly upbeat song-and-dance sequence at a funeral home, “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think),” has a bunch of ghosts shaking their groove thing. In the closing number “I’m Thru With Love,” preceded by a Groucho Marx party in Paris for New Year’s Eve, Allen and Hawn’s flight of fancy at the Seine banks is lovely, romantic magic. Allen’s cinematographer Carlo DiPalma (since “Hannah and Her Sister”s) captures the enchanting beauty of Italy and New York in the winter. 

Though not his most thematically daring, “Everyone Says I Love You” is Woody’s most delightful.

Deconstructing Harry (1997) 

96 min., rated R.
Grade: B –

Writer-director Woody Allen’s 28th film, “Deconstructing Harry,” is certainly his most ambitious and personal autobiographical opus about self-analysis, but also his most sour, profane, and narcissistic work. Or, his confession of being self-obsessed and unable to love. Even in the end, his creations applaud their maker. It’s like his first really R-rated movie, as Woody makes his alter ego vulgar, charmless, and unlikable. 

Allen plays Harry Block, a writer suffering writer’s block (get the joke?) and depression. He pops pills and chases them with booze. He cheats. He sleeps with whores. He’s not winning any Man of the Year Award anytime soon. Harry wrote a thinly disguised fictionalization about his own life, including an affair with his ex-wife’s neurotic sister (Judy Davis), who’s in an outrage (not too unlike Dianne Wiest’s Holly in Hannah and Her Sisters). 

Being cast in a Woody Allen film must feel like a privilege. It’s certainly audacious for its cornucopia of actors (Caroline Aaron, Kirstie Alley, Bob Balaban, Richard Benjamin, Eric Bogosian, Billy Crystal, Judy Davis, Hazelle Goodman, Mariel Hemingway, Amy Irving, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Demi Moore, Elisabeth Shue, Stanley Tucci, Robin Williams) that parade around the film. The cast is good but the mishmash of fictional characters as a template for the “real” people distracts at times. Davis and Alley, as his second wife, act up a storm in rage, while Louis-Dreyfus and Moore amusingly play these women in the novel (Benjamin and Tucci stand in for Harry). Goodman has a surprisingly winning perormance as patient black hooker Cookie. Hemingway, far removed from her tender role in “Manhattan,” is wasted. 

Frequent Allen editor Susan E. Morse makes a lot of jump cuts, obviously a choice like in “Husbands and Wives,” but it feels more sloppy and overly indulgent. 

“Deconstructing Harry” has some great moments and performances, and the old Jew’s darkest, most caustic humor about Judaism, sex, women, and the F-word, but it’s a rambling psychiatric-session stunt. The most hysterical vignette involves Robin Williams as an actor who’s always “soft” (out of focus) on film. (“Get some rest and just see if you can sharpen up,” the confused director tells him.) 

The last vignette includes an elevator ride to Allen’s erotic fleshpot version of Hell that Billy Crystal makes fun as the wisecracking Devil. Harry won’t win Woody any new fans, but Woodyphiles might call it his most brutally honest film since 1992’s “Husbands and Wives.”

 

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 131 Max Tegmark, MIT, cosmologist, “Mathematical objects are clearly not created, ever. The cube wasn’t created 14 billion years ago, right?”

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

 

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. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus 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,

Wikipedia notes:

Max Tegmark

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Max Tegmark
Max Tegmark.jpg
Born May 5, 1967 (age 47)
Sweden
Nationality SwedishAmerican
Fields Cosmology Physics
Institutions MIT
Alma mater Royal Institute of Technology
Berkeley
Signature

Max Erik Tegmark[1] (born 5 May 1967) is a SwedishAmerican cosmologist. Tegmark is a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is the scientific director of the Foundational Questions Institute. He is also a co-founder of the Future of Life Institute.

Early life[edit]

Tegmark was born in Sweden, son of Karin Tegmark and Harold S. Shapiro, graduated from the Stockholm School of Economics and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, and later received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. After having worked at the University of Pennsylvania, he is now at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. While still in high-school, Max wrote, and sold commercially, together with school buddy Magnus Bodin, a word processor written in pure machine code [2] for the Swedish eight-bit computer ABC 80, and the 3D Tetris-like game Frac.[3]

Career[edit]

His research has focused on cosmology, combining theoretical work with new measurements to place constraints on cosmological models and their free parameters, often in collaboration with experimentalists. He has over 200 publications, of which nine have been cited over 500 times.[4] He has developed data analysis tools based on information theory and applied them to Cosmic Microwave Background experiments such as COBE, QMAP, and WMAP, and to galaxy redshift surveys such as the Las Campanas Redshift Survey, the 2dF Survey and the Sloan Digital Sky Survey.

