Monthly Archives: April 2020

Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17 (This post liked on TWITTER by Ricky Gervais on February 10, 2021)

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Ecclesiastes 2:11-20 (The Message) 

I Hate Life

11 Then I took a good look at everything I’d done, looked at all the sweat and hard work. But when I looked, I saw nothing but smoke. Smoke and spitting into the wind. There was nothing to any of it. Nothing.

12-14 And then I took a hard look at what’s smart and what’s stupid. What’s left to do after you’ve been king? That’s a hard act to follow. You just do what you can, and that’s it. But I did see that it’s better to be smart than stupid, just as light is better than darkness. Even so, though the smart ones see where they’re going and the stupid ones grope in the dark, they’re all the same in the end. One fate for all—and that’s it.

15-16 When I realized that my fate’s the same as the fool’s, I had to ask myself, “So why bother being wise?” It’s all smoke, nothing but smoke. The smart and the stupid both disappear out of sight. In a day or two they’re both forgotten. Yes, both the smart and the stupid die, and that’s it.

17 I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind.

18-19 And I hated everything I’d accomplished and accumulated on this earth. I can’t take it with me—no, I have to leave it to whoever comes after me. Whether they’re worthy or worthless—and who’s to tell?—they’ll take over the earthly results of my intense thinking and hard work. Smoke.

20-23 That’s when I called it quits, gave up on anything that could be hoped for on this earth.

Tony quotes from AFTERLIFE:  

I guess a good day is when I don’t go around, wanting to shoot random strangers in the face and then turn the gun to myself.

“Here’s what’s what: humanity is a plague. We’re a disgusting, narcissistic, selfish parasite, and the world would be a better place without us. It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves. I could do it now. Quite happily just go upstairs, jump off the roof, and make sure I landed on some c*** from accounts.”

Jacques Monod, asserted, “Man finally knows he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe.”

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.

French existentialists Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus understood this, too. Sartre portrayed life in his play No Exit as hell—the final line of the play are the words of resignation, “Well, let’s get on with it.” Hence, Sartre writes elsewhere of the “nausea” of existence. Man, he says, is adrift in a boat without a rudder on an endless sea. Camus, too, saw life as absurd. At the end of his brief novel The Stranger, Camus’s hero discovers in a flash of insight that the universe has no meaning and there is no God to give it one. The French biochemist Jacques Monod seemed to echo those sentiments when he wrote in his work Chance and Necessity, “Man finally knows he is alone in the indifferent immensity of the universe.”

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 – Michelangeloand 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 meaningand 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.

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STARMUS panel announces ground-breaking Stephen Hawking Medals for Science Communication at the The Royal Society Featuring: Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Alexei Leonov, Dr Richard Dawkins, Dr Brian May, Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Garik Israelian 
In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are Hawking’s words and  my response is was given in an  earlier post.

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

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

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

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(Harry Kroto pictured below)

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50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

This is the third part of the letter to Stephen Hawking, but the second part was posted last week on my blog and the fourth will posted next week.

SECTION #2 If there is no Afterlife, how can there be any lasting meaning to our lives? Should people be asking themselves these types of Questions???

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Albert Camus:The fundamental question about life is meaning, anything else is secondary and until that question of meaning is dealt with I really cannot for what the answers are for the other queries.George H. Smith – Religions are successful, not because they provide the correct answers, but because they ask important questions—Questions that concern every human being. What is the nature of the universe? Is there a purpose, or plan, to human existence? …PESSIMISM FROM AGNOSTICS?Nathaniel Brandon: But twentieth-century philosophy has almost totally backed off from the responsibility of offering such a vision or addressing itself to the kind of questions human beings struggle with in the course of their existence. Twentieth-century philosophy typically scorns system building. The problems to which it addresses itself grow smaller and smaller and more and more remote from human experience. At their philosophical conferences and conventions, philosophers explicitly acknowledge that they have nothing of practical value to offer anyone. This is not my accusation; they announce it themselves.During the same period of history, the twentieth century, orthodox religion has lost more and more of its hold over people’s minds and lives. It is perceived as more and more irrelevant. Its demise as a cultural force really began with the Renaissance and has been declining ever since.But the need for answers persists. The need for values by which to guide our lives remains unabated. The hunger for intelligibility is as strong as it ever was. The world around us is more and more confusing, more and more frightening; the need to understand it cries out in anguish.The ENCYCLPEDIA OF PHILOSOPHY on page 471 “When Fred Hoyle in his book THE NATURE OF THE UNIVERSE turns to what he calls ‘the deeper issues’ and remarks that we find ourselves in a ‘dreadful situation’ in which there is ‘scarcely a clue as to whether our existence has ourselves in a ‘dreadful situation’ in which there is ‘scarcely a clue as to whether our existence has any real significance.’ He is using the word ‘significance’ in this comic sense.”

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On Sunday April 11, 1920 in Chicago there was a debate on this question: Has life any meaning? The following 3 quotes were taken from that meeting:Percy Ward -How can life have any meaning at all, when all living things, along with the world on which they live, are doomed to destruction? What meaning can there be to life, when its dominant law is age-long and world-wide struggle for existence? What possible meaning can there be to life, when the chief experience of living things is suffering and pain? Percy Ward – “To what end is comic evolution moving? All this life which rises, step by step, from moneron to main is impotent effort; the road to nowhere. Imagine an artist devoting his entire life to the painting of a wonderful picture; and then, when his picture is completed, tearing it to ribbons, what could be the meaning of such a painter’s behavior? Arthur J. Balfour – “Man, so far as natural science by itself is able to teach us, is no longer the final cause of the universe, the heaven-descended heir of all the ages. His very existence is an accident, history a brief and transitory episode in the life of one of the meanest of the planets…Man will go down into the pit, and all his thoughts will perish, the uneasy consciousness, which in this obscure corner has for a long space broken the contented silence of the universe, will be at rest. Matter will know itself no longer. Imperishable monuments and immortal deeds, death itself, will be as though they had never been.”SHOULD TRUE HUMANISTS BE OPTIMISTS OR NIHILISTS?????????Paul Kurtz –

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“The universe is neutral, indifferent to man’s existential yearnings. But we instinctively discover life, experience its throb, its excitement, its attraction. Life is here to be lived, enjoyed, suffered, and endured…Again–one cannot ‘prove’ this normative principle to everyone’s satisfaction. Living beings tend instinctively to maintain themselves and to reproduce beyond ultimate justification. It is a brute fact of our contingent natures; It is an instinctive desire to live.”

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J.P. Moreland – “2 Objections to optimistic humanism: #1 There is no rational justification for choosing it over nihilism. As far as rationality is concerned, it has nothing to offer over nihilism. Therefore, optimistic humanism suffers from some of the same objections we raised against nihilism. Kurtz himself admits that the ultimate values of humanism are incapable of rational justification!!!!!!  #2 Optimistic Humanism really answers the question of the meaning of life in the negative, just as nihilism does. For the optimistic humanist life has no objective value or purpose; It offers only subjective satisfaction, one should think long and hard before embracing such a horrible view. If there is a decent case that life has objective value and purpose, then such a case should be given as good a hearing as possible.  

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R.C. Sproul:Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes

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J. Kerby Anderson– “The cynicism and skepticism in the arts, politics, commerce, and the media all testify to the futility of trying to find wisdom and meaning in a world without wisdom based on ‘the Fear of the Lord’ is folly.

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Ravi Zacharias – “Having killed God, the atheist is left with no reason for being, no morality to espouse, no meaning to life and no hope beyond the grave.”Arthur Ashe – (born in 1943, won U.S.Open in 1968, and Wimbledon in 1975) “If I am just remembered as an exceptional tennis player then my life really was not much.”The next two quotes by Kai Nielson and the next quote by J.P. Moreland were taken from a debate held at Ole Miss on March 24, 1988. This debate was later published by Prometheus Books by the title DOES GOD EXIST?
Does death ultimately take away the love we feel for others?Kai Nielson – “If you love someone, whether there is a God or not, that love can go on. It remains intact. It might even be more intact, because if death ends it all, the love relationships between people in life are all the more precious because that is all there is in that respect. So that’s perfectly intact, God or no God. Indeed, as I have just argued, it may even become more important.”

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Clarence Darrow – “I love my friends, but they all must come to a tragic end. Death is more terrible the more one is attached to things in the world.” Do we need a lasting purpose to our lives?Kai Nielson – “There are all those intentions, purposes, goals, and the like that you can figure out and can have. They are what John Rawls called life plans. You can have all these purposes in life even though there is no purpose to life. So life doesn’t become meaningless and pointless if you were not made for a purpose.”

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Francis Schaeffer – “The struggle for modern man is to begin with himself and find a meaning in life. Not just plans in life. It is nothing to have 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 have been washed away. There is a difference between finding plans in life and purpose.”J.P.Moreland – “James Rachels says that we don’t need purpose in the sense of an over arching objective purpose to life, but we can have purpose in life, as Nielson says. And he means by that ‘subjective satisfaction,’ things that we find worthwhile to us. Now if this is true, what’s the difference, let’s say between becoming a doctor and feeding the poor and sitting around pinching heads off rats or being a Sisyphus and pushing a rock up and down a hill, or giving your time to flipping tiddlywinks? There is no difference since each of these options could be satisfying and worthwhile to someone.”Marvin Kohl – (Taken from an article in FREE INQUIRY, Spring 81 issue, article entitled, “The Meaning of Life and belief in God” ) “….Belief in beneficent providence is untrue. It is untrue because there is no evidence to warrant the claim that there is a benevolent force behind nature. Not only does the secular humanist deny that we have knowledge about a friend behind the universe; He also denies that we have knowledge about divine or cosmic purpose. The argument in its essential form is simple and, I believe, decisive. Purposes can only be correctly assigned to sentient beings; And since man does not have knowledge that God or other sentient beings govern the universe, He cannot on a cognitive level maintain that the universe has any purpose…The facts also indicate that many, like lady Katharine (Bertrand Russell’s Christian daughter who was quoted earlier in the article), are given insight about the meaning of life, about  the chief end of human living, when they believe God makes a disclosure about his own nature and purpose and gently embraces them in his absolute love. In short, it appears to be true that belief in God has had and still has the power to give comfort and consolation to millions of devout believers. Largely because of this, two important claims cannot be easily, if at all, dismissed. They are: (1) that in addition to other basic human needs, there is a need for psychological security, which includes the need to believe in God, or at least believe that the cosmos is guided by a loving purpose; and (2) that this need is often successfully met if a man genuinely recognizes that his goal for living is in, and given to him by, God.”Aldous Huxley – “Science does not retain the sovereignty over metaphysical pronouncements…Science does not have the right to give to me my reason for being and my definition for existence, but I am going to take science’s view because I want this world not to have meaning because it frees me to my own erotic and political desires.”

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Related posts:

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part F “Carl Sagan’s views on how God should try and contact us” includes film “The Basis for Human Dignity”

April 8, 2013 – 7:07 am

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

March 19, 2015 – 12:21 am

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyRaqib ShawRingo Starr | Edit | Comments (0)

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

Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 14 “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—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.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

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“Here’s what’s what: humanity is a plague. We’re a disgusting, narcissistic, selfish parasite, and the world would be a better place without us. It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves. I could do it now. Quite happily just go upstairs, jump off the roof, and make sure I landed on some c*** from accounts.”

Bertrand Russell – “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 débris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond 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.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Tony is an atheist and has a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest Tony because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect Tony.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

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The Royal Society Featuring: Professor Sir Harry Kroto, Alexei Leonov, Dr Richard Dawkins, Dr Brian May, Professor Stephen Hawking, Professor Garik Israelian 

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In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are Hawking’s words and  my response is was given in an  earlier post.

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

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

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

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(Harry Kroto pictured below)

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50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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This is the second portion of my 5-15-94 letter to Stephen Hawking and last week I posted the first portion and next week I will post the third portion.

SECTION #1 Evolution is discussed by these scholars: H.G.Wells, Antony Flew, Neal Gillespie, Carl Sagan, Richard Dawkins, Joseph McCabe, Louis Russell, Leo Hickey, Francis Crick, Michael Ruse, Norman D. Newell, Robert C. Cowen, Jeremy Rifkin, Francis Schaeffer, H.J.Blackham, Paul Churchland, J.W.Burrow, Douglas Futuyma, William Provine, and Bertrand Russell!!!!______________________ I am trying in this letter to show that the following statements are true and can not be refuted logically.1. Theistic evolution is not rational.2. Evolution has been considered a fact by the vast majority of leading scholars worldwide for many years now.3. There  has been a drift from belief to agnosticism caused by science in recent years.4. The vast majority of leading scientists today do not consider creationism scientific.5. There are philosophical implications of Darwinism.——————
1. Theistic evolution is not rational.http://creation.mobi/hg-wells-evolution-and-the-gospelH G Wells

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‘If all the animals and man had been evolved in this ascendant manner, then there had been no first parents, no Eden, and no Fall. And if there had been no fall, then the entire historical fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin and the reason for an atonement, upon which the current teaching based Christian emotion and morality, collapsed like a house of cards.’—-Antony Flew

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It is obviously impossible to square any evolutionary account of the origin of the species with a substantially literal reading of the first chapters of Genesis.—-
2.Evolution has been considered a fact by the vast majority of leading scholars worldwide for many years now.—-
Humanist Manifesto II (1973): Science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces.—Neal Gillespie
Darwin’s rejection of special creation was part of the transformation of biology into a positive science, one committed to thoroughly naturalistic explanations based on material causes and the uniformity of nature…——Carl Sagan

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Evolution is fact, not a theory—-Lee Dembart of the Los Angeles Times commenting on the book by Richard Dawkins called “The Blind Watchmaker”:The book cuts through the nonsense about the origin of life and leaves it for dead….He demonstrates beyond a shadow of a doubt that evolution is the only possible explanation for the world we see around us. In this work Dawkins refutes the argument that the complexity of life cannot be random, this implying a designer or creator.—-
Joseph McCabe in a debate with George Mccready Price:
Something over 50 years ago a great man of science launched the doctrine of evolution upon the world. Generation by generation , decade by decade, scientific men have fought out that issue. I say that there is not an university professor in the world today who does not emphatically endorse the doctrine of evolution ….100 years ago, in the days of Lamarck and Darwin, men looked across that broad river and there was nothing between (man and ape)….Now we men of the Stone Age carrying us nearer to the ape; the pilot down man, and one or two others, going as far again in the direction of the ape.—-Louis S Russell, director, Royal Ontario Museum, It’s completely false to say that there’s a lacking of transitional forms. We have plenty of them —-more than sometimes we can deal with.—-Leo Hickey, former director, Yale Peabody Museum, There are myriad transitional forms. There’s really no problem finding them.—-

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Francis Crick: The ultimate aim of the modern movement in biology is, in fact, to explain all biology in terms of physics and chemistry.—-
3. There has been a drift from belief to agnosticism caused by science in recent years———————-
Dr Huston Smith: One reason education undoes belief (in God) is it’s teaching of evolution; Darwin’s own drift from orthodoxy to agnosticism was symptomatic.—-Asa Gray (1810-1888), a Harvard professor of botony was a supporter of theistic evolution. He tried to persuade Darwin to adopt the  position of  theistic evolution. Darwin quickly struck down Gray’s  argument, “The view that each variation has been providentially arranged seems to me to make natural selection entirely superfluous, and indeed takes the whole case of the appearance of new species out of the range of science. ——Michael Denton “ today it is perhaps the Darwinian view of nature more than any other that is responsible for the agnostic and sceptical outlook of the twentieth century…(It is) a theory that literally changed the world.”

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Vincent Sarich in a debate with Mr Gish said, “As far as I am concerned it was not God that created man, but quite clearly and obviously man that in ultimate example of his overwhelming pride created an omnipotent God in his own idealized image of himself and in doing so thought to make himself all powerful and independent of any laws but those of his own making.”—-4. Leading scientists worldwide today do not believe creationism is scientific.Michael Ruse – “And, I learnt what a hollow sham modern day creationism really is : crude, dogmatic, biblical literal-ism masquerading as  genuine science.”
Norman D. Newell
 – “Finally I should like to define the word science, and explain why scientific creationism cannot be included in its definition. Science is characterized by the willingness of an investigator to follow evidence wherever it leads.”Robert C. Cowen – It is this many-faceted on-going science story that should be told in public school biology courses. Creationists want those courses to include the possibility of – and the “scientific” evidence for – a creator as well. There is no such “scientific” evidence. The concept of a supernatural creator is inherently religious. It has no place in a science class.

