OPEN LETTER TO BARACK OBAMA ON HIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY “A PROMISED LAND” Part 98 IS PRESIDENT OBAMA. A RELIGIOUS LIBERAL? Francis Schaeffer noted, “This attempt to combine the rationalism of the Enlightenment with Christianity is often called religious liberalism”

Francis Schaeffer.jpg
Francis A. Schaeffer
Founder of the L’Abri community

February 27, 2021

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. 

Let me make a few comments on it, and here is the first quote of yours I want to comment on:

On page 286 you talk about speaking at the 2009 National Prayer Breakfast and in fact you spoke at 2 of those in 2009 and one each February you were President!! Let me quote from one of those speeches of yours below!

                                 June 19, 2009
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
AT THE ESPERANZA NATIONAL HISPANIC PRAYER BREAKFAST
J.W. Marriott
Washington, D.C: “At a time when there’s no shortage of challenges to occupy our time, it’s even more important to step back, and to give thanks, and to seek guidance from each other — but most importantly, from God. That’s what we’ve come here to do.”

ARE YOU LOOKING FOR GUIDANCE FROM GOD’S WORD OR FROM OTHER SOURCES LIKE LIBERAL THEOLOGIANS DO?

As a Christian I accept that the Bible is the word of God and inerrant. I understand that you take a much more liberal view of the Bible. Your church denomination includes very liberal theologians and Paul Tillich is probably the most prominent in the past. 

Schaeffer went on to analyze how neo-orthodoxy ultimately gives way to radical mysticism:

Karl Barth opened the door to the existentialistic leap in theology… He has been followed by many more, men like Reinhold Niebuhr, Paul Tillich, Bishop John Robinson, Alan Richardson and all the new theologians. They may differ in details, but their struggle is still the same—it is the struggle of modern man who has given up [rationality]. As far as the theologians are concerned … their new system is not open to verification, it must simply be believed.10

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true as Schaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACEThere is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This link shows how to do that.

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black 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.

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER RIGHTLY NOTED:

This attempt to combine the rationalism of the Enlightenment with Christianity is often called religious liberalism. It was embarrassed by the supernatural and often denied it entirely, for example, the resurrection of Christ from the dead. But it tried to hold on to a historical Jesus by sifting out from the New Testament all those supernatural elements which the New Testament taught about Jesus. 

This attempt came to a climax with Albert Schweitzer’s famous book THE QUEST OF THE HISTORICAL JESUS. It failed. It failed to rid the New Testament account of the supernatural and still keep a historic Christ. The historic Jesus could not be separated from the supernatural events connected with him in New Testament. History and the supernatural are too interwoven in the New Testament. If one kept any of the historical Jesus, One had to keep some of the supernatural. If one got rid of all of the supernatural, one had no historical Jesus. 

We should remember Schweitzer’s humanitarianism in Africa, his genius as an organist and his expertise concerning Bach, but unhappily we must remember his place in the theological stream as well.

After the failure of the older theological liberalism Karl Barth stepped into the vacuum. He held the higher  critical views concerning the Bible, that is that the Bible has many mistakes but he taught that a religious word could break through from it. This was the theological form of existentialism after existentialism had been accepted in its secular form. One more thing was added in the area of non-reason along with all the other things that had been put there. In another way we must have admiration for the Swiss Karl Barth because when he was teaching in Germany he spoke out clearly against Nazism in his Barmen Declaration of 1934. 

The teaching of Barth led to those theologians who  said that the Bible isn’t true in the areas of science and history but they nevertheless looked for a religious experience from it, and for adherents of this theology the Bible does not give absolutes in regard to what is right or wrong either.

Before you even come to the Bible and begin to read it one must realize there are 2 ways to read the Bible. One is just one more religious thing among thousands of other religious is nothing more than another form of a trip, not very, very different actually from a drug trip. The other way is to understand that the Bible is truth and as such what we are listening to is something that is completely contrary to what here about us on every side namely merely statistical averages, relativistic things. Now having said this then I would have to guard myself for the simple reason that it doesn’t mean a person has to believe all of this before he can begin to read the Bible and find truth in the Bible.

I would just say in just passing I was not raised in a Christian family and I was reading much philosophy when I was a young man and I didn’t read the Bible because I believed it was true. I read it simply out of an intellectual honesty, but I did do one thing. I read it exactly as it was written beginning with Genesis 1:1 and going right on, I read it just as I would read another book expecting what was being given was a straight forward statement of what was meant and it wasn’t supposed to be read on a different level than that I would read in another kind of book. As I read it, it answered the questions already at that time I realized that humanistic philosophy couldn’t answer and over a six month period I came to conclude it was truth. Nevertheless, we must keep in the back of our mind how are we reading the Bible, just as another religious trip or am I really wrestling with the question of what is given in all the areas in which it speaks. Is it truth in comparison to merely relativism?

The new liberal theologian has no answer for the existence of evil thus they are left with the same problem as the Hindu philosophers, everything is a part of God.

This is Kali the Eastern Hindu feminine representation of God. Why the fangs and the skulls?  In Eastern religious thought cruelty is the same as non-cruelty because everything that now is, is part of everything that has been, a part of what they call God.

Professor Paul Tillich of Harvard was one of the outstanding neo-orthodox liberal theologians. A student who was present told me that when Professor Tillich was lecturing  in Santa Barbara just before his death, someone said to him, “Sir, do you pray?” And Tillich said, “No, but I meditate.” He was left only with the word GOD with no certainty that there  was anything more than just a word.

The GOD IS DEAD theologians who followed Tillich concluded logically if they were only left with the word GOD then they might as well cross out the word. But for these theologians even if they don’t say GOD IS DEAD for them certain things are dead: All content about God is dead and all assurance of knowledge about a personal God is dead because for them God has not given them truth about himself in the Bible and in the revelation in Christ, that is truth about himself that may be expanded in proposition in normal language. All they are left is religious words without content but with that emotion that certain religious words still brings with them. That is all.

Here is what comes next: these highly motivational religious words out of our own religious past but separated from the content which the Bible originally gave them are now used for manipulation. Manipulation in such areas as a change in SEXUAL ETHIC but also legal and political manipulation. 

If God is dead, if all content about God is dead, if the knowledge of a personal God who has not been silent but has given us truth is dead then everything for which God gives an answer and meaning is dead as well and YET PEOPLE NO MATTER WHO THEY SAY THEY ARE, CRY OUT FOR MEANING AND VALUES and this place of tension is where modern man has come upon his humanist base, and this is where he is. 

When we think of Christ of course we think of his substitutionary death upon the cross when he who claimed to be God died in a substitutionary way and as such his death had infinite value and as we accept  that gift raising the empty hands of faith with no humanistic elements we have that which is real life and that is being in relationship to the infinite personal God who is there and being in a personal relationship to Him. But Christ brings life in another way that is not as often clearly thought about perhaps. He connects himself with what the Bible teaches in his teaching and as such he is a prophet as well as a savior. It is upon the basis of what he taught  and the Bible teaches because he himself wraps these together that we have life instead of death in the sense of having some knowledge that is more than men can have from himself, beginning from himself alone. Both of these elements are the place where Christ gives us life.  

Sincerely,

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

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