FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 439 Responding to Dan Barker’s book LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE ( Yes there are atheists with great character and my friend the late Dr. John George of the University of Central Oklahoma was one of those!) FEATURED ARTIST IS Morisot

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.

db

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:

In chapter one Barker states:

In The Good Atheist, I profiled hundreds of atheists and nonbelievers who have lived purposeful lives. Elizabeth Cady Stanton working for universal suffrage—the radical idea that women can participate in their own democracy—Margaret Sanger struggling for birth control, W. E. B. Du Bois working for civil rights, Bill Gates combating poverty and poor health, Joe Hill organizing unions, Beatrice and Sydney Webb reforming health care. Actors, artists, authors, composers, feminists, human rights activists, journalists, playwrights, philanthropists, philosophers, poets, political leaders, psychologists, psychiatrists, reformers, revolutionaries, scientists, and songwriters.29 The world has been richly blessed by the actions of nontheists who have cared enough about this world, the only world we are certain of, to try to meet the challenges that threaten our survival and well-being.

They Never Said It by Paul F. Boller.Jr @John George - 1989-01-01

I explained earlier that I have many friends who are skeptics and I hold them in high regard and consider them extremely ethical. The late John George (author of THEY NEVER SAID IT) was one of those and below you can see that he came to my defense with Farrell Till and Farrell changed his attitude about me and actually ran an article I gave him from Ted Davis about James Bartley and the fake modern day Jonah story which I heard from my pulpit while growing up in a Baptist Church.

Dr. Ted Davis

Dr. Ted Davis


This originally came to our church from a book by Sidlow Baxter who spoke several times at our church. Below I will provide John George’s letter about my Daniel article and then provide my article last following the article on the modern Jonah. You will notice also that I have confronted over 30 religious right authors who have used founders quotes that have not been verified, and Farrell Till praised Dr. George and I for our efforts in that regard. D. James Kennedy and Tim LaHaye were two of the individuals who tried to defend their use of these unverified quotes.

https://web.archive.org/web/20101130140000/http://theskepticalreview.com/tsrmag/986mail.html

From the Mailbag

1998 / November-December
 Mailbag

Was Hatcher Misrepresented?

Having been quite impressed with your work (especially your humor and fairness) for several years now, I feel compelled to call your attention to two instances where you have written inaccurately about claims made by Everette Hatcher. And please understand that my views on religion are the same as yours and thus in diametric opposition to those of Mr. Hatcher.

(1) TSR, March/April 1998, p. 7, you accuse Hatcher of misrepresenting the views of Norman Porteous by claiming Porteous as an advocate of 6th century BCE authorship of Daniel, ^but^ on p. 2 (middle column) Hatcher calls Porteous a “Bible critic” who questions only one small item about Daniel. Hatcher has never tried to pass Porteous off as anything other than a proponent of the 2nd century BCE authorship view.

(2) TSR, July/August 1998, p. 14, you again accuse Hatcher of purposely leaving the impression that certain scholars favor the 6th century BCE view. Knowing Everette Hatcher as I do, I can state unequivocally that he is intellectually honest and would do no such thing. Hatcher respects your scholarship and broad knowledge of the Bible and has stated these views to me on three different occasions.

Please continue your instructive work.

(John George, College of Liberal Arts, University of Central Oklahoma, Department of Political Science, 100 North University Drive, Edmond, OK 73034-5209)

EDITOR’S NOTE: In the June/July 1998 issue, I explained that Everette Hatcher had informed me during a phone conversation that I had misunderstood his intentions, because he was not trying “to leave the impression that scholars like H. H. Rowley, Samuel Driver, and Norman Porteous were advocates of a 6th-century B. C. authorship of Daniel” but was claiming only that they “had made some admissions that were damaging to their position that this book was written in the 2nd century B. C., during the Maccabean era” (p. 6). I went on to say that after having reread Hatcher’s article, I had noticed some sections “that could be so interpreted.” I noted, however, that Hatcher did at other times leave the impression that “these scholars were on his side” but that I was “willing to take his word for it” if he claimed that his intention was not to misrepresent. That issue, then, has already been settled, but I do think that in future articles, Hatcher should be more careful in his citation of authorities. One thing that he may want to keep in mind is that it isn’t a good idea to quote just a brief fragment of an author’s statement, without giving the full context of the statement, especially when the full context would clearly show a position that is contrary to the one that is being argued. This tactic is so widespread in the literature of biblical fundamentalism that an apologist with honest intentions who quotes only fragments and snatches from his sources will run the risk of having his readers assume that they are seeing just another inerrantist attempt to misrepresent.

Even Hatcher should realize this risk, because he has sent to me articles and published letters that he has written to biblical fundamentalists like Tim LaHaye and Dr. James Kennedy in which he took them to task for quoting out of context and even falsifying quotations in efforts to make Bible-believing Christians out of so-called “founding fathers” like George Washington, John Adams, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. He should be aware, then, of the danger of being misunderstood when fragmented quotations are lifted from a larger context as support for a position that the quoted author does not himself defend.

My contacts with Professor John George and Everette Hatcher since the discussions of the book of Daniel began have altered significantly my opinion of Mr. Hatcher. I have seen enough of his letters to biblical fundamentalists to see that even though he is himself a biblical inerrantist, he deplores the dishonest methods that many inerrantists use in defense of their positions. What I have seen has, in fact, given me hope that Hatcher may some day see that biblical inerrancy is a position that cannot be sustained even by honest methods of argumentation. The recognition that there is no real evidence to support their position is probably why so many inerrantists resort to dishonest apologetic methods.

Although the religious beliefs of the so-called founding fathers is not an issue that TSR discusses, I will take the time to mention that Everette Hatcher sent to me an excellent manuscript (“Misquotes, Fake Quotes, and Disputed Quotes of the Founders”) on the subject. It exposes the misrepresentations and distortions found in the works of Christian fundamentalists who are trying hard to make their readers believe that men like Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Madison, etc. were zealous, Bible-believing Christians. Those interested in seeing the manuscript should contact Hatcher at 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002.

I have also learned that Hatcher and Professor George have worked together on this issue and that George and Paul Boller, Jr., co-authored *They Never Said It,* a book published by Oxford University Press, which exposes many misquotations that Christian fundamentalists, in their zeal to make the United States a nation founded on biblical principles, have attributed to the “founding fathers.” Paul F. Boller, Jr., is a historian at Texas Christian University, whose book George Washington & Religion (Southern University Press, 1963) demolished the myth that Washington was a devout Christian.

