JAMES BOND’S LIFESTYLE COMPARED TO SOLOMON AND THEIR SEARCH FOR SATISFACTION IN LIFE! (Spoiler Alert for NO TIME TO DIE)

 
 

We Have All The Time In The World
Song by Louis Armstrong
 
We have all the time in the world
Time enough for life to unfold
All the precious things love has in store
We have all the love in the world
If that’s all we have, you will find
We need nothing more
Every step of the way will find us
With the cares of the world far behind us
We have all the time in the world
Just for love
Nothing more, nothing less
Only love
Every step of the way will find us
With the cares of the world far behind us, yes
We have all the time in the world
Just for love
Nothing more, nothing less
Only love
Only Love
 

Louis Armstrong – We Have All The Time in The World – 007 At Her Majesty…
 

NO TIME TO DIE | Final US Trailer

(Daniel Craig starred as James Bond in NO TIME TO DIE)

When I watched latest James Bond movie it reminded me of my May 15, 1994 letter to Stephen Jay Gould in which I quote Francis Schaeffer: “Then came upon me a horror of great darkness because it suddenly occurred to me that although I could contemplate them [the sun and moon] and they could contemplate nothing yet they would continue to turn in ongoing cycles when I saw no more forever and I was crushed” (which Schaeffer said while quoting Solomon in Ecclesiastes).

When I entered the theater in Los Angeles on Friday October 9, 2021 to see the James Bond movie NO TIME TO DIE, I had two thoughts about the title. First, it occurred to me that James Bond and I were about the same age (I was born in 1961 and Bond was born in the movies in 1962).

(Bond in 1962 DR. NO)

Sean Connery as James Bond in Dr. No (1962)


Sean Connery James Bond

Second, I thought that my recent heart problems in July of 2020 meant that surely James Bond would outlive me, and I was sad, and I thought of the words of King Solomon in

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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!

These words reminded of how Francis Schaeffer related them to his experience in 1930 as a 18 year old.

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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.

The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (Official Lyric Video)

James Bond’s life reminds me of the Book of ECCLESIASTES and of the songs I CAN’T GET NO SATISFACTION by the Stones and DUST IN THE WIND by Kansas. This became apparent to me when in the late 1970’s when I started studying the Book of ECCLESIASTES after hearing a sermon by Adrian Rogers.

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I have been bugging people at Bellevue Baptist tape library in Memphis for this following message for 29 years and it now has become available. In fact, I had to construct from my memory from 1976 what the outline from that sermon and I incorrectly said it was 

HERE BELOW IS SOLOMON’S SEARCH IN THE AREA OF THE 6 “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).

In fact, now I have rediscovered that it actually was: 

LEARNING, LAUGHING, LIQUOR, LUXURY, LUST, and finally he looked in the last chapter of ECCLESIASTES and stopped looking for meaning in life from other things and turned his attention to obeying the LORD!

My only mistakes in my memory was changing LUST to LADIES and the subject of LABOR was also covered in discussion on LUXURY. I also didn’t realize he added one more L word in with the LORD.

Here is the link to that message I heard in April of 1976 at Evangelical Christian School by Adrian Rogers:

https://subsplash.com/loveworthfinding/lb/mi/+h3z74mr

I want to share a message that Adrian Rogers loved to share with young people and I had been able to access this message again until recently when my son and grandson pointed me to the OUT OF THE VAULT series and the APP which I added to my phone! Since I just discovered this I started working on this post and I have included the message  THE QUEST FOR THE BEST at this link https://subsplash.com/loveworthfinding/lb/mi/+h3z74mr and the edited transcript below. But first let me give you a summary of what took place after I heard this message back in April of 1976 when I was 14 and in the 8th grade.

There are 5 events that took place from April of 1976 to May 15, 1994 that affected my blog  (2011-present) more than any other events.

First, I heard a sermon  THE QUEST FOR THE BEST by Adrian Rogers on  Ecclesiastes at my Junior High Chapel that started my life long love of the Book of Ecclesiastes. 

Second, the song DUST IN THE WIND by the rock group KANSAS was released in January of 1978 and I linked it’s message to that of Ecclesiastes. 

Third, in 1981 on the 700 Club that both Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of KANSAS had been born again and put their faith alone in Christ for their eternal salvation. 

Fourth, in 1990 I heard a recorded message from the 1960’s by Francis Schaeffer on the Book of Ecclesiastes. It shows the 5 pessimist conclusions humanists must come to when looking at life UNDER THE SUN (without God in the picture).

