OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 8 President Obama you speak of “broader skepticism toward organized religion” and when I look at your position on abortion I see no difference between your view and those of atheistic humanists!

November 29, 2020

Office of Barack and Michelle Obama
P.O. Box 91000
Washington, DC 20066

Dear President Obama,

I wrote you over 700 letters while you were President and I mailed them to the White House and also published them on my blog http://www.thedailyhatch.org .I received several letters back from your staff and I wanted to thank you for those letters. 

I have been reading your autobiography A PROMISED LAND and I have been enjoying it. 

As an evangelical believer I am encouraged by your references to spiritual hymns, but your intellectual views seem to place you in the secular humanist school of thought. 

Five faith facts about former President Barack Obama’s new book, ‘A Promised Land’


Former President Barack Obama’s new book, “A Promised Land,” mentions only four pages in its index under the category “faith and.”

But the title of the book by the 44th U.S. president invokes biblical imagery — a land promised by God to his people — and Obama includes the role of religious institutions, faith leaders and personal traditions throughout the 750-page book. On the page after his dedication of the tome to his wife and daughters, Obama features the words from an African American spiritual:

“Fly and never tire

There’s a great camp-meeting in the Promised Land.”

While friends and strangers have told him they believe God engineered his road to the White House, Obama says he didn’t view his political path as a call from the Almighty.

 (Pari Dukovic/Random House via AP) This photo provided by Random House shows the cover of “A Promised Land.
(Pari Dukovic/Random House via AP) This photo provided by Random House shows the cover of “A Promised Land.” The first volume of former President Barack Obama’s memoir came out Nov. 17.

“I suspect that God’s plan, whatever it is, works on a scale too large to admit our mortal tribulations; that in a single lifetime, accidents and happenstance determine more than we care to admit,” he writes, “and that the best we can do is to try to align ourselves with what we feel is right and construct some meaning out of our confusion, and with grace and nerve play at each moment the hand that we’re dealt.”

He tried to keep his prayer life private.

Obama mentions his “broader skepticism toward organized religion” but says he often turned to private prayer.

Not long after he was shown the Lincoln Bible on which he would be sworn in, Obama paused before entering the inaugural platform.

“For a brief moment, before trumpets sounded and I was announced, I closed my eyes,” he writes. “And summoned the prayer that had carried me here, one I would continue to repeat every night I was president. A prayer of thanks for all I’d been given. A prayer that my sins be forgiven. A prayer that my family and the American people be kept safe from harm. A prayer for guidance.”

Months before that moment, Obama had paid a visit to Jerusalem’s Western Wall — where pilgrims have long left petitions to God — as he was feeling the weight of what lay ahead if he became president.

“I’d written my own prayer on a piece of hotel stationery,” he writes. “I had assumed those words were between me and God,” he said of the personal request he placed within a crack in the wall. “But the next day they showed up in an Israeli newspaper before achieving eternal life on the internet.”

President Obama you speak of “broader skepticism toward organized religion” and when I look at your position on abortion I see no difference between your view and those of atheistic humanists! In fact, your views are also more in line with those of atheistic evolutionists than those scientists such as Isaac Newton who believed in creationism. I had the unique opportunity from 2015 to 2020 to correspond with a famous Harvard educated British scientist named Professor Horace Barlow of Cambridge. Barlow was named after his grandfather Horace Darwin. Most of the correspondence between Dr. Barlow and myself dealt with the views of Barlow’s famous great grandfather Charles Darwin.

TRIBUTES PAID TO PROFESSOR HORACE BARLOW

PUBLISHED DATE: July 07, 2020

Professor Horace Barlow (8 December 1921 – 5 July 2020) was a neuroscientist and Fellow of Trinity College Cambridge.

Professor Horace Barlow by Louise Riley-Smith, 2003

Horace Barlow was born into a scientific family: his mother was Nora Darwin, the granddaughter of Charles Darwin, who worked in the field of genetics with William Bateson at Cambridge and his paternal grandfather was physician to Queen Victoria’s household.

He studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University and then completed medical training at Harvard Medical School and University College Hospital, London before returning to Cambridge to study neurophysiology under the tutelage of Lord Adrian. He was awarded an Sc.D in 1943.

His research investigated the visual system at the level of single neurons and their interactions in both humans and animals. His emphasis was on understanding the act of seeing through the underlying machinery of vision.

After holding various positions at Cambridge University he became Professor of Physiological Optics and Physiology at the University of California, Berkeley. He later returned to Cambridge, where he was Royal Society Research Professor of Physiology.