XXXXXXXXXX

A Legend in His Own Time
by Farrell Till



1999 / January-February


In the last issue of TSR, we discussed the myth about astronomical proof of Joshua’s long day that biblicists still recycle from time to time even though it has been repeatedly discredited and even rejected by scientifically informed inerrantists. As the mailbag column in this issue shows, these articles created a lot of interest in the subject, an interest that is no doubt partly due to the attention that this myth has received on the internet, where naive biblicists continue to cite it as proof of biblical inerrancy. I mentioned in my article that I recalled encountering this myth for the first time when as a Bible college student in the 50s, I dutifully read Harry Rimmer’s Harmony of Science and Scripture. Rimmer was a Baptist preacher whose stock in trade was defending the Bible with appeals to pseudoscience. He was sort of the Josh McDowell of that time, and no serious ministerial student was without at least some of Rimmer’s books in his personal library.

Over the years, I lost Rimmer’s Harmony of Science and Scripture, but Don Robertson, a subscriber from South Carolina, saw my reference to it and sent me some photocopied pages from the chapter that presented the version of this urban myth that was circulating in the 50s. Now that we have seen the latest “NASA” version of the myth, looking at the version that Rimmer told in his book (copyrighted in 1936) should help even staunch biblicists see the unreliability of the kind of information that their “apologists” use to defend the Bible. The quotation is a bit long, but I’m going to publish it uncut so that no one can accuse me of misrepresenting Rimmer.The final testimony of science is that such a day [Joshua’s long day] left its record for all time. As long as time shall be, the record of this long day must remain. The fact is attested by eminent men of science, two of whom I quote here.Sir Edwin Ball, the great British astronomer, found that twenty-four hours had been lost out of solar time. Where did that go, what was the cause of this strange lapse, and how did it happen? The answer may be expected in vain from sources of human wisdom and learning!There is a place, however, where the answer is found. And this place is attested by a scientist of standing. There is a book by Prof. C. A. Totten of Yale, written in 1890, which establishes the case beyond the shadow of a doubt. The condensed account of his book, briefly summarized, is as follows:Professor Totten wrote of a fellow-professor, an accomplished astronomer, who made the strange discovery that the earth was twenty-four hours out of schedule! That is to say, there had been twenty-four hours lost out of time. In discussing this point with his fellow-professors, Professor Totten challenged this man to investigate the question of the inspiration of the Bible. He said, “You do not believe the Bible to be the Word of God, and I do. Now here is a fine opportunity to prove whether or not the Bible is inspired. You begin to read at the very beginning and read as far as need be, and see if the Bible can account for your missing time.”The astronomer accepted the challenge and began to read. Some time later, when the two men chanced to meet on the campus, Professor Totten asked his friend if he had proved the question to his satisfaction. His colleague replied, “I believe I have definitely proved that the Bible is not the Word of God. In the tenth chapter of Joshua, I found the missing twenty-four hours accounted for. Then I went back and checked up on my figures, and found that at the time of Joshua there were only twenty-three hours and twenty minutes lost. If the Bible made a mistake of forty minutes, it is not the Word of God!”Professor Totten said, “You are right, in part at least. But does the Bible say that a whole day was lost at the time of Joshua?” So they looked and saw that the text said, “aboutthe space of a whole day.”The word “about” changed the whole situation, and the astronomer took up his reading again. He read on until he came to the thirty-eighth chapter of the prophet Isaiah. In this chapter, Isaiah has left us the thrilling story of the king, Hezekiah, who was sick unto death. In response to his prayer, God promised to add fifteen more years to his life. To confirm the truth of His promise, God offered a sign. He said, “Go out in the court and look at the sundial of Ahaz. I will make the shadow on the sundial back up ten degrees!” Isaiah recounts that the king looked, and while he looked, the shadow turned backward ten degrees, by which ten degrees it had already gone down! This settles the case, for ten degrees on the sundial is forty minutes on the face of the clock! So the accuracy of the Book was established to the satisfaction of this exacting critic.When the astronomer found his day of missing time thus accounted for, he laid down the Book and worshipped its Writer, saying, “Lord, I believe!” (Harmony of Science and Scripture, Books, Inc., 1960, pp. 236-238).

I naively lapped up such stuff as this in my Bible college days. I’m embarrassed to admit it, because Rimmer’s story almost reeks with the smell of phoniness. In his rebuttal of the NASA version of this myth, Charles Brennecke explained why finding a “missing day” in the time of Joshua would not be possible, but the scientifically impossible claims in the story are not the only reasons to doubt it. Professor Totten, the source of Rimmer’s version of the myth, apparently didn’t bother to give the name of his “fellow-professor,” who was identified only as an “accomplished astronomer,” so there was no way that Rimmer’s readers could have checked the accuracy of Totten’s claim that a professor’s quest to find a missing day in time had converted him from skeptic to believer. I’m always suspicious of tales about unnamed skeptics who are instantly converted without even taking the time to evaluate whatever it was that presumably impressed them so profoundly. I would say that Totten’s “fellow-professor” could not have been much of an “accomplished astronomer”–and certainly not an accomplished skeptic–if immediately after reading the tale about Hezekiah’s sundial, he laid the Bible down and said, “Lord, I believe!” This sounds too much like those apologetic yarns about the atheistic professor who was silenced in his tracks by a simplistic question that any informed skeptic could easily answer, but pulpit audiences eat up this kind of stuff. That’s why preachers use it.

Furthermore, Rimmer, like his present-day counterparts, didn’t even try to explain how the “professor” knew that exactly 23 hours and 20 minutes were missing in the time of Joshua. He simply said that the professor “checked up on [his] figures” and made this determination. Exactly what calculations did the professor make, and what “figures” did he check? How was he even able to make any calculations at all without knowing the exact orbital positions of the earth and moon before and after the alleged long day? It’s incredible that biblicists would continue to circulate this yarn without even investigating to see if existing scientific information can even establish its truth.