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Jeremy Rifkin – “Evolutionary theory has been enshrined as the centerpiece of our educational system, and elaborate walls have been erected around it to protect it from unnecessary abuse.”5.There are philosophical implications of Darwinism.Francis Schaeffer in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? co-authored by C. Everett Koop in 1979 said this, “Humanism: 1. Rejects the doctrine of creation. 2. Therefore rejects the idea that there is anything stable or ‘given’ about human nature. 3. Sees human nature as part of a long, unfolding process of development in which everything is changing. 4. Casts around for some solution to the problem of despair that this determinist-evolutionist vision induces…

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The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration: On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967). Mr. Schaeffer comments, “One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has exited forever and in ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.”Paul Churchland – “The important point about the standard evolutionary story is that the human species and all of its features are the wholly physical outcome of a purely physical process. If this is the correct account of our origin, then there seems neither need nor room to fit any nonphysical substances or properties into our theoretical accounts of ourselves. We are creatures of matter.”J.W.Burrow – “Nature, according to Darwin, was the product of blind chance and a blind struggle, and man a lonely, intelligent mutation, scrambling with the brutes for his sustenance. To some the sense of loss was irrevocable; It was as if an umbilical cord had been cut, and men found themselves part of a cold passionless universe.”

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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.”William B. Provine in “The End of Ethics?” article in HARD CHOICES (a magazine companion to the television series HARD CHOICES) wrote:Even though it is often asserted that science is fully compatible with our Judeo-Christian tradition, in fact it is not… To be sure, even in antiquity, the mechanistic view of life–that chance was responsible for the shape of the world– had a few adherents. But belief in overarching order was dominant; it can be seen as easily in such scientists as Newton, Harvey, and Einstein as in the theologians Augustine, Luther, and Tillich. But beginning with Darwin, biology has undermined that tradition. Darwin in effect asserted that all living organisms had been created by a combination of chance and necessity–natural selection.In the twentieth century, this view of life has been reinforced by a whole series of discoveries…Mind is the only remaining frontier, but it would be shortsighted to doubt that it can, one day, be duplicated in the form of thinking robots or analyzed in terms of the chemistry and electricity of the brain. The extreme mechanic view of life, which every new discovery in biology tends to confirm, has certain implications. First, God has no role in the physical world…Second, except for the laws of probability and cause and effect, there is no organizing principle in the world, and no purpose. 

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Bertrand Russell – “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 débris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond 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.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Related posts:

Taking on Ark Times Bloggers on various issues Part F “Carl Sagan’s views on how God should try and contact us” includes film “The Basis for Human Dignity”

April 8, 2013 – 7:07 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […] By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferProlife | Edit | Comments (0)

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

March 22, 2015 – 12:30 am

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Anna Margaret Rose FreemanGeorge HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyRingo StarrStg. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band | EditComments (0)

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

March 19, 2015 – 12:21 am

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyRaqib ShawRingo Starr | Edit | Comments (0)

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

March 12, 2015 – 12:16 am

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyPeter BlakeRingo Starr | Edit | Comments (1)

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

March 5, 2015 – 4:47 am

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged BeatlesMika Tajima | Edit|Comments (0)

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

February 26, 2015 – 4:57 am

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Blow UpDavid Hemmings,Michelangelo AntonioniNancy HoltSarah Miles.Vanessa Redgrave | Edit |Comments (0)

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

February 19, 2015 – 5:33 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferWoody Allen | Tagged alan aldaAnjelica Hustonmia farrowSam Waterston | Edit | Comments (0)

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

February 12, 2015 – 5:00 am

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Bertrand RussellFriedrich Nietzsche,H.G. Wellsjean paul sartreKai NielsenRichard TaylorRichard WurmbrandThomas Schütte | EditComments (0)

Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 13 “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

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In the beginning of episode 2 Tony is in the bath tub with a razor to his wrist and his hungry dog Brandi walks up and he asks her “Are you hungry?” And she responds with a sad sound.

Tony, “If you could open a tin I would be dead now but you can’t can you because you are useless. Who is useless? You are. You are useless. Good girl.”

Solomon realizes that the earth and moon will go on existing when we are no more and that really we have no advantage over the animals in that respect that we both die. It is ironic that Tony is saved by an animal.

”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!”

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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Stephen Hawking with Harry Kroto pictured above

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

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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

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(Harry Kroto pictured below)

Image result for harry kroto nobel prize

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

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


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In  the first video below in the 15th clip in this series are Hawking’s words and  my response is was given in an  earlier post.

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

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

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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This is the first portion of my 5-15-94 letter to Stephen Hawking 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 Stephen Hawking.

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Could you take 3 minutes and attempt to refute the nihilistic message of the song 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.CARL SAGAN:”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.”

Image result for douglas futuyma

———-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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Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 2

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Related posts:

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

March 22, 2015 – 12:30 am

______________   George Harrison Swears & Insults Paul and Yoko Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds- The Beatles The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Anna Margaret Rose FreemanGeorge HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyRingo StarrStg. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band | EditComments (0)

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

March 19, 2015 – 12:21 am

  The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA Uploaded on Nov 29, 2010 The Beatles in a press conference after their Return from the USA. The Beatles:   I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyRaqib ShawRingo Starr | Edit | Comments (0)

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

March 12, 2015 – 12:16 am

__________________   Beatles 1966 Last interview I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged George HarrisonJohn LennonPaul MacCartneyPeter BlakeRingo Starr | Edit | Comments (1)

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

March 5, 2015 – 4:47 am

_______________ The Beatles documentary || A Long and Winding Road || Episode 5 (This video discusses Stg. Pepper’s creation I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged BeatlesMika Tajima | Edit|Comments (0)

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

February 26, 2015 – 4:57 am

_______________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: _____________________ I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.” How Should […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Blow UpDavid Hemmings,Michelangelo AntonioniNancy HoltSarah Miles.Vanessa Redgrave | Edit |Comments (0)

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

February 19, 2015 – 5:33 am

Crimes and Misdemeanors: A Discussion: Part 1 ___________________________________ Today I will answer the simple question: IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? This question has been around for a long time and you can go back to the 19th century and read this same […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferWoody Allen | Tagged alan aldaAnjelica Hustonmia farrowSam Waterston | Edit | Comments (0)

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

February 12, 2015 – 5:00 am

____________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: __________ Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” , episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”, episode 8 […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Bertrand RussellFriedrich Nietzsche,H.G. Wellsjean paul sartreKai NielsenRichard TaylorRichard WurmbrandThomas Schütte | EditComments (0)

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

February 5, 2015 – 4:31 am

Love and Death [Woody Allen] – What if there is no God? [PL] ___________ _______________ How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason) #02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer 10 Worldview and Truth Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100 Francis Schaeffer […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis SchaefferWoody Allen | Tagged Allora & Calzadilla |EditComments (0)

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

January 29, 2015 – 5:01 am

___________________________________ Francis Schaeffer pictured below: ____________________________ Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro) Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1) Dr. Francis Schaeffer […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Francis Schaeffer | Tagged Trey McCarley | Edit | Comments (0)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 315 (INXS) I have lots of young people come to us and [they] can’t find any meaning to life. It’s the meaning of the words “punk rock.” SCHAEFFER TAKES LOOK AT ECCLESIASTES AND THE ISSUE OF DEATH AND SUICIDE!! Featured artist is Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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This one sentence summed up Michael Hutchence’s life: We are always wanting
Things we cannot find!

I will believe you
If you say it’s true
Girl you know I need you
More than any word spoken
I’ve seen you before
Turn and walk away
You say you won’t come back
It’s a game anyway
We are hoping, yes and we’re praying
This time will be the last time
That we will fight like this
This time will be the last time
That we will fight like this…hey!
We are always wanting
Things we cannot find
You know that we are always wasting time
We are hoping, yes and we’re praying
This time will be the last time
That we will fight like this
This time will be the last time
That we will fight like this
You know I can forget
We have fought before
I’ve seen inside your heart
And I know it’s breaking
We are hoping, yeah and we’re praying
Maybe this time will be the last time
That we will fight like this
This time will be the last time
That we will fight like this
This time will be the last time
Source: LyricFind

INXS frontman Michael Hutchence lived a rock ’n’ roll lifestyle. He dated famous models and pop stars, and accounts of his drug and alcohol use are widespread. According to friends and bandmates, the singer found the dark allure of rock star excess irresistible.

“I’m surprised I’ve survived and so are a lot of my friends,” Hutchence said in 1995. “I’m sure some of them are pissed off, because one thing about me is that I always manage to have my cake and eat it, too, whereas people love to see f–k-ups. That’s the industry. Welcome to the party. Jimi Hendrix is upstairs. But coming through it is fantastic.”

Hutchence might have survived numerous wild nights, but he wouldn’t outlive the passionate, but rocky, relationship he began in the mid-’90s with TV host Paula Yates. As a music star, Hutchence had known the British presenter since the ’80s. Yates also had a foot in the rock world, as the wife of Boomtown Rats singer and Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof. She was married to Geldof, with three daughters, when she began an affair with the Australian rocker, following a particularly flirtatious television interview.

Not long after she divorced Geldof in 1996, Yates gave birth to Hutchence’s child, a daughter that they named Heavenly Hiraani Tiger Lily (in keeping with her mother’s propensity for outlandish names). Although the couple were building a family of their own, all was not well. While friends said that Geldof kept Yates’s addiction problems in check, Hutchence was often ready to indulge. In the meantime, the three members of this love triangle squared off in a battle over custody of Yates and Geldof’s daughters.

During this tumultuous period, Hutchence reportedly began treatment for depression. Perhaps it didn’t help that INXS were no longer the global superstars they had been in the late ’80s. After a hiatus, the Aussie rockers reconvened to make a new album in 1997, titled Elegantly Wasted. The band toured overseas, then planned a 20th anniversary trek in Australia in late November and December.

Hutchence, who had been spending the bulk of his time in England with Yates and daughter Tiger, returned to his hometown of Sydney to rehearsewith his bandmates for the tour, set to begin on November 25. Yates was expecting to visit Australia with Tiger and the three daughters from her marriage when Geldof got a court injunction to prevent his daughters from traveling. In the early morning hours of November 22, 1997, Yates called her boyfriend to tell him that the custody hearing had been pushed back to December 17, and so she could no longer bring the kids.

The singer had been awake all night in his Ritz Carlton hotel room, reportedly drinking with friends and doing a little cocaine, in anticipation of receiving news about his lover and the children. When it turned out to be bad news, he phoned Geldof, in a manner that Bob characterized as“hectoring and abusive and threatening.” A woman staying in the next room heard yelling and swearing coming through the walls in the early morning hours.

A few hours later, Hutchence made a few more phone calls, to a former girlfriend Michelle Bennett and to business manager Martha Troup. The two said that the musician sounded like he was in a dark place. He left a voicemail for Troup, saying, “I’ve f–king had enough” and had a conversation with Bennett that startled her into coming to check on him at the hotel. She knocked on his door, but there was no answer.

Hutchence’s body would be discovered by a maid at 11:50 a.m. He was found naked and in a kneeling position behind the door, after a belt around his neck (and attached to the door-closing mechanism) had broken. He had choked to death in a case of apparent suicide. Hutchence was 37 years old.

“Bob Geldof murdered Michael Hutchence,” Yates told The Daily Express upon her arrival in Sydney. “That bastard killed Michael. He is called Saint Bob. That makes me sick. He killed my baby. We have had three years of this.”

A little while later, Paula Yates began suggesting that Hutchence’s death might not have been a suicide. Yates, and others, thought it must have been an accident because he left no note or any last words for his daughter. A rumor began to circulate that this was the tragic result of auto-erotic asphyxiation (or the practice of depriving the brain of oxygen to heighten orgasm). Yates backed the theory in interviews.

“Such was her determination to make her point about this to police that when she arrived in Australia following his death she shouted at the detectives in a restaurant while giving graphic details of the sex games she and Hutchence played,” former Detective Inspector Michael Gerondis told The Daily Mail. “‘He would strangle me during sex,’ she told them.”

Although Michael’s brother, his friends and former lovers had given credence to the possibility that Hutchence died from risky sexual behavior, there was no evidence to support such claims. The Australian authorities continue to reject the theory.

Hutchence received a funeral in the days following his death, with his INXS bandmates and brother Rhett as pallbearers. Michael’s family was in attendance, along with Yates, former girlfriend Kylie Minogue and other famous friends from Diana Ross to Tom Jones. Nick Cave sang “Into My Arms” as a tribute to Hutchence. A few years later, Bono wrote U2’s “Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of” as an imaginary conversation he wished he’d had with his friend and fellow rock star.

Following Hutchence’s death, Yates went into a tailspin of distress and drug addiction. She lost custody of her children to Geldof and succumbed to an accidental heroin overdose in 2000. She was 41. Her ex-husband then took custody of Tiger Lily, and began raising the four-year-old as his own daughter. He has since lost one of his and Yates’s children, Peaches, to another heroin overdose in 2014.

“It’s all awful. It’s all awful,” Geldof told 60 Minutesyears later. “And there’s nothing good came out of it. Nothing. Where’s the upside?”

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This post includes a lot of material that is very depressing, but don’t stop reading until you get to the end of this long post. There is hope.

Nihilism is the only conclusion when you have no hope of an afterlife. Many have turned to drugs, alcoholism or even suicide. (Don’t stop reading until you get to the end of the post and read the uplifting story of Kerry Livgren!!!)

Solomon was searching for meaning in life in what I call the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). After searching  in area of luxuries Solomon found  them to be  “vanity and a striving after the wind.”

Ecclesiastes 2:7-11 English Standard Version (ESV)

7I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. 8I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem…10 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained UNDER THE SUN.

“For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” Mark 8:36 (Christ’s words)

God put Solomon’s story in Ecclesiastes in the Bible with the sole purpose of telling people like you that without God in the picture you  will find out the emptiness one feels when possessions are trying to fill the void that God can only fill.

Then in the last chapter of Ecclesiastes Solomon returns to looking above the sun and he says that obeying the Lord is the proper way to live your life. 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. If you need more evidence then go to You Tube and watch the short videos  “Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1),“(3 min, 5 sec) and “Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2),” (10 min, 46 sec

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.”

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below in 1971 at L Abri

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Francis Schaeffer noted:

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

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

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

OUTLINE OF ECCLESIATES BY SCHAEFFER

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

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

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

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

Notes on Ecclesiastes by Francis Schaeffer

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

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

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

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

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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

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

Man is caught in the cycle

Ecclesiastes 1:1-7

English Standard Version (ESV)

All Is Vanity

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 1:4

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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Ecclesiastes 4:16

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

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

Ecclesiastes 6:12

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

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

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

Lack of Satisfaction in life

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

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

Pursuing Learning

Now let us look down the details of his searching.

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

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

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

Works of Men done Under the Sun

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

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 1:16-18

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

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

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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

Ecclesiastes 1:11

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

Ecclesiastes 2:16

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

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

The Daughter of the Vine:

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 6:2

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

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

 Oppressed have no comforter

Ecclesiastes 4:1

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

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

Ecclesiastes 7:14-15

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

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

Ecclesiastes 8:14

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

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

Pursuing Ladies

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

Ecclesiastes 7:25-28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 8:6-7

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

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

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Ecclesiastes 9:11

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

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

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

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

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

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

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

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

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

Ecclesiastes 4:16

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

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

Ecclesiastes 8:8

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

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

Ecclesiastes 9:12

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

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

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Woody Allen has embraced NIHILISM but he continues marching on.

Image result for woody allen

In the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS the idea of nihilism is clearly taught.

(Disclaimer: I am friends with atheists who live very good lives and have  embraced life. I am not accusing  all atheists of embracing nihilism, but just that some like Woody Allen have nihilistic tendencies. However, a few have taken the logic of NIHILISM a step further and that could possibly lead to SUICIDE.)

Adriana and Gil Pender in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

In the movie Gertrude Stein says to Gil, “Now, about your book,it’s very unusual, indeed.I mean, in a way, it’s almost like science fiction….The artist’s job is not to succumb to DESPAIR,but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.You have a clear and lively voice. Don’t be such a defeatist.”

Also in the film we find this exchange:

ADRIANA: I can never decide whether Paris is more beautiful by day or by night.

GIL PENDER: No, you can’t. You couldn’t pick one. I mean,I can give you a checkmate argument for each side.You know, I sometimes think,”How’s anyone gonna come up with a book, or a painting, or a symphony or a sculpture that can compete with a great city?”You can’t, ’cause, like,you look around, every…every street, every boulevard is its own special art form.And when you think that in the cold,violent, meaningless universe,that Paris exists, these lights…I mean, come on, there’s nothing happening on Jupiter or Neptune,but from way out in space you can see these lights, the cafe’s, people drinking, and singing…I mean, for all we know, Paris is the hottest spot in the universe.

