Monthly Archives: February 2020

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 305 Letter to Richard Dawkins about his comments on Ecclesiastes ( Eccl 1:14, “I have seen all the works which have been done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and striving after wind.” Solomon is the man who has the copper refineries in Ezion-geber) Featured Artist is Michael c McMillen

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Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais

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Francis Schaeffer below:

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Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox | The God Delusion Debate

Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview


XXXX Peter Singer – The Genius of Darwin: The Uncut Interviews – Richard Dawkins

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XXX November 21, 2019

November 21 2019

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

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, on page 49:

There’s some beautiful English writing in the King James Bible. Ecclesiastes is at least as good as the Song of Songs, although it’s poetry is bleak and world-weary. If you read nothing else in the Bible, I recommend those two books, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Songs.

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

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” 

Below are the words of Francis Schaeffer on Ecclesiastes:

XXXX Works

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

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

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

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

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

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

Science Confirms the Bible with Ken Ham

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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Francis and Edith Schaeffer seen below:

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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:

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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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Dark History of Evolution-Henry Morris, Ph.D.

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Featured artist is Michael c McMillen

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Michael C. McMillen: Every Dream Is New

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Michael C. McMillen: Photo by Ari Young

Michael McMillen is a visual artist in the very broadest sense, careful to avoid narrowly defining just what it is he does. “The medium has to be in service of the idea,” he told an audience of students at Art Center College of Design in 2005.

McMillen’s shifting and overlapping job descriptions — sculptor, installation artist, printmaker, cultural anthropologist — reflect the fact that he is a searcher, never quite sure what he is looking for, always hoping to be amazed by what he comes across. An leading edge baby boomer — he was born in 1946 — his childhood was marked by a curiosity about the artifacts of postwar California.

Raised mainly by his grandparents, McMillen was surrounded from an early age by things older than he was: elderly people, antique furnishings, objects that had seen better days. Being older, his grandparents also tended to let him roam. Some of McMillen’s childhood memories involve pulling a wagon down the alleyway near his their house, collecting junk that he would later organize and create stories about. Since many of neighbors were veterans of WWII, or had worked for Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica, McMillen often found items that conveyed the faded poetry of war and industry.

His imaginative drive also reflects the influence of his father, an actor who also worked as a scenic artist. Eventually McMillen Sr. worked for Channel 11, and Michael would visit him there. Walking among the sets, which he realized looked very different on television, got him thinking about the artifice and “duality” of media images. While attending Santa Monica City College he decided to become an artist: an epiphany that he says came to him like a “snap of a finger.”

After earning his MFA at UCLA McMillen promptly gained attention for his mixed-media sculptures and constructed environments. “Like films,” wrote one commentator, “McMillen’s fastidiously constructed works function as portals into other worlds…” While building his reputation as an artist McMillen also did odd jobs in the film industry, creating props and special effects for “Blade Runner” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”

Since winning the LA County Museum’s “New Talent Award” and landing NEA Artist’s Fellowship, both in 1978, McMillen’s career has never faltered. His groundbreaking 1981 installation “Central Meridian (The Garage)” featured the cluttered interior of a 60’s garage/workshop/catacomb, complete with the rusting bones of a Dodge Dart. Doug Harvey, writing for the LA Weekly, says that the piece “…remains one of the most subtle, poetic and experiential critiques of the institutional art environment ever devised.”

Over the years, McMillen’s interests as an artist have remained remarkably consistent. Deeply aware of the evocative power of things, he has been accumulating and re-assembling “objects of interest” — some would call them detritus — all his life. While building his stellar reputation as an artist, an inevitable by product has been a growing storage problem.

“I have an exotic collection of materials, artifacts, gee-gaws and what-nots” says McMillen. “To avoid unnecessary clutter, I have a simple rule: If I haven’t used it in 30 years, I discard it.”

One of the results of being “awash with stuff” has been a deepening exploration with film. This new direction has allowed McMillen to both literally recycle some of the physical raw material he has accumulated and also to recycle some of the overarching ideas of his career. He has been tinkering with film since 2003, and his 2007 installation/exhibition “Speed’s Place” at the UnMuseum of the Contemporary Arts Museum of Cincinnati, included projections of his digital films.

His current exhibition “Lighthouse” at LA Louver Gallery doesn’t literally include a lighthouse. The title, McMillen explains, “… is both metaphoric and a bit literal,” as the installation includes a looped screening of his new short film “Quotidian Man” which projected onto the billboard of the “Hotel New Empire,” a kind of tilting film set raised on a catafalque of stilts over a tray of water.

A precarious flophouse with a questionable past it is both a sculpture and a metaphor. Adding the element of the billboard/movie screen is McMillen’s way of priming the image to receive an even richer set of suggestions. The billboard may also be a nod to the late painter James Doolin’s “Psychic,” a 1998 oil of a blank signboard hovering above a row of LA stores.

McMillen’s films are reminiscent of old films, and nostalgia — he has great affection for the days when movie magic wasn’t so seamless — is one of their key ingredients. Paradoxically, the poetry of nostalgia recycled creates something fresh and dreamlike. “Every dream is new: we don’t know where they are going,” McMillen points out. Spooky mirages, grainy and full of surprises, McMillen’s films somehow feel inevitable, as if he has been making them all his life.

In a sense, he has. Working with history makes him feel fresh, like a child again.

Michael C. McMillen is a man who is fascinated by the past, but who isn’t the least bit jaded. His imagination flickers brightly, like a Tesla coil in a monster movie.

Michael Mc Millen Artist’s Statement for “Lighthouse.”

The illusions of permanence and perfection are recurring themes in my work.

I use architectural references as a metaphoric language to express and reveal this
continuous state of flux and entropy.

The viewer’s memory and sense of reality are subtly subverted by the use of altered scale and the fabrication of elements that are both familiar and strangely dystopian.

With the advances in digital motion picture technology, I have been able to integrate time based images into my installations. The movies blend and combine a multitude of varied images from our popular culture into personal dream-like narratives that animate and transport the viewer into unexpected realms.

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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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The Beatles were “inspired by the musique concrète of German composer and early electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen…”  as SCOTT THILL has asserted. Francis Schaeffer noted that ideas of  “Non-resolution” and “Fragmentation” came down German and French streams with the influence of Beethoven’s last Quartets and then the influence of Debussy and later Schoenberg’s non-resolution which is in total contrast […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 42 Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

September 8, 2015 – 5:10 am

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

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

September 2, 2015 – 8:42 am

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

WOODY WEDNESDAY Open Letter to Woody Allen Part 13 Comparing Woody Allen to the Surrealists such as Dali who was looking at coping with a Godless universe!