In many respects, however, the versions of this tale are alike. Rimmer tried to give his account respectability by attributing the quest for a missing day in time to a professor at Yale and a “fellow-professor” who was an “accomplished astronomer.” Harold Hill adapted his account to the space program and made NASA scientists the counterparts of the professor at Yale and his friend, the “accomplished astronomer,” but in both accounts, “scientists,” who would presumably be trustworthy people qualified to know, had discovered a missing day in time and then found the explanation for it in the Bible. The end result in the minds of gullible inerrantists would be that science has confirmed the truth of the biblical account of Joshua’s long day. Never mind that the information in either version of the story was insufficient to establish the truth of a myth that presumably proves the biblical myth. What biblical inerrantists are going to know enough about science to see holes in the story? Those who do know enough about science to see flaws in it (like the staff members of Apologetics Press, Inc., mentioned in my earlier article on the subject) reject the myth and advise others not to use it as an apologetic argument, but that Christians who have no background in science would be so quick to believe such a tale as this should not be surprising. After all, their whole religious lives have been based on a believe-anything approach to the Bible.

Everette Hatcher, whose defense of the book of Daniel will continue in the next issue, apparently recognizes the phoniness of at least some of the information that Christian apologists use to defend biblical inerrancy, because he has sent to me an article from Perspectives on Science & Christian Faith that debunks another “scientific” proof that Rimmer used in Harmony of Science and Scripture. Rimmer claimed that the story of an English sailor, who was swallowed by a “whale shark” and then recovered alive forty-eight hours later, proves that the story of Jonah is scientifically possible. The article that Hatcher sent to me (“A Whale of a Tale: Fundamentalist Fish Stories,” December 4, 1991, pp. 224-237) was written by Dr. Edward B. Davis, a professor of science and history at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania. It relates the author’s detailed research into Rimmer’s fish story, a tedious effort that took Davis into the archives of various libraries and newspapers on both sides of the Atlantic over a period of several months before leading him to the conclusion that the story was a legend that never happened. The article is fascinating reading that I highly recommend, because it shows not only how legends begin and grow but how that they can even become full blown within the lifetimes of the principal parties in them. This latter point is important, because a popular argument that Christian apologists use in defense of the resurrection of Jesus is that a minimum of four generations is necessary for a legend to develop, because if it begins earlier than this, people who lived at the time of the event or person being legendized would be able to nip the story in the bud by testifying that they were alive at the time and place and knew nothing about the events and people in the legend. According to the argument, the same would be true of the second- and third-generation descendants of people who had lived at the time. They could kill the legend by testifying that their parents and grandparents living at the time had never mentioned any events or persons involved in it. This is a commonly heard apologetic argument, but Davis’s research into Rimmer’s fish story shows that it is without basis, because legends can and do develop over much shorter periods of time than four generations and sometimes even within the very lifetimes of the principal parties in the legends. In this country, we have only to consider the legends that developed around such frontier heroes and outlaws as Wyatt Earp, Wild Bill Hickok, Buffalo Bill, Jesse James, Billy the Kid, etc. to know that legends can develop much sooner than four generations. I could cite other examples of rapidly emerging legends, but at this point I am not as interested in debunking the fundamentalist argument about legends as in showing how that a particular legend about a man and a whale began and was used in a pseudoscientific attempt to vindicate the Bible.

Davis became interested in Rimmer’s modern Jonah when he inherited books from a relative of his wife and found inside one of them a copy of a sermon that Harry Rimmer had preached on “Jonah and the Whale.” Between the book pages, there were also sermons on “Noah’s Ark and the Deluge” and “Modern Science and the Long Day of Joshua,” all of which Rimmer had later included in Harmony of Science and the Scripture. Attached to Rimmer’s sermon on Jonah was a tract about Jonah by an unknown Fred T. Fuge and also an article from The Moody Bible Institute Monthly (September 1930), which had been written by Professor Albertus Pieters of Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan, to explore the possibility of a man’s being able to survive for three days in the stomach of a whale. Pieters’ article cited some sources that I will refer to later, but first I will present the version of the modern-day Jonah as Davis found it in Rimmer’s sermon folded between the pages of the book he had inherited.In the Literary Digest we noticed an account of an English sailor who was swallowed by a gigantic Rhinodon [i. e., a whale shark] in the English Channel. Briefly, the account stated that in the attempt to harpoon one of these monstrous sharks this sailor fell overboard, and before he could be picked up again, the shark, feeding, turned and engulfed him. His horrified friends made so much outcry that they frightened the fish, and it sounded and disappeared.The entire trawler fleet put out to hunt the fish down, and forty-eight hours after the incident occurred the fish was sighted and slain with a one-pound deck-gun. The winches on the trawlers were too light to haul up the body of the mighty denizen of the deep, so they towed the carcass to the shore and opened it, to give the body of their friend Christian burial. But when the shark was opened, they were amazed to find the man unconscious but alive! He was rushed to the hospital, where he was found to be suffering from shock alone, and a few hours later was discharged as being physically fit. The account concluded by saying that the man was on exhibit in a London Museum at a shilling admittance fee; being advertised as “The Jonah of the Twentieth Century.”We corresponded with our representatives in London, and shortly afterward received corroboration of this incident, and last year had the privilege of meeting this man in person. His physical appearance was odd, in that his entire body was devoid of hair, and odd patches of a yellowish-brown color covered his entire skin (Davis, pp. 229-230).

Davis noted that Rimmer’s account was characteristically lacking in details that would enable readers to verify the account. He didn’t give the name of the sailor even though he claimed that he had later met him in person. He said only that the sailor “was on exhibit in a London Museum at a shilling admittance fee,” but he didn’t give the name of the museum. He didn’t give the name of the town along the English Channel where the incident happened and the sailor was later retrieved alive from the whale shark’s stomach. These are all strange omissions in a story that the writer obviously intended as scientific verification of the biblical story of Jonah.