Annie Hall – The Opening Scene [HD]

Manhattan

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer two months before he died said if he was talking to a gentleman he was sitting next to on an airplane about Christ he wouldn’t start off quoting Bible verses. Schaeffer asserted:

I would go back rather to their dilemma if they hold the modern worldview of the final reality only being energy, etc., I would start with that. I would begin as I stress in the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE about their own [humanist] prophets who really show where their view goes. For instance, Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner from France, in his book NECESSITY AND CHANCE said there is no way to tell the OUGHT from the IS. In other words, you live in a totally silent universe. 

The men like Monod and Sartre or whoever the man might know that is his [humanist] prophet and they point out quite properly and conclusively what life is like, not just that there is no meaningfulness in life but everyone according to modern man is just living out some kind of game plan. It may be knocking 1/10th of a second off a downhill ski run or making one more million dollars. But all you are doing is making a game plan within the mix of a meaningless situation. WOODY ALLEN exploits this very strongly in his films. He really lives it. I feel for that man, and he has expressed it so thoroughly in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN and so on.

Francis Schaeffer is correct about Woody Allen and that Allen has embraced nihilism. I hope that many will read below at the bottom of this post about the men Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren of the rock group KANSAS who also came to the end of themselves but they turned away from nihilism and found meaning to their lives.

Image result for kansas dust in the wind

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A suicide attempt appears in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS when Zelda Fitzgerald goes to the Seine River with the intention of jumping and Gil Pender stops her. It seems the nihilist worldview of Woody Allen keeps him putting suicides into his films.

Remember Professor Levy from the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANOR? After addressing the question  IS IT POSSIBLE TO BE AN OPTIMISTIC SECULAR HUMANIST THAT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN GOD OR AN AFTERLIFE? Levy jumps out a window!!!

After Levy committed suicide, Cliff reviewed a clip from the documentary footage in which Levy states: “But we must always remember that when we are born we need a great deal of love to persuade us to stay in life. Once we get that love, it usually lasts us. But the universe is a pretty cold place. It’s we who invest it with our feelings. And under certain conditions, we feel that the thing isn’t worth it anymore.”

Hearing the news of Levy’s death, Halley says, “No matter how elaborate a philosophical system you work out, in the end it’s got to be incomplete.”

Professor Levy seen below:

Crimes e Pecados

What is Woody Allen’s main outlook on life? Francis Schaeffer described it as existentialism. 

______________

__________

     
  Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era

So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”

 
     
  Reason Is Dead

However, our intention here is neither to go into the history of irrationalism, nor to examine the proponents of existentialism in our own century, but rather to concentrate on its main thesis. It is this that confronts us on all sides today, and it is impossible to understand modern man without understanding this concept.
Because we shall be using several terms a great deal now, we would ask the reader to attend carefully. When we speak of irrationalism or existentialism or the existential methodology, we are pointing to a quite simple idea. It may have been expressed in a variety of complicated ways by philosophers, but it is not a difficult concept.
Imagine that you are at the movies watching a suspense film. As the story unfolds, the tension increases until finally the hero is trapped in some impossible situation and everyone is groaning inwardly, wondering how he is going to get out of the mess. The suspense is heightened by the knowledge (of the audience, not the hero) that help is on the way in the form of the good guys. The only question is: will the good guys arrive in time?
Now imagine for a moment that the audience is slipped the information that there are no good guys, that the situation of the hero is not just desperate, but completely hopeless. Obviously, the first thing that would happen is that the suspense would be gone. You and the entire audience would simply be waiting for the axe to fall.
If the hero faced the end with courage, this would be morally edifying, but the situation itself would be tragic. If, however, the hero acted as if help were around the corner and kept buoying himself up with this thought (“Someone is on the way!” – “Help is at hand!”), all you could feel for him would be pity. It would be a means to keep hope alive within a hopeless situation. The hero’s hope would change nothing on the outside; it would be unable to manufacture, out of nothing, good guys coming to the rescue. All it would achieve would the hero’s own mental state of hopefulness rather than hopelessness.
The hopefulness itself would rest on a lie or an illusion and thus, viewed objectively, would be finally absurd. And if the hero really knew what the situation was, but consciously used the falsehood to buoy up his feelings and go whistling along, we would either say, “Poor guy!” or “He’s a fool.” It is this kind of conscious deceit that someone like Woody Allen has looked full in the face and will have none of.
Now this is what the existential methodology is about. If the universe we are living in is what the materialistic humanists say it is, then with our reason (when we stop to think about it) we could find absolutely no way to have meaning or morality or hope or beauty. This would plunge us into despair. We would have to take seriously the challenge of Albert Camus (1913-1960) in the first sentence of The Myth of Sisyphus: “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide.”92 Why stay alive in an absurd universe? Ah! But that is not where we stop. We say to ourselves – “There is hope!” (even though there is no help). “We shall overcome!” (even though nothing is more certain than that we shall be destroyed, both individually at death and cosmically with the end of all conscious life). This is what confronts us on all sides today: the modern irrational-ism.

(Scott and Zelda pictured below)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical flow of Truth & History (intro)

Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of History & Truth (1)

Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical Flow of Truth & History (part 2)

Ernest Hemingway and  both his good friend Scott Fitzgerald and Scott’s wife Zelda tried to blot it all out with alcohol and later in the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we see Zelda trying to commit suicide.  She actually was in different stages of mental distress the last 15 years of her life which ended at age 48 when a fire killed 9 people at Highland Hospital in Asheville, North Carolina (according to Wikipedia). Unfortunately her husband F. Scott Fitzgerald died 8 years earlier in 1940 from alcoholism.  Ernest Hemingway ended his life on  July 2, 1961 by shooting himself with his favorite shotgun.
(An older Zelda in 1942 seen below)
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(Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald with friend Ernest Hemingway, left)
 

midnight in paris – Fitzgeralds and Hemingway

______________

ZELDA FITZGERALD: You look lost!-

GIL PENDER: Oh, yeah!- You’re an American?-

ZELDA FITZGERALD: If you count Alabama as America, which I do.I miss the bathtub gin. What do you do?-

GIL PENDER: Me? I’m a writer.-

ZELDA FITZGERALD: Who do you write?-

GIL PENDER: Oh, right now I’m working on a novel.- Oh, yes?

ZELDA FITZGERALD: I’m Zelda, by the way. Oh, Scott! Scott!- Yes, what it is, sweetheart?- Here’s a writer, from, um… where?-

GIL PENDER: California.

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Scott Fitzgerald, and who are you, old sport?

GIL PENDER: Gil…the… You havethe same names as…As what? Scott Fitzgerald and…Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald.

SCOTT FITZGERALD:The Fitzgeralds. Isn’t she beautiful?

GIL PENDER: Yes. Yes! Yeah, that’s… that’sa coincidence…like….uh…

ZELDA FITZGERALD: You have a glazed look in your eye. Stunned.Stupefied. Anesthetized. Lobotomized

GIL PENDER: I…I…keep looking at the man playing piano, and I believe it or not, recognize hisface from some old sheet music.

ZELDA FITZGERALD: I know I can be one of the great writers of musical lyrics- not that I can write melodies, and I try,and then I hear the songs he writes, and then I realize: I’ll never write a great lyric,- and MY TALENT REALLY LIES IN DRINKING.-

SCOTT FITZGERALD: Sure does.

Later in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we find Zelda attempting to jump in the Seine river and end her life.
 GIL PENDER:God, is that who I think it is?
ADRIANA: What is she doing here,staring into the water?Oh my God! Zelda, what are you doing?!- Please?
ZELDA: I don’t want to live!-
ADRIANA: Stop!- What is it?-
ZELDA: Scott and that beautiful countess.They were– It was so obvious they were whispering about me,and the more they drank, the more he fell in love with her!
GIL PENDER: He…Scott loves only you.- I can tell you that with absolute certainty.-
ZELDA: No.- He’s tired of me!-
GIL PENDER: You’re wrong. You’re wrong. I know.-
ZELDA: How?-
GIL PENDER: Trust me. I know.- Sometimes you get a feel for people, and I get…-
ZELDA: My skin hurts!-
ADRIANA: What do you mean?-
ZELDA: I don’t wanna…I hate the way I look!
ADRIANA:Don’t do that!-
GIL PENDER: Here. Take this.-
ZELDA:What is this?
GIL PENDER: It’s a Valium. It’llmake you feel better.-
ADRIANA:You carry medicine?-
GIL PENDER: No, not normally.It’s just since I’vebeen engaged to Inez,I’ve been having panic attacks, but I’msure they’ll subside after the wedding.
ADRIANA: I’ve never heard of Valium. What is this?
GIL PENDER:It’s the…pill of the future.
 __
I have posted this article below earlier but I wanted to include a portion of it today.

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Philosophical Atheist, Before you Commit Suicide Read Ecclesiastes

People interested in truth often look to philosophy for answers. However, atheist philosophies offer more questions than answers, and this has serious consequences. Statistics show that atheists end up more prone to suicide than people who have a spiritual foundation.[1] One woman, Sharon Rocha, ended up committing suicide after reading an article at the Raving Atheists blog. In her suicide note, Rocha stated “I have been stripped of my delusions… The universe is a cold, uncaring place in which life is short, meaningless and full of suffering.”[2] If you are an atheist thinking of suicide or just seriously interested in the meaning of life, I recommend reading Solomon’s book Ecclesiastes. The book outlines the deceptions of a false perception of reality and the delight of knowing the God who created the universe for a good purpose.

The name Ecclesiastes is translated from Latin into The Preacher. So what exactly is the connection between philosophy and a preacher preaching the gospel? Well, as I’ve written various articles on Christianity, I’ve found that few atheists are interested in reading them. However, when I’ve pointedly challenged the philosophical roots of atheism, I’ve found some atheists eager to step up and defend their beliefs through dialogue and debate. Philosophical questions and challenges are at the core of the book of Ecclesiastes and there is an undertone of evangelism. There’s a saying “You can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.” But, as we’ll see in Ecclesiastes, you can attract even more bees by prodding the beehive. But you’d better be prepared for what you’re getting into.

Ecclesiastes 12.11 states: “The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails–given by one Shepherd.” (NIV)

Goads are pointed prods that are used to help direct cattle and sheep. Words of truth prick the conscience and help to guide people towards moral and ethical reason. The firmly embedded nails signify the fixed principles of logic and the reality of absolute truth. Words of logic help to pin down people who have developed a false paradigm and a false view of reality. Logic helps people to see that their beliefs are not in harmony with reality.

Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Meaninglessness and Materialism

There is a wealth of insight in the book of Ecclesiastes, but you can break down the main philosophical aspects into three main points:

1. The Emptiness of Worldly Pre-occupations – Eccl. 2:1-11

2. The Brevity of Life – Eccl. 12:1-8

3. The Only Logical Purpose in Life – Eccl. 12:13-14[9]

Solomon begins Ecclesiastes 1.2-3 announcing “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What do people gain from all their labors at which they toil under the sun?” How discouraging can you get? The key to understanding the book of Ecclesiastes is to understand that he makes many false statements based upon a materialist perspective, in viewing everything “under the sun” as meaningless. Solomon addresses common materialist idols in society and shows why these are meaningless and empty pursuits. Solomon tries learning, laughter an liquor in an attempt to find satisfaction, but he’s left empty.

Solomon was the perfect candidate to dispel the illusion that wealth and physical pleasure can bring the kind of deep fulfillment we’re searching for in life. As the wealthiest man in history he had everything available at his fingertips. Whatever he desired, he could have. But time after time he was struck by the emptiness of all these material allurements.

Common folks don’t have the money to be able to fulfill whatever whim we may have. In society we are led to believe that if we just had a bigger house, a better job, a more pleasant husband or wife, or whatever it may be, then we would be happy. For us common folks, happiness may seem as though it’s always just around the corner. If only… then I’d be happy. But Solomon became the ultimate object lesson in this regard because he was able to try anything and everything he wanted and he finding out first-hand that materialism represents a sad and vacuous existence compared to theism.

King Solomon of Israel wrote the book of Ecclesiastes after he had backslidden to a certain degree. He had known what was right, but disobeyed God in his life and took on many wives, horse stables and wealth, though these things were forbidden for a king of Israel. Deuteronomy 17:16-17 outlines:

“Only he shall not multiply horses to himself, nor cause the people to return to Egypt, to the end that he may multiply horses; because Yahweh has said to you, You shall henceforth return no more that way. Neither shall he multiply wives to himself, that his heart not turn away: neither shall he greatly multiply to himself silver and gold.”

It seems Solomon allowed his great wisdom get to his head, so to speak, and to fill him with pride. His heart gradually became dulled to God’s presence and purpose. But, nevertheless, God disciplined him and allowed him to see his folly. Though he had made mistakes, Solomon offers that truth is still truth and a person should continue to teach the truth as God guides:

“And moreover, because the preacher was wise, he still taught the people knowledge; yea, he gave good heed, and sought out, and set in order many proverbs.”[10]

Though he learned lessons the hard way, Solomon gave “good heed” to present the truths that he learned and to help teach people his wisdom. It seems he may have been the first “life coach.” In the United States the “pursuit of happiness” is considered a fundamental right from the Declaration of Independence. But this pursuit, in and of itself, can become destructive when relativism rules. A 2011 study shows the 10 countries with the highest suicide rates tend to be countries where atheism has predominated. Most on the list are countries of the former Soviet Union where atheism was enforced by the state for over 70 years.[11] Other statistics bear out the fact that atheists are more prone to suicide than theists. The American Journal of Psychiatry published an article December 2004, Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt, with some basic conclusions:

“CONCLUSIONS: Religious affiliation is associated with less suicidal behavior in depressed inpatients. After other factors were controlled, it was found that greater moral objections to suicide and lower aggression level in religiously affiliated subjects may function as protective factors against suicide attempts. Further study about the influence of religious affiliation on aggressive behavior and how moral objections can reduce the probability of acting on suicidal thoughts may offer new therapeutic strategies in suicide prevention.”[12]

Two key aspects were cited in the AJP article: less aggressive behavior and a moral objection to suicide. The decrease of aggression in spiritual people may have to do with the knowledge that there is in-fact deep meaning in life. Sometimes intellectuals are prone to suicide. Solomon confirmed that materialist knowledge without spiritual truth brings grief: “For with much wisdom comes much sorrow; the more knowledge, the more grief.”[13]

(Alan Sandage below)

Like Solomon, people who have large IQs can tend to have inflated egos. In 2010, in an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Stephen Hawking declared that heaven is a “fairy tale” for fearful people.[14] He is correct in one sense that Christians are fearful in that we fear God with a sense of awe and wonder at his majestic wisdom and power. In contrast to Hawking, the Jewish physicist Alan Sandage was an atheist most of his life but simply could not dispel all the evidence he had seen in the cosmos pointing to God’s necessary existence. He became a Christian at age 60, explaining, “I could not live a life full of cynicism. I chose to believe, and a peace of mind came over me.”[15] One of the reasons Sandage believed was the complexity of the universe: “The world is too complicated in all its parts and interconnections to be due to chance alone.”[16]

(Stephen Hawking below in black and white and then a picture from recent movie about Hawking)

It doesn’t take a great mind to understand what Solomon and Sandage knew, it only takes an open mind. Three decades ago, Stephen Hawking declared humanity was on the verge of discovering the “theory of everything”with a 50 per cent chance of knowing it by 2000. But by 2010 Hawking had given up hope.[17] If only Hawking had read the book of Ecclesiastes, he could have saved a lot of wasted time: “He has also set eternity in the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”[18] Hawking is a good example showing that intelligence and wisdom are two very distinct things.

(King Solomon author of Ecclesiastes below

The “one shepherd” mentioned in Ecclesiastes 12.9 seems to portray Jesus. In John 10.11, Jesus is quoted as saying “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” NIV Jesus is also referred to as the “word made flesh.” In this sense Jesus is the source of all truth and spiritual satisfaction, as implied by Psalm 81:16. “I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock”, Jesus being the rock of our salvation.The Logical Conclusions             One of the conclusions of Ecclesiastes is that we can live a live of true joy when God is the foundation of our lives:“It is good and fitting for one to eat and drink, and to enjoy the good of all his labor in which he toils under the sun all the days of his life which God gives him; for it is his heritage. As for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, and given him power to eat of it, to receive his heritage and rejoice in his labor—this is the gift of God. For he will not dwell unduly on the days of his life, because God keeps him busy with the joy of his heart.”[19]Another conclusion is that there is ultimate justice in the world and this knowledge has ramifications for a healthy personal life and for a healthy society:

“Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.”[20]

We will be less prone to bitterness when we realize God will address all injustice in the future. And we understand why corruption is rampant today in society because many people do not believe there is any kind of accountability to our Creator. People assume that they can do anything they can get away with. Hopefully more people will recognize that atheism neither works as a personal philosophy nor as a good basis for society.

