Monthly Archives: August 2019

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 282 Aldous Huxley and the rock band Pink Floyd Featured artist is Hiwa K


FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE

Pink Floyd were an English rock band formed in London in 1965. They achieved international acclaim with their progressive and psychedelicmusic. Distinguished by their philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, extended compositions, and elaborate live shows, they are one of the most commercially successfuland influential groups in popular music history.

Pink Floyd
A black-and-white photo of five men standing in front of a brick wall.

Pink Floyd in January 1968, one of the only known photoshoots of all five members. Clockwise from bottom: Gilmour, Mason, Barrett, Waters and Wright.
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres
Years active
  • 1965–1995
  • 2005
  • 2012–2014
Labels
Website pinkfloyd.com
Past members

Pink Floyd were founded by students Syd Barrett on guitar and lead vocals, Nick Masonon drums, Roger Waters on bass and vocals, and Richard Wright on keyboards and vocals. They gained popularity performing in London’s underground music scene during the late 1960s, and under Barrett’s leadership released two charting singles and a successful debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn (1967). Guitarist and vocalist David Gilmour joined in December 1967; Barrett left in April 1968 due to deteriorating mental health. Waters became the primary lyricist and conceptual leader, devising the concepts behind their albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), Wish You Were Here (1975), Animals (1977), The Wall (1979) and The Final Cut (1983). The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall became two of the best-selling albums of all time.

Following creative tensions, Wright left Pink Floyd in 1979, followed by Waters in 1985. Gilmour and Mason continued as Pink Floyd, joined later by Wright. The three produced two more albums—A Momentary Lapse of Reason(1987) and The Division Bell (1994)—and toured through 1994. In 2005, after nearly two decades of enmity, Gilmour, Wright, Mason and Waters reunited as part of the global awareness event Live 8; Gilmour and Waters stated they had no further plans to reunite the band. Barrett died in 2006, and Wright in 2008. The last Pink Floyd studio album, The Endless River (2014), was recorded without Waters and based almost entirely on unreleased material from The Division Bell recording sessions.

Pink Floyd were inducted into the American Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996 and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. By 2013, they had sold more than 250 million records worldwide.

History

Rogers Waters sent letter on 2-10-16

January 31, 2016

Roger Waters c/o Millennium Promise,

Dear Roger,

Back in 1980 I read a book  that mentions your band PINK FLOYD. In his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Francis Schaeffer noted:

This emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs brought with it many rock groups–for example, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Most of their work was from 1965-1958. The Beatles’Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) also fits here. This disc is a total unity, not just an isolated series of individual songs, and for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. As a whole, this music was the vehicle to carry the drug culture and the mentality which went with it across frontiers which were almost impassible by other means of communication.

Since then I have become a fan of your music but I wanted to write you today about your most famous song ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL. I know that many of the members of your rock band are atheists or agnostics and it may surprise you to know that Solomon wrote the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES from an atheistic point of view.  Solomon did believe in God but in this book he  took a look at life “under the sun.” Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘under the sun.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.”

Without God in the picture then aren’t we all just ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL?

Francis Schaeffer comments on the Book of Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes 9:11

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sunwas grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…

That first great cry “So I hated life.” Naturally if you hate life you long for death and you find him saying this in Ecclesiastes 4:2-3:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

He lays down an order. It is best never have to been. It is better to be dead, and worse to be alive. But like all men and one could think of the face of Vincent Van Goghin his final paintings as he came to hate life and you watch something die in his self portraits, the dilemma is double because as one is consistent and one sees life as a game of chance, one must come in a way to hate life. Yet at the same time men never get beyond the fear to die. Solomon didn’t either. So you find him in saying this.

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

The Hebrew is stronger than this and it says “it happens EVEN TO ME,” Solomon on the throne, Solomon the universal man. EVEN TO ME, even to Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 9:12

12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Death can come at anytime. Death seen merely by the eye of man between birth and death and UNDER THE SUN. Death too is a thing of chance. Albert Camus speeding in a car with a pretty girl at his side and then Camus dead. Lawrence of Arabia coming up over a crest of a hill 100 miles per hour on his motorcycle and some boys are standing in the road and Lawrence turns aside and dies.

 Surely between birth and death these things are chance. Modern man adds something on top of this and that is the understanding that as the individual man will dies by chance so one day the human race will die by chance!!! It is the death of the human race that lands in the hand of chance and that is why men grew sad when they readNevil Shute’s book ON THE BEACH. 

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture.  Here is his final conclusion concerning the meaning of life and man’s proper place in the universe in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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In his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Francis Schaeffer noted:

The man who followed on from that point was English–Aldous Huxley (1894-1963). He proposed drugs as a solution. We should, he said, give healthy people drugs and they can then find truth inside their own heads. All that was left for Aldous Huxley and those who followed him was truth inside a person’s own head. With Huxley’s idea, what began with the existential philosophers – man’s individual subjectivity attempting to give order as well as meaning, in contrast to order being shaped by what is objective or external to oneself – came to its logical conclusion. Truth is in one’s own head. The ideal of objective truth was gone.

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This emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs brought with it many rock groups–for example, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Most of their work was from 1965-1958. The Beatles’Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) also fits here. This disc is a total unity, not just an isolated series of individual songs, and for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. As a whole, this music was the vehicle to carry the drug culture and the mentality which went with it across frontiers which were almost impassible by other means of communication.

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.

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?,

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There is also a confirmation of what the Bible says concerning the Egyptian King Tirhakah who came up to oppose the Assyrians. Confirmation of his reality is typified by a sphinx-ram in the British Museum (British Museum Ref. B.B.1779). The small figure between the legs of the ram is a representation of King Tirhakah. The Bible says that when Sennacherib heard that  Tirhakah, king of Eqypt, was coming to fight against him, he sent messengers to tell Hezekiah that help from Egypt would be of no use to him.

2 Kings 19:9, 10 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, “Behold, he has set out to fight against you.” So he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying,10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. (Isaiah 37:9-10 also says about the same thing.)

The date of Sennacherib’s campaign in Palestine is 701 B.C., and something which has often puzzled historians is the role of Tirhakah, who was not king of Egypt and Ethiopia until 690 B.C. But the solution to this problem is simple. In 701 B.C. Tirhakah was only a prince at the side of his military brother, the new Pharaoh Shebitku, who sent Tirhakah with an army to help Hezekiah fend off the Assyrian advance. But the story in Kings and Isaiah does not end in 701 B.C. It carries right through to the death of Sennacherib in 681 B.C., which is nine years after Tirhakah had become king of Egypt and Ethiopia. In other words, the biblical narrative, from the standpoint of 681 B.C., mentions Tirhakah by the title he bore at that time (that is, 681 B.C.), not as he was in 701 B.C. This is still done today, using a man’s title as he is known at the time of writing even it one is speaking of a previous time in his personal history.

Unaware of the the importance of these facts, and falling into wrong interpretations of some of Tirhakah’s inscriptions, some Old Testament scholars have stumbled over each in their eagerness to diagnose historical errors in the Books of the Kings and Isaiah. But as the archaeological confirmation shows, they were quite mistaken. What is striking about these archaeological finds is the way they often converge; there is often not just one line of evidence but several in which the biblical account is confirmed. We do not have confirmation of every single detail in the biblical account, by any means. Nor do we need such total confirmation in view of the amount of evidence there is. To insist on confirmation at every point would be to treat the Bible in a prejudiced way, simply because it is the Bible. The fact that is a religious book does not mean that it cannot also be true when it deals with history.

Not all archaeological finds have a convergence of many different interrelated lines like these around the life of Hezekiah, but they are no less striking. For example, take the “ration tablets” discovered in the ruins of Bablyon. The Bible tells us that after the Assyrians had destroyed the nothern kingdom of Samaria (around 721 B.C.), the southern kingdom, Judah, survived for almost another 150 years until approximately 586 B.C. By this time Assyria, one of the greatest military powers of the ancient world, had been defeated by Bablyon, a neighboring state to the east. That was in 609 B.C. Four years later the Babylonian general, Nebuchadnezzar–then the crown prince–came west and completely defeated Necho II, king of Egypt, at the battle of Carchemish. As a result of this victory he laid claim to Judah, which had previously been in the sphere of influence of Egypt. King Jehoiakim of Judah thus now paid tribute to the Babylonians. The Bible tells us that Jehoiakim rebelled three years later: “During Jehoiakim’s reign Nebuchadnezzar king of Bablyon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he changed his mind and rebelled against Nebuchnezzar” (II Kings 24:1).

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The political background for this step can be understood from the Babylonian Chronicles (British Museum, Ref. 21946, records events from 597 B.C. down to 594). These were a compressed chronological summary of the principal events from the Babylonian court. There had been a crucial battle in 601 B.C. between the Egyptians and the Babylonians. This had left both sides weakened, and Jehoiakim took this opportunity to declare his independence of the Babylonian king. His independence, or rather Judah’s independence, did not last long, for Jehoiakim himself died in 598 B.C., leaving his throne and the crisis to his son, Jehoiachin. Second Kings (II Kings 24:10-12, 17) tells us what happened:

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it, 12 and Jehoiachin the king of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself and his mother and his servants and his officials and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign. 17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

The story of Jehoiachin does not end there, however. The royal family were kept at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Bible says that they , like other royal captives, were provided for by the king with rations of grain and oil (II Kings 25:27-30):

27 And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed[a] Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. 28 And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived.

The records of these allowances referred to in the Bible were unearthed in excavations in Babylon in basement storerooms of the royal palace (in Staat-Liches Museum, East Berlin, Vorderas Abteilung; Babylon 28122 and 28126). These are known as the “ration tablets” and they record who received such “rations.” In these, Jehoiachin is mentioned by name.

We also have confirmation of the Babylonian advance towards Judah in Nebuchadezzar’s first campaign. Among the ruins of Lachish were discovered a number of ostraca. Ostraca are broken pieces of earthenware called postherds, which were used for writing on in ink. (The Lachish ostraca are in the Palestinian Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem.) These brief letters reveal the increasing tensions within the growing state of Judah and tie in well with the picture given in the Bible by the Book of Jeremiah the Prophet. In Ostracon VI, the princes are accused of “weakening our hands” (that is, discouraging the writers), which is the very phraseology used in the Bible by the Judean princes against Jeremiah. Also, the use of fire beacons for signaling is found in both Ostracon IV and Jeremiah 6:1, each using the same terminology.

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These events took place around the year 600 B.C. Events we considered earlier in relation to the capture of Lachish by Sennacherib during the reign of Hezekiah were around the year 700 B.C.


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Featured artist is Hiwa K

Hiwa K was born in Sulaymaniyah in Kurdistan, Iraq, in 1975. His sculptures, videos, and performances slyly weave together anecdotes from friends and family members with his biography. As a Kurdish Iraqi and immigrant to Germany, Hiwa K draws from personal memories to tell stories of our ongoing global crises: war, migration, and the effects of neoliberalism and colonialism. Documenting with video, the artist inserts himself into his works, which often involve participatory dimensions (such as group cooking classes, musical performances, and political protests) and collaborations with a wide cast of players, from Iraqi philosophers to Venetian metal casters. Largely self-taught, his multidisciplinary approach draws upon his peer-to-peer education in Iraq as well as his musical training under the Flamenco master, Paco Peña.

Hiwa K’s work explores the in between spaces, his sense of belonging, and the exchanges between Western and Middle Eastern cultures. Many of the artist’s works critique institutional systems, such as art education and professionalization, and the tension between the individual and the collective.

Hiwa K attended the Akademie der Bildende Kunst in Mainz, Germany, and was a guest student at Städelschule Frankfurt. His awards include the Arnold Bode Prize (2016); Schering Stiftung Art Award (2016); Kunstfonds Grant (2015); and Goethe Institut Grant (2014). He has had major exhibitions at the New Museum (2018, 2014); Documenta 14 (2017); KW Institute for Contemporary Art (2017); Venice Biennale (2015); La Triennale in Paris (2012); Serpentine Gallery (2012); and Manifesta 7 (2008). Hiwa K lives and works in Berlin

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part “Open letter to Harry Kroto’s friend Richard Dawkins” Reacting to tweet of Dawkins!!


August 28, 2019

Richard Dawkins c/o Richard Dawkins Foundation, 
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

i have enjoyed reading about a dozen of your books and some of the most intriguing were The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

In The NY Times article by Charles Blow that you tweeted on August 28, 2019 quoted this passage from George Washington’s 1796 Farewell Address: 

“The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest.”

Link is here

Here is more context of that quote:

[…] nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded […]. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. (32.1-3)

Another of Washington’s big ideas in the farewell address is “don’t make alliances with other countries.” The big reason, as he mentions here, is that when you do that, you bind yourself to that other country and ruin relationships with others. It takes away from your ability to make your own decisions. In other words, it takes away a country’s freedom to act in its own interest.

That probably is that the point that Charles Blow was trying to make. It is also of interest to me that he omitted this portion of Washington’s speech: 

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity,
religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim
the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of
human happiness – these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere
politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A
volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.
Let it simply be asked, “where is the security for property, for
reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths
which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice?” And let
us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without
religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on
minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect
that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.

It is substantially true that virtue or morality is a necessary spring of
popular government. The rule indeed extends with more or less force to every
species of free government. Who that is a sincere friend to it can look with
indifference upon attempts to shake the foundation of the fabric?

