FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part  448 Responding to Dan Barker’s book LIFE DRIVEN PURPOSE (A universe with a god is more complicated than one without it. In order to fix all the bugs in the God task—the ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE, the problem of evil, the lack of agreement among believers, the lack of a coherent definition, the uncertainty of the interpretation of UNRELIABLE holy books, ) FEATURED ARTIST IS Yaacov Agam

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.


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:

A universe with a god is more complicated than one without it. In order to fix all the bugs in the God task—the absence of evidence, the problem of evil, the lack of agreement among believers, the lack of a coherent definition, the uncertainty of the interpretation of unreliable holy books,

Let me respond by providing a letter I wrote to Dr. Steven Weinberg (who was one of my favorite authors to read):

June 30, 2018

Steven Weinberg

The University of Texas at Austin

Department of Physics

2515 Speedway Stop C1600

Austin, TX 78712-1192

Dear Dr. Weinberg,

I really enjoyed your book To Explain the World more than any other book of yours that I have read. It showed to me that you really understand where evangelicals like myself really stand. You may not agree with us, but you understand the consistency of our positions. You also give Christians credit where credit is due:

Whatever individual clergymen may have thought about a heliocentric theory, there was no general Protestant effort to suppress the works of Copernicus.

Nor did Catholic opposition to Copernicus become organized until the 1600s. The famous execution of Giordano Bruno by the Roman Inquisition
in 1600 was not for his defense of Copernicus, but for heresy, of which (by the standards of the time) he
was surely guilty. But as we will see, the Catholic church did in the seventeenth century put in place a
very serious suppression of Copernican ideas.

Dr. Weinberg, you understand how important it is to evangelicals for the Bible to be both historically and scientifically accurate:

A few years after the publication of De Revolutionibus, Luther’s colleague Philipp Melanchthon (1497–
1560) joined the attack on Copernicus, now citing Ecclesiastes 1:5—“The Sun also rises, and the Sun
goes down, and hastens to his place where he rose.”
Conflicts with the literal text of the Bible would naturally raise problems for Protestantism, which
ad replaced the authority of the pope with that of Scripture.

I noticed that you used Ecclesiastes 1 in the previous quote in your book. Did you know that particular chapter has some highly advanced scientific knowledge in it concerning hydrology? Take a look at a quote from John MacArthur’s sermon that can be seen on You Tube under the following title, “Biblical Inspiration Validated By Science, Part 2 (Selected Scriptures):”


Christians believe that God is there and as Francis Schaeffer says…and He is not silent. He has spoken throughout His creation…Let us take some simple categories and look at them. First of all, hydrology…hydrology. This deals with the subject of water…of water, the waters of the earth. You can get all the way in to the seventeenth century, the sixteen hundreds, and you will find scientists puzzled about the source of water, talking about subterranean reservoirs where water is held down in the belly of the earth and comes up from there. But in the seventeenth century, scientists such as Edmé Mariotte, Pierre Perrault, and Edmond Halley, all three in the seventeenth century, opened up the modern understanding of hydrological motion, or the hydrological cycle, how there is only an original mass of water. It is always the same, it always has been the same, it always will be the same. This is the first law of thermodynamics. This same mass of water, this same cycle of the combination of H2O moves continually through a process of evaporation, transportation, precipitation and irrigation, and then run off back to start the process all over again. The Bible is absolutely accurate in the way it presents the hydrological cycle.
Listen to the language of Isaiah 55 and verse 10. “For as the rain and snow come down from heaven and do not return there without watering the earth and making it bear and sprout and furnish seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall My Word be which goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me empty without accomplishing what I desire and without succeeding in the matter for which I said it.” Now the point of that statement by the prophet is to show that the Word of God always accomplishes its purposes as God sends it forth. But the analogy, and the Bible isn’t a book trying to teach you science, but when it uses a scientific analogy it is an accurate one. It’s as the rain comes down from heaven and returns there but only after its watered the earth that you see the hydrological cycle.

If you turn with me for a moment to Ecclesiastes chapter 1, you find again a reference to this. In verse 6 it talks about how the sun rises, the sun sets, hastening to its place. It rises there again, blowing toward the south and turning toward the north. The wind continues swirling along. Talks about wind currents as well. And on its circular courses the wind returns, the wind runs in circles. This is before they knew the earth was a circle. But the wind is running the circle of the earth. You have in verse 7 hydrology, all the rivers flow into the sea yet the sea is not full, or the sea does not overflow. Why? Because when all the water flows into the sea, it evaporates back out of the sea up to the heavens where it is retained in the clouds and then deposited again on the earth and runs the same cycle again and again.

In Job, perhaps the first book ever written, talking about the same time as the Pentateuch would be written, you have this in Job 36 verses 27 and 28, “For He draws up the drops of water, He draws them up, they distill rain from the midst which the clouds pour down. They drip upon man abundantly.” Now it’s starting to put together the rain and the snow come out of the sky, they come down, they irrigate the earth, they go into the rivers and the streams, they flow into the sea, the sea never overflows because the water is drawn up and distilled in the clouds. The clouds move over the land and they drip upon man abundantly and the cycle goes on. Psalm 135:7“He causes the vapors to ascend to the ends of the earth. He makes lightnings for the rain.” There you have all of those elements of evaporation, transportation, precipitation, irrigation and run off and the cycle goes on again.