Rimmer did say that he had read the story in the Literary Digest, but he didn’t give the date of publication. Davis explained that the Literary Digest was a “popular magazine from the late 19th and early 20th centuries that was rather like a cross between Reader’s Digest and Newsweek” (p. 230). Davis told how that he was able to find every issue of Literary Digest from 1916 through 1927, with the exception of “a few issues just before 1920,” and look through each one for the article that Rimmer had alluded to in his sermon. He was unable to find “anything even remotely like the story Rimmer printed” (p. 230). Davis noted that in Harmony of Science and Scripture, which was published after the sermon, Rimmer’s version of the modern-Jonah story was identical to the one he had told in his sermon except that he omitted the reference to Literary Digest and said only that he had read the story in “a magazine devoted to current affairs” (p. 230). Davis speculated that Rimmer had originally encountered a version of the story that claimed the Literary Digest as its source, and had accepted it without verification. When he perhaps learned later that no such story had ever appeared in Literary Digest, he changed the source reference in Harmony of Science and Scripture to a vague, imprecise “magazine devoted to current affairs.” The end result was that the version in Harmony contained no specific information at all that readers could have used to verify Rimmer’s claim.

Rimmer’s imprecision did not deter Davis’s determination to verify the story. Fuge’s tract, which Davis had found folded in the book with Rimmer’s sermon, told a similar story that the author attributed to a book written by a missionary to Iceland named Arthur Cook. (Davis later found this book and learned that the author’s name was really Gook, not Cook.) This version of the story contained some specific details. The sailor’s name was James Bartley, and he was allegedly a crew member of a whaling ship named Star of the East.The incident had happened not in the English Channel, but off the coast of the Falkland Islands (in the Southern Atlantic). The “fish” was not a “whale shark” but an actual whale, which, after being harpooned, had sounded, resurfaced, thrashing in a fit of agony, and capsized one of the boats. Before the crew of the other boat could pick up the men, one had drowned, and another named James Bartley could not be found. The whale was towed to the ship, where the crew worked the rest of the day and part of the night to butcher and process it. Work resumed the next day, and when the crew had stripped away all the fat and flesh, the stomach was hoisted onto the ship, where Bartley was found unconscious but still alive inside it. As in Rimmer’s version of the story, Bartley survived the horrifying incident.

Armed now with at least a few specific details, Davis set out to check the story for accuracy. He surmised that if an incident like this had happened, it would probably have been picked up and published by the New York Times. Neither Rimmer nor Fuge had given a date for the alleged incident, but fortunately the article by Pieters (cited above) had given February 1891 as the date for a similar event alleged in it. Davis checked the Times Index for that year, found a lot of references to whales, but nothing about an incident like the one claimed by Rimmer, Fuge, and Pieters. He continued checking through the index for the next year and the next and the next, until in the volume for 1896, he found the entry: “Whale; man swallowed by….” On the microfilm for that year, he found the story, which was almost identical to the version he had read in Fuge’s tract but with an additional note that “The Mercury of South Yarmouth, England, October 1891” was the source of the information. In going through the other issues of the Times on the same microfilm roll, Davis found more entries that referred to the Bartley story. A Harlem preacher, for example, had claimed that he had verified the existence of a ship named The Star of the East, which was a barque of 734 tons that had been “built in Glasgow, based in London, and commanded by a Captain J. B. Killam” (p. 226).

At this point, Davis had begun to feel that this story was perhaps true, but he wasn’t quite ready to declare it a proven fact. Shortly afterwards, when he received a grant from the National Science Foundation to do research on another project in the library of the Royal Society in London, he saw it as an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. In addition to doing his research project for NSF, he would also try to verify the information he had so far uncovered on the James Bartley incident.

Few can read this article and lay it aside without feeling a profound admiration for Dr. Davis’s tenacious commitment to thorough research. Not many would have the time, patience, or means to put into research the effort that Davis expended in his search to find if the Bartley story was true. In England, he encountered all sorts of problems in his quest to verify the information he had found about Bartley in the United States. These problems are too numerous to summarize here (Davis’s article was 14 pages long), so I will mention only the major ones. At the British Library, he found copies of two sources of the Bartley story that Pieters had mentioned in his article, and discovered in one of them a version of the story that claimed that Bartley had been treated at a London hospital for injury to his skin. Knowing now when the incident had allegedly occurred, Davis checked the *British Medical Journal* for 1891-1895, but found no references at all to anyone who had ever been treated for the skin problems that Bartley supposedly had suffered after his ordeal with the whale. Davis even checked into the possibility of searching through hospital records for 1891 but inquiries about the feasibility of trying this convinced him that it would be an impossible task even if records from that time could be found.

He then turned to checking the claim of the New York Times that the Bartley story had first been reported in an October 1891 issue of the South Yarmouth Mercury, but his research in this direction found that no such newspaper had ever existed and that there wasn’t even a place called South Yarmouth listed on any maps of England. He did, however, find that there was a Great Yarmouth on the seacoast a hundred miles north of London and that it even had a local newspaper called the Yarmouth Mercury, which had been in print since 1890.

The specifics of Davis’s research, some aspects of which I am even omitting, are too tediously detailed to include here, but through correspondence he eventually managed to find a library in Norwich County with microfilms of the Yarmouth paper and a librarian who was willing to look for the whale story. When nothing was heard from the library after a few weeks, he called to inquire about the status of the research and was told that just the day before the story had been found in the June 1891 issue of the Yarmouth Independent.The Yarmouth Independent? This was not the Yarmouth Mercury that had been mentioned in his source article, so he asked for confirmation of the name and date and was assured that both were right. The librarian, however, informed him that the story was different from the one he had written about, because this was just a story about a whale that had been killed off the coast of a nearby town named Gorleston, but there was no man inside it! “We’ve never heard such a story as this,” the librarian informed him.

Determined to follow every possible lead to the end, Davis made a three-hour train trip to Great Yarmouth the next day to go through the library archives himself. The story he found was about a 30-foot rorqual whale that had run into a pier at the town of Gorleston “just south of Great Yarmouth.” Several boats then pursued the whale, and after attempts to harpoon it had failed, the men ran it aground and killed it. The whale was then hung up by its tail on the shore and kept on exhibit for two days, where it was seen by an estimated crowd of over 2000. It was later dissected, and a taxidermist was hired to stuff the skin, which was then put on exhibit in the London Westminster Aquarium.

