Author Archives: Everette Hatcher III

My name is Everette Hatcher III. I am a businessman in Little Rock and have been living in Bryant since 1993. My wife Jill and I have four kids (Rett 24, Hunter 22, Murphey 16, and Wilson 14).

(I just learned of his death this week!) HE WILL BE MISSED Sir Jonathan Miller ( July 21,1934 – November 27, 2019)

It is 11:35 pm on July 20th and I am in the hospital thinking about an upcoming surgery and I have just learned of the passing of Jonathan Miller. Below is a letter I wrote to him in the past:

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Jonathan Miller

For other people named Jonathan Miller, see Jonathan Miller (disambiguation).

Sir Jonathan Wolfe Miller CBE (21 July 1934 – 27 November 2019) was an English theatre and opera director, actor, author, television presenter, humourist and medical doctor. After training in medicine and specialising in neurology in the late 1950s, he came to prominence in the early 1960s in the comedy revue Beyond the Fringe with Peter CookDudley Moore and Alan Bennett.

Sir
Jonathan Miller
CBE
Appearing on TV discussion After Dark in 1988
BornJonathan Wolfe Miller
21 July 1934
St John’s Wood, London, England
Died27 November 2019(aged 85)
Alma materSt John’s College, Cambridge (MB BChir, 1959)
OccupationHumoristmedical doctortheatre and opera directoractortelevision presenterauthor
Spouse(s)Rachel Collet (m. 1956-2019; his death)
Children3
Parent(s)Betty Miller (née Spiro)
Emanuel Miller

Miller began directing operas in the 1970s. His 1982 production of a “Mafia“-styled Rigoletto was set in 1950s Little Italy, Manhattan. In its early days, he was an associate director at the National Theatre. He later ran the Old Vic Theatre. As a writer and presenter of more than a dozen BBC documentaries, Miller became a television personality and public intellectual in Britain and the United States.

Life and careerEdit

Early lifeEdit

Miller grew up in St John’s Wood, London, in a well-connected Jewish family. His father Emanuel (1892–1970), who was of Lithuanian descent and suffered from severe rheumatoid arthritis, was a military psychiatrist and subsequently a paediatric psychiatrist at Harley House. His mother, Betty Miller(née Spiro), was a novelist and biographer who was originally from County Cork, Ireland. Miller’s older sister Sarah (died 2006) worked in television for many years and retained an involvement with Judaism that Miller, as an atheist, always eschewed. 

Miller was educated at Taunton School[1] and St Paul’s School, London[2] where he developed an early (and ultimately lifelong) interest in the biological sciences. While at St Paul’s School at the age of 12, Miller met and became close friends with Oliver Sacks and Oliver’s best friend Eric Korn, friendships which remained crucial throughout the rest of their lives. In 1953, before leaving secondary school, he performed comedy several times on the BBC radio program Under Twenty Parade.[3] Miller studied natural sciences and medicine at St John’s College, Cambridge (MB BChir, 1959), where he was a member of the Cambridge Apostles before going on to train at University College Hospital in London.[citation needed]

While studying medicine, Miller was involved in the Cambridge Footlights, appearing in the revues Out of the Blue (1954) and Between the Lines (1955). Good reviews for these shows, and for Miller’s performances in particular, led to him performing on a number of radio and television shows while continuing his studies; these included appearances on Saturday Night on the LightTonight and Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He qualified as a medical doctor in 1959 and then worked as a hospital house officer for two years, including at the Central Middlesex Hospital as house physician for gastroenterologist Francis Avery Jones.

1960s: Beyond the FringeEdit

Miller (far right) in Beyond the Fringeon Broadway, with (from left) Dudley MooreAlan Bennett and Peter Cook.

Miller helped to write and produce the musical revueBeyond the Fringe, which premiered at the Edinburgh Festival in August 1960. This launched, in addition to his own, the careers of Alan BennettPeter Cook and Dudley Moore. Miller quit the show shortly after its move from London to Broadway in 1962, and took over as editor and presenter of the BBC‘s arts programme Monitor in 1965. The Monitorappointment arose because Miller had approached Huw Wheldon about taking up a place on the BBC’s director training course. Wheldon assured him that he would “pick it up as he went along”.[citation needed]

Miller’s first experience of directing a stage-play was for John Osborne, whose Under Plain Cover he directed in 1962.[4] In 1964, he directed the play The Old Glory by the American poet Robert Lowell in New York City. It was the first play produced at the American Place Theatre and starred Frank LangellaRoscoe Lee Brown, and Lester Rawlins. The play won five Obie Awards in 1965 including an award for “Best American Play” as well as awards for Langella, Brown and Rawlins.[5][6][7][8]

He wrote, produced, and directed an adaptation for television of Alice in Wonderland (1966) for the BBC. He followed this with Whistle and I’ll Come to You(1968) starring Michael Hordern, a television adaptation of M. R. James‘s 1904 ghost story “Oh, Whistle, and I’ll Come to You, My Lad”. He produced a National Theatre Company production of The Merchant of Venice starring Sir Laurence Olivier. He later resigned as associate director.

1970s: Medical history and operaEdit

Miller held a research fellowship in the history of medicine at University College London from 1970 to 1973. In 1974, he also started directing and producing operas for Kent Opera and Glyndebourne, followed by a new production of The Marriage of Figaro for English National Opera in 1978. Miller’s other turns as an opera director included productions of Rigoletto (in 1975 and 1982) and the operetta The Mikado (in 1987).

Miller drew upon his own experiences as a physician as writer and presenter of the BBC television series The Body in Question (1978),[9] which caused some controversy for showing the dissection of a cadaver. For a time, he was a vice-president of the Campaign for Homosexual Equality.[10]

1980s: Shakespeare and neuropsychologyEdit

In 1980, Miller was persuaded to join the troubled BBC Television Shakespeare project (1978–85). He became producer (1980–82) and directed six of the plays himself, beginning with a well received Taming of the Shrew starring John Cleese. In the early 1980s, Miller was a popular and frequent guest on PBS‘ Dick Cavett Show.

Miller wrote and presented the BBC television series, and accompanying book, States of Mind in 1983 and the same year directed Roger Daltrey as Macheath, the outlaw hero of the BBC’s production of John Gay‘s 1728 ballad operaThe Beggar’s Opera. He also became chair of Edinburgh Festival Fringeboard of directors.[citation needed] In 1984, he studied neuropsychology with Dr. Sandra Witelson at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, before becoming a neuropsychology research fellow at the University of Sussex the following year.

1990sEdit

In 1990, Miller wrote and presented a joint BBC/Canadian production entitled, Born Talking: A Personal Inquiry into Language. The four-part series looked into the acquisition of language, and complexities surrounding language production, with special focus on sign language used by deaf people. This interest was contemporaneous with his friend Oliver Sacks’ immersion in, and writing/publishing a book about Deaf Culture and deaf people entitled Seeing Voices. Miller then wrote and presented the television series Madness (1991) and Jonathan Miller on Reflection (1998). The five-part Madness series ran on PBS in 1991. It featured a brief history of madness and interviews with psychiatric researchers, clinical psychiatrists, and patients in therapy sessions. In 1992, Opera Omaha staged the United States premiere of the Gioachino Rossini‘s 1819 opera Ermione, directed by Miller.

2000s: Atheism and return to directingEdit

In 2004, Miller wrote and presented a television series on atheism entitled Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief (more commonly referred to as Jonathan Miller’s Brief History of Disbelief) for BBC Four, exploring the roots of his own atheism and investigating the history of atheism in the world. Individual conversations, debates and discussions for the series that could not be included due to time constraints were aired in a six-part series entitled The Atheism Tapes. He also appeared on a BBC Two programme in February 2004, called What the World Thinks of God appearing from New York. The original three-part series aired on public television in the United States in 2007.[11]

In 2007, Miller directed The Cherry Orchard at The Crucible, Sheffield, his first work on the British stage for 10 years. He also directed Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo in Manchester and Bristol, and Der Rosenkavalier in Tokyo and gave talks throughout Britain during 2007 called An Audience with Jonathan Miller in which he spoke about his life for an hour and then fielded questions from the audience. He also curated an exhibition on camouflage at the Imperial War Museum. He appeared at the Royal Society of the Arts in London discussing humour (4 July 2007) and at the British Library on religion (3 September 2007).

In January 2009, after a break of 12 years, Miller returned to the English National Opera to direct his own production of La Bohème, notable for its 1930s setting. This same production ran at the Cincinnati Opera in July 2010, also directed by Miller.

2010sEdit

On 15 September 2010 Miller, along with 54 other public figures, signed an open letter published in The Guardian, stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI‘s state visit to the UK.[12] In April and May 2011, Miller directed Verdi’s La Traviata in Vancouver, Canada,[13] and in February and March 2012, Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte in Washington, DC.[14]

On 25 November 2015 the University of London awarded Miller an honorary degree in Literature.[15]

Personal lifeEdit

Miller married Rachel Collet in 1956. They had two sons and a daughter.[16] From 1961 to his death he lived on Gloucester Crescent in Camden Town, north London.[17] In November 2019 Miller died at the age of 85 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s.[18][19]

Parodies and representationsEdit

  • Stevie Smith, a friend of his mother Betty Miller, “rather disloyally” included a thinly-disguised and uncomplimentary version of the nine-year-old Miller, “precocious and brattish… constantly demanding attention”, in her short story ‘Beside the Seaside: A Holiday with Children’ (1949).[20]
  • Private Eye (which had a falling-out with Miller[21]) occasionally lampooned him under the name “Dr Jonathan”, depicting him as a Dr Johnson-like self-important man of learning.[22]
  • In the film for television Not Only But Always about the careers of Peter Cook and Dudley MooreJonathan Aris played Jonathan Miller as a young man; Aris reprised the role in the BBC Radio 4 play Good Evening (2008) by Roy Smiles.
  • Along with the other members of Beyond the Fringe, he is portrayed in the play Pete and Dud: Come Again by Chris Bartlett and Nick Awde.
  • In the BBC Radio Four series The Burkiss Wayedition 35, broadcast on 2 April 1979, he was impersonated by Nigel Rees in a fairly lengthy parody “The Blood Gushing All over the Screen in Question”, in which the history of nasty diseases was traced and the style of Miller’s presentation was sent up. It was written by Andrew Marshalland David Renwick
  • In the 1980s a puppet of Miller appeared frequently in Spitting Image sketches, most notably “Bernard Levin and Jonathan Miller Talk Bollocks”.
  • In series 4, episode 6 of Peep Show, Jez is explaining that a “Mellon-Off” involves a competition between men stood with melons on their erections, with the first man whos melon falls off declared the loser. Mark replies, “Right, and who won – Gore Vidal or Dr Jonathan Miller?”

XXXXXXXX

Harold J. Blackham (1903-2009)

Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

Jacques Monod (1910-1976), Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (1965)

CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS was written and directed by Woody Allen

Judah has his mistress eliminated through his brother’s underworld connections

Anjelica Huston

__

April 14, 2016

Jonathan Miller/ , London,

Dear Dr. Miller,

Wikipedia noted, “In 2004, Miller wrote and presented a TV series on atheism entitled Atheism: A Rough History of Disbelief (more commonly referred to as Jonathan Miller’s Brief History of Disbelief) for BBC Four. I watched that complete series and did not see any reference to Antony Flew which I thought was strange since he was such a prominent atheist for so long. Maybe it is because he left atheism behind. Actually I corresponded with him several times in the 1990’s and sent him both material from Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. Did you know that back in the 1960’s Francis Schaeffer mentioned you in one of his speeches: 

There are art forms expressing the pessimism. I like this quote because I think he will be one of the coming men in England…I like to quote Jonathan MillerJonathan Miller is going to be one of the important men in England and I am perfectly convinced of this at this time. In an interview as he shrugged his shoulders he said there are only two humanist painters left and they are Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti and he pointed out why, and these were pessimistic men. The interesting thing is what he was saying is that these two men wouldn’t have been considered humanist artists a certain number of years ago because they both were so black and so pessimistic. So we find Francis Bacon is in complete revolt, and I think he is one of the great forces too. His awful paintings in which humanity is just smashed and bloodied and humanity becomes a side of beef smashed into nothing except dust. Then on the other hand you have Alberto Giacometti who said before his death “I have searched all my life for the essence of man and I never found it and if I ever found it, it would be so horrible that no one could look at it.”

You must see that this something to do with these people’s lives too and as we go into it. You have this pessimistic concept, you have a shift in the other art forms. For example, if you are thinking of America’s 20th Century Novel, it began to move into the area of modern man in a very strong way. These novelists always made moral judgments. Maybe they were perverse moral judgments. Maybe they were judgments that we as Christians scream against, but they were moral judgments, but now we go to the opposite end with Capote’s COLD BLOOD and just his camera saying click, click , click, and there are no moral judgments. Man has died. It isn’t that man has the wrong judges but there are no judges. It has taken on the place where the human’s value is just gone.

I know that you are active in the  BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION so I thought this short letter may interest you.

H. J. Blackham was the founder of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION and he asserted:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

On John Ankerberg’s show in 1986 there was a debate between  Dr. Paul Kurtz, and Dr. Norman Geisler and when part of the above quote was read, Dr. Kurtz responded:

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning;

With that in mind I wanted to ask you what  does the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION have to offer in the area of meaning and values? Francis Schaeffer two months before he died said if he was talking to a gentleman he was sitting next to on an airplane about Christ he wouldn’t start off quoting Bible verses. Schaeffer asserted:

I would go back rather to their dilemma if they hold the modern worldview of the final reality only being energy, etc., I would start with that. I would begin as I stress in the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE about their own [humanist] prophets who really show where their view goes. For instance, Jacques Monod, Nobel Prize winner from France, in his book NECESSITY AND CHANCE said there is no way to tell the OUGHT from the IS. In other words, you live in a totally silent universe. 

The men like Monod and Sartre or whoever the man might know that is his [humanist] prophet and they point out quite properly and conclusively what life is like, not just that there is no meaningfulness in life but everyone according to modern man is just living out some kind of game plan. It may be knocking 1/10th of a second off a downhill ski run or making one more million dollars. But all you are doing is making a game plan within the mix of a meaningless situation. WOODY ALLEN exploits this very strongly in his films. He really lives it. I feel for that man, and he has expressed it so thoroughly in ANNIE HALL and MANHATTAN and so on.

According to the Humanist worldview Jacques Monod the universe is silent about values and therefore his good friend Woody Allen  demonstrated this very fact so well in his 1989 movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS. In other words, if we can’t get our values from the Bible then  the answer is MIGHT MAKES RIGHT!!!!

I CHALLENGE YOU TO TAKE 90 MINUTES AND WATCH THE MOVIE “CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS” AND THEN ANSWER THE QUESTION: “What reason is there that Judah should not have his mistress eliminated if there is no God and afterlife of judgment and rewards?”

King Solomon closed the Book of Ecclesiastes (Richard Dawkins’ favorite Book of the Bible) with these words, “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every deed into judgment, with[d] every secret thing, whether good or evil.” With that in mind I have enclosed a short booklet called THIS WAS YOUR LIFE!

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

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221

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Daniel 11 Old Testament Prophecy Fulfilled Already in History as told by John MacArthur verses 1-35

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Daniel 11 by John MacArthur verses 1-35

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in his discussion of Daniel chapter 11 John MacArthur asserted :

The details of this prophecy, particularly from verse 2 to 35, are so accurate, they are so remarkable, they are so verifiable, that it is this section of Scripture that has been the cause of all the attacks on the book of Daniel.

I have studied the Book of Daniel and come up with Six Pieces of Archaeological Evidence that Support the 6th Century View: Since Daniel was an eyewitness to 6th-century events, he could accurately record historical details. The conservative scholar Dr. Stephen R. Miller notes: “In fact, the author of Daniel exhibited a more extensive knowledge of Sixth Century events than would seem possible for a second-century writer.” R. H. Pfeiffer (who argued that the work contains errors) acknowledged that Daniel reports some amazing historical details: “We shall presumably never know how our author learned that the new Babylon was the creation of Nebuchadnezzar (4:30 [Heb. 4:27]), as the excavations have proved… and that Belshazzar, mentioned only in Babylonian records, in Daniel and Bar. 1:11, which is based on Daniel, was functioning as king when Cyrus took Babylon in 538 [Chap. 5]” (Pfeiffer, “Introduction,” pp. 758-759). Harrison comments that the author “was quite accurate in recording the change from punishment by fire under the Babylonians (Dan. 3:11) to punishment by being thrown to lions under the Persian regime (Dan. 6:7), since fire was sacred to the Zoroastrians of Persia” [R. K. Harrison, Introduction to the Old Testament, Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1979, pp. 1120- 1121; cf. A. T. Olmstead, History of the Persian Empire, Chicago: University of Chicago press, 1948, pp. 473-474] (Miller, p. 26).

It is true that there are “some amazing historical details” to be found in Daniel, but also there are some small details throughout the book that support the view that its author lived early in the Persian period. For instance, concerning Daniel 6:8, 12, 15, the conservative Dr. John Whitcomb notes, “the mention of Medes before Persians in the phrase, ‘the law of the Medes and Persians,’ is an evidence of the early date of the book; for in later years, the Persians were usually mentioned before the Medes [Esther 1:3, 14, 18, 19, though not 10:2; cf. I Macc. 6:56] (characteristically, the critics find an anachronism in the fact that Darius the Mede is under the law of the Medes and Persians. Cf. Arthur Jeffery, p. 442)” (John Whitcomb, Darius the Mede,[Grand Rapids: Baker, 1959], p. 55).

