Monthly Archives: January 2020

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 301 Pointing out a weakness to Richard Dawkins in his new book OUTGROWING GOD (Dawkins’ view that the Old Testament is inaccurate is wrong and the Hittites are an example) November 5, 2019 Open Letter to Richard Dawkins, Featured artist is Peter Paul Rubens

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Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins

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XXXX November 5, 2019

November 5, 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.


I have posted in the past showing the false claims made in “Outgrowing God,” and you can reference these by googling “Outgrowing God The Daily Hatch.” Some questions raised by you include “Did Jesus even exist?” One of my favorite posts was FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 292 In OUTGROWING GOD Richard Dawkins wrongly notes “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham” Featured Artist is Paul Pfeiffer

I enjoyed your latest book Outgrowing God which is one of my favorite books that you have written. 

However, there are some some weak parts of the book. For instance, in chapter 2 you write: 

“We have no more reason to believe [the Old Testament narratives] than we do Homer’s stories about Achilles or Helen. . . The stories of Abraham and Joseph are Hebrew legends, just as Homer’s are Greek legends.” (chapter 2)

The best response to this I could find was from The Encyclopedia of Bible Difficulties by one of my spiritual heroes Gleason Archer. 

Is there archaeological evidence for Hittites living in southern Palestine in patriarchal times? Genesis 23 states that “the sons of Heth” were in control of Hebron back in Abraham’s time. Five or six centuries later the twelve spies reported back to Moses and the Hebrew host (Num. 13:29) that there were Hittite settlements in the hill country of Canaan. But since the main center of Hittite power was in eastern Asia Minor and their capital was Hattusas (Boghazkoy), and since their first rise to prominence in the Near East came in the reign of Mursilis I (1620-1590 B.C.), who sacked the great metropolis of Babylon around 1600, many modern scholars have questioned the historicity of Hittites in Palestine as early as 2050, when Sarah was buried in the cave of Machpelah. And yet archaeological evidence also indicates that the Hittites occupied or brought into vassalage many of the kingdoms of Syria; and in the days of Ramses II of Egypt there was a major showdown with Muwatallis (1306-1282) of the Hittite New Kingdom, and a remarkable nonaggression pact was made between the two superpowers, the text of which has been preserved both in Egyptian and in Hittite. The treaty line was drawn in such a way as to give northern Syria to the Hittites and southern Syria (plus all Palestine) to the Egyptian sphere of influence (cf. G. Steindorff and K. C. Seele, When Egypt Ruled the East [Chicago: University of Chicago, 1942], p. 251). 

More recent archaeological discoveries have indicated further southward penetration than this line and an earlier stage of Hittite activity than that of the Old Kingdom and New Kingdom empires. Cuneiform mercantile tablets have been recovered from Kultepe (ancient Kanesh) in Cappadocia, left by early Assyrian merchants between 1950 and 1850 B.C. (Vos, Archaelogy, p. 314). But even before the arrival of the Indo-EuropeanAnatolian immigrants (the Nesili-speakers), there was an earlier race of Hattians of nonIndo-European background. These were subdued by invaders of 2300-2000 B.C., who subsequently adopted the name Hatti for themselves, despite the linguistic and cultural differences between them and their predecessors. 

O. R. Gurney, an eminent Hittite specialist, suggested that the original Hattians may have been much more widespread than in Asia Minor alone, and that they may even have set up colonies in regions as far south as Palestine (Tenney, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia, 3:170). (Note that “Hatti” and “Hitti” would be written in the same consonants back in the B.C. era, and the vowels were supplied only by oral tradition.) In 1936 E. Forrer proposed on the basis of a Hittite text by King Mursilis II (ca. 1330 B.C.) that a Hittite group had migrated into Egyptian territory (i.e., regions of Syria-Palestine controlled by Egypt) earlier in the second millennium (cf. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 14th ed., S.V. “Hittites”; Tenney, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia, 3:169-170). 

Military penetration south of the Tarsus range began in the seventeenth century under Labarnas; Mursilis I succeeded in destroying Aleppo in Syria, and even ravaged Mari and plundered the Hurrians of the upper Euphrates. But the “Hittites” of Genesis may have had little in common with these Indo-European, Nesili-speaking conquerors, but rather may have come from the Hatti who historically preceded them in Asia Minor. Little can be concluded from the names referred to in Genesis 23, for Ephron and Zohar appear to be Semitic, Canaanite names–indicating an easy assimilation of the regional culture by these “Hittite” settlers in Hebron. 

The Hittites are referred to later on in Israelite history. In Joshua’s invasion they furnished resistance to his troops (Josh. 9:1-2; Josh. 11:3), but they were presumably crushed and annihilated by their Hebrew conquerors. Yet by the time of David there were some Hittites, at least, to furnish contingents for David’s army. Such was Uriah, the husband of Bathsheba, who was clearly a committed believer and a devoted worshiper of Yahweh (2 Sam. 11:11). Solomon found the Neo-Hittites to be of sufficient political importance to have some of their princesses in his harem (1 Kings 11:1). Later on, in the 840s, Benhadad of Damascus led his troops in precipitous flight from their siege of Samaria because of their fear that “the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites” (2 Kings 7:6). 

During the earlier part of the first millennium B.C, various kings of northern Syria (whose territories had been part of the Hittite Empire in earlier centuries) bore names like Sapalulme (Suppiluliumas), Mutallu (Muwatallis), Lubarna (Labarnas), and Katuzili (Hattusilis). Hence they may have carried on something of the Hittite tradition, even though they had by now attained their independence. Among the “Neo-Hittite” principalities of Syria were Tuwana, Tunna, Hupisna, Shinukhtu, and Ishtunda (Tenney, Zondervan Pictorial Encyclopedia, 3:168). These names all appear in the cuneiform records (largely the Assyrian) of the time of the Hebrew divided monarchy.

Dr. Dawkins, you have a 150 year advantage over your hero Charles Darwin and the archaeologist’s spade has continued to dig. Take a look at this piece of evidence from the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop:

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

In the previous chapter we saw that the Bible gives us the explanation for the existence of the universe and its form and for the mannishness of man. Or, to reverse this, we came to see that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are a testimony to the truth of the Bible. In this chapter we will consider a third testimony: the Bible’s openness to verification by historical study.

Christianity involves history. To say only that is already to have said something remarkable, because it separates the Judeo-Christian world-view from almost all other religious thought. It is rooted in history.

The Bible tells us how God communicated with man in history. For example, God revealed Himself to Abraham at a point in time and at a particular geographical place. He did likewise with Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel and so on. The implications of this are extremely important to us. Because the truth God communicated in the Bible is so tied up with the flow of human events, it is possible by historical study to confirm some of the historical details.

It is remarkable that this possibility exists. Compare the information we have from other continents of that period. We know comparatively little about what happened in Africa or South America or China or Russia or even Europe. We see beautiful remains of temples and burial places, cult figures, utensils, and so forth, but there is not much actual “history” that can be reconstructed, at least not much when compared to that which is possible in the Middle East.

When we look at the material which has been discovered from the Nile to the Euphrates that derives from the 2500-year span before Christ, we are in a completely different situation from that in regard to South America or Asia. The kings of Egypt and Assyria built thousands of monuments commemorating their victories and recounting their different exploits. Whole libraries have been discovered from places like Nuzu and Mari and most recently at Elba, which give hundreds of thousands of texts relating to the historical details of their time. It is within this geographical area that the Bible is set. So it is possible to find material which bears upon what the Bible tells us.

The Bible purports to give us information on history. Is the history accurate? The more we understand about the Middle East between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100, the more confident we can be that the information in the Bible is reliable, even when it speaks about the simple things of time and place.


If we take another hundred-year step backwards in time, we come to King Solomon, son of David. On his death the Jewish Kingdom was divided into two sections as a result of a civil revolt. Israel to the north with Jeroboam as king and Judah (as it was called subsequently) to the south under Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. In both the Book of Kings and Chronicles in the Bible we read how during Rehoboam’s reign: 25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. (I Kings 14:25; II Chronicles 12:2), and how Shishak stripped Rehoboam of the wealth accumulated by his able father, Solomon. The reality of this event is confirmed by archaeology to a remarkable degree.

Shishak subdued not only Rehoboam but Jeroboam as well. The proof of this comes first from a fragment in a victory monument erected by Shishak and discovered at Megiddo, a city in the land of Israel. So the Egyptian king’s force swept northwards, subdued the two Jewish kings, and then erected a victory monument to that effect. Traces of the destruction have also been discovered in such cities as Hazor, Gezer, and Megiddo. These confirm what was written in Second Chronicles:

And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says theLord, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’”Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “TheLord is righteous.” When the Lordsaw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak.Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made…( II Chronicles 12:4-9)

Further confirmation comes from the huge victory scene engraved on Shishak’s order at the Temple of Karnak in Egypt. The figure of the king is somewhat obscured, but he is clearly named and he is seen smiting Hebrew captives before the god Amon, and there are symbolic rows of names of conquered towns of Israel and Judah.