Professor Barlow was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1969 and was awarded the Society’s Royal Medal in 1993. In the same year (1993) he received the Australia Prize for research into the mechanisms of visual perception. His other awards include Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience (2009) and Ken Nakayama Prize from the Vision Sciences Society (2016).

Trinity Fellow, Professor Roger Keynes, of the Department of Physiology, Development and Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, said:

Horace Barlow made seminal discoveries in brain physiology. After medical qualification he began research in the Cambridge Physiological Laboratory, recording electrical signals from single nerve cells in the frog’s eye. These showed that nerve cells are wired to detect essential features of the frog’s visual world, such as a small moving insect, and its direction. His approach paved the way for major advances in understanding how visual information in mammals is processed and stored in the brain. He also initiated psychophysical studies of human visual perception and wrote cogently on the brain in all its aspects, working in his departmental office and visiting Trinity well into his 90s.

Priyamvada Natarajan, Professor in the Departments of Astronomy and Physics at Yale University, and a Trinity alumna, said:

Deeply sad to hear the news of his passing. I fondly remember many wonderful conversations with Horace Barlow during my time at Trinity as a junior research fellow in 1997-2003. We chatted about science – in particular, about optics, and how the various wavelengths of light revealed disparate aspects of the cosmos and about the achromatic bending of light (gravitational lensing) that I worked on and its analogy to geometric optics. He patiently answered many of my naive questions about neuroscience and we were both ardent fans of Ramon Cajal’s drawings of neurons. Horace was soft-spoken, utterly curious about the natural world, and remarkably insightful –  it was a privilege to know him.

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer

I found Dr. Barlow to be a true gentleman and he was very kind to take the time to answer the questions that I submitted to him. In the upcoming months I will take time once a week to pay tribute to his life and reveal our correspondence. In the first week I noted:

 Today I am posting my first letter to him in February of 2015 which discussed Charles Darwin lamenting his loss of aesthetic tastes which he blamed on Darwin’s own dedication to the study of evolution. In a later return letter, Dr. Barlow agreed that Darwin did in fact lose his aesthetic tastes at the end of his life.

In the second week I look at the views of Michael Polanyi and share the comments of Francis Schaeffer concerning Polanyi’s views.

In the third week, I look at the life of Brandon Burlsworth in the November 28, 2016 letter and the movie GREATER and the problem of evil which Charles Darwin definitely had a problem with once his daughter died.

On the 4th letter to Dr. Barlow looks at Darwin’s admission that he at times thinks that creation appears to look like the expression of a mind. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words in 1968 sermon at this link.

My Fifth Letter concerning Charles Darwin’s views on MORAL MOTIONS Which was mailed on March 1, 2017. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

6th letter on May 1, 2017 in which Charles Darwin’s hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would show that Christ existed! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning the possible manuscript finds in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link  

7th letter on Darwin discussing DETERMINISM  dated 7-1-17 . Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning determinism in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

8th letter responds to Dr. Barlow’s letter to me concerning  Francis Schaeffer discussing Darwin’s own words concerning chance in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

9th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 1-2-18 and included Charles Darwin’s comments on William Paley. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning William Paley in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

10th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 2-2-18 and includes Darwin’s comments asking for archaeological evidence for the Bible! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning His desire to see archaeological evidence supporting the Bible’s accuracy  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

11th letter I mailed on 3-2-18  in response to 11-22-17 letter from Barlow that asserted: It is also sometimes asked whether chance, even together with selection, can define a “MORAL CODE,” which the religiously inclined say is defined by their God. I think the answer is “Yes, it certainly can…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning A MORAL CODE in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

12th letter on March 26, 2018 breaks down song DUST IN THE WIND “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.”

In 13th letter I respond to Barlow’s November 22, 2017 letter and assertion “He {Darwin} clearly did not lose his sense of the VALUE of TRUTH, and of the importance of FOREVER SEARCHING it out.”

In 14th letter to Dr. Barlow on 10-2-18, I assert: “Let me demonstrate how the Bible’s view of the origin of life fits better with the evidence we have from archaeology than that of gradual evolution.”In 15th letter in November 2, 2018 to Dr. Barlow I quote his relative Randal Keynes Who in the Richard Dawkins special “The Genius of Darwin” makes this point concerning Darwin, “he was, at different times, enormously confident in it,and at other times, he was utterly uncertain.”In 16th Letter on 12-2-18 to Dr. Barlow I respond to his letter that stated, If I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) “No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour…Muslim terrorists…violence within the Christian church itself”17th letter sent on January 2, 2019 shows the great advantage we have over Charles Darwin when examining the archaeological record concerning the accuracy of the BibleIn the 18th letter I respond to the comment by Charles Darwin: “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words on his loss of aesthetic tastes  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Below is a portion of my February 11, 2015 letter to Dr. Barlow followed by his response in his November 22, 2017 letter:

Darwin, C. R. to Fordyce, John, 7 May 1879

“What my own views may be is a question of no consequence to any one but myself. But, as you ask, I may state that my judgment often fluctuates . . . In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an Atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think that generally (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an Agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind.”