Fifth,  I sent out over 250 letters on Ecclesiastes and Evolution to prominent skeptics and scientists across the world with the song DUST IN THE WIND in the first 3 minutes on the audio tape followed by Adrian Rogers sermon FOUR BRIDGES THE EVOLUTIONIST CAN NOT CROSS. 

Adrian Rogers: Evolution Fact or Fiction (#1914)

This  message on Ecclesiastes was originally given by Adrian Rogers on June 20, 1973 under the title THE QUEST FOR THE BEST but I heard him give it to the Evangelical Christian School Junior High Chapel in April of 1976 when I was a 14 year  old 8th grader. That started me on a journey of studying the Book of Ecclesiastes and on January 16, 1978 the song DUST IN THE WIND was released and the song peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 the week of April 22, 1978, 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. 

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.”

Kansas – Dust in the Wind (Official Video)

Both Kerry Livgren and 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 shockedand 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 Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 1

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

SOME MAY WONDER WHY I THINK JAMES BOND REMINDS ME OF ECCLESIASTES? READ THIS PORTION OF ADRIAN ROGERS SERMON BELOW AND I THINK YOU WILL SEE THE COMPARISON OF SOLOMON AND JAMES BOND’S FREE LOVE LIFESTYLE:

bond old

Next King Solomon tried LUST. Ecclesiastes 2:10 “And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them.” Solomon had 700 wives. He had the first Bunny Club. He believed for a while in Hugh Hefner’s philosophy and he thought maybe this was the answer to life. You see he is searching. He is trying to find what the true meaning of life is. Let me tell you young people that when it comes to the difference between love and lust you better know the difference. 

Solomon happens to be talking to his son; that’s why he’s talking to his son about the girls. But I just want to say a word to some of you girls, also, about some of these guys.  You know what a man will do? He’ll come to a girl and date a girl and take her out and wine her and dine her and then he’ll begin to say to her, I love you.  I really love you. He’ll tell her that several times.  He’ll just pour the sugar in her ear, and then he’ll say to her, Do you love me?  And if she says, Yes, then he’ll say, Prove it.   And what he means by that is he wants her to show her love, to prove her love by sexual immorality.  If there’s one thing that doesn’t prove love, it’s that.   

Do you know what proves love? Do you know what really proves love? You are able to  appreciate and enjoy a person and that person’s character without having to sully their purity by doing it.  

This guy says to this gal, Oh, I just can’t wait.  I just can’t wait! I just can’t wait! The Bible says Jacob waited for Rachel seven years because of the love that he had for her, and it seemed as a few days.  You see, lust can’t wait.  Love can wait.  Lust wants to get.  Love wants to give.  And when that guy says, I love you, I love you, I love you, what he really means is I love me, I love me, I love me.   Oh, he loves you, but not with Bible love. 

A man goes out here in an orange grove.  He gets one of those big succulent oranges.  He takes his pin knife and cuts a plug out of it, puts it up to his mouth, and squeezes all of the juice out of it.  Then he throws it on the ground like a piece of garbage, wipes his mouth and says, Man, I just love oranges. Young lady, that’s the way he loves you! And when you’re left like a piece of garbage, he says, Boy, that was wonderful.  Aren’t oranges good! But what he really means is, I love me.

____________

ADDITIONAL SCRIPTURES FROM ECCLESIASTES BELOW

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!

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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.

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(Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman but 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.”

————-

BACK TO ADRIAN ROGERS TRANSCRIPT

People say “Free Love.” If it is free then it is not love. Love is committment. People say, “You are just trying to keep me from having fun. I am trying to let you have fun. When God says “Don’t commit adultery” or “Flee Fornification” God is trying to keep sex for you. It is God’s most precious gift. Don’t defile it. You wait until you can have a sanctified and holy marriage. Because if you break God’s laws you will also break your heart. 

God’s laws are for your welfare.

God is not a tyrant in heaven making a bunch of laws to make you squirm like a worm in hot ashes as you try to keep those laws. God loves you. Every time God says “Thou shalt not,” God is simply saying, “Don’t hurt yourself.” And every time God says, “Thou shalt,” God is saying, “Help yourself to happiness.” God has something so wonderful for you. If you obey God’s laws you will discover it is the way to happiness and peace. 

