Monthly Archives: June 2017

MUSIC MONDAY Commenting on George Harrison’s religious song AWAITING ON YOU ALL Part 1

George Harrison – ‘Awaiting On You All’ – Original Audio

George Harrison – Awaiting On You All – Lyrics

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You don’t need no love in
You don’t need no bed pan
You don’t need a horoscope or a microscope
The see the mess that you’re in
If you open up your heart
You will know what I mean
We’ve been polluted so long
Now here’s a way for you to get clean
By chanting the names of the Lord and you’ll be free
The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see
Chanting the names of the Lord and you’ll be free
The Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see
You don’t need no passport
And you don’t need no visas
You don’t need to designate or to emigrate
Before you can see Jesus
If you open up your heart
You’ll see he’s right there
Always was and will be
He’ll relieve you of your cares
By chanting the names of the Lord and you’ll be free
The Lord… Full lyrics on Google Play Music
In contrast to Biblical Christianity, Eastern Mysticism does not believe in a personal God but instead some pantheistic God that is not personal.

Francis Schaeffer in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (page 191 Vol 5) asserted:

But this finally brings them to the place where the word GOD merely becomes the word GOD, and no certain content can be put into it. In this many of the established theologians are in the same position as George Harrison (1943-) (the former Beatles guitarist) when he wrote MY SWEET LORD (1970). Many people thought he had come to Christianity. But listen to the words in the background: “Krishna, Krishna, Krishna.” Krishna is one Hindu name for God. This song expressed  no content, just a feeling of religious experience. To Harrison, the words were equal: Christ or Krishna. Actually, neither the word used nor its content was of importance. 

Here is a good review of the episode 016 HSWTL The Age of Non-Reason of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?, December 23, 2007:

Together with the advent of the “drug Age” was the increased interest in the West in  the religious experience of Hinduism and Buddhism. Schaeffer tells us that: “This grasping for a nonrational meaning to life and values is the central reason that these Eastern religions are so popular in the West today.”  Drugs and Eastern religions came like a flood into the Western world.  They became the way that people chose to find meaning and values in life.  By themselves or together, drugs and Eastern religion became the way that people searched inside themselves for ultimate truth.

Along with drugs and Eastern religions there has been a remarkable increase “of the occult appearing as an upper-story hope.”  As modern man searches for answers it “many moderns would rather have demons than be left with the idea that everything in the universe is only one big machine.”  For many people having the “occult in the upper story of nonreason in the hope of having meaning” is better than leaving the upper story of nonreason empty. For them horror or the macabre are more acceptable than the idea that they are just a machine.

Below is the blogger LAYMAN’S BIBLE

“Awaiting on You All”

What does George Harrison have in common with Paul of Tarsus?  Oddly enough, a similar message.  I used to really love rock and roll, but due to my transformation through Christ I haven’t really been able to appreciate it on the same level as I used to.  Recently I tried to listen to one of my formerly favorite bands, but realized that almost 90% of their songs offended my new belief system to such an extent that they were rendered pretty much unlistenable because I found myself arguing with the singer in my head the whole time.  However, the Holy Spirit knows me well.  One day, while I was commuting to work and listening to an audio Bible of Romans, my mind was suddenly taken over by a song I hadn’t heard in years.  The song was “Awaiting on You All” by George Harrison.  Right away I tried to push it aside because George was a follower of eastern mysticism, and much of his work was influenced by that.  However, I couldn’t shake the song, and instead the Holy Spirit started overlaying the lyrics with what I was listening to in Romans and…it lined up…surprisingly well.  If you don’t want your mind poisoned by rock and roll lyrics, I understand; so turn back now and read another article or something.  But if you’re curious to see what the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart through something already ingrained in my mind, then read on and see that God can indeed speak to us through unexpected means.

Alright, since this topic is based around lyrics, let’s mix up the format a little and examine said lyrics carefully while still not trying to break them up too much.

Awaiting on You All (George Harrison)

George Harrison

You don’t need no love in,
You don’t need no bed pan.
You don’t need a horoscope or a microscope
To see the mess that you’re in.
If you open up your heart,
You’ll know what I mean.
We’ve been polluted so long,
Now here’s a way for you to get clean.

For people who don’t know some of the background behind the opening, the lyrics can be a little difficult to understand.  Fellow former Beatles member John Lennon had protested against war by staying in bed with his wife for several days.  He called this protest a “love in.”  Clearly, if you’re stuck in bed for days on end, you’ll need a bed pan.  So there’s the background.  Alright, anyway, this lines up with the beginning of Romans 10.  Paul writes,

Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.  For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.  Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness (Romans 10:1-3).

Paul notes in his opening of the chapter that the Israelites’ hearts are in the right place in trying to bring goodness to the world.  However, they are in error because they are trying to do so without God.  In the same way, George criticizes John’s “love in” protest because although he’s doing something with a good mindset, he’s going about it in the wrong way; “You don’t need a love in or a bed pan or anything like that.”  Rather, Paul reminds us that “Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes” (Romans 10:4).  By completing the Law, Jesus made it so that there is no longer a need for works in order to achieve a relationship with God.  Our goodness doesn’t bring us closer to God; rather his righteousness covers us and helps us to become better people.  Therefore, the Israelites, though shining in works, lacked the most important element in their lives, which was a relationship to Jesus Christ.  In the song, George goes on to say that “You don’t need a horoscope or a microscope to see the mess that you’re in.”  Paul conveys exactly this message as he continues on in Romans 10:6-8,

But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).  But what does it say?  “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming…

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that things are messed up, both outside and in our lives.  We don’t need to search the heavens to realize it, nor do we need to look closely at the ground to realize it.  Between the Holy Spirit tugging at our hearts, the devil accusing us, and the news reports on the TV, we all know things are messed up outside and at home.  And stuff being messed up isn’t anything new.  George says, “We’ve been polluted so long,” but Paul comes right out and says that things on earth have been messed up since the beginning,

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned- for before the law was given, sin was in the world.  But sin is not taken into account when there is not law.  Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern of the one to come (Romans 5:12-14).

Ever since Adam disobeyed God, sin and death have been in the world, messing things up through a great number of ways.  How are we ever to get clean after being polluted by death and sin for such a long time?  Paul writes,

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and the gift of righteousness reign in the life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men.  For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous (Romans 5:17-19).

Since we were hopelessly lost through the sin of Adam and all of our personal sins, we were separated from God and ultimately doomed.  However, the Lord provided a way for us to be made clean through his son, Jesus Christ.

Alright, now we start to wander into heretical territory.

By chanting the names of the lord and you’ll be free,
The lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see.
Chanting the name of the lord and you’ll be free,
The lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see.

The chorus is the only part of the song that isn’t entirely on par with Paul’s teachings.  However, even while being off, George isn’t too far off of probably the most important message in all of Romans.  Mr. Harrison says that to be cleaned of the filth of the world we should chant the names of the “lord.”  Now for George this was part of his meditation, to literally chant the names of his god.  However, for us, we have one God in three parts, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Paul tells us that through the name of Jesus we can find salvation from our sins,

…That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved (Romans 10:9-10).

Awaiting on You All (Paul)

Paul of Tarsus

If you’re wondering if I’m cutting something out with the ellipsis, I’m not.  The NIV Bible puts verse 8 (which we read earlier) and verse 9 as one sentence separated by a colon.  Anyway, Paul tells us that the only way to salvation is to confess the name of Jesus as Lord while believing it in your heart.  So the vocal aspect is important to our salvation.  Another note is that George tells us that we should open up our hearts (he says it in the first verse), and that’s exactly what Paul is preaching that we do.  We should open our hearts to Christ and his Holy Spirit and let them work in our lives as we profess our devotion to God.

Pretty cool how God can move a nonbeliever to do his work through art, isn’t it?  But that’s just the first verse, there’s more ahead.

You don’t need no passport,
And you don’t need no visas.
You don’t need to designate or to emigrate
Before you can see Jesus.
If you open up your heart,
You’ll see he’s right there.
Always was and will be,
He’ll relieve you of your cares.

By chanting the names of the lord and you’ll be free,
The lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see.
Chanting the names of the lord and you’ll be free,
The lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see.

Holy crap, Jesus shows up!  Before you start thinking that George was some sort of bastion of Christianity, take note that he was of the belief that Jesus, Buddha, and one of the Indian religious figures were all the same people and that a relationship with the Lord can be attained through any of these means- a popular but unscriptural (and dangerous) concept.  However, his personal beliefs aside, George did hit the message of salvation on the head.  Paul writes in Romans 10:12-13, “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile- the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’”  No matter whom you are, where you’re from, or what your background is, the Lord’s arms are open to you to receive his forgiveness, grace, and to open a relationship with you.  This is all made possible through the sacrifice of Jesus on a cross oh so long ago.  “Wait, if it was long ago, how can I still be saved?”  George and Scripture both tell us that Jesus has always been, and always will be.  Check out Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  Even Jesus, when confronted with his place in time by unbelievers explained that he has and always will be.  We read in John 8:58, “’I tell you the truth,’ Jesus answered, ‘before Abraham was born, I am!’”  Not only is Christ beyond the limits of time and his salvation unburdened by location, for those in Christ, Jesus is able to dwell within his believers.  Paul writes in Colossians 1:27, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”  And so we find just as Paul and George told us, by calling on the name of Jesus we will be saved.

Truly I tell you, God is reaching out to everyone, every way that he can.  He knows that not everyone is going to come to church to listen to a pastor.  Therefore, the Lord works in other ways to get the message of Christ to people, in order to soften their hearts and prepare them for when they do hear the Gospel proper.  Paul reminds us in Romans 11:33,

Oh the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
And his paths beyond tracing out!

As such, if you seek out God, you will find him.  Granted, his message isn’t everywhere (as I’ve already said, much of the music I used to listen to has been rendered unlistenable), but when you least expect it, Jesus shows up.

You don’t need no church house,
And you don’t need no temple.
You don’t need to rosary beats or those books to read
To see that you have fallen.
If you open up your heart,
You will know what I mean.
We’ve been kept down so long,
Someone’s thinking that we’re all green.

It doesn’t take listening to a pastor to know that our world is in trouble.  We can clearly see that what we have now doesn’t match up with our Almighty Creator.  Paul reminds us of this when he writes,

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature- have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse (Romans 1:18-20).