Even Communist China sees that theism is pragmatically more effective and beneficial than an atheistic model of society: “The officially atheist Chinese government is surprisingly open to Christianity, at least partially, because it sees a link between the faith and economic success, said a sought after scholar who has relations with governments in Asia.”[21] Dr. William Jeynes, senior fellow of The Witherspoon Institute in Princeton, N.J., outlined this fact. But the truth is a dangerous thing and has a way of shaking up deceptive paradigms: “Jeynes concluded by saying that the key message he wants to convey is that China is both open to Christianity and nervous about the religion because of the potential problems it could bring to the communist government.”[22]

Endnotes

[1] American Journal of Psychiatry, Religious Affiliation and Suicide Attempt, Kanita Dervic, M.D., Maria A. Oquendo, M.D., et al., Am J Psychiatry 161:2303-2308, December 2004 (http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/abstract/161/12/2303)
[2] Raving Theist, Peterson Mother Commits Suicide After Reading Atheist Blog, (http://ravingatheist.com/2003/05/peterson-mother-commits-suicide-after-reading-atheist-blog/)
[3] Proverbs 24.13, NIV
[4] IN DEFENSE OF NON-NATURAL, NON-THEISTIC MORAL REALISM” Erik Wielenberg FAITH AND PHILOSOPHY, Vol. 26 No. 1 January 2009 (http://philpapers.org/archive/WIEIDO.1.pdf)
[5] Ibid.
[6] Ibid.
[7] Ecclesiastes 6.7 (NIV)
[8] Ecclesiastes 1.8b, KJV
[9] Ecclesiastes: Guide to Evangelism (http://www.discoveret.org/lcoc/news/01n0606.htm)
[10] Ecclesiastes 12.9, KJV
[11] Top 10 Countries With Highest Suicide Rates – 2011, (http://www.top-10lists.com/2011/05/top-10-countries-with-highest-suicide.html)
[12] See American Journal of Psychiatry
[13] Ecclesiastes 1.18
[14] The Guardian, Stephen Hawking: ‘There is no heaven; it’s a fairy story’, (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/may/15/stephen-hawking-interview-there-is-no-heaven)
[15] The Telegraph, Allan Sandage (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/science-obituaries/8150004/Allan-Sandage.html)
[16] Leadership U, A Scientist Reflects on Religious Belief (http://www.leaderu.com/truth/1truth15.html)
[17] New Scientist, Stephen Hawking says there’s no theory of everything,  September 2, 2010,
(http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2010/09/stephen-hawking-says-theres-no-theory-of-everything.html)
[18]  Ecclesiastes 3.11b, NIV
[19] Ecclesiastes. 5:18-20
[20] Ecclesiastes 12:13-14, NIV
[21] The Christian Post, Scholar: China Notices Link Between Christianity, U.S. Economic Success (http://www.christianpost.com/news/scholar-china-notices-link-between-christianity-us-economic-success-50287/)
[22] Ibid.

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If we are left with only time and chance and the view of the UNIFORMITY OF  NATURAL CAUSES in a closed system then our only choice is NIHILISM.  TWO OTHER ALSO HELD THIS SAME view  of uniformity of natural causes in a closed system in 1978 when their hit song DUST IN THE WIND rose to the top 10 in the music charts.

_______________________________________

IF WE ARE LEFT WITH JUST THE MACHINE THEN WHAT IS THE FINAL CONCLUSION IF THERE WAS NO PERSONAL GOD THAT CREATED US? Examine the  song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “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.”

Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Related image

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

(Kerry Livgren in front and Dave Hope in background)

Image result for kerry livgren kansas

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.

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Pre-Order Miracles Out of Nowhere now at http://www.miraclesoutofnowhere.com

About the film:
In 1973, six guys in a local band from America’s heartland began a journey that surpassed even their own wildest expectations, by achieving worldwide superstardom… watch the story unfold as the incredible story of the band KANSAS is told for the first time in the DVD Miracles Out of Nowhere.

_____________________________

Let me close by talking to you about the ROMAN ROAD TO CHRIST.

  1. Rom. 3:10, “As it is written, ‘There is none righteous, not even one . . . “
  2. Rom. 3:23, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
  3. Rom. 5:12, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned.”
  4. Rom. 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
  5. Rom. 5:8, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
  6. Rom. 10:9-10, “if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
  7. Rom. 10:13, “For whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Featured artist is Pierre-Auguste Renoir

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Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Pierre Auguste Renoir, uncropped image.jpg
Born 25 February 1841

Died 3 December 1919 (aged 78)

Nationality French
Known for Painting
Notable work
Bal du moulin de la Galette, 1876
Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1880
Nude, 1910
Movement Impressionism

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, commonly known as Auguste Renoir (/ˈrɛnwɑːr,rɛnˈwɑːr/ REN-wahr, ren-WAHR;[1] French: [pjɛʁ oɡyst ʁənwaʁ]; 25 February 1841 – 3 December 1919), was a French artist who was a leading painter in the development of the Impressionist style. As a celebrator of beauty and especially feminine sensuality, it has been said that “Renoir is the final representative of a tradition which runs directly from Rubens to Watteau.”[2]

He was the father of actor Pierre Renoir (1885–1952), filmmaker Jean Renoir (1894–1979) and ceramic artist Claude Renoir (1901–1969). He was the grandfather of the filmmaker Claude Renoir (1913–1993), son of Pierre.

Life[edit]

Youth[edit]

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was born in LimogesHaute-Vienne, France, in 1841. His father, Léonard Renoir, was a tailor of modest means, so in 1844, Renoir’s family moved to Paris in search of more favorable prospects. The location of their home, in rue d’Argenteuil in central Paris, placed Renoir in proximity to the Louvre. Although the young Renoir had a natural proclivity for drawing, he exhibited a greater talent for singing. His talent was encouraged by his teacher, Charles Gounod, who was the choir-master at the Church of St Roch at the time. However, due to the family’s financial circumstances, Renoir had to discontinue his music lessons and leave school at the age of thirteen to pursue an apprenticeship at a porcelain factory.[3][4]

Although Renoir displayed a talent for his work, he frequently tired of the subject matter and sought refuge in the galleries of the Louvre. The owner of the factory recognized his apprentice’s talent and communicated this to Renoir’s family. Following this, Renoir started taking lessons to prepare for entry into Ecole des Beaux Arts. When the porcelain factory adopted mechanical reproduction processes in 1858, Renoir was forced to find other means to support his learning.[4] Before he enrolled in art school, he also painted hangings for overseas missionaries and decorations on fans.[5]

In 1862, he began studying art under Charles Gleyre in Paris. There he met Alfred SisleyFrédéric Bazille, and Claude Monet.[6] At times, during the 1860s, he did not have enough money to buy paint. Renoir had his first success at the Salon of 1868 with his painting Lise with a Parasol (1867), which depicted Lise Tréhot, his lover at the time.[7] Although Renoir first started exhibiting paintings at the Paris Salon in 1864,[8] recognition was slow in coming, partly as a result of the turmoil of the Franco-Prussian War.

During the Paris Commune in 1871, while Renoir painted on the banks of the Seine River, some Communards thought he was a spy and were about to throw him into the river, when a leader of the CommuneRaoul Rigault, recognized Renoir as the man who had protected him on an earlier occasion.[9] In 1874, a ten-year friendship with Jules Le Cœur and his family ended,[10] and Renoir lost not only the valuable support gained by the association but also a generous welcome to stay on their property near Fontainebleau and its scenic forest. This loss of a favorite painting location resulted in a distinct change of subjects.

Adulthood[edit]

Renoir was inspired by the style and subject matter of previous modern painters Camille Pissarro and Edouard Manet.[11] After a series of rejections by the Salon juries, he joined forces with Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, and several other artists to mount the first Impressionist exhibition in April 1874, in which Renoir displayed six paintings. Although the critical response to the exhibition was largely unfavorable, Renoir’s work was comparatively well received.[7] That same year, two of his works were shown with Durand-Ruel in London.[10]

The Swing (La Balançoire), 1876, oil on canvas, Musée d’Orsay, Paris

Hoping to secure a livelihood by attracting portrait commissions, Renoir displayed mostly portraits at the second Impressionist exhibition in 1876.[12] He contributed a more diverse range of paintings the next year when the group presented its third exhibition; they included Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette and The Swing.[12] Renoir did not exhibit in the fourth or fifth Impressionist exhibitions, and instead resumed submitting his works to the Salon. By the end of the 1870s, particularly after the success of his painting Mme Charpentier and her Children (1878) at the Salon of 1879, Renoir was a successful and fashionable painter.[7]

Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (Bal du moulin de la Galette), 1876

In 1881, he traveled to Algeria, a country he associated with Eugène Delacroix,[13] then to Madrid, to see the work of Diego Velázquez. Following that, he traveled to Italy to see Titian‘s masterpieces in Florence and the paintings of Raphael in Rome. On 15 January 1882, Renoir met the composer Richard Wagner at his home in Palermo, Sicily. Renoir painted Wagner’s portrait in just thirty-five minutes. In the same year, after contracting pneumonia which permanently damaged his respiratory system, Renoir convalesced for six weeks in Algeria.[14]

In 1883, Renoir spent the summer in Guernsey, one of the islands in the English Channel with a varied landscape of beaches, cliffs, and bays, where he created fifteen paintings in little over a month. Most of these feature Moulin Huet, a bay in Saint Martin’s, Guernsey. These paintings were the subject of a set of commemorative postage stamps issued by the Bailiwick of Guernsey in 1983.

While living and working in Montmartre, Renoir employed Suzanne Valadon as a model, who posed for him (The Large Bathers, 1884–87; Dance at Bougival, 1883)[15] and many of his fellow painters; during that time she studied their techniques and eventually became one of the leading painters of the day.

In 1887, the year when Queen Victoria celebrated her Golden Jubilee, and upon the request of the queen’s associate, Phillip Richbourg, Renoir donated several paintings to the “French Impressionist Paintings” catalog as a token of his loyalty.

In 1890, he married Aline Victorine Charigot, a dressmaker twenty years his junior,[16] who, along with a number of the artist’s friends, had already served as a model for Le Déjeuner des canotiers (Luncheon of the Boating Party – she is the woman on the left playing with the dog) in 1881, and with whom he had already had a child, Pierre, in 1885.[14] After his marriage, Renoir painted many scenes of his wife and daily family life including their children and their nurse, Aline’s cousin Gabrielle Renard. The Renoirs had three sons: Pierre Renoir (1885-1952), who became a stage and film actor; Jean Renoir (1894-1979), who became a filmmaker of note; and Claude Renoir (1901-1969), who became a ceramic artist.

Later years[edit]

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, c. 1910

Around 1892, Renoir developed rheumatoid arthritis. In 1907, he moved to the warmer climate of “Les Collettes,” a farm at Cagnes-sur-Mer, close to the Mediterranean coast.[17] Renoir painted during the last twenty years of his life even after his arthritis severely limited his mobility. He developed progressive deformities in his hands and ankylosis of his right shoulder, requiring him to change his painting technique. It has often been reported that in the advanced stages of his arthritis, he painted by having a brush strapped to his paralyzed fingers,[18] but this is erroneous; Renoir remained able to grasp a brush, although he required an assistant to place it in his hand.[19] The wrapping of his hands with bandages, apparent in late photographs of the artist, served to prevent skin irritation.[19]

In 1919, Renoir visited the Louvre to see his paintings hanging with those of the old masters. During this period, he created sculptures by cooperating with a young artist, Richard Guino, who worked the clay. Due to his limited joint mobility, Renoir also used a moving canvas, or picture roll, to facilitate painting large works.[19]

Renoir’s portrait of Austrian actress Tilla Durieux (1914) contains playful flecks of vibrant color on her shawl that offset the classical pose of the actress and highlight Renoir’s skill just five years before his death.

Renoir died in the village of Cagnes-sur-Mer, Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, on 3 December 1919.

Family legacy[edit]

Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s great-grandson, Alexandre Renoir, has also become a professional artist. In 2018, the Monthaven Arts and Cultural Center in Hendersonville, Tennessee hosted an exhibition of Alexandre’s works titled “Beauty Remains.” The exhibition title comes from a famous quote by Pierre-Auguste who, when asked why he continued to paint with his painful arthritis in his advanced years, once said “The pain passes, but the beauty remains.”[20]

Artworks[edit]

Two Sisters, oil on canvas, 1881, Art Institute of Chicago

Renoir’s paintings are notable for their vibrant light and saturated color, most often focusing on people in intimate and candid compositions. The female nude was one of his primary subjects. In characteristic Impressionist style, Renoir suggested the details of a scene through freely brushed touches of color, so that his figures softly fuse with one another and their surroundings.

His initial paintings show the influence of the colorism of Eugène Delacroix and the luminosity of Camille Corot. He also admired the realism of Gustave Courbet and Édouard Manet, and his early work resembles theirs in his use of black as a color. Renoir admired Edgar Degas‘ sense of movement. Another painter Renoir greatly admired was the 18th-century master François Boucher.[22]

A fine example of Renoir’s early work and evidence of the influence of Courbet’s realism, is Diana, 1867. Ostensibly a mythological subject, the painting is a naturalistic studio work; the figure carefully observed, solidly modeled and superimposed upon a contrived landscape. If the work is a “student” piece, Renoir’s heightened personal response to female sensuality is present. The model was Lise Tréhot, the artist’s mistress at that time, and inspiration for a number of paintings.[23]

In the late 1860s, through the practice of painting light and water en plein air (outdoors), he and his friend Claude Monet discovered that the color of shadows is not brown or black, but the reflected color of the objects surrounding them, an effect known today as diffuse reflection. Several pairs of paintings exist in which Renoir and Monet worked side-by-side, depicting the same scenes (La Grenouillère, 1869).

One of the best known Impressionist works is Renoir’s 1876 Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette (Bal du moulin de la Galette). The painting depicts an open-air scene, crowded with people at a popular dance garden on the Butte Montmartre close to where he lived. The works of his early maturity were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling color and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women. It was a trip to Italy in 1881 when he saw works by Raphael and other Renaissance masters, that convinced him that he was on the wrong path, and for the next several years he painted in a more severe style in an attempt to return to classicism.[24] Concentrating on his drawing and emphasizing the outlines of figures, he painted works such as Blonde Bather (1881 and 1882) and The Large Bathers (1884–87; Philadelphia Museum of Art) during what is sometimes called his “Ingres period”.[25]

After 1890 he changed direction again. To dissolve outlines, as in his earlier work, he returned to thinly brushed color. From this period onward he concentrated on monumental nudes and domestic scenes, fine examples of which are Girls at the Piano, 1892, and Grandes Baigneuses, 1887. The latter painting is the most typical and successful of Renoir’s late, abundantly fleshed nudes.[26]

A prolific artist, he created several thousand paintings. The warm sensuality of Renoir’s style made his paintings some of the most well-known and frequently reproduced works in the history of art. The single largest collection of his works—181 paintings in all—is at the Barnes Foundation, in Philadelphia.

Catalogue raisonné[edit]

A five-volume catalogue raisonné of Renoir’s works (with one supplement) was published by Bernheim-Jeune between 1983 and 2014.[27] Bernheim-Jeune is the only surviving major art dealer that was used by Renoir. The Wildenstein Institute is preparing, but has not yet published, a critical catalogue of Renoir’s work.[28] A disagreement between these two organizations concerning an unsigned work in Picton Castle was at the centre of the second episode of the fourth season of the television series Fake or Fortune.

Posthumous prints[edit]

In 1919, Ambroise Vollard, a renowned art dealer, published a book on the life and work of Renoir, La Vie et l’Œuvre de Pierre-Auguste Renoir, in an edition of 1000 copies. In 1986, Vollard’s heirs started reprinting the copper plates, generally, etchings with hand applied watercolor. These prints are signed by Renoir in the plate and are embossed “Vollard” in the lower margin. They are not numbered, dated or signed in pencil.