Nevertheless, the critic John Joseph Owens still claims this is a sign of later authorship. Owens asserts, “Esther 1:19 gives the proper evolution of the rank in ‘Persians and Medes’ instead of the later view as in Daniel” (p. 415). Conservative scholars point out that the evidence contradicts this assertion (Miller, p. 181, n.54; E. J. Young, The Prophecy of Daniel, [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1949], p. 127).

Daniel 6:8, 12, 15 also states that the laws made by the king could not be altered. The critic Carey Moore disputed this in his commentary on Esther (Anchor Bible, Garden city: Doubleday, 1971, pp. 10-11), but many critics will concede that Daniel was correct about this too (Hartman, p. 199; Driver, p. 7; Collins, pp. 267-268). The critic Lacocque observes: “Diodorus of Sicily (XVII, 30) in fact, reports the case of a man put to death under Darius III (336-330) even though he was known to be perfectly innocent. (Darius III) immediately repented and blamed himself for having committed such a great error, but it was impossible to have undone what had been done by royal authority” (Andre Lacocque, The Book of Daniel, Atlanta: John Knox, 1979, p. 113).

Again, Daniel was correct when he placed Susa in the province of Elam (Dan. 8:2). Dr. Gleason Archer, Jr., notes: “From the Greek and Roman historians, we learn that from Persian times Susa, or Sushan, was the capital of the province of Susiana; and Elam was restricted to the territory east of the Eulaeus River. Nevertheless, we know from cuneiform records that Sushan was part of the territory of Elam back in Chaldean times and before. It is very striking that Daniel 8:2 refers to ‘Susa in the province of Elam’­ an item of information scarcely accessible to a second-century B.C. author” (Archer, p. 19).

Daniel 4:30 quotes Nebuchadnezzar: “Is not this the great Babylon I have built as the royal residence by my mighty power and for the glory of my majesty?” Did Nebuchadnezzar actually say these words? Archaeology seems to indicate that he did make a very similar statement: “The fortifications of Esagila and Babylon I strengthened and established the name of my reign forever” (George A. Barton, Archaeology and the Bible,Philadelphia: American Sunday School Union, 1916, p. 479). Nebuchadnezzar evidently did have a habit of boasting, which indicated that he was very prideful.

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

John MacArthur’s sermon below:


Daniel 11 by John MacArthur verses 1-35

Now this has happened a couple of other times, hasn’t it, in the book of Daniel, where we get the whole flow of history; and we get it again here. Only this time, rather than focusing on the Gentile powers particularly – although they will be alluded to here – it focuses on the nation of Israel and the suffering that Israel will endure. 

Now I’m going to give you a footnote that I want you to remember. The details of this prophecy, particularly from verse 2 to 35, are so accurate, they are so remarkable, they are so verifiable, that it is this section of Scripture that has been the cause of all the attacks on the book of Daniel. There are two main books in the Old Testament that are attacked by the critics: Isaiah and Daniel. And they want to deny the prophecies that are there. And in the case of Daniel, from verses 2 through 35, Daniel prophesies specific events about the Persian and Greek Empires. 

Now mark this. We know they came to pass, because we know Persian and Greek history; there’s no question about it. We have many, many sources for that. And the critics have found that the prophecies are so absolutely accurate that they therefore have concluded that they must have been written after these events happened. Therefore they take the whole book of Daniel and they shove it up past the fulfillment, because they say it’s impossible that anyone should be so accurate. 

Now, of course, their basic supposition is that God didn’t write the Bible. And their secondary supposition is that Daniel was a liar, because Daniel said he was receiving these revelations from God before the time. So they’ve got two problems. Number one, they’ve got a God who doesn’t know the future; and number two, they’ve got a man like Daniel who has impeccable character of whom the other prophets said he was one of the three most honorable men that ever lived and they’re making him into a first-rate liar. But isn’t it interesting what the critics will do to try explain away reality? These are incredible, accurate prophecies. 

I’m going to try my best to help you to understand what they’re saying. There is so much here that, in fact, I couldn’t even figure out an outline; and usually that comes real easy. And I worked and worked, and finally it all came to me. There are five major kings mentioned, and all of their names begin with “A”. And I went into immediate paradise. I couldn’t believe it; it was so wonderful. I mean I have this alliterative problem. Why do you think our family is Matthew, Mark, Marcy, Melinda, Mom, and me; and our dog is Mutt? No. But anyway, I want to take you through this and show you the amazing, remarkable prophecy that is predicted here. 

By the way, there are multitudinous reasons why we know this couldn’t have been written at the later date, all kinds of reasons: linguistic reasons, historical reasons; many, many reasons. Most of all, because Daniel is not a liar; he has too great a character for that; and because God can predict the future, as well as He can tell us about the past. 

All right, let’s begin, and we’ll flow through this period of history. From Daniel’s day, we’ll go up to the time of the Antichrist. Number one king: Ahasuerus. Ahasuerus. A-h-a-s-u-e-r-u-s. Ahasuerus. Verse 2: “And now will I show thee the truth.” Here comes the revelation. “Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all, and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Greece.” 

Now the angel says, “Look, there are going to be three kings; and then following those three there’s going to be a fourth. He’ll be stronger and richer than the others, and he is going to try to stand up against the nation of Greece.” Now the prophecy then centers on the fourth king. 

Let me just say this as a note. There were more than four kings in Persia, but the angel picks out the key right here. There were three who ruled just before a fourth, and that fourth one was the one who led a major attack on Greece. And that’s the thing we want to see. 

The first of that line of four was a man named Cambyses who was the son, by the way, of Cyrus, who was king at this time. The second, history tells us, is a man named Pseudo-Smerdis. He was, by the way, a usurper and an impostor. He looked so much like Cambyses that he claimed to be Cambyses, and through all kinds of deception he got himself into the throne. The third king was a man named Darius Hystaspes. 

And the fourth one was named Xerxes. But he had another name, and his other name was Ahasuerus. He is the king mentioned in the book of Esther. He is one of the greatest Oriental rulers of all time. He had fabulous wealth. He commanded the largest army in the Ancient World. In fact, he commanded the largest army that we know about in ancient history. And he decided that he wanted to attack Greece. The mood with the other three kings was moving that way; and in fact that third king, Hystaspes, made a sort of a small, piddly little attack on Greece. But this fourth one really stirred up all he had against the realm of Greece. By the way, he was totally and utterly in a devastating way defeated by the power of Greece. And the Greeks never forgot about it. 

After that, 150 years went by, and a lot of other little nondescript kings came along, but they never forgot what Ahasuerus did; and 150 years later, the Greeks finally got their act together and decided to retaliate based upon what this guy had done 150 years before. And they came. And when they came, they came led by another king whose name is Alexander, and he’s the second king, Alexander, verse 3. 

Of course, you know that following the Persian Empire came the Greeks: “And a mighty king shall stand up that shall rule with great dominion and do according to his will.” A mighty king, none other than Alexander the Great of Greece. All Bible commentators agree that that is who is in mind. He retaliated for what had happened earlier to Greece. He seized the entire Persian Empire. It says he had great dominion. 

I’m telling you, the man was a man who stands out in history as perhaps the most remarkable military leader ever. By the age of 33 he had conquered the world. His army wouldn’t go any further. They were literally worn out. They had conquered everything from Europe to India, and he was weeping because there were no more worlds that he could conquer. He changed the course of history more than any other ruler. He was the son of Philip of Macedon, and it says in verse 3 that he did according to his will. He was an absolute monarch, an absolute sovereign who had not only the power of personality and the power of leadership, but the power of military might. 

(22:18 minute mark)

And of course, both the Persian Empire and Alexander overran the nation Israel. The Persians possessed it and controlled it. The Greeks under Alexander, possessed it and controlled it. But you remember that he died at 33. And what happened? Verse 4: “And when he shall stand up, his kingdom shall be broken.” It seems no sooner does he stand up and get his kingdom, then it is shattered. And watch, “It’ll be divided toward the four winds of heaven.” 

Now remember, this is all before the man is even born. I mean this is a couple of hundred years before he’s even born. “And it will not go to his posterity, nor according to his dominion which he ruled.” In other words, “It won’t go to his children, and it won’t be to the extent that it was when he was ruling. It’ll be plucked up and given to others.” 

Now look carefully at that verse. It will not go to his posterity. Alexander had a half-brother who was mentally retarded. He had an illegitimate son, and he had a baby born posthumously. In other words, the mother of the child was already pregnant when he died, and the child was born after he died. All three, his mentally retarded illegitimate son – or rather his mentally retarded half-brother, his illegitimate son, and his new­born baby, all three were murdered, and he had no posterity. 

The angel was exactly right. The kingdom did not go to his posterity, it was thrown to the four winds. What does that mean? A great battle ensued for who was going to rule, and the battle was won by four generals, and the kingdom was divided into four parts: Cassander took Macedonia, Lysimachus took Thrace and Asia Minor, Ptolemy – remember that – took Egypt, and Seleucus took Syria. Egypt is south of Israel. Syria is where? North of Israel. Those two become the ones we focus on the remaining of the chapter, because they are the ones that are right around the nation Israel. And in Egypt, a Ptolemaic line of kings was established; and in Syria, a Seleucid dynasty was established; and through the centuries, those two dynasties warred with each other, and they fought most of their wars on the soil of Israel. So Israel became the pawn in this. From here on to the twentieth verse, we cover about 200 years when these wars waged on the borders and throughout the land of Israel. 

Now let’s find out how it went. By the way, each one had a diminished dominion, therefore what he said about it will be not according to his dominion did come to pass. Each of the four had a diminished dominion. 

All right, now we come to 5: “And the king of the south” – who would that be? That would be the Ptolemies in Egypt, because everything geographically is indicated in reference to Israel. You’ll notice down in verse 6, in the middle of the verse, “the king of the north.” That’s Syria. 

Now mark this in your mind. You’re going to see for many verses now, “the king of the south, the king of the north.” That doesn’t necessarily mean one king. We’ll go through a lot of different kings in the Seleucid dynasty, and a lot of different kings in the Ptolemaic dynasty. The point is the king of the south, the king of the north is simply whoever’s reigning in that are at the time. But I want you to watch how fabulously this unfolds. 

“And the king of the south” – that would be the Ptolemaic dynasty – “shall be strong and of his princes;” – that is of the princes of Alexander – “and he shall be strong above him and have dominion. His dominion shall be a great dominion. And in the end of years, they shall join themselves together; for the king’s daughter of the south shall come to the king of the north to make an agreement.” 

Now let me fill you in. The Seleucid dynasty is built in the north, the Ptolemaic dynasty is built in the south. The Ptolemaic dynasty starts out a little more powerful, but it doesn’t take very long until the north becomes more powerful as the expansion of the north develops. Finally the two realized the tension that’s existing, and so in verse 6 it says they’re going to make an alliance. And how do they do it? This was the old way to make an alliance: the king’s daughter of the south comes to the king of the north to make an agreement. You give your daughter to the nation you want to make a treaty with, she marries the guy, and you hope that makes the right kind of relationship. 

And that’s exactly what happened. The angel was right on. Antiochus Theos. Can you imagine taking the name Antiochus Theos? Theos means God. That’ll show you the kind of problem he had. 

Antiochus Theos who was the third king of Syria needed to make a treaty with Egypt. The king of Egypt was a man named Ptolemy Philadelphus. And so he decided that what he wanted to do was marry the daughter of the king of Egypt, or the king of the south. Unfortunately, he was already married. But that was no problem, he divorced his wife. He divorced his wife, and he married this daughter of the southern king. Well, his wife wasn’t real thrilled about it, so she murdered his new wife. She not only murdered his new wife, but she murdered all her attendants too, then she poisoned him to death. 

It says in the middle of verse 6, “She shall not retain the power of the arm; neither shall he stand, nor his arm.” In other words, the power of both of them, the whole thing fell apart. “But she shall be given up, and they that brought her, and he that begot her, and he that strengthened her in these times.” In other words, everybody involved is going to go. And that is exactly what happened. 

Now this brought to the throne in the north, because now the Seleucid king Antiochus Theos is dead. So this brought to the throne a man named Callinicus. Look at verse 7: “But out of a branch of her roots” – that is, out of the roots of the murdered wife Berenice. There was a man named Ptolemy Euergetes, and it says – I think it’s in verse 8. No, it’s in verse 7 – that “one shall stand in his estate.” I don’t know if you’re following me too good, but stay with me. Out of the branch of the roots of the murdered wife comes a brother from the south, and he comes with an army; and he comes against Callinicus and he defeats him. And verse 8 says – this is what I want you to note: “He carried away captives into Egypt, took their gods, their princes, their precious vessels, silver, gold, and so forth and so on.” 

Now history tells us all about this. It tells us he took 40,000 talents of silver, 2,500 idol statues, and it goes on and on. And even Callinicus died, because he fell off his horse. And there’s an interesting note there. I’m just trying to think where it is. Yeah, at the end of verse 8, it says: “The king of the south shall continue more years than the king of the north.” And that is exactly what happened. Callinicus fell off his horse, died, and the one in the south continued four more years. Now the reason I just point this out is because you need to know how accurate the Word of God is. But the point behind it all is that in the middle of this sits Israel, and all these wars are going on raging across their land. 

Now look at verse 10. We come to another king. The third one is Antiochus the Great. We’ve seen Ahasuerus, we’ve seen Alexander, now we come to Antiochus the Great. And history again doesn’t even argue. You can read a liberal commentary or you can read a conservative commentary and they all come up with the same names, because there’s so much evidence in this area. 

Now remember that the Ptolemy of the south at this particular point in verse 10 has conquered. So he’s kind of ruling in Israel. He’s kind of got the power base. He’s defeated Callinicus in the north. Ptolemy Euergetes – if you want the name – has defeated Callinicus in the north. Callinicus fell off his horse and died. And now the north doesn’t like the south winning. 

So Callinicus has two sons, verse 10: “His sons” – plural – “shall be stirred up, and shall assemble a multitude of great forces, and one of them shall certainly come and overflow, pass through, and return and be stirred up even to the fortress.” 

One of Callinicus’ sons died, the other one became the king of the north. His name: Antiochus the Great. And he came. And it says he would come with a multitude of great forces. History tells us he had 75,000 soldiers. And he came to attack Egypt, and he stomped right through the land of Israel. 

Verse 11 says, “And the king of the south was moved with anger.” Wouldn’t you be? Somebody arrive at your border with 75,000 soldiers. “And he comes forth and he fights with the king of the north, and he shall set forth a great multitude.” And so the multitude begins a fight. 

Now the king of the south is Ptolemy also by the name of Philometor. He has 73,000 men, history tells us, 5,000 cavalry, and he also had 73 elephants. They used elephants like battering rams, and to carry things and so forth. And so this tremendous war goes on. 

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Verse 12: “And when he hath taken away,” – and the “hes” and the “hims” are very difficult to figure out in here unless you know the history, and so we’ll just run by it as quick as we can. “And when he hath taken away the multitude, his heart shall be lifted up, and he shall cast down many ten thousands; but he shall not be strengthened by it.” 

The king of the south was very effective in the battle. History says that they caused the north, Antiochus the Great, to lose 10,000 footmen, 300 cavalry, and five of their elephants. This we know from the historian Polybius. But this didn’t really strengthen the king of the south, it just made the king of the north more angry. And so in verse 13, the king of the north is to return. “And he’ll come down with a multitude greater than the last multitude, and he’ll certainly come after certain years.” Amazing. It was thirteen years later that he came back, exactly as the angel had said, with a great army, and great riches; and he came back to get his revenge. 

Verse 14: “In those times there shall many stand up against the king of the south.” Boy, he had a great army, and people were joining it along the way because they hated the south so much. And look at this, “Also the robbers of thy people.” 

Who were Daniel’s people? The Jews. Who were the robbers? Well, the Hebrew term here means “sons of breaking,” “children of breaking.” And what that means is people who don’t keep their promise, covenant breakers. They are the rebels. It could be translated “men of violence who break the law.” Frankly, what they are is strong-willed, apostate Jews who are revolutionaries. They are like mercenary soldiers, and they join the cause of the king of the north, and they aid him in his attack. 

Really, most historians feel they wanted Judean independence, these mercenaries, these apostate Jewish revolutionaries. They thought that by war, if they could get in with Antiochus the Great, knock off Egypt, maybe Antiochus would give them freedom for their assistance. That’s really what they wanted. But at the end of verse 14, it says they shall fail. They didn’t get their goal. He didn’t give them what they had hoped to get. 

Verse 15: “So the king of the North comes, casts a siege mount.” And it goes on to describe how the battle takes place. And by the way, if you want to know who won, it’s very simple: the north won. The north literally routed the south, destroying them. 

And then verse 16, this is the key: “But he that cometh against him shall do according to his own will, and none shall stand before him;” – that is the king of the north, Antiochus the Great – “and he shall stand in the glorious land.” 

What is the glorious land? What land is that? That’s the land of Israel. And here again we see the same kind of thing. They didn’t get their independence; the mercenaries didn’t get what they wanted. All they got was domination by Syrian power from the north, the Seleucids. Antiochus the Great took a lasting dominion over Palestine. Now he was a smart man. Because some of them had assisted him in the battle with the south, he gave them some money, he treated them with some favor; but he was basically their captor. 

