FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 317 Letter to Richard Dawkins about the fact that Humanist man gave up his optimism for pessimism, He gave up the hope of an unified answer Featured Artist is Mark Rothko

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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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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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September 1, 2019

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

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

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

Today we are going to look at where our moral motions come from and this is a subject that Darwin talked about a great deal. 

On August 28, 2019 on You Tube you, Richard Dawkins, stated in an interview about your UPCOMING book OUTGROWING GOD: 

Jesus was obviously a nice person if he lived. Either Jesus was a nice person or whoever wrote his lines was a nice person….The SERMON ON THE MOUNT is classically regarded as a very wonderful set of rules for living and indeed it is….Taken as a whole the Bible is a terrible set of rules for living….[Instead], live our lives by moral philosophers and by the general progress we see in morality as we look from decades to decades. 

Let us pause for a moment and look at what Humanist autonomous philosophers have given us. 

Francis Schaeffer noted:

The history of the nonchristian Philosophers up until the 18th century went like this:Here is a circle which stands for what the unified and true knowledge of the universe is. The next man would say “No,” and cross out the circle. He then would say “Here is the circle.” Then the next man would say “No,”and cross out that circle. Then he would make his circle and the next man would cross it out and make his circle. This continued through the centuries. They never found the circle, but they optimistically thought someone would beginning with man himself and on the basis of man’s reasoning alone.Then the endless rows of circles through the and the crossing out were broken and a drastic shift came because the humanist ideal had failed. Humanist man gave up his optimism for pessimism. He gave up the hope of an unified answer and this makes modern man who he is.


The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father (Charles, this book was put together by Francis Darwin) gives the history of his religious views:—

CHARLES DARWIN’S WORDS:

But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blindand the UNIVERSAL belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of ALL RACES had the SAME INWARD CONVICTION of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

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Francis Schaeffer observed:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that materialistic anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of MORAL MOTION and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

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Let make 2 points here. First, the Bible teaches that everyone knows in their heart that God exists because of the beauty of God’s creation and the conscience that God has planted in everyone’s heart (Romans 1).

Second, all humans have moral motions.

Francis Schaeffer in his book THE GOD WHO IS THERE addresses these same issues:

“[in Christianity] there is a sufficient basis for morals. Nobody has ever discovered a way of having real “morals” without a moral absolute. If there is no moral absolute, we are left with hedonism (doing what I like) or some form of the social contract theory (what is best for society as a a hole is right). However, neither of these alternative corresponds to the moral motions that men have. Talk to people long enough and deeply enough, and you will find that they consider some things are really right and something are really wrong. Without absolutes, morals as morals cease to exist, and humanistic man starting from himself is unable to find the absolute he needs. But because the God of the Bible is there, real morals exist. Within this framework I can say one action is right and another wrong, without talking nonsense.” 117

Now back to my first point, concerning ROMANS CHAPTER ONE. It has been found that when atheists are asked with a polygraph machine if they believe in God and  they so “NO” the polygraph indicates they are lying. Claude Brown actually tested this with over 15,000 job applicants over a long period of time in his trucking line during the 1970’s and most of the 1980’s.   

Romans 1:18-19 (Amplified Bible) ” For God’s wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness REPRESS and HINDER the truth and make it inoperative. For that which is KNOWN about God is EVIDENT to them and MADE PLAIN IN THEIR INNER CONSCIOUSNESS, because God  has SHOWN IT TO THEM,”(emphasis mine). At the 37 minute mark on the CD that I sent you today Adrian Rogers noted, “”There is no such thing anywhere on earth as a true atheist. If a man says he doesn’t believe in God, then he is lying. God has put his moral consciousness into every man’s heart, and a man has to try to kick his conscience to death to say he doesn’t believe in God.”

ROMANS CHAPTER ONE IS RIGHT WHEN IT SAYS THAT GOD PUT THAT CONSCIENCE IN EVERYONE’S HEART THAT BEARS WITNESS THAT HE CREATED THEM FOR A PURPOSE AND THAT IS WHY THE VAST MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE ATTEMPTING TO SEEK OUT GOD!!!!