Everyone knows in their heart that there is a God.  People may doubt, and people may deny; but the truth is that at some point or another, all of us realize that existence isn’t without a creator.  It’s not a far jump from there to recognize that humanity with its wars, vices, slavery, and cruelty doesn’t really match up with whatever created the beautiful mountains, seas, and skies.  However, because we don’t like the idea of a perfect God that we have no control over, we’ve spent thousands of years rejecting him in favor of false Gods that we can see, touch, and throw away if need be.  Paul continues,

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles (Romans 1:21-23).

It’s gotten to the point now where we’re so apt to disassociate ourselves from God that we’ve hidden behind evolution and taught our children that they’re related to the lizards on the ground and the grass in the field because supposedly millions of years ago we all came from some lucky pond scum that gained life somehow.  And if we can’t differentiate ourselves from the greenery and the fauna that surround us, then what is to keep us from acting like animals?

Has this been mind-blowing so far?  If not, sorry.  I dunno, the Holy Spirit totally wowed me while he strung this together, even more so because I had only been able to remember the first verse at the time, and then as it turns out the rest of the song fits very well too.  Alright, the last bit of the song can get a little confusing, but let’s see what we can do with it.

And while the Pope owns 51% of General Motors,
And the stock exchange is the only thing he’s qualified to quote us.
The lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see,
By chanting the names of the lord and you’ll be free.

For his last verse, George Harrison takes a stab at the pope of his day.  Now I have no information as to the accuracy of this statement.  However, in Romans Paul reminds us that our religious leaders, even the Pope himself really don’t have a right to judge people.  Neither do you have a right to judge your neighbor (or to judge the Pope for that matter, George).  The Bible tells us in Romans 2:1-3,

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.  Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth.  So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment?

Paul goes on to remind us that rather than condemn others for their conduct, we should follow God’s method.  He writes in Romans 2:4, “Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness leads you towards repentance?”  God’s goal is to bring us to freedom through Christ, and he does so through his love and grace even while we are in sin.  We too should look with mercy and kindness towards others even as they stumble along the path.  Pray for those in sin, don’t yell or throw rocks at them or something like that.

Awaiting on You All (Jesus)

Jesus of Nazareth

Jesus says in John 8:36, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”  By calling on the Lord Jesus, you will be set free from sin and death and enter into a relationship with Christ.  George Harrison wasn’t too far off in his song, “Awaiting on You All.”  Do you think that it is wrong to make a non-Christian’s song Christian?  Well, Paul has it covered, “We demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5).  We take every thought captive in order to subjugate it to Christ.  Heck, Paul even quoted a heathen poem and aimed it towards God when he was in Athens.  The Bible records Paul in Acts 17:28, “’For in him we live and move and have our being.’  As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”  For those of you already in Christ: hold tightly to him.  Hold on so tightly to Jesus that nothing in your life escapes the filter of the Holy Spirit, so that you can see God at work through all things.  And for those of you who have not yet accepted Jesus in your life, find your freedom through him today; for the Lord is awaiting on you all to awaken and see that by calling on the name of the Lord and you’ll be free.

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Song IT IS ENOUGH by the band THE WAITING

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It is Enough – The Waiting

Published on Feb 26, 2014

John 3:16-17
King James Version (KJV)
16,For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

17,For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Buy at itunes:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the…

04. It Is Enough

The Waiting
by The Waiting

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Lyrics:

There’s something about the sorrow showing on your face
Something so tender and contrite
I know you’re tired of being in this place
Your every daydream turns to night
And you’ve worked and strived and struggled
Until your fingers they’ve turned blue
From digging deep into the heart
Of what you can and cannot do
There’s something about the hesitation in your step
Something so beautiful and scared
There’s something hard about the truth that you accept
And still you find a Savior there
So don’t you despise the road
Should it drive straight to the Son
He’s got His reason to receive you
And doesn’t need another one
The Blood, it is enough
For every man, woman and child
To be reconciled
The Blood, it is enough
For those of every shade of skin
To begin again
There’s something about the way you cry yourself to sleep
Something so destitute and poor
Sweet is every tear that’s running down your cheek
How each one clears the way for more
So if it drives you to the Savior
Then don’t disconnect the pain
He’s got one excuse to hold you
And never let you go again
Everybody has tarried
In a barren land
Even in a devil’s den
But if the cross that you carry
Should slip from your hands
Get on your knees
And pick it up, pick it up, pick it up again

 

The Waiting (band)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Waiting
Origin Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Genres Pop rock
Years active 1991–2003, 2010–Present
Labels Inpop Records (previously Sparrow Records)
Website http://www.thewaiting.org
Members Brad Olsen
Todd Olsen
Clark Leake
Brandon Thompson

The Waiting is a Christian alternative pop rock band, consisting of Brad Olsen (vocals), Todd Olsen (guitar), Clark Leake (bass), and Brandon Thompson (drums, percussion, loops). Since the members focus time on other aspects of their lives and take their time recording the band does not produce and perform as frequently as some other bands.

Early albums by “The Waiting” were guitar driven alternative rock that drew fans with clever songwriting and introspective lyrics that stood out from most Christian rock of the day. The band’s later albums moved towards a more polished pop sound.

In August 2003, The Waiting hit the stage in Georgia where they played a sold out show after which they quit touring full-time to be at home more and pursue other endeavors. Even though they do not tour full-time, they never officially broke up. The Waiting still plays occasional spot dates.

In May 2009 Brad Olsen released his solo album titled The More I Think I Understand The Less I Can Explain, It was produced by “Oats”, aka Todd Olsen. Brad Olsen continues to write and record music. He resides in Atlanta, GA with his family. He is available for booking.

Todd Olsen also resides in Atlanta where he works as a music producer. In November 2011, he released a solo album under his nickname “Oats” entitled A Tear and a Sneer.

Clark Leake received a Masters in Theology from St. Vladimir Orthodox Seminary in May 2007. He lives in Louisville, KY with his wife.

Brandon Thompson resides in the Atlanta Georgia area with his wife and two sons and has produced a couple of bands in his home studio as well as taking a job at Mount Paran North Church of God in Marietta, GA, at which he remained until mid-2006. In 2006, Brandon moved to another local church, His Hands Church where he was the Technical Director. In 2011 Brandon became the main auditorium Production Director for Watermarke Church, which is a campus of Northpoint Ministries in Woodstock, GA. Brandon maintains and occasionally updates his personal website at BranThomps.com and can be found on Twitter at @BranThomps.

In 2010, The Waiting announced that they had been working on a new album and released a new single, “Name” and were playing limited spot dates. In 2011, the band released three more singles. In June 2012, the new album Mysteriet became fully funded by 119 backers on Kickstarter, when it was estimated to release in September 2012.[1] The band’s last Facebook entry (as of April 2016), written by Todd Olson on March 23rd, 2016 stated that Brad Olson is doing vocals for the album (Todd mailed him a mic). In 2013, Todd said, “our new album Mysteriet is written but we are still working on getting the music right- no surprise bc how does one make music that evokes the mystery and majesty of the Trinity? I can best describe what we are doing by saying what we are not doing. We are NOT making a follow up to wonderfully made or unfazed- tho unfazed was very successful. what we are attempting to do is make a follow up to the song Hands In The Air musically and spiritually. if we are making a follow up at all.”[2] “Mysteriet” is the Norwegian word for “The Mystery”. This is quite fitting, since the actual release date of the band’s first album in over twelve years has yet to be announced.[3]

Discography[edit]

  • Tillbury Town (1991)
  • Blue Belly Sky (1995) 11 tracks, color cover
  • The Waiting (1997)
  • Blue Belly Sky (1998 re-issue) 15 tracks, black and white cover
  • Unfazed (1998)
  • Wonderfully Made (2002)
  • Mysteriet (coming soon?)

Compilation Contributions[edit]

Year Compilation Album[4] Contributed Song(s) Original Album
1995 R.E.X. 95 (Sampler) “Israel” Blue Belly Sky
1995 The Simply Fabulous $1.99 New Music Sampler “Staring at a Bird” Blue Belly Sky
1997 The Simply Xcellent $1.99 New Music Sampler “Number 9”
“Hands in the Air”
The Waiting
1998 Cornerstone ’98 Sampler Disc “Number 9” The Waiting
1998 WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? “Put the Blame on Me” The Waiting
1999 Simply Spectacular $2.99 New Music Sampler “Unfazed” Unfazed
1999 No Lies “Unfazed” Unfazed
1999 Listen:Louder “At Your Feet”     —     (none)

References[edit]

  1. Jump up^ “Be a part of… Mysteriet”. Kickstarter. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  2. Jump up^ “The Waiting Official Facebook Page”. Facebook. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  3. Jump up^ “2014 releases”. Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 27 July 2014.
  4. Jump up^ “The Waiting discography”. Jesus Freak Hideout. Retrieved 27 July 2014.

External links[edit]

  • [1] The official The Waiting FB page
  • [2] The official oats FB page
  • [3] The official Brad Olsen FB page
  • [4] Brad Olsen’s official website
  • [5] The official Twitter page for The Waiting
  • [6] ChristianityToday.com Artist Page
  • [7] Interview

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A First look at a scene from Woody Allen’s new movie WONDER WHEEL!!!

