FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 459 “What binds us together, what gives us our sense of empathy and compassion—our goodness—is something far more important, more fundamental and more powerful than religion: it is our common humanity, deriving from our prereligious evolutionary” (Schaeffer v. Richard Dawkins) Featured artist is Yoshitomo Nar


Bill Maher and Richard Dawkins

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October 10, 2017

Richard Dawkins c/o Richard Dawkins Foundation, 
Washington, DC 20005

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

In your book THE SOUL OF SCIENCE you asserted:

The latest British Social Attitudes survey, just published,
clearly demonstrates that religious affiliation, observance,
and attitudes to social issues have all continued their longterm
decline and are now irrelevant to all but a minority
of the population. When it comes to life choices, social
attitudes, moral dilemmas, and sense of identity, religion is
on its deathbed, even for many of those who still nominally
identify with a religion.

This is good news. It is good news because if we
depended on religion for our values and our sense of
cohesion we would be well and truly stuck. The very idea
that we might get our morals from the Bible or the Quran
will horrify any decent person today who takes the trouble
to read those books – rather than cherry-pick the verses that
happen to conform to our modern secular consensus. As for
the patronizing assumption that people need the promise
of heaven (or the obscene threat of torture in hell) in order
to be moral, what a contemptibly immoral motive for being
moral! What binds us together, what gives us our sense of
empathy and compassion—our goodness—is something far
more important, more fundamental and more powerful than
religion: it is our common humanity, deriving from our prereligious
evolutionary heritage, then refined and improved,
as Professor Steven Pinker argues in The Better Angels of Our
Nature, by centuries of secular enlightenment.
A diverse and largely secular country such as Britain
should not privilege the religious over the non-religious,
or impose or underwrite religion in any aspect of public

Let me respond with this fine article by Dr. Alex McFarland, who I have enjoyed listening to often on American Family Radio.

Responding to Relativism: Confronting the Predominant Worldview of Our Times

by Dr. Alex McFarland
Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University

Planet earth is fast becoming a “no-truth zone.” Relativism is the death of “true truth,” the “extinction of the idea that any particular thing can be known for sure.” The denial of absolute truth also has serious implications for Christianity. Today’s denial of absolute truth leads to statements such as these:

Have you ever heard people make statements like these?

“We all have our own truths…”

“There is no moral right or wrong. Beliefs about truth and morality are based on personal situations, cultural bias, or on one’s religious upbringing…”

Sadly, even some Christians believe these statements, like the young lady at the bank who told me, “We all have our own truths.” This relativistic spirit presents challenges for both missions-minded Christians and values-minded parents: How can people be convinced to turn from sin if they cannot be convinced of the true statement that they have sinned? And how can children live according to biblical morals when a relativistic posture seems to be a prerequisite in social, academic, and professional arenas?

Think of the implications of this for preaching the gospel. If there is no actual, absolute truth, or if ultimate truth exists but is unknowable, then the Christian’s claims about Jesus being the exclusive way to God are fallacious. Equally false (in the mind of many moderns) are the Christian’s claims that people are fallen, sinful, in need of salvation, and without Jesus Christ are bound for eternal lostness. Surveys validate the point that when it comes to religious claims, most Americans today are driven by relativism.

Relativism has become the most prominent worldview of our times. The assumptions of relativism (at least in terms of theology) are that all beliefs are equally valid. Christianity’s claim that people need Jesus Christ seems ludicrous to people who are committed to what might be described as absolute subjectivism.

When the truth dies, then so do ethics, because if nothing can be known for sure, then there are no real rights or wrongs. Combine this with selfism, and anything goes. Relativism is—in practice—no different from having no morality at all. This explains why people can allow society to do things like kill babies and take the lives of people deemed unfit to live. According to Relativism, truth has become what the majority thinks; truth is no longer based on a firm foundation; truth is whatever is right at the moment.

Frederick Moore Vinson, a former chief justice of the Supreme Court said, “Nothing is more certain in modern society than the principle that there are no absolutes.”

So whatever happened to Truth?

What happened to the idea that there is one truth? How do people come to the idea that some things are true for some people but not true for others?

The roots of this thinking go back seven hundred years to the Renaissance. This historical period, which began in Florence, Italy, and spanned roughly four centuries from the 1300s to the late 1500s, was considered a time of rebirth iIn fact that is what renaissance means in French). It was not a rebirth of man, though, but of “the idea of man”. It switched positions for God and man; instead of God being the measure of all things, as had been the case since the founding of Christianity, man became the measure. This was the beginning of humanism as a philosophical idea.

Francesco Petrarch (1304–1374), an Italian scholar, is considered the father of humanism. He promoted the idea of the strong, idealistic man and centered his works on man and man’s ability. Renaissance humanism is “the broad concern with the study and imitation of classical antiquity which was characteristic of the period and found its expression in scholarship and education and in many other areas, including the arts and sciences.” This thought process developed into modern day humanism, with its emphasis on human values and humanity in general.

The late Francis Schaeffer, a Christian scholar, wrote, “These paid men of letters translated Latin, wrote speeches, and acted as secretaries…Their humanism meant, first of all, a veneration for everything ancient and especially the writings of the Greek and Roman age. Although this past age did include the early Christian church, it became increasingly clear that the sort of human autonomy that many of the Renaissance humanists had in mind referred exclusively to the non-Christian Greco-Roman world. Thus Renaissance humanism steadily evolved toward modern humanism—a value system rooted in the belief that man is his own measure, that man is autonomous, totally independent.”