Solomon’s is remembered also for his great wealth. The Bible tells us:

14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 15 besides that which came from the explorers and from the business of the merchants, and from all the kings of the west and from the governors of the land. 16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels[a]of gold went into each shield. 17 And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; three minas[b] of gold went into each shield. And the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. (I Kings 10:14-17)

This wealth that the Bible speaks of has been challenged. Surely, some have said, these figures are an exaggeration. Excavations, however, have confirmed enormous quantities of precious metals, owned and distributed by kings during this period. For example, Shishak’s son Osorkon I (statuette of Osorkon I, Brooklyn Museum, New York), the one who stood to gain from the booty carried off from Rehoboam’s capital, is reported to have made donations to his god Amon totaling 470 tons of precious metal, gold, and silver, during only the first four years of his reign. This, of course, is much more than Solomon’s 66 talents which equals approximately twenty tons of gold per annum. We also have confirmation of the Bible’s reference to Solomon’s gold as coming from Ophir. The location of Ophir is still unknown, but an ostracon dated a little later than Solomon’s time actually mentions that thirty shekels of gold had come from Ophir for Beth-horon.

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

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer at their home in Switzerland with some visiting friends

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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DawkinsWard

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Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

The Basis of Human Dignity by Francis Schaeffer

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

Francis Schaeffer in 1984

Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer in 1982

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Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Episode 1

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

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Featured artist is Peter Paul Rubens

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to navigationJump to search“Rubens” redirects here. For other uses, see Rubens (disambiguation).

Sir Peter Paul Rubens
Self-portrait, 1623, Royal Collection
Born28 June 1577
SiegenNassau-DillenburgHoly Roman Empire
Died30 May 1640 (aged 62)
AntwerpSpanish Netherlands
NationalityFlemish
EducationTobias Verhaecht
Adam van Noort
Otto van Veen
Known forPaintingprintmaking
MovementFlemish Baroque
Baroque
Spouse(s)Isabella Brant (1609 – her death 1626)
Helena Fourment (1630 – his death 1640)
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Sir Peter Paul Rubens (/ˈruːbənz/;[1] Dutch: [ˈrybə(n)s]; 28 June 1577 – 30 May 1640) was a Flemish artist. He is considered the most influential artist of Flemish Baroque tradition. Rubens’s highly charged compositions reference erudite aspects of classical and Christian history. His unique and immensely popular Baroque style emphasized movement, colour, and sensuality, which followed the immediate, dramatic artistic style promoted in the Counter-Reformation. Rubens specialized in making altarpieces, portraits, landscapes, and history paintings of mythological and allegorical subjects.

In addition to running a large studio in Antwerp that produced paintings popular with nobility and art collectors throughout Europe, Rubens was a classically educated humanist scholar and diplomat who was knighted by both Philip IV of Spain and Charles I of England. Rubens was a prolific artist. The catalogue of his works by Michael Jaffé lists 1,403 pieces, excluding numerous copies made in his workshop.[2]

His commissioned works were mostly “history paintings“, which included religious and mythological subjects, and hunt scenes. He painted portraits, especially of friends, and self-portraits, and in later life painted several landscapes. Rubens designed tapestries and prints, as well as his own house. He also oversaw the ephemeral decorations of the royal entry into Antwerp by the Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand of Austria in 1635.

His drawings are predominantly very forceful and without great detail. He also made great use of oil sketches as preparatory studies. He was one of the last major artists to make consistent use of wooden panels as a support medium, even for very large works, but he used canvas as well, especially when the work needed to be sent a long distance. For altarpieces he sometimes painted on slate to reduce reflection problems.

Contents

Biography[edit]

Statue of Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp

Early life[edit]

The garden designed by Rubens at the Rubenshuis in Antwerpen

Rubens was born in the city of Siegen to Jan Rubens and Maria Pypelincks. He was named in honour of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, because he was born on their solemnity.[3] His father, a Calvinist, and mother fled Antwerp for Cologne in 1568, after increased religious turmoil and persecution of Protestants during the rule of the Habsburg Netherlands by the Duke of Alba. Rubens was baptised in Cologne at St Peter’s Church.

Jan Rubens became the legal adviser (and lover) of Anna of Saxony, the second wife of William I of Orange, and settled at her court in Siegen in 1570, fathering her daughter Christine who was born in 1571.[4]

Following Jan Rubens’s imprisonment for the affair, Peter Paul Rubens was born in 1577. The family returned to Cologne the next year. In 1589, two years after his father’s death, Rubens moved with his mother Maria Pypelincks to Antwerp, where he was raised as a Catholic.

Religion figured prominently in much of his work, and Rubens later became one of the leading voices of the Catholic Counter-Reformation style of painting[5] (he had said “My passion comes from the heavens, not from earthly musings”).[citation needed]

Apprenticeship[edit]

Portrait of a Young Scholar, from 1597

In Antwerp, Rubens received a Renaissance humanist education, studying Latin and classical literature. By fourteen he began his artistic apprenticeship with Tobias Verhaeght. Subsequently, he studied under two of the city’s leading painters of the time, the late Mannerist artists Adam van Noort and Otto van Veen.[6] Much of his earliest training involved copying earlier artists’ works, such as woodcuts by Hans Holbein the Younger and Marcantonio Raimondi‘s engravings after Raphael. Rubens completed his education in 1598, at which time he entered the Guild of St. Luke as an independent master.[7]

Italy (1600–1608)[edit]

In 1600 Rubens travelled to Italy. He stopped first in Venice, where he saw paintings by TitianVeronese, and Tintoretto, before settling in Mantua at the court of Duke Vincenzo I Gonzaga. The colouring and compositions of Veronese and Tintoretto had an immediate effect on Rubens’s painting, and his later, mature style was profoundly influenced by Titian.[8] With financial support from the Duke, Rubens travelled to Rome by way of Florence in 1601. There, he studied classical Greek and Roman art and copied works of the Italian masters. The Hellenistic sculpture Laocoön and His Sons was especially influential on him, as was the art of MichelangeloRaphael, and Leonardo da Vinci.[9] He was also influenced by the recent, highly naturalistic paintings by Caravaggio.

The Fall of Phaeton, 1604, in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

Rubens later made a copy of Caravaggio’s Entombment of Christ and recommended his patron, the Duke of Mantua, to purchase The Death of the Virgin (Louvre).[10] After his return to Antwerp he was instrumental in the acquisition of The Madonna of the Rosary (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna) for the St. Paul’s Church in Antwerp.[11] During this first stay in Rome, Rubens completed his first altarpiece commission, St. Helena with the True Cross for the Roman church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme.

Rubens travelled to Spain on a diplomatic mission in 1603, delivering gifts from the Gonzagas to the court of Philip III.[12] While there, he studied the extensive collections of Raphael and Titian that had been collected by Philip II.[13] He also painted an equestrian portrait of the Duke of Lerma during his stay (Prado, Madrid) that demonstrates the influence of works like Titian’s Charles V at Mühlberg (1548; Prado, Madrid). This journey marked the first of many during his career that combined art and diplomacy.

He returned to Italy in 1604, where he remained for the next four years, first in Mantua and then in Genoa and Rome. In Genoa, Rubens painted numerous portraits, such as the Marchesa Brigida Spinola-Doria (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.), and the portrait of Maria di Antonio Serra Pallavicini, in a style that influenced later paintings by Anthony van DyckJoshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough.[14]

Madonna on Floral Wreath, together with Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1619

He also began a book illustrating the palaces in the city, which was published in 1622 as Palazzi di Genova. From 1606 to 1608, he was mostly in Rome. During this period Rubens received, with the assistance of Cardinal Jacopo Serra (the brother of Maria Pallavicini), his most important commission to date for the High Altar of the city’s most fashionable new church, Santa Maria in Vallicella also known as the Chiesa Nuova.

The subject was to be St. Gregory the Great and important local saints adoring an icon of the Virgin and Child. The first version, a single canvas (now at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Grenoble), was immediately replaced by a second version on three slate panels that permits the actual miraculous holy image of the “Santa Maria in Vallicella” to be revealed on important feast days by a removable copper cover, also painted by the artist.[15]

Rubens’s experiences in Italy continued to influence his work. He continued to write many of his letters and correspondences in Italian, signed his name as “Pietro Paolo Rubens”, and spoke longingly of returning to the peninsula—a hope that never materialized.[16]

Antwerp (1609–1621)[edit]

Rubens and Isabella Brandt, the Honeysuckle Bower, c. 1609. Alte Pinakothek

Upon hearing of his mother’s illness in 1608, Rubens planned his departure from Italy for Antwerp. However, she died before he arrived home. His return coincided with a period of renewed prosperity in the city with the signing of the Treaty of Antwerp in April 1609, which initiated the Twelve Years’ Truce. In September 1609 Rubens was appointed as court painter by Albert VII, Archduke of Austria, and Infanta Isabella Clara Eugenia of Spain, sovereigns of the Low Countries.

He received special permission to base his studio in Antwerp instead of at their court in Brussels, and to also work for other clients. He remained close to the Archduchess Isabella until her death in 1633, and was called upon not only as a painter but also as an ambassador and diplomat. Rubens further cemented his ties to the city when, on 3 October 1609, he married Isabella Brant, the daughter of a leading Antwerp citizen and humanist, Jan Brant.