Posthumous sales[edit]

A small version of Bal du moulin de la Galette sold for $78.1 million May 17, 1990 at Sotheby’s New York.[29]

In 2012, Renoir’s Paysage Bords de Seine was offered for sale at auction but the painting was discovered to have been stolen from the Baltimore Museum of Art in 1951. The sale was cancelled.

Gallery of paintings[edit]

Portraits and landscapes[edit]

Self-portraits[edit]

Nudes[edit]

Interactive image[edit]

Adrien Maggiolo (Italian journalist) Affenpinscher dog Aline Charigot (seamstress and Renoir's future wife) Alphonse Fournaise, Jr. (owner's son) Angèle Legault (actress) Charles Ephrussi (art historian) Ellen Andrée (actress) Eugène Pierre Lestringez (bureaucrat) Gustave Caillebotte (artist) Jeanne Samary (actress) Jules Laforgue (poet and critic) Landscape Landscape Louise-Alphonsine Fournaise (owner's daughter) Paul Lhote (artist) Baron Raoul Barbier (former mayor of colonial Saigon) Sailboats Still life unknown person

Renoir - Boating Party

The image above contains clickable linksClickable image of the Luncheon of the Boating Party (1881) by Pierre-Auguste Renoir (The Phillips CollectionWashington, D.C.). Place your mouse cursor over a person in the painting to see their nameclick to link to an article about them.

(view • discuss)

Close-ups

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Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds A Tale of Three Cities Episode:2 Paris 1928 BBC Documentary 2014

Published on Aug 28, 2014

Bright Lights, Brilliant Minds A Tale of Three Cities Episode:2 Paris 1928 BBC Documentary 2014

Dr James Fox tells the story of Paris in 1928. It was a city that attracted people dreaming of a better world after World War I. This was the year when the surrealists Magritte, Dali and Bunuel brought their bizarre new vision to the people, and when emigre writers and musicians such as Ernest Hemingway and George Gershwin came looking for inspiration.

Paris in 1928 was where black musicians and dancers like Josephine Baker found adulation, where Cole Porter took time off from partying to write Let’s Do it, and where radical architect Le Corbusier planned a modernist utopia that involved pulling down much of Paris itself.

Midnight In Paris: A Review

In Film, Reviews on June 16, 2011 at 10:16 am by ERIC PLAAG AND MATT SMITH

Gil, who once lived in Paris briefly, longs for the era of great writing that was the 1920s, when the city was populated by great artists intermingling and collaborating and drinking, like Hemingway, Picasso, Fitzgerald, Dali, and so on. One night after having suffered through another one of Inez’s pseudo-intellectual friend Paul’s (a squirmingly awkward and hilarious turn by Michael Sheen) speeches about art, instead of going dancing with the group, Gil decides to walk back to the hotel and wander the streets at night, gathering some fresh and air and inspiration. He gets lost during this sojourn, and picked up, half drunk, by a couple in an old Peugeot. The people are Zelda and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and soon Gil is hobnobbing with everyone from Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso to Salvador Dali and Luis Bunuel, and having his novel read and critiqued by Gertrude Stein.

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The wine, women and song of Paris

Gil Pender (Owen Wilson) is a successful screenwriter who wants more from life. While on holiday in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams) and her stuffy, conservative parents, Gil’s finds himself at a creative impasse, working on his novel about nostalgia. Goaded by Inez to stick to money-making movies, Gil separates himself from the group one night – lost and drunk – and at the stroke of twelve, finds himself back in 1920′s Paris. There, he runs into all the greats including Cole Porter, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. When he meets Picasso’s girlfriend Adriana (Marion Cotillard), Gil’s got to choose between the past and present.

GAC_MidnightInParis

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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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Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 12, Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

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Tony in the film AFTERLIFE keeps thinking about the good ole days with his soulmate and thinks that everything was great then when it wasn’t. Wade Wainio makes this observation in the following article:

There are, however, signs that Tony was disappointed in life even before Lisa’s death. He hates his job at the Tambury Gazette, saying it’s not journalism. He decries what he considers the awful future of online publishing, including click-bait and angry fools in article comment sections.

Netflix’s After Life season 1, episode 4 recap

In episode 4 of Netflix original After Life, Tony is forced to question his bleak outlook yet remains resilient in his pessimism.

After Life has been steeped in the depression of Tony Johnson (Ricky Gervais), following the death of his wife Lisa (Kerry Godliman). However, Tony’s sense of humor is a sign that, deep down, he still has a spark of life left. Of course, sad reminders follow him around regularly. In this episode, he passes by Lisa’s old room in the hospital. Although he doesn’t cry, he is clearly reminded of her.

There are, however, signs that Tony was disappointed in life even before Lisa’s death. He hates his job at the Tambury Gazette, saying it’s not journalism. He decries what he considers the awful future of online publishing, including click-bait and angry fools in article comment sections. He is confronted yet again by Matt (Tom Basden), Tony’s brother-in-law and boss who’s sick of his sour attitude.

How does Tony in AFTERLIFE or Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes get peace in their lives?

Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

24 There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God. 25 For who can eat and who can have enjoyment without Him?

Dan Jarrell commented on this passage in Ecclesiastes:

Either way you translate it, it says nothing is so good for us other than a satisfied life but nothing is as impossible for us because it is not in us to be satisfied for who can eat and enjoy life without him?  The answer is NOBODY CAN!!!! So you come down to the idea that if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION. That is my sermon in a nutshell. That is the conclusion. 

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Image result for hugh hefner younger days

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

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

In this post today and several posts that follow this will be based on a sermon series I heard at FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH in Little Rock in 1996 on the Book of Ecclesiastes. The pastors back then were Robert Lewis, Bill Wellons, Bill Parkinson and Dan Jarrell. Below is the letter I wrote based both on Dan Jarrell’s sermon from the same series.

Dan Jarrell pictured below:

Image result for FELLOWSHIP BIBLE CHURCH DAN JARRELL

________

Image result for robert lewis bill parkinson

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Robert Lewis pictured below:

Image result for robert lewis fellowship bible church

Bill Wellons pictured below:

Image result for bill wellons fellowship bible church

Bill Parkinson pictured below

Image result for bill parkinson fellowship bible church

_

I also quoted Ravi Zacharias when I wrote, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Image result for ravi zacharias ecclesiastes

—-

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Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 11 “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Doug Stanhope on John Stossel

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Below is a portion of an article by Ben Sherlock on April 28, 2019 on AFTERLIFE:

BEN SHERLOCK

Ben Sherlock is a writer, filmmaker, and comedian. In addition to writing for Screen Rant and CBR, covering a wide range of topics from Seinfeld to Superman, Scorsese to Star Wars, Ben directs independent films and takes to the stage with his standup material. He’s currently in pre-production on his feature directorial debut (and has been for a while, because filmmaking is expensive). Previously, he wrote for Taste of Cinema and BabbleTop.

10 Quotes From Ricky Gervais’ After Life That Will Make You Think

After Life is yet another show anchored by Ricky Gervais’ unique take on things, and these quotes demonstrate the show’s intelligence.

9“Hope Is Everything.”

When we experience the darkest moments in our lives, it can seem like things will always be that bad and it’ll never get better. So, we have to just hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

This is what keeps Tony going throughout the six initial episodes of After Life. He holds out hope that he’ll be able to move on from losing the person he cared about the most in the world and get his life back on track. All he has is hope and he holds onto it for dear life. In many ways, hope really is everything.

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Can Ricky pull off restoring hope into life with his Humanist point of view?

“If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)

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Another great sarcastic secular comedian just like Ricky Gervais in many ways is Doug Stanhope and below is a letter I sent him on the subject of HOPE and the Book of Ecclesiastes:

December 22, 2014

Dear Mr. Stanhope,

Like you I am a great admirer of John Stossell, Milton Friedman and Dan Mitchell of the Cato Institute. I blog about these guys often at http://www.thedailyhatch.org.

Since I have lived and worked in Little Rock many years, I used to run into Bill Clinton quite a lot in downtown Little Rock. It was quite remarkable to me when he chose to emphasize that the small town of  Hope was his home town even though he had only lived there 3 or 4 years. Of course, he did so because of the power of the word “HOPE.”  I wanted to talk to you about three men and the subject of nihilism: You are the first man and the 2nd is the Bass player DAVE HOPE of the 1970’s rock band Kansas and King Solomon of Israel who wrote Richard Dawkins’ favorite book of the Bible which is Ecclesiastes. There is a thread of nihilism that can be compared in these three men’s stories. Ironically, nihilism is the opposite of HOPE and two of these guys have the word HOPE in their names. 

Ten Sacred Cows Destroyed By Doug Stanhope

dougstanhope

From sex to religion, nothing’s off-topic for the fearless comedian. Posted December 12th, 2012, 1:12 PM by 

Last year, on Louis C.K.’s breakout hit series “Louie,” Doug Stanhope played Eddie, an old friend and peer of Louie’s who hadn’t found any success in comedy, nor any happiness in life. Sharing Louie’s low tolerance for bull$#!@, Eddie confided in him that he was just passing through town on his way to Boston, where he would do his final show before killing himself. Every argument Louie tries to muster to convince him otherwise is quickly and brutally shot down, and eventually, he has to just acquiesce to Eddie’s intentions and bid him farewell. With a strong performance from both men, they destroyed the common wisdom that suicide should never be a viable option.

The more viscerally affecting part of that episode is that Eddie doesn’t seem all that far removed from Stanhope himself, aside from the quality of his comedy. Stanhope’s stage persona is a nihilistic man who has to blind himself on alcohol and drugs to enjoy any small part of the bleak, unending hellscape of existence, but as he often says, he’s funnier when he’s drunk, which means he’s not blinding himself at all.

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Obviously you have already arrived at the nihilistic conclusion that many other atheists have reached in the past.
The late Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer sums up where the secular worldview has brought modern man:

So some humanists act as if they have a great advantage over Christians. They act as if the advance of science and technology and a better understanding of history (through such concepts as the evolutionary theory) have all made the idea of God and Creation quite ridiculous.
This superior attitude, however, is strange because one of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless. As Camus wrote, it’s not only that he (the individual) dies, or that man (as a whole) dies, but that you struggle to do a work of art that will last and then you realize that the universe itself is not going to exist after a period of time. Until those issues are resolved within each person – religiously or psychologically or existentially – the social and political issues will never be resolved, except in a slapdash way.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying. As the famous artist Paul Gauguin wrote on his last painting shortly before he tried to commit suicide: “Whence come we? What are we? Whither do we go?” The answers are nowhere, nothing, and nowhere. The humanist H. J. Blackham has expressed this with a dramatic illustration:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit.79

One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has existed forever and ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.

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To sum up Schaeffer is saying, “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer in THE GOD WHO IS THERE)
HAS COMEDY PROVIDED YOU ANY ANSWERS? 3000 years ago Solomon pursued six “L” words in his search for the meaning of life and probing the area of LAUGHTER was one of his first places to start. In Ecclesiastes 2:2 he starts this quest but he concludes it is not productive to be laughing the whole time and not considering the serious issues of life. “I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (2:2).   Then Solomon  asserted the nihilistic statement in Ecclesiastes 2:17: “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

In the Book of Ecclesiastes what are all of the 6 “L” words that Solomon looked into? He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). IRONICALLY, YOU HAVE MADE ALL SIX OF THESE BUTTS OF YOUR NIHILISTIC JOKES!!!

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

You are an atheist and you have a naturalistic materialistic worldview, and this short book of Ecclesiastes should interest you because the wisest man who ever lived in the position of King of Israel came to THREE CONCLUSIONS that will affect you.

FIRST, chance and time have determined the past, and they will determine the future.  (Ecclesiastes 9:11-13)

These two verses below  take the 3 elements mentioned in a naturalistic materialistic worldview (time, chance and matter) and so that is all the unbeliever can find “under the sun” without God in the picture. You will notice that these are the three elements that evolutionists point to also.

Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 is following: I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so people are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them.

SECOND, Death is the great equalizer (Eccl 3:20, “All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.”)

THIRD, Power reigns in this life, and the scales are not balanced(Eccl 4:1, 8:15)

Ecclesiastes 4:1-2: “Next I turned my attention to all the outrageous violence that takes place on this planet—the tears of the victims, no one to comfort them; the iron grip of oppressors, no one to rescue the victims from them.” Ecclesiastes 8:14; “ Here’s something that happens all the time and makes no sense at all: Good people get what’s coming to the wicked, and bad people get what’s coming to the good. I tell you, this makes no sense. It’s smoke.”

Solomon had all the resources in the world and he found himself searching for meaning in life and trying to come up with answers concerning the afterlife. However, it seems every door he tries to open is locked. Today men try to find satisfaction in learning, liquor, ladies, luxuries, laughter, and labor and that is exactly what Solomon tried to do too.  None of those were able to “fill the God-sized vacuum in his heart” (quote from famous mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal). You have to wait to the last chapter in Ecclesiastes to find what Solomon’s final conclusion is.

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

Livgren wrote:

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

Take a minute and compare Kerry Livgren’s words to that of the late British humanist H.J. Blackham:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

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Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player DAVE HOPE of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and DAVE HOPE had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida. IT IS TRULY IRONIC THAT TWO MEN WITH THE WORD “HOPE” IN THEIR NAMES HAVE SUCH DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO THE 3 PROBLEMS THAT MAN MUST FACE IN ECCLESIASTES.

YOU believe  three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, DAVE HOPE believes death is not the end and the Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

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

I wanted to accomplish two things today. First, I wanted to point out to you that if you stay with the atheistic humanist worldview then the nihilism that you embrace is the only logical conclusion to come to. Second, I wanted to point out some scientific evidence that caused Antony Flew to switch from an atheist (as you are now) to a theist. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. (I have enclosed some of those letters between us.) I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? (CD is enclosed also.) You may have noticed in the news a few years ago that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.

You will notice in the enclosed letter from June 1, 1994 that Dr. Flew commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” It would be a great honor for me if you would take time and drop me a note and let me know what your reaction is to this same message.

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

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, AR, Alexander, AR 72002

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

You can hear DAVE HOPE and Kerry Livgren’s stories from this youtube link:

(part 1 ten minutes)

(part 2 ten minutes)

Kansas – Dust In The Wind

Uploaded on Nov 7, 2009

Music video by Kansas performing Dust In The Wind. (c) 2004 Sony Music Entertainment Inc.

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Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 10, “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix) Roisin Conaty on the left in above picture with the cigarette plays Daphne the sex worker. 

In AFTERLIFE Tony has a warm friendship with the sex worker Daphne (Roisin Conaty) and when he hires her she comes over and he asks her to clean up his kitchen. When Daphne asked if Tony wanted anything sexual he said no. That is when their friendship seemed to deepen. Tony lost a wonderful wife and he passed on a chance for sex without a relationship. Solomon found out long ago that path is just a deadend.

“I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11

Below is a letter I sent to Ricky Gervais on June 30, 2017:

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Larry Joe Speaks

Larry Joe Speaks

August 20, 1947 – April 07, 2017

My good friend Larry Speaks (pictured above) passed away on April 7, 2017 at age 69.

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June 30, 2017

Ricky Gervais
UK

Dear Ricky,

I started these series of letters on the meaning of it all on April 7, 2017 when  my good friend Larry Speaks died. Larry’s favorite sermon was WHO  IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers and he gave hundreds of CD copies of that sermon away. I actually ran the copies off  for him and since the sermon was only 37 minutes long and the CD went 60 minutes, I also put on there another sermon by Bill Elliff too called WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF TIME? Later in this letter I want to share a portion of that message with you.

All of these letters I have written you have dealt with what Solomon had to say concerning the search for satisfaction in life UNDER THE SUN (without God in the picture.) Probably his most disappointing discovery was that being a ladies man left him unsatisfied.

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

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

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

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

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

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

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

In fact, the Book of Ecclesiastes shows that Solomon came to the conclusion that NOTHING in life gives true satisfaction without God including knowledge (1:16-18), LADIES and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and great building projects (2:4-6, 18-20). You can only find a lasting meaning to your life by looking above the sun and bring God back into the picture.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

According to the Bible God will bring every act to judgment!!! Below is a portion of Bill Elliff’s message that deals with this:

WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT THE END OF TIME? I want to look at this picture of what will happen to everyone of us at the end of time. Let’s read our scripture passage.

Luke 12:1-10 English Standard Version (ESV)

Beware of the Leaven of the Pharisees

12 In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

Have No Fear

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?[b]And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Acknowledge Christ Before Men

“And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God,but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God. 10 And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

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What will happen at the end of time?

FIRST OF ALL, Jesus says it will be a time of the revelation of the secrets of your life.