King Solomon tried LUST and he found that was not the answer. He tried all of these other things and he looked everywhere he knew to look but then he discovered the meaning in his quest for the best. Do you  know he tried last of all that really  satisfied him? 

 The Answer is found in  Ecclesiastes 12:13-14:

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man. For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.

He tried the LORDLet us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God.. He said take it from a man who tried everything and give your heart to the LORD. Not only is Solomon saying give your heart to the LORD but he is saying do it while you are young. I  know what a lot of you are thinking which is “One of these days I will try the LORD when I get old and it is no more fun to go around and party then I will try the LORD when I get to be an old man like Solomon was.” Well, hear is what Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 12:1:

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them;

God knew there would be preachers like Adrian Rogers talking to guys and gals like you. So God put this in the Bible. You don’t have to learn certain things by experience. You can learn some things from God’s word. You can simply take them by faith. People say “Young people just have to sew their wild oats.” No they don’t but if they do sew them then they have to reap them. But how better to learn from God’s word? Solomon is saying I wish someone had told me this when I was a teenager. Here is a man with a burned out life and he wrote in God’s inspired word I tried the rest of that and it doesn’t work and the conclusion of the whole matter is fear God. You say “Adrian Rogers you are a preacher so I would expect you to say that.” I loved the LORD as a highschool senior and I was president of my class and captain of the football team. The girl I dated knew the Lord Jesus. We ended our dates with prayer and I am married to her now. I tell you as I look back on my high school and my college I thank God that I knew  the Lord. 

I’d be a Christian if there were no Heaven or Hell, just to know the Lord Jesus Christ in this life. Don’t feel sorry for me because I know the Lord. I am not losing anything. Friends all around me are trying to find what the heart yearns for by sin undermine, I have the secret, I know where it is found, only true pleasures in Jesus abound. Jesus is all people need in this world today. 

Blindly they strive, for sin darkens their way.

Oh to pull back the grim curtains of night,

One look at Jesus, and all will be light. (Harry D. Loes)

The most glorious fact in the world is that you can know God personally. The saddest fact is that so many fail to do it. 

May God protect you and give you peace, joy and health and may your generation help us out the mess that my generation got us into. God  bless  you and we love you and thank God for you. 

Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock

At 59 years of age I was not very excited to learn that my heart was giving out on me. A little over a year ago I was told by my heart doctor that I would have to go into the hospital and get a heart stent put in because my heart was too weak to have open heart surgery. . Next I knew it was 6 am on the morning of July 15, 2020, and I was lying on the operating table and the doctor was telling me that the anesthesia would start to work and that I would be falling to sleep soon and then he would start working on putting in my heart stent. Then mid-sentence (it seemed) the doctor announced that the operation was over and the operation to put in my stent did not work. It had appeared to me that I had several hours of me being asleep disappear from my life. Actually several hours had passed by with me not realizing it.Then the doctor told me that I would stay in the hospital (at Baptist Hospital in Little Rock pictured above) for a week till my open heart surgery would take place. (The danger of getting exposed to COVID-19 was too great to send me home.) That gave me a lot of time to think about my life and on July 22, 2020 (exactly one year from today) I went to the operating table. My thoughts leading up to this moment concentrated on my faith in Christ alone for my salvation and on the reliability of the Word of God. The constant thought I had that week was that the moment I laid on the operating table and went under the influence of anesthesia I would it seem wake up instantly and the operation would be over and I would either be in the recovery room or if the operation went poorly then I would be in my eternal home! Sure enough I fell asleep on the operating table at 6am and woke up immediately (it seemed) to find myself thrilled to be alive!!! I stayed awake for 35 hours in a row and finally got some rest after I was given some morphine. The happiest moment was when I saw my wife Jill come see me in the hospital. Seeing Jill inspired me to take my first walk and start my rehabilitation. 5 days later I was out of the hospital and soon after I would be walking 4 miles a day after a 5-bypass heart operation.We all are going to face a similar day in the future and it is best to think long and hard about our eternal destiny. Are you relying on your faith alone in Christ for your salvation? The Bible is true and can be trusted.Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death; but the GIFT OF GOD IS ETERNAL LIFE THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD.” The first part of this verse is about the judgment sinners must face if not pardoned, but the second part is about Christ who paid our sin debt!!! Did you know that Romans 6:23 is part of what we call the Roman Road to Christ. Here is how it goes:

  • Because of our sin, we are separated from God.
    For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.  (Romans 3:23)
  • The Penalty for our sin is death.
    For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23)
  • The penalty for our sin was paid by Jesus Christ!
    But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Romans 5:8)
  • If we repent of our sin, then confess and trust Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will be saved from our sins!
    For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.  (Romans 10:13)
    …if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. (Romans 10:9,10)

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.