Descent from the Cross, 1618. Hermitage Museum

In 1610 Rubens moved into a new house and studio that he designed. Now the Rubenshuis Museum, the Italian-influenced villa in the centre of Antwerp accommodated his workshop, where he and his apprentices made most of the paintings, and his personal art collection and library, both among the most extensive in Antwerp. During this time he built up a studio with numerous students and assistants. His most famous pupil was the young Anthony van Dyck, who soon became the leading Flemish portraitist and collaborated frequently with Rubens. He also often collaborated with the many specialists active in the city, including the animal painter Frans Snyders, who contributed the eagle to Prometheus Bound (c. 1611–12, completed by 1618), and his good friend the flower-painter Jan Brueghel the Elder.

Another house was built by Rubens to the north of Antwerp in the polder village of Doel, “Hooghuis” (1613/1643), perhaps as an investment. The “High House” was built next to the village church.

Family of Jan Brueghel the Elder, 1613–1615. Courtauld Institute of Art

Altarpieces such as The Raising of the Cross (1610) and The Descent from the Cross (1611–1614) for the Cathedral of Our Lady were particularly important in establishing Rubens as Flanders’ leading painter shortly after his return. The Raising of the Cross, for example, demonstrates the artist’s synthesis of Tintoretto’s Crucifixion for the Scuola Grande di San Rocco in Venice, Michelangelo‘s dynamic figures, and Rubens’s own personal style. This painting has been held as a prime example of Baroque religious art.[17]

Rubens used the production of prints and book title-pages, especially for his friend Balthasar Moretus, the owner of the large Plantin-Moretus publishing house, to extend his fame throughout Europe during this part of his career. In 1618, Rubens embarked upon a printmaking enterprise by soliciting an unusual triple privilege (an early form of copyright) to protect his designs in France, the Southern Netherlands, and United Provinces.[18] He enlisted Lucas Vorsterman to engrave a number of his notable religious and mythological paintings, to which Rubens appended personal and professional dedications to noteworthy individuals in the Southern Netherlands, United Provinces, England, France, and Spain.[18] With the exception of a few etchings, Rubens left the printmaking to specialists, who included Lucas Vorsterman, Paulus Pontius and Willem Panneels.[19] He recruited a number of engravers trained by Christoffel Jegher, whom he carefully schooled in the more vigorous style he wanted. Rubens also designed the last significant woodcuts before the 19th-century revival in the technique.[20]

Marie de’ Medici Cycle and diplomatic missions (1621–1630)[edit]

Main article: Marie de’ Medici cycle

In 1621, the Queen Mother of France, Marie de’ Medici, commissioned Rubens to paint two large allegorical cycles celebrating her life and the life of her late husband, Henry IV, for the Luxembourg Palace in Paris. The Marie de’ Medici cycle (now in the Louvre) was installed in 1625, and although he began work on the second series it was never completed.[21] Marie was exiled from France in 1630 by her son, Louis XIII, and died in 1642 in the same house in Cologne where Rubens had lived as a child.[22]

Portrait of Anna of Austria, Queen of France, c. 1622–1625

After the end of the Twelve Years’ Truce in 1621, the Spanish Habsburg rulers entrusted Rubens with a number of diplomatic missions.[23] While in Paris in 1622 to discuss the Marie de’ Medici cycle, Rubens engaged in clandestine information gathering activities, which at the time was an important task of diplomats. He relied on his friendship with Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc to get information on political developments in France.[24] Between 1627 and 1630, Rubens’s diplomatic career was particularly active, and he moved between the courts of Spain and England in an attempt to bring peace between the Spanish Netherlands and the United Provinces. He also made several trips to the northern Netherlands as both an artist and a diplomat.

At the courts he sometimes encountered the attitude that courtiers should not use their hands in any art or trade, but he was also received as a gentleman by many. Rubens was raised by Philip IV of Spain to the nobility in 1624 and knighted by Charles I of England in 1630. Philip IV confirmed Rubens’s status as a knight a few months later.[25] Rubens was awarded an honorary Master of Arts degree from Cambridge University in 1629.[26]

Rubens was in Madrid for eight months in 1628–1629. In addition to diplomatic negotiations, he executed several important works for Philip IV and private patrons. He also began a renewed study of Titian’s paintings, copying numerous works including the Madrid Fall of Man (1628–29).[27] During this stay, he befriended the court painter Diego Velázquez and the two planned to travel to Italy together the following year. Rubens, however, returned to Antwerp and Velázquez made the journey without him.[28]

The Fall of Man, 1628–29. Prado, Madrid

His stay in Antwerp was brief, and he soon travelled on to London where he remained until April 1630. An important work from this period is the Allegory of Peace and War (1629; National Gallery, London).[29] It illustrates the artist’s lively concern for peace, and was given to Charles I as a gift.

While Rubens’s international reputation with collectors and nobility abroad continued to grow during this decade, he and his workshop also continued to paint monumental paintings for local patrons in Antwerp. The Assumption of the Virgin Mary (1625–6) for the Cathedral of Antwerp is one prominent example.

Last decade (1630–1640)[edit]

Rubens’s last decade was spent in and around Antwerp. Major works for foreign patrons still occupied him, such as the ceiling paintings for the Banqueting House at Inigo Jones‘s Palace of Whitehall, but he also explored more personal artistic directions.

In 1630, four years after the death of his first wife Isabella, the 53-year-old painter married his first wife’s niece, the 16-year-old Hélène Fourment. Hélène inspired the voluptuous figures in many of his paintings from the 1630s, including The Feast of Venus (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), The Three Graces and The Judgment of Paris (both Prado, Madrid). In the latter painting, which was made for the Spanish court, the artist’s young wife was recognized by viewers in the figure of Venus. In an intimate portrait of her, Hélène Fourment in a Fur Wrap, also known as Het Pelsken, Rubens’s wife is even partially modelled after classical sculptures of the Venus Pudica, such as the Medici Venus.

In 1635, Rubens bought an estate outside Antwerp, the Steen, where he spent much of his time. Landscapes, such as his Château de Steen with Hunter (National Gallery, London) and Farmers Returning from the Fields (Pitti Gallery, Florence), reflect the more personal nature of many of his later works. He also drew upon the Netherlandish traditions of Pieter Bruegel the Elder for inspiration in later works like Flemish Kermis (c. 1630; Louvre, Paris).

Death[edit]

Rubens died from heart failure, a result of his chronic gout, on 30 May 1640. He was interred in Saint James’ Church, Antwerp. His epitaph read:[30]

D.O.M./PETRVS PAVLVS RVBENIVS eques/IOANNIS, huius urbis senatoris/flfius steini Toparcha:/qui inter cæteras quibus ad miraculum/excelluit doctrinæ historiæ priscæ/omniumq. bonarum artiu. et elegantiaru. dotes/ non sui tantum sæculi,/ sed et omnes ævi/ Appeles dicit meruit:/atque ad Regum Principumq. Virorum amicitias/gradum sibi fecit:/a. PHILIPPO IV. Hispaniarum Indiarumq. Rege / inter Sanctioris Concilli scribas Adscitus,/ et ad CAROLVM Magmnæ Brittaniæ Regem/Anno M.DC.XXIX. delegatus,/pacis inter eosdem principes mox initæ/fundamenta filiciter posuit./ Obiit anno sal. M.DC.XL.XXX. May ætatis LXIV.

Hoc momumenteum a Clarissimo GEVARTIO/olim PETRO PAVLO RVBENIO consecratum/ a Posteris huc usque neglectum,/ Rubeniana stirpe Masculina jam inde extincta/ hoc anno M.DCC.LV. Poni Curavit./ R.D. JOANNES BAPT. JACOBVS DE PARYS. Hujus insignis Eccelsiæ Canonicus/ ex matre et avia Rubenia nepos./ R.I.P.//

Descendants[edit]

Main article: Rubens family

The artist had eight children, three with Isabella and five with Hélène; his youngest child was born eight months after his death. Many of his descendants married into important noble families of Antwerp.

Descendants by Isabella Brant:

  • Albert Rubens (1614–1657), married Clara del Monte
  • Nicolaas Rubens, Lord of Rameyen (1618–1655), married Constancia Helman
    • Albert Marie Nicolaas Peter Rubens (1642–1672), married Maria Catharina Vecquemans
    • Peter Paul II Rubens (1642–1672)
    • Philippe Nicolaas (1643–1693)
    • Hélène Françoise Baptiste (1641–1710), married John Lunden.
    • Maria Constantia Rubens (1649–?), married Lambert Frederik of Bronckhorst, Lord of Berlaer.

Art[edit]

Old Woman and Boy with Candles, c. 1616/17

His nudes of various biblical and mythological women are especially well-known. Painted in the Baroque tradition of depicting women as soft-bodied, passive, and highly sexualized beings, his nudes emphasize the concepts of fertility, desire, physical beauty, temptation, and virtue. Skillfully rendered, these paintings of nude women were undoubtedly created to appeal to his largely male audience of patrons.[31] Additionally, Rubens was quite fond of painting full-figured women, giving rise to terms like ‘Rubensian’ or ‘Rubenesque’ (sometimes ‘Rubensesque’). And while the male gaze features heavily in Rubens’s paintings of females generally, he brings multi-layered allegory and symbolism to his portraits.[32] His large-scale cycle representing Marie de Medicis focuses on several classic female archetypes like the virgin, consort, wife, widow, and diplomatic regent.[33] The inclusion of this iconography in his female portraits, along with his art depicting noblewomen of the day, serve to elevate his female portrait sitters to the status and importance of his male portrait sitters.[33]

Rubens’s depiction of males is equally stylized, replete with meaning, and quite the opposite of his female subjects. His male nudes represent highly athletic and large mythical or biblical men. Unlike his female nudes, most of his male nudes are depicted partially nude, with sashes, armour, or shadows shielding them from being completely unclothed. These men are twisting, reaching, bending, and grasping: all of which portrays his male subjects engaged in a great deal of physical, sometimes aggressive, action. The concepts Rubens artistically represents illustrate the male as powerful, capable, forceful and compelling. The allegorical and symbolic subjects he painted reference the classic masculine tropes of athleticism, high achievement, valour in war, and civil authority.[32] Male archetypes readily found in Rubens’s paintings include the hero, husband, father, civic leader, king, and the battle weary.