He decides, in verse 17, to strengthen his power, and to keep Egypt on his side. So he does something that’s kind of interesting: “He sets his face to enter with the strength of his whole kingdom and upright ones with him, and he gives him the daughter of women.” Now that’s probably a term referring to somebody who is the height of femininity. He picks out some fabulously lovely person. In fact, it turned out to be his daughter who was named Cleopatra. And he gave Cleopatra to the Ptolemy king, and he said, “Here, take her and marry her as a sign of good faith.” And what he really wanted was to plant a spy in the palace. 

But you know what happened? She loved her husband more than her father, and the whole thing failed. Verse 17 says at the end, “She shall not stand on his side, nor be for him.” So it didn’t work. 

Now why does the Bible put a little thing – you’re saying, “Why does the Bible put any of this in here?” Just to show you how absolutely God knows history before it ever happens. If you for a minute think anything happens in history without God’s control, you’re wrong. He determines all the boundaries of the nations. History is, as someone said, “His story.” 

Verse 18: “After this shall he turn his face to the coastlands.” You know, once Antiochus the Great had conquered that part of the world, he decided to go to the coastlands, and that meant, if you will, the Mediterranean Islands and the borders of Greece. He was going to get Greece. Well, you know who had the power out there by this time? Rome did. And so as he turns his face to the coast and takes many, “A prince on his own behalf causes the reproach offered by him to cease; without his own reproach he shall cause it to turn upon him.” What it simply means is that it brought him into conflict with Rome, the prince, and Rome utterly routed him. In 190 B.C. he was routed by the Roman soldiers. 

Verse 19: “He shall turn his face toward the fortress of his own land, but he shall stumble and fall, and not be found.” You know what he did after Rome beat him? He was so distressed, he went back to his own land; and in a fit one time, he tried to plunder the temple in his own land and steal all the treasures in there; and the people got so mad they murdered him on the spot. He wasn’t found anymore. 

He was followed by another ruler, verse 20, this is interesting. A guy who stood up in his estate was a raiser of taxes. Now what is that supposed to mean? You know what? When Rome defeated him, they said from then on, “Syria, you will pay taxes to Rome.” And they were required to pay a thousand talents periodically to the Roman power. Therefore, the next king had to be a raiser of taxes – exactly what God said would happen happened. The detail, people, is thrilling. The Bible is accurate. 

So we meet Ahasuerus, Alexander, Antiochus the Great; fourthly, Antiochus Epiphanes. Now we’re going to really fly through this one, so hold on to your seat. Antiochus Epiphanes – and I don’t want to get all bogged down in too much detail, but I do want you to get the message. And all of this was written by God and He has a purpose for it. 

“And in his estate shall stand up a vile person,” – how would you like to have that for your epitaph, or for your introduction: a vile, contemptible, wretched, rotten person? And he will stand up in the place of Antiochus the Great – “to whom they shall not give the honor of the kingdom.” They don’t give it to him, but he comes in a sneaky way, and obtains it by flattery. 

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Do you know that Antiochus Epiphanes, who is referred to here, had no right to reign? He had no legitimate claim to the throne. He had absolutely no right at all. But he gained it by intrigue, and by flattery, and by buying off certain individuals; and he got in there. 

Verse 22: “And with the arms of a flood shall they be overthrown from before him and shall be broken.” And that is the south. He literally devastated the Egyptians and the king. 

Verse 23: “And after the league made with him, he shall work deceitfully; for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people.” He tried to adopt a policy of friendship with Egypt, but he violated it, and he broke it, and he did everything he could. He plotted; he worked out all kinds of things. 

It’s very interesting in verse 24 that he entered peaceably upon the fattest places of the province. Boy, when he saw there was crop or money or something to be gained, he came in all hearts and flowers and with peace, and so forth and so on; and he did what his fathers never did before. He was wily and smart, and he gained greater acceptance. And then when he got spoil, he scattered it among the people, and he let them share in it, and he made it all look so good. 

And then at the end of verse 24, “He was plotting against the strongholds.” Whenever he saw a strong village or a strong group, he would plot their destruction. So on the one hand, he looks like Robin Hood. On the other hand, anything that begins to move in his kingdom he puts it down fast. He’s building an incredible power base. 

In verse 25, he has another war with Egypt. “He stirs up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south is stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand, for they shall plot against him.” Another war with Egypt, this time at Pelusium, and Egypt lost. And it tells you why: because the counselors of the Egyptian king himself betrayed him. In fact, his trusted counselors turned against him. It says his own men plotted against him. 

Verse 26: “Yea, they that feed of the portion of his food shall destroy him,” – his own troops, his own soldiers – “and his army shall overflow, and many shall fall down slain.” Verse 27: “And both these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief.” Both of them were evil. Here’s this war; Egypt has lost. So they decide to sit at a table. They want to come to the table. 

We still do that, don’t we? You see all these guys around a big table, and they’re all signing these meaningless treaties. And you know how many treaties have been broken in the history of the world? All of them. Just wanted to get that in. 

“They sit at a table. They speak lies. And their supposed talk doesn’t prosper; for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.” They made promises they never meant to keep; and God had it all in the plan anyway. 

“Then after this, he returns to his land with great riches. His heart shall be against the holy covenant, and he shall do exploits and return to his own land.” Now listen, here we are right back in Israel. After Antiochus Epiphanes has this deceitful meeting in the south, he comes back, and again he does things against the holy covenant. He comes back into the land of Israel and desecrates the land. In fact, he marched on Jerusalem after he left this meeting in Egypt. He marched on Jerusalem and he sacked the city, and he cruelly slaughtered people, and he brought about horrible suffering. Verse 29: “He returned and came toward the south, but it wasn’t as the former or as the latter.” 

Now have you ever seen a picture where the Indians and the cowboys were in a battle, and off in the distance you hear the sound of the cavalry to the rescue? That’s what happens in verse 30. 

Chittim. The ships of Chittim. That’s an ancient name for Cyprus, and probably is general reference to the Roman army, the Roman Empire, the Roman power. The ships of Chittim would be the Roman fleet. By now the Ptolemies are so sick of Antiochus Epiphanes, that they say to Rome, “Send us a fleet.” And so they do, and they come against Antiochus. He is grieved and returns, because he can’t do anything against Egypt because of the Roman navy that he fears. 

So what does he do? Verse 30, watch this: “He has indignation against the holy covenant, against the holy covenant. He even returns and has intelligence” – or special meetings, watch this – “with those who forsake the holy covenant.” He gets back with these apostate Jews. He begins to raise support from them. 

And then it happens. Then it really happens. Verse 31: “And the forces shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the” – what? – “sanctuary, and take away the daily sacrifice, and place the abomination that maketh desolate.” He is so frustrated now by the Romans, he goes back into the place of Israel, back into Jerusalem. 

First thing he does is he puts guards all around the temple; nobody can worship. He stops the sacrifice; he halts all worship. And then on a given Sabbath, he sends his soldiers into the city, and he slaughters all the children they can find. And then he slaughters all the women. And then he makes heathen idolatry mandatory. And then he has nakedness flaunted by supposed athletes in full view of the temple ground. 

He enforces Greek culture upon the Jews. He erects a statue of the main god of the Greeks, Zeus, on the very altar in the temple. He slays a pig on the altar in the temple, and makes the priests eat the pork. This is the abomination of desolations. He abominates the temple to make it desolate; and he even had some Jews in with him. 

Verse 32: “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries.” Found some apostate Jews to even agree to get involved. But the end of verse 32: “The people who do know their God shall be strong and do right, do exploits,” however you want to translate that. The people that really know God resisted. 

Now I want to read 33 and 34: “And they that understand among the people shall instruct many; yet they shall fall by the sword and by flame, by captivity and by spoil for many days. Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall cling to them with flatteries.” 

The angel says, “Daniel, if you think the seventy years is the end, you’ve missed it. They’ll be seventy years. And then at the end of that seventy years they’ll be an Ahasuerus who will dominate your land. And then there will be an Alexander who will dominate your land. And then there will be Antiochus the Great who will overrun your land. And then there will be an Antiochus Epiphanes.” And by the way, Epiphanes was the name he took for himself. It meant “Great One.” And they called him “Epimanes” which meant “maniac,” “mad man.” 

“There will always be this, and finally it will culminate in a desecration that is beyond your belief.” And it says in verse 33, “They’ll fall by the sword, by flame, by captivity, by spoil.” And that’s exactly what happened. 

But verse 34, when they shall fall, they’ll be helped with a little help. What was that? During this time of horrible persecution – and it was mass slaughter of the Jews in their land by Antiochus Epiphanes. In fact, he’s called the antichrist of the Old Testament because he so pictures the Antichrist. There arose a group of Jews who were known as Hasideans

Have you ever heard of a Hasidic Jew? That’s a term that came out of the Maccabean period. This group of Hasideans, they stood for the law. They’re talked about in the Maccabees, 1 Maccabees chapter 2. They had a leader, and their leader was Judas Maccabeus. This is a time of history that is not spoken of in the Bible; it occurred in the four hundred years between the Old and the New Testament. 


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But Judas Maccabeus was able to lead a successful revolt, and he is the one who helped with a little help. It was just temporary relief from persecution. And by the way, Judas Maccabeus got all those apostate Jews and he treated them bloody severity. But like many revolutions, it says at the end of verse 34 it had a lot of folks hanging on just for what they could gain. Some people went with the revolution to gain their own ends. 

Verse 35: “And some of them of understanding shall fall, to test them, and to purge, and to make them white.” Now wait a minute. Why is all this happening? Why are You doing this, God? Here it is: to test, to purge, to make them white. What does that mean? To burn off the sin, right? To burn off the dross. 

Nothing is as effective in driving people to God as suffering. You understand that? When you stand in the face of inevitable destruction, your thoughts go straight up. 

I watched the TV this afternoon. A man was standing in a burning house out there in Bradbury where the house had burned to the ground. Tears in his eyes, the man said to him, “What did you think about when you saw this?” He said, “I’ll tell you one thing: it makes a man think a lot about dying.” That’s right. And when you think about dying, you begin to think about the inevitability of judgment. 

“To test, to purge, to make them white, until the time of the end because it is yet for a time appointed.” God gave to Daniel through this angel the most incredible layout of the suffering of the Jews through the reign of the Persians and the reign of the Greeks. And you know who came in after the Greeks? The Romans. And the Roman period is described by the last final great Roman ruler, the Antichrist, the final “A” in our five kings. And that’s for next week. But God has ordained it all: the flow, the sequence, the intimate minute tiny little details. 

Now listen to me, don’t turn me out now in these last couple of minutes. God is not finished with the purging process. You understand that? Why is it hard for Israel today? Because the purging is still going on. When the Messiah came the first time, He said to them, “You will not come to Me that you might have life.” 

“0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem,” He says, “thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto you, how oft I would have gathered you as a hen gathereth her brood; but you would not.” In Romans 10:21, Paul speaking the words of God, “All day long have I stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and contrary people.” They haven’t turned yet. 

But you want to know something? The suffering is a gracious suffering. You say, “Why do you say that, John?” Simply for this reason: God has every right to forget them, doesn’t He; but He doesn’t. God has every right to say, “Because of your constant harlotries, because of the incessant disobedience, I forever turn by back on you, because you have known so much, received so much, had so much. Yours are the covenants and the promises. Because you’ve had it all, and you’ve turned your back on Me, I write you off.” 

But He never says that. He continues the purging process until the end time, the time appointed. And that time will come; and in that latter day in the future, Paul says in Romans 11, “All Israel shall be” – what? – “saved.” Isn’t that great? 

Zechariah the prophet saw that. In chapter 12, verse 10, he said, “I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and supplication; and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. And in that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem.” 

The day is going to come when they weep and wail in the agony of recognition, when they see that Him whom they pierced was none other than their own God. And what’ll happen? Zechariah says, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” 

God’s going to wash them – that’s right – in that day. They’re going to come to a day of true repentance, and God’s going to give them a day of true salvation. That day is coming. Gloriously, beloved, the whole thing ends up in the kingdom for Israel, but there has to be a long time of purging. 

You know what’s wonderful to think about – and we’ll get to this when we get into Romans – that during this time of purging, Paul says in Romans chapter 11 verses 1 to 6, “There will always be a remnant.” And there’s a remnant right now, isn’t there? The nation is purged. Many of you sitting right out here are part of that remnant, aren’t you? You’re Jews, and you know and love the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Right in the middle of the passage that talks about the chastening of Israel in Romans there is this great word: “Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord, shall be” – what? – “saved.” And throughout the Persian area, the Greek, the Roman, right on out till the kingdom, there will always be that remnant from Israel, because God is a gracious God. 

And then in the end, here’s what Isaiah says will happen: “The Redeemer shall come to Zion and unto those who turn from transgression in Jacob. As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the Lord. “My Spirit that is upon thee and My words which I have put in thy mouth shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed,” said the Lord. In other words, the Lord said, “I will redeem them, and that word will never change, never.” What a great promise. 

“Yes, it’s a time of chastening for them. But be encouraged; Michael’s watching over them, and I’m watching over them,” says this other angel. “And there’s going to come a day when Michael stands up for the people of God, and a day when the Spirit descends upon them, and they’re redeemed and receive their kingdom. But in the meantime, there must be a chastening. 

Beloved, my word to you in closing is this: I hope you have a heart for the Jewish people. I hope you realize that that remnant is there and that God calls us to reach them. An old missionary hymn put it this way: “Shall we whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high, shall we to souls benighted the lamp of life deny?” Let’s pray together. 

Father, we thank You again tonight for the study of Your Word. We know that this has been a study that demands our concentration. And we can’t remember all the individual parts; but we have this overwhelming reality in our minds that You control history, every event; that Your Word can predict the future; and when it speaks of the future, it’s absolutely accurate to the most minute detail. And we’re overwhelmed with its accuracy; and we sense that if it’s accurate about that, it’s accurate about us too, and that its spiritual truths are just as verifiable. 

And we sense, Lord, that history is marked out by divine plan. And we are reminded again that You’re chastening Your people Israel; and we can watch it just by reading the newspapers, hearing the news, watching their struggle for survival, watching the Arab world pressing in, the Russian bear hovering to the north. We’re going to see next week how that all comes to pass. 

We sense, Lord, the chastening that they’ve undergone for all these centuries. But we’ve been reminded again of Your unending promise, that You’ll redeem Your people, and that Your Word will never change. Father, in the meantime, may we be faithful to share with that remnant the message that whosoever believeth on the Lord Jesus shall be saved. May we know that You control the destiny of every man and every woman; and there are only two alternatives: an eternal hell, or an eternal heaven; the kingdom of darkness or the kingdom of Your dear Son. God, help us to make the right choice for Christ’s sake. Amen.

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 159 EE “Open letter to Harry Kroto’s friend Richard Dawkins” Page 151 of THE GOD DELUSION: “one of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding”

Canary Islands 2014: Harold Kroto and Richard Dawkins

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

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September 4, 2019

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

Dear Mr. Dawkins,

i have enjoyed reading about a dozen of your books and some of the most intriguing were The God DelusionAn Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, and Brief Candle in the Dark: My Life in Science.

Page 151 of THE GOD DELUSION: one of the truly bad effects of religion is that it teaches us that it is a virtue to be satisfied with not understanding.

QUOTE FROM DR. Marvin Minsky taken from atheistic blogger:

My head says the former; my heart, the latter. Maybe my head needs some help—and I know where to find my potential helper: at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, my alma mater. Marvin Minsky, the legendary pioneer of artificial intelligence, is not known to be shy about entering the science-religion debate.
To get Minsky started (it doesn’t take much), I ask him whether it is efficacious for scientists to seek harmony between science and theology.
Minsky gives me a look and calls religion “an amazing phenomenon for thousands of years” that is a “psychologically wonderful device.” But he’s just warming up.
“Take all the questions you can’t answer and give them a name,” says Minsky. “So somebody says, ‘Well, God did that.’ And the right question to then ask is, ‘Well, how does God work?’ And [believers] regard that as rude. So there’s something strange about theology. It’s a system of thinking which teaches you not to ask questions. And so it’s incompatible with science.
“The trouble with religion,” Minsky continues, “is it picks particular things and says, ‘Don’t think about this.’ ‘Don’t change that.’ ‘Abide by this Book.’ And that’s very convenient. It saves a lot of time. At any period, if there are questions science can’t yet answer, why knock yourself out? I regard religion as a wonderful way to save people’s time.”
Minsky believes that if religion would not have impeded science for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, humanity would be far advanced, even in dramatically extending human life. “I think death will go away,” Minsky opines. “But we don’t need to pray for it. We need to work for it.” Not yet finished, Minsky adds, “If we look at religion as fossilized old beliefs, some of which may have been useful, that’s fine. But I can’t see serious discussions of theological ideas because they’re all nutty. Unless you say how God works, saying that God exists doesn’t explain anything.”
Minsky is fierce. Good for him. Religion as an excuse to avoid hard questions? Based on the history of religion, he makes a good argument.
But from the foibles or fallacies of human religion, does anything really follow about a Creator God?

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Let’s break this down a little bit. Religion does not encourage science but discourages it by suggesting that we omit the hard work and just say God did it. Minsky is also asserting in this same discussion, “Unless you say how God works, saying that God exists doesn’t explain anything,” and he is implying that brilliant scientists are the ones who give us the answers that we can depend on.

drian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one. Let’s take a look at the history of science that was handled down to us from Western Europe and take a closer examination of those great men’s religious views and if their religious views were corrosive to their scientific pursuits? This is the accusation of many modern day evolutionists.