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Kate Winslet & Justin Timberlake FIGHT On Sets Of Woody Allen’s Next | Lehren Hollywood

Wonder Wheel (2017)

Full Cast & Crew

Directed by

Woody Allen

Writing Credits (in alphabetical order)

Woody Allen

Cast

Kate Winslet Kate Winslet
Ginny
Juno Temple Juno Temple
Justin Timberlake Justin Timberlake
Mickey Rubin
Debi Mazar Debi Mazar
Actress
Jim Belushi Jim Belushi
Geneva Carr Geneva Carr
Mary
Max Casella Max Casella
Tony Sirico Tony Sirico
Steve Schirripa Steve Schirripa
Matthew Maher Matthew Maher
Nancy Ellen Shore Nancy Ellen Shore
Woman on Beach / Boardwalk
Marko Caka Marko Caka
Food Vendor
Jack Gore Jack Gore
Amelie McKendry Amelie McKendry
Woman at Amusement Park
Brittini Schreiber Brittini Schreiber
Boardwalk Lady / Soldier’s Girlfriend
Candice A. Buenrostro Candice A. Buenrostro
Capri Waitress
Jeremy Francis Bell Jeremy Francis Bell
Patriotic Boardwalk couple
Hannah Hartwell Hannah Hartwell
Beach Goer
Tod Rainey Tod Rainey
Grumpy Train Passanger
Jacob Berger Jacob Berger
Jeweler
Julia Losner Julia Losner
Beach Goer / Swimmer
John Druzba John Druzba
Movie Attendee
John Mainieri John Mainieri
John, Capri owner
Robert C. Kirk Robert C. Kirk
Joe
Max Ripley Max Ripley
Boy / featured background
Dominic Albano Dominic Albano
Sailor
Kejvi Rapaj Kejvi Rapaj
Beach girl
Gregory O Nicolas Gregory O Nicolas
Featured boy merry go round
Olivia Twarowski Olivia Twarowski
Boardwalk Kid / Merry Go Round
Michael Zegarski Michael Zegarski
Danny
Michael Striano Michael Striano
Man on Phone
Evin Cross Evin Cross
Boy on beach / boardwalk #120
John Michael Bradshaw John Michael Bradshaw
Patron at Ruby’s (uncredited)
Neil Fleischer Neil Fleischer
Man at Carousel (uncredited)

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Bruce C. Murray, geophysicist, Cal Tech, “What does God mean….it means a rather human like figure who takes a personal interest in the destiny of humans…I think most scientists find that as too simplistic view of reality”

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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

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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Bruce C. Murray

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bruce C. Murray
Bruce Murray.jpg
Born November 30, 1931
New York City, New York, U.S.
Died August 29, 2013 (aged 81)
Oceanside, California, U.S.
Fields
Institutions
Alma mater MIT – Ph.D. geology (1955)
Notable awards
Spouse Joan O’Brien
(divorced; 3 children)
Suzanne Moss
(2 children)

Seated on left with other Planetary Society Founders and enthusiasts in the 1970s.

PIA17587-MarsCuriosityRover-MurrayButtes-20131113.jpg

Bruce Churchill Murray (November 30, 1931 – August 29, 2013) was an American planetary scientist. He was a director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and co-founder of The Planetary Society.

Education and early life[edit]

Murray received his Ph.D. in geology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1955 and joined Standard Oil of California as a geologist. He served in the United States Air Force as a geophysicist[clarification needed], and the U.S. Civil Service[clarification needed] before joining California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1960.[2]

Main career[edit]

At Caltech, Murray became an associate professor in 1963, a full professor in 1969, and a professor emeritus in 2001. He would later become professor emeritus of planetary science and geology.

Murray began working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory(managed by/affiliated with Caltech) in 1960, and served as its director from April 1, 1976 to June 30, 1982.[3][4] He was an important force in promoting the recruitment and hiring of female engineers at the lab, where more women are employed today than any other NASA facility.[5] Murray became JPL’s director at a time when space exploration budgets were shrinking; among other achievements, he saved the Galileo mission to Jupiter from the budget axe.[5]

Murray worked out the geologic history of Mars using photographs taken by Mariner 4 in 1965; he worked with Bob Leighton to accomplish this task. He applied similar photographic analysis when he served as chief scientist of Mariner 10. As he took over management of JPL, he expressed reservations about the Viking lander program, pointing out that the biological experiments included with the spacecraft were not sufficient to accomplish their stated goals.[6]

With Carl Sagan and Louis Friedman, Murray founded The Planetary Society. He also served a term as its chair.

Personal life and death[edit]

Murray was twice married. With his first wife, Joan O’Brien, he had three children. Murray and O’Brien divorced in 1970. In 1971, Murray married Suzanne Murray, with whom he had two children.[2]

Murray’s cousin is former Speaker of the House Tom Foley.

Murray died at his home in Oceanside, California on August 29, 2013, from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, aged 81.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Murray was the recipient of the 1997 Carl Sagan Memorial Award.

In 2004, Murray was awarded the Telluride Tech Festival Award of Technology in Telluride, Colorado.

Asteroid 4957 Brucemurray is named after him.

On November 13, 2013, NASA announced the names of two features on Mars important to two active Mars exploration rovers in honor of Murray: “Murray Ridge”, an uplifted crater that the Opportunity rover is exploring; and “Murray Buttes”, an entryway the Curiosity rover will traverse on its way to Mount Sharp.[1]

In  the second video below in the 53rd 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)

 

Bruce C. Murray QUOTE:

What does God mean and to some groups of people in the world it means a rather human like figure who takes a personal interest in the destiny of humans. Sometimes intervenes. In extreme cases wants human sacrifices and all the rest. I think most scientists find that as too simplistic view of reality. Plus we have seen how societies have grown into more sophisticated ones and they began to drop these kind of attitudes and have tried to develop ideas that dealt better with the realities we find now. So I think that is what influences scientific thinking.

Carl Sagan with the other founders of the Planetary Society (Bruce Murray pictured in blue shirt)

Related image

 

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Let me start off by making some comments on the life of Bruce’s good friend Carl Sagan who also had some of the same goals as Bruce.

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? (Message on You Tube is called HOW YOU CAN BE CERTAIN THE BIBLE IS TRUE.) 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)

Image result for francis schaeffer

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].

Bruce C. Murray QUOTE:

What does God mean and to some groups of people in the world it means a rather human like figure who takes a personal interest in the destiny of humans. Sometimes intervenes. In extreme cases wants human sacrifices and all the rest. I think most scientists find that as too simplistic view of reality. Plus we have seen how societies have grown into more sophisticated ones and they began to drop these kind of attitudes and have tried to develop ideas that dealt better with the realities we find now. So I think that is what influences scientific thinking.

My additional responses to  Dr. Murray’s quote:

 

I would like to give 4 additional responses to the above assertion made by Dr. Murray.

FIRST, Romans 1 points that every person has a God-given conscience instead of them that tells them that God exists.

SECOND, Dr. Murray’s good friend  Carl Sagan was a member of an organization called Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP),  and I presented them with an opportunity to examine the claim that that the claim of Romans 1 can be demonstrated by a lie-detector test. (As seen in the letter I wrote to Dr. Kroto a couple of years ago as seen below.) 

(Bruce Murray with Carl Sagan below)

Image result for carl sagan bruce murray

THIRD, if you are truly a scientist then you would want to look at the evidence  concerning the accuracy of the Bible. DOES THE BIBLE ERR IN THE AREA OF SCIENCE AND HISTORY? The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Charles Darwin himself longed for evidence to come forward from the area of  Biblical Archaeology  but so much has  advanced  since Darwin wrote these words in the 19th century! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

FOURTH, Carl Sagan’s claim that OPTIMISTIC HUMANISM is the way to go was falsified 3000 years ago. 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. This also can be seen in the letter below to Dr. Kroto.

_________

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.” [From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]
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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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)

 

Related posts:

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 52 THE BEATLES (Part D, There is evidence that the Beatles may have been exposed to Francis Schaeffer!!!) (Feature on artist Anna Margaret Rose Freeman )

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 51 THE BEATLES (Part C, List of those on cover of Stg.Pepper’s ) (Feature on artist Raqib Shaw )

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 50 THE BEATLES (Part B, The Psychedelic Music of the Beatles) (Feature on artist Peter Blake )

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 49 THE BEATLES (Part A, The Meaning of Stg. Pepper’s Cover) (Feature on artist Mika Tajima)

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 48 “BLOW UP” by Michelangelo Antonioni makes Philosophic Statement (Feature on artist Nancy Holt)

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 47 Woody Allen and Professor Levy and the death of “Optimistic Humanism” from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS Plus Charles Darwin’s comments too!!! (Feature on artist Rodney Graham)

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 46 Friedrich Nietzsche (Featured artist is Thomas Schütte)

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 45 Woody Allen “Reason is Dead” (Feature on artists Allora & Calzadilla )

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 44 The Book of Genesis (Featured artist is Trey McCarley )

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Gabriel Horn neuroscientist, Cambridge, “Although well knowing that I may die, I never thought I had to get myself converted…”

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 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,

 

Gabriel Horn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gabriel Horn
Born 9 December 1927
Died 2 August 2012 (aged 84)[1]
Cambridge
Nationality United Kingdom
Fields Neuroscience
Institutions University of Bristol
University of Cambridge
Notable awards Royal Medal (2001)

Sir Gabriel Horn, MD, ScD, FRS,[2] FRCP (9 December 1927 – 2 August 2012) was a British neuroscientist and Professor in Natural Sciences (Zoology) at the University of Cambridge.[3] His research was into the neural mechanisms of learning and memory.

Early life[edit]

Horn was born on 9 December 1927. He attended Handsworth Technical School in Handsworth, Birmingham.[4] He left the school at 16 to work in his parents’ shop and studied part-time for a National Certificate in Mechanical Engineering, achieving distinction. He served in the Royal Air Force before studying for a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Birmingham.[5]

Academic career[edit]

Horn’s first academic position was in 1956 at the Department of Anatomy, University of Cambridge as a Demonstrator in Anatomy. He became a Lecturer and then a Reader, before leaving to become Professor of Anatomy at the University of Bristol in 1974.[5] In 1975, while at Bristol, he obtained his DSc degree.[5] In 1977, he returned to Cambridge to head the Department of Zoology. He retired in 1995 and was made Emeritus Professor. He was Master of Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge from 1992 to 1999 and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the university from 1994 to 1997.[4][5] He remained a fellow of Sidney Sussex College after 1999 until his death; he had earlier been a fellow of King’s College, Cambridge, and was elected a life fellow there in 1999.[4]

Honours[edit]

He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1986,[2] receiving their Royal Medal in 2001.[5] He was given an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Birmingham in 1999 and by the University of Bristol in 2003.[5] He was knighted in the 2002 New Year Honours “for services to Neurobiology and to the Advancement of Scientific Research”.[6]

Succeeded by
Sandra Dawson

In  the third video below in the 121st 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)

 

 

Interview of biologist and zoologist Sir Gabriel Horn – part 1

 

 Interview of the biologist and zoologist Sir Gabriel Horn – part two

 Interview of Sir Gabriel Horn – part three

Uploaded on Jun 3, 2010

An interview of Sir Gabriel Horn by Sir Patrick Bateson on 16 January 2007, filmed by Alan Macfarlane.
For a higher quality, downloadable, version with summary, please see http://www.alanmacfarlane.com

Quote by Dr. Horn:

Yes, I did nearly die. On one occasion I was lucky to be alive after a  massive hemorrhage.  I can say one thing. I never took to religion. I was really true to myself. Although well knowing that I may die, I  never thought I had to get myself converted to Judaism properly. It actually never crossed my mind. I always thought that if on my deathbed I do something funny like that those there will understand it doesn’t mean anything at all.