Woody Allen On Bergman

Woody Allen On Bergman

Woody Allen Show

Essay on Woody Allen films

Match point Trailer

Match point

Crimes and misdemeanors

Part 2

Part 3

Woody commenting on Midnight in Paris

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November 2, 2019

Woody Allen, New York,NY 10019

Dear Woody,

I wanted to react to these words of yours said in You Tube in 2010:


You start to think, when you’re younger, how important everything is and how things have to go right—your job, your career, your life, your choices, and all of that. Then, after a while, you start to realise that – I’m talking the big picture here – eventually you die, and eventually the sun burns out and the earth is gone, and eventually all the stars and all the planets in the entire universe go, disappear, and nothing is left at all. Nothing – Shakespeare and Beethoven and Michelangelo gone. And you think to yourself that there’s a lot of noise and sound and fury – and where’s it going? It’s not going any place… Now, you can’t actually live your life like that, because if you do you just sit there and – why do anything? Why get up in the morning and do anything? So I think it’s the job of the artist to try and figure out why, given this terrible fact, you want to go on living.

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Francis Schaeffer has noted that men like you Woody have come to this conclusion that life has no meaning but they can’t live that way and they have to jump into the area of non-reason to manufacture a meaning for their lives like the Surrealists did.

Schaeffer noted:

From the High (later) Renaissance to today we see an historical journey to despair. This is where
men live today. Man is a machine in a universe of machines. But man cannot live like a machine!
“But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must ‘leap
upstairs’ against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to
do so they have to deny their reason.” [page3 182]
Those in the earlier Renaissance would never had settled for this; they would have considered it
intellectual suicide to separate meaning and values from reason.

This reminds of a scene in Midnight in Paris because these three Surrealists are just looking for a way to cope with the Godless universe even though they feel deeply that there MUST be something more!!

Woody Allen’s main character Gil is talking with Salvador Dali and Man Ray and Luis Bunuel. 

This is the transcript:

DALI: We met, earlier tonight…At the party! Dali.

GIL: I remember!-

DALI: A bottle of red wine!

GIL: It can’t be… Yeah….So?

DALI: Another glass for this man, please. I love the language!The French! The waiters? No.You like the shape of the rhinoceros?

GIL: The rhinoceros? Uh…Haven’t really thought about it.I paint the rhinoceros.

DALI: I paint you. Your sad eyes.Your big lips, meltingover the hot sand,with one tear.Yes! And in your tear, another face.The Christ’s face!Yes, in the rhinoceros.

GIL: Yeah. I mean, I probably do look sad. I’m in…a very perplexing situation.

DALI: Diablo…Luis! Oye, Luis!(Damn. Luis! Hey, Luis!)My friends.This… is Luis Bunuel…and…Mr. Man Ray.-

GIL: Man Ray? My Gosh!- How ’bout that?

DALI: This is Pen-der. Pen-der. Pender!- Yes. And I am Dalí!- Dalí. Yes.You have to remember. Pender is in a perplexing situation.

GIL: It sounds so crazy to say.You guys are going tothink I’m drunk, but I have to tell someone. I’m…from a…a different time. Another era.The future. OK? I come…from the 2000th millenium to here.I get in a car, and I slide through time.

MAN RAY: Exactly correct.You inhabit two worlds.- So far, I see nothing strange.- Why?

GIL: Yeah, you’re surrealists!But I’m a normal guy. See, in one life,I‘m engaged to marry a woman I love.At least, I think I love her.Christ! I better love her! I’m marrying her!

DALI: The rhinoceros makes love by mounting the female.But…is there a difference in the beauty between two rhinoceroses?

MAN RAY: There is another woman?Adriana. Yes, and I’m…very drawn to her.I find her extremely alluring.The problem is that other men,great artists – geniuses- also find her alluring,and she finds them. So, there’s that…

MAN RAY: A man in love with a woman from a different era.I see a photograph. 

LUIS BUNUEL: I see a film.I see an insurmountable problem.

DALI: I see……a rhinoceros.

Let me make a few points here.

1. Surrealists like Salvador Dali, Man Ray and Luis Bunuel had accepted that life without God in the picture is absurd with no meaning or purpose.

2. In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender is from the year 2010 but he is struck with love for Adriana who lives in 1925 and he asks the surrealists about this PERPLEXING PROBLEM.

There are two elements to this perplexing problem.

A. God created us so we can’t deny that we are created for a purpose and when a person falls truly in love with another person then they have a hard time maintaining  this world is only just a product of evolution and has no lasting significance. Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russellwrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

B. Gil Pender explains that he has traveled through time and the Surrealists accept this because they are used to leaping into the area of nonreason in order to find a meaning for their lives. The Atheist can only come to the conclusion of despair according to Ecclesiastes,but humans many times try to go to the area of non-reason for meaning in their lives instead of turning to God!

Dustin Shramek in his article, Atheism and Death: Why the atheist must face death with despair, notes:

Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God. This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd, with no meaning or purpose. On the second story life has meaning, value, and purpose. This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily, so he makes a leap of faith to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God. Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

We can see that later in the life of Salvador Dali that he struggled to find a rational source of values and purpose. 

(Basket of Bread. Date: 1926 above)

From the book  THE GOD WHO IS THERE written in 1968 by Francis Schaeffer pages 70-72.

In his earlier days Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was a surrealist. As such he united the teaching of Dada with the concept of the Freudian unconscious, because this is what surrealism is. But at a certain point he could stand this no longer, and so he changed.

One day he painted his wife and called the picture THE BASKET OF BREAD, final title was Portrait of Galarina (1940–45)It is obvious from looking at the picture that on the day he really loved her. It is the same kind of situation as when Picasso wrote on his canvas, “I love Eva.” Before I had heard of any change in Dali, I saw a reproduction of this picture, and it was obvious that there was something different being produced. It is significant that his wife has kept this painting in her private collection.

So on this particular day Dali gave up his surrealism and began his new series of mystical paintings. He had, in fact, already painted two other pictures with the title A BASKET OF BREAD, one in 1926 and one in 1945. These just showed baskets of coarse Spanish bread. But third picture, also painted in 1945, was of his wife Galarina, and shows her with one breast exposed. Her name is written on the picture, and the wedding ring is prominent on her finger.

The second painting in his new style was called CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS, painted in 1951, which now hangs in the Glasgow Art Gallery. Salvador Dali has written about this painting in a little folder on sale in the museum: “In artistic texture and technique I painted the CHRIST OF SAINT JOHN OF THE CROSS in the manner in which I had already painted my BASKET OF BREAD which even then, more or less unconsciously, represented the Eucharist to me.