No Time To Die ending explained: How Daniel Craig’s final James Bond movie concludes

The latest 007 adventure may not have a post-credits scene to stir you, but its ending will definitely leave you shaken.

Daniel Craig’s final James Bond adventure has one heck of an ending.MGM

You could say No Time To Die is the Bond movie to end all Bond movies. Already a hit in the UK, the 25th official 007 movie closes Daniel Craig’s 15-year tenure as James Bond with a bang (just don’t expect a post-credits scene).

“In Daniel Craig’s final outing as the suave superspy, James Bond finally gets a life,” Richard Trenholm said in CNET’s No Time to Die review, which is out now in the US and in Australia on Nov. 11. “The result is an epic, explosive and emotional swan song that throws everything it has against the wall for a genuinely unique entry in the series.” That’s especially true of the bold and unprecedented ending.

Let’s dive into the movie’s final moment, but be warned: the following SPOILERS should be for your eyes only if you’ve seen the movie.

Infiltration

Bioterrorist Lyutsifer Safin (Rami Malek) drags Bond’s former lover Madeleine Swann (Lea Seydoux) and her daughter Mathilde to his classic villain lair on an old World War II island base between Japan and Russia. Earlier, Madeleine insisted Mathilde wasn’t Bond’s kid, but those striking blue eyes suggest otherwise.

Madeleine’s father, the late Mr. White, killed Safin’s family on behalf of terrorist group Spectre when Safin was just a wee lad, so he killed Madeleine’s mother to get back at Mr. White. Madeleine got trapped under ice as she tried to escape this attack, but Safin saved her and became obsessed like a big weirdo.

Lyutsifer Safin brings some creepy villainy to the adventure.MGM

Safin already forced her to take part in his scheme to wipe out Spectre with Heracles, a DNA-based bioweapon containing nanobots that target specific people. Bond unwittingly completes her mission to kill captive Spectre boss Ernst Stavro Blofeld (Christoph Waltz), as part of Safin’s revenge (cue maniacal laughter). But there’s more: from his base, Safin intends to launch Heracles globally, infecting millions (laughter intensifies).

Newly reinstated as 007, Bond and fellow 00 agent Nomi (Lashana Lynch) infiltrate the island and seemingly succeed in opening the silo doors for a missile strike ordered by M (Ralph Fiennes) to wipe out Safin’s base. Nomi escapes with Madeleine and Mathilde, while Bond sticks around to make sure the base is destroyed.

Bond’s fate

The silo doors start to close, so Bond rushes back to reopen them. Could it be a trap? It definitely is. 

Safin gets the drop on 007, shooting Bond several times and infecting him with nanobots coded to Madeleine’s DNA — meaning he can never touch her or Mathilde again without killing them. What a jerk.

Bond numbly executes Safin and re-opens the silo doors, but it’s clear he doesn’t have time to escape. Severely wounded, he climbs a ladder to the roof and calls Madeleine to tell her he loves her.

Bond and Madeleine Swann bring us on an emotional rollercoaster.MGM

“You have all the time in the world,” he says

“She does have your eyes,” she responds, confirming that Mathilde is his daughter.

“I know,” he says, as the missiles come down on the base. “I know.”

With that, Bond is enveloped in the explosions.

Wait, James Bond dies?

Yes, for the first time in the character’s 59-year cinematic history (and 68-year literary one), 007 is killed. The movie’s title lied to us. It’s pretty definitive too; he’d been badly wounded by Safin and the missile strike wiped out the island. But the legendary spy also seemed at peace with his fate.

This comes after Bond became a father for the first time (that we know of) and seemed ready to settle down with Madeleine and Matilde, making it all the more devastating. Pardon me, I have something in my eye.

james-bond-no-time-to-die-b25-05907-rc
Daniel Craig’s James Bond: 2006-2021MGM

What happens after his death?

Nomi returns to MI6 headquarters in London and M gathers her, Moneypenny, Tanner and Q (Naomie HarrisRory Kinnear and Ben Whishaw) in an emotional toast to their late colleague during which M reads a quote from author Jack London.