 Interview of the biologist and zoologist Sir Gabriel Horn – part four

  My Response to Dr. Horn’s statement would have been this simple question:

Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?

What I mean by that is  if God exists then would it be plausible that God would want to communicate  to us about his existence? There are those who actually believe that God has done that in the Bible. Dr. J. Gresham Machen said that he believed the Bible to be accurate in even the smallest details. The critic H.L.Mencken rightly noted, “Well, if you really want to be a Christian there is only one kind of Christian to be and that is the Machen kind.”

When Dr. Horn made his statement he acted as if he made a  deathbed conversion then his words  would meaning nothing.  I would admit that many people do say things  that they don’t mean but when  you are  on  your deathbed that would be a perfect time to  be totally honest. I salute those who are honest for their honesty, but it should be after they examine the evidence fully concerning God’s existence and that would include the historical accuracy of the Bible. I corresponded with Carl Sagan during the final year of his life and I was sad that he died as an agnostic. That was his choice. I  was appreciative that he took time to write me back and discuss these importance spiritual issues with me. Ironically,  I corresponded with Antony Flew several times, but when he died it seemed as although many secular people were very made at  the things he said in his final book There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind (2007) with Roy Abraham Varghese. 

Two of my biggest spiritual heroes were men who stood up the accuracy of the Bible.

____________

 

Francis Schaeffer

I remember like yesterday hearing my pastor Adrian Rogers in 1979 going through the amazing fulfilled prophecy of Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of the city of Tyre. In 1980 in my senior year (taught by Mark Brink) at Evangelical Christian High School, I watched the film series by Francis Schaeffer called WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Later that same year I read the book by the same name and I was amazed at the historical accuracy of the Bible and the many examples from archaeology that Schaeffer gave and recently I have shared several of these in my current series on Schaeffer and the Beatles. The reason I did that was because many people in the 1960’s had taken non-rational leaps into such areas as communism, the occult, drugs, and eastern mysticism,  but sitting right there in front of them was the historical accurate Bible which contained sufficient evidence to warrant trust.

(Adrian Rogers met with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.)

____

(This was the average sanctuary crowd when I was growing up at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis)

______________________________________

Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that politically Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan were my heroes. Spiritually my heroes have been both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. An interesting fact about both of these two men and that is they both believed the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Both men defended the historical accuracy of the Bible even though both of the religious denominations they belonged to started to shift to the liberal view that the Bible contains errors in it.

H. L. Mencken
H l mencken.jpg

J. Gresham Machen

J. Gresham Machen

Francis Schaeffer’s battle on this issue came in the 1930’s when he got to know Dr. J. Gresham Machen was involved in a battle with  the Presbyterian Church USA over their leftward shift in theology. Francis Schaeffer observed:

H.L. Mencken died when I was a young man and I read some of the stuff he wrote and he came at just the point of the total collapse of the American consensus back in the 1930’s or a little before. H.L.Mencken was very destructive to the American consensus and he was way out. It is he who said the famous thing about Dr. J. Gresham Machen. Dr. Machen was the man who was fighting the battle for historic Christianity against the liberals in the big denominations and expressly the Presbyterian denomination and the liberals were trying to laugh Machen out of court. But H.L. Mencken said a remarkable thing, “Well, if you really want to be a Christian there is only one kind of Christian to be and that is the Machen kind.” This is wonderful. This is exactly where the battlefield is. When you take Christianity and chip away at it like the liberals wanted to do then you don’t have anything left. This is no halfway war. If you are going to be a Christian you have to be a biblical Christian. Machen and Mencken understood this and this is my position too.  

Adrian Rogers also was that type of Christian too. Recently a relative told me that his Bible Study Teacher at the church he started attended recently started a series on Genesis and he said on the front end that evolution is true. I encouraged my relative to ask the simple question: DO YOU BELIEVE IN A LITERAL “ADAM AND EVE?” I sent him the sermon on Evolution by Adrian Rogers and here is a portion of it below:

H.G. Wells

H. G. Wells, the brilliant historian who wrote The Outlines of History, said this—and I quote: “If all animals and man evolved, then there were no first parents, and no Paradise, and no Fall. If there had been no Fall, then the entire historic fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin, and the reason for the atonement, collapses like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells says—and, by the way, I don’t believe that he did believe in creation—but he said, “If there’s no creation, then you’ve ripped away the foundation of Christianity.”

Now, the Bible teaches that man was created by God and that he fell into sin. The evolutionist believes that he started in some primordial soup and has been coming up and up. And, these two ideas are diametrically opposed. What we call sin the evolutionist would just call a stumble up. And so, the evolutionist believes that all a man needs—he’s just going up and up, and better and better—he needs a boost from beneath. The Bible teaches he’s a sinner and needs a birth from above. And, these are both at heads, in collision.

What is evolution? Evolution is man’s way of hiding from God, because, if there’s no creation, there is no Creator. And, if you remove God from the equation, then sinful man has his biggest problem removed—and that is responsibility to a holy God. And, once you remove God from the equation, then man can think what he wants to think, do what he wants to do, be what he wants to be, and no holds barred, and he has no fear of future judgment.

Francis Schaeffer & the SBC

Actually Francis Schaeffer’s good friend Paige Patterson talked Adrian Rogers into running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 and the liberal shift was halted. In the article “Francis Schaeffer ‘indispensable’ to SBC,” (Thursday, October 30, 2014,)  David Roach wrote:

The late Francis Schaeffer was known to pick up the phone during the early years of the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence. Paige Patterson knew to expect a call from Schaeffer around Christmas with the question, “You’re not growing weary in well-doing are you?”

Patterson, a leader in the movement to return the SBC to a high view of Scripture, would reply, “No, Dr. Schaeffer. I’m under fire, but I’m doing fine. And I’m trusting the Lord and proceeding on.”

To some it may seem strange that an international Presbyterian apologist and analyst of pop culture would take such interest in a Baptist controversy over biblical inerrancy.

But to Schaeffer it made perfect sense.

He believed churches were acquiescing to the world, abandoning their belief that the Bible is without error in everything it said. A watered-down theology left the SBC with decreased power to battle cultural evils. To Schaeffer the convention was the last major American denomination with hope for reversing this “great evangelical disaster,” as he put it.

Thirty years after Schaeffer’s death, Baptist leaders still remember how he took time from his speaking, writing and filmmaking schedule to quietly encourage Patterson; Paul Pressler, a judge from Texas with whom Patterson worked closely during the conservative resurgence; Adrian Rogers, a Memphis pastor who served three terms SBC president; and others.

By the early 1990s, conservatives had elected an unbroken string of convention presidents and moved in position to shift the balance of power on all convention boards and committees from the theologically moderate establishment. But at the time of Schaeffer’s annual calls, the outcome of the controversy was still in doubt.

(Paige Patterson)

“I strongly suspect that he was afraid I would not hold strong,” Patterson, now president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, told Baptist Press. “He had seen so many people fold up under pressure that he assumed we probably would too. So he would call and ask for a report.”

Schaeffer’s interest in engaging culture made him particularly appealing to Southern Baptist conservatives. He helped provide them with a “battle plan” to fight cultural evils and what they perceived as theological drift in their denomination, Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told BP.

Along with theologian Carl F.H. Henry, Schaeffer was the key intellectual influence on leaders of the conservative resurgence, Land said. When conservatives started to be elected as the executives of Baptist institutions, Henry spoke at Land’s inauguration at the Christian Life Commission (the ERLC’s precursor), R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Timothy George’s at Beeson Divinity School in Alabama.

“If Schaeffer had still been alive, we would have had him come,” Land said. He noted that Schaeffer was “close” to Rogers and “admired” by Bailey Smith, two conservative SBC presidents. Edith Schaeffer and Patterson’s wife Dorothy were close friends and traveled together in the early 1980s speaking on the importance of the home.

Clark Pinnock, a former New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor who mentored conservative resurgence leaders before taking a leftward theological turn in his own thinking, served on Schaeffer’s staff at L’Abri.

(ADRIAN ROGERS, chairman of the committee that drafted changes to the Baptist Faith & Message, joins Al Mohler, Chuck Kelley and Richard Land in a news conference shortly after the new statement of faith was adopted by messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Orlando, Fla)

Mount Sinai is one of the most important sites of the entire Bible. It was here that the Hebrew people came shortly after their flight from Egypt. Here God spoke to them through Moses, giving them directions for their life as newly formed nation and making a covenant with them.

The thing to notice about this epochal moment for Israel is the emphasis on history which the Bible itself makes. Time and time again Moses reminds the people of what has happened on Mount Sinai:

Deuteronomy 4:11-12New International Version (NIV)

11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fireto the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 Then the Lordspoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;there was only a voice.

Moses emphasized that those alive at the time had actually heard God’s voice. They had received God’s direct communication  in words. They were eyewitnesses of what had occurred–they saw the cloud and the mountain burning with fire. They saw and they heard. Moses says, on the basis of what they themselves have seen and heard in their own lifetime, they are not to be afraid of their present or future enemies.

On the same basis too, Moses urges them to obey God: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen…” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Thus the people’s confidence and trust in God and their obedience to Him are alike rooted in truth that is historical and open to observation…The relationship between God and His people was not based on an upward experience inside their own heads, but upon a reality which was seen and heard. They were called to obey God not because of a leap of faith, but because of God’s real acts in history. For God is the LIVING GOD….”Religious Truth” according to the Bible involves the same sort of truth which people operate on in their everyday lives. If something is true, then its opposite cannot also be true.

