FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 474 My 10th LETTER TO HUGH HEFNER “I haven’t pursued much immoral behavior. I’m a pretty moral guy. Now, it’s morality as I perceive it” Featured Artist is Rembrandt

December 11, 2015

Hugh Hefner
Playboy Mansion  
10236 Charing Cross Road
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1815

Dear Mr. Hefner,

Today I would like to respond to something you said and then tell you a story about Christmas that I heard a couple weeks ago. Have you ever thought why Christ had to come to this world to begin with? Why was it necessary? The simple answer is that he came to redeem us from our sin.

In the article, “Hugh Hefner: Man of God?  Cathleen Falsani asked you if you had ever sinned and you responded:

“Oh, sure, but I haven’t pursued much immoral behavior. I’m a pretty moral guy. Now, it’s morality as I perceive it. Morality is what is perceived as good for people. I try to do what’s right, to do what I believe to be truly humanistic and rational and loving.”

According to the Romans 3:23, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” In fact, this verse is a key part of what is called THE ROMAN ROAD TO SALVATION.

The Roman Road: A Well-engineered Path to Salvation
The Roman Road is a collection of verses in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans that offers a clear and structured path to Jesus Christ. Although many people believe they will go to heaven because they have lived a good life, done charity work, been baptized as a child, attended church, or treated others fairly, the Bible declares that none of us can live up to God’s standards of righteousness. Therefore, we need a road to God that doesn’t rely on anything we do, but rather, relies on the gift of His grace alone.

The Roman Road: Follow this Map
The Roman Road provides a detailed map for our salvation and eternal fellowship with God. Just follow these steps:

1. We must acknowledge God as the Creator of everything, accepting our humble position in God’s created order and purpose. Romans 1:20-21

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.”

2. We must realize that we are sinners and that we need forgiveness. None of us are worthy under God’s standards. Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

3. God gave us the way to be forgiven of our sins. He showed us His love by giving us the potential for life through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:8

“But God demonstrates His love toward us, in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

4. If we remain sinners, we will die. However, if we repent of our sins, and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we will have eternal life. Romans 6:23

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

5. Confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you are saved. Romans 10:9-10

“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”

6. There are no other religious formulas or rituals. Just call upon the name of the Lord and you will be saved! Romans 10:13

“For whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

7. Determine in your heart to make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life today. Romans 11:36

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.”

The Roman Road: Are You Ready?
The Roman Road shows you the path – are you ready to accept God’s gift of Salvation now? If so, believe in what Jesus Christ did for you on the cross, repent of your sins, and commit the rest of your life to Him. This is not a ritual, just a prayerful guideline for your sincere step of faith:

“Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

“Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38)

If you decided to receive Jesus today, welcome to God’s family. Now, as a way to grow closer to Him, the Bible tells us to follow up on our commitment.

  • Get baptized as commanded by Christ.
  • Tell someone else about your new faith in Christ.
  • Spend time with God each day. It does not have to be a long period of time. Just develop the daily habit of praying to Him and reading His Word. Ask God to increase your faith and your understanding of the Bible.
  • Seek fellowship with other followers of Jesus. Develop a group of believing friends to answer your questions and support you.
  • Find a local church where you can worship God.

Steve and Donna Gaines pictured below:


A couple of weeks ago I was visiting Bellevue Baptist Church which is the church I grew up in and the pastor Steve Gainessaid he read a really good story about the true meaning of Christmas and it went like this:

On Sunday, December 22, 1996, Carnell Taylor was working on a paving crew repairing the Interstate 64 bridge over the Elizabeth River in Virginia. The road was icy, and a pickup truck slid out of control and hit Taylor, knocking him off the bridge. He fell seventy feet and hit the cold waters of the river below. His pelvis and some of the bones in his face were broken.

Joseph J. Brisson, the captain of a barge passing by at that moment, saw Taylor fall and quickly had to make a life-or-death decision. He knew Taylor would drown before he and his crew could launch their small boat and reach him. The numbingly cold water and strong currents of the river could kill him if he dived in to rescue Taylor. He had a family, and Christmas was three days away.

Brisson decided to risk his life for a man he had never met. He dived into the river, swam to Taylor, and grabbed hold of him. “Don’t worry, buddy,” he said, “I got you.” Brisson held Taylor’s face above the water and encouraged him to keep talking. Then he took hold of a piece of wood in the water and slid it under Taylor to help keep him afloat. The current was too strong for them to swim to safety, and eventually the cold caused Brisson to lose his grip on Taylor. So Brisson wrapped his legs around the injured man’s waist and held on.

After nearly thirty minutes the crew from the barge was finally able to reach the two men and pull them from the water into the small boat. Taylor was hospitalized for broken bones. Brisson, the hero, was treated for mild hypothermia.

Brisson later told the Associated Press he knew what he had to do when he saw the man fall. “I have a family,” he said. “I thought about that. But I thought about how life is very important. I’m a Christian man, and I couldn’t let anything happen to him.”

