FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 323 Letter to Richard Dawkins about William Provine’s quote that Darwin left us with “There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death, no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans” Featured Artist is Dali

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Richard Dawkins and Ricky Gervais

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Francis Schaeffer below:

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Richard Dawkins vs John Lennox | The God Delusion Debate

Ben Stein vs. Richard Dawkins Interview


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

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Science Confirms the Bible with Ken Ham

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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.


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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox

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DawkinsWard

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September 17, 2019

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

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

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

I am looking forward to reading Outgrowing God which is your latest book, and I have been reading several reviews of it. The best interviewer is Krishnan Guru-Murthy in my opinion. He did a great job of asking you some very insightful questions, and I thought your answers gave the audience a good feel for what is in the book.

On September 14, 2019 you tweeted out:

The Clergy Project provides support, community, and hope to clergy who have lost their faith and no longer believe in God. I’m proud of my role in its history: bit.ly/2lVgPRa

Numbers have now reached 999. I’ll let you know when we hit 1000!

@ProjectClergy

In response I tweeted out:

William Provine:these are Darwin’s views. There are no gods, no purposes, and no goal-directed forces of any kind. There is no life after death, no ultimate foundation for ethics, no ultimate meaning in life, and no free will for humans, either. thedailyhatch.org/2016/08/17/fra…

Darwin lost his faith over a long period of time because of Evolution and William Provine said he lost his faith for the same reason. After reading your two autobiographies, it is apparent that you went through the same process. However, when a person chooses the atheist point of view then where does he turn to find a lasting to his life? Francis Schaeffer discusses that below:

On You Tube you can plug in HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE EPISODE 7 and watch the film that runs 28:35: The history of the nonchristian Philosophers up until the 18th century went like this:Here is a circle which stands for what the unified and true knowledge of the universe is. The next man would say “No,” and cross out the circle. He then would say “Here is the circle.” Then the next man would say “No,”and cross out that circle. Then he would make his circle and the next man would cross it out and make his circle. This continued through the centuries. They never found the circle, but they optimistically thought someone would beginning with man himself and on the basis of man’s reasoning alone.Then the endless rows of circles through the and the crossing out were broken and a drastic shift came because the humanist ideal had failed. Humanist man gave up his optimism for pessimism. He gave up the hope of an unified answer and this makes modern man who he is….Humanist man beginning only from himself has concluded that he is only a machine. Humanist man has no place for a personal God, but there is also no place for man’s significance as man and no place for love, no place for freedom.

Man is only a machine, but the men who hold this position could not and can not live like machines. If they could then modern man would not have his tensions either in his intellectual position or in his life, but he can’t. So they must leap away from reason to try to find something that gives meaning to their lives, to life itself, even though to do so they deny their reason.

Once this is done any type of thing could be put there. Because in the area of nonreason, reason gives no basis for a choice. This is the hallmark of modern man. How did it happen? It happened because proud humanist man, though he was finite, insisted in beginning only from himself and only from what he could learn and not from other knowledge, he did not succeed. Perhaps the best known of existentialist philosophers was Jean Paul Sartre. He used to spend much of his time here in Paris at the Les Deux Magots.

Sartre’s position is in the area of reason everything is absurd, but one can authenticate himself, that is give validity to his existence by an act of the willWithSartre’s position one could equally help an old woman across the street or run her down.

Reason was not involved, and there was nothing to show the direction this authentication by an act of the will should take. But Sartre himself could live consistently with his own position. At a certain point he signed the Algerian Manifesto which declared that the Algerian war was a dirty war. This action meant that man could use his reason to decide that some things were right and some things were wrong and so he destroyed his own system.

Karl Jaspers, German  existentialist, tended to have the greatest impact on the thought and life form which followed existential thought.  According to him we may have some huge experience which gives us the hope that perhaps there is a meaning to life even though our reason tells us that life is absurd. He calls this a final experience. Martin Heidegger, was another  existential philosopher who said the answer was in the area of nonreason. The German philosopher said there is something he called “Angst,” a general feeling of anxiety one feels in the universe, this feeling, this mood of anxiety revealed existence and this imposes on us a call for decision out of  this mood comes meaning to life and to choice even against one’s reason, meaning which rests on nothing more than this vague feeling of anxiety so nebulous it doesn’t have a specific object. As Martin Heidegger grew older this view became too weak for him so he changed his position.

Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)

Existentialism as a form of philosophy has all but disappeared but more and more people are thinking this way even if they don’t know the name Existentialism. To them reason leads to pessimism so they try to find an answer in something totally separated from reason.

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

Aldous Huxley featured on cover of Beatles’ album SGT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND

The drug culture and the mentality that went with it had it’s own vehicle that crossed the frontiers of the world which were otherwise almost impassible by other means of communication. This record,  Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, became the rallying cryfor young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings. Later came psychedelic rockan attempt to find this experience without drugs. The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason.The central reason of the popularity of eastern religions in the west is a hope for a non-rational meaning to life and values. The reason the young people turn to eastern religions is simply the fact as we have said and that is that man having moved into the area of non-reason could put anything up there and the heart of the eastern religions  is a denial of reason just exactly as the idealistic drug taking was. So the turning to the eastern religions today fits exactly into the modern existential  methodology, the existential thinking of modern man, of trying to find some optimistic hope in the area of nonreason when he has given up hope on a humanistic basis of finding any kind of unifying answer to life, any meaning to life in the answer of reason.

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

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

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

Francis and Edith Schaeffer seen below:

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Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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The Basis of Human Dignity by Francis Schaeffer

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

Francis Schaeffer in 1984

Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer in 1982

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Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Episode 1

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

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

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Featured artist is Dali

‘Surrealism & the Object’ opens at Pompidou Centre in Paris

Published on Nov 13, 2013

The Pompidou Centre in Paris is showing off the treasures from one of its richest collections with…

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The Pompidou Centre in Paris is showing off the treasures from one of its richest collections with ‘Surrealism and the Object’.

They include Dali’s ‘The Lobster Telephone’ and ‘Aphrodisiac Jacket’ (1936), Man Ray’s ‘Indestructible Object (1923), Victor Brauner’s ‘Wolf Table’, (1947), and Giacometti’s ‘Surrealist Table’ (1933).

There also works from, among others, Ernst, Miro, and Duchamp,

Surrealism was at first a literary movement, experimenting with language free from conscious control. This soon extended to the plastic arts, photography and cinema, and exploded outwards from the-then world capital of the arts, Paris.

“Andre Breton once said that the surrealist objects are expressions of materialised dreams. They are a sort of parasite, objects that will disturb our relation with the reality. They are here to introduce a discordant element into reality. A disruptive element that will rip the curtain off reality and unveil what interests the Surrealists, which is – desire, the unconscious, and fantasy,” said curator Didier Ottinger.

Crown Prince of them all was Marcel Duchamp.

“It was Marcel Duchamp himself who organised and directed the surrealist exhibitions after 1938. He created sets that we used to call ‘ghost trains’ at the time. And the critics called these surrealist exhibitions ‘amusement parks’. So it was revolutionary at that time and it fascinated the audience. In the 1930s the Surrealist exhibitions could have 50,000 visitors, it was incredible. So Surrealism was the first movement that was able to establish a link between artists and what we could call the wider public,” explained Ottinger.

Surrealism introduced concepts of liberation and psychological techniques to art, and paid homage to Giorgio De Chirico as the founder of the surrealist aesthetic. Automatism would replace the will and the conscious mind.

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Dali, Salvador – by Philip Ryken

Dali’s Surreal Christ

by Philip Graham Ryken

Currently the Philadelphia Museum of Art is presenting “Dali”—a major retrospective of the work of the twentieth-century artist Salvador Dali (1904–1989). I usually try to visit the major exhibitions that come to Philadelphia, but I must say that I wasn’t in any hurry to go to this one. I have never been very enthusiastic about Surrealism in general, or about Dali in particular. But for reasons I will explain shortly, I decided to go ahead and go.

Even if you haven’t been to the show, which has been extended through Memorial Day, I’m sure you’ve seen some of Dali’s work. The eccentric artist is particularly famous for his bizarre landscapes and strange objects, like melting watches or lobster telephones. He is also known for his disturbing and sometimes disgusting portrayal of the human body, including in ways that are sexually perverse. And Dali is known for combining his weird, hallucinatory images with a high-definition, photo-realistic style of painting—a seemingly contradictory method he called “paranoiac-critical.”