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

What we find now is that he comes to the place in being agnostic, but as we read through this section on religion what we find is in reality his reason leads him against this position, which is interesting but his theory makes him accept the  position of agnosticism. You will notice as we go on, on the basis of his intellect he can’t stand the thought of his own position, of there not being an answer. Nevertheless, he is increasingly forced to this because it wouldn’t conform to his own theory, man being shoved against his own will because of presuppositions. I think what you have in Darwin is a magnificent example, although a sad one of what I lecture on in apologetics,  and that is if a man takes a set of nonchristian presuppositions he is forced eventually to be in a place of tension. The more consistent he is with his own nonchristian presuppositions the more he is away from the real world. When he is closer to the real world then he is more illogical to his own presuppositions. Darwin shows this in his own writings in his own lifetime. So the things in his human nature he is sorry to lose, but he loses them, at the same time he finds that couldn’t explain things on the basis of his reason.  Yet he was driven to certain conclusions which were away from what he himself felt were the real world on the basis of his own presuppositions. He was never satisfied. Just as I very often use Sartre and Camus to point out this dilemma of nonchristian presuppositions, in actuality these sections from Darwin are a perfect example of the same thing.

Darwin’s words:

From Charles Darwin, Autobiography (1876), in The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin, vol. 1 (London: John Murray, 1888), pp. 307 to 313.

“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a Theist. This conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species, and it is since that time that it has very gradually, with many fluctuations, become weaker. But then arises the doubt

Francis Schaeffer commented:

On the basis of his reason he has to say there must be an intelligent mind, someone analogous to man. You couldn’t describe the God of the Bible better. That is man is made in God’s image  and therefore, you know a great deal about God when you know something about man. What he is really saying here is that everything in my experience tells me it must be so, and my mind demands it is so. Not just these feelings he talked about earlier but his MIND demands it is so, but now how does he counter this? How does he escape this? Here is how he does it!!!

Darwin’s words:

—can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?

Francis Schaeffer commented:

So he says my mind can only come to one conclusion, and that is there is a mind behind it all. However, the doubt comes because his mind has come from the lowest form of earthworm, so how can I trust my mind. But this is a joker isn’t it?  Then how can you trust his mind to support such a theory as this? He proved too much. The fact that Darwin found it necessary to take such an escape shows the tremendous weight of Romans 1, that the only escape he can make is to say how can I trust my mind when I come from the lowest animal the earthworm? Obviously think of the grandeur of his concept, I don’t think it is true, but the grandeur of his concept, so what you find is that Darwin is presenting something here that is wrong I feel, but it is not nothing. It is a tremendously grand concept that he has put forward. So he is accepting the dictates of his mind to put forth a grand concept which he later can’t accept in this basic area with his reason, but he rejects what he could accept with his reason on this escape. It really doesn’t make sense. This is a tremendous demonstration of the weakness of his own position.

Darwin clings to agnosticism:

“I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

What a stupid reply and I didn’t say wicked. It just seems to me that here is 2 plus 2 equals 36 at this particular place.

Here is Dr. Barlow’s response in his November 22, 2017 letter:

——

Saying you don’t believe in God is a very foolish thing to say as it doesn’t explain why so many people talk about it, there has got to be more to it than that; also I think one has to respect what some godly people say and some of the things they do; I wish one could make more sense of it but I don’t think the godly people have done a very good job;

This reminds me of a story that Adrian Rogers told about his interaction with an agnostic:

Here we must observe that many people don’t want to find the truth just like a thief doesn’t want to find a policeman. I now want to share a portion of the sermon WHO IS JESUS? by Adrian Rogers because this very point is made:

Here is how the story goes:

Years ago Adrian Rogers counseled with a NASA scientist and his severely depressed wife. The wife pointed to her husband and said, “My problem is him.” She went on to explain that her husband was a drinker, a liar, and an adulterer.