When I read that story I realized that is Christmas. Everyone us us has plunged into the waters of our own iniquity, and if someone doesn’t jump in we are going to drown and perish in this life and eternity. But God saw us when we fell and He sent his darling, divine son Jesus Christ and Jesus plunged himself if you will into the troubled waters of this sinful world. Jesus Christ came and pulled us out and  gave us eternal life. If that is not Christmas what is?


This was the 10th letter I have written to you in the last three months. 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

PS: Below Adrian Rogers washes the feet of Steve Gaines as Dr. Gaines succeeds Rogers as pastor of Bellevue Baptist. Hugh I mentioned in an earlier letter that you were born in 1926 and since then Bellevue’s four pastors have been R.G.Lee, Ramsey Pollard, Adrian Rogers and Steve Gaines.


Adrian and Joyce Rogers pictured with George Bush below.



Rembrandt – VM – Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker

Rembrandt van Rijn: The Annunciation Overshadowingby Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker   To a greater extent than his Dutch contemporaries Rembrandt (1606-1669) devoted himself to the depiction of biblical stories. While his Calvinistic colleagues specialized in landscapes, still lifes and genre pieces, his Catholic contemporaries like Jan Steen did render biblical subjects, but limited themselves to themes sanctioned by tradition. Rembrandt, however, also chose subjects that fell outside the traditional canon. When he did select a standard theme, he often portrayed it in a unique manner. The latter is the case in the drawing of the Annunciation, which he made in 1635.   The Annunciation is the visual representation of Luke 1:26-35. Over the course of the history of painting it has been a beloved and major theme as it depicts an important dogma: God becoming human in Jesus of Nazareth. There are a number of elements that traditionally are part of the depiction of this theme: Gabriel approaches Mary from the left, who is reading the Bible, opened at a particular passage in Isaiah. Reverently the angel draws near to Mary, sometimes kneeling down before her. Mary for her part also bows reverentially to the angel. Another standard element is the dove descending along a ray of light towards Mary’s breast. Sometimes, however, the ray enters her ear, as Christ is the Word. At times a baby is depicted in this ray of light with or without a cross in his tiny hands. This is how the moment of conception found expression.   Let’s look at how Rembrandt renders this moment. It is immediately clear that little is left of the customary rendition of this theme. The angel approaches Mary from the right and there is no dove. At first sight the drawing makes a rather messy impression with a lot of unclear scribbling. The meeting of the angel and Mary is here far from a serene and elevated scene with figures bowing towards each other, but rather a chaotic and emotional spectacle.   Gabriel, as we can see from the flowing lines behind him, has flown into the room at full speed. He bends carefully over Mary and looks at her filled with concern. His left wing is only partly depicted; the paper was too small to contain his imposing presence. Mary is totally overwhelmed by his entrance. She slides down from her chair, while her left arm seeks the support of the left arm of the angel and her right arm hangs aimlessly in the air. The book glides down from her lap. You need to look very carefully to make out all of this, as the space in front of Mary’s upper body is filled with an indistinct tangle of lines. What happens there is after all a great mystery. Mary’s face, full of shadow lines, is dark with emotion. Or is this a reference to Luke 1:35: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you’?   But there is more. Rembrandt makes use here of the formula, often occurring in 17th-century art, of the woman in danger, which shows the woman from aside in a sitting position (in fact Mary floats here in an impossible position between heaven and earth). This formula Rembrandt for instance also employed in his renderings of the bathing Bathsheba and Susanna – both women in danger due to the threat of being overpowered by a man. Mary is also a woman in danger here, says Rembrandt, due to the overshadowing by the power of the Most High, which will moreover lead to a life full of suffering. By the way, the one on whose account she will suffer, the baby, seems to shoot across the ground in the middle at the bottom of the drawing.   Also the empty slipper in the foreground on the left is worth noting. Such a slipper often hints to bed scenes in Dutch 17th-century art, but it could also point to Moses, who had to take off his shoes at the burning bush. We may well say that we are standing on holy ground here!   Thus we see that Rembrandt has placed his unique accents while depicting this well-known theme. The humanity of Mary’s reaction for instance suggests that she is not a saint who towers high above us, but through and through a woman of flesh and blood. Rembrandt moreover has emphasized the majestic appearance of the angel and the incomprehensible grandeur of what is taking place here. But perhaps the most special element in this drawing is the great care of the angel for Mary, his tender gaze of concern while bending towards her, spreading his wing over her head to protect and bless her. For even though we may receive impossible callings, and even though we are people in danger, whoever abides in the shadow of the Almighty he will surely shelter under his wings.   *******   Rembrandt van Rijn: The Annunciation, ca. 1635. Drawing with pen and ink, 14,4 x 12,4 cm. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Besançon.   Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker is editor-in-chief of ArtWay.   ArtWay Visual Meditation 18 December, 2011


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