File:Christ of Saint John of the Cross.jpgFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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What does he mean? He means that when he looks at his wife one day, really loving her, and paints here with one breast exposed, that is equated by him to the Eucharist, not in the sense that anything really happened back there in Palestine 2000 years ago, but his love jarred him into a modern type of mysticism.

In this painting he differed from Picasso’s J’aime Eva. As far as we know, Picasso never really went beyond the problems of his individual loves; but to Dali it became the key to mysticism. In order to express the leap that he felt forced to take, he picked up Christian symbols, not to express Christian concepts, but a non-rational mysticism. 

File:Dali – The Sacrament of the Last Supper – lowres.jpgFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

File:Dali - The Sacrament of the Last Supper - lowres.jpg

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Retrieved from http://www.dali-gallery.com/images/works/1955_01.jpg on 13 Sep 2009. Resolution lowered for illustration purposes.

After these two  painting his next crucifixion was called CORPUS HYPEROULUS, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY and then later THE SACRAMENT OF THE LAST SUPPER, which is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. This later painting expresses his thought vividly. As the viewer looks at Jesus he can see the background showing through him; he is a mist.

File:Dali Crucifixion hypercube.jpgFrom Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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This is no Christ of history. Above him stands a great human figure with arms outspread, it’s head cut off by the top edge of the picture. No one is sure what this figure is. However, it is stranger reminiscent of the “Yakso” which in Hindu art and architecture often stands behind the “saviors” (“savior” here bearing no relation to the Christian idea). Yakes and Yaksi connect vegetable life with man on one side and the complete concept of pantheism on the other. I think this is what Dali is also saying by this cut-off figure in the painting. Whether this is so or not, the symbolism of the form of the “room” is clear because it is constructed by means of the ancient Greek symbol of the universe.

In an interview Dali connects this religious interest of his later life with science’s reduction of matter to energy. “…the discoveries in quantum physics of the nature of energy, that matter becomes energy, a state of dematerialization. I realized that science is moving toward a spiritual state. It is absolutely astonishing, the eminent scientists: the declaration of Max Planck and the views of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955), a great Jesuit scientist: that man in his constant evolution is coming closer to an oneness with God.”

Here he relates his own mysticism and the religious mysticism of Teilhard de Chardin to impersonal dematerialization rather than to anything personal. He is quite correct and need not have confined himself to modern liberal Roman Catholicism, but could also have included the Protestant forms of the new theology as well.

It is perfectly possible to pick up no defined Christian symbols on words and use them in this new mysticism, while giving them opposite meanings. Their use does not necessarily imply that they have Christian meanings. Dali’s secular mysticism, like the new theology, gives the philosophic other or impersonal “everything” a personal name in order to get relief by connotation from meaningless. 

SALVADOR-DALI-AND-WIFE-GALA

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Matt Chandler in his sermon on ECCLESIASTES CHAPTER ONE finishes up with this paragraph:

So this circular silliness that we find ourselves caught up in, it needs someone from BEYOND THE SUN to come break it. So the Scriptures tell us that Christ comes, John 10:10 said, to give us life to the full. You want to hear a really good translation of what’s going on in John 10:10, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” He’s basically saying this, “You’re living and you’re breathing, but you’re not alive. You’re just existing. In Me, there’s life. You’re existing, but you’re not living. I have come so that you might have life, what you were created for.” Now all of a sudden, these things do have meaning. Now all of a sudden, when this happens, money can just be money. Like, money no longer becomes our master. We don’t have to have to have some kind of social status. It just becomes money. So, we can give it away or buy a house and it doesn’t own us.Christ removes the futility and vanity from the soul and brings about the purpose that you and I are dying for. Everything else under the sun is running on a treadmill. My hope is that you’ll start to honestly evaluate life and that that might lead you to look BEYOND THE SUN.

_________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 trustedGOD HAS SPOKEN AND HAS NOT BEEN SILENT, BUT YOU CAN’T JUST CONTINUE TO LOOK FOR ANSWERS JUST “UNDER THE SUN.” You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8Black 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.(GALA’s daughter Cécile  Éluard is pictured below)

Photo taken in 1944 after a reading of Picasso’s play El deseo pillado por la cola: Standing from left to right: Jacques Lacan, Cécile  Éluard, Pierre Reverdy, Louise Leiris, Pablo Picasso, Zanie de Campan, Valentine Hugo, Simone de Beauvoir, Brassaï. Sitting, from left to right: Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Michel Leiris, Jean Aubier. Photo by Brassaï. –

Sincerely,

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

Midnight in Paris trailer

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliotfound in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” The seventeenth post looks at these words Woody Allen put into Hemingway’s mouth,  “We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all.”

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway and Gil Pender talk about their literary idol Mark Twain and the eighteenth post is summed up nicely by Kris Hemphill‘swords, “Both Twain and [King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes] voice questions our souls long to have answered: Where does one find enduring meaning, life purpose, and sustainable joy, and why do so few seem to find it? The nineteenth post looks at the tension felt both in the life of Gil Pender (written by Woody Allen) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and in Mark Twain’s life and that is when an atheist says he wants to scoff at the idea THAT WE WERE PUT HERE FOR A PURPOSE but he must stay face the reality of  Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” and  THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! Therefore, the secular view that there is no such thing as love or purpose looks implausible. The twentieth post examines how Mark Twain discovered just like King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there is no explanation  for the suffering and injustice that occurs in life UNDER THE SUN. Solomon actually brought God back into the picture in the last chapter and he looked  ABOVE THE SUN for the books to be balanced and for the tears to be wiped away.

The twenty-first post looks at the words of King Solomon, Woody Allen and Mark Twain that without God in the picture our lives UNDER THE SUN will accomplish nothing that lasts. Thetwenty-second post looks at King Solomon’s experiment 3000 years that proved that luxuries can’t bring satisfaction to one’s life but we have seen this proven over and over through the ages. Mark Twain lampooned the rich in his book “The Gilded Age” and he discussed  get rich quick fever, but Sam Clemens loved money and the comfort and luxuries it could buy. Likewise Scott Fitzgerald  was very successful in the 1920’s after his publication of THE GREAT GATSBY and lived a lavish lifestyle until his death in 1940 as a result of alcoholism.

In the twenty-third post we look at Mark Twain’s statement that people should either commit suicide or stay drunk if they are “demonstrably wise” and want to “keep their reasoning faculties.” We actually see this play out in the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with the character Zelda Fitzgerald. In the twenty-fourthtwenty-fifth and twenty-sixth posts I look at Mark Twain and the issue of racism. In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we see the difference between the attitudes concerning race in 1925 Paris and the rest of the world.

The twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth posts are summing up Mark Twain. In the 29th post we ask did MIDNIGHT IN PARIS accurately portray Hemingway’s personality and outlook on life? and in the 30th post the life and views of Hemingway are summed up.