Davis’s first reaction was that this could not have been the whale he was searching for, but subsequent research made him suspect that it was. For one thing, he continued his search in the archives of the Great Yarmouth library and found that two months after the story about the Gorleston whale was published another story ran about a man who was swallowed by a whale and later found alive, and the story was similar to the version that was in Fuge’s tract, which had been attached to Rimmer’s sermon. The publication of two whale stories in the same paper within the space of only two months was a coincidence that Davis wanted to pursue, so plodding on in his research, he uncovered still other versions of the story that had been published in the 1890s. One of them had even appeared in a French journal whose editor (Henri de Parville) was a respected science journalist. In his article, Parville had said that after having confronted this “entirely modern example,” he had ended up “believing, this evening, between ten and eleven o’clock, that Jonah really did come out of the whale alive” (Davis, p. 231). Besides Parville’s article, Davis had found a copy of the book written by Arthur Gook, the Icelandic missionary, whom Fuge had quoted in his tract. Upon learning that Gook had even published an Icelandic version of the book, Davis searched until he found a copy of it, at which time he learned that the version of the Bartley story was different in it. For one thing, this version gave the date of the incident as August 25, 1891, whereas Gook had cited February 1891 as the date in his English version.

So many different whale-swallows-man tales all published in the same decade was a perplexing situation that Davis wanted to find an explanation for. Besides the many variations in the various accounts, Davis was disturbed by an obvious absence of any indications that real scientific research had gone into verification of the story before any of the accounts had been published. In reference to two French accounts of the story that Davis had found, he said, “(I)t isn’t the least bit clear from anything I have found that either one made what could be described as a careful investigation of the incident. I will state this more strongly: no one, repeat, no one, has given the story the kind of careful investigation it warrants if it is to be used as evidence for the reliability of scripture. Yet this is precisely what everyone citing the story assumes–that its authenticity has been established beyond a reasonable doubt, at least by de Parville if not also by others” (Davis p. 231).

The variations in the story and the obvious absence of serious scientific investigation before publishing the accounts were just two problems that bothered Davis. His research had uncovered other anomalies that led him to conclude that the Bartley story was actually a legend that, oddly enough, had its roots in the Gorleston whale, which had had no man in its stomach. Davis’s research had discovered that there had been three vessels named Star of the Eastin the 1890s, but since two of them were actually boats of less than 20 tons, Davis concluded that the 734-ton Star of the East had to be the ship in the Bartley story, but it was a cargo ship and not a whaler. Furthermore, Davis learned that even though Bartley had allegedly been swallowed by the whale in 1891 near the Falkland islands, whaling in this area had not even begun until 1909, almost two decades after the contradictory dates cited in the different versions. Davis found sailing schedules for the 734-ton vessel and learned that it had sailed from New York for Wellington, New Zealand, on June 25, 1890, under the command of Captain J. B. Killam, whom the New York Times article had reported was the ship’s captain. The date of its arrival in New Zealand could not be found, but the schedules reported that it left in early November for a return voyage to New York and had arrived there on April 17, 1891, a date that should have put it in the proximity of the Falkland Islands in February. ^However,^ Davis had also obtained a copy of the “crew agreement” (contract) that had listed “every member of the crew (including a few who signed on in Wellington and deserted just six days later in Lyttleton), and there is no James Bartley on the list,nor anyone of similar name, either for the entire voyage or any part of it” (Davis, p. 233).

Davis even learned that some apparent attempts were made to debunk this story at the very time that it was developing into a legend. L. C. Allen’s commentary on Jonah had cited a correspondence between E. Konig (the author of an article on Jonah in Hastings’ Dictionary of the Bible) and a reader named Williams, which was published in 1906 and 1907 in The Expository Times.Williams had requested Konig’s opinion of the Bartley story, and in his reply Konig had said that he would be interested in knowing “if the source and the certainty of the above narrative could be established” (Davis p. 232). In his reply, Williams included transcriptions of a letter from Mrs. John Killam, the wife of the captain of Star of the East. In it, she said, “(T)here is not one word of truth in the whale story. I was with my husband all the years he was in the Star of the East. There was never a man lost overboard while my husband was in her. The sailor has told a great sea yarn” (Davis, p. 232).

The sailor had told a great sea yarn! This was an indication that Mrs. Killam was convinced that someone had made up a tale that had never happened and had tried to put it into the setting of the ship that her husband had commanded, probably as a ploy to give the story credibility. This was what Davis suspected too. He put together facts that he had uncovered in his research: (1) Harry Rimmer claimed in both his sermon and Harmony of Science and Scripture that he had actually met this sailor, who was on exhibit in a London museum. (2) The earliest version of the Bartley tale that he had found was published in the Yarmouth newspaper only two months after the story of the Gorleston whale had been published in the same paper. (3) The Gorleston whale was stuffed and put on display in a London museum. (4) Tales of a man who had survived having been swallowed by a whale began to appear on both sides of the Atlantic. (5) A man, so some versions of the story claimed, was on exhibit in a London museum claiming that he had once been swallowed by a whale.

So was the Gorleston whale the source of this tale after all even though no man had been found alive in this whale? Davis concluded that this was the probable explanation of a story that had circulated around the world with no real scientific investigation having been made to confirm it. Davis wondered if there had been a person, possibly even named James Bartley, who suffered from a skin condition, and upon hearing about and maybe even seeing the Gorleston whale, he thought that this was an opportunity to share the spotlight and maybe even capitalize on his skin problem by putting himself on exhibit in circus side shows as a man who had survived being swallowed by a whale. To make his story credible, in case anyone bothered to investigate, he had put it into the setting of a real ship that actually had been in the South Atlantic in 1891. Within two months, the story had been picked up by a newspaper that had already shown an interest in whales, and from there it made its way around the world and was made famous by such writers as Rimmer, Gook, Fuge, and Pieters. Even though Mrs. Killam had tried to debunk the story, her denial didn’t receive the notoriety that the story, and so it grew into a full-blown legend. After all, a denial that the sensational happened is never as appealing to human interest as the fantastic is, especially to Christians wanting to prove that the Bible is “God’s word.”

This, of course, is only a hypothesis that Davis formulated as a plausible explanation for the contradictory and sometimes contrary-to-fact data that he had uncovered during his research. The legend may not have begun this way, but however it started, the evidence indicates that there is no historical basis for it. Davis’s research is valuable not just because it established the probable truth about this modern-Jonah story but because it also showed that legends can indeed begin and grow quickly, even within the lifetimes of the parties and events that are legendized. In this case, the legend of James Bartley had even fooled a respected scientific journalist like Henri de Parville. When we see such as this happening in modern times, we have to wonder just how many myths and legends found their way into the Jesus story that became the foundation of Christianity. To think that such could not have happened in a time of ancient superstition is incredibly naive when we know that legends can and do develop in modern times.