“The proper function of man is to live, not to exist,” he says. “I shall not waste my days in trying to prolong them. I shall use my time.”

This was previously used in Ian Fleming’s You Only Live Twice novel, appearing in Bond’s obituary when the world thought he’d died.

More No Time to Die

The final moments take us to the spectacular Italian mountainside city of Matera, where we met Madeleine and Bond at the start of the movie. This time, she’s driving with their daughter.

“Mathilde, I’m going to tell you a story about a man,” Madeleine says. “His name was Bond, James Bond.”

The credits roll, to the tune of Louis Armstrong’s We Have All the Time in the World.

How is that song significant?

Longtime Bond fans will recognize that We Have All the Time in the World from 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, the sixth movie in the franchise and George Lazenby‘s one and only outing in the role.

The title is darkly ironic — it’s taken from Bond’s final line after his new wife, Tracy, is fatally shot by Blofeld’s goon.

No Time To Die echoes On Her Majesty’s Secret Service in that it sees Bond growing as a person and apparently willing to leave spycraft behind to settle down. In both instances, fate intervenes — and something appears to have gotten in my eye again.

Is there a post-credits scene?

No Time To Die doesn’t have a post-credits scene, but if you stick around to the end you’ll see the classic words “James Bond will return.” 

The phrase has never been more reassuring, but we don’t know yet who’ll be taking over from Craig. 

The future 007

The search for the next Bond actor will begin in 2022, producer Barbara Broccoli told BBC Radio 4’s Today program, according to Deadline.

“We want Daniel to have his time of celebration,” she said. “Next year we’ll start thinking about the future.”

The Bond franchise has always been a bit fuzzy in terms of continuity — newer actors’ movies sometimes referred to events from a previous era, so it seemed like Sean Connery, Lazenby, Roger MooreTimothy Dalton and Pierce Brosnan were all playing the same person.

However, Craig’s first movie, Casino Royale, rebooted the franchise in 2006. So his movies are a self-contained series, and the death of his version of the character closes the loop on that narrative. Goodbye, Mr. Bond.

If Broccoli and fellow producer Michael G. Wilson are feeling truly daring, Bond’s nephew appeared in 1991 cartoon James Bond Jr.Perhaps it’s time to bring young Bond out of obscurity?

Louis Armstrong – We Have All The Time in The World – 007 At Her Majesty…


The first portion of my 5-15-94 letter to Stephen Jay Gould [Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4].

On May 15, 1994 on the 10th anniversary of the passing of Francis Schaeffer I mailed the following letter to Stephen Jay Gould.

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Could you take 3 minutes and attempt to refute the nihilistic message of the song (DUST IN THE WIND) which appears at the beginning of the enclosed audio tape followed by Adrian Rogers sermon FOUR BRIDGES THE EVOLUTIONIST CAN NOT CROSS. 

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, 13900 Cottontail lane, ALEXANDER, AR 72002, TIME 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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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,

Image result for stephen jay gould

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Love Him or Hate Him, Stephen Jay Gould Made a Difference

I never met Stephen Jay Gould, though I did attend a lecture he gave two years ago. Still, that hour explained many of the opinions I’d heard of him: love, hate, joy, envy, and respect. Like a lot of people who make a difference, Gould was a study in contrasts. You also had to wonder whether he ran according to a different clock than the rest of us. The campy cliché 24/7 didn’t apply to Gould—he could not have fit so much in a 24-hour day and a 60-year life. Gould was first and forem

Jun 10, 2002
BARRY PALEVITZ

1I never met Stephen Jay Gould, though I did attend a lecture he gave two years ago. Still, that hour explained many of the opinions I’d heard of him: love, hate, joy, envy, and respect. Like a lot of people who make a difference, Gould was a study in contrasts. You also had to wonder whether he ran according to a different clock than the rest of us. The campy cliché 24/7 didn’t apply to Gould—he could not have fit so much in a 24-hour day and a 60-year life.

Gould was first and foremost a scientist. His immediate research area, the evolution of land snails, might seem quaint to some, but his impact transcended those bounds. Most scientists, and others as well, knew him as a bold thinker and synthesizer unafraid to ruffle feathers, particularly with his Punctuated Equilibrium hypothesis. Together with Niles Eldredge of the American Museum of Natural History, Gould tried to explain why species suddenly change in the fossil record. The jumps were real rather than illusory, they argued, and not the product of poor preservation of intermediate forms. Searching for such forms was pointless because they don’t exist. Instead, much of evolution is characterized by static periods in which organisms don’t change, interspersed with rapid speciation events.

