FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 438 Responding to Dan Barker’s book LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE ( ISAAC NEWTON, one of the early Enlightenment thinkers, is the person who actually taught us about the properties of light, showing that white light is really a combination of the rainbow colors that represent different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation ) Mr. Barker, Did you know that Isaac Newton spent much of his time studying the Book of Daniel and writing about it?FEATURED ARTIST IS CIMABUE (c.1240-1302)

Life Driven Purpose: How an Atheist Finds Meaning

I have read articles for years from Dan Barker, but recently I just finished the book Barker wrote entitled LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE which was prompted by Rick Warren’s book PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE which I also read several years ago.

Dan Barker is the  Co-President of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, And co-host of Freethought Radio and co-founder of The Clergy Project.

On March 19, 2022, I got an email back from Dan Barker that said:

Thanks for the insights.

Have you read my book Life Driven Purpose? To say there is no purpose OF life is not to say there is no purpose IN life. Life is immensely meaningful when you stop looking for external purpose.

Ukraine … we’ll, we can no longer blame Russian aggression on “godless communism.” The Russian church, as far as I know, has not denounced the war.

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In the next few weeks I will be discussing the book LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE which I did enjoy reading. Here is an assertion that Barker makes that I want to discuss:

It wasn’t until more than a millennium later that the Enlightenment—another appropriate name—began to tease out scientific truth from dogma. Isaac Newton, one of the early Enlightenment thinkers, is the person who actually taught us about the properties of light, showing that white light is really a combination of the rainbow colors that represent different frequencies of electromagnetic radiation.

Did you know that Isaac Newton spent much of his time studying the Book of Daniel and writing about it? Daniel is also my favorite book in the Bible and I named one of my sons Wilson Daniel Hatcher! There are some amazing prophecies in it and it is a historically accurate book.

Daniel chapter 2 predicted the succession of Babylon to Medi-Persia to Greece to Rome.

Examples of Non-Messianic Prophecies

  • The Succession of Great World Kingdoms (Daniel 2:37-42). Even negative critics agree that Daniel foretold the governments in order of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
  • Cyrus King of Persia (Isaiah 44:28-45:1). Since Isaiah lived between about 740 and 690 BC and Cyrus did not make his proclamation for Israel to return from exile until about 536 (Ezra 1), there would have been no human way for him to know what Cyrus would be named or what Cyrus would do.
  • Israel to Be Returned to Its Land A Second Time (Isaiah 11:11-12). The first time God reclaimed a people was from Egypt through the Exodus; the second time is from the Babylonian Exile (Isaiah 51:9-11).
  • The Closing of the Golden Gate (Ezekiel 44:2-3). The Golden Gate is the eastern gate of Jerusalem, through which Christ made his triumphal entry on Palm Sunday before the crucifixion (Matthew 21). Ezekiel predicted its closing and in 1543 Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent closed the gate and walled it up, not knowing he was fulfilling prophecy. It remains sealed to this day exactly as the Bible predicted.
  • The Destruction of Tyre (Ezekiel 26:3-14). The prophecy was partly fulfilled when Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the city and left it in ruins. Alexander the Great later attacked the seemingly impregnable Island of Tyre by taking the stones, dust, and timber from the ruined mainland city to build a causeway to the Island. This prophecy is comparable to saying that Chicago will be destroyed and never rebuilt.
  • The Doom of Edom (Petra) (Jeremiah 49:15-17). Given the virtually impregnable nature of the ancient city carved out of rock and protected by a narrow passageway, this was an incredible prediction. Yet, in 636 AD it was conquered by Muslims and today stands deserted but for tourists.
  • Flourishing of the Desert in Palestine (Ezekiel 36:33-35). Since before the turn of the twentieth century, Israel has been renovated and Israel’s agriculture is flourishing.
  • Destruction of Jerusalem (Mark 13:1-2). Fulfilled literally when the Romans completely destroyed Jerusalem and the temple buildings. According to historian and eyewitness Josephus, some of the stones were 37 feet long, 12 feet high and 18 feet wide. Stones were even pried apart to collect the gold leaf that melted from the roof when the temple was set on fire.

A couple of years ago I sent you the CD “Dust, Darwin and Disbelief,” by Adrian Rogers and Bill Elliff. On that CD you will find this story below:

The Bible is affirmed through historical accuracy. Do you remember the story about the handwriting on the wall that is found in the fifth chapter of Daniel? Belshazzar hosted a feast with a thousand of his lords and ladies. Suddenly, a gruesome hand appeared out of nowhere and began to write on a wall. The king was disturbed and asked for someone to interpret the writing. Daniel was found and gave the interpretation. After the interpretation, “Then commanded Belshazzar, and they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain of gold about his neck, and made a proclamation concerning him, that he should be the third ruler in the kingdom.” (Daniel 5:29). Basing their opinion on Babylonian records, the historians claim this never happened. According to the records, the last king of Babylon was not Belshazzar, but a man named Nabonidas. And so, they said, the Bible is in error. There wasn’t a record of a king named Belshazzar. Well, the spades of archeologists continued to do their work. In 1853, an inscription was found on a cornerstone of a temple built by Nabonidas, to the god Ur, which read: “May I, Nabonidas, king of Babylon, not sin against thee. And may reverence for thee dwell in the heart of Belshazzar, my first-born favorite son.” From other inscriptions, it was learned that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents. Nabonidas traveled while Belshazzar stayed home to run the kingdom. Now that we know that Belshazzar and Nabonidas were co-regents, it makes sense that Belshazzar would say that Daniel would be the third ruler. What a marvelous nugget of truth tucked away in the Word of God!

Liberals argue that Daniel did not write the book in the 6th century B.C. But in the Maccabean period, but how would a Maccabean author know these details? [1] Belshazzar was ruling during the last few years of the Babylonian Empire. [2] The Babylonians executed individuals by casting them into fire, but the Persians threw the condemned to the lions. [3] The practice in the 6th Century was to mention first the Medes, then the Persians. [4] Laws made by Persian kings could not be revoked. [5] In the sixth century B.C., Susa was in the province of Elam (Dan. 8:2). [6] Nebuchadnezzar had a pride problem (Dan. 4:30) and often boasted about his great building projects.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

 For Newton and the other early scientists, no problem concerning the why, because they began with the existence of a personal God who had created the universe.

R.C.Sproul asserted:

Historically, an example of a healthy attitude toward science and revelation was found in Isaac Newton. He did not live in fear of contradicting his faith through the study of the world. He said that the activity of the scientist is to think God’s thoughts after him. Newton’s was a humble, as well as a careful approach. He understood that all truth meets at the top.

Actually I had the opportunity to debate the 6th century authorship of Daniel with Farrell Till in his publication THE SKEPTICAL REVIEW (can be found at this link: https://web.archive.org/web/20160303233345/http://www.theskepticalreview.com/tsrmag/992dan.html )

Francis Schaeffer

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https://youtu.be/8DsC0n4iMIY

Featured Artist is CIMABUE

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Cimabue - 1240-1302

CIMABUE (c.1240-1302)

Although in some of his works Cimabue already represented a visible evolution of the rigid Byzantine art, his greatest contribution to painting was to discover a young talented artist named Giotto (see number 2), who changed forever the Western painting.


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