Trump’s Paradigm of the Personal

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

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

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

Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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May 8, 2016

Richard Dawkins
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

In the You Tube video SOMETHING FROM NOTHING ? [OFFICIAL] Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss [HD] 02-04-12 I noticed at the 3 minute mark that Lawrence Krauss said walking around campus with you generated interesting responses: 

I saw people fainting. People came up and shook our hands and were nervous and Richard produces that. I was going to say it was like walking around campus with Moses, but the difference is that I am absolutely certain that Richard Dawkins exists. (loud applause from audience). 

Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible and believe it or not it deals with the time of Moses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert DreyfusBart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. HänschBrian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesSteve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry KrotoGeorge LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksJohn SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de SousaVictor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard SusskindRaymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander VilenkinSir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 67th clip in this series are Richard Dawkins’ words that Harry Kroto wanted me to see. Since then I have read several of Richard Dawkins books and have attempted to respond to the contents of these books directly to Richard Dawkins by mail. In fact, I have been writing Richard Dawkins letters since May 15, 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of my heroes, Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time responding to many of Richard Dawkins’ heroes such as Carl Sagan, Jacques Monod, H.J. Blackham, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Max Planck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Gerald Horton, Edmund Leach, Louis Pasteur, George Wald, Jacob Bronowski, Steven Weinberg, Charles Darwin, Paul Kurtz, Peter Singer, Jonathan Miller, William B. Provine, Woody Allen, Noam Chomsky, James D. Watson, Francis Crick, Michael Polanyi, The Huxley family, Antony Flew, and Edward O. Wilson (Dawkins has since revised his opinion of Flew and Wilson, but he earlier regarded them very highly). 

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Francis Schaeffer 1911-1984

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Both Francis Schaeffer and Richard Dawkins have talked extensively about the life of Charles Darwin.

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Sir Harry Kroto with his high school friend Sir Ian McKellan at the FSU National High Field Magnetic Lab on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

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50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

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Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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Edit Post ‹ The Daily Hatch — WordPress

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

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Richard Dawkins Photos Photos – Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication – Zimbio

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication In This Photo: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Harold Kroto, Alexi Leonov, Garik Israelian

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Richard Dawkins, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Credit: Don Arnold Getty Images

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Garik Israelian, Stephen Hawking, Alexey Leonov, Brian May, Richard Dawkins and Harry Kroto

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Related posts:

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 48 Nobel Prize Winner and Global Warming Denier Ivar Giaever “I think religion is to blame for a lot of the ills in this world!”

October 20, 2015 – 5:20 am

  On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto _________________ Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner […]

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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 _________________ Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize […]

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

September 2, 2015 – 8:42 am

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said: …Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975 and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them. Harry Kroto ____________________ Below you have picture of 1996 Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner Dr. […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 156c My May 28, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

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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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are his words and  my response is below them. 

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.

My May 28, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

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The sermon WHO IS JESUS? was preached by Adrian Rogers (pictured below)  and my good friend Larry Speaks (pictured above) gave out hundreds of CD copies of it before he died on April 7, 2017 at the age of 69.

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Dr Keith Krell and his family pictured below:

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Woody Allen  and Mariel Hemingway pictured below: 

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The Visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon’, oil on canvas painting by Edward Poynter, 1890

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On the left are David and Kelly Rogers and their sons Jonathan and Stephen Rogers. During the sermon illustration in WHO IS JESUS? Adrian Rogers told of calling little Jonathan when his family was missionaries in Madrid, Spain.

The band Big Daddy Weave pictured below:

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Your friend Richard Dawkins with comedian Ricky Gervais

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May 28, 2017

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking, I have had some time to reflect on Larry Speaks’ funeral service and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you. When I think of the 34 years I knew Larry it reminds me of all the laughs we had together. Larry’s funeral was a happy occasion as we laughed at the many stories about Larry’s life. There was the occasion that Larry gave a  neighbor of his a chance to work at Larry’s SOUTHERN FRUIT AND GROCERY STORE  because his neighbor had nothing to do and that would keep him busy. We will call him Barry. Barry was a little strange but tried to be very helpful. There was the time Barry was trying to kill a fly with a fly swatter and accidentally busted the electric OPEN sign near the front window. Also Barry would ignore Larry’s instructions not  to talk politics with the customers and  get into arguments with the customers. Eventually Larry had to tell Barry that his help was no longer needed after a while. Larry said probably the first hint he got that Barry couldn’t handle the job was when Barry filled up his car tank with gas and he shook his car because Barry said that allowed more gas to get into the tank!!!   LAUGHTER is something you have been around. Your friend Ricky Gervais loves to joke about your brilliance. “Greatest mind on the planet. He’s not a genius, he’s pretentious. Born in Oxford and talks with that fake American accent”   I have seen the YouTube videos of BEYOND THE FRINGE with your British friends Jonathan Miller, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett. I have got a lot of laughs by watching those clips. Peter Cook once said, “Hitler was a very peculiar person wasn’t he? He was another dominator you know — Hitler. And he was a wonderful ballroom dancer. Not many people know that.”

Image result for david attenborough Jonathan miller

  As you know I am writing you a series of letters on Solomon’s efforts to find a meaning and purpose to life. In the Book of Ecclesiastes what are all of the 6 “L” words that Solomon looked into? He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). Probing the area of LAUGHTER was one of Solomon’s first places to start. In Ecclesiastes 2:2 he starts this quest but he concludes it is not productive to be laughing the whole time and not considering the serious issues of life. “I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (2:2).   Then Solomon  asserted the nihilistic statement in Ecclesiastes 2:17: “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Keith Krell in his article, 3. Trivial Pursuits (Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26), notes:

What would it take to make you happy? What if you had the wealth of Bill Gates or Donald Trump? Would this make you happy? What if you had the success of Oprah or Martha Stewart? Do you think you could be happy? What if you had the brains of Carl Sagan or Stephen Hawking? Do you think you could be happy? Let me guess. Your answer is, “I don’t know, but I’d sure like to give it a try.”

A few people have been able to possess wealth, success, and intelligence just as I described. Solomon, the third king of Israel, was one of them. In some ways he had everything. He had a thousand wives and concubines, enormous wealth, international respect, and unparalleled wisdom. What he didn’t always have, however, was a reason for living. He didn’t always have happiness. He fits the pattern of the highly gifted, extremely ambitious person who climbs the ladder of success—only to contemplate jumping off once he’s reached the top.39

In the first eleven verses of Ecclesiastes chapter one, Solomon examined three broad categories in his search for the key to life: human history, physical nature, and human nature. Now in 1:12-2:26, he narrows his search to his own personal experience.40 In a sense he takes us on his own spiritual sojourn as he searches for satisfaction in life. In the memoirs that follow Solomon informs us that he sought satisfaction in four broad categories, but wound up empty-handed.

  • Humor (2:2). Solomon writes, “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.’ And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, ‘It is madness,’ and of pleasure, ‘What does it accomplish?’”57 Solomon mocks “laughter” as “madness.” I’m not surprised he labeled it “madness.” Do you really think the leading comedians of our day are sincerely satisfied with life? Has humor given them an inside track on human happiness? Hardly.58 It is easy to seek to lose ourselves in comedy and entertainment whether it is in a theater, in front of our TV, or on-line. Although it can seem like a great escape, it leaves us empty in the end.

_____ Francis Schaeffer quoted Woody Allen in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? (co-authored by Dr. C. Everett Koop): One of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. __ 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.” _____

As you know the sermon WHO IS JESUS? was Larry’s favorite sermon and he gave hundreds of that CD copies away.  Let me share a little from that message but first let me give you some background information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. Just two days ago I attended a U2 concert in Dallas and I heard them sing the song I STILL HAVEN’T FOUND WHAT I’M LOOKING FOR. That  song was perplexing to me because in the song they claim to be believers in Christ, but they are still looking for satisfaction and meaning to their lives outside of Christ. This morning in his sermon, Brandon Barnard, one of our teaching pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH noted concerning Hebrews 12:1-3:

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

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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April 2, 2015 – 7:05 am

The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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 )

March 22, 2015 – 12:30 am

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March 19, 2015 – 12:21 am

  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 […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul MacCartney, Raqib Shaw, Ringo Starr | Edit | Comments (0)

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

March 12, 2015 – 12:16 am

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March 5, 2015 – 4:47 am

MUSIC MONDAY The Clash Song LONDON CALLING is about the Bomb, FRANCIS SCHAEFFER TAKES LOOK AT NIHILISM AND THE THREAT OF NUCLEAR ANNIHILATION

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London calling to the faraway towns
Now war is declared and battle come down
London calling to the underworld
Come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls
London calling, now don’t look to us
Phony Beatlemania has bitten the dust
London calling, see we ain’t got no swing
Except for the ring of that truncheon thingThe ice age is coming, the sun is zooming in
Meltdown expected, the wheat is growin’ thin
Engines stop running, but I have no fear
‘Cause London is drowning, and I, I live by the riverLondon calling to the imitation zone
Forget it, brother, you can go it alone
London calling to the zombies of death
Quit holding out and draw another breath
London calling and I don’t want to shout
But when we were talking I saw you nodding out

London calling,… Source: LyricFind

 4 minutes read

Why the Hell is ‘London Calling’ so Controversial?

December 31, 2011


A lot of people confuse punk rockers to only be a green, spiky, mohawked, tattooed, nihilistic bunch of rebels, screaming nonsensically into their mikes, tearing their instruments apart and spitting on people. Well, they should actually be compared to the artsy Bohemians of the Moulin rouge days. Their music is orchestrated and their politically-charged lyrics should be compared to modern-day poetry. What mattered in punk weren’t the clothes or the music, but the DIY attitude behind them.  And, one of the bands who pioneered this attitude was The Clash.

They were one of the earliest  British punk rock bands and have been a major influence for the alternative rock genre for bands such as U2, The Ramones, Green Day, The Hives and even M.I.A of ‘Paper Planes’ fame. Despite their rebellious attitude and their leftist ideologies, they achieved mainstream success and critical acclaim, which was an unheard phenomenon for a punk band at the time.

‘London Calling’ is considered the band’s finest hit even though most mainstream labels received at the post-apocalyptic lyrics with apprehension. The song was the band’s first overseas hit, making it to the top music charts in the US and Australia. The song is reminiscent of the good old disco days. With its swinging rhythms and powerful bass lines, it would make anyone want to dance. But after you are done doing your beer-induced jig, do pay attention to the lyrics.

The Clash manages to critique just about everything under the sun.  The title ‘London Calling’ is with reference to how the BBC radio identified themselves during WWII in British-occupied countries.  The band goes on to talk about how mainstream bands like The Beatles make it difficult for the Punk Movement to thrive.  Frontman Joe Strummer sings about the brutality of the police officers with their ‘truncheon’ (or ‘batons’ as they are better known), about the growing concerns of global warming, starvation, nuclear warfare and even the rising water level of the Thames. At the very end of this song, the Morse code for S-O-S can be heard, reflecting the idea of how Strummer wanted the ‘boys’ and girls’ to come out their ‘closet’ and be a part of their fictional revolution.

So, why is this song so controversial? Maybe it’s because it talks about British misery, injustice and the coldness of London towards the concerns of its citizens. In an interview in 2002, Joe Strummer revealed that the reason why people are terrified of ‘London Calling’ is because it talks about the troubles of the common man and the looming threat of censorship.  It is a song about terrorism but it’s got nothing to do with the kind of terrorism we know today.  However, this did not stop the London police from detaining Harraj Mann, a mobile phone salesman who was humming ‘London Calling’ on the way to the airport. A paranoid taxi driver called the authorities on Harraj after he requested the cabbie to turn up the volume when the song was playing. After being detained for several hours, Harraj missed his flight because of his taste in music.

This wasn’t the first time someone was harassed by the police over a Clash song. In 2004, Mike Devine was questioned by a ‘special task force’ after he texted the lyrics of another song called ‘Tommy Gun’ because they included the words ‘gun’ and jetliner’.  Another one of their songs ‘Rock the Casbah’ was banned from being played on the radio after 9/11. The British did the same during The Gulf War.

Much of The Clash’s ethos can be found in the way the band treated the fans.  It was truly a ‘people’s band’, pricing their tickets and souvenirs at a reasonable fee even at the peak of their popularity. Bono has famously commented that The Clashwrote the rulebook for U2.

What is most ironic about ‘London Calling’ is that, it is now set to be the anthem of the 2012 Olympic Games for their publicity campaign. This is a perfect example of how a song becomes so familiar that its original meaning is lost. The same can be said for Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Born in the USA’ which was originally meant to be an anti-Vietnam ballad but is now misinterpreted to follow patriotic and nationalistic themes.  While the song is meant to be a cry for help for Springsteen because of his loss in national pride, the song was used extensively for Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign. Sigh. The heights of stupidity never cease to amaze me.

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Francis Schaeffer noted:

I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

“They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

OUTLINE OF ECCLESIATES BY SCHAEFFER

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William Lane Craig on Man’s predicament if God doesn’t exist

Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know.

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

Francis Schaeffer looks at Nihilism of Solomon and the causes of it!!!