With Daniel Eisenstein and Wayne Hu, he introduced the idea of using Baryon Acoustic Oscillations as a Standard Ruler.[5][non-primary source needed] With Angelica de Oliveira-Costa and Andrew Hamilton, he discovered the anomalous multipole alignment in the WMAP data sometimes referred to as the “axis of evil”.[6][non-primary source needed] With Anthony Aguirre, he developed the Cosmological interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Tegmark has also formulated the “Ultimate ensemble theory of everything”, whose only postulate is that “all structures that exist mathematically exist also physically”. This simple theory, with no free parameters at all, suggests that in those structures complex enough to contain self-aware substructures (SASs), these SASs will subjectively perceive themselves as existing in a physically “real” world. This idea is formalized as the mathematical universe hypothesis,[7] described in his book Our Mathematical Universe.

Tegmark was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society in 2012 for, according to the citation, “his contributions to cosmology, including precision measurements from cosmic microwave background and galaxy clustering data, tests of inflation and gravitation theories, and the development of a new technology for low-frequency radio interferometry”.[8]

Personal life[edit]

He was married to astrophysicist Angelica de Oliveira-Costa in 1997, and divorced in 2009. They have two sons.[9] On August 5, 2012, Prof. Tegmark married Meia Chita.[10]

In  the second video below in the 73rd 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)

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April 7, 2015

Dr. Max Tegmark, Professor of Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

Dear Dr. Tegmark,

I really enjoyed watching your comments on the show CLOSER TO TRUTH and that got me started reading your material. Let me start off by saying that this is not the first time that I have written you. Earlier I shared several letters of correspondence I had with Carl Sagan, and Antony Flew. Both men were strong believers in evolution as you are today. Instead of talking to you about their views today I wanted to discuss the views of you and Charles Darwin. 

TWO THINGS MADE ME THINK OF YOU RECENTLY. On April 5, 2015 at the Fellowship Bible Church Easter morning service in Little Rock, Arkansas our pastor Mark Henry described DOUBTING THOMAS and that description made me think of you.  Moreover, your skeptical view towards  Christianity reminds me of CHARLES DARWIN’S growing doubts throughout his life on these same theological issues such as skepticism in reaction to the claims of the Bible!!!

I’m an evangelical Christian and you are a secularist but I am sure we can both agree with the apostle Paul when he said in First Corinthians 15 that if Christ did not rise from the dead then Christians are to be most pited!!!! I attended Easter services this week and this issue came up and Mark Henry asserted that there is plenty of evidence that indicates that the Bible is historically accurate. Did you know that CHARLES DARWIN thought about this very subject quite a lot?

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 manufacturers years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

Your QUOTE from the program CLOSER TO TRUTH:

 And mathematical objects, like the cube or dodecahedron or sphere or a vector space, “clearly exist outside of space and time,” he says. “Mathematical objects are clearly not created, ever. The cube wasn’t created 14 billion years ago, right? And yet you still feel that it exists in the sense that it’s not like we invented the cube. The whole idea that there could be a cube is very not arbitrary. What’s so beautiful about these mathematical objects is that they exist outside of space and time. There’s no time element, so they never needed to pop into existence.”
He continues: “Our entire physical universe can be thought of as a four-dimension space-time, with time as the fourth dimension, as Einstein pointed out. This means that we just have another four-dimensional shape here, which could then exist without ever being created outside of space and time. If this is true, it would mean that the universe really is a completely mathematical object.”

Quotes like this indicate to me that you are a DOUBTING THOMAS type. YOU MAY FIND IT INTERESTING THAT CHARLES DARWIN WAS ALSO INTERESTED IN THE HISTORICAL ASPECT OF THE BIBLE. 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 and 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.

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

“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 aware that if we admit a First Cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came, and how it arose.”