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

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

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Featured artist is Mark Rothko

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Rothko, Mark – VM – Wessel Stoker

Mark Rothko: White and Greens in Blue

Can God be Portrayed?

by Wessel Stoker

Looking at Rothko’s White and Greens in Blue (1957) is a fascinating activity. On a clear blue background three horizontal fields are placed above each other. At first glance the largest plane seems black, but gradually you start to see that it is dark green. In contrast to this dark plane the white cloudlike plane at the bottom appears somewhat frayed, with the blue of the background shining through. The green middle plane softens the sharp contrast between the dark field above and the nebulous white one underneath. The upper plane keeps me at a distance, the white one pulls me towards itself.

This painting, which I saw in Washington, is a religious work to me. The white plane makes me think of the well-known painting The Monk by the Sea (1808-1810) by Caspar David Friedrich, where a man stands as a minute figure in a huge expanse of sea and sky. It evokes a sense of infinity, of the transcendent and sublime. Rothko’s painting also evokes a sense of infinity, not by referring to sea and sky, but more directly by means of the three planes on the canvas itself. There is no depiction of nature here, rather a direct experience of the sublime while I am watching. The spectacle becomes even more exciting, when I realize that on the one hand the infinite presents itself as terrifying through the very dark green plane and as fascinating through the white cloudy plane. My gaze is taken prisoner and I can’t seem to pull myself away from the canvas.

Do we come to a boundary here beyond which lies a void, the totally unknown? Standing in the Protestant tradition it occurred to me: this is an example of what Rudolf Otto calls the experience of the holy or numinous. On the one hand there is distance, deterrence, and on the other hand attraction. Moses had a similar experience when confronted with the burning bush. He could not come closer to the manifestation of God, while at the same time he was pulled in by the voice from the branches.

How can an abstract painting like this one be a religious work? Are religious paintings not usually figurative while portraying Christ, Mary or a biblical scene? That is true, but our painting depicts God.

Can we portray God? What about the biblical commandment ‘You shall not make for yourself an idol’ (Exodus 20:4)? And think of the dispute within the old church about images. During the Fourth Council of Constantinople (869-870) the church underscored an earlier decision to allow the use of images, provided that the Divine would be clearly distinguished. I am a proponent of the religious use of images (sculptures, frescoes, paintings etc.). It surprises me, however, that also God himself is portrayed in the Christian tradition, such as in Masaccio’s Holy Trinity (1425-1427) in Florence.

God is rendered here as an old man with the dove of the Spirit and Christ on the cross beneath him. The depiction of God the Father has been defended on the basis of the book Daniel. In a dream Daniel saw an ‘Ancient One’ on a throne, ‘his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool’ (Daniel 7:9). This, however, does not convince me as God rejected Moses’ request to see his majesty:‘You cannot see my face; for no one shall see me and live’ (Exodus 33:20).

Looking at White and Greens in Blue by the Jewish artist Rothko I realize again that God cannot be portrayed. A painting like this stands in the iconoclastic tradition. Here the experience of the holy God is evoked in an iconoclastic way. On the one hand I experience the distance between God  and me through that large upper plane. On the other hand I am attracted to him through the white plane. Indeed, this painting speaks to me as the impossible depiction of the holy God that no human can see and live.

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Mark Rothko: White and Greens in Blue, 1957, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Mark Rothko (1903-1970) was born in Latvia. His parents emigrated to the US in 1910. He was raised an Orthodox Jew, but later distanced himself from the synagogue. In his work he wanted to convey the ‘human drama’ or the tragedy of human existence. To this end he based himself on old Greek myths, but also used Christian symbolism of life and death in works like Baptismal Scene (1945), Gethsemane(1945) and Entombment (ca. 1946). Rothko moved through many artistic styles until reaching his signature 1950s abstract expressionistic style of soft, rectangular forms floating on stained fields of colour. Heavily influenced by mythology and philosophy, he was insistent that his art was filled with content and brimming with ideas. A fierce champion of social revolutionary thought and the right to self-expression, Rothko also expounded his views in numerous essays and critical reviews.

Wessel Stoker is Professor Emeritus in Aesthetics at the Free University of Amsterdam. He has written several books, of which the latest has been published in English: Between Heaven and Earth: the Spiritual in the Art of Kandinsky, Rothko, Warhol, and Kiefer,Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi, 2012. See www.godgeleerdheid.vu.nl/stoker.      

ArtWay Visual Meditation October 13, 2013

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