Notes on Ecclesiastes by Francis Schaeffer

Solomon is the author of Ecclesiastes and he is truly an universal man like Leonardo da Vinci.

Two men of the Renaissance stand above all others – Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and it is in them that one can perhaps grasp a view of the ultimate conclusion of humanism for man. Michelangelo was unequaled as a sculptor in the Renaissance and arguably no one has ever matched his talents.

The other giant of the Renaissance period was Leonardo da Vinci – the perfect Renaissance Man, the man who could do almost anything and does it better than most anyone else. As an inventor, an engineer, an anatomist, an architect, an artist, a chemist, a mathematician, he was almost without equal. It was perhaps his mathematics that lead da Vinci to come to his understanding of the ultimate meaning of Humanism. Leonardo is generally accepted as the first modern mathematician. He not only knew mathematics abstractly but applied it in his Notebooks to all manner of engineering problems. He was one of the unique geniuses of history, and in his brilliance he perceived that beginning humanistically with mathematics one only had particulars. He understood that man beginning from himself would never be able to come to meaning on the basis of mathematics. And he knew that having only individual things, particulars, one never could come to universals or meaning and thus one only ends with mechanics. In this he saw ahead to where our generation has come: everything, including man, is the machine.

Leonardo da Vinci compares well to Solomon and they  both were universal men searching for the meaning in life. Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life. Not just plans in life. Anybody can find plans in life. A child can fill up his time with plans of building tomorrow’s sand castle when today’s has been washed away. There is  a difference between finding plans in life and purpose in life. Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it since. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

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Here is the universal man and his genius. Solomon is the universal man with a empire at his disposal. Solomon had it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

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.

(Added by me: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.” )

Man is caught in the cycle

Ecclesiastes 1:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

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.

All things are full of weariness;
    a man cannot utter it;
the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
    nor the ear filled with hearing.
What has been is what will be,
    and what has been done is what will be done,
    and there is nothing new under the sun.
10 Is there a thing of which it is said,
    “See, this is new”?
It has been already
    in the ages before us.

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Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. 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.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

A generation goes, and a generation comes,
    but the earth remains forever.

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Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

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In verses 1:4 and 4:16 Solomon places man in the cycle. He doesn’t place man outside of the cycle. Man doesn’t escape the cycle. Man is only cycle. Birth and death and youth and old age. With this in mind Solomon makes this statement.

Ecclesiastes 6:12

12 For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?

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There is no doubt in my mind that Solomon had the same experience in his life that I had as a younger man. 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 and I felt as man as God. 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.

THIS IS SOLOMON’S FEELING TOO. The universal man, Solomon, beyond our intelligence with an empire at his disposal with the opportunity of observation so he could recite these words here in Ecclesiastes 6:12, “For who knows what is good for a man during his lifetime, during the few years of his futile life? He will spend them like a shadow. For who can tell a man what will be after him under the sun?”

Lack of Satisfaction in life

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell itThe eye is not satisfied with seeing, Nor is the ear filled with hearing.” Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing. THERE IS NO FINAL SATISFACTION. This is related to Leonardo da Vinci’s similar search for universals and then meaning in life. 

In Ecclesiastes 5:11 Solomon again pursues this theme, When good things increase, those who consume them increase. So what is the advantage to their owners except to look on?”  Doesn’t that sound modern? It is as modern as this evening. Solomon here is stating the fact there is no reaching completion in anything and this is the reason there is no final satisfaction. There is simply no place to stop. It is impossible when laying up wealth for oneself when to stop. It is impossible to have the satisfaction of completion. 

Pursuing Learning

Now let us look down the details of his searching.

In Ecclesiastes 1: 13a we have the details of the universal man’s procedure. “And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven.”

So like any sensible man the instrument that is used is INTELLECT, and RAITIONALITY, and LOGIC. It is to be noted that even men who despise these in their theories begin and use them or they could not speak. There is no other way to begin except in the way they which man is and that is rational and intellectual with movements of that is logical within him. As a Christian I must say gently in passing that is the way God made him.

So we find first of all Solomon turned to WISDOM and logic. Wisdom is not to be confused with knowledge. A man may have great knowledge and no wisdom. Wisdom is the use of rationality and logic. A man can be very wise and have limited knowledge. Here he turns to wisdom in all that implies and the total rationality of man.

Works of Men done Under the Sun

After wisdom Solomon comes to the great WORKS of men. Ecclesiastes 1:14,  “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is [p]vanity and striving after wind.” Solomon is the man with an empire at this disposal that speaks. This is the man who has the copper refineries in Ezion-geber. This is the man who made the stables across his empire. This is the man who built the temple in Jerusalem. This is the man who stands on the world trade routes. He is not a provincial. He knew what was happening on the Phonetician coast and he knew what was happening in Egypt. There is no doubt he already knew something of building. This is Solomon and he pursues the greatness of his own construction and his conclusion is VANITY AND VEXATION OF SPIRIT.

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. 20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

He looked at the works of his hands, great and multiplied by his wealth and his position and he shrugged his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun? 23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Man can not rest and yet he is never done and yet the things which he builds will out live him. If one wants an ironical three phrases these are they. There is a Dutch saying, “The tailor makes many suits but one day he will make a suit that will outlast the tailor.”

God has put eternity in our hearts but we can not know the beginning or the end of the thing from a vantage point of UNDER THE SUN

Ecclesiastes 1:16-18

16 I said to myself, “Behold, I have magnified and increased wisdom more than all who were over Jerusalem before me; and my mind has observed a wealth of wisdom and knowledge.” 17 And I set my mind to know wisdom and to know madness and folly; I realized that this also is striving after wind.18 Because in much wisdom there is much grief, and increasing knowledge results in increasing pain.

Solomon points out that you can not know the beginnings or what follows:

Ecclesiastes 3:11

11 He has made everything  appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.

Ecclesiastes 1:11

11 There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.

Ecclesiastes 2:16

16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!

You bring together here the factor of the beginning and you can’t know what immediately follows after your death and of course you can’t know the final ends. What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine:

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Translation by Edward Fitzgerald)

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. Papa Hemingway can find the champagne of Paris sufficient for a time, but one he left his youth he never found it sufficient again. He had a lifetime spent looking back to Paris and that champagne and never finding it enough. It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself MALE AND  FEMALE SINGERS AND THE PLEASURES OF MEN–MANY CONCUBINES.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

He doesn’t mean there is no temporary profit but there is no real profit. Nothing that lasts. The walls crumble if they are as old as the Pyramids. You only see a shell of the Pyramids and not the glory that they were. This is what Solomon is saying. Look upon Solomon’s wonder and consider the Cedars of Lebanon which were not in his domain but at his disposal.

Ecclesiastes 6:2

a man to whom God has given riches and wealth and honor so that his soul lacks nothing of all that he desires; yet God has not empowered him to eat from them, for a foreigner enjoys them. This is vanity and a severe affliction.

Can someone stuff himself with food he can’t digest? Solomon came to this place of strife and confusion when he went on in his search for meaning.

 Oppressed have no comforter

Ecclesiastes 4:1

 Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Between birth and death power rules. Solomon looked over his kingdom and also around the world and proclaimed that right does not rule but power rules.

Ecclesiastes 7:14-15

14 In the day of prosperity be happy, but in the day of adversity consider—God has made the one as well as the other so that man will not discover anything that will be after him.

15 I have seen everything during my lifetime of futility; there is a righteous man who perishes in his righteousness and there is a wicked man who prolongs his life in his wickedness.

Ecclesiastes 8:14

14 There is futility which is done on the earth, that is, there are righteous men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the wicked. On the other hand, there are evil men to whom it happens according to the deeds of the righteous. I say that this too is futility.

We could say it in 20th century language, “The books are not balanced in this life.”

Pursuing Ladies

If one would flee to alcohol, then surely one may choose sexual pursuits to flee to. Solomon looks in this area too.

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

25 I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. 26 And I discovered more bitter than death the woman whose heart is snares and nets, whose hands are chains. One who is pleasing to God will escape from her, but the sinner will be captured by her.

27 “Behold, I have discovered this,” says the Preacher, “adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 28 I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman. (Good News Translation on verse 28)

One can understand both Solomon’s expertness in this field and his bitterness.

I Kings 11:1-3 (New American Standard Bible) 

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love. He had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines, and his wives turned his heart away.

An expert but also the reason for his bitterness. Certainly there have been many men over the centuries who have daydreamed of Solomon’s wealth in this area [of women], but at the end it was sorry, not only sorry but nothing and less than nothing. The simple fact is that one can not know woman in the real sense by pursuing 1000 women. It is not possible. Woman is not found this way. All that is left in this setting if one were to pursue the meaning of life in this direction is this most bitter word found in Ecclesiastes 7:28, “I have looked for other answers but have found none. I found one man in a thousand that I could respect, but not one woman.” (Good News Translation on verse 28) He was searching in the wrong way. He was searching for the answer to life in the limited circle of that which is beautiful in itself but not an answer finally in sexual life. More than that he finally tried to find it in variety and he didn’t even touch one woman at the end.

Relative truth/ Chance and time/ death comes to fool and wiseman/ tried pagan religions

He plunged in such a scientific procedure finally into the thought of final relative truth.

Ecclesiastes 8:6-7

For there is a time and a way for everything, although man’s trouble lies heavy on him. For he does not know what is to be, for who can tell him how it will be?

In such a setting he is led into misery. Relative truth is also expressed in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” He is not saying this in a positive sense, but it is in a negative sense here. Relative truth in light of Ecclesiastes 8:6-7. When you come to the concept of relative truth only one more step remains and that is that chance rules. Chance is king.

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Ecclesiastes 9:11

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…

That first great cry “So I hated life.” Naturally if you hate life you long for death and you find him saying this in Ecclesiastes 4:2-3:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

He lays down an order. It is best never have to been. It is better to be dead, and worse to be alive. But like all men and one could think of the face of Vincent Van Gogh in his final paintings as he came to hate life and you watch something die in his self portraits, the dilemma is double because as one is consistent and one sees life as a game of chance, one must come in a way to hate life. Yet at the same time men never get beyond the fear to die. Solomon didn’t either. So you find him in saying this.

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

The Hebrew is stronger than this and it says “it happens EVEN TO ME,” Solomon on the throne, Solomon the universal man. EVEN TO ME, even to Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[n] 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

What he is saying is as far as the eyes are concerned everything grinds to a stop at death.

Ecclesiastes 4:16

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

That is true. There is no place better to feel this than here in Switzerland. You can walk over these hills and men have walked over these hills for at least 4000 years and when do you know when you have passed their graves or who cares? It doesn’t have to be 4000 years ago. Visit a cemetery and look at the tombstones from 40 years ago. Just feel it. IS THIS ALL THERE IS? You can almost see Solomon shrugging his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 8:8

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. (King James Version)

A remarkable two phrase. THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR or you can translate it “no casting of weapons in that war.” Some wars they come to the end. Even the THIRTY YEARS WAR (1618-1648) finally finished, but this is a war where there is no casting of weapons and putting down the shield because all men fight this battle and one day lose. But more than this he adds, WICKEDNESS WON’T DELIVER YOU FROM THAT FIGHT. Wickedness delivers men from many things, from tedium in a strange city for example. But wickedness won’t deliver you from this war. It isn’t that kind of war. More than this he finally casts death in the world of chance.

Ecclesiastes 9:12

12 For man does not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

Death can come at anytime. Death seen merely by the eye of man between birth and death and UNDER THE SUN. Death too is a thing of chance. Albert Camus speeding in a car with a pretty girl at his side and then Camus dead. Lawrence of Arabia coming up over a crest of a hill 100 miles per hour on his motorcycle and some boys are standing in the road and Lawrence turns aside and dies.

 Surely between birth and death these things are chance. Modern man adds something on top of this and that is the understanding that as the individual man will dies by chance so one day the human race will die by chance!!! It is the death of the human race that lands in the hand of chance and that is why men grew sad when they read Nevil Shute’s book ON THE BEACH. 

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In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me thatKerry 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, like Solomon and Coldplay, they 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.”

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

The movie maker Woody Allen has embraced the nihilistic message of the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas. David Segal in his article, “Things are Looking Up for the Director Woody Allen. No?” (Washington Post, July 26, 2006), wrote, “Allen is evangelically passionate about a few subjects. None more so than the chilling emptiness of life…The 70-year-old writer and director has been musing about life, sex, work, death and his generally futile search for hope…the world according to Woody is so bereft of meaning, so godless and absurd, that the only proper response is to curl up on a sofa and howl for your mommy.”

The song “Dust in the Wind” recommends, “Don’t hang on.” Allen himself says, “It’s just an awful thing and in that context you’ve got to find an answer to the question: ‘Why go on?’ ”  It is ironic that Chris Martin the leader of Coldplay regards Woody Allen as his favorite director.

Lets sum up the final conclusions of these gentlemen:  Coldplay is still searching for that “something more.” Woody Allen has concluded the search is futile. Livgren and Hope of Kansas have become Christians and are involved in fulltime ministry. 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.”

You can hear Kerry Livgren’s story from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

Calvary Chapel Spring Valley | Sunday Evening | September 2, 2012 | Pastor Derek Neider

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! The best tribute I have read on the life of John Raymond Smythies

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. John Raymond Smythies on January 28, 2019 in La Jolla, CA, and this tribute below is the best I have read.