Francis Schaeffer noted:

What he is saying is if you say there is a first cause, then the mind says, “Where did this come from?” I think this is a bit old fashioned, with some of the modern thinkers, this would not have carry as much weight today as it did when Darwin expressed it. Jean Paul Sartre said it as well as anyone could possibly say it. The philosophic problem is that something is there and not nothing being there. No one has the luxury of beginning with nothing. Nobody I have ever read has put forth that everything came from nothing. I have never met such a person in all my reading,or all my discussion. If you are going to begin with nothing being there, it has to be nothing nothing, and it can’t be something nothing. When someone says they believe nothing is there, in reality they have already built in something there. The only question is do you begin with an impersonal something or a personal something. All human thought is shut up to these two possibilities. Either you begin with an impersonal and then have Darwin’s own dilemma which impersonal plus chance, now he didn’t bring in the amount of time that modern man would though. Modern man has brought in huge amounts of time into the equation as though that would make a difference because I have said many times that time can’t make a qualitative difference but only a quantitative difference. The dilemma is it is either God or chance. Now you find this intriguing thing in Darwin’s own situation, he can’t understand how chance could have produced these two great factors of the universe and its form and the mannishness of man.

From Charles Darwin, Autobiography (1876), in The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin, vol. 1 (London: John Murray, 1888), pp. 307 to 313.

“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species, and it is since that time that it has very gradually, with many fluctuations, become weaker. But then arises the doubt…”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

On the basis of his reason he has to say there must be an intelligent mind, someone analogous to man. You couldn’t describe the God of the Bible better. That is man is made in God’s image  and therefore, you know a great deal about God when you know something about man. What he is really saying here is that everything in my experience tells me it must be so, and my mind demands it is so. Not just these feelings he talked about earlier but his MIND demands it is so, but now how does he counter this? How does he escape this? Here is how he does it!!!

Charles Darwin went on to observe:  —can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

So he says my mind can only come to one conclusion, and that is there is a mind behind it all. However, the doubt comes because his mind has come from the lowest form of earthworm, so how can I trust my mind. But this is a joker isn’t it?  Then how can you trust his mind to support such a theory as this? He proved too much. The fact that Darwin found it necessary to take such an escape shows the tremendous weight of Romans 1, that the only escape he can make is to say how can I trust my mind when I come from the lowest animal the earthworm? Obviously think of the grandeur of his concept, I don’t think it is true, but the grandeur of his concept, so what you find is that Darwin is presenting something here that is wrong I feel, but it is not nothing. It is a tremendously grand concept that he has put forward. So he is accepting the dictates of his mind to put forth a grand concept which he later can’t accept in this basic area with his reason, but he rejects what he could accept with his reason on this escape. It really doesn’t make sense. This is a tremendous demonstration of the weakness of his own position.

Darwin also noted, “I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.”

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

What a stupid reply and I didn’t say wicked. It just seems to me that here is 2 plus 2 equals 36 at this particular place.

Darwin, C. R. to Graham, William 3 July 1881

Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance.* But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

Francis Schaeffer observed:

Can you feel this man? He is in real agony. You can feel the whole of modern man in this tension with Darwin. My mind can’t accept that ultimate of chance, that the universe is a result of chance. He has said 3 or 4 times now that he can’t accept that it all happened by chance and then he will write someone else and say something different. How does he say this (about the mind of a monkey) and then put forth this grand theory? Wrong theory I feel but great just the same. Grand in the same way as when I look at many of the paintings today and I differ with their message but you must say the mark of the mannishness of man are one those paintings titanic-ally even though the message is wrong and this is the same with Darwin.  But how can he say you can’t think, you come from a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s conviction, so how can you trust me? Trust me here, but not there is what Darwin is saying. In other words it is very selective. 

Now we are down to the last year of Darwin’s life.

* The Duke of Argyll (Good Words, April 1885, p. 244) has recorded a few words on this subject, spoken by my father in the last year of his life. “. . . in the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilisation of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms,and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature—I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin’s answer. He looked at me very hard and said, ‘Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,’ and he shook his head vaguely, adding, ‘it seems to go away.'”

Francis Schaeffer summarized :

And this is the great Darwin, and it makes you cry inside. This is the great Darwin and he ends as a man in total tension.

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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DO THESE WORDS OF DARWIN APPLY TO YOU TODAY? “I am like a man who has become colour-blind.”  As a secularist you believe that it is sad indeed that millions of Christians are hoping for heaven but no heaven is waiting for them. Paul took a close look at this issue too. I Corinthians 15 asserts:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

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

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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

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXMax Tegmark – Why is the Quantum so Strange?

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