From the Bible’s viewpoint, all truth finally rests upon the fact that the infinite-personal God exists in contrast to His not existing. This means that God exists objectively. He exists whether or not people say He does. The Bible also teaches that God is personal.
Much of the Bible is in the sphere of normal existence and is observable. God communicated himself in language. This is not surprising for He  was the creator of people who use language in communicating with other people.
In the Hebrew (and biblical) view, truth is grounded ultimately in the existence and character of God and what has been given us by God in creation and revelation. Because people are finite, reality cannot be exhausted by human reason.
It is within this Judeo-Christian view of truth that, by its own insistence, we must understand the Bible. Moses could appeal to real historical events as the basis for Israel’s confidence and obedience into the future. He could even pass down to subsequent generations physical reminders of what God had done, so that the people could see them and remember.

________________

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – Faith, Seeing & Believing

John 21:1-14New International Version (NIV)

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

__________

The resurrected Christ stood there on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. Before the disciples reached the shore, He had already prepared a fire with fish cooking on it for them to eat. It was a fire that could be seen and felt; the fire cooked the fish, and the fish and bread could be eaten for breakfast.

When the fire died down, it left ashes on the beach; the disciples were well fed with bread and fish and Christ’s footprints would have been visible on the beach…

Thomas, Christ tells us,  should have believed the ample evidence given to him of the physical evidence of the resurrection by the other apostles. Christ rebuked him for not accepting this evidence.He at that time and we today have the same sufficient witness of those who have seen and heard and were able to touch the resurrected Christ and were able to observe what He had done.

Because Thomas insisted on seeing and touching we have a more sure witness than we otherwise would have  had. In the testimony of those who saw and heard we have a sure witness and this includes Thomas’ doubt and his personal verification which removed that doubt. WE SHOULD BOW BEFORE THE TOTAL WITNESS OF THE RECORD WHICH WE HAVE  IN THE BIBLE, OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE AND IT’S FORM AND THE UNIQUENESS OF MAN. IT IS ENOUGH! BELIEVE HE HAS RISEN.

John 20:24-29New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

_______________

Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?

Tim Brister —  July 26, 2006 — 6 Comments

In the appendix of his book, He Is There and He Is Not Silent, Francis Schaeffer wrote a little piece called “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?” Schaeffer explains that, “To modern man, and much modern theology, the concept of propositional revelation and the historic Christian view of infallibility is not so much mistaken as meaningless” (345). The 20th century came with many challenges to theological formulation, not the least of which was the assault on propositional truth and revelation. Such camps as existentialists and logical positivists attempted to remove religious truth from the reason and revelation while others sought to justify meaning, reality, and truth with other criterion of verification such as experience and perception. However, center to the Christian faith is the belief that God has spoken and revealed himself in the written Word of God. In this revelation, God used language as the medium to carry and convey biblical truths and realities. This is not to say that God has revealed himself exhaustively, but it does mean that he has revealed himself truly and definitively. Schaeffer makes two points which I would like to mention here:

  1. Even communication between one created person and another is not exhaustive; but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true.
  1. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unthinkable for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise, as a finite being, the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point.

Schaffer makes some salient points here that deserve to be brought up in the 21stcentury. While we do not disagree that revelation is also personal, we cannot flinch on the assault on propositional revelation. God has revealed himself to us, his nature and his acts, through propositional revelation (i.e. the Bible), and the implications of this truth is that we do not have the rights to reinvent or rename the God Who Is There. If we do not begin with God and his revelation, Schaeffer is correct to conclude that there are many things we could not know about God based on such a limited, finite reference point as ourselves. It is no coincidence that, at the time of Schaeffer’s publishing of this book (1972), John Hick was advancing his pluralistic hypothesis which argued for the ineffability of the “Real” which argued that one cannot know anything about God as he is (ding an sich).Adapting the Kantian model of the noumenal and phenomenal worlds, Hick argues that God (“Real”) has not and cannot reveal himself truly and definitely; furthermore, it is impossible to know anything at all about the Real (except that it is ineffable and that it exists which is something he claims to know). The result when God is not the beginning, the reference point, the apriori grounds of knowledge and revelation, then knowing and defining God is a free-for-all to anyone who wants to postulate their phenomenological interpretations as religious truth. Schaeffer concludes his little article with this important paragraph in which he said:

“The importance of all this is that most people today (including some who still call themselves evangelical) who have given up the historical and biblical concept of revelation and infallibility have not done so because of the consideration of detailed problems objectively approached, but because they have accepted, either in analyzed fashion or blindly, the other set of presuppositions. Often this has taken place by means of cultural injection, without their realizing what has happened to them” (349, emphasis added).

In the days ahead, I hope to share how propositional truth is foundational to personal truth and give a few examples of the redefinition of revelation in contemporary contexts.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Hebrews 1:1-2

_____________

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

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ADVICE FOR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP:

Free to Choose: Part 1 of 10 The Power of the Market (Featuring Milton Friedman)

 

Uploaded on Dec 19, 2010

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

George Harrison – Art Of Dying – Lyrics

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

George Harrison is the only member of the Beatles who stuck with Hinduism while the other three abandoned it shortly after their one trip to India.  Francis Schaeffer noted, ” The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason. The central reason of the popularity of eastern religions in the west is a hope for a nonrational meaning to life and values. The reason the young people turn to eastern religion is simply the fact as we have said and that is that man having moved into the area of nonreason could put anything up there and the heart of the eastern religions  is a denial of reason just exactly as the idealistic drug taking was.”

In the article below from Wikipedia it is noted:

For the last 30 or more years of his life, George Harrison repeatedly identified his first experience of taking the hallucinogenic drug LSD, with John Lennon and their wives, as being responsible for his interest in spirituality and Hinduism.[2][3][4][5] The “trip” occurred by accident in February 1965,[6][7][8] and he later recalled a thought coming to his mind during the experience: “‘Yogis of the Himalayas.’ I don’t know why … It was like somebody was whispering to me: ‘Yogis of the Himalayas.'”[5]

Image result for george harrison lsd

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George Harrison – Art of Dying

george harrison – art of dying ( take 9 )

Art of Dying (song)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Art of Dying”
George Harrison "Art of Dying" sheet music.jpg

Cover of the original Hansen Publishing sheet music for the song
Song by George Harrison from the album All Things Must Pass
Published Harrisongs
Released 27 November 1970
Genre Rock, hard rock
Length 3:37
Label Apple
Writer(s) George Harrison
Producer(s) George Harrison, Phil Spector
All Things Must Pass track listing

Art of Dying” is a song by English musician George Harrison, released on his 1970 triple album All Things Must Pass. It was written in 1966–67 when Harrison first became immersed in Hindu spirituality, and its subject matter is reincarnation – the “art” in question being the need to avoid rebirth, by limiting actions and thoughts whose consequences lead to one’s soul returning in another, earthbound life form. The song was co-produced by Phil Spector and features a hard-charging rock arrangement that has been described as “proto-disco“.[1] The backing musicians include Eric Clapton and the rest of the latter’s short-lived band Derek and the Dominos, as well as Gary Wright, Billy Preston and a teenage Phil Collins.

Since Harrison’s death in November 2001, the lyrics of “Art of Dying” have been much quoted as a comment on the nature of human existence.

Background and composition[edit]

For the last 30 or more years of his life, George Harrison repeatedly identified his first experience of taking the hallucinogenic drug LSD, with John Lennon and their wives, as being responsible for his interest in spirituality and Hinduism.[2][3][4][5] The “trip” occurred by accident in February 1965,[6][7][8] and he later recalled a thought coming to his mind during the experience: “‘Yogis of the Himalayas.’ I don’t know why … It was like somebody was whispering to me: ‘Yogis of the Himalayas.'”[5] A visit in August 1967 to the epicentre of hippie conterculturalism, San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, then persuaded him to abandon LSD and pursue a spiritual path through meditation.[9][10] By that point, Harrison had already immersed himself in Indian music, which is irrevocably tied to spirituality,[11][12] and dealt with what author Ian MacDonald terms “the spiritual aridity of modern life”[13] in his song “Within You Without You” (on the BeatlesSgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band).[14][15] He had also begun writing a song dedicated to the Hindu concept of reincarnation and the inevitability of death, “Art of Dying”.[16]

There’ll come a time when all of us must leave here
There’s nothing Sister Mary can do, will keep me here with you
As nothing in this life that I’ve been trying
Can equal or surpass the Art of Dying.

The mention of “Sister Mary” refers to the Catholic faith in which Harrison had been brought up as a child.[17] Speaking to author Peter Doggett, Harrison’s sister Louise qualified his embracing of Hinduism with regard to his upbringing: “Our family were Catholics, but we always had a global outlook. We were spiritual, not religious as such. George didn’t change as a person after he went to India [in 1966] …”[18]

Rather than Sister Mary, Harrison’s original lyric named “Mr Epstein” – the Beatles’ manager, Brian Epstein.[19][20] Given this reference to Epstein, author Bruce Spizer has speculated that Harrison was “contemplating life after the Beatles” as early as mid 1966, since “most of the song’s original verses recognise that even Mr. Epstein won’t be able to keep the group together or help out when it’s over …”[21]

As Harrison explains in his autobiography, I, Me, Mine, in most cases one’s soul does not in fact “leave here” after death, due to the karmic debt, or “load”, accrued through actions and thoughts carried out in one’s lifetime.[22] This point is illustrated in the third verse of “Art of Dying”:[23]

There’ll come a time when most of us return here
Brought back by our desire to be a perfect entity
Living through a million years of crying
Until you realize the Art of Dying.