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Well into his 80’s, John decided to join the world-famous neuroscience team lead by Dr. Ramachandran, in California and remained active until a few months before his demise in January this year. A tribute by Prof. Ashoka, exclusively in Different Truths. 

I have always harboured the belief that psychiatry over the years has lost a large part of its sheen because of its reluctance to encompass the entire scope of the discipline. Many if not most of its dimensions are completely ignored in the training process, which suffocates the specialty to a large extent.

One of the foremost pioneers to challenge this status quo was John Raymond Smythies. As he had deviated from the mainstream, he is not as widely known as his contribution merits.

John was born in Nainital where his father was a philatelist in 1922. His more than fluent Hindi had its provenance to his various interactions with his playmates and father’s colleagues with whom he retained lifelong contact. Following his relocation to the United Kingdom, he completed his medical training in Cambridge and then worked with the Royal Navy in Bermuda, which is where he developed an interest in psychiatry.

But he was very clear that he did not wish to step into his discipline unless he had what he regarded as ‘proper grounding.’ He therefore decided to train as a neuroscientist under the Nobel Laureate, Sir John Eccles. While still a neuroscience researcher, he appreciated the philosophico-anthropological contribution to the understanding of mental health and developed a deep friendship with Aldous Huxley. He then moved to the United States where he formally trained and obtained a masters’ in philosophy and submitted his dissertation to the University of Cambridge, which earned him an M.D.

Only then did he consider himself ready to undergo psychiatric training at the Maudsley Hospital under Sir Aubrey Lewis. He then felt he needed some grounding in biochemistry and worked with John Osmond for two years before taking up a clinical assignment. He spent 12 years in Edinburgh at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital (where I trained).

His orientation quite frequently put him at odds with his colleagues, but he persisted, nevertheless. He noticed that mescaline could produce schizophrenia like symptoms and published a hypothesis that came to be the first biological explanation for schizophrenia and was popularised as ‘transmethylation hypothesis’. This created quite a lot of excitement in those days. But he firmly believed that in order to fully comprehend schizophrenia, one needed a philosophical orientation along with a neurobiological.

He moved to Alabama to take up an endowed chair in psychiatry and remained there for over 20 years continuing with his neurobiological-philosophical research in psychiatric disorders. He was an absolute delight to listen to and a regular at both neuroscience and philosophical conclaves. Well into his 80’s, he decided to join the world-famous neuroscience team lead by Dr. Ramachandran, in California, and remained active until a few months before his demise in January this year.

Somehow the sad news took its time to reach me. There are many, me included, who looked to him for inspiration and were always rewarded with effusive hospitality over meals at his place, where he lived with his Italian wife.

I mourn the passing away of a pioneer. We shall not see the likes of him again!

©Prof. Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad

Ashoka Jahnavi Prasad is a physician /psychiatrist holding doctorates in pharmacology, history and philosophy plus a higher doctorate. He is also a qualified barrister and geneticist. He is a regular columnist in several newspapers, has published over 100 books and has been described by the Cambridge News as the ‘most educationally qualified in the world’.

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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 95th clip in this series are his words but today I just wanted to pause and look at this life. 

Quote from Dr. John Raymond Smythies

I would like to describe how mescaline works. These hallucination drugs have a very specific action in two ways. Number 1 they produce fantastic visual hallucinations. These are described by the people who have them (most of them are down to earth scientists such as MacDonald Critchley) as being more beautiful than anything they have ever seen in normal art. Some of these people have the sort of experience as union with God, mystical experiences and so on.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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  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 […]

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_______________ 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 […]

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____________________________________ 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 […]

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 281 My January 10, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner on the subject of the worth of pursuing wisdom in the Book of Ecclesiastes based on a message by Ben Parkinson of Fellowship Bible Church of Little Rock (Featured artist is Eddie Martinez)

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Image result for hugh hefner

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Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences, and you can see that said again in the article, “Godliness is Soul-Satisfying.”

In the next few weeks I will be posting some letters that I sent to Hugh Hefner that were based primarily on the sermon series BETTER THAN which is a study in the BOOK OF ECCLESIASTES done by our pastors at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 2016.  Our teaching pastors here are Mark Henry,

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Ben Parkinson

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

and Brandon Barnard.

Image result for fellowship bible church mark henry

Today’s letter is based on a sermon by Ben Parkinson.

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January 10, 2016

Dear Mr. Hefner,

I THOUGHT OF YOU TODAY HUGH WHEN OUR TEACHING PASTOR Ben Parkinson delivered his message  on ECCLESIASTES on the subject of WISDOM at our church FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH.

HUGH, You are an intellectual person who graduated from the University of Illinois in 1949 with a degree in Psychology. I read on CNN’S website that you also attended the ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO in 1946. My niece is now in her third year at Columbia College in Chicago finishing up an art degree.

CNN also said:

The Playboy message appears in the 1953 premiere issue: “We like our apartment. We enjoy mixing up cocktails and an hors d’oeuvre or two, putting a little mood music on the phonograph and inviting in a female acquaintance for a quiet discussion on Picasso, Nietzsche, jazz, sex…”

You have always tried to emphasize the intellectual aspect of your life. In your discussion with William F. Buckley on FIRING LINE you demonstrated your intellectual abilities and I am glad that you do not shy away from doing so. Today I want to ask you to match your wit with King Solomon’s words from 3000 years ago. Here are some of the points that Ben made in his sermon this morning:

SEEING EARTHLY WISDOM AS THE ANSWER TO EVERYTHING ULTIMATELY LETS US DOWN.

  1. Wisdom can’t give us eternal life. 

 Ecclesiastes 2:14-16

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them.  16 B How the wise dies just like the fool!

Ecclesiastes 9:1-6

Death Comes to All

9 But all this I laid to heart, examining it all, how the righteous and the wise and their deeds are in the hand of God. Whether it is love or hate, man does not know; both are before him. It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil,[a] to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath. This is an evil in all that is done under the sun, that the same event happens to all. Also, the hearts of the children of man are full of evil, andmadness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead.But he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion. For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Their love and their hate and their envy have already perished, and forever they have no more share in all that is done under the sun.

2. Wisdom can’t guarantee us a better life.

Ecclesiastes 2:15

15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all. 12 For mandoes not know his time. Like fish that are taken in an evil net, and like birds that are caught in a snare, so the children of man are snared at an evil time, when it suddenly falls upon them.

3. Wisdom can’t secure us a lasting legacy.

Ecclesiastes 2:16 A

16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten.

4. Wisdom can’t be mastered.

Ecclesiastes 12:11-12

11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

SO WHAT DO WE DO?

Pursue wisdom and knowledge, because it’s better than living without it. 

Submit your wisdom to God because heavenly wisdom is greater then earthly wisdom. 

Ecclesiastes 12:11-12

11 The words of the wise are like goads, and like nails firmly fixed are the collected sayings; they are given by one Shepherd. 12 My son, beware of anything beyond these. Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.

Let wisdom point us to the ultimate wisdom….JESUS! (Solomon points to God and life ABOVE THE SUN in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14)

1 Corinthians 1:18-25

Christ the Wisdom and Power of God

18 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19 For it is written,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,
    and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.”

20 Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach[a] to save those who believe. 22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, 24 but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

1 Corinthians 2:6-9

Wisdom from the Spirit

Yet among the mature we do impart wisdom, although it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to pass away. But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But, as it is written,

“What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
    nor the heart of man imagined,
what God has prepared for those who love him”—

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Francis 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.” THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT MODERN DAY EVOLUTIONISTS TELL US WHAT HAS DETERMINED THE PAST AND WILL DETERMINE THE FUTURE AND THAT IS “Time plus Chance plus Matter.”

As you know Solomon was searching for  for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into LEARNING (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Here is his final conclusion concerning LEARNING:

ECCLESIASTES 1:12-18, 2:12-17 LEARNING

12 I the Preacher have been king over Israel in Jerusalem. 13And I applied my heart to seek and to search out by wisdom all that is done under heaven. It is an unhappy business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. 14 I have seen everything that is done UNDER THE SUN, and behold, all is vanity[g] and a striving after wind.[h]

15 What is crooked cannot be made straight,
    and what is lacking cannot be counted.

16 I said in my heart, “I have acquired great wisdom, surpassing all who were over Jerusalem before me, and my heart has had great experience of wisdom and knowledge.17 And I applied my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is but a striving after wind.

18For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.

12So I turned to consider wisdom and madness and folly. For what can the man do who comes after the king? Only what has already been done. 13 Then I saw that there is more gain in wisdom than in folly, as there is more gain in light than in darkness. 14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity. 16 For of the wise as of the fool there is no enduring remembrance, seeing that in the days to come all will have been long forgotten. How the wise dies just like the fool! 1So I hated life, because what is done UNDER THE SUN was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind.

HUGH why not take a few minutes and just read the short chapter of Psalms 22 that was written hundreds of years before the Romans even invented the practice of Crucifixion. 1000 years BC the Jews had the practice of stoning people but we read in this chapter a graphic description of Christ dying on the cross. How do you explain that without looking ABOVE THE SUN to God. Ecclesiastes was written to those who wanted to examine life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and Solomon’s conclusion in the final chapter was found in Ecclesiastes 12 when he looked at life ABOVE THE SUN:

13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. 14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, with every secret thing, whether good or evil.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: This is the 13th letter I have written to you and again I have taken an aspect of your life and responded with what the Bible has to say on that subject. Your intellectual side is obviously very important to you and the sermon I heard today was on that subject so I thought I would pass it on to you. If you go to http://www.fellowshiponline.com you can click on resources and watch the actual sermon preached by Ben Parkinson on Ecclesiastes. Our pastors will be in this series on Ecclesiastes for several Sundays. Watching our church services may remind you of your childhood when you grew up in the church!!!

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Featured artist is Eddie Martinez

Eddie Martinez Whistles While He Works | ART21 “New York Close Up”

Published on Jun 15, 2012

How does it feel to start a new painting? Filmed in his Greenpoint, Brooklyn studio, artist Eddie Martinez starts a large new painting while taking a break to walk his French bulldog Franny in his graffiti-clad neighborhood. Surrounded by an abundance of recently completed paintings, Martinez refers to these compositions while working on a new seven-by-ten foot canvas. Martinez uses black spray paint to make a quick sketch before introducing larger fields of saturated color and developing a densely textured surface. Constantly moving and filling the studio’s silence with his own whistling, he impatiently makes marks and scrapes off paint before it’s had a chance to dry. Equating his very physical practice to that of a boxing ring, Martinez approaches his canvas like a fighter, rhythmically coming into contact and then stepping back from his opponent. Under his pet Franny’s affectionate gaze, Martinez is satisfied by the painting’s rapid progress at the end of the day, a testament to his ability to productively harness his anxiety and aggression in the studio.

Eddie Martinez (b. 1977, Groton, Connecticut) lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

CREDITS | “New York Close Up” Created & Produced by: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Editor: Brad Kimbrough. Cinematography: John Marton & Rafael Moreno Salazar. Sound: Nick Ravich. Associate Producer: Ian Forster. Production Assistant: Amanda Long. Design & Graphics: Crux Studio & Open. Artwork: Eddie Martinez. Thanks: Sam Moyer & Franny. An Art21 Workshop Production. © Art21, Inc. 2012. All rights reserved.

“New York Close Up” is supported, in part, by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council; Toby Devan Lewis; the Dedalus Foundation, Inc.; and the Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Inc. Additional support provided by The 1896 Studios & Stages, and by individual contributors.

For more info: art21.org/newyorkcloseup

Thanks to the following volunteers for providing subtitles:

ENGLISH
Amy Vazquez
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

BENGALI
s_baner
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

FRENCH
Frenchie4ever
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

GREEK
Mary Keramida
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

HEBREW
Elinoar Almagor
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

INDONESIAN
Indrie Agustina
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

ITALIAN
Giulia Di Pietro
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

POLISH
Marta Lomza
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

SPANISH
David Campos
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

Image result for Eddie Martinez

TURKISH
adeptgunes
http://www.amara.org/en/profiles/prof…

Become a volunteer translator by joining the Art21 Translation Project team:
http://www.amara.org/en/teams/art21/

Image result for Eddie Martinez

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 156b My April 21, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

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Image result for stephen hawking harry kroto

STARMUS panel announces ground-breaking Stephen Hawking Medals for Science Communication at the The Royal Society Featuring: Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Alexei Leonov, Dr Richard Dawkins, Dr Brian May, Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Garik Israelian 

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Image result for stephen hawking

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

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the first video below in the 15th 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)

_________________________________

In the popular You Tube video “Renowned Academics Speaking About God” you made the following statement:

“M-Theory doesn’t disprove God, but it does make him unnecessary. It predicts that the universe will be spontaneously created out of nothing without the need for a creator.” –Stephen Hawking, Cambridge theoretical physicist

Earlier I responded to Dr. Hawking’s assertion.

My April 21, 2017 letter to Stephen Hawking

Hidden Creek, Adam Brown Ernest Hemingway

Woody Allen: “I have never gotten to the point where I can give an optimistic view of anything. Ernest Hemingway is looking at a burning log with ants running on it. This is the kind of thinking that has over powered me over the years and slips into my stories.