Dali pushed Surrealism to the limit. Surrealism was an avant-garde art movement that sought the overthrow of rationalism by the unconscious mind. It did not aim to portray things as they really are, but as they appear to be in the irrational world of dreams and fantasies. Surrealist art is often characterized by the distortion of line, form, color, and even reality itself. Inspired by the famous psychiatrist Sigmund Freud, Dali used Surrealism to explore the dream world of subconscious desire. In the artist’s own words, his goal was to “systematize confusion and thereby contribute to a total discrediting of reality.”

This artistic statement makes Dali’s worldview clearly at odds with the Christian faith. At some level I am able to appreciate Dali’s meticulous technical skill with a paintbrush and his brilliant use of color. In his work I can also recognize universal human experiences, such as the hideous suffering of war, especially as portrayed in Dali’s premonition of the Spanish Civil War (Soft Construction with Boiled Beans). But in many ways Dali’s attempt to discredit reality rebels against the world as God made it. Therefore, I often find myself rebelling against Dali.

Nevertheless, I wanted to see his paintings of Christ, and for this reason I decided to see the show. For a brief period when Dali was at the height of his powers, his artwork took a decidedly religious turn. The artist seemed to be searching for his God. Beginning in 1949, Dali reconnected with the Roman Catholic piety of his childhood and painted various images of the birth and death of Jesus Christ. He even went to Rome to seek the Pope’s blessing on his work, which he did in fact receive.

Dali’s paintings of Christ are among his most interesting paintings. In a moment I will explain why I believe they do not portray Christ as he in the Scriptures, but first I want to acknowledge that by God’s common grace, there are some things we can learn from his spiritual quest. Dali was deeply affected by the nuclear horror of the atomic explosions at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and he wanted to understand why God seemed to be absent from the modern world. Therefore, his art honestly tells us the truth about alienation, destruction, and the longing for God in the twentieth century. “Heaven is what I have been seeking all along,” Dali said. But “at this moment, I do not yet have faith, and I fear I shall die without heaven.”

Dali recognized that somehow Jesus had to be the answer to his spiritual quest. He believed that Christ himself established the unity of the universe. But what never becomes clear in his work is the gospel of salvation through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In nearly all of his religious paintings, Jesus is disconnected from space and time. In The Madonna of Port Lligat (1949), for example, the Christ child hovers somewhere between earth and heaven. Similarly, Dali’s Nuclear Cross (1952) almost seems to be disintegrating. Or consider The Christ of Gala (1978), a late work that Dali painted for his wife. In this three-dimensional painting, the crucifixion is viewed from above, or one would almost say, sideways. But Christ is not nailed to his cross, and his cross is not touching the earth. Whatever this Christ may have done on the cross, he certainly did not die there. And wherever Christ may have done whatever he did on the cross, he certainly did not do it in this physical universe of space and time.

Dali’s presentation of Christ in these and other paintings is consistent with his artistic vision. The artist simply extended his dematerialization of reality into his religion. The result, not surprisingly, is that Dali’s Christ is not real; he is surreal.

Whatever else may be said about Dali’s surreal Christ, he does not have the power to save. Only a real Christ is able to do that—a Christ who was born in a smelly stable, wrapped in warm fabric, and laid in scratchy straw (see Luke 2:6–7). Only a real Christ could take on the flesh and blood of our humanity, becoming one of us to save us (seeHeb. 2:17). And only a real Christ could atone for our sins—a bleeding, gasping, dying Christ (see Luke 23:46; John 19:33–34).

I do not know whether Salvador Dali ever knew this Christ. I can only say that he did not paint him. Nowhere is this more evident than in a crucifixion called Corpus Hypercubicus (1953–1954). The muscular Christ in this painting is not dying. He is not suffering. He is not even nailed to the cross, properly speaking. Strong and serene, his physical body is luminous, joyous, and seemingly immortal. It is as if Christ is already being glorified without actually being crucified.

That is not what the crucifixion was like—not at all, thank God! It was a messy, bloody business that ended with the real death of a real Savior. We must never forget that.

Published on the website www.tenth.org, section Window on the World.

Windows on the World have been published in My Father’s World: Meditations on Christianity and Culture (P&R Publishing, 2002) and in He Speaks to Me Everywhere: Meditations on Christianity and Culture (P&R Publishing, 2004) by Philip Graham Ryken.

Philip Graham Ryken is the current president of Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois.

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