Francis Schaeffer in his book “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE?” stated that according to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God. In the article, “Christianity and Technological Advance – The Astonishing Connection,” by T. V. Varughese, Ph.D, he observed:

Without question, “technology” has now become the new magic word in place of the word “science.” Since technology represents the practical applications of science, it is clearly consumer-oriented. Herein is bright economic promise to all who can provide technology.

In terms of technology, our present world can be divided into at least three groups: countries that are strong providers of technology, both original and improved; countries that are mass producers because of cheaper labor; and countries that are mostly consumers. Without a doubt, being in the position of “originating” superior technology should be a goal for any major country. The difficult question, however, is “how.”

An obvious place to start suggests itself. Why not begin with the countries that have established themselves as strong originators of technology and see if there is a common thread between them? The western nations, after the Renaissance and the Reformation of the 16th century, offer a ready example. Any book on the history of inventions, such as the Guinness Book of Answers, will reveal that the vast majority of scientific inventions have originated in Europe (including Britain) and the USA since the dawn of the 17th century. What led to the fast technological advances in the European countries and North America around that time?

The answer is that something happened which set the stage for science and technology to emerge with full force. Strange as it may seem, that event was the return to Biblical Christianity in these countries.The Epistemological Foundation of Technology

According to Alfred North Whitehead and J. Robert Oppenheimer, both renowned philosophers and scientists of our era (but not Christians themselves), modern science was born out of the Christian world view. Whitehead said that Christianity is the “mother of science” because of the insistence on the rationality of God.[1] Entomologist Stanley Beck,though not a Christian himself, acknowledged the corner-stone premises of science which the Judeo-Christian world view offers: “The first of the unprovable premises on which science has been based is the belief that the world is real and the human mind is capable of knowing its real nature. The second and best-known postulate underlying the structure of scientific knowledge is that of cause and effect. Thethird basic scientific premise is that nature is unified.”[2] In other words, the epistemological foundation of technology has been the Judeo-Christian world view presented in the Bible…

Perhaps the most obvious affirmation that Biblical Christianity and science are friends and not foes comes from the fact that most of the early scientists after the Renaissance were also strong believers in the Bible as the authoritative source of knowledge concerning the origin of the universe and man’s place in it.[4] The book of Genesis, the opening book of the Bible, presents the distinctly Judeo-Christian world view of a personal Creator God behind the origin and sustenance of the universe (Genesis 1:1Colossians 1:17; etc.).

Among the early scientists of note who held the Biblical creationist world view are Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and Samuel Morse (1791-1872) – what motivated them was a confidence in the “rationality” behind the universe and the “goodness” of the material world. The creation account in Genesis presents an intelligent, purposeful Creator, who, after completing the creation work, declared it to be very good (Genesis 1:31). That assures us that the physical universe operates under reliable laws which may be discovered by the intelligent mind and used in practical applications. The confidence in the divinely pronounced goodness of the material world removed any reluctance concerning the development of material things for the betterment of life in this world. The spiritual world and the material world can work together in harmony.

 References –

  1. Francis A. Schaeffer: How Should We Then Live (Revell, 1976), p. 132.
  2. Henry M. Morris, Biblical Basis for Modern Science (Baker, 1991), p. 30.
  3. Schaeffer, p. 131.
  4. Henry M. Morris, Men of Science, Men of God (Master Books, CA, 1988), 107 pp.

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Henry Morris pointed out:

Many of these great scientists of the past were before Darwin, but not all of them. However, all of them were acquainted with secular philosophies and some were in fact opponents of Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). Many of them believed in the inspiration and authority of the Bible, as well as in the deity and saving work of Jesus Christ. They believed that God had supernaturally created all things, each with its own complex structure for its own unique purpose. They believed that, as scientists, they were “thinking God’s thoughts after Him,” learning to understand and control the laws and processes of nature for God’s glory and man’s good. They believed and practiced science in exactly the same way that modern creationist scientists do.

And somehow this attitude did not hinder them in their commitment to the “scientific method.” In fact one of them, Sir Francis Bacon, is credited with formulating and establishing the scientific method! They seem also to have been able to maintain a proper “scientific attitude,” for it was these men (Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc.) whose researches and analyses led to the very laws and concepts of science which brought about our modern scientific age…. 

To illustrate the caliber and significance of these great scientists of the past, Tables I and II have been prepared. These tabulations are not complete lists, of course, but at least are representative and they do point up the absurdity of modern assertions that no true scientist can be a creationist and Bible-believing Christian.

Table I lists the creationist “fathers” of many significant branches of modern science. Table II lists the creationist scientists responsible for various vital inventions, discoveries, and other contributions to mankind. These identifications are to some degree oversimplified, of course, for even in the early days of science every new development involved a number of other scientists, before and after. Nevertheless, in each instance, a strong case can be made for attributing the chief responsibility to the creationist scientist indicated. At the very least, his contribution was critically important and thus supports our contention that belief in creation and the Bible helps, rather than hinders, scientific discovery.

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My relatives live 3 miles from Spring Hill, Tennessee. When the new General Motors plant opened there I got to go see it. What if I had said, “The assembly line created a beautiful Saturn automobile!” Hopefully, some would have corected me by responding, “The assembly line did not create the automobile. It was first designed by the General Motors engineers in Detroit.” ASSUMING EVOLUTION IS TRUE, IT WOULD STILL ONLY BE THE MECHANISM. DOES EVOLUTION ACCOUNT FOR THE DESIGNER?

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.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, Box 23416, LittleRock, AR 72221, United States

On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:

…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975

and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.

Harry Kroto

Nick Gathergood, David-Birkett, Harry-Kroto

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

I have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:

Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert DreyfusBart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. HänschBrian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman JonesSteve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry KrotoGeorge LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman PhilipseCarolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver SacksJohn SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de SousaVictor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard SusskindRaymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander VilenkinSir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,

In  the second video below in the 67th clip in this series are Richard Dawkins’ words that Harry Kroto wanted me to see. Since then I have read several of Richard Dawkins books and have attempted to respond to the contents of these books directly to Richard Dawkins by mail. In fact, I have been writing Richard Dawkins letters since May 15, 1994 which was the 10th anniversary of the passing of one of my heroes, Francis Schaeffer. Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time responding to many of Richard Dawkins’ heroes such as Carl Sagan, Jacques Monod, H.J. Blackham, Isaac Newton, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Max Planck, Johann Sebastian Bach, Francis Bacon, Samuel Beckett, Leonardo Da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Michael Faraday, Gerald Horton, Edmund Leach, Louis Pasteur, George Wald, Jacob Bronowski, Steven Weinberg, Charles Darwin, Paul Kurtz, Peter Singer, Jonathan Miller, William B. Provine, Woody Allen, Noam Chomsky, James D. Watson, Francis Crick, Michael Polanyi, The Huxley family, Antony Flew, and Edward O. Wilson (Dawkins has since revised his opinion of Flew and Wilson, but he earlier regarded them very highly). 

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Francis Schaeffer 1911-1984

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Both Francis Schaeffer and Richard Dawkins have talked extensively about the life of Charles Darwin.

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Sir Harry Kroto with his high school friend Sir Ian McKellan at the FSU National High Field Magnetic Lab on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

Image result for harry kroto richard dawkins

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

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Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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Edit Post ‹ The Daily Hatch — WordPress

A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3)

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Richard Dawkins Photos Photos – Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication – Zimbio

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication

Professor Stephen Hawking Unveils Medal For Science Communication In This Photo: Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking, Brian May, Harold Kroto, Alexi Leonov, Garik Israelian

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

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

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Bart Ehrman “Why should one think that God performed the miracle of inspiring the words in the first place if He didn’t perform the miracle of preserving the words?”

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Open Letter #98 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Tony “We are chimps with brains the size of planets.” DARWIN asserted, “Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind…? [Yet our minds] have developed from lower animals!”

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After Life #1 Trailer

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After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

July 24, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 98th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE.

(Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:)

In episode 2 of the second season of AFTER LIFE is the following discussion: 
Tony: I drink in times of trouble. I can’t help it the world is filled with trouble. It is a horrible place. Everyone is screwed up in someway. Everyone has worries like money or health or famine, war. We are chimps with brains the size of planets. No wonder we get drunk and try to kill each other. It is mental.

Matt: Always good to talk.

Tony: I was just explaining my new plan is to drink myself to death till I eventually implode in on my own evolution. 
Kath: Do you believe in all that? 
Tony: What? The proven fact that there is evolution? Yeah

Ricky Gervais plays bereaved husband Tony Johnson in AFTER LIFE 

Tony and his wife Lisa who died 6 months ago of cancer

Ricky, it was interesting to me that you had Tony say, “We are chimps with brains the size of planets.

Charles Darwin resting against pillar covered with vines.

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(Darwin wrote: But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind…?)

Jim Al-Khalili in Origin of Life:

 In the book LIFE ON THE EDGE Jim Al-Khalili noted:

Have we overlooked some vital spark that animates the living and is absent from the nonliving? This is not to say we will be claiming that any kind of vital force, spirit, or magic ingredient animates life. Our story is much more interesting than that” (p.27).


No serious scientist today doubts that life can be accounted for within the sphere of science” (p.101).

David Noebel wrote:

Hear the counsel of Francis Crick:  “An honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”  


Leonard Susskind comments on Origin of Life:

Quote from Professor Susskind:

I don’t believe that the universe was designed by an intelligence. I believe the universe was designed the same way the incredible human being was designed. It certainly looks – and before Darwin it looked like some designer must have….what else could possibly account for the complexity of a human being, the human brain and so forth, and we eventually found out what it was. It was random mutation, a bunch of carbon oxygen and other stuff for that mutation to work on, and a little bit of everything evolved. Some things did better than others. Those things are more populous than the things that didn’t do well and so it was basically randomness, statistics and the laws of physics that led to our own design.

I think the same is true of the universe. oh incidentally, in the process of designing us, it also designed a hell of a lot of stuff not nearly as intelligent as we are in fact most of the stuff out there is not intelligent. And so it wasn’t that there was an upward trend that just naturally led to intelligence, there was just, everything happened. Everything that could happen happened. Some of it’s still happening.
That seems to be the way, or at least according to one version of cosmology, and it’s by now the most popular version of cosmology, is the universe is exceedingly big, just like the bush or the tree of life, it has many different environments. So many different environments that a very small fraction of them are capable of supporting life and that small fraction of them happens to be the small fraction that ‘looks’ [Susskind’s emphasis] as if it were intelligently designed. Incidentally it’s the only fraction we can exist in which to ask the question. So that’s my view of it other people have different views.

Sean carroll “Darwin undercut [Design] argument:

From the popular You Tube video ANOTHER 50 RENOWNED ACADEMICS SPEAKING ABOUT GOD (Part 2):  

Aristotle would tell you things like if you have an object and you want it to be in motion. You have to keep pushing it because if you stop, it stops. And Aristotle was right. It stopped if I stopped pushing it. 

Physicists like to make fun of Aristotle these days but he was right in the context he was talking about.  So if you believe about fundamental stuff in the world, motion only exists when something is pushing it, then you can imagine that these kinds of arguments make sense that the fact that we see things moving in the universe despite the fact the motion requires a mover makes you believe that there must be some prime mover out there behind the whole thing. Then comes along Galileo and Newton and they saw actually if you think about it carefully the natural status for objects is uniform motion. Its just because of friction dissipation and other annoying features of the world that we see things stop

At a fundamental level things want to keep moving and unless you act upon them they will remain in uniform motion.This notion conservation of momentum completely underminded the sort of metaphysical reasoning behind the arguments for the first cause and prime-mover and things like that , and you can actually see the impact on the theological literature,  once they invented Newtonian mechanics, arguments for the existence of God changed their focus from prime-movers, first cause arguments from contingency to the argument from design. They started inventing machines and they said, “It looks like a machine and maybe there is a machinist and so forth.” Then Darwin to a good extent undercut that argument and we are still living in the aftermath of that.

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(Darwin wrote: But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind…?)

Charles Darwin resting against pillar covered with vines.



Did you know that Charles Darwin said something similar?

Darwin, C. R. to Graham, William 3 July 1881

Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance.* But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

(Francis Schaeffer below)

Francis Schaeffer observed:

Can you feel this man? He is in real agony. You can feel the whole of modern man in this tension with Darwin. My mind can’t accept that ultimate of chance, that the universe is a result of chance. He has said 3 or 4 times now that he can’t accept that it all happened by chance and then he will write someone else and say something different. How does he say this (about the mind of a monkey) and then put forth this grand theory? Wrong theory I feel but great just the same. Grand in the same way as when I look at many of the paintings today and I differ with their message but you must say the mark of the mannishness of man are one those paintings titanic-ally even though the message is wrong and this is the same with Darwin. But how can he say you can’t think, you come from a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s conviction, so how can you trust me? Trust me here, but not there is what Darwin is saying. In other words it is very selective. 

Ricky in your interview with Russell Brand you asserted, “We are machines. We are machines trying to understand ourselves and that is hard. Will there one day be a computer suffering from anxiety? I reckon so. We are chimps with brains the size of the planet….I don’t understand consciousness…”

Charles Darwin also has a hard time explaining how our consciousness came about:  “This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity.“

I’m an evangelical Christian and you are a secularist but I am sure we can both agree with the apostle Paul when he said in First Corinthians 15 that if Christ did not rise from the dead then Christians are to be most pited!!!! A few years ago I attended Easter services and this issue came up and Mark Henry asserted that there is plenty of evidence that indicates that the Bible is historically accurate. Did you know that CHARLES DARWIN thought about this very subject quite a lot?

I just finished reading the online addition of the book Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray. There are several points that Charles Darwin makes in this book that were very wise, honest, logical, shocking and some that were not so wise. The Christian Philosopher Francis Schaeffer once said of Darwin’s writings, “Darwin in his autobiography and in his letters showed that all through his life he never really came to a quietness concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many manufacturers years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem.”

When I read the book  Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published lettersI also read  a commentary on it by Francis Schaeffer and I wanted to both  quote some of Charles Darwin’s own words to you and then include the comments of Francis Schaeffer on those words. 

Darwin, C. R. to Doedes, N. D., 2 Apr 1873

“It is impossible to answer your question briefly; and I am not sure that I could do so, even if I wrote at some length. But I may say that the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrous universe, with our conscious selves, arose through chance, seems to me the chief argument for the existence of God; but whether this is an argument of real value, I have never been able to decide…Nor can I overlook the difficulty from the immense amount of suffering through the world. I am aware that if we admit a First Cause, the mind still craves to know whence it came, and how it arose.”

Jan Constantijn Costerus and Nicolaas Dirk Doedes pictured below:

Image result for charles darwin Doedes, N. D., 2 Apr 1873

Francis Schaeffer noted:

What he is saying is if you say there is a first cause, then the mind says, “Where did this come from?” I think this is a bit old fashioned, with some of the modern thinkers, this would not have carry as much weight today as it did when Darwin expressed it. Jean Paul Sartre said it as well as anyone could possibly say it. The philosophic problem is that something is there and not nothing being there. No one has the luxury of beginning with nothing. Nobody I have ever read has put forth that everything came from nothing. I have never met such a person in all my reading,or all my discussion. If you are going to begin with nothing being there, it has to be nothing nothing, and it can’t be something nothing. When someone says they believe nothing is there, in reality they have already built in something there. The only question is do you begin with an impersonal something or a personal something. All human thought is shut up to these two possibilities. Either you begin with an impersonal and then have Darwin’s own dilemma which impersonal plus chance, now he didn’t bring in the amount of time that modern man would though. Modern man has brought in huge amounts of time into the equation as though that would make a difference because I have said many times that time can’t make a qualitative difference but only a quantitative difference. The dilemma is it is either God or chance. Now you find this intriguing thing in Darwin’s own situation, he can’t understand how chance could have produced these two great factors of the universe and its form and the mannishness of man.

From Charles Darwin, Autobiography (1876), in The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin, vol. 1 (London: John Murray, 1888), pp. 307 to 313.

“Another source of conviction in the existence of God, connected with the reason and not with the feelings, impresses me as having much more weight. This follows from the extreme difficulty or rather impossibility of conceiving this immense and wonderful universe, including man with his capacity of looking far backwards and far into futurity, as the result of blind chance or necessity. When thus reflecting, I feel compelled to look to a First Cause having an intelligent mind in some degree analogous to that of man; and I deserve to be called a TheistThis conclusion was strong in my mind about the time, as far as I can remember, when I wrote the Origin of Species, and it is since that time that it has very gradually, with many fluctuations, become weaker. But then arises the doubt…”

Francis Schaeffer commented:

On the basis of his reason he has to say there must be an intelligent mind, someone analogous to man. You couldn’t describe the God of the Bible better. That is man is made in God’s image  and therefore, you know a great deal about God when you know something about man. What he is really saying here is that everything in my experience tells me it must be so, and my mind demands it is so. Not just these feelings he talked about earlier but his MIND demands it is so, but now how does he counter this? How does he escape this? Here is how he does it!!!

Charles Darwin went on to observe:  —can the mind of man, which has, as I fully believe, been developed from a mind as low as that possessed by the lowest animals, be trusted when it draws such grand conclusions?”