Ecclesiastes 2:3

 I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine

THE PROPHETIC WITNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES  (Acts 10:43)

ECCL 12 Conclusion

Happy Hour

Image result for adam brown fearless

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This picture below is the cover picture of the Facebook page for the ministry HIDDEN CREEK REENTRY CENTER, and this ministry has the purpose of assisting incarcerated individuals with a successful transition to their community. I have had the joy of giving some of my time to help these gentlemen.

Hidden Creek Reentry Center in Little Rock, Arkansas
Image result for prison second chance

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Image result for woody allen girlfriends

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Image result for Ernest Hemingway Alec Guinness

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FILE – In this May 12, 1959, American novelist Ernest Hemingway, left, speaks with actors Alec Guinness, center, and Noel Coward in Sloppy Joe’s Bar during the making of Sir Carol Reed’s film version of “Our Man in Havana,” based on Graham Greene’s best seller, in Havana, Cuba. Sloppy Joe’s will be reopened in February 2013 by the state-owned tourism company Habaguanex, part of an ambitious revitalization project by the Havana City Historian’s Office, which since the 1990’s has transformed block after block of crumbling ruins into rehabilitated buildings along vibrant cobblestone streets, giving residents and tourists from all over the chance to belly up to the same bar that served thirsty celebrities like Rock Hudson, Babe Ruth and Ernest Hemingway. (AP Photo, File)

Image result for peter stoner

________

________________  April 21, 2017

Dr. Stephen Hawking, c/o Centre for Theoretical Cosmology
Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics
Centre for Mathematical Sciences
Wilberforce Road, Cambridge
CB3 0WA, UK

Dear Dr. Hawking,

In your autobiography you wrote, “When I was twenty-one and contracted ALS . . . I thought my life was over and that I would never realize the potential I felt I had.” I tip my hat to you because many people faced with those same circumstances would have given up or even worse and turned to liquor or drugs. I am simply amazed at how much you have overcome to get where you are now.   As I have promised I am writing you over and over until I go through all 6 things that Solomon pursued to try to finding a lasting meaning in his life UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Today we will look at LIQUOR.   In this letter I am looking at two things. FIRST, I want to look the problem of escapism and what Solomon had to say about it concerning the path of liquor.   SECOND, I want to look at a portion of the sermon WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. (This is the sermon that my good friend Larry Speaks gave to hundreds of people during the last 20 years of his life. Larry put his faith alone in Christ in the mid 1990’s and he passed away on April 7, 2017 at age 69.)   I want to talk about a subject that is very sad indeed and it is the attempt by many today to find  their meaning in life through drugs and alcohol. Perhaps they are trying to escape the hard realities of life by taking this path. Like everyone around us, I too have many close friends and relatives who have fallen into this trap. I have a great deal of compassion for these individuals. In fact, several times this month I have taken time to drive individuals from a facility that my church sponsors to AA meetings. We want these individuals to overcome their addictions and live in victory.  I can’t do anything to go back and  save those who have passed on in the past, but I can do something to encourage those who have obstacles to overcome today!!!!

Our church FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH sponsors HIDDEN CREEK REENTRY CENTER,  Assisting incarcerated individuals with a successful transition to their community. I have had the joy of giving some of my time to help these gentlemen. Let me share some posts from their Facebook page:

Hidden Creek Reentry Center January 13 ·

So proud of these guys… They had the honor to go with Mr.Glover yesterday to a school to speak to some children.

August 7, 2016 · Little Rock, AR ·

Well its been a eye jerker today… great tears of joy!! I have watched these guys grow so much… I pray they continue to grow out there… next month they graduate the program!! _______ I have just finished a book about a man who had a tough time breaking drug addition and the it is entitled,  FEARLESS: The undaunted courage and ultimate sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm.This is how the book opens:

When Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready….Adam Brown did understand what it meant to disappoint, to feel the shame he’d experienced on a hot, humid August afternoon years earlier when his parents had him arrested. “It’s time for you to face what you’ve done,” his father had told him in 1996, just before Adam was handcuffed and escorted to the backseat of the Garland County sheriff’s cruiser. When the deputy slammed the car door shut, Adam watched his mother’s legs buckle, and as she collapsed, his dad caught her and held her tightly against him. She began to cry, and Adam knew he had broken her heart.That vision—of his mother sobbing into his father’s chest—would haunt him for the rest of his life, but it also sparked the journey that defined who he would become. Officially known as a Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Adam Brown was one of the most respected Special Operations warriors in the U.S. Navy. ____ Why do so many individuals today turn to drugs or liquor?  There are various reasons, but let us look at the reason Ernest Hemingway became a drunk.   Ernest Hemingway turned to liquor as a device of escapism because he reached the conclusion that life has no lasting meaning.   “Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada.” This quote from Hemingway’s short story A Clean Well Lighted Place shows that Ernest Hemingway embraced nihilism. The Spanish word NADA meaning NOTHING. The old man in the story tried the previous week to commit suicide but was saved by his niece, and he saw it as a temporary saving. Hemingway also wrote in his last book THE GARDEN OF EDEN, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961.   In you go to You Tube and watch the video Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’ which was posted on January 27, 2017 and runs 43 minutes and 37 seconds, you will notice at the 27 minute mark that Woody Allen says:

I have never gotten to the point where I can give an optimistic view of anything. I have these ideas for stories that I hope are entertaining and I am always criticized for being pessimistic or nihilistic. To me this is just a realistic appraisal of life. What I have learned over the years is that there is no other solution to it. There is no satisfying answer. There is no optimistic answer I can give anybody.

Ernest Hemingway in one of his stories ( A FAREWELL TO ARMS) is looking at a burning log with ants running on it. This is the kind of thinking that has over powered me over the years and slips into my stories.

Drinking was a large part of Hemingway’s life. Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes also takes a long look at liquor and tries to see if it will bring any satisfaction UNDER THE SUN.

In fact, Solomon  filled his home with the best wine (Eccl 2:3).

Concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes Francis Schaeffer noted:

Solomon was searching for a meaning in the midst of the details of life. His struggle was to find the meaning of life.  Humanism since the Renaissance and onward has never found it and it has never found it. Modern man has not found it and it has always got worse and darker in a very real way.

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.

In Ecclesiastes 1:8 he drives this home when he states, “All things are wearisome; Man is not able to tell it. THE EYE IS NOT SATISFIED WITH SEEING. NOR IS THE EAR FILLED WITH HEARING.”  Solomon is stating here the fact that there is no final satisfaction because you don’t get to the end of the thing.

What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with wine while my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaventhe few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine (from the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM):

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. PAPA HEMINGWAY CAN FIND THE CHAMPAGNE OF PARIS SUFFICIENT FOR A TIME, BUT ONCE HE LEFT HIS YOUTH HE NEVER FOUND IT SUFFICIENT AGAIN. HE HAD A LIFETIME SPENT LOOKING BACK TO PARIS AND THAT CHAMPAGNE AND NEVER FINDING IT ENOUGH.  It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

______

Both Woody Allen and Ernest Hemingway like Solomon looked for meaning UNDER THE SUN in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. These areas are  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies,luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). All three men agree with the conclusion of Ecclesiastes 2:17:

17So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me; for all is vanity and a striving after the wind

Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon 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 I just want to provide you with the outline of the 3rd point that Adrian Rogers makes in his sermon WHO IS JESUS? I remember discussing this sermon with Larry Speaks. He was so excited that the Bible gave us so much evidence that Christ was who he said he was.   If you take the time to look up these verses you will see that Christ fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament that had been written hundreds of years before he even existed. Some may doubt that these scriptures were written in advance, but after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls that interpretation is no longer feasible. Contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls and dated back to approximately 200 years before Christ we have copies of portions of manuscripts from EVERY OLD TESTAMENT BOOK IN THE BIBLE (except Esther). Plus we have a complete copy of the Book of Isaiah. With that in mind please take time to read both Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament fulfillment listed below or just google the name PETER STONER.  

THE PROPHETIC WITNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES  (Acts 10:43)

  1. The theme of the Old Testament is the Lord Jesus Christ.
  2. Fulfilled prophecy is one of the greatest proofs that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  3. All of the prophets speak in unanimity that Jesus is Lord.
    1. It is estimated that there are more than 300 direct Old Testament prophecies that prophesy the miracle birth and earthly life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    2. Micah 5:2
    3. Matthew 2:1
    4. Isaiah 7:14
    5. Isaiah 53:4-5
    6. Isaiah 53:9
    7. Matthew 27:57
    8. Matthew 27:38
    9. Zechariah 11:12
    10. Matthew 26:15
    11. Psalm 22

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: I have been so blessed to be a part of a ministry such as Hidden Creek Reentry Center. When I think of the pain and suffering that alcoholism and drugs have caused it makes me think of the Christian track HAPPY HOUR that describes such a case and how Christ can turn someone around. I personally have attended a funeral of a dear friend who went to the grave prematurely. It is true that I can do nothing to bring him back, but I do something about the people who are here now who need help. 

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

________

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April 2, 2015 – 7:05 am

The John Lennon and the Beatles really were on a long search for meaning and fulfillment in their lives  just like King Solomon did in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Solomon looked into learning (1:12-18, 2:12-17), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-2, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). He fount that without God in the picture all […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Current Events, Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

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 )

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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 )

March 19, 2015 – 12:21 am

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

March 12, 2015 – 12:16 am

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

March 5, 2015 – 4:47 am

MUSIC MONDAY The Stooges and Punk Music

The Stooges

The Stooges, also known as Iggy and the Stooges, were an American rock band formed in Ann ArborMichigan in 1967 by singer Iggy Pop, guitarist Ron Asheton, drummer Scott Asheton, and bassist Dave Alexander. Playing a raw, primitive style of rock and roll, the band sold few records in their original incarnation and gained a reputation for their confrontational performances, which often involved acts of self-mutilation by Iggy Pop.[6]

The Stooges
The Stooges performing at the Hammersmith Apollo(2010)
Background information
Also known asIggy and the Stooges, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, the Psychedelic Stooges
OriginAnn ArborMichiganUnited States
GenresProto-punk garage rock[1] hard rock[2] punk rock[3] avant-punk[4]
Years active1967–1971 1972–1974 2003–2016[5]
LabelsElektra Columbia Virgin
Associated actsMC5 The Iguanas The New Order Minutemen Sonic’s Rendezvous BandDestroy All Monsters
Websitewww.iggyandthestoogesmusic.com
Past membersIggy PopScott AshetonRon AshetonDave AlexanderJames WilliamsonBill CheathamZeke ZettnerJimmy ReccaBob SheffScott ThurstonTornado TurnerSteve MackayMike WattToby Dammit

After releasing two albums—The Stooges (1969) and Fun House (1970)—the group disbanded briefly, and reformed with a different lineup to release Raw Power (1973) before breaking up again in 1974. The band reunited in 2003 until dissolving in 2016 following the deaths of Scott Asheton and saxophonist Steve Mackay. Ron Asheton participated in the reunion until his death in 2009.

The Stooges are widely regarded as a seminal proto-punk act.[6][7][8] The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010.[9] In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them 78th on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time.

HistoryEdit

Formation (1967–68)Edit

Iggy Pop (born James Newell Osterberg) played drums in several Ann Arbor-area bands as a teenager, including the Iguanas and, later, the Prime Movers. The Prime Movers nicknamed Osterberg “Iggy” in reference to his earlier band.[10]

Osterberg was first inspired to form the Stooges after meeting blues drummer Sam Lay during a visit to Chicago. Upon returning to Detroit, Osterberg sought to create a new form of blues music that was not derivative of historical precedents.  Ron Asheton(guitar) and Scott Asheton (drums) and Dave Alexander (bass guitar) composed the rest of the band, with Osterberg as main singer. Osterberg became interested in Ron Asheton after seeing him perform in the Chosen Few (a covers band), believing “I’ve never met a convincing musician that didn’t look kind of ill and kind of dirty, and Ron had those two things covered!”[11] The three nicknamed Osterberg “Pop” after a local character whom Osterberg resembled.[12] Shortly after witnessing an MC5 concert in Ann Arbor, Osterberg began using the stage name Iggy Pop, a name that he has used ever since.

Though the Stooges had formed, Iggy Pop attributes two key motivating influences to move the band forward. The first was seeing the Doors perform at a homecoming dance for the University of Michigan. The second was seeing an all-girls rock band from Princeton, New Jersey called the Untouchable perform. In a 1995 interview with Bust Magazine, he relates:

The band’s 1967 debut was at their communal State Street house on Halloween night, followed by their next live gig, January 1968.[13] During this early period, the Stooges were originally billed as the “Psychedelic Stooges” at the Grande Ballroom in Detroit, Michigan, and other venues, where they played with the band MC5 and others. At one of their early Grande Ballroom performances, Asheton’s guitar neck separated from the body forcing the band to stop playing during the opening song, “I Wanna Be Your Dog“.

The group’s early sound differed from their later music; critic Edwin Pouncey writes:

First two albums and first breakup (1968–71)Edit

The Stooges soon gained a reputation for their wild, primitive live performances. Pop, especially, became known for his outrageous onstage behavior—smearing his bare chest with hamburger meat and peanut butter, cutting himself with shards of glass, and flashing his genitalia to the audience. Pop is sometimes credited with the invention or popularization of stage diving.