The mention of “a million years of crying” is a reference to the endless cycle of rebirth associated with reincarnation, where the soul repeatedly fails to leave the material world and attain nirvana,[24] otherwise known as moksha.[25]

Written in a period shortly before “karma”, “mantra“, “guru” and “māyā” all became key words in his vocabulary,[26] Harrison shows an acknowledgment of possible confusion on the part of his listeners, and a degree of humour,[16] with the pointed questions that appear at the end of the verses, “Are you still with me?” and “Do you believe me?[23] The subject of rebirth was one he would return to frequently throughout his solo career,[27] notably on “Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)“, with its pleas “Keep me free from birth” and “Help me cope with this heavy load“.[28][29]

Recording[edit]

On 26 May 1970, a month after the Beatles’ break-up, “Art of Dying” was one of many songs performed by Harrison for Phil Spector‘s benefit at Abbey Road Studios,[30] with a view to narrowing down the material under consideration for All Things Must Pass.[31]Harrison strummed the song on acoustic guitar, but as with “Isn’t It a Pity“, “Run of the Mill“, “Let It Down” and other selections, its arrangement would be transformed significantly as the album sessions progressed;[21] in this instance, Spector’s production on the official release provided a “[big] ‘kitchen sink’ job”, as authors Chip Madinger and Mark Easter put it.[20] A widely bootlegged version known as “Art of Dying (take 9)”, comprising a band performance dominated by acoustic rhythm guitars and piano, with Ringo Starr on drums, sees the song somewhere midway between the solo run-through and the All Things Must Pass arrangement.[20] This take 9, played in the key of B minor, a semitone up from that of the official version of the song, was still in contention for release during the album’s mixing phase.[20]

In a chapter discussing All Things Must Pass in his 2010 autobiography, American musician Bobby Whitlock writes of recording the song: “It was awesome when we were doing ‘The Art of Dying,’ Eric [Clapton] on that wah-wah and it was all cooking, Derek and the Dominos with George Harrison.”[32] The sessions led to the formation of Derek and the Dominos,[33][34] whose four members – Clapton, Whitlock, Carl Radle and Jim Gordon – all played on the track.[35]

Kicked off by what author Elliot Huntley terms Clapton’s “firecracking” lead guitar,[27] and propelled by Gordon’s drumming and Radle’s urgent bass, the released version of “Art of Dying” is in the hard rock style.[16] Jim Price‘s horn arrangement provided a countermelody behind the various A minor voicings in the song’s instrumental passages[36] through to its “galloping” ending.[21] Testifying to the ferocity of the performance, Phil Collins later recalled that his hands were so badly blistered during the run-throughs of the song, he was unable to play his congas with any force once they came to actually record it, hence the apparent absence of congas in the final mix.[37] Another percussion part – maracas – does feature prominently, and may have been played by Mal Evans, Starr, members of Badfinger or Maurice Gibb, all of whom attended the session also, according to Collins.[37]

Release and reception[edit]

Apple Records released All Things Must Pass in November 1970,[38] with “Art of Dying” sequenced as the second track on side four, in the triple album’s original, LP format.[39] While describing the acclaim afforded the album on release, author Robert Rodriguez includes the song as an illustration of how Harrison’s talent had been “hidden in plain sight” behind Lennon and Paul McCartney during the Beatles’ career.[40] Rodriguez writes: “That the Quiet Beatle was capable of such range – from the joyful “What Is Life” to the meditative “Isn’t It a Pity” to the steamrolling “Art of Dying” to the playful “I Dig Love” – was revelatory.”[40]

In his review for Rolling Stone magazine, Ben Gerson similarly wrote of the wide range of styles found on All Things Must Pass and recognised “Art of Dying” as “a song of reincarnation” with a melody supposedly “borrowed” from the Rolling Stones‘ “Paint It, Black“.[41] Village Voice contributor Nicholas Schaffner and others have described it as an “essay” on the subject of reincarnation.[16][42] Writing in 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, Andrew Gilbert highlights “Art of Dying” as an example of the “finely crafted, spiritually charged songs” that ensure that All Things Must Pass “only sounds better with time”.[43] While reviewing the 30th anniversary edition of the album, James Hunter enthused in Rolling Stone: “Imagine a rock orchestra recorded with sensitivity and teeth and faraway mikes: bluesy and intricate on Harrison and Dylan‘s ‘I’d Have You Anytime,’ fizzy on ‘Apple Scruffs,’ grooving on ‘Let It Down,’ and spookily proto-disco on ‘Art of Dying.'”[1]

Among Harrison’s biographers, Elliot Huntley describes the song as “certainly the most dramatic” track on the album and “one of the most scintillating rock songs in the Harrison canon”.[27] Ian Inglis writes that “Art of Dying” displays “all the features” of Harrison’s “post-Beatles confidence” and notes the Middle Eastern “musical antecedents” despite the obvious Hindu concepts within the lyrics.[44] In his book While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Simon Leng views “Art of Dying” as picking up “where ‘Tomorrow Never Knows‘ and ‘Within You Without You’ paused”, and adds: “If ever a song challenged the one-eyed nature of the rock world, this is it. Nothing could be further from superficial pop culture.”[16]

Other versions[edit]

Harrison never performed “Art of Dying” live,[45] although he included it on his proposed setlist for the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971.[46] It was rehearsed for the two shows at Madison Square Garden, judging by Jim Horn‘s horn chart for the song, reproduced at the end of I, Me, Mine.[47] The acoustic demo of “Art of Dying” from May 1970 has been available unofficially since the 1990s, on bootlegs such as Beware of ABKCO![48][49]

Jazz guitarist Joel Harrison covered “Art of Dying” for his album Harrison on Harrison: Jazz Explanations of George Harrison,[50] released in October 2005.[51] Three years later, Suburban Skies recorded the song for their Harrison tribute album George.[52]

Personnel[edit]

The musicians who played on “Art of Dying” are believed to be as follows:[36]

Notes[edit]

  1. Jump up^ Madinger and Easter write that the various in-progress mixes of “Art of Dying” reveal the presence of tubular bells on the recording but make no mention of a piano part,[20] for which Leng credits Whitlock as playing.[36] In his autobiography, Whitlock states that his contribution was the tubular bells, which he played with a leather hammer.[53]

Sources[edit]

  • Dale C. Allison Jr., The Love There That’s Sleeping: The Art and Spirituality of George Harrison, Continuum (New York, NY, 2006; ISBN 978-0-8264-1917-0).
  • Keith Badman, The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After the Break-Up 1970–2001, Omnibus Press (London, 2001; ISBN 0-7119-8307-0).
  • The Beatles, Anthology, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA, 2000; ISBN 0-8118-2684-8).
  • Harry Castleman & Walter J. Podrazik, All Together Now: The First Complete Beatles Discography 1961–1975, Ballantine Books (New York, NY, 1976; ISBN 0-345-25680-8).
  • Alan Clayson, George Harrison, Sanctuary (London, 2003; ISBN 1-86074-489-3).
  • Peter Doggett, You Never Give Me Your Money: The Beatles After the Breakup, It Books (New York, NY, 2011; ISBN 978-0-06-177418-8).
  • The Editors of Rolling Stone, Harrison, Rolling Stone Press/Simon & Schuster (New York, NY, 2002; ISBN 0-7432-3581-9).
  • George Harrison, I Me Mine, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA, 2002; ISBN 0-8118-3793-9).
  • Olivia Harrison, George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Abrams (New York, NY, 2011; ISBN 978-1-4197-0220-4).
  • Elliot J. Huntley, Mystical One: George Harrison – After the Break-up of the Beatles, Guernica Editions (Toronto, ON, 2006; ISBN 1-55071-197-0).
  • Ian Inglis, The Words and Music of George Harrison, Praeger (Santa Barbara, CA, 2010; ISBN 978-0-313-37532-3).
  • Simon Leng, While My Guitar Gently Weeps: The Music of George Harrison, Hal Leonard (Milwaukee, WI, 2006; ISBN 1-4234-0609-5).
  • Cynthia Lennon, John, Hodder & Stoughton (London, 2006; ISBN 0-340-89512-8).
  • Ian MacDonald, Revolution in the Head: The Beatles’ Records and the Sixties, Pimlico (London, 1998; ISBN 0-7126-6697-4).
  • Chip Madinger & Mark Easter, Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium, 44.1 Productions (Chesterfield, MO, 2000; ISBN 0-615-11724-4).
  • Chris O’Dell (with Katherine Ketcham), Miss O’Dell: My Hard Days and Long Nights with The Beatles, The Stones, Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Women They Loved, Touchstone (New York, NY, 2009; ISBN 978-1-4165-9093-4).
  • Robert Rodriguez, Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles’ Solo Years, 1970–1980, Backbeat Books (Milwaukee, WI, 2010; ISBN 978-1-4165-9093-4).
  • Nicholas Schaffner, The Beatles Forever, McGraw-Hill (New York, NY, 1978; ISBN 0-07-055087-5).
  • Bruce Spizer, The Beatles Solo on Apple Records, 498 Productions (New Orleans, LA, 2005; ISBN 0-9662649-5-9).
  • Gary Tillery, Working Class Mystic: A Spiritual Biography of George Harrison, Quest Books (Wheaton, IL, 2011; ISBN 978-0-8356-0900-5).
  • Bobby Whitlock (with Marc Roberty), Bobby Whitlock: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Autobiography, McFarland (Jefferson, NC, 2010; ISBN 978-0-7864-6190-5).

External links[edit]

With God On Their SideHigher Powers Guide A New Generation

If there has been a predominant figure in pop culture so far this year, it might just be Jesus Christ. The most obvious example is The Passion Of The Christ, but while the film has been a focal point of debate over religion’s current influence in mainstream Western society, Mel Gibson is only the most familiar of many other artists whose individual visions are making a new generation aware of Christianity, in all its mystery and inherent complexity. This year, God TV has had its hits (Joan of Arcadia) and misses (Wonderfalls); Madonna is devoting time on her current tour to preaching about Kabbalah; and recent Johnny Cash reissues are acknowledging the Man In Black’s devotion to the gospels. The Polyphonic Spree conduct hippie-tinged sermons like a pot-addled Mormon Tabernacle Choir, while the Hidden Cameras’ gay folk music invites new devotees to sing along, part of an increasingly important generation of believers – like Robert Randolf, Danielson and Royal City – who are pushing faith to the fore.

For most fans, the separation of Church and Rock is just as, let’s say, sacred as the separation of Church and State. After all, what was originally conceived as “the Devil’s music” should remain so, right? But rock’n’roll has never shied away from the spiritual realm, dating back to when Elvis Presley calmed fears of his evil powers with a solemn rendition of “Peace In The Valley,” accompanied by the Blackwood Brothers gospel quartet as part of his first Ed Sullivan Show appearance.

Today, matters of faith are increasingly prevalent, not only in Christian-based music’s own self-sufficient industry, but in the voices of young artists who are drawing upon the gospel tradition, for both musical inspiration and personal enlightenment.