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Francis Schaeffer asserted:

So he says my mind can only come to one conclusion, and that is there is a mind behind it all. However, the doubt comes because his mind has come from the lowest form of earthworm, so how can I trust my mind. But this is a joker isn’t it?  Then how can you trust his mind to support such a theory as this? He proved too much. The fact that Darwin found it necessary to take such an escape shows the tremendous weight of Romans 1, that the only escape he can make is to say how can I trust my mind when I come from the lowest animal the earthworm? Obviously think of the grandeur of his concept, I don’t think it is true, but the grandeur of his concept, so what you find is that Darwin is presenting something here that is wrong I feel, but it is not nothing. It is a tremendously grand concept that he has put forward. So he is accepting the dictates of his mind to put forth a grand concept which he later can’t accept in this basic area with his reason, but he rejects what he could accept with his reason on this escape. It really doesn’t make sense. This is a tremendous demonstration of the weakness of his own position.


Cambridge Biologist Patrick Bateson comments:

In the You Tube video “A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1),” He asserted:
‎”I’m not a believer.”
Are you an agnostic or an atheist would you say?
“Well, that’s a good question, I think… Darwin’s response when he was asked whether he was an atheist was I don’t know, so I think agnostic. I think I’m actually an atheist when all is said and done, if I’m really honest about it, I really don’t believe in a God.”


Darwin also noted, “I cannot pretend to throw the least light on such abstruse problems. The mystery of the beginning of all things is insoluble by us, and I for one must be content to remain an Agnostic.”

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

What a stupid reply and I didn’t say wicked. It just seems to me that here is 2 plus 2 equals 36 at this particular place.

Darwin, C. R. to Graham, William 3 July 1881

Nevertheless you have expressed my inward conviction, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is not the result of chance.* But then with me the horrid doubt always arises whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

Francis Schaeffer observed:

Can you feel this man? He is in real agony. You can feel the whole of modern man in this tension with Darwin. My mind can’t accept that ultimate of chance, that the universe is a result of chance. He has said 3 or 4 times now that he can’t accept that it all happened by chance and then he will write someone else and say something different. How does he say this (about the mind of a monkey) and then put forth this grand theory? Wrong theory I feel but great just the same. Grand in the same way as when I look at many of the paintings today and I differ with their message but you must say the mark of the mannishness of man are one those paintings titanic-ally even though the message is wrong and this is the same with Darwin. But how can he say you can’t think, you come from a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s conviction, so how can you trust me? Trust me here, but not there is what Darwin is saying. In other words it is very selective. 

Now we are down to the last year of Darwin’s life.

* The Duke of Argyll (Good Words, April 1885, p. 244) has recorded a few words on this subject, spoken by my father in the last year of his life. “. . . in the course of that conversation I said to Mr. Darwin, with reference to some of his own remarkable works on the Fertilisation of Orchids, and upon The Earthworms,and various other observations he made of the wonderful contrivances for certain purposes in nature—I said it was impossible to look at these without seeing that they were the effect and the expression of mind. I shall never forget Mr. Darwin’s answer. He looked at me very hard and said, ‘Well, that often comes over me with overwhelming force; but at other times,’ and he shook his head vaguely, adding, ‘it seems to go away.’”

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Duke of Argyll (1823-1900)

Portrait of 8th Duke of Argyll

(Despite differing opinions, Darwin and Argyll had great respect for each other and he served as one of the pall bearers at Darwin’s funeral.)

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Francis Schaeffer summarized :

And this is the great Darwin, and it makes you cry inside. This is the great Darwin and he ends as a man in total tension.

Francis Schaeffer noted that in Darwin’s 1876 Autobiography that Darwin he is going to set forth two arguments for God in this and again you will find when he comes to the end of this that he is in tremendous tension. Darwin wrote, 

Charles Darwin Charles Darwin – portrait by George Richmond, 1840. CD, English scientist: 12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882. GR, English painter: 28 March 1809 – 19 March 1896.

At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons.Formerly I was led by feelings such as those just referred to (although I do not think that the religious sentiment was ever strongly developed in me), to the firm conviction of the existence of God and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that whilst standing in the midst of the grandeur of a Brazilian forest, ‘it is not possible to give an adequate idea of the higher feelings of wonder, admiration, and devotion which fill and elevate the mind.’ I well remember my conviction that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body; but now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind.

Francis Schaeffer remarked:

Now Darwin says when I look back and when I look at nature I came to the conclusion that man can not be just a fly! But now Darwin has moved from being a younger man to an older man and he has allowed his presuppositions to enter in to block his logic. These things at the end of his life he had no intellectual answer for. To block them out in favor of his theory. Remember the letter of his that said he had lost all aesthetic senses when he had got older and he had become a clod himself. Now interesting he says just the same thing, but not in relation to the arts, namely music, pictures, etc, but to nature itself. Darwin said, “But now the grandest scenes would not cause any such convictions  and feelings to rise in my mind. It may be truly said that I am like a man who has become colour-blind…” So now you see that Darwin’s presuppositions have not only robbed him of the beauty of man’s creation in art, but now the universe. He can’t look at it now and see the beauty. The reason he can’t see the beauty is for a very, very , very simple reason: THE BEAUTY DRIVES HIM TO DISTRACTION. THIS IS WHERE MODERN MAN IS AND IT IS HELL. The art is hell because it reminds him of man and how great man is, and where does it fit in his system? It doesn’t. When he looks at nature and it’s beauty he is driven to the same distraction and so consequently you find what has built up inside him is a real death, not  only the beauty of the artistic but the beauty of nature. He has no answer in his logic and he is left in tension.  He dies and has become less than human because these two great things (such as any kind of art and the beauty of  nature) that would make him human  stand against his theory.

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Erasmus Alvey Darwin with Charles Darwin’s sons

Image result for charles darwin monkey

DO THESE WORDS OF DARWIN APPLY TO YOU TODAY? “I am like a man who has become colour-blind.

Martin Rees comments:

Ian Sample spoke to the astronomer royal Martin Rees on Tuesday before the announcement that he had won the Templeton Prize.

I suppose one thing I would say, from my BBC lectures, I think doing science makes me realize that even the simplest things are pretty hard to understand and that makes me suspicious of people who believe they’ve got anything more than an incomplete and metaphorical understanding of any deep aspect of reality. And also I see human beings as not the culmination, but only a stage in the marvelous unfolding of evolution, because the timeline ahead is as long as the time that has lapsed up to now. Those are respects in which my professional interests affect my response to dogmatic religion. But as I say, I participate in occasional religious services which are the customs of the society I grew up in. I’m not allergic to religion.

Theodor W. Hänsch comments:

DO YOU THINK THERE IS LIFE AFTER DEATH? ” I can’t see that for an individual.”  OR THAT THERE IS HEAVEN OR HELL? “No.” WHEN YOU SEE THE PRECISION OF THE ATOM DOES THAT RELATE TO INTELLIGENT DESIGN OR TO A RELIGIOUS APPROACH TO THE WORLD? “Naturally all things around us look like they have been designed intelligently. So the principles that led to their being of course in some ways implies some intelligence but it may not be the intelligence in a person like being, but intelligence is it’s own. In it’s own mechanism, how nature evolves.

Alan Guth

“My feeling about the word God is that I’m not sure if I know really what it means. I certainly have a big place in my philosophy for the unknown – I don’t think at this point we have any way of knowing where the laws of physics came from, we could hope that when we really understand the laws of physics that they will describe how the universe came into existence…

…I have never seen much in the idea that the universe was designed. My problem with the concept is that it always seems that the designer is more sophisticated and more complicated than the object being designed – that is certainly true with the way it works with cars, building, and trucks. So, if one needs a designer that is more complex than the thing being designed, the designer doesn’t help explain the design – it becomes an infinite regress.

So, I’ll freely admit that I have no idea why the laws of physics are what they are – and I also have no idea how to even go about approaching that question – but to me just saying that there is a designer doesn’t help at all.”

(Below is the message I first since to Anthony Flew and he wrote me back and said he enjoyed listening to it)

I have more articles posted on my blog about the last few yearsof Antony Flew’s life than any other website in the world probably. The reason is very simple. I had the opportunity to correspond with Antony Flew back in the middle 90’s and he said that he had the opportunity to listen to several of the cassette tapes that I sent him with messages from Adrian Rogers and he also responded to several of the points I put in my letters that I got from Francis Schaeffer’s materials. The ironic thing was that I purchased the sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? originally from the Bellevue Baptist Church Bookstore in 1992 and in the same bookstore in 2008 I bought the book THERE IS A GOD by Antony Flew. Back in 1993 I decided to contact some of the top secular thinkers of our time and I got my initial list of individuals from those scholars that were mentioned in the works of both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. Schaeffer had quoted Flew in his book ESCAPE FROM REASON. It was my opinion after reviewing the evidence that Antony Flew was the most influential atheistic philosopher of the 20th century.

The Fine Tuning Argument for the Existence of God fromAntony Flew!

Imagine entering a hotel room on your next vacation. The CD player on the bedside table is softly playing a track from your favorite recording. The framed print over the bed is identical to the image that hangs over the fireplace at home. The room is scented with your favorite fragrance…You step over to the minibar, open the door, and stare in wonder at the contents. Your favorite beverage. Your favorite cookies and candy. Even the brand of bottled water you prefer…You notice the book on the desk: it’s the latest volume by your favorite author…

Chances are, with each new discovery about your hospitable new environment, you would be less inclined to think it has all a mere coincidence, right? You might wonder how the hotel managers acquired such detailed information about you. You might marvel at their meticulous preparation. You might even double-check what all this is going to cost you. But you would certainly be inclined to believe that someone knew you were coming.      There Is A God  (2007)  p.113-4

As a secularist you believe that it is sad indeed that millions of Christians are hoping for heaven but no heaven is waiting for them. Paul took a close look at this issue too. I Corinthians 15 asserts:

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

I sent you a CD a couple of years ago that starts off with the song DUST IN THE WIND by Kerry Livgren of the group KANSAS which was a hit song in 1978 when it rose to #6 on the charts because so many people connected with the message of the song. It included these words, “All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”


Kerry Livgren himself said that he wrote the song because he saw where man was without a personal God in the picture. Solomon pointed out in the Book of Ecclesiastes that those who believe that God doesn’t exist must accept three things. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life.  FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. The Christian can  face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Both Kerry Livgren and the bass player Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgrenfirst tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on You Tube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible ChurchDAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.


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.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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Francis Schaeffer THE AGE of FRAGMENTATION

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Open Letter #97 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, C.S. Lewis: “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. Men feel sexual desires: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world”

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After Life #1 Trailer

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After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

July 23, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 97th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE. I love the film series AFTER LIFE but Tony just like Solomon in ECCLESIASTES is lamenting that even though he is asking the right questions he is not getting the right answers. The reason for this search being similar to chasing the wind is that it is a search for meaning UNDER THE SUN!!!!

:The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.”

Ricky as an atheist you have put no spiritual solutions in AFTERLIFE except to make fun of the dimwit Kath who is the only Christian in the script. No wonder you have Tony returning to his alcohol and his constant contemplation of suicide. 

Let me make a very simple point and that is we all have a deep longing in our soul that must be satisfied spiritually, and that is a lacking component in AFTER LIFE. 

Francis Schaeffer noted: 

The classic work Leonardo da Vinci, published in Italy and translated in English in 1963, contained a section by Giovanni Gentile (1875-1944) on Leonardo’s thought-forms. He spells out the fact that Leonardo really grasped the problem of modern man. Leonardo anticipated where humanism would end: 

(Giovanni Gentile pictured below)

GENTILE, Giovanni

From Galileo’s day on rigorous scientific method has limited itself consciously to what are called appearances or phenomenon as they later were to be termed of nature that is to the surface but Leonardo while looking to such an ideal of scientific knowledge can not be satisfied with the surface his keen unsleeping eye penetrates deeper and on observation the experience that is so greatly praised and exalted no longer serves him he intuits or invokes the inner life the secret soul setting in motion the great machine that he has taken apart and studied piece by piece, watching, and spying and scrutinizing by means of mathematics, mechanics, anatomy and every instrument that might enable him to follow the operations of nature step by step. 

Hence the anguish and the innermost tragedy of this universal man divided between two irreconcilable worlds, hence the desperate life long labor of this implacable self torture whose marvelous work of gleaming of art spread from full hands day by day on paper, on canvas and on storied walls and of precise concepts and inspired researches which in many fields of scientific knowledge are pretentious anticipations of the future leaves in mind an infinite longing made up as it were of regret and sadness. It is the longing for a different Leonardo from the Leonardo that he was, one that could gathered himself up at each phase and remained closed himself off either altogether in his fantasy or altogether in his intelligence in order to taste the pure joy of divine creation (that’s not God’s creation but his own). It is anguished longing such as always welled up in Leonardo’s heart each time he put down his brush, his charcoal or his rod where he had to break off setting down his secret thoughts.

(Painting of Leonardo below)



What Gentille is putting forth here is that Leonardo was not satisfied with living in two worlds at once. He was not satisfied with being the modern man who would put his aspirations and his longing for unity and meaning in one compartment to be taken out and looked at when he can’t stand the pressure of the details. And Leonardo realized that these two things based on the beginning of man from himself would absolutely lead in this direction…Leonardo was looking for a meaning amidst the details of life.

Why do so many people throughout the world believe in God and an afterlife? Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). 

Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Even Tony seems to feel this in episode 4 of the first season of AFTER LIFE when Tony talks about being with his wife in the future.

Matt: Tony that doesn’t even make sense. You are a rational man. You don’t even believe in an afterlife. 

Tony: I know she is nowhere. Alright. But get this through your head. I would rather be no where with her then somewhere without her. 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

Why does Tony say these things? First, he knows deep down that he was made for more than just this life. Secondly, he can’t live as though he is a machine even though his secular viewpoint tells him that he is only a machine. Modern man, says Francis Schaeffer, resides in a two-story universe. In the lower story is the finite world without God; here life is absurd, as we have seen. In the upper story are meaning, value, and purpose. Now modern man lives in the lower story because he believes there is no God. But he cannot live happily in such an absurd world; therefore, he continually makes leaps of faith into the upper story to affirm meaning, value, and purpose, even though he has no right to, since he does not believe in God.This EXPLAINS why Tony makes statements such as the one that SHOCKED Matt!!!!

As Augustine famously says to God at the beginning of the Confessions: “You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is
restless until it rests in you.” 
35 
C.S. Lewis asserted: 

Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well,(12) there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desires: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world

Tim Keller in his book MAKING SENSE OF GOD notes: 

The Infinity of Our Discontent page 91 (3:12:35)


The ultimate disordered love, however— and the ultimate source of our discontent— is failure to love the first thing first, the failure to love God supremely. In his Confessions, Augustine prays to God: “For there is a joy that is not given to those who do not love you, but only to those who love you for your own sake. . . . This is happiness and there is no other. Those who think that there is another kind of happiness look for joy elsewhere, but theirs is not true joy. Nevertheless their will remains drawn towards some image of the true joy.” 33

Augustine here distills the biblical view of humanity. Human beings were made in the image of a God who is tripersonal— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. From all eternity those three divine persons have been loving one another in infinite degrees of joy and glory. We were created to know this joy by loving and glorifying God preeminently. Whether we acknowledge God or not, since we were created for it, we will always look for the infinite joy we were designed to find in loving communion with the Divine. We turn to things in the world to give it to us, but “[ we] sin when, neglectful of order, we fix our love on the creature, instead of on Thee, the Creator.” 34 The reason even the best possible worldly goods will not satisfy is because we were created for a degree of delight and fulfillment that they cannot produce. As Augustine famously says to God at the beginning of the Confessions: “You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is
restless until it rests in you.” 
35 We were made for God, and so nothing can give us the infinite joy that God can.
All things are precious, because all are beautiful, but what is more beautiful than He? Strong they are, but what is stronger than He? . . . If you seek for anything better, you will do wrong to Him and harm to yourself, by preferring to Him that which He made, when he would willingly give Himself to you. 36
You harm yourself when you love anything more than God. How does this work? If you love your children more than you love God, you will essentially rest your need for significance and security in them. You will need too much for them to succeed, be happy, and love you. That will either drive them away or crush them under the weight of your expectations, because they will be the ultimate source of your happiness, and no human being can measure up to that. If instead you love your spouse or romantic partner more than God, the same things occur. If you love your work and career more than God, you will necessarily also love them more than your family, your community, and your own health, and so that will lead to physical and relational breakdown and often, as we saw above, to social injustice.
If you love anything more than God, you harm
the object of your love, you harm yourself, you harm the world around you, and you end up deeply dissatisfied and discontent. 
The most famous modern expression of Augustine’s view was the ending of Lewis’s radio talk:

Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well,(12) there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desires: well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. 37


The Augustinian analysis does justice to our experience. As we saw, the evolutionary explanation of our perennial discontent fails to account for it. The idea that “most people are basically happy” trivializes it, but it is not trivial at all. Some have, as it were, sought to fill the inner emptiness with billions of dollars and virtually unchecked power to gratify their impulses and appetites. Yet the testimony of the ages is that even goods on this scale cannot fill the vacuum. That is powerful evidence that the cavern in our soul is indeed infinitely deep. 38


The Healing of Our Discontent
 (3:17:11)