In the 31st post we will observe that just like Solomon Picasso slept with many women. Solomon actually slept with  over 1000 women ( Eccl 2:8, I Kings 11:3), and both men ended their lives bitter against all women and in the 32nd post we look at what happened to these former lovers of Picasso. In the 33rd post we see that Picasso  deliberately painted his secular  worldview of fragmentation on his canvas but he could not live with the loss of humanness and he reverted back at crucial points and painted those he loved with all his genius and with all their humanness!!! In the 34th post  we notice that both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Picasso in his painting had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!!

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Related posts:

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 7 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part F, SURREALISTS AND THE IDEA OF ABSURDITY AND CHANCE)

December 23, 2015 – 4:15 am

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 is by far the best scene in the movie because they are ones who can […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 6 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part E, A FURTHER LOOK AT T.S. Eliot’s DESPAIR AND THEN HIS SOLUTION)

December 16, 2015 – 4:56 am

In the last post I pointed out how King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and that Bertrand Russell, and T.S. Eliot and  other modern writers had agreed with Solomon’s view. However, T.S. Eliot had found a solution to this problem and put his faith in […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 5 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part D, A LOOK AT T.S. Eliot’s DESPAIR AND THEN HIS SOLUTION)

December 9, 2015 – 4:41 am

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender ponders the advice he gets from his literary heroes from the 1920’s. King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and many modern artists, poets, and philosophers have agreed. In the 1920’s T.S.Eliot and his  house guest Bertrand Russell were two of […]

“Woody Wednesda

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 159 G “Open letter to Harry Kroto’s friend Richard Dawkins” First part of my four part letter from 5-15-94 to Richard Dawkins

Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

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The first portion of my 5-15-94 letter to Richard Dawkins and next week I will have the second part.

On May 15, 1994 on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer I mailed the following letter to Richard Dawkins.

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Could you take 3 minutes and attempt to refute the nihilistic message of the song (DUST IN THE WIND) which appears at the beginning of the enclosed tape? Back in 1980 I watched the series COSMOS and on May 5, 1994 I again sat down to watch it again. In this letter today I will tell you of 3 GENTLEMEN who contemplated the world around them. The first one is an evolutionist by the name of Carl Sagan. Mr. Sagan is what I would call a humanist full of optimism.

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The second man also sought to contemplate the world around him and this man was King Solomon of Israel. In the Book of Ecclesiastes, Solomon limits himself to the question of human life lived “under the sun” between birth and death and what answers this would give (that is exactly what Mr. Sagan has done in COSMOS).It is this belief that life is only between birth and death that eventually causes Solomon to embrace nihilism. In the first few words of Ecclesiastes he observes the continual cycles of the earth and makes some very interesting conclusions”…to search for understanding about everything in the universe.”

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The third man I want to mention is Francis Schaeffer who I believe was the greatest Christian philosopher of the 20th century. However, when he was a young agnostic many years ago he also had an experience similar to King Solomon’s when he contemplated the world and universe around him.contemplated the world and the universe around him.CARLSAGAN:”Our contemplations of the Cosmos stir us. There is a tingling in the spine, a catch in the voice, a faint sensation as if a distant memory of falling from a great height. We know we are approaching the grandest of mysteries.”KING SOLOMON: Ecclesiastes 1:2-11;3:18-19 (Living Bible): 2 In my opinion, nothing is worthwhile; everything is futile. 3-7 For what does a man get for all his hard work?Generations come and go, but it makes no difference.[b] The sun rises and sets and hurries around to rise again. The wind blows south and north, here and there, twisting back and forth, getting nowhere.* The rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full, and the water returns again to the rivers and flows again to the sea . .everything is unutterably weary and tiresome. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied; no matter how much we hear, we are not content. History merely repeats itself…For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!—-What Solomon said ties into this following statement by evolutionist Douglas Futuyma – “Whether people are explicitly religious or not they tend to imagine that humans are in some sense the center of the universe. And what evolution does is to remove humans from the center of the universe. We are just one product of a very long historical process that has given rise to an enormous amount of organisms, and we are just one of them. So in one sense there is nothing special about us.”

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

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Solomon died 3000 years ago and Francis Schaeffer passed away on May 15, 1984  exactly 10 years ago.I firmly believe Solomon was correct when he said in Ecclesiastes 7:2 “It is better to spend your time at funerals than at festivals. For you are going to die, and it is a good thing to think about it while there is time.”Suppose that you to learn that you only had just one year to live—the number of your days would be 365. What would you do with the precious few days that remained to you? With death stalking you, you would have little interest in trivial subjects and would instead be concerned with essentials. I know that is what I did when I was bed ridden in a hospital in Memphis at age 15. I was told that I may not live. My thoughts turned to spiritual things. Thank you for your time.Sincerely,Everette Hatcher III, P.O. Box 23426, Little Rock, AR 72221TIME MAGAZINE May 28, 1984:DIED, Francis Schaeffer, 72. Christian theologian and a leading scholar of evangelical Protestantism; of cancer; in Rochester, Minn. Schaeffer, a Philadelphia-born Presbyterian, and his wife in 1955 founded L’Abri (French for ‘the shelter’), a chalet in the Swiss Alps known among students and intellectuals for a reasoned rather than emotional approach to religious counseling. His 23 philosophical books include the bestseller How Should We Then Live? (1976).” (January 30, 1912-May 15, 1985)

Adrian Rogers is pictured below and Francis Schaeffer above.

Watching the film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? in 1979 impacted my life greatly

Francis Schaeffer in the film WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

Francis and Edith Schaeffer

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On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

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

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

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

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Francis Schaeffer 1911-1984

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

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

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50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

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Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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Edit Post ‹ The Daily Hatch — WordPress

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

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

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication

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

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

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

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Related posts:

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

October 20, 2015 – 5:20 am

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

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

September 24, 2015 – 5:42 am

The Beatles were “inspired by the musique concrète of German composer and early electronic music pioneer Karlheinz Stockhausen…”  as SCOTT THILL has asserted. Francis Schaeffer noted that ideas of  “Non-resolution” and “Fragmentation” came down German and French streams with the influence of Beethoven’s last Quartets and then the influence of Debussy and later Schoenberg’s non-resolution which is in total contrast […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 42 Peter Singer, Professor of Bioethics at Princeton University, THE PROBLEM OF EVIL

September 8, 2015 – 5:10 am

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

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

September 2, 2015 – 8:42 am

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

MUSIC MONDAY The Punk Band Minor Threat and their unique song Straight Edge

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Francis Schaeffer noted:

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

It is true that once someone reaches the conclusion that their is no meaning to our that they may turn to a form of escapism through drugs or alcohol but that is not always the case. Take for instance the Punk band Minor Threat and their song Straight Edge:

I’m a person just like you
But I’ve got better things to do
Than sit around and f$&k my head
Hang out with the living dead
Snort white s$&t up my nose
Pass out at the shows
I don’t even think about speed
That’s just something I don’t need
I’ve got the Straight Edge!
I’m a person just like you
But I’ve got better things to do
Than sit around and smoke dope
‘Cause I know that I can cope
Laugh at the thought at eating ludes
Laugh at the the thought of sniffing glue
Always gonna keep in touch
Never gonna use a crutch
I’ve got the Straight Edge!
I’ve got the Straight Edge!
I’ve got the Straight Edge!
I’ve got the Straight Edge!
Source: Musixmatch
 

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Straight edge: How one 46-second song started a 35-year movement

No drugs, no booze…just “positive mental attitude” and lots of testosterone

“I’m a person just like you, but I’ve got better things to do, than sit around and [mess up] my head, hang out with the living dead, snort white [coke] up my nose, pass out at the shows, I don’t even think about speed, that’s something I just don’t need, I’ve got the straight edge.”

Those are the words of Ian Mackaye, frontman of the seminal Washington DC hardcore band Minor Threat, in 1981. The loud, pissed off 46-second track, which appeared on the band’s eponymous debut 7”, quickly took on a life of its own, and went on to become the anthem of an international movement.

Straight edge — abstinence from alcohol, drugs, nicotine, and in some cases promiscuous sex — is a self-imposed label that alienated young punks, nerds, and other outcasts have chosen for themselves for more than three decades, starting in the early 1980s and continuing through today. Straight edge kids are recognizable by the letter X, which is often emblazoned on their clothing or Sharpied on the backs of their hands. (It’s a symbol adapted from the pre-wristband era, when doormen at bars and clubs flagged underage patrons by marking their hands with x’s.)

Straight edge kids “x-ed up” with tattoos and marker in the 1990s. (PYMCA/Getty)

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Many in the Punk Rock movement embraced Evolutionary Humanistic Nihilism, and have turned in their rebellion to sex, drugs, alcohol and other excesses to try to cope with tough realities of life UNDER THE SUN (without God in the picture). However, some have embraced a form of Evolutionary Optimistic Humanism. Even Charles Darwin held unto the ideal of Evolutionary Optimistic  Humanism.

In Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography he noted:

“With respect to immortality, nothing shows me [so clearly] how strong and almost instinctive a belief it is as the consideration of the view now held by most physicists, namely, that the sun with all the planets will in time grow too cold for life, unless indeed some great body dashes into the sun and thus gives it fresh life. Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is,”

Francis Schaeffer commented in 1968:

Now you have now the birth of Julian Huxley’s evolutionary optimistic humanism already stated by Darwin. Darwin now has a theory that man is going to be better. If you had lived at 1860 or 1890 and you said to Darwin, “By 1970 will man be better?” He certainly would have the hope that man would be better as Julian Huxley does today. Of course, I wonder what he would say if he lived in our day and saw what has been made of his own views in the direction of (the mass murder) Richard Speck (and deterministic thinking of today’s philosophers). I wonder what he would say. So you have the factor, already the dilemma in Darwin that I pointed out in Julian Huxley and that is evolutionary optimistic humanism rests always on tomorrow. You never have an argument from the present or the past for evolutionary optimistic humanism.

You can have evolutionary nihilism on the basis of the present and the past. Every time you have someone bringing in evolutionary optimistic humanism it is always based on what is going to be produced tomorrow. When is it coming? The years pass and is it coming? Arthur Koestler doesn’t think it is coming. He sees lots of problems here and puts forth for another solution.

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Why is Evolutionary Optimistic Humanism hard to maintain? This article demonstrates why it is difficult to pull off:

Atheism and Death: Why the atheist must face death with despair


By Dustin Shramek


The title of this paper may catch some off guard. You or someone you know might be an atheist and you feel as though you have no despair when contemplating your death. I don’t doubt that there are many atheist that, in fact, have no despair over death. But, for the atheist to live without despair, they must do so inconsistently. In my paper, I will show why it is logically inconsistent for an atheist to live and face death with happiness.

To do this I want to present two major arguments. The first is from the theist point of view that life is meaningless without God and thus death is hopeless. This is derived from two of the world’s top philosophers, William Lane Craig and Ravi Zacharias (both are theists). It should be noted that this argument will be supplemented with the thoughts of several respected atheistic philosophers so one does not think they are being biased.

The second part of the paper will show why death is a necessary evil within the atheistic world view. To demonstrate this I will be drawing from the works of a major contemporary, atheist philosopher, Thomas Nagel. Both arguments are convincing by themselves, but I hope to show that with the two of them together, it is even more compelling to believe that the atheist must face death with despair. I don’t doubt that many atheist have been able to boldly face death without fear, but I do believe that they were being inconsistent in their world view.

Albert Camus said that death is philosophy’s only problem. That is quite the statement. Not only is death a problem, but a it is a large one. Why is death such a problem for someone like Camus? He was an atheist and I will attempt to show that death is a problem for all atheists.

Atheism cannot offer any comfort in the face of death. You see, everything we do includes some kind of hope. However, what kind of hope can the atheist give in the face of death? One may say that death is the final freeing of all desires and thus is good. Or that one can have hope in death if they are suffering. These really are just false hopes that I hopefully will clearly show.

After the death of his friend, Arthur Hallam, Alfred, Lord Tennyson composed his poem, “In Memorium”. This poem show the struggle he had as he wrestled with grief and the question of what ultimate power manages the fate of man. It shows the struggle he had between his realization of the consequences of his choice between atheism and God. I will quote a lengthy excerpt to feel the full impact.

Thine are these orbs of light and shade
Thou madest Life in man and brute;
Thou madest death; and Lo, thy foot
Is on the skull which thou hast made.

Are God and Nature then at strife
That Nature lends such evil dreams?
So careful of the type she seems
So careless of the single life,…

“So careful of the type?” but no.
From scarped cliff and quarried stone
She cries a thousand types are gone;
I care for nothing, all shall go.

“Thou makest thine appeal to me
I bring to life, I bring to death;
The spirit does but mean the breath:
I know no more.” And he, shall he,

Man her last work who seem’d so fair
Such splendid purpose in his eyes,
Who rolI’d the psalm to wintry skies,
Who built him fanes of fruitless prayers,

Who trusted God was love indeed
And love creation’s final law–
Tho’ Nature, red in tooth and claw
With ravine, shrieked against his creed-

Who loved, who suffer’d countless ills
Who battled for the True, the Just,
Be blown about the desert dust,
Or seal’d within the iron hills?