Published in 1972, the hypothesis pitted Gould against gradualists adhering to traditional Darwinian explanations. It may seem more like a molehill than a mountain now, but at the time debate over the idea was pretty heated. “It was shocking in ’72,” says evolutionary ecologist Massimo Pigliucci of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. “It sparked a lot of papers,” and that’s why “it was one of the most important papers of the 20th century,” he concludes.

Whether change happens gradually or in fits depends on what you define as fast in geological terms. We now know that species can dramatically adapt to environmental changes in just a few years. Male guppies rapidly resume bright coloration for sexual display once predation pressure disappears and standing out is advantageous. By virtue of molecular genetics and developmental biology, we also know that one or a few mutations in major regulatory genes generate major changes in body form. It works in plants as well as animals—just one inactivated gene changes a bilaterally symmetrical flower into a radial one.

In a way, Gould prefaced such advances. You also see Gould’s insight on evolution and development in his books, The Panda’s Thumb and Ontogeny and Phylogeny. Pigliucci considers the latter Gould’s “most important contribution. It was one of those books that changes a field.” With Elizabeth Vrba, Gould coined the term exaptation to explain how evolution reuses parts and processes to invent new ones.

Like a lot of people who shake things up, Gould had his detractors, including evolutionary adaptationists and gradualists. Still, while “there are good reasons to question some of his contributions, several of my colleagues went overboard,” admits Pigliucci.

Just last March, Gould summed up what he’d learned about evolution—and synthesized still more—in The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. Despite flaws, Gould’s 1,433-page tome is “a magnificent summary of a quarter century of influential thinking and a major publishing event in evolutionary biology,” concluded Mark Ridley in a New York Times review.

Science Popularizer

Gould had another, very public side. Along with Carl Sagan, he was one of the 20th century’s leading spokespeople and popularizers of science. While Sagan often made The Johnny Carson Show his venue, Gould reached young people in cartoon form on The Simpsons. Over the course of 28 years, he authored 300 essays in Natural History, with assorted forays into Discover and elsewhere. Unlike Sagan, Gould made it into the National Academy of Sciences despite his public persona. “I was inspired by his popular writings,” says Pigliucci, who does his own share of communicating with the public about evolution. “How many scientists bother to do that stuff?”

Gould had many strengths as a writer, but what garnered so many fans was his impeccable prose and incredible mix of metaphor, baseball, art, and literature. In a forthcoming analysis of Gould’s 300 Natural History essays in the journal Social Studies of Science, Michael Shermer, publisher of Skeptic Magazine, documented 53 mentions of the Bible, 21 of Gilbert and Sullivan (a Gould favorite), 19 of Shakespeare, and eight of Alexander Pope. He also found 16 Latin phrases, nine in French, six in German, and one in Italian. Adds Shermer, “73% contain a significant historical element.” It’s no surprise that Gould was as much a favorite on the humanities side of American campuses as in science labs.

Gould’s writing was anthologized for freshmen English courses, notes Hugh Ruppersburg, professor of English and associate dean of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia in Athens. “His essays … were excellent examples of nonfiction prose.” Ruppersburg thinks Gould was better than science writers who aren’t professional scientists. “There was something about the way he expressed concepts that made it clear he learned them himself,” he says.

One of the people who anthologized Gould’s work is Penn State English professor John Selzer. “He was a very gifted individual, cosmopolitan in his allusions and metaphors—a lot of fun to read,” he says. Selzer picked Spandrels of San Marco, coauthored by Gould and Harvard colleague Richard Lewontin, as a prime example. Another reason Selzer thinks Gould was a hit in the humanities was his “strong argumentative edge and a real sense of voice” in taking sides on issues such as sociobiology.

Opinions are split, however, on how good a writer Gould really was, at least later in life. Pigliucci won’t argue about Gould’s early work, but thinks his writing style became “baroque.” There were so many metaphors and diversions, it was hard to follow where he was going. At one point in Gould’s Rocks of Ages, which elaborated on his nonoverlapping magisteria argument for distinguishing science and religion, I almost screamed, “No!” after reading what seemed like the hundredth use of the word exegesis.