In 1968  Elektra Records sent DJ/publicist Danny Fields to scout the MC5, resulting in contracts for both that band and the Stooges. The contracts were at different pay rates: MC5 $20,000, the Stooges $5,000, as revealed in the 2016 Jim Jarmusch film, Gimme Danger. In 1969, the band released their self-titled debut album; sales were low and it was not well-received by critics at the time.

In 1970, their second album, Fun House, was released, featuring the addition of saxophonist Steve Mackay. On June 13 of that year, television recorded the band at the Cincinnati Pop Festival. While performing the songs “T.V. Eye” and “1970”, Pop leapt into the crowd, where he was hoisted up on people’s hands, and proceeded to smear peanut butter all over his chest. In a broadcast interview at WNUR Northwestern University radio station in Evanston, Illinois in 1984, Stiv Bators of the Lords of the New Church and the Dead Boys confirmed the long-standing rumor that it was he who had provided the peanut butter, having carried a large tub from his home in Youngstown, OH and handing it up to Iggy from the audience.

Fun House was also poorly received by critics and the general public. Alexander was dismissed in August 1970 after arriving at the Goose Lake International Music Festival too drunk to play.[15] He was replaced by a succession of new bass players, including former roadie Zeke Zettner[16] and James Recca. Around this time, the band expanded their line-up by adding a second guitar player, roadie Bill Cheatham,[10] who was eventually replaced by James Williamson, a childhood friend of the Ashetons and Alexander.

By this time, the Stooges, with the notable exception of Ron Asheton,[10][17] had all become serious heroinusers. The drug was introduced to the band by new manager John Adams.[10] Their performances became even more unpredictable, and Pop often had trouble standing up on stage due to his extreme drug abuse. Elektra soon eliminated the Stooges from its roster, and the band had a hiatus for several months. The final line-up was Pop, the Asheton brothers, Recca and Williamson.[10]

The breakup of the Stooges was formally announced on 9 July 1971.[18]

Raw Power and second breakup (1972–74)Edit

With the band having broken up, Pop met David Bowie on 7 September 1971 at Max’s Kansas City,[17][18] and the pair instantly became good friends. The next day, on the advice of Bowie, Pop signed a recording contract with pop music manager Tony DeFries‘ company, MainMan. A few months later, Tony DeFries and Pop met Clive Davis from CBS/Columbia Records and got a two-album recording deal.[18] In March 1972, DeFries brought Pop and Williamson to the UK,[18] and the pair attempted to reconstitute the Stooges with British musicians, but finding no suitable additions, brought the Asheton brothers back into the band (this “second choice” decision rankled Ron Asheton, as did his change from guitar to bass). This line-up, billed as Iggy & the Stooges, recorded their third album, the influential Raw Power, which was released in 1973.

At the time, the album (which showcased Williamson’s intensely melodic solos and chromatic riffs, in contrast to Asheton’s minimalistic, groove-oriented approach) was criticized by diehard fans who said that Bowie had mixed it poorly (in subsequent years, various unofficial fan recordings were assembled and released as the album Rough Power; in 1997, the album was re-mixed by Iggy Pop and re-released). Although the album sold rather poorly and was regarded as a commercial failure at the time of its release, Raw Power would go on to become one of the cornerstones of early punk rock.

With the addition of a piano player (briefly Bob Sheffand then Scott Thurston[10]), the Stooges toured for several months, starting in February 1973. Around this time they also made a number of recordings that became known as the Detroit Rehearsal Tapes, including a number of new songs that might have been included on a fourth studio album had the band not been dropped by Columbia soon after the release of Raw Power. In 1973, James Williamson was briefly dismissed due to criticism from the band’s management company (likely pertaining to his tempestuous relationship with Cyrinda Foxe, a close friend of road manager Leee Black Childers); guitarist Tornado Turner replaced him for a single gig (on 15 June 1973 at the Aragon Ballroom, ChicagoIllinois[19]), but Williamson soon returned to the group.[13]

The Stooges disbanded in February 1974 as a result of dwindling professional opportunities; this factor was compounded by Pop’s ever-present heroin addiction and erratic off-stage behavior.[13] The last half of the band’s last performance of this era (on 9 February 1974 in Detroit, Michigan) was captured and was released later (in 1976) as the live album Metallic K.O. (along with the first half of an earlier show on 6 October 1973 at the same venue). A 1988 expanded release of the album with the title Metallic 2X K.O. included the two halves of each show. In 1998, the album was re-released under the original title with the order of the shows reversed, (mostly) expanded tracks and more complete set-lists.

Members:

  • Iggy Pop
  • Ron Ashton
  • Scott Ashton
  • James Williamson
  • Dave Alexander

—-

—-

So messed up, I want you here
In my room, I want you here
Now we’re gonna be face-to-face
And I’ll lay right down in my favorite placeAnd now I want to be your dog
Now I want to be your dog
Now I want to be your dog
Well, come onNow I’m ready to close my eyes
And now I’m ready to close my mind
And now I’m ready to feel your hand
And lose my heart on the burning sandsAnd now I want to be your dog
And now I wanna be your dog
Now I want to be your dog
Well, come onSource: LyricFindSongwriters: Dave Alexander / Iggy Pop / Ron Asheton / Scott AshetonI Wanna Be Your Dog lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management

Francis Schaeffer taught young people at L Abri in Switzerland in the 1950’s till the 1980’s (pictured below)

Image result for francis schaeffer labri
Image result for francis schaeffer labri
Image result for francis schaeffer labri
Image result for francis schaeffer labri

Francis Schaeffer noted:

They have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.”

Francis Schaeffer pictured

—-

 “They are the natural outcome of a change from a Christian World View to a Humanistic one…
The result is a relativistic value system. A lack of a final meaning to life — that’s first. Why does human life have any value at all, if that is all that reality is? Not only are you going to die individually, but the whole human race is going to die, someday. It may not take the falling of the atom bombs, but someday the world will grow too hot, too cold. That’s what we are told on this other final reality, and someday all you people not only will be individually dead, but the whole conscious life on this world will be dead, and nobody will see the birds fly. And there’s no meaning to life.

As you know, I don’t speak academically, shut off in some scholastic cubicle, as it were. I have lots of young people and older ones come to us from the ends of the earth. And as they come to us, they have gone to the end of this logically and they are not living in a romantic setting. They realize what the situation is. They can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning to the black poetry. It’s the meaning of the black plays. It’s the meaning of all this. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” And I must say, that on the basis of what they are being taught in school, that the final reality is only this material thing, they are not wrong. They’re right! On this other basis there is no meaning to life and not only is there no meaning to life, but there is no value system that is fixed, and we find that the law is based then only on a relativistic basis and that law becomes purely arbitrary.

—-

Francis Schaeffer also observed:

The peak of the drug culture of the hippie movement was well symbolized by the movie Woodstock. Woodstock was a rock festival held in northeastern United States in the summer of 1969. The movie about that rock festival was released in the spring of 1970Many young people thought that Woodstock was the beginning of a newand wonderful age.

Jimi Hendrix (1942–1970himself was soon to become a symbol of the endBlackextremely talented, inhumanly exploited, he overdosed in September 1970 and drowned in his own vomit, soon after the claim that the culture of which he was a symbol was a new beginning. In the late sixties the ideological hopes based on drug-taking died.

After Woodstock two events “ended the age of innocence,” to use the expression of Rolling Stone magazine. The first occurred at Altamont, California, where the Rolling Stones put on a festival and hired the Hell’s Angels (for several barrels of beer) to police the grounds. Instead, the Hell’s Angels killed people without any cause, and it was a bad scene indeed. But people thought maybe this was a fluke, maybe it was just California! It took a second event to be convincing. On the Isle of Wight, 450,000 people assembled, and it was totally ugly. A number of people from L’Abri were there, and I know a man closely associated with the rock world who knows the organizer of this festival. Everyone agrees that the situation was just plain hideous.

(How Should We Then Live, pp. 209-210)

 In his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Francis Schaeffer noted:

This emphasis on hallucinogenic drugs brought with it many rock groups–for example, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, Pink Floyd, and Jimi Hendrix. Most of their work was from 1965-1958. The Beatles’Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1967) also fits here. This disc is a total unity, not just an isolated series of individual songs, and for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. As a whole, this music was the vehicle to carry the drug culture and the mentality which went with it across frontiers which were almost impassible by other means of communication.

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.

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

The Stooges sang:

Now I’m ready to close my eyes
And now I’m ready to close my mind

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98)

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.

The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.

What is even more interesting is the way “liberal” modern scholars today deal with Ramsay’s discoveries and others like them. In the NEW TESTAMENT : THE HISTORY OF THE INVESTIGATION OF ITS PROBLEMS, the German scholar Werner G. Kummel made no reference at all to Ramsay. This provoked a protest from British and American scholars, whereupon in a subsequent edition Kummel responded. His response was revealing. He made it clear that it was his deliberate intention to leave Ramsay out of his work, since “Ramsay’s apologetic analysis of archaeology [in other words, relating it to the New Testament in a positive way] signified no methodologically essential advance for New Testament research.” This is a quite amazing assertion. Statements like these reveal the philosophic assumptions involved in much liberal scholarship.

A modern classical scholar, A.N.Sherwin-White, says about the Book of Acts: “For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming…Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must not appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken this for granted.”

When we consider the pages of the New Testament, therefore, we must remember what it is we are looking at. The New Testament writers themselves make abundantly clear that they are giving an account of objectively true events.

(Under footnote #98)

Acts is a fairly full account of Paul’s journeys, starting in Pisidian Antioch and ending in Rome itself. The record is quite evidently that of an eyewitness of the events, in part at least. Throughout, however, it is the report of a meticulous historian. The narrative in the Book of Acts takes us back behind the missionary journeys to Paul’s famous conversion on the Damascus Road, and back further through the Day of Pentecost to the time when Jesus finally left His disciples and ascended to be with the Father.

But we must understand that the story begins earlier still, for Acts is quite explicitly the second part of a continuous narrative by the same author, Luke, which reaches back to the birth of Jesus.

Luke 2:1-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

2 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. [b]This was the first census taken while[c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the opening sentences of his Gospel, Luke states his reason for writing:

Luke 1:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

1 Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things[a]accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those whofrom the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellentTheophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f]taught.

In Luke and Acts, therefore, we have something which purports to be an adequate history, something which Theophilus (or anyone) can rely on as its pages are read. This is not the language of “myths and fables,” and archaeological discoveries serve only to confirm this.

For example, it is now known that Luke’s references to the titles of officials encountered along the way are uniformly accurate. This was no mean achievement in those days, for they varied from place to place and from time to time in the same place. They were proconsuls in Corinth and Cyprus, asiarchs at Ephesus, politarches at Thessalonica, and protos or “first man” in Malta. Back in Palestine, Luke was careful to give Herod Antipas the correct title of tetrarch of Galilee. And so one. The details are precise.

The mention of Pontius Pilate as Roman governor of Judea has been confirmed recently by an inscription discovered at Caesarea, which was the Roman capital of that part of the Roman Empire. Although Pilate’s existence has been well known for the past 2000 years by those who have read the Bible, now his governorship has been clearly attested outside the Bible.

Related posts

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 280 My April 29, 2016 Letter to Hugh Hefner commenting on his quote “I don’t know if I am very good at marriage or not. I never have been in a situation where I had a chance to find out, but I am certainly good at romance and it is love I am looking for” (Featured artist is Robert Mangold)

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

Over and over I have read that Hugh Hefner was a modern day King Solomon and Hefner’s search for satisfaction was attempted by adding to the number of his sexual experiences.

Pastor Jamie Smedsrud noted:
King Solomon had more money than Bill Gates, more girls than Hugh Hefner, more power than any other person. He tried it all and had it all. But near the end of his life he said that it was all like “chasing the wind.”

Many of the sermons that I heard or read that inspired me to write Hugh Hefner were from this list of gentlemen:  Daniel Akin, Brandon Barnard, Alistair Begg, Matt Chandler, George Critchley,  Darryl Dash, Steve DeWitt, Steve Gaines, Norman L. Geisler, Greg Gillbert, Billy Graham, Mark Henry, Dan Jarrell, Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., R. G. Lee, C.S. Lewis Chris Lewis, Kerry Livgren, Robert Lewis,    Bill Parkinson, Ben Parkinson,Vance Pitman, Nelson Price, Ethan Renoe, Adrian Rogers, Philip Graham Ryken, Francis Schaeffer, Lee Strobel, Bill Wellons, Kirk Wetsell,  Ken Whitten, Ed Young ,  Ravi Zacharias, Tom Zobrist, and Richard Zowie.

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Image result for adrian rogers

In this letter below I quoted the sermon outline from Adrian Rogers when I wrote, “Hugh you remind me of Solomon because you are looking for  lasting meaning in your life and you are looking in the same  6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies,luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).” I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes

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Dan Jarrell pictured below:

Image result for FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH DAN JARRELL

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Image result for robert lewis bill parkinson

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Robert Lewis pictured below:

Image result for robert lewis fellowship bible church

Bill Wellons pictured below:

Image result for bill wellons fellowship bible church

Bill Parkinson pictured below

Image result for bill parkinson fellowship bible church

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Much of the material for the 2 letters below was taken from a 1996 sermon on the Book of Ecclesiastes by Robert Lewis at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock.