XXXXXXXX

I posted this on my blog also but below you can go to the critic’s website.

March/April 1998 THE SKEPTICAL REVIEW

I have been amazed at the prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled in history. John MacArthur went through every detail of the prophecy concerning Tyre and how history shows the Bible prophecy was correct.

I love the Book of Daniel and I am starting a series today on the historicity of the Book of Daniel.

The Critics’ Admissions Concerning Daniel
by Everette Hatcher III

1998 / March-April

Farrell Till has asserted that reputable Bible scholars believe that the book of Daniel was not written by an individual named Daniel during the sixth century B.C. (TSR, Vol 4.3, p. 12). These scholars hold that the writer lived in the time of the Maccabees, and his “purpose was to give his countrymen reason to believe that centuries earlier a prophet of Yahweh had foreseen the rise of the Seleucid Empire and had predicted the triumph of the Maccabean struggle for independence against Antiochus Epiphanes” (TSR, Vol. 7.3, p. 3). William Sierichs, Jr. also takes this position in his article, “Daniel in the Historians’ Den” (TSR, Vol. 7.4, p.8). Sierichs comments, “Daniel can’t get Babylonian history straight, but he does pretty well by the Hellenistic era. Obviously, whoever wrote the book was a very solid citizen of the 2nd century B.C.E., whose `prophecies’ were wholly retroactive.” 

Both Till and Sierichs have been influenced by biblical scholars who have embraced the higher critical views of the 1800’s. However, most people have overlooked the fact that these same scholars have made several admissions which are damaging to their Maccabean thesis.

The first admission concerns the conservative’s view that Rome is the fourth kingdom identified in Daniel’s prophecy. Till states the critic’s logic: “A flaw in this interpretation is the obvious fact that the writer of Daniel considered the median and Persian kingdoms to be separate empires, because he had the Neo-Babylonian empire falling to `Darius the Mede’ (5:30-31). This is historically inaccurate (just one of many historical inaccuracies in the book of Daniel), because reliable records of the time indicate that Cyrus the Great captured Babylon and ended the Neo-Babylonian kingdom. Nevertheless, the writer of Daniel told of a reign under “Darius the Mede: that preceded the reign of the Persian king, Cyrus the Great (6:28; 10:1). So if the writer believed that the Neo-Babylonian Empire fell to the Medes and then the Medes fell to the Persians, then the fourth kingdom in Daniel’s interpretation would have been Alexander’s Hellenistic empire” (TSR, Vol. 4.3, p. 12).

Notice that Till bases his conclusion on the “obvious fact that the writer of Daniel considered the Median and Persian kingdoms to be separate empires….” However, the famous Bible critic, Dr. Samuel Driver, admitted, “In the book of Daniel the `Medes and Persians’ are, it is true, sometimes represented as united (Daniel 5:28; 6:8, 12, 15, cf. 8:20)” (The Book of Daniel: Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges,Cambridge: University Press, 1900, p. 29). Conservative scholar Stephen Miller comments: “Such an admission seems fatal to Driver’s position, for if the author was aware at one point that the two nations were united into one empire, he certainly would not have construed them as separate both physically and chronologically elsewhere in the same book” (Daniel: The New American Commentary,Nashville, TN, Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1994, p. 95).

Moreover, in Daniel 5:28, the word peres has the same consonants (only the consonants were written in ancient Aramaic and Hebrew scripts) as the Aramaic term translated “Persians” and likely was a paronomasia (a word play) hinting that the division of the kingdom would be accomplished by the Persian armies. Bible critic Norman W. Porteous admits this hints at “the victory of Persia over Babylon” (Daniel, The Old Testament Library,Philadelphia: Westminster, 1965, p. 81). Furthermore, the Bible critic John A. Montgomery agrees (“A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Book of Daniel,” International Critical Commentary, T. and T. Clark, Edinburgh, 1979, p. 263). 

Arthur Jeffrey claims the author assumed from his reading of Old Testament prophecies (Isaiah 13:17; 21:2, and Jeremiah 51:11, 28) that the Medes conquered Babylon before the Persians (Arthur Jeffrey, “The Book of Daniel,” Interpreter’s Bible, Nashville: Abingdon, 1956, p. 434). However, Isaiah 21:2 blows this theory out of the water, because it speaks of Elam and Media as the joint-conquerors of Babylon. The critic H. H. Rowley admits: “This was doubtless written after Cyrus, king of Anshan, in southwest Elam, had brought the rest of Elam under his sway, when to the Hebrew observer it appeared likely that these two powers might unite in the destruction of Babylon. And since Elam is mentioned first, it is possible that the passage dates from a time after the absorption of Media by Cyrus” (H. H. Rowley, Darius the Mede and the Four World Empires in the Book of Daniel, 1935; reprint, Cardiff: University of Wales, 1964, p. 58).

Till correctly notes that the writer of Daniel had “Darius the Mede” conquering Babylon, but nowhere does the writer state that Darius was “the king of the Medes” or the “king of Media.” Dr. Robert H. Pfeiffer of Harvard University admitted the author of Daniel was “a very learned man” and “a sage” (Robert H. Pfeiffer, Introduction to the Old Testament, New York: Harper and Brothers, 1948, p. 757), but Pfeiffer must have assumed that this “sage” had never read 2 Chronicles 36:20 where it is said that the Jews were servants to Nebuchadnezzar “and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia.” Clearly this indicates that the Persian reign came immediately after the Babylonian reign.

The second admission concerns the madness of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter four. William Sierichs, Jr., states that “the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s insanity may be a reference to a bout of insanity or lengthy depression in Nabonidus, who apparently was very unpopular in Babylon…” (TSR, Vol. 7.4, p. 8). This is the position held by many modern critical scholars today. Conservatives prefer a different explanation. Stephen Miller comments: “Some scholars have deemed this chapter primarily a fictional account, likely derived from the same source as the so-called `prayer of Nabonidus’ (4QPrBab), an Aramaic fragment discovered at Qumran in 1952 (D. N. Freedman, “The Prayer of Nabonidus,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, Vol. 145, 1957, pp. 31-32). Though affinities exist between Daniel 4 and the “Prayer of Nabonidus,” they are far outweighed by the differences (e.g., name of the king, nature of the illness, and location). It seems reasonable to categorize the Nabonidus story as a distorted version or a later application of the biblical narrative” (p. 145).