A great time of revealing and uncovering, when unknown things to some become known to all. There is coming a day when what you really are will be revealed.

There is something inside us that thinks we can hide things from each other and hide things from God. Have you ever played HIDE AND SEEK with a group of young children? They will hide in plain view but in their mind they are hidden. My smallest children will put their hands over their eyes and they think that since they can’t see me that they are hidden from my sight. But the truth of the matter is that I can see them so clearly and sometimes we think that because we can’t see God that He can’t see us. Last week we read Hebrews 4:13 that says, “And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” One day the secrets of our heart will be revealed. In the brief days of our life, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 years that God may give you, or maybe a few years beyond that, we may do a good job of hiding those secrets, but one day the secrets of our lives will be revealed before God.

NEXT after the revelation of the secrets of your life there will be a great revelation of God’s authority.

Do you know what a sovereign is? A sovereign is one who has complete authority. He has the authority and he has the authority to carry it out.

There are 3 kinds of authority. First, voluntary authority such as you choosing to work for an employer. Second,seized authoritylike a murderer. Third, God is an absolute authority and He is the sovereign and He is over everything. It is right for Him to be over everything because He made everything. He is a God of perfect love,  a God of perfect mercy, a God of perfect grace, a God of perfect compassion, but He is a God of perfect righteousness.  If He was any less than that then He wouldn’t be God. He is a God of perfect holiness and authority. He has wooed us and called us and given us every opportunity to come, but He is a God who one day who will reveal. He has absolute authority over your life.

Look again at verses 4 and 5:

“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!

God has the authority to do that. There is coming a day when there will be a great separation and a great dividing. It is all over the scriptures. God has given us the moment of grace to come and trust in Him and give our lives to Him, but one day the door will be closed and then the division will come. He will say to some come into my kingdom that I have prepared for you and he will say to others you are headed to an eternity separated. You have chosen your fate for all eternity. There will permanent separation from God in hell.

FINALLY, it will be a day of the revelation of the substance of your relationship to God.

Look at verses 8 and 9: “And I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

The Pharisees said they had a relationship with God but they were hypocrites and there was no substance to their relationship. Jesus is saying that when the secrets of your heart are revealed God will determine the substance of your relationship to God and whether it is real or not.

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. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS:  I have included a tract called THIS WAS YOUR LIFE that outlines what Bill Elliff and King Solomon say is going to happen at the end of time.

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I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite cities!!!!

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Hefner in Vegas in 2010

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In 2001 HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH STARTED IN A HOME!!!

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8-29-17

Dear Hugh,

In my last postcard I told you  my favorite church in VEGAS is HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH where I heard the message THE TALK:AN HONEST CONVERSATION ABOUT GOD’S DESIGN FOR SEX just last September.  You can google this message and listen to it yourself. In that sermon pastor Vance Pittman said: 1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 notes:

For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God;

God gave us sex for reproduction, for intimacy and oneness and for enjoyment inside the context of marriage. In His divine wisdom God created sex with a clearly defined boundary. Marriage between a husband and a wife. That is the only way that sex as God designed it can be fully enjoyed. When our kids were little we lived on a  culs-de-sac here is LAS VEGAS. So what I did was take them out in the front yard and I showed them an invisible line and they could play all they wanted on one side of the line. DID I GIVE MY KIDS THAT BOUNDARY BECAUSE I WANTED TO ROB THEM OF FREEDOM AND PLEASURE?  I gave them that boundary because I loved them and I wanted them to enjoy all the pleasure of playing outside without the pain and consequence of being run over by a car.

Chip Ingram in his book LOVE, SEX AND LASTING RELATIONSHIPS wrote: God’s prescription for relationships offers a way around much of the trouble.

From Everette Hatcher, P.O.Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, PS: Jesus loves you Hugh and I do too!!!

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I wrote to Hefner in an earlier letter these words:

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

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King Solomon would disagree with Gene Simmons about Hugh Hefner

Every so often, I frequent the letters section of KISS rock star Gene Simmons’ website. At first I did so out of sheer curiosity, but then I became impressed by Simmons’ intellect. He’s one of those in the rock and roll business who hasn’t fried his brain on drugs, alcohol and fast living. His answers to many questions suggest a man who’s capable of deep thoughts. On more than a few occasions, I even agree with his opinions.

In fact, not only have I read his comments about the music industry, his personal life, his thoughts on religion and the differences between men and women, a few times I’ve even sent him questions. Some of them have been posted with his responses.

My most recent question sent to him stemmed from Simmons’ comments regarding 84-year-old Playboy founder and publisher Hugh Hefner, who is trying to regain financial control of his ground-breaking magazine and apparently return it to private ownership.

Simmons, echoing a statement he made a few years ago when blogging about attending a party at the Playboy Mansion, expressed his reverence for “Hef” (Mr. Hefner, I understand, dislikes his first name and prefers the nickname “Hef”). The Israeli-born rocker/businessman said in a recent documentary on Hefner: “Show me any guy, of any age, anywhere in the world, at any time in history, today or tomorrow, that wouldn’t give his left [testicle] to be Hugh Hefner.”

Yoo-hoo, Gene! Over here!

<Richard waves both his hands and tries to get Simmons’ attention>

Simmons and Hefner are more than entitled to do as they wish with their lives, and as long as their actions are with other consenting adults, I prefer to stay out of it.

That being said, with all due respect, Mr. Simmons, speak for yourself. I get the feeling an ancient Hebrew king might say the same thing.

Besides, about 2,900 years before there was ever a Hugh M. Hefner, there was a Hebrew king named Solomon. Reading through First Kings and Second Chronicles indicates that Solomon could’ve easily schooled Hefner on women: Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. We can only imagine the other sex partners he had whenever he went to a party and had his selection of any woman he wanted.

I wonder if Solomon would’ve given his left testicle to be Hefner. It’s a pointless question, because Solomon not only was Hefner, but he no doubt was bigger than Hefner. When you read about Solomon and his downfall, you get the strong feeling his appetite for women was absolutely insatiable. In fact, he was probably the guy Hefner would’ve aspired to be.

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(Pictured above: Hugh Hefner, Shannon Tweed)

This is funny, of course, because Ecclesiastes is a book where Solomon looks back on his life of money, sex, power, fame, sex, wisdom, knowledge and sex and utters this in verse two:

“Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.”

Or:

“Everything is meaningless,” says the Teacher, “completely meaningless!”

In other words, Solomon–the Original Hugh Hefner with his bottomless harem of wives, concubines and one-night stands–had every man’s ultimate sexual fantasy.

And Solomon couldn’t have been more miserable.

The last thing I want to do is use this blog as a soapbox to attack Mr. Hefner and his lifestyle or to attack Simmons for glamorizing it, but I wonder if either is truly happy. If Solomon was miserable in a life where he strayed off his path with God, I suspect these two men are also.

Just my opinion. Feel free to disagree if you wish.

Richard Zowie is a Christian writer, who considers Ecclesiastes to be one of his favorite books of the Bible. Post comments here or drop a line to richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

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Related posts:

Ecclesiastes 2 — The Quest For Meaning and the failed examples of Howard Hughes and Hugh Hefner

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Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 9, I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Hope is everything… I’ve always thought that. And I believe it. If you’ve got hope you can work towards something. It’s a medicine and a shield. I’m an optimist, I always see the good in people.”

On the March 31, 2020 Twitter Live broadcast Ricky Gervais said that he enjoyed watching Benny Hill with his songs and bits. I did too and I wanted to share a funny story that happened to me.

One summer after my freshman year at college, I was in our home with my sister and one of my former coaches and teachers from Evangelical Christian High School and a Benny Hill  commercial came on. Then my former teacher said that Benny Hill’s comedy was filled with sexual debauchery and he is depraved morally. Then my sister said, “Benny Hill is Everette’s favorite comedian by far!!!”

In the third episode of AFTERLIFE Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats and this is what happens:

The comedian is getting huge laughs but Tony never laughs.

Comedian: You are a wonderful crowd. I am glad you are a wonderful crowd. I have had some bad news this week. Friend of mine actually committed suicide last week. He went upstairs and swallowed everything in the bathroom cabinet and choked on a tampon. (Crowd laughs heartily.) This guy in front row absolutely hated that joke. Cheer up mate! What is your name and what is your story?

Tony: My name is Tony. My wife died early this year with breast cancer and it broke me. Not a day goes by that I didn’t think of killing myself. I just don’t see any point in living.

Comedian: (Long pause of silence.) Umbrellas are weird aren’t they?…

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

Probing the area of LAUGHTER was one of Solomon’s first places to start. In Ecclesiastes 2:2 he starts this quest but he concludes it is not productive to be laughing the whole time and not considering the serious issues of life. “I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” (2:2).   Then Solomon  asserted the nihilistic statement in Ecclesiastes 2:17: “So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

I sent this letter below to Ricky Gervais on May 28, 2017:

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

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Dr Keith Krell and his family pictured below:

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Woody Allen  and Mariel Hemingway pictured below: 

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

Related image

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

The band Big Daddy Weave pictured below:

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May 28, 2017

Ricky Gervais

UK

Dear Ricky,

I have had some time to reflect on Larry Speaks’ funeral service and I wanted to share a few thoughts with you.
When I think of the 34 years I knew Larry it reminds me of all the laughs we had together. Larry’s funeral was a happy occasion as we laughed at the many stories about Larry’s life.
There was the occasion that Larry gave a  neighbor of his a chance to work at Larry’s SOUTHERN FRUIT AND GROCERY STORE  because his neighbor had nothing to do and that would keep him busy. We will call him Barry. Barry was a little strange but tried to be very helpful. There was the time Barry was trying to kill a fly with a fly swatter and accidentally busted the electric OPEN sign near the front window. Also Barry would ignore Larry’s instructions not  to talk politics with the customers and  get into arguments with the customers. Eventually Larry had to tell Barry that his help was no longer needed after a while. Larry said probably the first hint he got that Barry couldn’t handle the job was when Barry filled up his car tank with gas and he shook his car because Barry said that allowed more gas to get into the tank!!!
As you know I am writing you a series of letters on Solomon’s efforts to find a meaning and purpose to life. In the Book of Ecclesiastes what are all of the 6 “L” words that Solomon looked into? He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter,ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).
Keith Krell in his article, 3. Trivial Pursuits (Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:26), notes:

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

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

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

  • Humor (2:2). Solomon writes, “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.’ And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, ‘It is madness,’ and of pleasure, ‘What does it accomplish?’”57 Solomon mocks “laughter” as “madness.” I’m not surprised he labeled it “madness.” Do you really think the leading comedians of our day are sincerely satisfied with life? Has humor given them an inside track on human happiness? Hardly.58It is easy to seek to lose ourselves in comedy and entertainment whether it is in a theater, in front of our TV, or on-line. Although it can seem like a great escape, it leaves us empty in the end.
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Francis Schaeffer quoted Woody Allen in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? (co-authored by Dr. C. Everett Koop):
One of the most striking developments in the last half-century is the growth of a profound pessimism among both the well-educated and less-educated people. The thinkers in our society have been admitting for a long time that they have no final answers at all.
Take Woody Allen, for example. Most people know his as a comedian, but he has thought through where mankind stands after the “religious answers” have been abandoned. In an article in Esquire (May 1977), he says that man is left with:
… alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness…. The fundamental thing behind all motivation and all activity is the constant struggle against annihilation and against death. It’s absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.
Allen sums up his view in his film Annie Hall with these words: “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.”
Many would like to dismiss this sort of statement as coming from one who is merely a pessimist by temperament, one who sees life without the benefit of a sense of humor. Woody Allen does not allow us that luxury. He speaks as a human being who has simply looked life in the face and has the courage to say what he sees. If there is no personal God, nothing beyond what our eyes can see and our hands can touch, then Woody Allen is right: life is both meaningless and terrifying.
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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.”
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As you know the sermon WHO IS JESUS? was Larry’s favorite sermon and he gave hundreds of that CD copies away.  Let me share a little from that message but first let me give you some background information.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

 I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite cities!!!!

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Hugh Hefner attends with a few Playmates the Los Angeles Lakers vs New Orleans Hornets game

 Feb 7, 2017 letter C on Jazz and Proverbs 7

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February 7 letter C
Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion
Dear Hugh,
There is so much in this chapter 7 that I had to write you a THIRD letter today!!
I know that you love Jazz and there is plenty of good Jazz here. It is hard for me to believe that you met Louis Armstrong.
Today is Feb 7 so I want to quote from Proverbs 7. Good advice today from anyone in New Orleans like me:
24 And now, O sons, listen to me,
    and be attentive to the words of my mouth.
25 Let not your heart turn aside to her ways;
    do not stray into her paths,
26 for many a victim has she laid low,
    and all her slain are a mighty throng.
27 Her house is the way to Sheol,
    going down to the chambers of death.
—–
A stern warning for sure!!!
Check out Romans 3:23; 5:8; 10:9-10.
Best wishes,
Everette Hatcher
Xxxxx

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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King Solomon and his many wives above and Hef and his many girls below:

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These comments below are from Francis Schaeffer’ study on Ecclesiastes and they reminded me of Hugh Hefner who was the closest person to a modern day King Solomon:

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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. Isaiah picks up this theme.

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Isaiah 22:10-14

10 and you counted the houses of Jerusalem, and you broke down the houses to fortify the wall. 11 You made a reservoir between the two walls for the water of the old pool. But you did not look to him who did it, or see him who planned it long ago.

12 In that day the Lord God of hosts
    called for weeping and mourning,
    for baldness and wearing sackcloth; [ INSTEAD OF WEEPING THIS NEXT VERSE TELLS WHAT THEY DID.]
13 and behold, joy and gladness,
    killing oxen and slaughtering sheep,
    eating flesh and drinking wine.
“Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”
14 The Lord of hosts has revealed himself in my ears:
“Surely this iniquity will not be atoned for you until you die,”
    says the Lord God of hosts.

God brings it together here. Solomon’s words, Isaiah’s words and Paul’s words are one message. What is occurring in Isaiah? They are under siege and they have strengthened the wall but they have turned away both from the creator of the world and the one who laid the foundation of the walls in Jerusalem, David himself, and his teaching. They have said since it is hopeless let’s just eat and drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. In a little while the walls will be overthrown and the enemy will sweep across us and we will be slain. Let’s fill our stomachs today. Let’s eat and drink and be merry.

God is saying through Isaiah, don’t you understan that isn’t the call now. The call is not to eat and drink and be merry and try to blot yourself out. It is day for being sad. Not because you are going to be destroyed but because you must understand that the reason you are in this circumstance is because you have revolted against the GOD WHO IS THERE. The reason for the dilemma is a moral question. They have revolted against the God who exists. The solution is being sorrowful and saying to God I AM SORRY. But instead of that because they turned their back from the real problem and only look to the forces without, so they make their wall strong and they eat and drink and be merry for tomorrow they die. The only time it would make sense for them to live this way would be if they were living under Solomon’s framework UNDER THE SUN which looking at human life alone seen only between birth and death and if that is all there is.

Solomon would say it really doesn’t make any difference if the enemy is at the gate today  versus the day after in the form of death. Nevil Shute in ON THE BEACH says the human will eventually go this way too!!!

The difficulty is they refuse to come as sinners and because they haven’t there is one thing left and that is despair if they are consistent.

Now turning back to I Corinthians 15:32 we can understand more the force of what Paul is talking about here and more of the depth of what he is saying.

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.

Paul sweeps this all together, Solomon’s conclusions and the case in Isaiah, and Paul says that would be consistent if this [If the dead are not raised] is not so. This same message is found in I Corinthians 15:19,  “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” How would you word that for the 20th century? IF CHRIST IS A BARE WORD TO WAVE AS A FLAG, IF CHRISTIANITY IS ONLY THAT TO INTEGRATE INTO INDIVIDUAL PSYCHOLOGICALLY AND SOCIETY AS SUCH, IF THAT IS ALL CHRIST IS, PAUL SAYS LET’S PLEASE BE CONSISTENT ABOUT IT, THROW DOWN THE WORD “CHRIST” AND WALK UPON IT. Don’t play with this and have the courage of a Solomon.

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I Corinthians 15:19-20

19 If in Christ we have hope  in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Christ is raised. We will be raised. Therefore, a consistent despair that rests in the other line of thinking is not really consistent in the light of what is. The people in Isaiah’s day were eating and drinking and waiting for death and it was folly because the real solution was turning back to God. There is a total framework here that Paul is presenting and it tells us why it is folly to accept Solomon’s solution (eating and drinking and being merry because tomorrow 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.