April 29, 2016

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

I know that you are a big fan of the Beatles and they have been big fans of yours over the years. In fact, I was told that both Ringo and John were visitors to your Playboy Mansion. Looking back at the Beatles’ lives it is obvious that they all went through a time in the 1960’s when they tried the playboy lifestyle but they all chose later to be in committed marriages.

On You Tube in the video Paul McCartney (1/9) – Wingspan at 5:18 mark Paul said At a  a certain age you start to think “Wow, I have to get serious. I can’t just be a playboy all of my life.”  Paul went on to marry Linda Eastman and they stayed together until her death April 17, 1998. They were married almost 30 years and had three children together ( Mary Anna, Stella Nina, and James Louis) plus Paul adopted Heather Louise who had been born earlier.

The difference in the hard work it takes to make a  marriage work with one lady versus the laziness involved with just trying to maximize the amount of sex you get with various women is very real. Both you and King Solomon can say that you both have bedded over 1000 women but Francis Schaeffer rightly noted, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

In the You Tube video Ask Hef Anything: Breakup with Holly you asserted: “We (Holly and I) had just celebrated our 7th anniversary together and maybe the natural cycle of relationships is they wear out at the end of 7 years. They talk about a 7 year itch….Kimberly is a wonderful mother but she is not very good at marriage. I don’t know if I am very good at marriage or not. I never have been in a situation where I had a chance to find out, but I am certainly good at romance and it is love I am looking for.”

I SEE SO MANY SIMILARITIES BETWEEN YOU AND KING SOLOMON WITH THAT COMMENT.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-9The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning in the area of the Sexual Revolution with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained UNDER THE SUN.”

You like Solomon have defined your life by the volume of sex that you have had and you both have entered your last years with regrets.

A while back I sent you the sermon THE PLAYBOY’S PAYDAY  by Adrian Rogers and that  sermon was based on the fifth chapter of Proverbs which I want to encourage you to read today. Rogers went on to say that the playboy lifestyle was bankrupt of lasting satisfaction and that God’s plan of marriage was best. In fact, the Book of Ecclesiastes shows that Solomon came to the conclusion that nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20)

HUGH, I have just got finished writing a letter to Paul McCartney since he is coming to Little Rock this week to do a concert that I will attending. In this letter I did refer to you several times and I have enclosed a copy for you to see.

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.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

PS: This is the 33rd letter I have written to you and I have again responded to a quote that you had made earlier.

RINGO, HEF AND BARBIE:

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Art attack ... (l-r) tycoon Hefner, a Matisse and Lennon

Art attack … (l-r) tycoon Hefner, a Matisse and Lennon put his cigarette out in the Matisse picture while visiting the Playboy Mansion
Lennon picture: REX

Paul McCartney  Wingspan – talking with Mary on You Tube

Below Francis Schaeffer holds up Beatles SGT PEPPER album during the film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 7

Francis Schaeffer below in HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? film series

Marilyn Monroe was featured on cover of SGT PEP, just one of the 6 sex symbols who made it on the cover

Hugh Hefner makes cameo appearance in Mel Brooks movie THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD PART ONE and he says, “I am very excited about it. It is a new concept. It is called a centerfold.”

King Solomon wrote the Book of Ecclesiates

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April 25, 2016

Paul McCartney
MPL Music Publishing, Inc.
41 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019-5404

Dear Paul,

My family and I are really thrilled that you are performing in Little Rock on April 30th and we will be the first to be seated that day when the doors are open. I wanted to say how much we respect you as a family man, but we were starting to wonder in the 1960’s how you would eventually live your life. This letter today was taken mostly from my recent blog post at http://www.thedailyhatch.org on the Beatles and the 1960’s sexual revolution. 

Something happened to the Beatles in their journey through the 1960’s and although they started off wanting only to hold their girlfriend’s hand it later evolved into wanting to smash all previous sexual standards. This sounds like what Hugh Hefner set out to do also with his Playboy Clubs. Francis Schaeffer has rightly noted  that Hefner’s goal  with the “playboy mentality is just to smash the puritanical ethnic.”No wonder Ringo Starr and John Lennon were later visitors at the Playboy Mansion. 

This climaxed in 1968 with these words: Why don’t we do it in the road?, No one will be watching us, Why don’t we do it in the road?

On You Tube in the video Paul McCartney (1/9) – Wingspan at 5:18 mark you said At a  a certain age you start to think “Wow, I have to get serious. I can’t just be a playboy all of my life.” HERE YOU ARE SHOWING HOW EMPTY YOU FOUND THE PLAYBOY EXPERIENCE AND HOW YOU WANTED SOMETHING MORE MEANINGFUL!!!!!!!!

During the 1960’s the Beatles were searching for a lasting meaning for their lives and they wanted to see if the Sexual Revolution of the 1960’s was a piece of the puzzle that was missing for them.  No wonder in the video THE AGE OF NON-REASON (Episode 7 of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?) Francis 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.” 

Paul I want to encourage you to go to You Tube and look up the video How Should We then Live Episode 7 small which is only 28:35 long and watch it. 

When I think of the Beatles’ efforts to find meaning for the lives in the 1960’s it reminds me of King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes.  Three thousand years ago, Solomon took a look at life “UNDER THE SUN” in his book of Ecclesiastes. Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term ‘UNDER THE SUN.’ What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system, and you are left with only this world of time plus chance plus matter.” 

HERE BELOW IS SOLOMON’S SEARCH IN THE AREA OF THE 6 “L” WORDS. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). TODAY WE WANT TO LOOK AT SOLOMON’S SEARCH INTO THE WORD “LADIES.”

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
        loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
    and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
    voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

1 Kings 11:1-3 English Standard Version (ESV)

11 Now King Solomon loved many foreign women, along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women, from the nations concerning which the Lord had said to the people of Israel, “You shall not enter into marriage with them, neither shall they with you, for surely they will turn away your heart after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love. He had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.

Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning in the area of the Sexual Revolution with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained UNDER THE SUN.”

 Adrian Rogers said in sermon, “Playboy’s Payday,” these words:

Do you know what Hugh Hefner said on another occasion? He was reminiscing. Here is this guy who has all of these girls around  him, all of this booze, all of these casinos and presumably can have any   sensual pleasure he wants. He said, You know, in the next ten years I would rather meet a girl and fall in love and have her fall in love with me than to make another one hundred million dollars.   But I fear the man doesn’t know what love is.  I feel that he’s missed it.  What he’s saying is, I’ve got it all, but I don’t have satisfaction!  There’s something that’s worth more than a hundred million dollars to me, and I don’t have it!

Marilyn Monroe, the sex goddess who took her own life, said, “I hate sex.”  Everybody says, “Oh, look at the pleasure that she’s having.” 

Adrian Rogers’ sermon was based on the fifth chapter of Proverbs which I want to encourage you to read today. Rogers went on to say that the playboy lifestyle was bankrupt of lasting satisfaction and that God’s plan of marriage was best. In fact, the Book of Ecclesiastes shows that Solomon came to the conclusion that nothing in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), ladies and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20). You can only find a lasting meaning to your life by looking above the sun and bring God back into the picture.

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.”

In the History Channel TV Special (about Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Lifestyle)  “HOW PLAYBOY CHANGED THE WORLD” at the 49 min mark the narrator says “The so-called WAGES OF SIN were now paying off.” This was referring to the growth in profits at  PLAYBOY MAGAZINE. The narrator turned  Romans 6:23 totally around when it really says, “FOR THE WAGES OF SIN IS DEATH; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” However, Galatians 6:7 asserts, “Be not deceived, for God is not mocked. Whatsoever man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

Robert Lewis pictured below:

Image result for robert lewis fellowship bible church

Robert Lewis on 4-14-96 as a teaching pastor at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock delivered a sermon entitled LIFE UNDER THE SUN which was based on Ecclesiastes chapters 1 and 2. Here is a portion of that sermon below:

Solomon wanted to know the meaning of life beyond God in this world. So he tried to live life at the edge or the extreme so to report not like a philosopher in a ivory tower, but he wanted to do that by putting himself personally into these pursuits to see IS THERE ANY OTHER MEANING IN LIFE BESIDES GOD. This is really what he tries to do. Ecclesiastes 1:13, “And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven.” The word SEEK means to do rigorous research and that is what he has done. 

The word EXPLORE means to examine all sides of things and he didn’t do that just as Lab Technician, but Solomon did it the old fashion way. He got personally involved. He researched every category as far as it could go in order to know everything about life. So he didn’t talk about materialism but he became the ultimate materialist...He became the ultimate hedonist. You want to know about sex? Solomon can tell you everything about it….UNDER THE SUN there is no real meaning in any of it. The best life can do is keep delivering to you the empty promise that if you have something else then you will be happy, but the curse is when you get it. Ecclesiastes 2:17, “So I hated life, for the work which had been done under the sun was grievous to me; because everything is futility and striving after wind.”

I befriended a man several years ago who was a kind of real Little Rock PLAYBOY. In fact, his lifestyle and sexual escapades were legendary around the city. He was rich, single, hansom and very sophisticated. He told me, “A woman any night and anything your mind can imagine.” Where did it lead him? Ultimately it led him to a hotel in Little Rock where he put a gun in his mouth because to have it all is to find out it is empty.  

Image result for robert lewis men's fraternity

Let’s go back to Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” The meaning of this verse was distorted in the film “HOW PLAYBOY CHANGED THE WORLD” about Hugh Hefner’s life. Did you know that Romans 6:23 is part of what we call the Roman Road to Christ. Here is how it goes:

  • Because of our sin, we are separated from God.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • The Penalty for our sin is death.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!
    For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)
    …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

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.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

Featured artist is Robert Mangold

Robert Mangold was born in North Tonawanda, New York in 1937. With classical restraint, Mangold translates the most basic of formal elements—shape, line, and color—into paintings, prints, and drawings whose simplicity of form expresses complex ideas. He renders the surface of each canvas with subtle color modulations and sinewy, hand-drawn graphite lines. While his focus on formal considerations may seem paramount, he also delights in thwarting those considerations—setting up problems for the viewer.

Over the course of years and in multiple series of shaped canvases that explore variations on rings, columns, trapezoids, arches, and crosses, he has also provoked viewers to consider the idea of paintings without centers. In addition to works on paper, and canvases whose physicality relates to the scale of the human body, Mangold has also worked in stained glass for architectural projects.

Robert Mangold received a BFA and MFA from Yale University (1963). He has been inducted into the National Academy (2005) and American Academy of Arts and Letters (2001), and has received many awards including the Jawlensky-Preis der Stadt Wiesbaden Award (1998); the Skowhegan Medal for Painting (1993); and a National Endowment for the Arts Grant (1967).

His work has appeared in major exhibitions at Documenta (1972, 1977, 1982); the Whitney Biennial (1979, 1983, 1985, 2004); and the Venice Biennale (1993). His works are in the public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; J. Paul Getty Trust; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others. Robert Mangold lives and works in Washingtonville, New York.

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MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS  TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 4)

October 18, 2017 – 4:16 am

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists Confronted | Edit | Comments (0)

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 3)

October 17, 2017 – 4:15 am

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists Confronted | Edit | Comments (0)

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 2)

October 16, 2017 – 4:08 am

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists Confronted | Edit | Comments (0)

MY 8 POSTCARDS IN 2017 FROM NEW ORLEANS  TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 1)

October 13, 2017 – 4:07 am

  I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Edit | Comments (0)

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 4)

October 12, 2017 – 1:05 am

_   I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists Confronted | Edit | Comments (0)

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 3)

October 11, 2017 – 4:54 am

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists Confronted | Edit | Comments (0)

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 2)

October 10, 2017 – 4:48 am

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists Confronted | Edit | Comments (0)

MY 4 POSTCARDS IN 2016 FROM VEGAS TO HUGH HEFNER (PART 1)

October 9, 2017 – 3:29 am

_____ I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists Confronted | Edit | Comments (0)

The last 3 letters I wrote to Hugh Hefner compared him to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes and his search for the meaning of it all!!! (Part 3)

September 29, 2017 – 10:30 am

|I saw this on the internet on  June 20, 2017   _   Playboy’s Hugh Hefner on board a boat with Barbi Benton and friends sporting a striped navy shirt and a pipe in mouth and a real catch in hand during the 70s. ____________________________________ Below is the last letter I ever wrote to Hugh Hefner. […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersAtheists ConfrontedFrancis Schaeffer | Edit |Comments (0)

The last 3 letters I wrote to Hugh Hefner compared him to King Solomon in Ecclesiastes and his search for the meaning of it all!!! (Part 2)

September 28, 2017 – 7:33 pm

I learned yesterday that Hugh Hefner had passed away. Just last year I visited Chicago and drove by his Chicago Playboy Mansion pictured below. ___   Playboy after dark filmed in Chicago Playboy Mansion   During the 1990′s I actually made it a practice to write famous atheists and scientists that were mentioned by Adrian […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Atheists ConfrontedFrancis SchaefferMilton Friedman | EditComments (0)

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Church and State: The Separation Illusion By Greg Koukl

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Church and State: The Separation Illusion

Greg Koukl

The goal of First Amendment was to protect religious expression, not restrict it. In the last 50 years, though, “non-establishment” has been redefined as “separation,” effectively amending the Constitution and isolating Christians from the political process.