The Gospel Impulse
Perhaps the biggest question raised by the overwhelming response to The Passion is, why now? America in particular has long been a predominantly evangelical Christian nation – latest surveys show that 43 percent of its citizens consider themselves “born again” – to the point where the Republican Party, with its “born again” president George W. Bush, has concluded that it need only appeal to this demographic in order to remain in power.

One thing that is certain, the use of religious imagery today in popular music has grown much more complicated in comparison to its earliest appearances in song. As Craig Werner writes in his thorough study, A Change Is Gonna Come: Music, Race & The Soul Of America, “Without question the spiritual explorations of the younger generation shocked some of their elders. But many appreciated the impulse behind the explorations; and almost everyone understood that almost any spiritual vision was preferable to the nihilism that threatened to destroy so many communities.”

Werner’s list of crucial gospel-informed hits includes Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song,” Stevie Wonder’s “Higher Ground,” and many others that have undeniably had an impact far beyond other songs of their respective eras. The suggestion Werner makes is that artists who successfully utilise the “gospel impulse,” do so out of a desire to build community, rather than out of pure self-expression.

He writes, “At its best, the gospel impulse helps people experience themselves in relation to rather than on their own. Gospel makes the feeling of human separateness, which is what the blues are all about, bearable. It’s why DJs and the dancers they shape into momentary communities are telling the truth when they describe dance as a religious experience.”

Rock Of Ages
The notion of using music as a vehicle to connect with a larger community, or higher power, directly reflects the fact that most early stars of blues, country and rock’n’roll came from small, rural areas where the church was a social pillar. For many, it was simply a natural progression to interpret music learned in church in their own personal ways.

As one of his final wishes, Johnny Cash recorded My Mother’s Hymn Book, a collection of songs he had known since his childhood. There could be no better final statement from a man who balanced sin and salvation, and who was unparalleled at communicating the realities of each. While it is easy to sentimentalise Cash’s gospel work as an outgrowth of his personal struggles over the years, the fact is that at when he first sang of shooting a man in Reno just to watch him die, he was also asking, ‘Were you there when they crucified my Lord?’ In fact, Cash intended his first album for Columbia Records, following his move from Sun, to be a gospel album, something the label wouldn’t approve until there were a few hits under his belt.

As Sylvie Simmons writes in the liner note to Hymn Book, “If [Cash’s mother] Carrie had not taught him these hymn book songs, encouraged him to sing them and told him that his talent was a ‘gift from God’ and he should not toss it away, he would likely not be here today.”

While Cash never made what might have been a natural transition into a full-fledged preacher, history suggests that most artists who come from a strong religious upbringing invariably introduce those beliefs into their music.

Al Green is a prime example. Originally a deep soul belter, Green undertook a personal battle between the sacred and profane in the early ’70s, just as his popularity was amplifying the isolation he had always felt, and subsequently eased with drugs and sex. It was in a hotel room at Disneyland in 1973 that Green found the Lord. “I had producers, promoters, record companies, booking agents, all these people saying, ‘Al is doing what? Religion? Eighteen million dollars invested in this boy and he’s got religion? We’ve got a career going here, we need to sell some records,” he recently told Mojo’s Andrea Lisle. “Everyone around me was saying, ‘We don’t need God right now – tell him to come back later.’ But I had to reconcile what was going on with me, because this was the only thing that was gonna save me.”

Unlike Little Richard’s flirtation with the ministry in the late ’50s, which essentially stalled his career at its height, Green wholly embraced his calling, and deftly incorporated religion into such landmark recordings as 1977’s The Belle Album. At the same time, Green preached every Sunday at his own church in Memphis, still today a guaranteed cure for Saturday night excesses. Yet, after establishing himself as undoubtedly the most popular gospel artist in America, Reverend Al’s excellent new album, I Can’t Stop, returns to the sultry themes and grooves that first brought him fame. For Green, the gap between physical love and spiritual love was bridged long ago. “Even the Pope is a human being,” he says. “And that is what this album is about. When people come home from the church house and start dealing with the children, their job, the mortgage and the insurance, they’re gonna deal with this album. It’s about life.”

From The Altar To The Stage
While mainstream rock fans have often turned to Green’s work for an accessible gospel fix, more recently they have been introduced to the music through several unlikely sources. One of these is the sacred steel movement, first “discovered” by blues enthusiast Chris Strachwitz of Arhoolie Records in the early 1990s. Until then, sacred steel was an obscure fixture of black Baptist church services, mostly in Florida, where the choir was accompanied not by an organ, but by pedal steel guitarists. As unlikely as that seems, players like Sonny Treadway, Aubrey Ghent, and the Campbell Brothers, managed to create both joyful and heart-wrenching sounds that perfectly complemented the hymns. With its popularity grown following such acclaimed releases as None But The Righteous and The Word (featuring John Medeski of Medeski, Martin & Wood), sacred steel had its first mainstream crossover success last year with Robert Randolph, the young phenom whose urban chic has brought him those all-important young white followers.

Randolph, who grew up near Newark, New Jersey, admits that staying close to his churchgoing relatives saved him from a life of drugs and crime, and ultimately got him playing steel guitar. A family connection to sacred steel legend Ted Beard firmly set him on his path at the age of 17. “I said to Ted, ‘I want to play like you,’ but he taught me that you can never be like someone else, and if you keep that in mind and stay humble, then nobody will be able to do what you’re doing. A couple of months after that, I was back home playing steel guitar at our church services.” Since then, Randolph’s major label debut, Unclassified, and his band’s incendiary live shows have drawn comparisons to guitar heroes like Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan. But at its core, Randolph’s music is pure gospel, and judging by his statements, will remain so.

Although Randolph and others have helped to modernise the established tenets of gospel music, the enduring appeal of what have come to be known among collectors as “true vine” recordings from the 1920s and ’30s is undiminished. Proof is in the brisk sales of last year’s six-disc set Goodbye Babylon, a labour of love for Atlanta music archivist Lance Ledbetter, who released it on his own Dust-To-Digital label. Although a substantial purchase for even the most ardent fan – the set comes with the requisite book in a wood box lined with freshly picked cotton – it rivals Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music in both quality and historical significance.

Ledbetter says his motivation was simply to fill a void in documenting important early gospel artists like Thomas A. Dorsey and Sister Rosetta Tharpe. In doing so, he ingeniously placed them alongside little-known gospel sides from their better-known peers like Blind Lemon Jefferson and the Monroe Brothers, along with an entire disc of sermons. “I was doing a radio show of old-timey music at Georgia State University and I just noticed a void in gospel music reissues,” he explained in an online chat. “That led me to write a letter to a collector about whom I’d read on the internet [Joe Bussard]. He lived in Maryland and owned over 25,000 78 rpm records. Over time we developed a nice relationship, and for the next year-and-a-half I listened to all of his religious records. He would make me cassettes of the songs for $.50 a track and I’d get them and listen to them every night on headphones and would have the hair on the back of my neck raised. It was an incredible time!”

The force of this old time religion can be heard elsewhere, from the White Stripes’ now trademark renditions of Son House’s “John The Revelator,” to former 16 Horsepower front-man David Eugene Edwards’ latest haunting project, Woven Hand. But for anyone familiar with roots music of the past 20 years, the revival of that spirit can be credited to only one man: T-Bone Burnett.

The High Priest
“I’ve made it a policy not to talk about Bob Dylan,” T-Bone Burnett has repeatedly said. “But I will say this, his career has been about Bob Dylan’s search for God.” Burnett, a devout born-again Christian from Texas, first made his name after Dylan enlisted him in 1975 for the Rolling Thunder Revue. Less than three years later, Dylan himself was taking Bible study classes and damning non-believers both in his songs and on-stage harangues.

While Burnett’s influence on Dylan’s conversion was probably minimal, his influence on reconnecting America with its gospel music tradition has been immeasurable. Although he never found his footing as a solo artist, his work as a producer has invariably put them in touch with the rich heritage of American song that Burnett seems to be able to summon at will. His greatest recent accomplishment has been as the architect of the O Brother Where Art Thou? phenomenon. The multi-million selling soundtrack proved far more lasting than its film, spawning a further documentary of live performances (Down From The Mountain), a tour, and unprecedented new followings for many of its artists.

Audiences have been treated to many remarkable moments, such as Ralph Stanley singing the gospel standard “O Death” at the 2002 Grammy Awards, a night when O Brother swept every category it was in. When speaking to No Depression, Burnett admitted that O Brother’s success could at least partly be credited to America’s state of mind following 9/11, a time when “people wanted to connect to who we are. Elvis [Costello] said that ‘O Death’ was the truest response to the bombing that had come from the arts. That’s true, even though it was actually done before 9/11. It was an unconscious thing.”

In fact, what makes Burnett’s work so special is that the spirituality he injects most often is unconscious, making it an inclusive listening experience in a pure gospel sense. When asked by Radix Magazine in the early ’90s about changes in the cultural perception of Christianity that resulted from Dylan’s conversion, Burnett was eerily prophetic in how the hardliners were beginning to take over America. “It was exciting for a while to see all this stuff going on, but a lot of things never led anywhere. It’s funny to see how some of the people who were part of that have now turned into incredibly right-wing dupes. They’re falling right into line with nationalist-type power needs. What I believe now is that maybe they were fearful at the time. Maybe what they were about at the time was all fear. There’s a tremendous amount of fear in the evangelical church.”

Of course, that fear has only been heightened by current world events, but the hope provided by artists like Burnett and others in tune with gospel messages will always be the antidote. They are present in every genre of music, whether the artists are conscious of it or not.

The New Disciples
“I don’t plan things out,” Daniel Smith says. “I try to be obedient to what the Lord is showing me and telling me to write and play. It’s like putting a puzzle together in the dark and trying to stay out of the way as much as possible. I have very little idea of what I am doing.”

When Smith first appeared with his siblings in 1994 as the Danielson Famile, reactions were a mix of awe at the odd-yet-uplifting music they made, and confusion over what precisely their intention was in bringing a strong Christian-based philosophy to indie rock. Speaking with the conviction of a true preacher, Smith says he found God a year prior to the band’s first album, A Prayer For Every Hour, as he finished his final year of art college. The band has since gone on to release five more uniquely rough-edged albums and spawn many offshoots, released through Smith’s label Sounds Familyre. His latest outing is as Br. Danielson, a solo album entitled Brother Is To Son, which ventures into confessional singer-songwriter territory. It is some of Smith’s most heartfelt work to date, with his faith being the cornerstone in exploring other subjects, like his job as a carpenter.