No more? A monster then, a dream.
A discord. Dragons of the prime
That tear each other in their slime,
Were mellow music match’d with him.

O life as futile, then, as frail!
O for thy voice to soothe and bless
What hope of answer, or redress?
Behind the veil, behind the veil.[1]

Atheism has parented this offspring, and it is her legitimate child–with no mind to look back to for his origin, no law to turn to for guidance, no meaning to cling to for life, and no hope for the future. This is the shattered visage of atheism. It has the stare of death, looking into the barren desert of emptiness and hopelessness. Thus, the Nietzschean dogma, which dawned with the lantern being smashed to the ground, now ends in the darkness of the grave.[2]

Is this true? Is there no hope in atheism? Is there no meaning in a world without God? William Lane Craig offers a resounding yes.

Craig argues that if God doesn’t exist, then man and the universe are doomed to die. There is no hope of immortality. Our lives are but an infinitesimally small point that appears and then vanishes forever.

Jean-Paul Sartre affirmed that death is not-threatening provided we view it in the third person. It isn’t until we face the first person, “I am going to die,my death,” that death becomes threatening. Most, though, never assume first person attitudes during their life. So the question arises, “Why is my death so threatening?”

This is because within an atheistic world view there can be no meaning or purpose. I’m sure that many will be quick to disagree with me because they are an atheist or know an atheist who does ascribe meaning and purpose to their lives. But is this consistent within the atheistic world view? I don’t think so.

If everything is doomed to go out of existence, can there be any ultimate significance? If we are inevitably faced with nonexistence can our lives have any ultimate significance?

Influencing others or influencing history doesn’t give your life ultimate significance. It only gives it relative significance. Your life is important relative to certain events, but there is no ultimate significance to those events if all will die. Ultimately, your life makes no difference.

Even the universe is doomed to die (due to the Second Law of Thermodynamics). So what ultimate difference would it make if the universe never came to exist at all if it is doomed to become dead?

Mankind is thus no more significant than a swarm of mosquitoes or a barnyard of pigs, for their end is all the same. The same blind cosmic process that coughed them up in the first place will eventually swallow them all again.[3]

If one’s destiny is the grave, what ultimate purpose is their for life? The same is true of the universe. If it is doomed to become a forever expanding pile of useless debris, what purpose is there for the universe? To what end is the world or man in existence? There can be no hope, no purpose.

What is true of mankind is true of individuals as well. So there can be no purpose in any individual’s life. My life wouldn’t be qualitatively different than the life of a dog. This thought is expressed by the writer of Ecclesiastes, “The fate of the sons of men and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other; indeed, they all have the same breath and there is no advantage for man over beast, for all is vanity. All go to the same place. All come from the dust and all return to the dust” (Ecc 3:19-20).

The universe and man are cosmic accidents. There is no reason for our existence. Man is a cosmic orphan.

Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.[4]

If we are only cosmic accidents, how can there be any meaning in our lives? If this is true, which it is in an atheistic world view, our lives are for nothing. It would not matter in the slightest bit if I ever existed. This is why the atheist, if honest and consistent, must face death with despair. Their life is for nothing. Once they are gone, they are gone forever.

Friedrich Nietzsche admitted that with the end of Christianity comes nihilism, which is the “denial of the existence of any basis for knowledge or truth; the general rejection of customary beliefs in morality, religion, etc.; the belief that there is no meaning or purpose in existence.” In “The Will to Power”, Nietzsche says this,

What I relate is the history of the next two centuries. I describe what is coming, what can no longer come differently: the advent of nihilism.. ..Our whole European culture is moving for some time now, with a tortured tension that is growing form decade to decade, as toward a catastrophe: restlessly, violently, headlong, like a river that wants to reach the end, that no longer reflects, that is afraid to reflect.[5]

Bertrand Russell, a famous atheistic philosopher, even admits that life is purposeless. I quote him at length,

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; that no fire, no heroism, no intensity of thought and feeling, can preserve an individual life beyond the grave; that all the labours of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins–all these things, if not quite beyound dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.[6]

“Only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair,”? What can be placed on such a foundation?

Even Jean-Paul Sartre affirms the absurdity of life when he says, “Being is without reason, without cause, and without necessity. The very definition of being release its original contingency to us.”[7]

Three of the most important atheistic philosophers, Nietzsche, Russell, and Sartre, all admitted that apart from God life is meaningless and absurd. So how do people live happily with this world view? They live inconsistently. For if one lives consistently, he is unable to live happily

Francis Schaeffer illustrates this problem well. He says that we live in a two story universe. On the first story the world is finite without God. This is what Sartre, Russell, and Nietzsche describe. Life here is absurd, with no meaning or purpose. On the second story life has meaning, value, and purpose. This is the story with God. Modern man resides on the first floor because he believes there is no God. But as we have shown, he cannot live there happily, so he makes a leap of faith to the second story where there is meaning and purpose. The problem is that this leap is unjustified because of his disbelief in God. Man cannot live consistently and happily knowing life is meaningless.

Of course, atheists don’t want to live in this kind of a predicament so they attempt to ascribe meaning to life and value to death. Walter Kaufmann does this in his book, Existentialism. Religion. and Death. The last chapter is entitled, “Death Without Dread”. He quotes several poems from a span of 150 years by poets from many different countries. He shows that death is commonly viewed without fear and he hypothesizes that death is only feared as a result of the impact of Christianity on culture. One of the poems quoted is by Matthias Claudius (1740-1815), it is entitled “Death and the Maiden,” and was eventually set to music by Franz Schubert.

Death and the Maiden

The maiden:
Oh, go away, please go,
Wild monster, made of bone!
I am still young; Oh, no!
Oh, please leave me alone!

Death:
Give me your hand, my fair and lovely child!
A friend I am and bring no harm.
Be of good cheer, I am not wild,
You shalt sleep gently in my arm.[8]

He goes on to quote Nietzsche from Twilight of the Idols, “To die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly. Death freely chosen, death at the right time, brightly and cheerfully accomplished amid children and witnesses.”[9]

Nietzsche saw death as the ultimate liberation. He even emphasises the desire he has to freely choose when he dies. Kaufmann affirms this when he says, “We should also give up the unseemly Christian teachings about suicide and accept it as a dignified and decent way of ending our lives.”[10]

When Sartre, who agreed with Nietzsche, was asked why he didn’t commit suicide, he replied by saying that he didn’t want to use his freedom to take away his freedom. This is an absurd solution though, because they say that freedom is the problem with its aimlessness, pain, and despair.