Humanism showed the”victory of man”. This is seen, for example, in the statue of David, completed in 1504 by Michelangelo. This David is supposed to be the David of the Bible, yet he is shown as a strong, handsome man who is obviously not Jewish because he is uncircumcised. This statue of David portrays him as the complete opposite of the young, humble David of the Bible. Most of the art of this time portrayed the same message: “Man will make himself great. Man by himself will tear himself out of nature and free himself from it. Man will be victorious.”

The humanists were sure that man could solve every problem. “Man starting from himself, tearing himself out of the rock, out of nature, could solve all”, Schaeffer wrote. “The humanistic cry was ‘I can do what I will; just give me until tomorrow.’”

Eventually, this idea failed. The optimism of the Renaissance ended in pessimism. For many centuries learned thinkers promised they would deliver the truth, and yet the truth—the truth without God, at least—remained elusive. People finally came to the conclusion that there is no truth. As Schaeffer wrote, “We could say that we went to Renaissance Florence and found modern man.” Modern man, whether he realizes it or not, is governed in large measure by this pessimism about truth, a philosophy called postmodernism, the belief that there are no absolutes, including no absolute truth.

According to postmodern thinking, this is no ultimate truth; people can construct their own “stories” or narratives, and what is true for one person might not be true for another. Truth is relative to individual people, times, and places. So if truth is relative to each person, each person is then free to do his own thing—the perfect motto of the 1960s and 1970s. The hippies of the sixties preached peace and love, with a generous dose of drugs and illicit sex. Their main belief was, “Do your own thing. If it doesn’t hurt anyone and it makes you happy, do it.”

Unfortunately many Christians bought into this worldview. AsSchaeffer wrote, “As the more Christian-dominated consensus weakened, the majority of people adopted two impoverished values: personal peace and affluence.” The dominant ethic was to just be left alone; this was basically the attitude of apathy. Humanism, in the meantime, tried to make a comeback. The problem was that humanism had already destroyed everything it hoped to build on. According to Schaeffer, humanism—man beginning only from himself—had destroyed the old basis of truth and could find no way to generate with certainty any new truths.

In the resulting vacuum the impoverished values of personal peace and affluence had come to stand supreme. And now for the majority of young people, after the passing of the false hopes of drugs as an ideology, the emptiness of the sexual revolution and the failure of politics, what remained? Only apathy. Hope was gone. This is exemplified in today’s dismissive, “Whatever.” People do not care anymore about anything so long as it does not hurt them or personally affect them. When asked, “Is something true?” they respond, “Whatever!”


Instilling a love of truth in the hearts of people is more critical now than ever. The truth that truth exists must be asserted firmly but lovingly. Christian scholar Peter Kreeft wrote, “The modern American demands the truth in every area of life except religion. Do not cheat him. Do not lie to him. Pull no punches in giving bad news. Unless, of course, it is in regards to his final destination.” Kreeft adds, “He [the modern American] would rather go through life deceived that he was a good man and discover he was wrong, than to go through life thinking he was a bad man and discover he was right.”

First Thessalonians 2:4–6 and Galatians 1:10 demand that believers speak the truth! They are not here to tickle people’s ears. As J. P. Moreland wrote, “Saint Paul tells us that the church—not the university, the media, or the public schools—is the pillar and support of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15).” Pilate asked Jesus what is perhaps the ultimate question: “What is truth?” (John 18:38).

Five facts about truth that are undeniable are these:

Content such as what is presented in The Truth Project and at conferences such as Truth For A New Generation is designed to equip hearts and heads to stand up for truth. More than just an intellectual exercise, apologetics approaches the pursuit of truth and love for truth as necessary life skills. An authentic commitment to truth involves both orthodoxy (right belief) and orthopraxy (right action). A relationship with the One who called Himself the truth (John 14:6) must manifest itself in what one believes and how one behaves.

Though some in today’s culture work hard to suppress the obvious, truth does exist. Recognition of this within our generation must take place if our culture—and the souls of many people—are to be saved.

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.

Thank you again for your time and I know how busy you are.

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.com, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States


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Francis and Edith Schaeffer at their home in Switzerland with some visiting friends


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Schaeffer with his wife Edith in Switzerland.

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Richard Dawkins and John Lennox




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Dawkins, Hitchens, Dennett, Harris 

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Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

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Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

The Basis of Human Dignity by Francis Schaeffer

Richard Dawkins, founder of the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science. Credit: Don Arnold Getty Images

Francis Schaeffer in 1984

Christian Manifesto by Francis Schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer in 1982


Whatever Happened to the Human Race? Episode 1

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Garik Israelian, Stephen Hawking, Alexey Leonov, Brian May, Richard Dawkins and Harry Kroto





Featured artist is Yoshitomo Nar

Yoshitomo Nar

Yoshitomo Nar was born on December 5, 1959, in Hirosaki, Japan. The artist went to Aichi Prefectural University of Fine Arts and Music, for his BFA and MFA. Followed the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf during the late 1980s. Yoshitomo Nar lives and works in Tokyo. Nar is a Japanese artist. 

He is known for his paintings of children and animals. These elements appear simultaneously sweet and sinister, as one can see in work Do Not Disturb! 1996. Yoshitomo Nar has been influenced by the popular culture in both Eastern and Western society. His versatile practice explores themes of isolation, rebellion, and spirituality through printmaking, painting, sculpture, ceramics, and installations. Some people misinterpret Yoshitomo Nar as being manga because of the imagery that he usually works in his paintings. Sometimes Yoshitomo Nar would say that not a lot of people would see the spiritual side of his work. He states that his work is filled with religious and philosophical considerations. 

The artist’s works are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of Art in Osaka, and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami. 


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