Rubens was a great admirer of Leonardo da Vinci’s work. Using an engraving done 50 years after Leonardo started his project on the Battle of Anghiari, Rubens did a masterly drawing of the Battle which is now in the Louvre in Paris. “The idea that an ancient copy of a lost artwork can be as important as the original is familiar to scholars,” says Salvatore Settis, archaeologist and art historian.

  • Peter Paul Rubens works at the Royal Museums of Fine Arts, Brussels, Belgium
  • Peter Paul Rubens work at the Louvre
  • Peter Paul Rubens works at the Victor Balaguer Museum

Workshop[edit]

Paintings from Rubens’s workshop can be divided into three categories: those he painted by himself, those he painted in part (mainly hands and faces), and those he only supervised as other painters produced them from his drawings or oil sketches. He had, as was usual at the time, a large workshop with many apprentices and students, some of whom, such as Anthony van Dyck, became famous in their own right. He also often sub-contracted elements such as animals or still-life in large compositions to specialists such as Frans Snyders, or other artists such as Jacob Jordaens.

Works[edit]

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 159 D “Open letter to Harry Kroto’s friend Richard Dawkins” Is there a categorical difference between humans and animals or are they just different in degrees?

Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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John J. Shea pictured below

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Thomas Henry Huxley

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Chuck Colson pictured below:

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Chuck Colson below saying nice things about the 100th anniversary of Francis Schaeffer’s birth

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June 1, 2016

Richard Dawkins
Washington, DC

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

Last month I wrote you on Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis and the historical existence of Moses and on the accuracy and prophecy of Psalms chapter 22. Today after finishing the book BRIEF CANDLE IN THE DARK I wanted to talk about something you said on page 57:

Some digger wasp species pick up a small stone in their jaws and use it as  a hammer to tamp down the soil–a feat which has been dramatically hailed as tool use, once thought a human monopoly.

Do you think there is a categorical difference  between humans and animals or are they just different in degrees?   It seems this comment above would lead me to believe that you do think there is only a difference in degrees.

Dr. John J. Shea appeared on the TV series APE MAN with Walter Cronkite back in the 1990’s and claimed that there is only a degree of difference between monkeys and humans and not a categorical difference. After that program aired I had the opportunity to correspond with Dr. Shea and he was kind enough to send me a two page response to my questions. (This correspondence took place back in 1994 and 1995.)

Dr. Shea also suggested that I read SHADOWS OF FORGOTTEN ANCESTORS by Carl Sagan and his wife Ann Druyan, and I did so. Here are my thoughts on the question.

First, only humans lie in the sense we are held morally responsible. Sagan wrote, “Deception in the social relations of animals…is an emerging and productive topic in biology…” (p. 379). This may be true, but are animals responsible to God? I think not. Romans 3:23 teaches that “All MEN have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Animals may deceive but they are not morally responsible.

Second, only men feel guilt. Sagan refers briefly to the fact that men feel guilt (p. 4.14), but he does not spend a lot of time on this. Romans 1:19 asserts, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God has show it to them” (Amplified Bible).  Here Sagan turns to  Thomas Henry Huxley who he quotes:

On all sides, I shall hear the cry–“We are men and women, not a mere better sort of apes, a little longer in the leg, more compact in the foot, and bigger in brain than your brutal Chimpanzees and Gorillas. The power of knowledge–the conscience of good and evil--the pitiful tenderness of human affections, raise us out of all real fellowship with the brutes, however, closely they may seem to approximate us.”

To this I can reply that the exclamation would be just and would be most just and would have my entire sympathy, if it were only relevant. But, it is not I who seek to base Man’s dignity upon this great toe, or insinuate that we are lost if an Ape has a hippocampus minor (in its brain). On the contrary, I have done my best to sweep away this vanity… 

WHY DID SAGAN AND HUXLEY FACE SUCH A LARGE CHORUS THAT WAS OBJECTING TO THIS VIEW THAT WE DON’T HAVE A GOD-GIVEN CONSCIENCE? The answer is very simple and it deals with the consequences of Social Darwinism. Chuck Colson said that Larry King was not very impressed with his long talk on the historical accuracy of the scriptures, but when he touched on this subject things got interesting:

Larry King invited me to dinner. “I don’t believe in God,” Larry told me straight out. “But tell me why you believe.” I responded, “Have you seen Woody Allen‘s movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS

Yes, he loved it, in fact. It’s about a doctor who is haunted by GUILT after hiring a killer to murder his mistress. His Jewish father has taught him that God will surely bring justice. In the end the doctor suppresses his GUILT, convincing himself that LIFE IS AN DARWINIAN STRUGGLE WHERE ONLY THE RUTHLESS SURVIVE.

I asked Larry, “Is that our only choice–to be tormented by GUILT or else kill our conscience? Larry, how do you deal with your conscience?” He dropped his fork. I said, “What do you do with the GUILT that is in here? What do you do with what you know you have done wrong?

Then he was ready to listen. I went on and shared with him from Romans which teaches about the voice of conscience that God has given us. 

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Third, men have a longing for significance which expresses itself most clearly in the fear of non being.

Fourth, I would point to the fact that only people worship.

Fifth, men are not satisfied unless they have their spiritual needs met. Carl Sagan quotes the poet Walt Whitman, “Not one (animal) is dissatisfied…Not one is respectable or unhappy over the whole earth…” Sagan comments, “On this basis of the evidence presented in this book, we doubt if any of Whitman’s  six purported differences between other animals and humans is true…” (p. 389).

I read Sagan’s book cover to cover and made over 15 pages of notes, and I have yet to find any of the “evidence” that Sagan speaks of on page 389. I find the comments of NOAM CHOMSKY more logical. He calls animal language an “evolutionary miracle” akin to “finding an island of humans who could be taught to fly.”

I like Francis Schaeffer‘s term “Mannishness” of man. He defines it as those aspects of man, such as significance, love, rationality and the fear of non being, which mark him off from animals and machines and give evidence of his being created in the image of a personal God.

The scientist Blaise Pascal is quoted by Sagan on page 364 and then Sagan notes, “Most of the philosophers adjudged great in the history of western thought held that humans are fundamentally different from other animals…”

As you know Pascal was the inventor of the barometer and he lived from 1623 to 1662. Pascal also observed, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every man,and only God can fill it.”

What is the solution? “For God so loved the world that He gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). The scriptural directive is not for us to work harder to achieve God’s favor (Romans 3:20), but to accept God’s mercy through our repentance and receiving Christ as a free gift (Ephesians 2:8-10).

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

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

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

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I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. 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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MUSIC MONDAY Aldous Huxley and THE INCREDIBLE STRING BAND

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The Incredible String Band – The Hedgehog’s Song

The Incredible String Band – First Girl I Loved

The Incredible String Band / Ducks On A Pond

The Incredible String Band / You Get Brighter

The Incredible String Band – Maya

Incredible String Band: “This Moment” (with Ram Dass)

Incredible String Band – The Half-Remarkable Question

An incredible journey with the Incredible String Band

Clive Palmer, Robin Williamson and Mike Heron with instruments from music shop 1966Image copyrightJOE BOYD
Image captionClive Palmer, Robin Williamson and Mike Heron on the cover of the first Incredible String Band album

The Incredible String Band were one of the most influential bands of the Sixties but their roots lie in the folk clubs of Edinburgh.

Their incredible journey took them from experimenting in Scotland’s all-night venues to an infamous appearance at Woodstock, the biggest counter-cultural event of the decade.

Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones were all said to have been influenced by the psychedelic folk rock of the band, who played “world music” a decade before the term was coined.

Comedian and banjo-player Billy Connolly, who was a massive fan and who got to know them when they played the folk clubs of Glasgow, described the band as “hairy, exotic and interesting”.

The story of how a group of folkies playing the Crown Bar in Edinburgh and late night clubs in Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street rose to become musical pioneers, who are still revered around the world, is told in a new book by the Incredible String Band’s Mike Heron and long-time fan Andrew Greig.

Mike Heron, Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer, backstage at Clive's Incredible Folk club in 1966Image copyrightIAN FERGUSON
Image captionMike, Robin and Clive backstage at Clive’s Incredible Folk club in Glasgow in 1966

Heron begins the story by telling how a middle-class, private school-boy was looking for an escape through music.

After playing in a rock ‘n’ roll covers band he got into folk music because he wanted to be a songwriter and “people in folk clubs actually listen to the words”.

Heron hooked up with established folk scene stars Robin Williamson and Clive Palmer as the Incredible String Band began to break out of its folk roots.