Kaufmann argues that if we live life richly and not expect to live long lives then when we die we can combat the hopelessness of death because we won’t feel cheated or won’t feel as though we need more time. The problem lies in the fact thay kaufmann makes the jump to the second story. He wants to ascribe meaning to a richly lived life, which I’ve shown can’t be done in a God-less universe. When he says that one won’t feel as though they’ve been deprived of time when they die is wishful thinking. One of his contemporaries, Thomas Nagel (an atheist) shows the falsity in this thinking.

Nagel begins his discussion of death with this statement, “If death is the unequivocal and permanent end of our existence, the question arises whether it is a bad thing to die.”[11]

He argues that if life is all we have, then its loss is the greatest loss we can encounter. Nagel’s goal is to see whether death is in itself an evil, how great of an evil it is, and what kind of evil it is.

If death is an evil, it is because of the loss of life and not the state of being dead, or nonexistant. Some say that dying is the the real evil. But Nagel points out that he wouldn’t really object to dying if it wasn’t followed by death. He says,

If we are to make sense of the view that to die is bad, it must be on the ground that life is a good and death is the corresponding deprivation or loss, bad not because of any positive features but because of the desirability of what it removes.[12]

There are three objections that many have raised about the proposition that death is an evil. 1) One may doubt that there are any evils which solely consist in the deprivation or absence of possible good, particularly when one doesn’t mind the deprivation (because they don’t exist). What you don’t know, can’t hurt you. 2) How is the supposed misfortune assigned to the subject? So long as one exists, he isn’t dead, and once he dies he no longer exist. So there can be no time when death, if it is a misfortune, can be ascribed to the subject. 3) Finally, the asymmetry of our attitudes towards our posthumous and prenatel nonexistence. Why can we view the eternity after our death as bad, but not the eternity before our birth?

He illustrates the errors of the first two objections with a simple illustration that is analogous to death. Imagine an intelligent man being reduced to the mental condition of a content infant. Even though he is content, we pity him. Yet, he doesn’t realize this tragedy, for he is a content infant. Does the phrase, “What we don’t know doesn’t hurt us,” apply to him? If so why do we pity him? Second, it isn’t the content infant who is unfortunate, rather, it is the intelligent adult who has been reduced to this condition.

We shouldn’t and don’t focus on the content infant, instead we consider the person he was and the person he could be now. So his reduction to this state and the premature ending of his adult development is a catastrophe. Just as death is a catastrophe.

What about the problem of our asymmetrical attitudes towards our posthumous and prenatel nonexisetence?

Lucretius was the one who first pointed this out. He recognized that no one finds it disturbing to contemplate the eternity before their birth, which really is the same as the eternity after their death. Thus, it is irrational to fear death.

Nagel disagrees, he argues that the time after death is the time in which nonexistence deprives a person. “Any death entails the loss of some life.”[14] So the eternity after death isn’t the same as the eternity before birth, because one is deprived of life. Some may argue then, that one is deprived of life before birth as well because they could have been born earlier. But Nagel shows the fallacy of this thinking by pointing out that if one is born any earlier (except a few weeks premature), they would not be the same person. So it doesn’t entail the loss of any life. Lucretius, and any one who agrees with him, is wrong in thinking that it is irrational to fear death on the basis that we aren’t bothered by our prenatel eternity.

Life makes known to us the goods of which death deprives us. Death, no matter when it happens deprives us of some continuation of life. While it is tragic for a 17 year old to die, it is just as tragic for a 90 year old to die because both are deprived of life and the good that comes with it.

Viewed in this way, death, no matter how inevitable, is an abrupt cancellation of indefinitely extensive possible goods. Normality seems to have nothing to do with it, for the fact that we will all inevitably die in a few score years cannot by itself imply that it would not be good to live longer. Suppose that we were all inevitably going to die in agony — physical agony lasting six months. Would inevitability make that prospect any less unpleasant? And why should it be different for a deprivation?[14]

Not many atheists are as consistent as Thomas Nagal when they speak on death. Kaufmann says he can face death without hopelessness because he lives richly and that gives meaning to his life. But what kind of meaning is it? If Kaufmann never existed, what ultimate difference would it make? None. If the atheists faces this honestly, how can he view death with anything but despair?

As shown in these two extended arguments, death apart from God cannot be faced with anything but fear and despair if one is to live consistently within their atheistic world view. The only way an atheist can face death without despair is by ascribing ultimate meaning to their life, which is a jump to the second story and is completely inconsistent with atheism.

Certainly it doesn’t follow, then, that theism is true simply because the atheist must face death with despair. If the atheist is right we must follow the instructions of Bertrand Russell and build our lives on the “firm foundation of unyielding despair.” We must look for the truth and then logically structure our lives accordingly. Obtaining hope from religion for the sake of hope, when that religion is not true, is simply obtaining false hope. False hope is no hope at all.

That is why it is crucial to examine our world views to see if they are logically consistent and correspond to reality. It does one no good to put faith and hope into a god who doesn’t exist. However, if a god does exist, we must put our faith and hope into the right one.

We’ve seen that within the atheistic world view there can be no meaning or purpose and this leads to hopelessness. The atheist must choose whether he wants to live consistently or happily. For as long as he is an atheist, he can’t do both.

Notes1. Alfred, Lord Tennyson, In Memorium, (The Macmillan Company: New York, NY, 1906), pp.83-85, 55: 4-5; 56: 1-7.
2. Ravi Zacharias, A Shattered Visage: The Real Face of Atheism. (Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Ml, 1990), p. 105.
3. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics, (Crossway Books: Wheaton, IL, 1984), p. 59.
4. Craig, p.63.
5. Friedrich Nietzsche, “The Will to Power,” trans. W. kaufmann, in <i?existentialism from=”” dostoyevsky=”” to=”” sartre<=”” i=””>, (The World Publishing Company: Cleveland, OH, 1956), pp. 109-110.
6. Bertrand Russell, Mysticism and Logic. (W.W. Norton and Company, Inc.: New York, NY, 1929), pp. 47-49.
7. Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, (Philosophical Library: New York, NY, 1956), p.537.
8. Matthias Claudius, Death and the Maiden. Quoted in Walter kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion and Death (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p.228.
9. Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols. Quoted in Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion, and Death. (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p.237.
10. Walter kaufmann, Existentialism, Religion, and Death. (New American Library: New York, NY, 1976), p. 248.
11. Thomas Nagel, Mortal Questions. (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 1979), p.1.
12. Nagel, p.4.
13. Nagel, p.7.
14. Nagel, p.10.

__

Francis Schaeffer noted:

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF ECCLESIATES BY SCHAEFFER

 

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

Read Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett. During this entire play two men carry on trivial conversation while waiting for a third man to arrive, who never does. Our lives are like that, Beckett is saying; we just kill time waiting—for what, we don’t know. In a tragic portrayal of man, Beckett wrote another play in which the curtain opens revealing a stage littered with junk. For thirty long seconds, the audience sits and stares in silence at that junk. Then the curtain closes. That’s all.