Nevertheless, the critics insist there is no hint in the historical record that indicates it was Nebuchadnezzar with this strange case of madness that resulted in a seven-year absence. R. H. Pfeiffer called Daniel chapter four an “unhistorical tale,” and “a confused reminiscence of the years when Nabonidus spent at Tema in Arabia” (p. 758). Norman W. Porteous states, “indeed there is no record of Nebuchadnezzar’s having had leave of absence from his royal duties on account of insanity” (p. 70). However, later on the same page Porteous admits that fellow Bible critics Bevan, Montgomery, Bentzen, and Jeffrey have recorded such a story. Abydenus’s account is preserved by Eusebius (Praeparatio Evangelica, 9.41.1) and is reproduced by John A. Montgomery (p. 221).

Abydenus says that in the last days of Nebuchadnezzar, the king was “possessed by some god or other” while in his palace, and announced the coming of a Persian mule (i.e., Cyrus), who would bring the people into slavery. Then says Abydenus, “He, when he had uttered this prediction, immediately disappeared” (Praeparatio Evangelica,9.41.1). Surely Porteous is wrong to admit the existence of this story by the historian Abydenus, and at the same time insist that “there is no record of Nebuchadnezzar’s having had leave of absence from his royal duties…”

The third and fourth admissions concern linguistic arguments. Farrell Till asserts: “Bible fundamentalists like to think that Daniel was written in the sixth century B. C., shortly after the events that the book closes with during the reign of Cyrus the Great, who had conquered Babylon in 539 B.C. Few reputable Bible scholars, however, would fix the date that early, because the book exhibits signs of a much later authorship. Scholars cite the writer’s obvious confusion about political events of the time that a contemporary would have surely been familiar with, the linguistic style (especially the section written in Aramaic), and other factors too numerous to discuss in detail as evidence that the book was written at the extreme end of the Old Testament period (no sooner than the second century)” (TSR,Vol. 4.3, p. 13).

Dr. Samuel Driver also made much of the Aramaic of the Book of Daniel. he stated, “The Aramaic of Daniel (which is all but identical with that of Ezra) is a Western Aramaic dialect, of the type spoken in and about Palestine” (p. 59 of the introduction of Driver’s commentary on Daniel), and he went on to suggest that archaeology had confirmed this. However, Jeffrey admits that the Aramaic in the Book of Daniel “cannot be pressed as evidence for a particular date, for it is that type of Aramaic which grew up for official use in the chancelleries and came to be widely used in the ancient Near East” (p. 349). Jeffrey cites more recent discoveries of fifth-century Aramaic texts that totally discredit Driver’s view (Franz Rosenthal, Die Aramaistische Forschung, [Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1939] pp. 66-71).

Till has highly recommended Jeffrey’s work on Daniel (TSR, Vol. 7.3, p. 3, and Vol 7.4, p. 8). According to Till, Jeffrey’s material “gives a detailed analysis of the Book of Daniel to show, first of all, that it was not written by its namesake who allegedly lived in Babylon during the captivity, but by an unknown author during the time of the Seleucid Empire, which arose from the partitioning of Alexander’s kingdom after his death” (TSR, Vol. 7.3, p. 3). Does Jeffrey’s work accomplish this feat? Let’s look at a couple of popular arguments that he uses.

The fourth admission by the critics concerns the term “Chaldeans.” Jeffrey argues: “The use of the word kasdim (Chaldeans), not in the proper ethnic sense which it has, for example, in Jeremiah, but to mean a caste of wise men, points to a time when the word was commonly used for a class of priestly astrologers, diviners, or magicians, a sense the word has in the pages of Strabo or Diodorus Siculus, who wrote in the first century B.C. (p. 349).

Dr. Driver agrees that the argument concerning the use of the term “Chaldeans” is very convincing. So much that he places it first in the list of his three strongest arguments that show that the book of Daniel was composed in Palestine “during the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes” (pp. 47-56 of the Introduction).

How strong is this argument? On page 12 of Driver’s commentary, Driver himself takes exceptions to some of the assertions made by Jeffrey. Driver admits that in Daniel 5:30, and 9:1 the author of the book of Daniel did use the ethnic sense of the word “Chaldeans.” Then on the same page Driver admits this term “Chaldeans” is found “in Herodotus (Herodotus, Histories, 1.181-183, c. 440 B.C.), and is common afterwards in the classical writers” (p. 12). Furthermore, Driver also admits that evidence indicates that such a group of wise men as pictured in the book of Daniel did exist as a group as early as 2000 B.C. (p. 14).

Francis Schaeffer summarized Driver’s argument: “Remember this is his first strong argument. he is going to take the book of Daniel and throw away its historical date on the basis of these `so-called’ strong arguments. Now we have defined this question in regard to the term “Chaldeans.” The writer knew the ethnic sense. This group did exist from a long time before. About 90 years later everybody acknowledges that the word was used in this sense to the wise men. And so he is going to throw away the book of Daniel and its dating and all that it means on the basis that this specific group of wise men, who were well known from long before and afterwards, were not called this term in this 90-year span (530 B.C. to 440 B.C.). Now, once you word it this way, it doesn’t look so strong” (Francis Schaeffer’s five part series, Dr. Driver’s Criticism of the Book of Daniel, tape #2).

Is it any wonder that the bible critic J.J. Collins admits that the author’s use of the term “Chaldeans” cannot be used to date his material (Daniel,Hermeneia, Minneapolis: Fortress, 1994, pp. 137-138). In fact, Jeffrey makes a similar error in his commentary on Daniel 10:1. He states: “Cyrus is here called `king of Persia.’ This may be merely a statement of fact, for he was king of Persia, but if it is meant as an official title, it is an anachronism in the mouth of Daniel. The title ‘king of Persia’, was Hellenistic usage and not the usage of the Achaemenid kings at this time” (p. 500).

Jeffrey overlooked the fact that Robert Dick Wilson contradicted this view expressly with what he found in the tablets of the Persian period (Robert Dick Wilson, “The Title `King of Persia’ in the Scriptures,” The Princeton Theological Review, Vol. 15, 1917, pp. 90-145). Wilson commented: “It is evident therefore, that there are thirty-eight distinct extra-biblical instances of the use of this title from 545 to about 400 B.C.; and that these instances are found in twenty different works by nineteen different persons (p. 100).”