Here, then, is the conundrum we face. Our surprisingly deep discontent leads us to lock our hearts onto things with profound intensity. The ancients wisely taught that the only way to avoid unhappiness is to avoid this “love as attachment,” that is, to attach ourselves so powerfully and exclusively to an object or person that we cannot imagine life without it or him or her. 39 Not only do such attachments lead to envy, resentment, anxiety, and even violence in order to defend our possession, but they also make us fragile and vulnerable to the inevitable changes and disruptions of life.
However, we have seen the dangers of finding contentment through detachment. That not only brings
about a selfishness and hardness but also weakens our love relationships, thus undermining the greatest source of
joy we know. We need not only to receive love but also to give it. 40
Augustine breaks through this logjam. He does a radical critique of love-as-attachment, and presents his own pre-Christian self as a case study. He had attached his happiness to a friend whom he loved intensely but who died suddenly. He later realized that he had “loved a person sure to die as if he would never die (Confessions, book IV, chapter 8). This happens because our souls “become stuck and glued to these transient things,” which “rend the soul with pestilential desires and torment” because “the soul loves . . . to take its repose” in them. Yet “in these things there is no point of rest, for they . . . flee away” (Confessions, book IV, chapter 10). 41
However, after Augustine confirms the deadliness of love-as-attachment, he turns and says that such love is good, right, and essential when given to God. Though idolatrous attachment to earthly goods does indeed lead to unnecessary pain and grief, the solution was not to love the things of life less but to love God more. The problem is not that you love your family or job too much but that you love God too little in relationship to them. Intense attachment and detachment kill. Don’t harden your heart against
love, Augustine says, but don’t give your heart ultimately to things that you can lose and cannot satisfy. Instead infuse your heart with a sense of God’s love and incline your heart to love him in return.
 This will be transformative.
Consider this: If you live a long life, it will tear you up to see the people who matter most to you put into the ground one by one. If your greatest source of contentment and love is your family, that will be intolerable. But if you (13) learn to love God even more than them, your greatest source of consolation, hope, joy, and value will not be diminished by grief. Indeed, the sorrow will drive you to drink deeper from it. You will not find yourself empty, and you won’t always be hardening your heart in order to deal with how your losses tear you up. The love of God can never be taken from you, and in his love, the Bible says, you live with loved ones forever. 42


Of course, not even the strongest believers love God perfectly, nor does anyone get close to doing so. Yet to the degree you move toward loving him supremely, things begin to fall into order, into their proper places in your life. Instead of looking to the things of the world as the deepest source of your contentment, you can enjoy them for what they are. Money and career, for example, become just what they are supposed to be. Work becomes work, a great way to use your gifts and be useful to others. Money becomes just money, a great way to support your family. But these things are not your source of safety and contentment. He is.
There is another powerful dimension to this reordering of loves. Paul Bloom, in his book How Pleasure Works, argues that what matters most for pleasure is not the simple impact on our senses but what it means in relationship to other persons who matter to us. A painting that we think is an original by an admired artist gives less pleasure when we find out it is not. A chair may be comfortable, but if it is our mother’s favorite chair from her sitting room, it will give us even more pleasure. To use theological language, “we enjoy things most when we experience them as a sacrament— as carriers of the presence of another.” 43 Some have charged that religion drains ordinary life of its joy by devaluing it in deference to “higher,” more spiritual interests. This is not true— at least,

(3:22:11)
it is not the case with Christianity, the faith that I know by far the best. Christianity teaches that we are saved by God’s free grace and pardon. Unlike some forms of religion, Christianity does not say that we merit blessing through depriving ourselves and turning our backs on the world in order to earn heaven. Once we know through faith in Christ’s work for us that we are reconciled to God, and that the Creator is now not just our sovereign but our father, we can begin to have a more “sacramental” experience of the world. We see everything as a free gift from Father and a foretaste of the glory and goodness to come in our eternal inheritance. In short, as Miroslav Volf puts it, “Attachment to God amplifies and deepens enjoyment of the world.” 44 It does not diminish it.
Here, then, is the message. Don’t love anything less; instead learn to love God more, and you will love other things with far more satisfaction. You won’t overprotect them, you won’t over-expect things from them. You won’t be constantly furious with them for not being what you hoped. Don’t stifle passionate love for anything; rather, redirect your greatest love toward God by loving him with your whole heart and loving him for himself, not just for what he can give you. 45 Then, and only then, does the contentment start to come.
That is the Christian view of satisfaction. It avoids the pitfalls of both the ancient strategy of tranquility through detachment and the modern strategy of happiness through acquisition. It both explains and resolves the deep conundrum of our seemingly irremediable discontent.
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How to Love God (3:24:01)


It may be that, reading this, you think Augustine’s analysis and solution make good sense. The magnitude of our discontent points to something beyond this world. We harm ourselves if we try to satisfy our deepest longings in human love, and we also harm ourselves if we detach our hearts too much from love. Augustine’s solution is that only the love of the immutable can bring tranquillity, and only an infinite love can satisfy our hunger for infinite joy.
Even if this all makes sense to us, how do we actually know that love? You can’t just tell yourself “God loves me” and expect your heart to change. Nor can you just say, “From now on I will love God.” Love cannot be generated simply by an act of the will. Children learn to speak only by responding to speech and learn to love only by reciprocating love. So we cannot love God just by thinking of an abstract deity who is loving in general. We must grasp and be gripped by the true story of God’s actual sacrificial, saving love for us in Jesus.
In the Gospel of John, Jesus speaks to a crowd about the “bread of life,” such that whoever eats it “will never go hungry” (John 6: 35). He is talking metaphorically about something that gives both strength and delight, an image
of fulfillment and satisfaction. He also observes that human beings seek this in the wrong places. He warns against “work[ ing] for food that spoils,” that does not in the end satisfy (John 6: 27). But he does not just say, “I am the dispenser of the bread of life.” Rather, he says, “I am the bread of life” (John 6: 35) and “This is my body given for you” (Luke 22: 19) and “This is my body, which is for you” (1 Corinthians 11: 24).
The heart of the Christian faith is the simple Gospel message of sin and grace. Because we fail to love God and
our neighbor, we sin, and for God to forgive our sin, the Son of God became mortal and graciously died in our place on the cross.
 This is an offensive idea to many people, but for the moment just consider the two ways this message can bring about the love relationship with God, which solves the human dilemma.
First, the knowledge of our sin softens our hearts. If you were to raise a child and work your fingers to the bone to send that child to college, and the child only occasionally sent you a Christmas card and never gave you the time of day, that would be wrong. It’s wrong because the child owes not just deference but love. Now, if there is a God who created us and keeps us alive every minute, then the love we owe God would be infinitely greater. To not love him supremely would be infinitely worse. If you believe that, you begin to see how much we have wronged him. It begins to draw your heart outward toward him in humility and grief.
Second, the knowledge of his grace ignites our hearts. If you want to forgive someone who has wrongfully cost you a great deal of money and can’t afford to pay you back, you must absorb and pay the debt yourself. If God was going to forgive us, he had to pay the debt we owed himself. And Jesus Christ pays it by going to the cross. Keep in mind that outside of salt and a couple of minerals, everything we eat has died so that we may live. If you are eating bread, not only did the grain die, but the bread has to be broken into pieces. If the bread stays whole, you starve and you fall apart. If the bread is broken into pieces and you take it in, then you live. When Jesus Christ says, “I am the bread of life.
. . broken for you,” (John 6: 35; Luke 22: 19) he is saying: “I am God become breakable, killable, vulnerable. I die that you might live. I am broken so you can be whole.”
15

Only if you see him doing this all for you— does that begin to change your heart. He suffered and died for your sake. Now out of joy we can love him just for his sake, just for the beauty of who he is and what he has done. You
can’t force your heart to love. A kind of vague god, a god of love, an abstract god will never change your heart. This is what will change it, draw it off its inordinate attachments to other things, and turn it away from the food that spoils. Someday, then, you will be able to say, “Because your love is better than life . . . I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods; with singing lips my mouth will praise you” (Psalm 63: 3a, 5). This is “it”— or at least its foretaste (1 John 3: 1– 3).
16

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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.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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Related posts:

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April 12, 2013 – 5:45 am

I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical ArchaeologyFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 2

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John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 1

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John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 2)

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John MacArthur on the Bible and Science (Part 1)

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Francis Schaeffer THE AGE of FRAGMENTATION

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Open Letter #96 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, William Lane Craig: As Dostoyevsky put it: “If there is no immortality then all things are permitted.” On this basis, a writer like Ayn Rand is absolutely correct to praise the virtues of selfishness

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After Life #1 Trailer

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After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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Adrian Rogers on Evolution

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(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

July 22, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 96th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE, and then I wanted to pass along some evidence that indicates the Bible is historically accurate from Francis Schaeffer and Dr. C. Everett Koop Book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

In the second season of AFTERLIFE Anne tells Tony that it is each person’s duty to leave the world a better place than they found it, but on in a Godless Darwinian universe doesn’t the survival of the fittest principle apply? William Lane Craig notes,“If life ends at the grave, then it makes no difference whether one has lived as a Stalin or as a saint. Since one’s destiny is ultimately unrelated to one’s behavior, you may as well just live as you please.”

Let me share a portion of an article by William Lane Craig with you.

The Absurdity of Life without God

William Lane Craig

SUMMARY

Why on atheism life has no ultimate meaning, value, or purpose, and why this view is unlivable.

No Ultimate Value Without Immortality and God

If life ends at the grave, then it makes no difference whether one has lived as a Stalin or as a saint. Since one’s destiny is ultimately unrelated to one’s behavior, you may as well just live as you please. As Dostoyevsky put it: “If there is no immortality then all things are permitted.” On this basis, a writer like Ayn Rand is absolutely correct to praise the virtues of selfishness. Live totally for self; no one holds you accountable! Indeed, it would be foolish to do anything else, for life is too short to jeopardize it by acting out of anything but pure self-interest. Sacrifice for another person would be stupid. Kai Nielsen, an atheist philosopher who attempts to defend the viability of ethics without God, in the end admits,

We have not been able to show that reason requires the moral point of view, or that all really rational persons, unhoodwinked by myth or ideology, need not be individual egoists or classical amoralists. Reason doesn’t decide here. The picture I have painted for you is not a pleasant one. Reflection on it depresses me . . . . Pure practical reason, even with a good knowledge of the facts, will not take you to morality. [1]

But the problem becomes even worse. For, regardless of immortality, if there is no God, then there can be no objective standards of right and wrong. All we are confronted with is, in Jean-Paul Sartre’s words, the bare, valueless fact of existence. Moral values are either just expressions of personal taste or the by-products of socio-biological evolution and conditioning. In a world without God, who is to say which values are right and which are wrong? Who is to judge that the values of Adolf Hitler are inferior to those of a saint? The concept of morality loses all meaning in a universe without God. As one contemporary atheistic ethicist points out, “to say that something is wrong because . . . it is forbidden by God, is . . . perfectly understandable to anyone who believes in a law-giving God. But to say that something is wrong . . . even though no God exists to forbid it, is not understandable. . . .” “The concept of moral obligation [is] unintelligible apart from the idea of God. The words remain but their meaning is gone.” [2] In a world without God, there can be no objective right and wrong, only our culturally and personally relative, subjective judgments. This means that it is impossible to condemn war, oppression, or crime as evil. Nor can one praise brotherhood, equality, and love as good. For in a universe without God, good and evil do not exist—there is only the bare valueless fact of existence, and there is no one to say you are right and I am wrong.

The Success of Biblical Christianity

But if atheism fails in this regard, what about biblical Christianity? According to the Christian world view, God does exist, and man’s life does not end at the grave. In the resurrection body man may enjoy eternal life and fellowship with God. Biblical Christianity therefore provides the two conditions necessary for a meaningful, valuable, and purposeful life for man: God and immortality. Because of this, we can live consistently and happily. Thus, biblical Christianity succeeds precisely where atheism breaks down.

Conclusion

Now I want to make it clear that I have not yet shown biblical Christianity to be true. But what I have done is clearly spell out the alternatives. If God does not exist, then life is futile. If the God of the Bible does exist, then life is meaningful. Only the second of these two alternatives enables us to live happily and consistently. Therefore, it seems to me that even if the evidence for these two options were absolutely equal, a rational person ought to choose biblical Christianity. It seems to me positively irrational to prefer death, futility, and destruction to life, meaningfulness, and happiness. As Pascal said, we have nothing to lose and infinity to gain.

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Steven Pinker comments:

Spinoza’s dictum is one of a family of principles that have sought a secular foundation for morality in impartiality… Impartiality underlies many attempts to construct morality on rational grounds: Spinoza’s viewpoint of eternity, Hobbes’s social contract, Kant’s categorial imperative, Rawls’s veil of ignorance, Nagel’s view from nowhere, Locke and Jefferson’s self-evident truth that all people are created equal, and of course the Golden Rule and its precious-metallic variants, rediscovered in hundreds of moral traditions. (The Silver Rule is “Don’t do to others what you don’t want done to yourself”; the Platinum Rule, “Do to others what they would have you do to them.” They are designed to anticipate masochists, suicide bombers, differences in taste, and other sticking points for the Golden Rule.) To be sure, the argument from impartiality is incomplete. (Page 412 of ENLIGHTENMENT NOW: THE CASE FOR REASON, SCIENCE, HUMANISM, AND PROGRESS).

We are “created” equal by God!!! Of course Dr. Steven Pinker does not believe in God so he finds himself in the same philosophic dilemma that Judah finds himself in because without God in the picture then there is no way to convince Judah not to eliminate his troublesome mistress. I know that Dr. Pinker would never do such a horrible thing but philosophically could he convince Judah to take the punishment of jail time and lose his marriage and medical practice just because it is the right thing to do since he committed an earlier crime if he knows his hitman brother is there ready to eliminate the troublesome mistress?

(Humanist Professor Levy details his secular philosophy of life through out the film CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS and it is contained in this short 3 min clip below but ultimately he commits suicide!!)


Ricky since you have chosen to be identified as a humanist, I wanted to quote from the Humanist Manifesto 2 and 3 and ask you a question about humanistic situational ethics.

Humanist Manifesto 2 (written in 1973) states:

SECOND: Promises of immortal salvation or fear of eternal damnation are both illusory and harmful.

Humanist Manifesto 2 asserts that our moral choices should not be based on a fear of hell, and Humanist Manifesto 3 (written in 2003) states that our moral choices should be instead based on situational ethics

Ethical values are derived from human need and interest as tested by experience.Humanists ground values in human welfare shaped by human circumstances, interests, and concerns and extended to the global ecosystem and beyond. 

Humanist Manifesto 2 further states

THIRD: We affirm that moral values derive their source from human experience. Ethics is autonomous and situational needing no theological or ideological sanction.

As a Christian I believe the Bible is the inerrant word of God and as such it gives us an absolute authority to follow. However, lets take a look at your situation ethics approach for a moment as it plays out in CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS.

The clip above is a three minute summary of what the Humanist philosophy brings to the table by Professor Levy in the film CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS.

After Levy committed suicide, Cliff reviewed a clip from the documentary footage in which Levy states: “But we must always remember that when we are born we need a great deal of love to persuade us to stay in life. Once we get that love, it usually lasts us. But the universe is a pretty cold place. It’s we who invest it with our feelings. And under certain conditions, we feel that the thing isn’t worth it anymore.”

Hearing the news of Levy’s death, Halley says, “No matter how elaborate a philosophical system you work out, in the end it’s got to be incomplete.” The professor Levy was a Holocaust survivor but in the end he committed suicide because he didn’t think it was worth living anymore in a cold pitiless world. (This is what Tony Johnson in Afterlife is dealing with too!) Now take a few minutes and examine below how Woody Allen has exposed the weakness of the humanistic situational ethics.




DISCUSSING FILMS AND SPIRITUAL MATTERS

By Everette Hatcher III

“Existential subjects to me are still the only subjects worth dealing with. I don’t think that one can aim more deeply than at the so-called existential themes, the spiritual themes.” WOODY ALLEN

Evangelical Chuck Colson has observed that it used to be true that most Americans knew the Bible. Evangelists could simply call on them to repent and return. But today, most people lack understanding of biblical terms or concepts. Colson recommends that we first attempt to find common ground to engage people’s attention. That then may open a door to discuss spiritual matters.

Woody Allen’s 1989 movie, CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS , is an excellent icebreaker concerning the need of God while making decisions in the area of personal morality. In this film, Allen attacks his own atheistic view of morality. Martin Landau plays a Jewish eye doctor named Judah Rosenthal raised by a religious father who always told him, “The eyes of God are always upon you.” However, Judah later concludes that God doesn’t exist. He has his mistress (played in the film by Anjelica Huston) murdered because she continually threatened to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. She also attempted to break up Judah ‘s respectable marriage by going public with their two-year affair. Judah struggles with his conscience throughout the remainder of the movie. He continues to be haunted by his father’s words: “The eyes of God are always upon you.” This is a very scary phrase to a young boy, Judah observes. He often wondered how penetrating God’s eyes are.

Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his religious father had with Judah ‘s unbelieving Aunt May at the dinner table many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazis, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says aunt May

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah ‘s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

Woody Allen has exposed a weakness in his own humanistic view that God is not necessary as a basis for good ethics. There must be an enforcement factor in order to convince Judah not to resort to murder. Otherwise, it is fully to Judah ‘s advantage to remove this troublesome woman from his life.