From my point of view, Gould was at his best in explaining the history, philosophy, and methods of science to a public that, despite his best efforts, is still woefully ignorant of the subjects. “Half the book was history,” marvels Pigliucci of Ontogeny and Phylogeny. “Scientists have a stupid tendency to ignore history,” he says, but not Gould. Maybe his training in paleontology made history an obvious tool. Opines Shermer, “As a historian and philosopher of science, Gould was intensely interested in the interaction between individual scientists and their cultures.”

Creationism Wars

Perhaps nowhere save human cloning does science conflict with culture as does evolution with fundamentalist religion. Gould “was a public scientist,” says Barbara Forrest, a historian at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond who studies creationism. Forrest appreciated Gould’s willingness to stand up for evolution in public school science curricula. Unlike many of his evolutionist colleagues, Gould thought the battle worth fighting. He even testified in the famous McLean v. Arkansas Board of Education case. Federal judge William Overton in part used Gould’s testimony in 1982 to outlaw equal time for so-called scientific creationism in Arkansas schools. It wasn’t easy for Gould, whose words and ideas were often misrepresented by creationists. “He was prone to comments that can easily be extracted from text and taken to mean exactly the opposite of what he meant,” says Elizabeth Craig of Kansas Citizens for Science.

When creationism mutated into its latest incarnation, ‘intelligent design theory,’ about 10 years ago, Gould again pitched in, for example, with his book Rocks of Ages and a Time magazine commentary on the Kansas School Board decision to remove evolution from state science standards. Michigan State University philosopher Robert Pennock used two of Gould’s essays in a recent, mammoth point-counterpoint analysis of intelligent design. Says Forrest, “A person as important in science as he was thought it worthwhile to get involved. He lent his reputation to get the attention of the media. He did what I wish more scientists would do.”

Pugnacious, or Obnoxious?

Gould was a fascinating, complex character who had weaknesses as well as strengths, including a reputation for arrogance. Many scientists still resent the rough treatment Gould and Lewontin gave soft-spoken biologist E.O. Wilson, father of the sociobiology field, back in the 1970s. The word around Harvard Yard, at least among some students, was that Gould was arrogant. Still, his classes filled. In a touching letter to the New York Times on May 22, a student in Gould’s history of life class paid tribute, calling Gould’s teaching: “a tour de force that Harvard students may not see the likes of any time soon.”

My Two Cents

Will Rogers once said of an American president, “He puts his pants on one leg at a time,” meaning he’s only human. The question is, do we hold Gould’s personal failings so important that they distort the sum of his life in science and society? The answer is no. When all is said and done, Gould made a big difference. With the death of Carl Sagan in 1996, and now Stephen Jay Gould, science is much the poorer, given that so many of its practitioners shy away from making their work accessible to the public.

On the bright side, for the first time, more than 50% of Americans agree that humans evolved from simpler animals, according to a recent National Science Board survey. We still have great science popularizers, such as E.O. Wilson and Jared Diamond. And more have come out of the ivory closet, witness testimony and articles about biotechnology and cloning. Still, we’ll miss YOU, Steve.Barry A. Palevitz (palevitz@dogwood.botany.uga.edu) is a contributing editor.

1986: The internationally-acclaimed artist, Robert Rauschenberg, with paleontologist and evolutionary biologist, Stephen Jay Gould during the American Academy of Achievement’s 25th-anniversary Summit at historic Mount Vernon, Virginia; 1987: Awards Council member Dr. Stephen Jay Gould presents the Academy of Achievement’s Golden Plate Award to Dr. Jane Goodall at the Banquet of the Golden Plate gala ceremonies in Scottsdale, Arizona.


Stephen Jay Gould is the scholar I will look at today. In  the third video below in the 147th clip in this series are his words “If I were  a bacteria I would be quite satisfied that I was dominating the planet…I don’t know why consciousness should be seen as any state of higher being especially if you use the evolutionist primary criterion of success measured by duration” and I have responded directly to this quote in any earlier post.

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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Stephen Jay Gould (/ɡuːld/; September 10, 1941 – May 20, 2002) was an American paleontologistevolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read authors of popular science of his generation.[1] Gould spent most of his career teaching at Harvard University and working at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. In 1996, Gould was hired as the Vincent Astor Visiting Research Professor of Biology at New York University, where he divided his time teaching there and at Harvard.

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.

(This is the reason I put the 3 minute song DUST IN THE WIND at the beginning of the audio cassette tape I sent to these atheists on May 15, 1994!!!)

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).

_____________________________________

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.

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

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