Dr. Rogers asked the man if he were a Christian. “No!” the man laughed. “I’m an atheist.” “Really?” Dr. Rogers replied. “That means you’re someone who knows that God does not exist.” “That’s right,” said the man. “Would it be fair to say that you don’t know all there is to know in the universe?” “Of course,” the man admitted. Dr. Rogers asked, “Would it be generous to say you know half of all there is to know?” “Yes!” Then Dr. Rogers inquired,“Wouldn’t it be possible that God’s existence might be in the half you don’t know?” The man acknowledged, “Okay, but I don’t think He exists.” Dr. Rogers replied, “Well then, you’re not an atheist; you’re an agnostic.You’re a doubter.” The man asserted, “Yes, and I’m a big one.” Then Dr. Rogers popped the question, “It doesn’t matter what size you are. I want to know what kind [of doubter] you are.” 

“What kinds are there?”

“There are honest doubters and dishonest doubters. An honest doubter is willing to search out the truth and live by the results; a dishonest doubter doesn’t want to know the truth. He can’t find God for the same reason a thief can’t find a policeman.”

“I want to know the truth.”

“Would you like to prove that God exists?”

“It can’t be done.”

“It can be done. You’ve just been in the wrong laboratory. Jesus said, ‘If any man’s will is to do His will, he will know whether my teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority’ (John 7:17). I suggest you read one chapter of the book of John each day, but before you do, pray something like this, ‘God, I don’t know if You’re there, I don’t know if the Bible is true, I don’t know if Jesus is Your Son. But if You show me that You are there, that the Bible is true, and that Jesus is Your Son, then I will follow You. My will is to do your will.”

The man agreed. About three weeks later he returned to Dr. Rogers’s office and invited Jesus Christ to be his Savior and Lord.

Another quote from Dr. Barlow’s November 22, 2017 letter:

 After acknowledging that Charles Darwin did lose his aesthetic tastes for art, poetry, and for fine scenery which he attributed to his study of evolution, Dr. Barlow came back and asserted, “Notice, however, that he clearly did not lose his sense of the value of truth, and of the importance of forever searching it out. “ 

Here is some evidence:

—-

Let me quote from my former pastor Adrian Rogers:

Skeptics seem to think that the Bible is full of scientific errors. However, before an individual can make that assertion, they had better make sure they know both science and Scripture. You see, I have heard unbelievers state that the Bible is not a book of science, but a book of religion, which is basically true. It is not written to teach us about science, but to teach us about God. But the God of salvation and the God of creation are the same. Science doesn’t take God by surprise. A close look at Scripture reveals that it is scientifically accurate.

Every now and then science may disagree with the Bible, but usually science just needs time to catch up. For example, in 1861 a French scientific academy printed a brochure offering 51 incontrovertible facts that proved the Bible in error. Today there is not a single reputable scientist who would support those supposed “facts,” because modern science has disproved them all!

The ancients believed the earth was held up by Atlas, or resting on pillars, or even seated on the backs of elephants. But today we know the earth is suspended in space, a fact the Word of God records in Job 26:7: “He . . . hangeth the earth upon nothing.” God revealed the facts of cosmology long before man had any idea of the truth.

For centuries man believed the earth was flat, but now we know the earth is a globe. The prophet Isaiah, writing 750 years before the birth of Christ, revealed that “God sitteth upon the circle of the earth” (Isaiah 40:22). The word translated here as “circle” was more commonly translated “sphere.” In other words, Isaiah explained that the earth was a globe centuries before science discovered it.

When Ptolemy charted the heavens, he counted 1026 stars in the sky. But with the invention of the telescope man discovered millions and millions of stars, something that Jeremiah 33:22 revealed nearly three thousand years ago: “The host of heaven cannot be numbered.” How did these men of God know the truth of science long before the rest of the world discovered it? They were moved by the Holy Spirit to write the truth. God’s Word is not filled with errors. It is filled with facts, even scientific facts.

When the black plague was killing one quarter of Europe’s population in the fourteenth century, it was the church, not science, that helped overcome the dread disease. The leaders in the church noticed the instructions given by the Lord to Moses in Leviticus 13:46: “All the days wherein the plague shall be in him he shall be defiled; he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his habitation be.” These early believers did not know microbiology or understand what germs were, but they could understand a clear teaching to quarantine someone who was sick. So they followed the Biblical dictum, quarantined those sick with the plague, and stopped it from spreading. The Bible had its science correct even before man discovered the truth! Don’t accept the charge that the Bible is filled with scientific errors. Modern science seems determined to explain God away, and refuses to acknowledge any evidence of the supernatural. But the science of Scripture is one reason to accept the Bible as God’s Word.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher III, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, ph 501-920-5733 everettehatcher@gmail.com

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