The Bible tells us, “{God} has also set eternity in the hearts of men…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV). The secularist calls this an illusion, but the Bible tells us that the idea that we will survive the grave was planted in everyone’s heart by God Himself. Romans 1:19-21 tells us that God has instilled a conscience in everyone that points each of them to Him and tells them what is right and wrong (also Romans 2:14 -15).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” THE HUMANIST, May/June 1997, pp. 38-39)

Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (THE HUMANIST, September/October 1997, p. 2)

The secularist can only give incomplete answers to these questions: How could you have convinced Judah not to kill? On what basis could you convince Judah it was wrong for him to murder?

As Christians, we would agree with Judah ‘s father that “The eyes of God are always upon us.” Proverbs 5:21 asserts, “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” Revelation 20:12 states, “…And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done (their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors) in accordance with what was recorded in the books” (Amplified Version). The Bible is revealed truth from God. It is the basis for our morality. Judah inherited the Jewish ethical values of the Ten Commandments from his father, but, through years of life as a skeptic, his standards had been lowered. Finally, we discover that Judah ‘s secular version of morality does not resemble his father’s biblically-based morality.

Woody Allen’s CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS forces unbelievers to grapple with the logical conclusions of a purely secular morality. It opens a door for Christians to find common ground with those whom they attempt to share Christ; we all have to deal with personal morality issues. However, the secularist has no basis for asserting that Judah is wrong.

Larry King actually mentioned on his show, LARRY KING LIVE, that Chuck Colson had discussed the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with him. Colson asked King if life was just a Darwinian struggle where the ruthless come out on top. Colson continued, “When we do wrong, is that our only choice? Either live tormented by guilt, or else kill our conscience and live like beasts?” (BREAKPOINT COMMENTARY, “Finding Common Ground,” September 14, 1993)

Later, Colson noted that discussing the movie CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS with King presented the perfect opportunity to tell him about Christ’s atoning work on the cross. Colson believes the Lord is working on Larry King. How about your neighbors? Is there a way you can use a movie to find common ground with your lost friends and then talk to them about spiritual matters?(Caution: CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS is rated PG-13. It does include some adult themes.)

Access this on the web at www.excelstillmore.com/html/beinformed/article1.shtml .(Originally published in December 2003 edition of Excel Magazine)
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In ECCLESIASTES we see the same principle. Remember Colson asked King if life was just a Darwinian struggle where the ruthless come out on top. Colson continued, “When we do wrong, is that our only choice?” Take a look at what Solomon says below.

Francis Schaeffer comments on ECCLESIASTES: 

 Oppressed have no comforter And Might Makes Right!

Ecclesiastes 4:1

 Then I looked again at all the acts of oppression which were being done under the sun. And behold I saw the tears of the oppressed and that they had no one to comfort them; and on the side of their oppressors was power, but they had no one to comfort them.

Between birth and death power rules. Solomon looked over his kingdom and also around the world and proclaimed that right does not rule but power rules.

Francis Schaeffer has correctly argued:

The universe was created by an infinite personal God and He brought it into existence by spoken word and made man in His own image. When man tries to reduce [philosophically in a materialistic point of view] himself to less than this [less than being made in the image of God] he will always fail and he will always be willing to make these impossible leaps into the area of nonreason even though they don’t give an answer simply because that isn’t what he is. He himself testifies that this infinite personal God, the God of the Old and New Testament is there. 

Instead of making a leap into the area of nonreason the better choice would be to investigate the claims that the Bible is a historically accurate book and that God created the universe and reached out to humankind with the Bible. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

We now take a jump back in time to the middle of the ninth century before Christ, that is, about 850 B.C. Most people have heard of Jezebel. She was the wife of Ahab, the king of the northern kingdom of Israel. Her wickedness has become so proverbial that we talk about someone as a “Jezebel.” She urged her husband to have Naboth killed, simply because Ahab had expressed his liking for a piece of land owned by Naboth, who would not sell it. The Bible tells us also that she introduced into Israel the worship of her homeland, the Baal worship of Tyre. This led to the opposition of Elijah the Prophet and to the famous conflict on Mount Carmel between Elijah and the priests of Baal.

Here again one finds archaeological confirmations of what the Bible says. Take for example: “As for the other events of Ahab’s reign, including all he did, the palace he built and inlaid with ivory, and the cities he fortified, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Israel?” (I Kings 22:39).

This is a very brief reference in the Bible to events which must have taken a long time: building projects which probably spanned decades. Archaeological excavations at the site of Samaria, the capital, reveal something of the former splendor of the royal citadel. Remnants of the “ivory house” were found and attracted special attention (Palestinian Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem). This appears to have been a treasure pavilion in which the walls and furnishings had been adorned with colored ivory work set with inlays giving a brilliant too, with the denunciations revealed by the prophet Amos:

“I will tear down the winter house along with the summer house; the houses adorned with ivory will be destroyed and the mansions will be demolished,” declares the Lord. (Amos 3:15)

Other archaeological confirmation exists for the time of Ahab. Excavations at Hazor and Megiddo have given evidence of the the extent of fortifications carried out by Ahab. At Megiddo, in particular, Ahab’s works were very extensive including a large series of stables formerly assigned to Solomon’s time.

On the political front, Ahab had to contend with danger from the Aramacaus king of Syria who besieged Samaria, Ahab’s capital. Ben-hadad’s existence is attested by a stela (a column with writing on it) which has been discovered with his name written on it (Melquart Stela, Aleppo Museum, Syria). Again, a detail of history given in the Bible is shown to be correct.


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.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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Related posts:

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Charles Darwin Autobiography

Francis Schaeffer “The Age of NONREASON”

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Open Letter #95 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Wallace Stevens: “But in contentment I still feel the need for an imperishable bliss.”

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After Life #1 Trailer

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After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

July 21, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 95th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE. Over and over again Tony is searching for satisfaction in his life and for the meaning of it all! However, when you wrote the AFTER LIFE script Ricky you excluded spiritual answers!! Check out the answers provided by Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of KANSAS at the end of this letter!!!

Ricky Gervais plays bereaved husband Tony Johnson in AFTER LIFE

Matt takes it upon himself to help his bereaved brother-in-law Tony out by trying to help find satisfaction in his life by looking in 5 areas of life. I don’t know if Matt took time to read about Solomon’s efforts in Ecclesiastes but he did look in the same 5 areas for satisfaction [learning(1:16-18),laughter, ladies,   and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20)]. He first suggests that Tony throw himself into his work, and Tony blows off that suggestion. Next Matt sets him up on a blind date and that turns out to not work at all. Matt next turns to inviting Tony to a comedy club and the comedian tells a joke about suicide and Tony ruins the whole evening for everybody.

In season two Matt invites Tony to a meditation class which includes some philosophy that he knows appeals to Tony and he tells Tony he may learn something. Unfortunately Tony has a horrible time. Finally Matt invites Tony to the pub for a drink and to visit some women with the goal of “banging some beaver”and that is a disaster too. 

psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Chapter four of the book by Tim Keller MAKING SENSE OF GOD:  (Tim Keller below)

Making Sense of God, by Timothy Keller
Chapter Four: “A Satisfaction That Is Not Based on Circumstances”

Psychologist Jonathan Haidt’s book The Happiness Hypothesis provides a historical survey of thinking about happiness. 1

(Jonathan Haidt pictured below)

He begins his chapter with a book of the Bible we have just looked at, Ecclesiastes. The author writes: “A person can do nothing better than to . . . find satisfaction in their own toil” (Ecclesiastes 2: 24), but that is exactly what eludes him. He describes a life of accomplishment that very few achieve.
I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. . . . I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well— the delights of a man’s heart. . . . I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure.” 
(Ecclesiastes 2: 4,8,10)
Nevertheless, he says, “I hated life. . . . My heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 2: 17,20) Haidt summarizes, “The author of Ecclesiastes wasn’t just battling the fear of meaninglessness; he was battling the disappointment of success. . . . Nothing brought satisfaction.” 2 This is an abiding human problem, and there is plenty of modern empirical research that backs it up. Studies find a very weak correlation between wealth and contentment, and the more prosperous a society grows,
the more common is depression. 3 The things that human beings think will bring fulfillment and contentment don’t. What should we do, then, to be happy?
Haidt says that the answer— of the Buddha and Chinese sages like Lao Tzu in the East and the Greek Stoic philosophers in the West— constituted the “early happiness hypothesis” of ancient times. The principle was this: We are unhappy even in success because we seek happiness from success. Wealth, power, achievement, family, material comfort, and security— the external goods of the world— can lead only to a momentary satisfaction, which fades away, leaving you more empty than if you had never tasted the joy. To achieve satisfaction you should not seek to change the world but rather to change your attitude toward the world. Epictetus, a Stoic philosopher, wrote, “Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.” 4 If we do that, the Buddha taught, “when pleasure or pain comes to them, the wise feel above pleasure and pain.” 5 In short, don’t try to fulfill your desires; rather, control and manage them. To avoid having our inner contentment overthrown by the inevitable loss of things, do not become too emotionally attached to anything.6


However, many people have found this approach to satisfaction not very satisfying. Haidt, for example, believes that Buddha and the Greeks “took things too far.” 7
He argues that modern research shows some external circumstances do correlate with increased satisfaction. In particular, love relationships are important, and therefore the advice of emotional detachment may actually undermine happiness. 8 Philosopher Alain de Botton agrees that loving relationships are fundamental to happiness. Indeed, he thinks our quest for the external goods of status and money
4 is really just another quest for love. 9 Another obvious problem with the ancient happiness hypothesis was that it undermined any motivation for seeking major social change. Rather than change the world as it is, we were to resign ourselves to it.

(Philosopher Alain de Botton pictured below)


Haidt takes a very modern attitude toward our ancestors. He says we can agree with any wisdom from the past that is backed by empirical research. The ancients warn us about the disappointment of overacquisitiveness, and the social science confirms that, he says. But what Haidt describes as modern culture’s operational “happiness hypothesis” is only a slightly chastened version of what the author of Ecclesiastes was trying to do. While warning against overdoing it, modern culture encourages its members to find satisfaction through active efforts to change our lives, not to just accept life as it is. 10


Back Where We Started page 79


If we stand back to ask what we have learned about happiness over the centuries, it is striking to see our lack of progress. Think of how we have surpassed our ancestors in our ability to travel and communicate, in our accomplishments in medicine and science. Think of how much less brutal and unjust to minorities many societies are today compared with even one hundred years ago. In so many ways human life has been transformed, and yet though we are unimaginably wealthier and more comfortable than our ancestors, no one is arguing that we are significantly happier than they were. We are struggling and seeking happiness in essentially the same ways our
forebears did and doing a worse job of it, if we use the rise of depression and suicide as an indicator.
The author of Ecclesiastes deserves the final word here. “Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before.” (Ecclesiastes 3: 15) Despite all our modern efforts, with regard to happiness we are essentially back where we started.
(Julian Baggini pictured below)


One response is to ask, “So what?” and insist that there is little real problem here. Julian Baggini thinks that there is no genuine problem, that no one is perfectly happy or needs to be. Most people get by fine without it, so we shouldn’t worry about how happy we are but instead should simply do things that matter. 11 Thomas Nagel observes that, according to empirical studies, most people are pretty happy most of the time. 12

(Thomas Nagel pictured below)

(Terry Eagleton pictured below)

Terry Eagleton, however, responds that the problem is masked rather than revealed by the term “happiness.” The very word is a “feeble, holiday-camp sort of word, evocative of manic grins and cavorting about.” 13 For most people— including those who answer researchers’ survey questions— the term does not have much depth to it. It refers to a range of conditions from simply “being okay” to “having fun.” To be okay is not too hard to achieve. When asked by either friends or social psychologists, “How are you today?” we instinctively say, “Fine, thanks.” But conflicts and anger flare up so quickly, and the statistics on depression and suicide always startle, and all this indicates things are not as good as we say they are.
To get at our condition more accurately, we should ask about joy, fulfillment, and satisfaction in life. Are we achieving those things? The thesis of this chapter is that we have much thinner life satisfaction than we want to admit to researchers or even to ourselves. On the whole, we are in
5 denial about the depth and magnitude of our discontent. 
The artists and thinkers who talk about it most poignantly are seen as morbid outliers, but actually they are prophetic voices. It usually takes years to break through and dispel the denial in order to see the magnitude and dimension of our dissatisfaction in life.


The Dimensions of Our Discontent
 page 80 (2:50:00)

(Wallace Stevens pictured below)


Roman poet Horace asked, “How comes it to pass . . . that no one lives content with his condition . . . ?” He concludes that “all . . . think their own condition the hardest.” 14 Why is no one content with his or her life?
One reason can be seen in a line from the poem “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens. “But in contentment I still feel the need for an imperishable bliss.” 15 As we have seen, travel, material goods, sensual gratification, success, and status give quick spikes of pleasure and then fade. Stevens’s line helps us understand why. Even as we taste a moment of contentment, we sense how fleeting it is, that it will soon be wrenched from our grasp. It begins to fade away even as we try to embrace it or even to savor it. The ephemeral nature of all satisfaction makes us long for something we can keep, but we look in vain. However, this is not the whole problem. We do not only want a satisfaction that lasts longer but also one that goes much deeper.




In 1969 the singer Peggy Lee recorded the song “Is That All There Is?” written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller and based on an 1896 Thomas Mann novella called Disillusionment. 16 The woman speaking in the song tells about being taken as a twelve-year-old to the circus that was called “The Greatest Show on Earth,” but as she watched she
“had the feeling that something was missing
. I don’t know what, but when it was over I said to myself, ‘Is that all there is to a circus?’” Later she says that she fell “so very much in love” with the “most wonderful boy in the world.” And then one day he left her, and she thought she’d die. “But I didn’t. And when I didn’t, I said to myself, ‘Is that all there is to love?’” At every turn everything that should have delighted and satisfied her did not— nothing was big enough to fill her expectations or desires. There was always something missing, though she never knew what it was. Everything
left her asking, “Is that it?”
So every stanza of her life, like a song, went back to
the same refrain:
Is that all there is?
Is that all there is?
If that’s all there is my friends,
Then let’s keep dancing.
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
, if that’s all—
there is.

The lack of any deep or lasting satisfaction drives her to joyless partying. As we gradually discover that everything we thought would be fulfilling is not, we become less able to look forward to life, more numb, jaded, and cynical, or worse. The woman speaking in the song realizes that her listeners might wonder why she doesn’t commit suicide. But she predicts that the experience of dying will be every bit as disappointing as life has been, so there is no reason to hurry it.
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I know what you must be saying to yourselves.
“If that’s the way she feels about it why doesn’t she just end it all?”
Oh, no, not me.
I’m in no hurry for that final disappointment.
’Cause I know just as well as I’m standing here talking to you,

That when that final moment comes and I’m breathing my last breath
I’ll be saying to myself—
Is that all there is?
(The late Cynthia Heimel pictured below)


The Leiber-Stoller song echoes the experience of Village Voice columnist Cynthia Heimel, who saw friends go from anonymity to Hollywood stardom only to find, to their horror, they were no more fulfilled and happy than before, and the experience actually deepened their emptiness, turning them “howling and insufferable.” She surmises that “if God really wants to play a rotten practical joke on us, he grants our deepest wish and then giggles merrily as we begin to realize we want to kill ourselves.” 17

(Henrik Ibsen pictured below)

, Henrik Ibsen the Norwegian playwright, helps us understand what happened to Heimel’s friends. “If you take away the life- illusion from an average man, you take away his happiness as well.” 18 Within Ibsen’s play The Wild Duck, a life illusion is the belief that some object or condition will finally bring you the satisfaction for which you long. But this is an illusion. At some point reality will destroy it, and nothing destroys it like actually achieving your dreams.
If you are younger, it is natural to say to yourself, “I have heard about these disillusioned celebrities and wealthy people who say their life isn’t happy. But if I get anything like what I’m hoping for, I’ll be different.” No you won’t.
Though there is a spectrum of experience, nobody in the end has ever been different. That’s what the wisdom of the ancients and all the anecdotal evidence in the world will tell you. C. S. Lewis put it in perhaps the classic way in his wartime BBC radio talk on hope.


Most people, if they really learn how to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never keep their promise. The longings which arise in us when we first fall in love, or first think of some foreign country, or first take up some subject that excites us, are longings which no marriage, no travel, no learning can really satisfy. I am not speaking of what would ordinarily be called unsuccessful marriages or trips and so on; I am speaking of the best possible ones. There is always something we grasped at, in that first moment of longing, that just fades away in the reality. The spouse may be a good spouse, the scenery has been excellent, it has turned out to be a good job, but “It” has evaded us. 19


The Strategies of Our Discontent
 page 83 (2:56:00)


So what do we do when we discover that we lack “it”— the “something missing but we don’t know what”? There are at least seven strategies that people take toward their discontent. There are two broad approaches— you can either live life assuming that satisfaction in life is quite possible, that “it” is still out there, or you can live in the
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conviction that satisfaction is not possible, that there is no “it.” But within these two categories we can discern four strategies in the first and three strategies in the second.


“IT” IS STILL OUT THERE


The young. The normal way people start adult life is to travel hopefully in anticipation of a joyful arrival. We think, “If I get the right love partner, if I get the right spouse, if I get the right career and make some money— then I will have life satisfaction.”James Wood refers to the pursuit of “jobs, family, sex, and so on— the usual distractions” by which we hide from ourselves the emptiness of our lives. 20 Actually we may be quite discontent, but we don’t recognize it because we are so busy in the process of getting ready to be happy. “Of course I am restless. I haven’t gotten to do all the things I am going to do.” We think we just have to get over this hill or get around that bend and then things will be great. This strategy, of course, is only effective temporarily.