He says his band-mates were very much part of the beatnik scene, open to influences from all over the world.

“Clive was ultimate Beatnik,” Heron says.

“He lived in a tent pitched in a flat. He started off busking in Paris and he was grooved into it. Robin was too.”

Mike Heron, Clive Palmer and Robin Williamson on stage at Clive's Incredible Folk Club in 1966Image copyrightIAN FERGUSON
Image captionMike, Clive and Robin on stage in 1966

Heron on the other hand was still living with his parents, who were pushing him to continue his training as a chartered accountant.

He says he admired Robin and Clive: “I was a bit like their apprentice at first.

“They were into Eastern mystic thought and all that kind of thing.”

At first the band played a mix of British folk, bluegrass and old-time jug band music.

But the music quickly progressed as they wrote their own songs and brought in influences from India (they’d seen Ravi Shankar in Edinburgh), Afghanistan, Morocco and even Bulgaria.

first American album coverImage copyrightINCREDIBLE STRING BAND
Image captionThe cover of the Incredible String Band’s first US album

Heron says: “We were listening to all these things but there was no-one playing the kind of thing we wanted to listen to, a composite kind of thing.

“We just played the kind of music people would like to sit around and have a joint to, interesting music that was made up of all these influences that seemed to be cool to the beatniks.

“We kind of invented this kind of music we wanted to listen to.”

The music caught the ear of American record company scout Joe Boyd, who was looking to set up a UK branch of Elektra Records.

He had stumbled across Robin and Clive in early 1965 and returned a year later to sign them up.

Mike, Robin and Clive at Temple Cottage in 1966Image copyrightMARY STEWART
Image captionMike, Robin and Clive at Temple Cottage, north of Glasgow, in 1966

By this time Heron had joined and they had become singer-songwriters. Boyd liked what he heard.

He has previously said: “Their lyrics turned out to be witty, romantic and literate, and the melodies soared. They had also started taking LSD, so were ahead of the zeitgeist curve.”

The Incredible String Band went to London, recorded their first album and immediately split up.

Heron says: “When the money trickled in from the first album and the three of us got an advance, Robin and Clive just took off.

“Robin just went immediately to Morocco and didn’t come back. Because people just did that in those days.

“Clive went off to Afghanistan for a good six months.

“Nowadays that seems amazing that a band has just made its first album and two of them toddle off around the world.

“I was astonished. I was not really a beatnik. I thought that was it, the band was over.”

According to Heron, Clive never really came back. He was not really interested in the band.

Mike Heron plays mouth organ to a small boy at Temple CottageImage copyrightMARY STEWART
Image captionMike Heron plays mouth organ to a small boy at Temple Cottage

Robin Williamson only returned to Edinburgh when the money dried up and the pair resumed ISB as a duo.

When Williamson did return he was laden with Moroccan instruments, including a gimbri.

Their second album The 5000 Spirits or the Layers of the Onion, which came out in 1967, was cited much later by David Bowie as one of the best albums ever.

It has been described by critics as the Summer of Love condensed into one album.

Its opening track, Chinese White, was the first time Andrew Greig had heard of ISB and it “blew my mind”.

From the weird North African instrument in the opening bars to the lyric which states: “The bent twig of darkness/Grows the petals of the morning/It shows to them the birds singing/Just behind the dawning”, the whole thing was a revelation to a 16-year-old school boy from Anstruther in Fife.

Andrew Greig tried to emulate the Incredible String Band with Fate & FerretImage copyrightANDREW GREIG
Image captionAndrew Greig tried to emulate the Incredible String Band with Fate & Ferret

Greig says: “I was a fan out in the provinces and lots of people around about me were turned on, there is no other word for it, by the band.

“There were no drugs available in East Fife at the time. The music just astonished us.

“There was a school folk club that was doing fairly earnest American protest songs and Scottish folk songs, there was also the Beatles and The Stones, which we loved, but we had never heard anything like Chinese White.”

Greig says: “The fact that they were Scottish and cutting edge, that’s what liberated us to think, ‘well if they can do it, we can do something like that’. It gave us permission.”

The young boy from Fife formed a band in the image of the String Band called Fate & Ferret.

He says: “We adopted their manner of dress and walked around the back-country in Fife with flutes and whistles and mandolins and sausages and cider.

“It was curiously innocent in a way. We had this idea of being travelling troubadours. It was that medieval and rural vibe.”

Greig, who has had a successful career as a writer, wanted to use his experiences with the band to “memorialise” the Sixties.

His book – You Know What You Could Be – takes its title from one of Heron’s early String Band songs.

Its lyrics sum up Greig’s feelings about growing up in the Sixties: “You know what you could be/Tell me my friend/Why you worry all the time/What you should be”.

He says: “It was that kind of liberation call.

“My story and Mike’s are both of people trying to become who they need to be when you don’t actually know who that is yet.

“They are both stories of formation. The ridiculous and often comic process by which you try to become who you need to be.”

Trip to Woodstock

In the book Mike Heron only tells the ISB story up to the point where Greig takes over.

However, there was much more to come including a trip to Woodstock, the famous festival in upstate New York in 1969 that has become one of the most iconic events in music history.

Heron says: “It was brilliant to be there but it was very primitive.”

He says the roads to the site were so choked up that they had to be flown in by a military helicopter.

“It was open at the side and the pilot kept going sideways so we could see these huge crowds below. Ravi Shankar was on the plane with us. He was not very relaxed.”

The band were supposed to have played on the Friday but it was pouring with rain and they were afraid they would be electrocuted.

The band were asked to play an acoustic set but by this time their girlfriends were in the band and Heron says it would have been “unchivalrous” to leave them out.

Instead they played in the baking heat of the Saturday.

Mike Heron and Andrew Greig are now friends who have written a book together
Image captionMike Heron and Andrew Greig are now friends who have written a book together

Heron, who is now 74, says: “It was very tricky to play there.

“The stage was high and rickety so that didn’t help. The music we were playing was quite delicate so when we went on on the Saturday it was a bit rowdy.

“Everyone had been dropping assorted drugs. They wanted things like Canned Heat. They didn’t want plinky, British, thoughtful music. It was too floaty. It wasn’t really what was required.”

The Incredible String Band split in 1974 but reunited for occasional performances from 1997 to 2006.

Andrew Greig says it is “astonishing” to be friends with and write a book with the man whose band he idolised as a 16-year-old in Fife.

He says: “On one level he is a god, a myth, a legend, an inspiration of my youth .

“On the other hand he is a guy who I spend time with, who I eat curry with. It’s an odd experience but a lovely one.”

You Know What You Could Be by Mike Heron and Andrew Greig will be published by riverrun on 6 April


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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?,

If we take another hundred-year step backwards in time, we come to King Solomon, son of David. On his death the Jewish Kingdom was divided into two sections as a result of a civil revolt. Israel to the north with Jeroboam as king and Judah (as it was called subsequently) to the south under Rehoboam, Solomon’s son. In both the Book of Kings and Chronicles in the Bible we read how during Rehoboam’s reign: 25 In the fifth year of King Rehoboam, Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. (I Kings 14:25; II Chronicles 12:2), and how Shishak stripped Rehoboam of the wealth accumulated by his able father, Solomon. The reality of this event is confirmed by archaeology to a remarkable degree.

Shishak subdued not only Rehoboam but Jeroboam as well. The proof of this comes first from a fragment in a victory monument erected by Shishak and discovered at Megiddo, a city in the land of Israel. So the Egyptian king’s force swept northwards, subdued the two Jewish kings, and then erected a victory monument to that effect. Traces of the destruction have also been discovered in such cities as Hazor, Gezer, and Megiddo. These confirm what was written in Second Chronicles:

Battle Megiddo

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And he took the fortified cities of Judah and came as far as Jerusalem. Then Shemaiah the prophet came to Rehoboam and to the princes of Judah, who had gathered at Jerusalem because of Shishak, and said to them, “Thus says theLord, ‘You abandoned me, so I have abandoned you to the hand of Shishak.’”Then the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “TheLord is righteous.” When the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah: “They have humbled themselves. I will not destroy them, but I will grant them some deliverance, and my wrath shall not be poured out on Jerusalem by the hand of Shishak. Nevertheless, they shall be servants to him, that they may know my service and the service of the kingdoms of the countries.”

So Shishak king of Egypt came up against Jerusalem. He took away the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king’s house. He took away everything. He also took away the shields of gold that Solomon had made…( II Chronicles 12:4-9)

DAAHL Shishak’s Military Campaign

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Further confirmation comes from the huge victory scene engraved on Shishak’s order at the Temple of Karnak in Egypt. The figure of the king is somewhat obscured, but he is clearly named and he is seen smiting Hebrew captives before the god Amon, and there are symbolic rows of names of conquered towns of Israel and Judah.