There is only one reason that viewing life UNDER THE SUN from birth to death causes despair and that is because we live in an abnormal world [since the fall in Genesis 3 when sin entered the world because of rebellion]. It is a legitimate despair if viewed only in the context of UNDER THE SUN,but it is an abnormal despair if it is seen in its proper setting. The problem in Isaiah’s day was not that the enemy was coming to kill them, but it was the revolt of man against the creator.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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Hugh Hefner and the evil heart | Opinion

In this Nov. 4, 2010, file photo, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner poses for photos at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. The Playboy magazine founder and sexual revolution symbol died at his home of natural causes on Wednesday night, Sept. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
In this Nov. 4, 2010, file photo, Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner poses for photos at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles. The Playboy magazine founder and sexual revolution symbol died at his home of natural causes on Wednesday night, Sept. 27, 2017. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. … I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. — Ecclesiastes 2: 1,10-11

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died last week and will, according to reports, be buried next to actress Marilyn Monroe at the Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles.

Reports say Hefner bought the crypt next to Monroe’s for $75,000 in 1992, almost 40 years after he featured the actress on the cover of Playboy’s first-ever issue in 1953. The issue sold 50,000 copies and launched a media empire and Hefner’s legend

“Jay Leno suggested that if I was going to spend that kind of money, I should actually be on top of her,” Hefner said in an interview with his own magazine in 2000. “But to me there’s something rather poetic in the fact that we’ll be buried in the same place. And that cemetery also has other meanings and connections for me. Friends like Buddy Rich and Mel Torme are buried there. So is Dorothy Stratten.”

Perhaps all that makes a fitting epitaph for Hefner: A crude sexual joke, followed by a conscious reference to his taste for jazz and the finer things in life and then a mention of 1980 Playmate of the Year Stratten, who was murdered at the age of 20 by her estranged husband and manager in a revelation of the seamier side of the Playboy lifestyle and philosophy.

Does Hugh Hefner's legacy deserve to be celebrated?

Does Hugh Hefner’s legacy deserve to be celebrated?

Hefner’s critics say his crowning achievement was the objectification of women in today’s society.

A major figure of America’s 20th century, Hefner’s obituary appeared prominently in most of the nation’s major publications. But he was not universally mourned as a great patron of the arts. He was just as often portrayed for what he was: a smut peddler.

No one did a better job of capturing the damage Hefner did than New York Times columnist Ross Douthat.

“Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist…aged into a leering grotesque in a captain’s hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies,” Douthat wrote.

“Hef was the grinning pimp of the sexual revolution, with quaaludes for the ladies and Viagra for himself — a father of smut addictions and eating disorders, abortions and divorce and syphilis, a pretentious huckster who published Updike stories no one read while doing flesh procurement for celebrities, a revolutionary whose revolution chiefly benefited men much like himself.”

Hefner’s greatest evil was convincing so many people that his view of life — the “Playboy philosophy” — was the next step in our evolution, the natural product of our enlightenment. He waged war on the last vestiges of America’s puritanism with claims that we were too hung up on modesty. The human body is beautiful, Hefner lectured, and not something to be ashamed of.

The bodies Playboy celebrated, however, were mostly blonde and thin and amply endowed — naturally or otherwise. While claiming to be a feminist, Hefner and his magazine were the greatest objectifiers of women until hard-core porn became easily available on the internet. How many girls resorted to diets and purging and plastic surgery in an attempt to meet the ideal that was crafted by talented photographers and airbrushing?

As Jill Filipovic writes at Time, “Hefner claimed to ‘love women.’ He certainly loved to look at women, or at least the type of women who fit a very particular model. He loved to make money by selling images of women to other men who ‘love women.’ He certainly met a lot of women, had sex with a lot of women, talked to a lot of women. But I’m not sure Hefner ever really knew any of us. And he certainly did not love us.”

No, Hefner didn’t love women. He lusted for them. He only loved himself and a hedonistic life that was mostly an adolescent fantasy.

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91

Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dies at 91

Playboy magazine founder and sexual revolution symbol Hugh Hefner has died. He was 91.

And the damage continues. Again, Douthat gets to the heart of the matter:

“Now that death has taken him, we should examine our own sins. Liberals should ask why their crusade for freedom and equality found itself with such a captain, and what his legacy says about their cause. Conservatives should ask how their crusade for faith and family and community ended up so Hefnerian itself — with a conservative news network that seems to have been run on Playboy Mansion principles and a conservative party that just elected a playboy as our president.”

This is the evil in everything that happens under the sun: The same destiny overtakes all. The hearts of people, moreover, are full of evil and there is madness in their hearts while they live, and afterward they join the dead. — Ecclesiastes 9:3

Tim Morris is an opinions columnist at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. He can be reached at tmorris@nola.com. Follow him on Twitter @tmorris504.

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After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

In episode 1 of AFTERLIFE Tony’s late wife Lisa tells Tony, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run.”

——-

Francis Schaeffer discusses the views of Solomon on drinking:

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

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

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

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

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

Below is a letter I wrote to Ricky Gervais on April 21, 2017:

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Image result for adam brown fearless

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

Hidden Creek Reentry Center in Little Rock, Arkansas

Image result for prison second chance

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Image result for woody allen girlfriends

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Image result for Ernest Hemingway Alec Guinness

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

Image result for peter stoner

________

________________

 April 21, 2017

Ricky Gervais

London, W1F 0LE
UK

Dear Ricky,

As I have promised I am writing you over and over until I go through all 6 things that Solomon pursued to try to finding a lasting meaning in his life UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes. Today we will look at LIQUOR.
In this letter I am looking at two things.
FIRST, I want to look the problem of escapism and what Solomon had to say about it concerning the path of liquor.
SECOND, I want to look at a portion of the sermon WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers. (This is the sermon that my good friend Larry Speaks gave to hundreds of people during the last 20 years of his life. Larry put his faith alone in Christ in the mid 1990’s and he passed away on April 7, 2017 at age 69.)
I want to talk about a subject that is very sad indeed and it is the attempt by many today to find  their meaning in life through drugs and alcohol. Perhaps they are trying to escape the hard realities of life by taking this path. Like everyone around us, I too have many close friends and relatives who have fallen into this trap. I have a great deal of compassion for these individuals. In fact, several times this month I have taken time to drive individuals from a facility that my church sponsors to AA meetings. We want these individuals to overcome their addictions and live in victory.  I can’t do anything to go back and  save those who have passed on in the past, but I can do something to encourage those who have obstacles to overcome today!!!!

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

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

Well its been a eye jerker today… great tears of joy!! I have watched these guys grow so much… I pray they continue to grow out there… next month they graduate the program!!

_______
I have just finished a book about a man who had a tough time breaking drug addition and the it is entitled,  FEARLESS: The undaunted courage and ultimate sacrifice of Navy Seal Team Six Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm.
This is how the book opens:

When Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hindu Kush mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready….Adam Brown did understand what it meant to disappoint, to feel the shame he’d experienced on a hot, humid August afternoon years earlier when his parents had him arrested. “It’s time for you to face what you’ve done,” his father had told him in 1996, just before Adam was handcuffed and escorted to the backseat of the Garland County sheriff’s cruiser. When the deputy slammed the car door shut, Adam watched his mother’s legs buckle, and as she collapsed, his dad caught her and held her tightly against him. She began to cry, and Adam knew he had broken her heart.That vision—of his mother sobbing into his father’s chest—would haunt him for the rest of his life, but it also sparked the journey that defined who he would become. Officially known as a Chief Special Warfare Operator (SEAL), Adam Brown was one of the most respected Special Operations warriors in the U.S. Navy.

____
Why do so many individuals today turn to drugs or liquor?  There are various reasons, but let us look at the reason Ernest Hemingway became a drunk.
Ernest Hemingway turned to liquor as a device of escapism because he reached the conclusion that life has no lasting meaning.
“Some lived in it and never felt it but he knew it all was nada y pues nada y nada y pues nada.” This quote from Hemingway’s short story A Clean Well Lighted Place shows that Ernest Hemingway embraced nihilism. The Spanish word NADA meaning NOTHING. The old man in the story tried the previous week to commit suicide but was saved by his niece, and he saw it as a temporary saving.
Hemingway also wrote in his last book THE GARDEN OF EDEN,“Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know.”A sensational bestseller when it appeared in 1986, The Garden of Eden is the last uncompleted novel of Ernest Hemingway, which he worked on intermittently from 1946 until his death in 1961.
In you go to You Tube and watch the video Woody Allen talks ‘Midnight in Paris’ which was posted on January 27, 2017 and runs 43 minutes and 37 seconds, you will notice at the 27 minute mark that Woody Allen says:

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

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

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

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

Concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes Francis Schaeffer noted:

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

Ecclesiastes is the only pessimistic book in the Bible and that is because of the place where Solomon limits himself.He limits himself to the question of human life, life UNDER THE SUN between birth and death and the answers this would give.

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

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

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

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

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

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

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

______

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

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

Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

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

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

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

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

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

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite cities!!!!

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POSTCARD FROM NEW ORLEANS:

Feb 23, 2017 

Image result for NEW ORLEANS POSTCARDS mardi gra

Feb 23, 2017
Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion
Dear Hugh,
Today is February 23 and I’m reading Proverbs chapter 23:
 -28

A whore is a bottomless pit;
    a loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.
She’ll take you for all you’ve got;
    she’s worse than a pack of thieves.

__

29-35 Who are the people who are always crying the blues?
    Who do you know who reeks of self-pity?
Who keeps getting beat up for no reason at all?
    Whose eyes are bleary and bloodshot?
It’s those who spend the night with a bottle,
    for whom drinking is serious business.
Don’t judge wine by its label,
    or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor.
Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with—
    the splitting headache, the queasy stomach.
Do you really prefer seeing double,
    with your speech all slurred,
Reeling and seasick,
    drunk as a sailor?
“They hit me,” you’ll say, “but it didn’t hurt;
    they beat on me, but I didn’t feel a thing.
When I’m sober enough to manage it,
    bring me another drink!”

King Solomon in the Book of Proverbs takes a long look at the 6 L words and LIQUOR and LADIES are two of those words he looked into in the Book of Ecclesiastes!!!!
He looked into  learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

ECCLESIASTES 2:1-3, 8, 10, 11 LAUGHTER (v. 2), LIQUOR (v. 3), LUXURIES (v. 8), and LADIES (v. 8, “many concubines”)

v. 1 I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity.[i] I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine—my heart still guiding me with wisdom—and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life.

v. 8  I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines,[j] the delight of the sons of man. v 10-11 And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. 11 Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.

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.”
There is hope!!! Check out John 3:16!!!
Best wishes,
Everette Hatcher
Xxxxx

Image result for francis schaeffer

I wrote to Hefner in an earlier letter these words:

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

_______

Hugh Hefner looks back on life as a Playboy

So let’s put together the pieces of the Hugh Hefner puzzle that was at the heart of this week’s “Crossroads” podcast (click here to tune that in), which grew out of my earlier GetReligion post, “The crucial ‘M’ word — Methodist – that needed to be in every Hugh Hefner obituary.”

This is a journalism puzzle, but one rooted in theology.

Start with Hugh Hefner’s frequent references to his Puritan heritage (with a large “P” and a small “p”). Then you add the details of Methodist faith in which he was raised, in the conservative Midwest of the late 1940s and ’50s. We need more than the word “strict.”

Then you add the remarkable detail that Hefner was a virgin on his wedding day (with the help, he stressed, of lots of foreplay). In other words, young Hefner thought that true love waits. Ponder that.

Only he learned, as a married man, that his fiance had not waited. She had been unfaithful while he was away in the Army. In its lengthy Hefner obituaryThe New York Times noted:

A virgin until he was 22, he married his longtime girlfriend. Her confession to an earlier affair, Mr. Hefner told an interviewer almost 50 years later, was “the single most devastating experience of my life.”

The Los Angeles Times added, literally, the doctrinal fallout from this event, in terms of the moral theology written into the Playboy philosophy.

Years later he said the experience set him up for a lifetime of promiscuity because “if you don’t commit,” he told The Times in 1994, “you don’t get hurt.” He said it also showed him what was wrong with traditional attitudes towards sex: “Thinking sex is sacred is the first step toward really turning it into something very ugly,” he said on another occasion.

Put all that together and you have what? Is this a “secular” story, as in a story devoid of faith content and issues? You can make a case that the old Hefner, after this crushing blow during his first marriage, died and then he sought escape from his past, seeking to rise again as a new and changed man – the ultimate playboy.

One more thing: Is it a “secular” story that Hefner openly stated that his goal in life was to knock down centuries of Judeo-Christian teachings on sexuality?

What’s my point? There are all kinds of newsworthy subjects linked to Hefner’s gospel of sex and trendy consumerism.

One of the biggest subjects – for modern religious groups – is the omnipresent role that porn plays in the lives of legions of men, including those in pews and pulpits. The statistics are stunning. Check out this Christianity Today feature – “Porn and the new normal” – on this side of Hefner’s legacy. At the same time, divorce culture looms over the lives of millions of children and, often, the church is afraid to address this reality.

However, I remain fascinated (“haunted” might be a better word) with that stunning, soul-shattering twist that took place when the young Hefner learned his wife had been unfaithful during their engagement.

So far, I have found only one newspaper story focusing on that angle – The Sun over in the U.K. Frankly, I’d kind of like to see the subject addressed in a non-tabloid (think Page 3 girls) format. Still the facts are strong, even presented in this format:

It was the betrayal a young Hefner suffered at the hands of his first wife that marked his formative years and one that he went on to describe as “the most devastating moment” of his life.

He married Mildred Williams in 1949 in the belief the pair had ‘saved themselves’ for one another. The couple had met at college in the mid 40s.

Little did Chicago-born Hefner know that his beloved Milly had slept with another man while her beau served in the US military during the Second World War.

Explaining his heartbreak, he said: “I think the relationship was probably held together by two years of foreplay.

“That wasn’t unusual for our time. In fact, most of my immediate friends didn’t have sex until they married. Milly and I had it just before. I had literally saved myself for my wife, but after we had sex she told me that she’d had an affair. That was the most devastating moment in my life.

“My wife was more sexually experienced than I was. After that, I always felt in a sense that the other guy was in bed with us, too.”

Hefner was determined to change the rules after that, through the birth of Playboy magazine. Meanwhile, the Hefners divorced in 1959, with two children – Christie and David.

There was no looking back after that, at least not that Hefner talked about. The old faith was gone and he dedicated his life to a new one.

Is that a secular story?

These comments below are from Francis Schaeffer’ study on Ecclesiastes and they reminded me of Hugh Hefner who was the closest person to a modern day King Solomon:

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. 

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Hefner experienced great success with his PLAYBOY MAGAZINE, but the fame, fortune, and ladies that came with it did not give Hefner ultimate satisfaction.

“I never really found my soulmate”: Hugh Hefner confessed he NEVER found true love despite three marriages and bedding a bevy of Playboy bunnies

He was the ultimate ladies’ man but sadly never found The One

Hugh Hefner was, without a doubt, the ULTIMATE ladies’ man.

But after years of looking for love in all the wrong places, the Playboy founder admitted that he never found his soulmate.

Despite three marriages and forever being surrounded by a bevy of bikini-clad Playboy bunnies, poor Hef never really knew true love.

The publishing magnate died of natural causes on Wednesday at the age of 91, surrounded by his loved ones at the Playboy mansion.

But back in 1992, he told the New York Times: “I’ve spent so much of my life looking for love in all the wrong places.”

And then at age 85, he said: “I never really found my soulmate.”

Hef married three times: his college sweetheart Mildred Williams in 1949, Playmate Kimberley Conrad in 1989, and Crystal Harris – 61 years his junior – in 2012.

And aside from that, he’s bragged about bedding more than 1,000 women.

It’s even been claimed that he had his pick of the bunnies living at his mansion every night, and he was known to regularly have multiple girlfriends at the same time.

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Hefner was married with kids twice and both times he left the marriages and embraced the playboy lifestyle.

Hugh Hefner and Mildred Williams

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__ Francis Schaeffer did not shy away from appreciating the Beatles. In fact, SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album was his favorite and he listened to it over and over. I am a big fan of Francis Schaeffer but there are detractors that attack him because he did not have all the degrees that they […]

10 YEARS AGO ADRIAN ROGERS WENT TO GLORY BUT HIS SERMONS ARE STILL SHARING CHRIST LOVE TODAY!!!

On 11-15-05 Adrian Rogers passed over to glory and since it is the 10th anniversary of that day I wanted to celebrate his life in two ways. First, I wanted to pass on some of the material from Adrian Rogers’ sermons I have sent to prominent atheists over the last 20 years. Second, I wanted […]

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Ricky Gervais Show AFTERLIFE in light of the Book of Ecclesiastes Part 7, My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

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In the April 2nd Twitter Live broadcast Ricky Gervais said in a humorous way that one day some kid will find a DVD of his movie “Ghost town” and the kid will ask his father what is a DVD and who was Ricky Gervais? Ricky commented, “Sad isn’t it.”