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

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

Notes on Ecclesiastes by Francis Schaeffer

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

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

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

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

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

_________________________

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

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes.

(Added by me:The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” )

Man is caught in the cycle

Ecclesiastes 1:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.

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

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

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Solomon is showing a high degree of comprehension of evaporation and the results of it. Seeing also in reality nothing changes. There is change but always in a set framework and that is cycle. You can relate this to the concepts of modern man. Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself. He limits himself to the question of human life, life under the sun between birth and death and the answers this would give.

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

___________________

Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

__________________________

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

Ecclesiastes 6:12

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

____________________

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

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

Lack of Satisfaction in life

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

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

Pursuing Learning

Now let us look down the details of his searching.

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

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

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

Works of Men done Under the Sun

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

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 1:16-18

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

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

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

Ecclesiastes 1:11

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

Ecclesiastes 2:16

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

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

The Daughter of the Vine:

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 6:2

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

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

 Oppressed have no comforter

Ecclesiastes 4:1

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

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

Ecclesiastes 7:14-15

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

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

Ecclesiastes 8:14

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

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

Pursuing Ladies

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

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 8:6-7

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

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

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Ecclesiastes 9:11

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

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

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

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

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

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

Ecclesiastes 4:16

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

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

Ecclesiastes 8:8

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

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

Ecclesiastes 9:12

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

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

 Surely between birth and death these things are chance. Modern man adds something on top of this and that is the understanding that as the individual man will dies by chance so one day the human race will die by chance!!! It is the death of the human race that lands in the hand of chance and that is why men grew sad when they read Nevil Shute’s book ON THE BEACH. He turns to the religious observation of such in Ecclesiastes 9:2:

It is the same for all, since the same event happens to the righteous and the wicked, to the good and the evil, to the clean and the unclean, to him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice. As the good one is, so is the sinner, and he who swears is as he who shuns an oath.

Unhappily Solomon was an expert in this field because he built endless [pagan] temples around Israel before he was finished. He was a taster of general religious thought. He was an experimenter with liturgical considerations.  He did what God told men not to do which is bring in other wives and follow their [pagan] religions. Solomon was an expert on his wives and their religions. In this verse he was saying that this effort on his part didn’t change anything either.

Conclusions of Solomon, EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY FOR TOMORROW WE DIE/ We must be sorrowful and repent

Now we are to his conclusions UNDER THE SUN.

Ecclesiastes 9:10

10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest. (King James Version)

What is this? It is as modern today as the left bank of Paris and the Soho of London. It is as modern as the businessman who tries to lose himself in executive detail. It is as modern as the thinking can be. It is as eternal thinking can be if it is framed as only UNDER THE SUN. It is a life, a philosophy of desperation. This is not something grand and glorious. It is accepted as desperation because other things have failed. 

Ecclesiastes 7:16-17

16 Be not overly righteous, and do not make yourself too wise. Why should you destroy yourself? 17 Be not overly wicked, neither be a fool.Why should you die before your time?

This is a philosophy of desperation. Leonardo never arrived here because he never really accepted the dilemma because he hadn’t been forced to it yet because time hadn’t brought him there, but modern man has came here, the extension of Leonardo. This is existentialism in a very real sense. A philosophy or theology of desperation because nothing else stands. 

It is the commitment to absurdity. It is living at this split moment in a vacuum PERIOD FULL STOP!! But it is not new!!! It is the conclusion to which Solomon  came: IF THIS IS ALL THERE IS THEN THIS MUST BE ALL THERE IS!

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25

24 There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, 25 for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?

The best translation is “should eat and drink and delight his senses.” Also with the phrase “from the hand of God” Solomon doesn’t really mean this is from God but this is just an expression. This is statement of desperation when he says that one “should eat and drink and delight his senses.”

Ecclesiastes 8:15

15 And I commend joy, for man has nothing better UNDER THE SUN but to eat and drink and be joyful, for this will go with him in his toil through the days of his life that God has given him under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 9:7-12

Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.

Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, (DOES IT SOUND OPTIMISTIC? NOW COMES THE BACKLASH) all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.

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

Solomon when at work takes off his hat and he stands by the grave of man and he says, “ALAS. ALAS. ALAS.”

But interestingly enough the story of Ecclesiastes does not end its message here because in two places in the New Testament it is picked up and carried along and put in its proper perspective.

Luke 12:16-21

16 And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, 17 and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ 18 And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax,eat, drink, be merry.”’ [ALMOST EVERYONE WHO HAS PROCEEDED HERE HAS FELT CERTAINLY THAT JESUS IS DELIBERATELY REFERRING TO SOLOMON’S SOLUTION.]20 But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ 21 So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Christ here points out the reason for the failure of the logic that is involved. He points out why it fails in logic and then why it fails in reality. This view of Solomon must end in failure philosophically and also in emotional desperation.

We are not made to live in the shortened environment of UNDER THE SUN in this life only!!! Neither are we made to live only in the environment of a bare concept of afterlife [ignoring trying to make this life better]. We are made to live in the environment of a God who exists and who is the judge. This is the difference and that is what Jesus is setting forth here.

I Corinthians 15:32

32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.

There is no doubt here he is reaching back to Solomon again and he is just saying if there isn’t a resurrection of the dead then let’s just follow Solomon and let’s just eat and drink for tomorrow we die!!!! If there isn’t this full structure [including the resurrection of the dead] then just have the courage to follow Solomon and we can eat and drink because tomorrow we die and that is all we have. If the full structure isn’t there then pick up the cup and drink it dry! You can say it a different way in the 20th century: If the full structure is not there then go ahead and be an EXISTENTIALIST, but don’t cheat. Drink the cup to the end. Drink it dry! That is what Paul says. Paul  the educated man. Paul the man who knew his Greek philosophy. Paul the man who understood Solomon and the dilemma. Paul said it one way or the other. There is no room for a middle ground. IF CHRISTIANS AREN’T RAISED FROM THE DEAD THEN SOLOMON IS RIGHT IN ECCLESIASTES, BUT ONLY THEN. But if he is right then you should accept all of Solomon’s despair and his conclusions. if they are consistent.

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ow we die).

I Corinthians 15:21-22

21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

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

Livgren wrote:

“All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

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

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

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

Lets sum up the final conclusions of these gentlemen:  Coldplay is still searching for that “something more.” Woody Allen has concluded the search is futile. Livgren and Hope of Kansas have become Christians and are involved in fulltime ministry. Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

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

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Ecclesiastes 1

Published on Sep 4, 2012

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

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