This argument of Jeffrey’s is completely put to flight concerning Daniel 10:1. It shows how much many of these scholars continue to repeat the same old arguments. No doubt, Jeffrey had read this argument in Driver’s commentary (p. 152), but he had failed to read the refutation provided by Wilson seventeen years later. I must admit that I have just repeated the arguments of others on occasion without taking a closer look at both sides of the argument. For example, I was guilty of making it appear that the interpretation of Daniel 5:7 is a simple matter. Driver says the verse should read, “Shall rule as one of three in the kingdom” (p. 64), but most conservative scholars claim the translation should be “the third highest ruler in the kingdom” (NIV). Conservatives claim this is an indirect reference to Nabonidus while the critics relate the passage to Daniel 6:2, which speaks of three rulers of equal rank and uses a similar word.

At first I sided with the conservatives, but after further investigation I must admit that I am undecided. What created doubts in my mind? It was the admission of three conservative scholars that the critics may be right on this verse. On 4-26-96, I wrote Dr. Robert L. Alden about this verse. He responded: “I looked up both Wood and Young as well as a couple [of] other commentaries on Daniel. I also looked over the Aramaic original just to see what the syntax of the verse was. I understand the reason for the differences of opinion that you have discovered and am not sure which side of the log I fall off. Perhaps the concluding sentence at the end of the first paragraph in E.J. Young’s commentary is best, `but probably it is not to be too dogmatic concerning the precise meaning of this word….’ Incidently [sic] I had E. J. Young when I was a student at Westminster Theological Seminary 1959- 1962. And I worked with Leon Wood on the translation of the NIV.”

Earlier I thought I had a lot of ammunition with the admission by critics W. Sibley Towner and R.A. Anderson that the conservatives had the translation of Daniel 5:7 correct (W. Sibley Towner, Daniel, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, Atlanta: John Knox, 1984, p. 73; R. A. Anderson, Signs and Wonders, International Theological Commentary, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984, p. 57). However, now I don’t think it is wise to press the issue.

Nevertheless, there are two other issues in this chapter that I will press, and they both concern Belshazzar. In the article “Daniel in the Historians’ Den,” William Sierichs, Jr., states that Belshazzar was not the “son” of Nebuchadnezzar, and “Belshazzar was not the ruler as the Book of Daniel claims, and he was never king” (TSR, Vol. 7.4, p. 8).

These are two of the most common arguments used against the book of Daniel, but even the radical critic, Dr. Philip R. Davies has admitted that both are “weak arguments” (Philip R. Davies, Daniel,Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1985, p. 31). He stated: “Critical commentaries, especially around the turn of the century, made much of the fact that Belshazzar was neither a son of Nebuchadnezzar, nor king of Babylon. This is still sometimes repeated as a charge against the historicity of Daniel, and resisted by conservative scholars. But it has been clear since 1924 (J.A. Montgomery, Daniel, International Critical Commentary, Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, New York: C. Scribner’s Sons, 1927, pp. 66-67) that although Nabonidus was the last king of the Neo-Babylonian dynasty, Belshazzar was effectively ruling Babylon. In this respect, then, Daniel is correct. The literal meaning of son should not be pressed” (pp. 30-31).

I call Davies a radical critic because he refuses to accept the archaeological evidence that indicates that king David existed (Philip R. Davies, “`House of David’ built on Sand,” Biblical Archaeology Review,July/August 1994, pp. 54-55), and more recently he suggested that Hezekiah’s tunnel was not dug by Hezekiah’s men when the Bible claims, but was constructed centuries later. However, several eminent archaeologists put this reinterpretation to rest (“Defusing Pseudo-Scholarship,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1997, pp. 41-50). For Davies to concede anything, it must really be self-evident. Therefore, I put forth his admissions as especially meaningful. Furthermore, Davies does not accept the same view that Till and Sierichs do concerning the date of the authorship of the first six chapters of Daniel.

In the 19th century the consensus among Bible critics was that all of the chapters of Daniel were written in Palestine during the 2nd century B.C. However, in the 20th century most of the critics admit the first six chapters could have been written as early as the 6th century B.C. in Babylon. Philip R. Davies comments, “According to nearly every modern commentator, the tales of chapter 1-6 are originally products of a Jewish community in a Gentile environment” (Philip R. Davies, “Eschatology in the Book of Daniel,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, Vol. 17, 1980, p. 33).

Could it be that the archaeological, linguistic, and historical evidence concerning Daniel will lead next century’s critics to consider the traditional theological view? This reminds me of an amazing quote from the astronomer Dr. Robert Jastrow: “For the scientist who has lived by his faith in the power of reason, the story ends like a bad dream. He has scaled the mountains of ignorance; he is about to conquer the highest peak; as he pulls himself over the final rock, he is greeted by a band of theologians who have been sitting there for centuries” (Robert Jastrow, God and the Astronomers, New York: Warner Books, 1978, p. 111).

(Everette Hatcher III, 

Francis Schaeffer

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 18 “Michelangelo’s DAVID is the statement of what humanistic man saw himself as being tomorrow” (Feature on artist Paul McCarthy)

April 25, 2014 – 8:26 am

In this post we are going to see that through the years  humanist thought has encouraged artists like Michelangelo to think that the future was extremely bright versus the place today where many artist who hold the humanist and secular worldview are very pessimistic.   In contrast to Michelangelo’s DAVID when humanist man thought he […]

By Everette Hatcher III|Posted in Francis Schaeffer|Tagged David LeedsJ.I.PACKERJoe CarterMassimiliano GioniMichelangeloMichelangelo’s DAVIDMichelangelo’s Florence PietàPaul McCarthyRenaissanceRick PearceyRush LimbaughTony Bartolucci|Edit|Comments (0)

Was Antony Flew the most prominent atheist of the 20th century?

April 25, 2014 – 1:59 am

_________ Antony Flew on God and Atheism Published on Feb 11, 2013 Lee Strobel interviews philosopher and scholar Antony Flew on his conversion from atheism to deism. Much of it has to do with intelligent design. Flew was considered one of the most influential and important thinker for atheism during his time before his death […]

By Everette Hatcher III|Posted in Current

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