Solomon’s is remembered also for his great wealth. The Bible tells us:

14 Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, 15 besides that which came from the explorers and from the business of the merchants, and from all the kings of the west and from the governors of the land. 16 King Solomon made 200 large shields of beaten gold; 600 shekels[a]of gold went into each shield. 17 And he made 300 shields of beaten gold; three minas[b] of gold went into each shield. And the king put them in the House of the Forest of Lebanon. (I Kings 10:14-17)

This wealth that the Bible speaks of has been challenged. Surely, some have said, these figures are an exaggeration. Excavations, however, have confirmed enormous quantities of precious metals, owned and distributed by kings during this period. For example, Shishak’s son Osorkon I (statuette of Osorkon I, Brooklyn Museum, New York), the one who stood to gain from the booty carried off from Rehoboam’s capital, is reported to have made donations to his god Amon totaling 470 tons of precious metal, gold, and silver, during only the first four years of his reign. This, of course, is much more than Solomon’s 66 talents which equals approximately twenty tons of gold per annum. We also have confirmation of the Bible’s reference to Solomon’s gold as coming from Ophir. The location of Ophir is still unknown, but an ostracon dated a little later than Solomon’s time actually mentions that thirty shekels of gold had come from Ophir for Beth-horon.


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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 […]

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

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

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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 […]

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

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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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FRIEDMAN FRIDAY Milton Friedman’s legacy Unfinished business

Milton Friedman’s legacy Unfinished business
Nov 23rd 2006

The ideas of a great economist changed the world. But not enough

Nov 23rd 2006

IF YOU had to describe Milton Friedman with a single adjective—not an easy task—you could do worse than “tireless”. Until his death, at the age of 94 on November 16th, the American economist was still penning sharply worded newspaper articles on the merits of the free market. He was also involved in a television documentary to spread the word, a quarter of a century after his series, “Free to Choose”. Clearly, Mr Friedman thought he still had a lot of work to do. He was right.

This may seem a strange epitaph for the most influential economist of the past half-century (see article). When Mr Friedman was attacking the growth of the state and trumpeting freedom of choice 50 years ago, few listened; now many do. Ideas that once seemed daft—ending peacetime conscription, deregulating industries from transport to banking, the negative income tax, school vouchers—have become either reality or part of mainstream political discourse. And his impact was probably greatest in places where non-economists might not spot it: largely thanks to him, governments no longer believe they can buy permanently lower unemployment at the price of a little more inflation.

The incredible growing state

You could even be forgiven for thinking that the whole world had been remade in Mr Friedman’s image. Communism no longer rules half of Europe. Even in China and Vietnam capitalism has taken hold. Politicians of left and right speak of the power, and sometimes of the virtues, of market forces. No wonder those forces are so often held to be untrammelled, unfettered or merely triumphant from Seattle to Shanghai.

And yet, and yet. The Doha round of trade talks is in tatters, because farm protection is still too precious. Politicians in both Europe and America continue to blanch at foreign takeovers. For the big picture, take the most obvious measure of the size of the state, the ratio of government spending to GDP. Since 1989, the year Ronald Reagan, the American president most in tune with Mr Friedman’s ideas, left office, and the Berlin Wall came down, America’s government has grown just as fast as its economy—an economy which has barrelled along for much of that time. The state’s slice of GDP is forecast to be 36.6% in 2006, up from 36.1% 17 years ago. The public sector has also swollen in Europe’s three biggest economies—Britain, France and Germany—and in OECD economies as a whole. Governments are as convinced as ever that they know best how to spend their citizens’ money.

Education is a case in point, not least in Mr Friedman’s homeland. For many years he argued that parents should be given more choice in how and where their children are schooled. The government, he said, should not spend money on their behalf, but should give them vouchers that they could spend on the education they thought best. Competition between schools would do more than any amount of bureaucratic direction to raise the often woeful standards of American primary and secondary education. This newspaper has long subscribed wholeheartedly to the idea of school vouchers. They are making headway, but too slowly, blocked by the teachers’ unions (when did state-protected producers ever embrace competition?) and sometimes in court.

“Judged by practice,” wrote Mr Friedman and his wife, Rose, in their memoirs, published eight years ago, “we have been, despite some successes, mostly on the losing side. Judged by ideas, we have been on the winning side.” As summaries go, that is hard to beat. Those of liberal spirit, including The Economist, have plenty to thank Mr Friedman for—and, sadly, an enormous amount still to do.

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Friedman Friday:(“Free to Choose” episode 4 – From Cradle to Grave, Part 1 of 7) Volume 4 – From Cradle to Grave Abstract: Since the Depression years of the 1930s, there has been almost continuous expansion of governmental efforts to provide for people’s welfare. First, there was a tremendous expansion of public works. The Social Security Act […]

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 300 Pointing out a weakness to Richard Dawkins in his new book OUTGROWING GOD (Comparing evidence for Christianity to a flying tea pot is crazy) Featured artists today are Susan Weil and Robert Rauschenberg

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Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins

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XXXX November 20, 2019

November 20, 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.

I enjoyed your latest book Outgrowing God which is one of my favorite books that you have written. 

However, there are some some weak parts of the book. For instance, on page 13 you write: 

The philosopher Bertrand Russell made the point with a vivd word picture. If I were to tell you, he said, thst there is a china teapot in orbit around the sun, you could not disprove my claim.But failure to disprove something is not a good reason to believe it.

Let me respond with this fine article below by Nate Sala:

Why Russell’s Teapot Fails

By Nate Sala – June 3, 2015327236

Oftentimes, when discussing the existence of God with atheists (or agnostics), the notions of supporting evidence and burden of proof are raised. This is important as good evidence provides a foundation for a reasonable inference on this issue, as well as the idea that those who make claims must support them with some kind of evidence. For example, if God exists then there should be some evidence to support claims of His existence. And, as Christian case-makers continue to show, there are a number of evidences that support the existence of God.

Unfortunately, some atheists believe that there can be no evidence for God whatsoever; and it is from this mistaken presupposition that a particular strategy involving a teapot floating in space has emerged. So the argument goes: we cannot conclusively prove that there is not a teapot orbiting the sun somewhere in outer space; but, given the lack of evidence for such a teapot, its likelihood is so low that the reasonable conclusion should be that it does not exist. Likewise, we cannot conclusively prove that God does not exist; but, given the lack of evidence for God, the reasonable conclusion should be that He does not exist.

This particular argument originated with philosopher Bertrand Russell in a letter he wrote in 1958:

“I do not think the existence of the Christian God any more probable than the existence of the Gods of Olympus or Valhalla. To take another illustration: nobody can prove that there is not between the Earth and Mars a china teapot revolving in an elliptical orbit, but nobody thinks this sufficiently likely to be taken into account in practice. I think the Christian God just as unlikely.”[1]

A number of decades later Richard Dawkins commented on Russell’s idea in The God Delusion:

“Russell’s point is that the burden of proof rests with the believers, not the non-believers. Mine is the related point that the odds in favour of the teapot (spaghetti monster / Esmerelda and Keith / unicorn etc.) are not equal to the odds against.”[2]

There are a couple of problematic elements in Russell’s and Dawkins’ comments. First, they both assume that there is no evidence for God. At least, it seems that Russell’s presupposition is that there is no evidence, thus allowing for his analogy; and Dawkins appears to accept Russell’s analogy wholesale. Second, Dawkins claims (via Russell) that, since there is no evidence for God, theists are the only ones that bear the burden of proof. This reminds me of a similar strategy amongst some atheists that attempts the same result, i.e. placing the burden of proof squarely on the theist’s shoulders. To read more on that, see “Why Atheism Is Not a Lack of Belief.”

Here is the problem with Russell’s presupposition. When an atheist states that there is no evidence for a teapot floating in outer space, he likely means there is no empirical evidence for it. In other words, to say that there is no evidence is to say that, as far as we know, no one has seen or touched a teapot in space. But to suggest that evidence for God is the same thing as empirical evidence for a teapot is to misunderstand the evidence for God typically appealed to by theists. As Dr. Brian Garvey writes, “God is invoked as an explanation for… why the universe exists at all, why it is intelligible, why it is governed by laws, why it is governed by the laws it is rather than some other laws, and doubtless many more things.”[3] Therefore, the evidences for God are the universe, its intelligibility, its physical laws, etc.

Russell’s analogy fails in large part because it likens two different sets of evidences, i.e. evidences for an object and evidences that are effects of an explanation. Russell’s teapot is not an explanation for anything. It simply exists as a rhetorical device. God, on the other hand, is an explanation for a number of things. With regard to the universe itself, consider the Kalam Cosmological Argument:[4]

  1. Everything that begins to exist has a cause.
  2. The universe began to exist.
  3. Therefore, the universe had a cause.

Or a form of the Teleological Argumentappealing to fine-tuning:[5]

  1. The fine-tuning of the universe is due to either physical necessity, chance or design.
  2. It is not due to physical necessity or chance.
  3. Therefore, it is due to design.

In both arguments a causal agent, namely God, is inferred as being the explanation for the universe, as well as its features. This does not mean that God is a physical object floating in space, like a teacup. It just means that God is an inference to the best explanation. Considering God as an explanation for the universe (as well as the universe as evidence for God), Dawkins’ comment on the burden of proof should be reevaluated.

Whether or not Russell’s floating teacup actually exists is irrelevant to the universe: as I stated earlier, his teacup is not an explanation for anything. So one’s worldview of the universe is not devoid of explanation if Russell’s teacup does not exist. However, if God does not exist there must be another explanation for the universe and its particular features. To illustrate consider Garvey’s chart below:[6]

So in contradistinction to the theist who proposes God as the explanation for “the most general laws,” i.e. the properties of the universe, the atheist proposes “something other than God.” So atheism is not a passive enterprise by any means. It is a proposition that reality is explained by (other than). Thus, both theists and atheists are looking at the same evidences (the universe and its features) and drawing two different conclusions. This means that Dawkins’ assertion, that the theist is the only one who bears the burden of proof, is flatly false. Both parties have their own burdens to bear.