Yes it is sad if you are looking at things at a secular perspective UNDER THE SUN like Solomon was in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

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.

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

Below is a letter I sent to Ricky Gervais on Easter in 2017:

Today is Easter and I listened to one one my favorite Easter Songs “O Praise the Name.” Let me encourage you to look it up on You Tube.  Christ died NOT for his own sins because he was sinless, but for ours (Romans 10:9) so we could receive the free gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8). Through your LABOR you can NOT earn salvation.

Romans 10:8-13

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Francis August Schaeffer (January 30, 1912 – May 15, 1984[1])

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building of king solomon’s temple

Salomons dom.jpg

The Judgment of Solomon, 1617 by Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640)
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Steel mezzotint engraving by John Sartain
of the 1863 painting by Christian Schussele

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Adrian Pierce Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005)

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Larry Joe Speaks

Larry Joe Speaks

August 20, 1947 – April 07, 2017

Larry Joe Speaks  (August 20, 1947 to April 7, 2017)

On April 16, 2017 is the day we celebrate Easter which is about Christ’s resurrection from the dead!!!

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April 16, 2017

Ricky Gervais
UK

Dear Ricky,

Today I want to start off talking about your life’s work and your accomplishments.

You have been tremendously blessed in your talents and your life work has brought you much in financial rewards and notoriety in your field. With that in mind in today’s letter I want to compare you to King Solomon and look at what both you and Solomon have accomplished in the area of LABOR (or his life’s work).

As  you know in these series of letters I am looking at  the 6 L words that  Solomon pursued in the Book  of Ecclesiastes and today I am looking at LABOR (Solomon’s life work). Now that we have looked at some of your accomplishments, let us take a look at SOLOMON. I consider you a very successful man in your field and in that sense you are similar to SOLOMON, and by comparing you two I am in no way trying to belittle your accomplishments. However, I do want to point out some of SOLOMON’s own words of analysis concerning his legacy from Ecclesiastes (which is Richard Dawkins favorite book in the Bible).

SOLOMON was remembered for his WISDOM and his success with the LADIES, but he was also remembered for his LABOR (his life work). For Solomon that basically came down to the labor he commissioned in his building campaigns through out his kingdom plus the effort he put forth building his own palace and the temple in Jerusalem.

Below are the comments of Francis Schaeffer on SOLOMON and the Book of Ecclesiastes:

Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon 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. 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…and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish. 34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

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

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

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

Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “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.”

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Many have tried sexual exploits just like Solomon did, and many have thrown their efforts into business too. Sadly Solomon also found the pursuit of great works in his LABOR just as empty. In Ecclesiastes 2:11 he asserted, “THEN I CONSIDERED ALL THAT MY HANDS HAD DONE AND THE TOLL I HAD EXPENDED IN DOING IT, AND BEHOLD, ALL WAS VANITY AND A STRIVING AFTER WIND, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

Many people through history have reminded me of Solomon because they are looking for lasting meaning in their life and they are looking in the same 6 areas that King Solomon did in what I call the 6 big L words. He looked into learning (1:16-18), laughter, ladies, luxuries, and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and LABOR (2:4-6, 18-20).

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.”

I started writing this series of 7 letters to you concerning Solomon and the meaning of life after the death of my good friend LARRY SPEAKS. During the last 20 years of his life Larry would hand out CD’s of Adrian Rogers’ message WHO IS JESUS? and I wanted to share one of the points that is made in that sermon that particularly applies today since it is EASTER:

Simon Peter gave THREE LINES OF EVIDENCE, three witnesses; and we use these same three witnesses when we share Jesus today. Let’s look at Acts chapter 10:

39 And we are witnesses of all that he did both in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him on the third day and made him to appear, 41 not to all the people but to us who had been chosen by God as witnesses, who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 And he commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one appointed by God to be judge of the living and the dead. 43 To him all the prophets bear witness that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

I THE PERSONAL WITNESS OF THE SAINTS (Acts 10:39)

The apostles were a diverse group, yet they were united in their witness. Among them:
John was young, observant and sensitive.
Peter was a rough, hard-working fisherman.
Simon the Zealot was a political activist.
Nathaniel and Thomas both tended to be skeptical and inquiring.
Matthew was a hardened, political businessman.
Andrew was gentle and compassionate.
Philip was a calculating thinker.
James was a straight shooter.
They were eyewitnesses of the virtuous life of Jesus.
Acts 10:34 & 38
Matthew 17:1-5
They were eyewitnesses of His vicarious death.
Acts 10:39
Deuteronomy 21:23
They were eyewitnesses of His victorious resurrection.
Acts 10:40-41
II THE PROPHETIC WITNESS OF THE SCRIPTURES (Acts 10:43) (We looked at this in a previous letter.)

III THE PERSUASIVE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT (Acts 10:44)

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Today is Easter and I listened to one one my favorite Easter Songs “O Praise the Name.” Let me encourage you to look it up on You Tube.  Christ died NOT for his own sins because he was sinless, but for ours (Romans 10:9) so we could receive the free gift of grace (Ephesians 2:8). Through your LABOR you can NOT earn salvation.

Romans 10:8-13 English Standard Version (ESV)

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); 9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. 13 For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

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

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, http://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

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I started this series on my letters and postcards to Hugh Hefner back in September when I read of the passing of Mr. Hefner. There are many more to come. It is my view that he may have taken time to look at glance at one or two of them since these postcards were short and from one of Hef’s favorite cities!!!!

Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, his son Marston Hefner, and his girlfriend, October 2010 Playboy Playmate of the Month Claire Sinclair, pose with a group of Playboy Playmates as they celebrate Hugh Hefner‘s 85th birthday and Marston Hefner’s 21st birthday at the Palms Casino Resort April 9, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Below is the postcard I sent:

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8-28-16

Dear Hugh,

While in Las Vegas I always try to go to church and my favorite church is HOPE COMMUNITY CHURCH where I heard the message THE TALK:AN HONEST CONVERSATION ABOUT GOD’S DESIGN FOR SEX just last September. The pastor Vance Pittman is from Memphis where I grew up. You can google this message and listen to it yourself. I thought of you when Vance said:

How has the GREAT SEXUAL REVOLUTION OF THE 1960’s brought great transformation to our society? Why do so many even in our secular society look back to the 1950’s as the GOOD OLE DAYS! It is because of all the HURT, PAIN and SCARS since then. Proverbs 5:18-19 says:

18 Let your fountain be blessed,
    and rejoice in the wife of your youth,
19     a lovely deer, a graceful doe.
Let her breasts fill you at all times with delight;
    be intoxicated[a] always in her love.

Andy Stanley in his book THE NEW RULES FOR LOVE, SEX AND DATING wrote: When we ignore God’s relational purpose for sex…when we rip sex out of its divinely designed relational context…we hurt ourselves. 

From Everette Hatcher, P.O.Box 23416, Little Rock, AR 72221, PS: Jesus loves you Hugh and I do too! If your mother GRACE was here she would be telling the same thing too!!!!!

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I wrote to Hefner in an earlier letter these words:

Don’t you see that Solomon was right  when he observed life UNDER THE SUN without God in the picture and he then concluded  in Ecclesiastes 2:11:

“All was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained UNDER THE SUN.”

Notice this phrase UNDER THE SUN since it appears about 30 times in Ecclesiastes. 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.”

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.

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Hugh Hefner Hedonist: How Many Souls Did He Lead Astray?

Lord God only knows how many souls Hefner lead astray by his promotion of hedonism.

Pic source: slideshare.net/SammieGSmith/03-march-9-2014-proverbs-solomon-when-wisdom-was-not-enough-32359140

Sinful Solomon: “……..Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” [Ecclesiastes 12:13]

“…….Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth; and let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, and in the sight of thine eyes: but know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment……” [Ecclesiastes 9:11]

The God / Man Holy Christ:“………For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?………” [Gospel of Mark 8:35-37]

“………Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself………” [Gospel of Matthew 22: 37-39]

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Avoiding Emotional Adultery

As I began to delve once again into God’s Word, I recognized three steps I should have taken when faced with the temptation.

by Judy Starr

In her book, The Enticement of the Forbidden, Judy Starr tells about the intense attraction she felt toward another man during a mission trip in the Caribbean. She and her husband, Stottler, had begun the mission trip together, and she stayed on after he left because of other responsibilities. Her story here begins at the point when she returned home from the project.

My decision before God to remain faithful and return home came solely from my will, because my heart ached to stay with Eric. As I moved through the motions of boarding the plane home, numbness overtook my senses. Nothing seemed real.

The plane finally touched down in California. The grace of God, along with the counsel and prayers of others, had brought me home. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever done. As if moving through a haze, I staggered down the ramp to meet my husband. The weight of despondency dragged at every step. I had phoned Stottler, revealing part of the story, and I told him I was coming home. Now it was time to face him. By God’s grace there had been nothing physical between Eric and me, but emotional infidelity seemed equally as painful.

When we arrived at our house, Stottler and I sat tensely on the couch, my legs shaking with fear, anticipation, and exhaustion. Weary of the battle against God, I yearned for His fellowship again. I missed having a tender heart that could sense His leading. I also hurt over the anguish I had caused my sweet husband. But the healing of my relationships with God and Stottler was only possible if I began making right choices.

When we choose to sin, problems and sufferings will drag behind us like a ball and chain. The only way to break the chain is to deal with the root cause—confess the sin. So I told Stottler how I felt about Eric. I told him that I had seriously considered staying in the Caribbean. Then I asked for his forgiveness.

I am enormously blessed to have a godly husband. We cried together many times, and we began the process of rebuilding what I had so quickly torn down. Yet for a time, my emotions continued to bleed.

Addiction and withdrawal

Much like a drug addict in isolation, I experienced withdrawal symptoms from Eric. In many ways, an affair is similar to an alcohol or drug addiction. The process of breaking free brings intense feelings of pain, anxiety, and depression. For several months I longed to be with Eric, and a continual dull throb lodged in my heart. Life often seemed bleak, and the future uninviting.

Although I don’t remember having thoughts of suicide, they are not uncommon for people mired in affairs. A woman can’t imagine life without her lover, yet she also recognizes the grief she is causing her family. Suicide may seem the only way out. But time does heal wounds. As the days wore into months, my internal hemorrhaging slowed to a drip, then finally began to close.

It was a slow process back. I had constructed a brick wall between God, Stottler, and myself through one bad choice at a time. Now I needed to make good choices one at a time to tear down that wall. Although the process was painful, each day became a little easier—as long as I stayed away from Eric.

What I should have done

As I began to delve once again into God’s Word, the Lord clearly showed me three steps I should have taken when faced with the temptation toward Eric. These steps also apply to any woman who chooses to rebuild her marriage after making poor choices.

Step 1: Be honest with yourself. Looking back on my entire scenario in the Caribbean, I wondered if the romance with Eric was unavoidable. I alone was responsible for the preparations and daily operations of the boat project. Therefore, each day I had to work closely with a charming captain while being surrounded by an enticing, seductive setting. Was all the heartache avoidable? The answer: absolutely! I could have stopped myself before the infatuation ever began.

Through my disastrous choices, I learned a very important truth: Never underestimate the power of attraction! When attracted to a man, it’s easy to convince ourselves that the feelings could never really grow, so we try to rationalize them away.

Yet we can so quickly begin daydreaming about this attraction: I wonder where he is right now. I really enjoyed our conversation yesterday. When can we talk again? Of course, this friendship is harmless. I would never want anything to happen—I just enjoy his company.

I had those thoughts. They are an open door to a roomful of deadly cobras. The enemy wants you to believe those little lies so that he can slowly ease you into the room. And once you’re in, you will be bitten. Playing with poison will ruin your life.

As we begin toying with an attraction, by necessity we hide our feelings and actions from our husband. The Lord says, “Deceit is in the heart of those who devise evil” (Proverbs 12:20). Deceit always leads to further deceit as sin takes us further and further into danger. It’s so much easier to close the door and never step into the snake pit in the first place!

Step 2: Be honest with God. I believe that what made me the most vulnerable for my involvement with Eric was my lack of daily time in God’s presence. Nothing in my life has had the consistent power to transform me more than my daily times of reading the Bible and praying.

For several months previous to the Caribbean project, I had been ignoring God’s daily call to come away with Him for a time of refreshment and renewal. By the time I arrived on the boat and met the captain, I had a wall of poor choices blocking my sensitivity to the Lord. Because I had allowed my heart to become spiritually insensitive, I refused to bring my feelings toward Eric to the Lord. I refused to acknowledge His conviction, seek His perspective, and rely on His strength to resist my wandering emotions. It was a recipe for disaster.

I am convinced that the most critical element in protecting your marriage is your personal time alone with God. It is irreplaceable. There are no substitutes—not listening to Christian music or Christian radio, not going to church or attending Bible studies. Only as we spend regular one-on-one time in prayer with the Father and time reading His Word will we keep our heart sensitive to obeying His voice in the face of temptation.

Step 3: Be honest with your husband. Once Stottler and I were aboard the boat, it was only a matter of days before I knew a strong attraction existed between Eric and me. But I failed to use the protection that God had provided to help me lock the door on temptation—honesty with my husband.

As soon as I felt that excitement of attraction toward Eric, I should have told Stottler. Telling your husband is a marvelous way to dispel the mystery of a secret intrigue. As long as no one knows, you nurture that attraction, create romantic scenarios in your mind, and dream the fantasy. But as soon as you invite your husband into the fantasy bubble, it bursts. Its ugliness is exposed. And though revealing the temptation to your husband may feel uncomfortable at the time, doing so will save you both from incredible long-term heartache.

God gives our husbands to us as an umbrella of protection. Their prayers for us are God-ordained coverings of shelter. If I had told Stottler immediately upon sensing my attraction to Eric, my thoughts would have been exposed and Stottler could have prayed for me. His prayers and wisdom could have strengthened me to remain sensitive to God’s leading throughout my dealings with Eric. My accountability friends should have been told as well. Giving an account to others is a wonderful deterrent to disobedience.

I also should have determined never to be alone with Eric and sought Stottler’s accountability on this as well. When the need arose to work with Eric, my husband or one of the team members should have been included.

No secrets

Upon returning home to California, I developed a “No Secrets Policy” toward Stottler. What a relief it was to have the closet door opened and all the darkness exposed! My No Secrets Policy relates to any area of my marriage or my walk with God that will affect my relationship with Stottler. For example, feelings of attraction to another man, past moral indiscretions, impure fantasies, and a stagnant fellowship with the Lord can all create a wedge in a marriage if not dealt with immediately.

Honesty, however, is not an excuse for a lack of restraint in our words. The No Secrets Policy does not give me the right to say anything to my husband that pops into my head, especially on those days when I feel like spitting nails. Spewing every negative thought I may have toward Stottler in a moment of anger or physical depression is a sure way to drive a wedge into our relationship. Those moments require self-control.

Honesty protects both our husbands and us. It helps our husbands know our predisposition toward certain temptations so that they can help us face those challenges. By revealing to Stottler any current temptation I may be facing, he can help me to avoid further disasters. And if I continue pursuing the temptation, I will have to tell him. What a wonderful deterrent that is! It’s easier to just resist the temptation in the first place than to reveal my failure to my husband after the fact.

If establishing honesty in your marriage means exposing an affair from your past, proceed carefully. Make sure you have confessed your sin to the Lord and that your heart is broken over your wrongdoing. Then think through how to reveal this news, knowing that it will most likely elicit strong emotions.

When you reveal a previous or current indiscretion, your husband will very likely be upset. Therefore, you may want to talk with a pastor or a Christian counselor first to receive his wisdom on how to share a dark secret. If your husband has been known to be abusive, ask someone to accompany you. Although building a foundation of honesty may be frightening, keep in mind the words of Dr. Willard Harley: “As painful as it is to discover an affair, very few ever divorce because of it. In most cases, both spouses make adjustments that help avoid a repeat. But without the truth, there is little assurance that it will not happen again.”

Adapted by permission from The Enticement of the Forbidden by Judy Starr. Published by LifeConneXions, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, Copyright ©2004 by Judy Starr. All rights reserved.

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