And Scripture speaks about this not infrequently, but quite frequently. Just a couple of other passages that show this. The twenty-sixth chapter of Job verse 8, “He wraps up the waters in His clouds and the cloud does not burst under them.” God collects the evaporated water in the clouds and the clouds as…as thin as they are, as seemingly weak as they are…hold the water. They hold massive, massive amounts of water as we well know who have lived through severe storms when those clouds bring that water, collecting it off the sea as they go and bursting upon the land even to the degree of hurricanes and their horrific deluges.

There is in Psalm 33:7, and I don’t want to go to every passage, I’ll skip a few. Psalm 33:7, “He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap.” This pictures the great ocean reservoir. “He lays up the deeps in storehouses.” God’s storehouse for the water is the deep, is the ocean.
In Job 38:22 it says, “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow? Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail?” That is to say, have you ever ascended into heaven and gone into a cloud?

Water is an amazing thing. I was reading this week about a mole…m-o-l-e…. It is a collection of molecules and in one mole of water which is 18 grams of water, you have six-hundred-billion-trillion molecules. It is a staggering amount of material in one mole of water. And this massive amount of water moves in this continual cycle that God has designed and simply explained in Scripture not as a scientific explanation but almost in each case either to show the ignorance of man and the inability of man to ascend into the place where God dwells, or to use as an illustration of some spiritual truth.

You can see that we evangelicals do actually have evidence to back up the claim that the Bible is both historically and scientifically accurate. Let me quote from Adrian Rogers who was my pastor when I was growing up at Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1970’s and you can hear the whole message on You Tube under the title, “Adrian Rogers: How You Can Be Certain the Bible Is the Word of God [#1725] (Audio).”


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

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

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

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

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

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


Everette Hatcher,, cell ph 501-920-5733

Francis Schaeffer

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Featured Artist is Yaacov Agam

Article Talk

Yaacov Agam (Hebrew: יעקב אגם) (born 11 May 1928) is an Israeli sculptor and experimental artist widely known for his contributions to optical and kinetic art.

Yaacov Agam
יעקב אגם
Yaacov Agam in front of a building he decorated in Tel BaruchTel Aviv, Israel
BornYaakov Gipstein
May 11, 1928 (age 94)
Rishon LeZionMandatory Palestine
EducationThe Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, the Kunstgewerbe Schule
OccupationSculptor and experimental artist
Known forContributions to opticaland kinetic art

Fire and Water Fountain, Tel Aviv 2015


Yaacov Gibstein (later Agam) was born in Israel, which, at that time was called Mandate Palestine. His father, Yehoshua Gibstein, was a rabbi and a kabbalist.[1]

Agam trained at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, before moving to Zürich, Switzerland in 1949, where he studied under Johannes Itten (1888–1967) at the Kunstgewerbe Schule, and was also influenced by the painter and sculptor Max Bill (1908–1994).

In 1951 Agam moved to Paris, France, where he still lives.[2]

Artistic careerEdit

Agam’s first solo exhibition was at the Galerie Craven, Paris, in 1953,[3] and he exhibited three works at the 1954 Salon des Réalités Nouvelles[4]and at the Le Mouvement exhibition at the Galerie Denise René, Paris, in 1955. 

Agam’s work is usually abstractkinetic art, with movement, viewer participation and frequent use of light and sound. His works are placed in many public places. His best-known pieces include Double Metamorphosis III (1965), Visual Music Orchestration (1989), the fountain at the La Défensedistrict in Paris (1975) and the Fire and Water Fountain in the Dizengoff Square in Tel Aviv (1986). He is also known for a type of print known as an “Agamograph”, which uses barrier-grid animation to present radically different images, depending on the angle from which it is viewed. The lenticulartechnique was executed in large scale in the 30 ft (9.1 m) square “Complex Vision” (1969), mounted on the facade of the Callahan Eye Foundation Hospital in Birmingham, Alabama.[5]

Agam had a retrospective exhibition in Paris at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in 1972, and at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 1980, among others. His works are held in numerous museum collections including the Museum of Modern Art[6]and the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum.[7]

He is the subject of two 20th century documentary films by American filmmaker Warren FormaPossibilities of Agam (1967) and Agam and… (1980).

In 1996, he was awarded the Jan Amos ComeniusMedal by UNESCO for the “Agam Method” for visual education of young children.

He designed and created the winner’s trophy for the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest that was held in Jerusalem.[citation needed]

In 2009, at age 81, Agam created a monument for the World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan titled Peaceful Communication with the World. It consists of nine 10m high hexagonal pillars positioned in a rhomboid formation. The sides of the pillars are painted in different patterns and hues..[8]

One of Agam’s more notable creations is the Hanukkah Menorah at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in New York City, sponsored by the Lubavitch Youth Organization. The 32-foot-high, gold colored, 4,000-pound steel structure is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Recordsas the “world’s largest Hanukkah menorah”.[9][10]

In May 2014, Agam’s piece Faith- Visual Pray was presented to Pope Francis by El Al Israel Airlines‘s president, David Maimon. The piece included significant symbols of both Jewish and Christian faiths.[11]

Agam’s work commands the highest prices of any Israeli artist. In a Sotheby’s New York auction in November 2009, when his 4 Themes Contrepointwas sold for $326,500, he said: “This does not amaze me … my prices will go up, in keeping with the history I made in the art world.”[12]

In 2018, the Yaacov Agam Museum of Art (YAMA) opened in the artist’s hometown of Rishon LeZion, Israel.[13] Agam told the Jerusalem Post that it is “the only museum in the world that is dedicated to art in motion.”[14]

See also

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