While Russell’s teapot is probably not very popular anymore (considering its circular nature), it, nevertheless, still floats around the internet (pun intended) as useful fodder for those who don’t know any better. However, its failure is largely due to the disanalogy between evidence for a teapot and evidence for God. So the next time you cross paths with Russell’s floating teapot, have an apple, and then an orange.

[1] Bertrand Russell, “Is There a God?” in The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell Volume 11, ed. John G. Slater (New York, NY: Routledge, 1997): 547-548.

[2] Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion (New York, NY: Bantam Press, 2006), 76.

[3] Brian Garvey, “Absence of Evidence, Evidence of Absence, and the Atheist’s Teapot” Ars Disputandi 10 (2010), 18.

[4] J.P. Moreland and William Lane Craig, Philosophical Foundations for a Christian Worldview (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2003), 468.

[5] Ibid, 484.

[6] Brian Garvey, “Absence of Evidence, Evidence of Absence, and the Atheist’s Teapot” Ars Disputandi 10 (2010), 18.

Nate SalaSpeaker, Educator, President of A Clear Lens, Inc. and host of A Clear Lens Podcast. B.Sc

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Dr. Dawkins, you have a 150 year advantage over your hero Charles Darwin and the archaeologist’s spade has continued to dig. Take a look at this piece of evidence from the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop:

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

In the previous chapter we saw that the Bible gives us the explanation for the existence of the universe and its form and for the mannishness of man. Or, to reverse this, we came to see that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are a testimony to the truth of the Bible. In this chapter we will consider a third testimony: the Bible’s openness to verification by historical study.

Christianity involves history. To say only that is already to have said something remarkable, because it separates the Judeo-Christian world-view from almost all other religious thought. It is rooted in history.

The Bible tells us how God communicated with man in history. For example, God revealed Himself to Abraham at a point in time and at a particular geographical place. He did likewise with Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel and so on. The implications of this are extremely important to us. Because the truth God communicated in the Bible is so tied up with the flow of human events, it is possible by historical study to confirm some of the historical details.

It is remarkable that this possibility exists. Compare the information we have from other continents of that period. We know comparatively little about what happened in Africa or South America or China or Russia or even Europe. We see beautiful remains of temples and burial places, cult figures, utensils, and so forth, but there is not much actual “history” that can be reconstructed, at least not much when compared to that which is possible in the Middle East.

When we look at the material which has been discovered from the Nile to the Euphrates that derives from the 2500-year span before Christ, we are in a completely different situation from that in regard to South America or Asia. The kings of Egypt and Assyria built thousands of monuments commemorating their victories and recounting their different exploits. Whole libraries have been discovered from places like Nuzu and Mari and most recently at Elba, which give hundreds of thousands of texts relating to the historical details of their time. It is within this geographical area that the Bible is set. So it is possible to find material which bears upon what the Bible tells us.

The Bible purports to give us information on history. Is the history accurate? The more we understand about the Middle East between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100, the more confident we can be that the information in the Bible is reliable, even when it speaks about the simple things of time and place.

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.

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

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer at their home in Switzerland with some visiting friends

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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DawkinsWard

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Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

The Basis of Human Dignity by Francis Schaeffer

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

Francis Schaeffer in 1984

Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer in 1982

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Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Episode 1

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

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Featured artists today are Susan Weil and Robert Rauschenberg

Both Susan Weil and Robert Rauschenberg who are featured in this post below were good friends of the composer John Cage who was featured in my first post in this series. Check out the article, “When John Cage met Robert Rauschenberg.”

Legend of Black Mountain

Uploaded on Apr 20, 2008

Black Mountain College was a phenomenal circumstance. The fact that so many artists of that level in their respective fields could organize and develop such an institution is unparalleled. Who would’ve thought that a small mountain town of western North Carolina would be their home, albeit for a short while.

SUSAN WEIL and ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG at Black Mountain College

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Susan Weil and Rauschenberg on their wedding day with members of their wedding party, Outer Island, Connecticut, June 1950

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Black Mountain College Work Camp Publication 1941

Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center
Alt. CreatorD.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections
Subject KeywordBlack Mountain College; Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center ; colleges ; experimental community ;  Progressive education ; Progressives ; Bauhaus ; German immigration ; immigrants ; Marcel Breuer ; Walter Gropius ; John Andrew Rice ; Josef Albers ; Anni Albers ; Hazel Larsen Archer ; Buckminster Fuller ; Ruth Asawa ; Charles Olson ; Robert Rauschenberg ; Merce Cunningham ; John Cage ; Robert Creeley ; Jonathan Williams ; Franz Kline ; photography ; Appalachia ;  education ; National Historical Register ; architecture ; farms ; farming ; craft ; art ; textiles ; weaving ; ceramics ;  music ;  social services ; social work ; schools ; sociology ;
Subject LCSHBlack Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)
Arts — Study and teaching (Higher) — North Carolina — Black Mountain
Albers, Josef
Albers, Anni
Archer, Hazel Larsen
Asawa, Ruth
Cage, John
Creeley, Robert
Cunningham, Merce
Fuller, Buckminster
Kline, Franz
Olson, Charles
Rauschenberg, RobertRice, John Andrew
Williams, Jonathan
Education — Appalachian Region Rural schools — Appalachian Region,  Southern
Schools — Appalachian Region

The Longest Ride Official Trailer #1 (2015) – Britt Robertson Movie HD

Black Mountain College: A Thumbnail Sketch

Published on Aug 14, 2014

A 13 minute documentary about the legendary arts school in the mountains of North Carolina

It has been my practice on this blog to cover some of the top artists of the past and today and that is why I am starting in this current series on Black Mountain College (1933-1955). Here are some links to some to some of the past posts I have done on other artists: Marina AbramovicIda Applebroog,Matthew Barney,  Allora & Calzadilla,   Christo and Jeanne-Claude Olafur EliassonTracey EminJan Fabre, Makoto Fujimura, Hamish Fulton, Ellen GallaugherRyan Gander, John Giorno,  Cai Guo-QiangArturo HerreraOliver HerringDavid Hockney, David HookerRoni HornPeter HowsonRobert Indiana, Jasper Johns, Martin KarplusMargaret KeaneMike KelleyJeff KoonsSally MannKerry James MarshallTrey McCarley,   Paul McCarthyJosiah McElhenyBarry McGeeTony OurslerWilliam Pope L.Gerhard RichterJames RosenquistSusan RothenbergGeorges Rouault, Richard SerraShahzia SikanderHiroshi SugimotoRichard TuttleLuc TuymansBanks ViolettFred WilsonKrzysztof WodiczkoAndrea Zittel,

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG SYNOPSIS

Considered by many to be one of the most influential American artists due to his radical blending of materials and methods, Robert Rauschenberg was a crucial figure in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to later modern movements. One of the key Neo-Dada movement artists, his experimental approach expanded the traditional boundaries of art, opening up avenues of exploration for future artists. Although Rauschenberg was the enfant terrible of the art world in the 1950s, he was deeply respected and admired by his predecessors. Despite this admiration, he disagreed with many of their convictions and literally erased their precedent to move forward into new aesthetic territory that reiterated the earlier Dada inquiry into the definition of art.

ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG KEY IDEAS

Engaged in questioning the definition of a work of art and the role of the artist, Rauschenberg shifted from a conceptual outlook where the authentic mark of the brushstroke described the artist’s inner world towards a reflection on the contemporary world, where an interaction with popular media and mass-produced goods reflected a unique artistic vision. Rauschenberg merged the realms of kitsch and fine art, employing both traditional media and found objects within his “combines” by inserting appropriated photographs and urban detritus amidst standard wall paintings. Rauschenberg believed that painting related to “both art and life. Neither can be made.” Following from this belief, he created artworks that move between these realms in constant dialogue with the viewers and the surrounding world, as well as with art history. Preferring to leave the interpretation of the works to his viewers, Rauschenberg allowed chance to determine the placement and combination of the different found images and objects in his artwork such that there were no predetermined arrangements or meanings embedded within the works.

INTO THE GAP: ROBERT RAUSCHENBERG

October 22, 2014 by Don Bacigalupi
Comment on this post
Categories: Artists, Artworks.

Today is the birthday of Robert Rauschenberg, an artist who played a pivotal role in the development of American art after WWII.

This blog post, written by Museum President Don Bacigalupi, is excerpted from Crystal Bridges’ permanent collection catalog, Celebrating the American Spirit: Masterworks from Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. 

Robert Rauschenberg (1925-2008) Untitled 1963 Oil, graphite and silkscreen ink on canvas

The art world of the late 1940s and early 1950s had been dominated by the grand gestures and larger-than-life personas of the abstract expressionists. Artists such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning created images in which their bold, expressive marks were understood to be records of their inner lives—painting as revelation. Younger artists like Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns attacked the cult of personality promulgated by the New York School. Juxtaposing the highly lauded gestural brushstroke with modes of representation drawn from mass culture, they challenged viewers to assess which manner of image making more effectively conveyed meaning. Rauschenberg and Johns are credited with both reviving an interest in dada and surrealism and with paving the way for the development of pop art in the 1960s.