When asked to describe his music, Smith states with typical aplomb, “Rock’n’roll came out of the invisible Church, so musically and spiritually I feel connected to those roots. My relationship with Christ in the details of the everyday is my source and my inspiration. I have no faith in politics or pop culture, they all fade away over and over again. I do think many people everywhere are starving for something deeper than themselves.”

What makes Smith unusual among spiritually-informed artists is that he actually professes no allegiance to any organised religion. He says, “I think the Bible portrays Jesus perfectly. The Lord created everything and uses whatever He wants for whatever He wants.”

Although Smith, and peers like Sufjan Stevens and Pedro The Lion, clearly have no problems espousing their religious conviction with their fans, the challenge of other young, spiritually-informed artists to avoid their work being branded with a “Christian” tag is certainly unfortunate considering how the religion has always been integral to the blues and folk tradition.

One tactic has been to boldly delve into that rich musical heritage and see what comes of it. That’s been the basic formula for success so far for New York’s Ollabelle, whose self-titled debut is a document of their euphoric initial foray into traditional gospel. The six-piece collective, which includes vocalist Amy Helm, daughter of the Band’s Levon Helm, has appropriated a genre they were not born into, but like the Band’s elemental mishmash, Ollabelle’s approach to gospel standards like “Soul Of A Man,” and “Jesus On The Mainline” adds a refreshing musical sophistication to the inherent power of the songs themselves.

Keyboardist Glenn Patscha (a New York resident originally from Winnipeg) says the band formed in late 2001 out of a weekly jam session at an East Village bar. “We did a couple of gospel tunes one night, and the owner of the bar asked us to do a full gospel night every Sunday,” he explains. “People really caught on to it, because it just felt so honest and good, and out of that we started getting this real communal feeling playing together. You can’t help but feel that way when you play this music, and I think part of the fun was that we all sort of discovered that feeling for the first time when we played these songs.”

Although an established musician prior to forming Ollabelle, Patscha says that no one expected the band to catch on this quickly; they are now part of T-Bone Burnett’s DMZ Records roster and are touring with legends like Ralph Stanley. “The most amazing part of what we’ve done has been that this music has afforded us so many opportunities to become better musicians, and better people,” he says. “We’re all on our own spiritual paths from these different places we’ve come from, but we’ve found common ground in this music. I think that’s the appeal of it, that it doesn’t matter what your beliefs are. I think anybody can listen to these songs and be inspired.”

Royal City’s collective approach has likewise drawn comparisons to the Band, but for main songwriter Aaron Riches, his beliefs have always manifested themselves in much more complex ways than traditional gospel songs normally offer. In fact, talking about religion with the Guelph, ON native (currently in Virginia completing his PhD in theology) is both an intimidating and eye-opening experience. The band has just released its third album, Little Heart’s Ease, and while the lyrics once again have a ring of Old Testament starkness that would make Leonard Cohen proud, Riches says that most people miss the point when discussing his spiritual influences.

“Initially, my interest stemmed from English literature, which contains all the stories and metaphors our society is based on,” he says. “And if you go to any university English department and ask what the greatest work in the English language is, most people will say the King James Bible. What made it exciting to me was learning that part of the motivation in translating it into English was to try to create a common language for the first time, and that this language was imbued with a spirit beyond what the words themselves represented. These were some of the greatest poets who ever lived.”

Rather than taking any specific religious stance in his music, as a student of the folk tradition Riches understands its origins in the mysteries of the natural world. However, he admits that this remains a Judeo-Christian tradition simply because of the language used to articulate it. “I just keep going back in time,” he says. “I guess what started with a love of that old, weird American folk music has led me to explore more of where that kind of mystical language came from. So, on this new album there’s probably less of a gospel influence as opposed to maybe the writings of St. Augustine, but to me that’s still a continuation.”

Of course, not everyone is able to grasp such an approach, at least right away. Word had it that Royal City’s British label, Rough Trade, was considering marketing the band specifically to a Christian audience. Riches’ response to that prospect is unexpectedly terse: “No, we’re not a Christian band.”

Still Bigger Than Jesus?
No matter what trends prevail, music, like all art, will always retain a semblance of spirituality, since most accept that the creation of art is a spiritual experience. Of course, this experience is not limited to Christians. The influence of Islam, Rastafarianism, Buddhism, Krishna, Kabbalah – not to mention consciousness-expanding drugs – are separate stories unto themselves. But it seems that music remains one of the few realms where all their shared principles of peace, love, and understanding can be expressed (on the whole) in a non-judgmental way.

In his 1988 book Hungry For Heaven, British music journalist Steve Turner came to that conclusion, stating at the time of its revised edition in 1995, “I’m pretty sure that religious issues will always be fairly prominent in music. It amazes me that secular journalists don’t seem to see how much of rock, and how many of the leading musicians, have had this dalliance with religion. It’s a perpetual issue.”

But whatever beliefs an artist is espousing, they will undoubtedly always go hand-in-hand with a belief that music itself can be considered a spiritually binding force. As Craig Werner quoted Erykah Badu in A Change Is Gonna Come, “I think the Creator loves that we understand to get a foundation and then to build from there. I don’t stifle my creativity or my will to learn. My religion, if I have one, is probably the arts.”


God Was Their Co-Pilot
Rock’s Essential Religious Recordings

Elvis Presley – Peace In The Valley (RCA, 2000)
This three-disc set is intended to be the last word on the King’s treasured gospel side. With 87 tracks, there’s no denying that this was a major aspect of his art, one that made it acceptable for other rockers to venture into the sacred. Songs range from favourites like “His Hand In Mine” to the previously unreleased “Why Me Lord?”

The Electric Prunes – Mass In F Minor (Reprise, 1968)
More a construct of uber-hip producer/arranger David Axelrod, this acid rock landmark remains mind-boggling in both its audacity and power. Some will recognise “Kyrie Eleison” from the Easy Rider soundtrack, while others will note the album’s influence on Spinal Tap’s “Rock ‘N Roll Creation.”

Van Morrison – Astral Weeks (Warner Bros., 1968)
While not a religious album per se, Morrison’s unbridled performance certainly sees him at times approaching a state of nirvana few others glimpsed before or since. As his first proper solo album it set the standard for the spiritual journey he would undertake for the rest of his career, although he never recaptured the magic of this mystical document.

George Harrison – All Things Must Pass (Apple, 1970)
As the “spiritual” Beatle, Harrison’s beliefs brought the world to India, but on this solo debut, he manages to successfully weave them into a powerful wide-screen rock sound, with the help of Phil Spector and Eric Clapton. Despite its subject matter, “My Sweet Lord” was an undeniable hit, while the title track and “Art Of Dying” reveal a wisdom far beyond his years.

Bob Dylan – Slow Train Coming (Columbia, 1979)
At the time a shocking move for the born-again Jewish kid, Slow Train Coming remains one of his most well-crafted (and well-produced) albums. Twenty-five years on, the sheer beauty of “I Believe In You” and pure gospel zeal of “Gotta Serve Somebody” is undiminished. Also see 1980’s Saved and 1981’s Shot Of Love.

Sam Phillips – Zero Zero Zero (Virgin, 1999)
The wife of T-Bone Burnett, Phillips started in the Christian music industry, but eventually crossed over as her richly diverse songs began dealing with more earthly matters. This compilation of her personal favourites is a good introduction to her unique talent, and features contributions from Elvis Costello, Peter Buck, Van Dyke Parks and others.

Featured artist is Joel Sheesley

Joel Sheesley Show

Uploaded on Jan 30, 2008

Joel Sheesley’s exhibition at the Robert Kidd Gallery in Birmingham, MI, a suburb of Detroit.

Featured Artist: Joel Sheesley

22/08/2010Posted in: Featured Artist, Painters

Joel Sheesley’s work embodies an ethic of love for his domestic and local environment.  Each painting is a world seen through the eyes of a devoted lover.  Sheesley says in an interview with James Romaine, “I’ve recently started to think that maybe all of my work for the last 20 years has been a kind of geographical study, that is a study of a locale, an environment, a place and a person in that place.”  In that same interview he says, “my work is about trying to wrestle whatever kind of significance, beyond the material or naturalistic, that I can find in that reality.” Sheeley’s devotion to his immediate environment is aimed at allowing that environment to be itself and to bring forth its meaning.  He is committed to a world that is meaningful and that is sacramental in character.

A sacramental world is, in the words of theologian Alexander Schmeeman, “in itself an essential means both of knowledge of God and communion with Him, and to be so is its true nature and its ultimate destiny.”  Secularism, which is the affirmation of the world’s autonomy, is the result of an unfortunate turn of events in Western thought that defined the concepts ‘symbolic’ and ‘real’ as mutually exclusive.   Many of Sheesley’s paintings bear witness to a sacramental reality by bringing different levels of reality, the ordinary and extraordinary, into close proximity.

This sacramental understanding of reality is matched by a sacramental way of seeing.  His puddle paintings, in particular, are excellent examples of a ‘sacramental way of seeing.’  Looking at these paintings, we peer down at the puddles in the cracked earth and at the same time see the reflection of the sky and trees above us.  The puddles themselves reference eyeholes, as if we could see through the ground.  Sheesley combines ‘looking at’ and ‘looking beyond’ into a single action.  As Sheesley observes: “because of the precedent of the Incarnation, people and objects in the visible world can be imbued with symbolic meaning.”  The esteemed philosopher of science Holmes Rolston III writes that “humans are distinguished by their capacity to see others, to oversee a world.  Environmental ethics calls for seeing nonhumans, for seeing the biosphere, ecosystem communities, fauna, flora, the Earth.”  Sheesley’s artistic practice in a practice of seeing others aimed at discovering meaning in the world and not imposing meaning onto it.

After Paradise, 2002.  72 x 78″.  Oil on Canvas

North America, 2004. 42 x 84″.  Oil on Canvas.

Glory, 2006.  40 x 96″.  Oil on Canvas.

Going Up, 2007.  45 x 81″.  Oil on Canvas.

___________

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