“Will You Be a Casualty in Their Religious War?” read the headline of an advertisement that almost covered an entire page of the L.A. Times. Underneath were pictures of Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, and Lou Sheldon, along with condemning quotes substantiating their apparent jihad against irreligious secularists.

The text of the advertisement read:

“The radical religious right has declared war on America. It is a war of ideas. A war of conscience. It’s a religious war. This war strikes at the very heart of our Constitution and threatens the freedoms we hold most dear. Freedom to worship as we please and to believe what we want to believe. The freedom to determine for ourselves what religious and moral views our own children are exposed to. The freedom to conduct our lives as we see fit without having our privacy violated. For some time now, the radical religious right has claimed that there is no such thing as church/state separation in our Constitution. They are wrong. Find out why.”

It goes on to promote a book by Robert Boston entitled Why the Religious Right Is Wrong About Separation of Church and State. [Robert Boston, Why the Religious Right Is Wrong About Separation of Church and State, (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1993).]

The ad is correct on a couple of points. There is a sense in which the “religious right” is at war, but the battle is not against America, it’s about America. And it is a war of ideas: Is there a legitimate separation of church and state, and what does that mean?

The current understanding of “separation of church and state”–the view that the state is thoroughly secular and not influenced by religious values, especially Christian–was completely foreign to the first 150 years of American political thought. Clearly the Fathers did not try to excise every vestige of Christian religion, Christian thought, and Christian values from all facets of public life. They were friendly to Christianity and encouraged its public practice and expression.

It wasn’t until 1947 that the United States Supreme Court first used the concept of “separation” to isolate government from religion.[The phrase was mentioned once before in the discourse of the Court in the 1878 case of Reynolds v. The United States when Mormons attempted an unsuccessful defense of polygamy based on the non-establishment clause of the First Amendment. The non-establishment clause protected Mormon beliefs, not Mormon practices (e.g., polygamy). This conduct was still proscribed by prevailing morality, specifically Christian morality.] In Everson v. Board of Education, the court lifted a phrase from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a Baptist church in Danbury, Connecticut. The Court ruled, “Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another….In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and state.’” [Everson v. Board of Education, 330 U.S at 15-16 (1947).]

The Infamous Danbury Letter

In the Everson v. Board of Education decision, the Supreme Court quoted Jefferson’s separation language as a normative guideline for understanding the First Amendment. As David Barton points out, “There’s probably no other instance in America’s history where words spoken by an individual have become the law of the land. Jefferson’s remark now carries more weight in judicial circles than does the writing of any other Founder.” [David Barton, The Myth of Separation, (Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press), p. 44.]

Thomas Jefferson wasn’t a member of the Constitutional Convention, and the phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear anywhere in the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. Where did it come from?

On January 1, 1802, Jefferson wrote a letter to the Danbury Baptist Association of Danbury, Connecticut, in which he used the phrase “a wall of separation between church and state.” His note was meant to quell the fears of the Danbury congregation who were concerned that a national denomination would be established. Here is the text in question:

I contemplate with solemn reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Thomas Jefferson, Jefferson Writings, Merrill D. Peterson, ed. (NY: Literary Classics of the United States, Inc., 1984), p. 510, January 1, 1802.]

What did Jefferson have in mind here? Is there an impregnable barrier erected by the founders [Note that the word “founders” is not capitalized here because I’m not referring to the 55 members of the Constitutional Convention, but to the broader group responsible for the passage of the Bill of Rights.] that excludes religious-minded people from the political process, an ideological enmity between church and state?

The First Amendment

In contrast to the present confusion about separation, the First Amendment is startling in its clarity, offering no limit to the impact of religious and moral conviction of individual citizens on public policy. It is worth reading often. Here it is:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Please forgive me for stating the obvious: The First Amendment restricts the government, not the people. Jefferson’s wall is a one-way wall. Any religious person, any religious organization, any religious conviction has its place in the public debate. It’s called pluralism in the classic sense.

Notice there are not two distinct provisions here, but one. Non-establishment has no purpose by itself. Freedom of religion is the goal, and non-establishment is the means. The only way to have true freedom of religion is to keep government out of religion’s affairs. This provides for what Steven Monsma calls “positive neutrality.” This view “defines religious freedom in terms of a governmental neutrality toward religion in which no religion is favored over any other, and neither religion nor secularism is favored over each other.” [Stephen Monsma, Positive Neutrality–Letting Religious Freedom Ring, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1993), p. 203.]

The First Amendment was rewritten twelve times to make clear its intent. The concept set forth in the Bill of Rights is “non-establishment,” not isolation. We should strike the “separation” language from our vocabulary.

A Fatal Flaw

The constant appeal to Jefferson’s Danbury letter by hard core separationists reveals a fatal flaw in their approach. Quoting Jefferson’s opinion only matters if Jefferson’s original intent still applies today. If it doesn’t, then the Danbury citation is irrelevant. If it does, then Jefferson’s full views on the issue have merit in this discussion.

It’s clear, though, that the Everson Court used Jefferson’s words, not his ideas. The separation language itself was not in common use at the time. It does not show up in any notes of the Constitutional Convention or of the Congress responsible for the Bill of Rights or the First Amendment.

What was Jefferson’s intent? To show that the Federal government couldn’t establish a national denomination. That’s all. In another letter, this one to Samuel Miller in 1808, Jefferson expanded on his view:

Certainly, no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the General Government. It must then rest with the States, as far is it can be in any human authority. [Thomas Jefferson, The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Albert Bergh, ed. (Washington D.C.: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Association, 1904), vol. XI, p. 428, letter on January 23, 1808, quoted in Barton, p. 42.]

This is a stunning revelation for advocates of a Jeffersonian model of separation. According to Jefferson, the Federal Government couldn’t prescribe religious exercise or discipline, but the states could. It wasn’t until 1947 that the Everson Court made the federal provision binding on the states, expressly contrary to Jefferson, though they quoted him for support.

For nearly two centuries state and federal governments have had such a benevolent attitude towards religion in general and Christianity in particular–including the almost universal practice of school prayer–that it would make a 1990s fundamentalist blush.

The Northwest Ordinance of 1787, passed by the very same Congress which enacted the First Amendment, stated the following in Article III: “Religion, morality, and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.” Notice that religion and morality were equal with knowledge as proper subjects of public education.

All but three states invoke the name of the almighty God in the preambles to their constitutions. Note these examples:

We the people of the State of California, grateful to Almighty God for our freedom, in order to secure and perpetuate its blessings, do establish this Constitution.

We the people of Alabama…invoking the favor and guidance of Almighty God, do ordain and establish…

The people of Connecticut, acknowledging with gratitude the good providence of God, in having permitted them to enjoy a free government…

If Jefferson’s view of non-establishment mattered today, then dozens of court decisions restricting religious freedom would be annulled. The present notion of separation is not conservative, seeking to return to earlier principles, but activist, seeking to redefine–and liberalize–the past.

Separationists’ Achilles Heel

Separationists attempt to take the Constitutional high ground by quoting Jefferson and others like him. They claim that the founders envisioned a high wall of separation. Recent court decisions simply enforce those original intentions.

Is the “religious right” imposing a new standard favoring religion that undermines our basic Constitutional freedoms, as the L.A. Times ad claimed? You can get to the heart of the matter by asking another question: Do these recent legal actions stop something from being added, or do they remove things already there? They remove them.

Courts have removed prayer from school, crèches from the lawns of city halls, and crosses from public parks. Separationists have managed to get personal Bibles off of teachers’ desks, the Ten Commandments out of school rooms, and references to God eliminated from students’ graduation speeches.

This is their Achilles’ heel: Things can only be removed that were already there to begin with. How did they get there? They were allowed by citizens, legislatures, and courts who saw no harm in them, no intolerance, no danger, and no breech of any Constitutional principle for almost 175 years.

This observation tells us two things. First, from the beginning, religious symbols and religious thought were woven into the fabric of government and society with no sense of Constitutional impropriety. This proves that the new court actions are revisionist, an attempt to change the traditional practice, not a return to our historical and Constitutional roots.

Second, conservatives are in a defensive posture, not an offensive one. The “religious right” has not declared war. The war has been declared on an American way of life held dear to many, and they won’t surrender it without a fight.

Separating the Church Right Out of the State

In 1976, I and three others ventured behind the iron curtain in a clandestine operation bringing aid to persecuted Christians in Soviet Bloc countries. On Friday, July 23, we were detained at the border station of Leushen, Moldavia, USSR, because we had Russian Bibles in our possession.

After ransacking our car and personal belongings and strip-searching one of our group, border officials took us inside for questioning by a female interpreter. Where did we get the Bibles? Who were they for? Didn’t we know that such trafficking was illegal? The questions went on for hours.

When we explained the Bibles were for believers in the Soviet Union, she wanted to know their names.

“We planned to look the churches up in the phone directory.”

“We don’t have churches listed in our phone directories.”

We pointed out that in the United States, where there is freedom of religion, all of the churches are listed. Didn’t they have freedom of religion in the Soviet Union?

“Yes,” she assured us, “of course we have freedom of religion, but we have separation of church and state.” This was not the first time we were to hear this cryptic phrase.

The interpreter explained that the government printed all the Bibles needed for Soviet Christians. “We have our department of atheism and spend a large amount of money each year teaching them these things. We don’t allow any other propaganda.”

“But you print Bibles in the USSR?”

“Yes, our believers get all the Bibles they need, but they are given out only through the church and we must have all their names.”

“But you do have religious freedom?”

“Yes, we have religious freedom.”

“And we can’t bring in Bibles?”

“No, we don’t allow that propaganda in our country.”

“The Bible is propaganda?”

“Yes.”

“But you print Bibles in your own country.”

“Yes.”

I was surprised she couldn’t see what was coming. “Then that means you are printing anti-communist propaganda right in your own country.”

Her immediate reply was the cryptic, “But we have separation of church and state.”

This mantra was her blanket reply justifying all government interference with our activities. How were we interfering with separation? What did it actually mean? My partner’s definition was probably the most accurate. “They’re separating the church right out of the state,” he quipped.

As I look back on that incident 20 years ago, I’m struck by the contrast. Today there is more de facto religious liberty in former communist countries than we experience here in the United States. Now it is American courts that chant the mantra of separation to prohibit religious conduct in the public square.

The ACLU, in a letter to California State Senator Newton Russell, objected that “teaching that monogamous, heterosexual intercourse within marriage is a traditional American value is unconstitutional establishment of a religious doctrine in public schools.” [Majorie C. Swartz, Francisco Lobaco, American Civil Liberties Union Legislative Office, April 18, 1988. Copy on file. Note: The courts have not agreed with the ACLU on this point.]

The Supreme Court opens each session with the words, “God save this honorable court.” Yet in June, 1994, the same Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling removing the Ten Commandments from a courtroom. This is rather ironic, considering a bas-relief of Moses holding the tablets of the Old Testament Law broods over the Chief Justice’s seat. Engraved upon the lower half of each entrance door is the same Ten Commandments banished by the court.

Twisted logic like this is “separating the church right out of the state.”

Amending the Constitution is an arduous process. Changes require an appeal by two-thirds of both Houses or by the Legislatures of two-thirds of the states to even get started. Ratification requires a three-fourths majority of either the states’ legislatures or special Constitutional conventions.

That’s what the founders intended. The Constitution’s provisions–including the Bill of Rights–were considered so weighty that only the most united and energetic efforts of the nation could alter it.

Shell Game

Today, de facto Constitutional amendments only require five non-elected citizens–a simple majority of the nine-member Supreme Court.

The High Court wouldn’t dream of simply deleting the Bill of Rights. That would be despotism. Yet they don’t balk at so redefining its meaning that the original disappears, though the words remain the same. Like dupes in a magician’s shell game, the citizens miss the sleight of hand and don’t even know they’ve been robbed.

If the responsibility of all branches of government is to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, ought not those branches preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution that was actually delivered, rather than some fanciful remake? If our Republic is guarded by the Constitution, then we are left defenseless when the words of the Constitution are redefined at will.

The authors of the First Amendment did not seek to expunge every shred of religious sentiment from the public arena. They did just the opposite, decorating their buildings with biblical imagery, punctuating their public discourses with biblical quotes, and grounding their laws on biblical morality.

Christian religion was the cement holding the very foundation stones of the Republic together. That cement is being chipped out, piece by piece, leaving a building without mortar, a stack of bricks ready to topple at the slightest quake.

An “Unconstitutional” President Lincoln

To show how far we’ve declined, I close with the words of President Lincoln in his Proclamation for a National Day of Fasting, Humiliation, and Prayer, March 30, 1863:

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behooves us, then to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness.*

A hundred years and sixteen Presidents had passed, yet our country’s chief executive could still call his nation to humble repentance without the slightest hint of embarrassment, impropriety, or apology.

By today’s standards, though, the words of one of our greatest Presidents could not be spoken at certain government functions. The very same advice could not be given by a teacher to his junior high class. This alone is enough to show that the popular understanding of separation of church and state is foreign to the Constitution and to the world view that gave it birth.

*Source: The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, edited by Roy P. Basler. Full text can be viewed here.ARTICLE | TOPICSCHRISTIANITY & CULTUREGreg Koukl

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