Rauschenberg spent the 1950s experimenting with novel ways to narrow the gap between art and life, bringing commonplace images and materials into his work through methods including collage, assemblage, and transfer drawing. In 1962, he began to silkscreen photographic images into his compositions. The following year he produced Untitled, a painting dominated by an anonymous photograph of a contemporary urban street scene. Unlike Rauschenberg’s earlier assemblages and “combines,” in which the artist assembled multiple small images and objects into larger, fragmentary wholes, here a single black-and-white candid shot occupies the entire canvas. In contrast to Rauschenberg’s earlier picture-making techniques, silkscreen allowed the artist to render any given image in any given scale.

In Untitled, the enlarged, silkscreened snapshot serves as the ground onto which Rauschenberg applied additional layers of signification, including discrete passages of dripping paint, scumbled washes, stenciled letters of various sizes, and some apparent rubbings or erasures. Photographic and hand-drawn images become nearly indistinguishable. A “one way” street sign that is part of the photograph points at and is balanced by an upside-down cruciform shape drawn in graphite across the painted surface. A rectangular Coca-Cola sign in the upper right of the photograph is mirrored at left by an array of applied uppercase letters that suggest words (“Strange” or “X-change” or even “Sex Change”).

Confronted with the large, sign-filled photograph and hints of readable language, the viewer cannot help but search for narrative meaning. Yet the sheer number and diversity of marks and signs in the picture frustrate this enterprise, leading the viewer down a series of interpretive dead ends. A restless and prolific image maker, Rauschenberg created pleasingly composed and visually enticing works that rarely cohere into a traditional meaning or story. Ultimately, Rauschenberg succeeded in focusing his viewers’ attention on the complex interplay between art and life, opening up myriad possibilities for future generations of artists.

THE FLIGHT OF PIGEONS FROM THE PALACE

Mostly stories, plus other odds and ends

Robert Rauschenberg & Jasper Johns – A relationship in three photographs

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Robert Rauschenberg & Jasper Johns
Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg shortly before their breakup.

“Most critics agree that Johns and Rauschenberg’s finest work grew out of the period between 1954 and 1961, a time of intense emotional involvement during which they searched together for an alternative to Abstract Expressionist picturemaking. Rauschenberg once remarked of this moment “We gave each other permission…”

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Flag, Encaustic, oil and collage on fabric mounted on plywood,1954-55 by Jasper Johns:

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This is perhaps one of the most famous photographs taken at the Archie Bray Foundation. From left to right are Soetsu Yanagi, Bernard Leach, Rudy Autio, Peter Voulkos, and Shoji Hamada.

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Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach, Soetsu Yanagi, and Marguerite Wildenhain at Black Mountain College

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

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WOODY WEDNESDAY open Letter to Woody Allen Part 12 Woody Allen understands the tension the SURREALIST feels!!!

Adrien Brody 3

Associated Press

March 17, 2019

Woody Allen

New York, NY

Dear Woody,

i have a blog post that has received thousands of views and it centers around one of the funniest scenes in Midnight In Paris dealing with Gil Pender’s medting with the surrealists. Your understanding of philosophy made this scene possible.

You believe that we live in a cold, violent and meaningless universe and it seems that his main character (Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS shares that view. Pender’s meeting with the Surrealists (Man Ray, Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel) is by far the best scene in the movie because they are ones who can understand his predicament concerning the absurdity of life UNDER THE SUN (as Solomon used to phrase it.) If we are here as a result of chance then what lasting purpose can be found? The Surrealists truly grasped the problem and it seems that Gil does too realize the full weight of the predicament.

In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS the main character Gil Pender gives his book to Gertrude Stein  and she commented to him:

Gil Pender realizes that it is difficult to come up with a meaning for life. At one point he tells Adriana concerning their mutual love of Paris:

You know, I sometimes think,”How’s anyone gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony or a sculpture that can compete with a great city?”You can’t, ’cause, like,you look around, every…every street, every boulevard is its own special art form.And when you think that in the cold,violent, meaningless universe,that Paris exists, these lights…I mean, come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune,but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafe’s, people drinking, and singing…I mean, for all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.-

This admiration of the city of Paris does not change Pender’s view that the universe brought to us by Darwinian chance plus time must be ultimately meaningless.

Let’s see what King Solomon had to say about that. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else UNDER THE SUN:  The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”

WHY IS SOLOMON CAUGHT IN DESPAIR IN THE 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.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon LOOKS ABOVE THE SUN AND BRINGS GOD BACK INTO THE PICTURE in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

WITHOUT GOD IN THE PICTURE WHERE DOES MODERN MAN TURN AND THE ANSWER IS YOU BRING CHANCE INTO YOUR ARTWORK!!! The SURREALISTS were the same men who started the “Dada Movement” and Francis Schaeffer noted concerning that movement:

Dada was started in Zurich and came along in modern art. Dada means nothing. The word “Dada” means rocking horse, but it was chosen by chance. The whole concept of Dada is everything means nothing. [In this materialistic mindset Chance and Time have determined the past, and they will determine the future according to Solomon in life UNDER THE SUN]…  Dada carried to its logical conclusion the notion of all having come about by chance; the result was the final absurdity of everything, including humanity.

(Surrealists: Man Ray, Jean Arp, Yves Tanguy, André Breton; Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dalí, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst and Rene Clevel, 1930.)

Dali and his surrealist friends provide the funniest scene of Woody Allen’s latest film “Midnight in Paris.” Here are links to what I have written about these gentlemen before:

(Part 27, Man Ray) July 5, 2011 – 4:49 am

(Part 15, Luis Bunuel) June 23, 2011 – 5:37 am

December 31, 2015

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Every year people get out and celebrate New Years Eve and they toast the arrival of the new year at MIDNIGHT  and I am sure that a lot of babies are born about nine months later. That reminds me of one of my favorite Woody Allen movies MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. I know that you are a big Woody Allen fan so I wanted to discuss with you this movie.

Woody Allen believes that we live in a cold, violent and meaningless universe and it seems that his main character (Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS shares that view. Pender’s meeting with the Surrealists (Man Ray, Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel) is by far the best scene in the movie because they are ones who can understand his predicament concerning the absurdity of life UNDER THE SUN (as Solomon used to phrase it.) If we are here as a result of chance then what lasting purpose can be found? The Surrealists truly grasped the problem and it seems that Gil does too realize the full weight of the predicament.

In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS the main character Gil Pender gives his book to Gertrude Stein  and she commented to him:

Gil Pender realizes that it is difficult to come up with a meaning for life. At one point he tells Adriana concerning their mutual love of Paris:

You know, I sometimes think,”How’s anyone gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony or a sculpture that can compete with a great city?”You can’t, ’cause, like,you look around, every…every street, every boulevard is its own special art form.And when you think that in the cold,violent, meaningless universe,that Paris exists, these lights…I mean, come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune,but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafe’s, people drinking, and singing…I mean, for all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.-

This admiration of the city of Paris does not change Pender’s view that the universe brought to us by Darwinian chance plus time must be ultimately meaningless.

Let’s see what King Solomon had to say about that. Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 9:11-13 “I have seen something else UNDER THE SUN:  The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant  or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.  Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times  that fall unexpectedly upon them.”

WHY IS SOLOMON CAUGHT IN DESPAIR IN THE 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.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon LOOKS ABOVE THE SUN AND BRINGS GOD BACK INTO THE PICTURE in the final chapter of the book in Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, “ Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.  For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”

WITHOUT GOD IN THE PICTURE WHERE DOES MODERN MAN TURN AND THE ANSWER IS YOU BRING CHANCE INTO YOUR ARTWORK!!! The SURREALISTS were the same men who started the “Dada Movement” and Francis Schaeffer noted concerning that movement: 

Dada was started in Zurich and came along in modern art. Dada means nothing. The word “Dada” means rocking horse, but it was chosen by chance. The whole concept of Dada is everything means nothing. [In this materialistic mindset Chance and Time have determined the past, and they will determine the future according to Solomon in life UNDER THE SUN]…  Dada carried to its logical conclusion the notion of all having come about by chance; the result was the final absurdity of everything, including humanity.

(Surrealists: Man Ray, Jean Arp, Yves Tanguy, André Breton; Tristan Tzara, Salvador Dalí, Paul Eluard, Max Ernst and Rene Clevel, 1930.)

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Art attack ... (l-r) tycoon Hefner, a Matisse and Lennon
Art attack … (l-r) tycoon Hefner, a Matisse and Lennon
Lennon picture: REX

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Henri Matisse, 1913, photograph by Alvin Langdon Coburn.jpg

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kimmelman_1-042612.jpgEstate of Daniel M. Stein

Henri Matisse (center) and Hans Purrmann (right) dining with Michael, Sarah, and Allan Stein at their apartment at 58 rue Madame, Paris, circa 1908. The paintings in the background, all by Matisse, are The Young Sailor I (far left); Pink Onions and Male Nude(left column); Fruit Trees in Blossom, Woman in a Kimono, Nude Reclining Woman, andNude before a Screen (center column);Madame Matisse in the Olive Grove, a sketch for Le Bonheur de Vivre, and Madame Matisse (The Green Line) (right column).

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Paris: The Luminous Years