The resentful. However, as time goes on, we begin to realize we are not getting “it.” One of the main reactions is to blame the obstacles that have kept us from achieving the things we think will satisfy us. We may be the victim of prejudice or discrimination, or we may find ourselves in a community that is not open to many of the things we want to be and do. Rather than social structures, we may identify individuals who blocked our progress or who have wronged us. And so we blame them, saying “I would be quite happy if it wasn’t for (fill in the blank).” Now, this might in the short run lead to some good— we might channel our anger constructively into becoming social activists. Even less
constructive anger, such as complaining and venting, can in the short run be a kind of relief— but it is only in the short run. And if our efforts actually break the barriers and get us to the next level of accomplishment, we will find that “it” is still not there to be found. That means we will need the third strategy.


The driven. By definition, a secular culture puts the most emphasis on the here-and-now. We think that accruing possessions and accomplishments will bring satisfaction. What happens if, unlike the young and resentful, we find we actually reach many of our material goals? We will, as
the ancients did, still find something significant missing. What do we do? Many people begin to blame the things we have. We assume that if we got a better spouse, a better job, a better income, or a better home, then we would feel much better too. If we take this path, we may become among society’s most productive members— and also the most driven. We go through houses and spouses and jobs and the constant reinvention of our lives, assuring ourselves that at the next level “it” is going to finally be there. But psychologists call this merely speeding up the “hedonic treadmill.” 21 On an exercise treadmill a change of speed does not translate into a change of location; we only work harder to maintain our position and eventually become too weary to keep on going. So too the enjoyment that attainment initially brings wears off, so that we need more and more of the same kinds of attainment just to maintain the same pleasure. Eventually, as on a physical treadmill, we will find ourselves too exhausted to continue.


The despairing. What if we don’t find “it,” even after removing obstacles and achieving more and more, but we
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(Francis Spufford pictured below)

nonetheless continue to assume it exists? In some cases, rather than blaming other things, we may blame ourselves. That means saying, “There is something wrong with me—
I haven’t done well enough. I haven’t gone far enough up the career ladder. I haven’t attracted the best romantic partners. I’m a failure.” 
If we take an honest look at ourselves, it is never too hard to see some ways we have contributed to our own frustration. British author Francis Spufford writes that for a time we can live in denial of our active tendency to “break stuff—‘ stuff’ here including promises, relationships we care about, our own well-being, and other people’s.” But the day comes when “you’re lying in the bath and you notice you are thirty-nine and that the way you’re living bears scarcely any resemblance to what you thought you always wanted, and yet, you realize you got there by a long series of choices.” 22 So we hate ourselves.


“IT” DOESN’T EXIST page 85 (3:01:00)


All of these strategies are based on the assumption that human beings can and ought to live a life of satisfaction and fulfillment. However, many people question that very premise. They conclude that it is our expectations of life that are out of line. We may start out life naively in pursuit of “it,” but eventually we see that it does not exist, and we
should get used to life as it is. 
This has affinities with the ancient “happiness hypothesis.” There are at least three ways to live based on this outlook, and all three of them seem to be an improvement over the naïveté, resentment, anxiety, and despair we have been looking at. But on closer look, each one of these strategies is extremely problematic as well.


Altruism. Often people who have devoted the earlier part of their lives to personal advancement turn away from it toward social causes, philanthropy, and improving the lives of others. Sometimes their story goes like this. “I thought I would find satisfaction in acquisition, but now I realize that it is only through giving and serving that I can have a fulfilling life.” Of course, this is to be fully encouraged. One writer in the New York Times, typical of this approach, relates how in earlier years he thought that satisfaction and self-esteem could be found. He sought to fill his “sense of deficit”— his inner emptiness and need for satisfaction— through success and wealth. But then he learned a better way: “We feel best about ourselves when we stop focusing obsessively on filling our own sense of deficit. Making others feel valued makes us feel more valued.” 23 Instead of trying to better ourselves, we get far more satisfaction from trying to better others.
But many have pointed out the problems that result when people turn to benevolence and social activism as a way to find more fulfillment for themselves. This approach is ultimately, and ironically, extremely selfish. Your supposed generosity is really just building yourself up. The most famous of the critics is Nietzsche, who argued that modern people help the needy out of a sense of moral superiority. 24 They feel superior to their former, unenlightened selves, as well as to earlier times and societies which were not committed to equality as they are. In short, they are not serving others as much as serving themselves. They are using the needy and poor to achieve the self-worth they need. This not only can lead to paternalism but can also turn to disdain and contempt if their altruistic efforts are not met with respect and gratitude. Helping others in response to your own discontent will not work in the long run, either for others or for you.

Cynicism. By the time many sophisticated and urbane people in our culture reach middle age, they come to a position that could be expressed something like this: “Yes, when I was younger I thought fulfillment was out there. I thought sex and love and career success would be much more satisfying. But now, of course, I have grown up.
I realize nobody is ever content and satisfied, but there’s no need to obsess about this. I have stopped chasing rainbows; I have stopped crying after the moon. I have lowered my expectations of life and learned to enjoy what I have, and I’m getting by fine.” 
As sensible as this sounds, it is problematic in at least two ways. One is that this stance almost always creates a certain amount of condescension toward anyone who is not as sophisticated and as ironic as you. This can make you as bigoted and self-righteous in your own way as the legalistic religionists you despise. But there is a more serious effect. As we heard from Martin Heidegger, what makes you a human being and not an animal is that you want joy, meaning, and fulfillment. If you decide that fulfillment, joy, and happiness are not there, and you harden your heart against hope, you can dehumanize yourself.

(Martin Heidegger pictured below)

Detachment

. We might ask why we don’t revert to a purer form of the older “happiness hypothesis” of the Buddha and the Greek Stoics. Their counsel was not to love anything or hope for anything too much. Epictetus wrote, “What harm is there while you are kissing your child to murmur softly, ‘Tomorrow you will die’?” 25 But here I must side with the modern research, which supports a deep human intuition, namely, that diminishing your love
for others does not increase satisfaction but only undermines it. Even though ancient stoic detachment has a better philosophical pedigree than the jaded Western cynicism that sneers at everything, it ultimately also hardens your heart and dehumanizes you.


Understanding Our Discontent
 page 87 (3:6:56)


We want something that nothing in this life can give us. If we keep pursuing it in this world, it can make us driven, resentful, or self-hating. If we try to harden our hearts so that it doesn’t bother us, we harm our humanity and those around us. If, however, we don’t harden ourselves, and fully feel the grief of desire’s lost hope, we may find self- destructive ways of drowning it, as did the woman in Peggy Lee’s song. All of these approaches look like dead ends.

(Peggy Lee pictured below)

(Jonathan Haidt pictured below)


What is the cause of this seemingly inescapable condition, of this enduring discontent?
One modern theory is summarized by Haidt as the “Progress Principle.”People find more pleasure in working toward a goal than they experience when they actually attain it. Evolutionary psychologists opine that this is an adaptive mechanism. That is, they conjecture that our forebears who experienced post-attainment disappointment were more likely to work harder to achieve higher goals. These people were then more likely to live longer and so, having more children, they passed down their genes to us. Therefore, the discontent— the feeling that nothing in the world fulfills our deepest longings— is actually a chemical response in the brain that helped our ancestors survive. The sense we have that “something is missing” is therefore an illusion, a trick played on us by our genes to get us to be more industrious.

 Haidt even briefly uses this evolutionary theory to explain the Peggy Lee song “Is That All There Is?”26
(Peggy Lee pictured below)


But the woman’s life depicted in Peggy Lee’s song undermines the theory. She finds the repeated disappointments of life not a motivation to work harder but rather a disincentive for doing anything but getting high at parties. And surely this is realistic. Though disappointment may, in the short term, drive some people to more attainment, it can just as likely undermine initiative and drive. And over time it usually will. Therefore, the feeling does not necessarily or even normally lead to survival behavior. The evolutionary explanation of our
constant discontent doesn’t seem to hold up.

A more time-tested explanation comes from the great
Christian philosopher Augustine.
As a nineteen-year-old, Augustine read Cicero’s
dialogue Hortensius. 
This work considered the paradox that every person “sets out to be happy [but] the majority are thoroughly wretched.” 27 Cicero concluded that the extreme scarcity of human contentment might be a judgment of divine providence for our sins. He counseled his readers not to seek happiness in the pursuit of material comfort, sex, or prosperity but rather to find it in philosophical contemplation. The book was electrifying to the young Augustine. 28 One of his lifelong projects became to discover why most people are so discontent and bereft of joy. He concluded that our discontent has both a functional cause and an ultimate source.
The functional cause of our discontent is that our loves are “out of order.”

Augustine taught that we are most fundamentally shaped not as much by what we believe, or think, or even do,
but by what we love. “For when we ask whether somebody is a good person, we are not asking what he believes or hopes for, but what he loves.” 29 For Augustine, what we call human virtues are nothing more than forms of love. Courage is loving your neighbor’s well-being more than your own safety. Honestyis loving your neighbor’s interests more than your own, even when the truth will put you at a disadvantage. And because Jesus himself said that all God’s law comes down to loving God and your neighbor (Matthew 22: 36– 40), Augustine believed all sin was ultimately a lack of love. 30 Look at injustice. You may say that you believe in social equality and justice and think that you do, but if you make business decisions that exploit others, it is because at the heart level you love your own prosperity more than your neighbor’s. In short, what you love most at the moment is what controls your action at that moment. “A body by its weight tends to move toward its proper place. . . . My weight is my love: wherever I am carried, my love is carrying me.” 31 You are what you love.


Augustine did not see our problems as stemming only from a lack of love. He also observed that the heart’s loves have an order to them, and that we often love less important things more and the more important things less. Therefore, the unhappiness and disorder of our lives are caused by the disorder of our loves. A just and good person “is also a person who has [rightly] ordered his love, so that he does not love what it is wrong to love, or fail to love what should be loved, or love too much what should be loved less (or love too little what should be loved more).” 32 

How does this work? There is nothing wrong with loving your work, but if you love it more than your family, then your loves are out of order and you may ruin your familyOr if you love making money more than you love justice, then you will (11exploit your employees, again, because your loves are disordered

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(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Francis Schaeffer comments on ECCLESIASTES below: 

Ecclesiastes 1:11

11 There is no remembrance of earlier things; And also of the later things which will occur, There will be for them no remembrance among those who will come later still.

The Visit the Queen Sheba to King Solomon by English painter Sir Edward John Poynter 1st Baronet (20 March 1836 – 26 July 1919)

Ecclesiastes 2:16

16 For there is no lasting remembrance of the wise man as with the fool, inasmuch as in the coming days all will be forgotten. And how the wise man and the fool alike die!

You bring together here the factor of the beginning and you can’t know what immediately follows after your death and of course you can’t know the final ends. What do you do and the answer is to get drunk and this was not thought of in the RUBAIYAT OF OMAR KAHAYYAM:

Ecclesiastes 2:1-3

I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.” And behold, it too was futility. I said of laughter, “It is madness,” and of pleasure, “What does it accomplish?” I explored with my mind how to stimulate my body with winewhile my mind was guiding me wisely, and how to take hold of folly, until I could see what good there is for the sons of men to do under heaven the few years of their lives.

The Daughter of the Vine:

You know, my Friends, with what a brave Carouse
I made a Second Marriage in my house;
Divorced old barren Reason from my Bed,
And took the Daughter of the Vine to Spouse.

from the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (Translation by Edward Fitzgerald)

(Hemingway in Paris)

A perfectly good philosophy coming out of Islam, but Solomon is not the first man that thought of it nor the last. In light of what has been presented by Solomon is the solution just to get intoxicated and black the think out? So many people have taken to alcohol and the dope which so often follows in our day. This approach is incomplete, temporary and immature. Papa Hemingway can find the champagne of Paris sufficient for a time, but one he left his youth he never found it sufficient again. He had a lifetime spent looking back to Paris and that champagne and never finding it enough. It is no solution and Solomon says so too.

(Hemingway “quite deliberately” shot himself with his favorite shotgun in the early morning hours of July 2, 1961.)

EH 4907P Ernest Hemingway in his home in Cuba, not dated, circa 1952. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.

Ecclesiastes 2:4-11

I enlarged my works: I built houses for myself, I planted vineyards for myself; I made gardens and parks for myself and I planted in them all kinds of fruit trees; I made ponds of water for myself from which to irrigate a forest of growing treesI bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself MALE AND  FEMALE SINGERS AND THE PLEASURES OF MEN–MANY CONCUBINES.

Then I became great and increased more than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. My wisdom also stood by me. 10 All that my eyes desired I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.11 Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.

He doesn’t mean there is no temporary profit but there is no real profit. Nothing that lasts. The walls crumble if they are as old as the Pyramids. You only see a shell of the Pyramids and not the glory that they were. This is what Solomon is saying. Look upon Solomon’s wonder and consider the Cedars of Lebanon which were not in his domain but at his disposal.

(Rock band KANSAS below)

In 1978 I heard the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas when it rose to #6 on the charts. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song and a member of Kansas had come to the same conclusion that Solomon had. I remember mentioning to my friends at church that we may soon see some members of Kansas become Christians because their search for the meaning of life had obviously come up empty even though they had risen from being an unknown band to the top of the music business and had all the wealth and fame that came with that. Furthermore, like Solomon and Coldplay, they realized death comes to everyone and “there must be something more.”

(Kerry Livgren below)

Livgren wrote:

“All we do, crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see, Dust in the Wind, All we are is dust in the wind, Don’t hang on, Nothing lasts forever but the Earth and Sky, It slips away, And all your money won’t another minute buy.”

Both Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of Kansas became Christians eventually. Kerry Livgren first tried Eastern Religions and Dave Hope had to come out of a heavy drug addiction. I was shocked and elated to see their personal testimony on The 700 Club in 1981 and that same  interview can be seen on youtube today. Livgren lives in Topeka, Kansas today where he teaches “Diggers,” a Sunday school class at Topeka Bible Church. Hope is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

The movie maker Woody Allen has embraced the nihilistic message of the song “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas. David Segal in his article, “Things are Looking Up for the Director Woody Allen. No?” (Washington Post, July 26, 2006), wrote, “Allen is evangelically passionate about a few subjects. None more so than the chilling emptiness of life…The 70-year-old writer and director has been musing about life, sex, work, death and his generally futile search for hope…the world according to Woody is so bereft of meaning, so godless and absurd, that the only proper response is to curl up on a sofa and howl for your mommy.”

The song “Dust in the Wind” recommends, “Don’t hang on.” Allen himself says, “It’s just an awful thing and in that context you’ve got to find an answer to the question: ‘Why go on?’ ”  It is ironic that Chris Martin the leader of Coldplay regards Woody Allen as his favorite director.

Lets sum up the final conclusions of these gentlemen:  Coldplay is still searching for that “something more.” Woody Allen has concluded the search is futile. Livgren and Hope of Kansas have become Christians and are involved in fulltime ministry. Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “under the sun.” Then in last few words in the Book of Ecclesiastes he looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

You can hear Kerry Livgren’s story from this youtube link:

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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.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Francis Schaeffer THE AGE of FRAGMENTATION

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Open Letter #94 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Kath: “Do you believe in [evolution]?” Tony: “What? The proven fact that there is evolution? Yeah!”

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After Life #1 Trailer

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I listened to this question and answer session at Harvard in 1992 on cassette tapes and was captivated with Ravi Zacharias. His responses were so much better than Kath’s responses to Tony in AFTER LIFE. I have referenced work by Ravi many times in the past and Especially moving was Ravi’s own spiritual search which started in a hospital bed after a failed suicide attempt. I also want you to check out his talk at Princeton and the question and answer time afterwards which are both on YOU TUBEat these two links: Link for talk, Link for Q/A.

After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Francis Schaeffer passed away on May 15, 1984 and on the 10th anniversary of that date I wrote many skeptics such as Carl Sagan and corresponded with them on the big questions covered by the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Kath: You are an atheist?

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Adrian Rogers on Evolution

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Ravi Zacharias  (March 26, 1946 – May 19, 2020) 

Francis Schaeffer (January 30, 1912 – May 15, 1984[1]

Francis Schaeffer.jpg


I grew up at Bellevue Baptist Church under the leadership of our pastor Adrian Rogers and I read many books by the Evangelical Philosopher Francis Schaeffer and in 1992 I heard cassette tapes of Ravi Zacharias in all his brilliance in his sessions at Harvard and have had the opportunity to contact many of the evolutionists or humanistic academics that they have mentioned in their works. Many of these scholars have taken the time to respond back to me in the last 20 years and some of the names  included are  Ernest Mayr (1904-2005), George Wald (1906-1997), Carl Sagan (1934-1996),  Robert Shapiro (1935-2011), Nicolaas Bloembergen (1920-),  Brian Charlesworth (1945-),  Francisco J. Ayala (1934-) Elliott Sober (1948-), Kevin Padian (1951-), Matt Cartmill (1943-) , Milton Fingerman (1928-), John J. Shea (1969-), , Michael A. Crawford (1938-), Paul Kurtz (1925-2012), Sol Gordon (1923-2008), Albert Ellis (1913-2007), Barbara Marie Tabler (1915-1996), Renate Vambery (1916-2005), Archie J. Bahm (1907-1996), Aron S “Gil” Martin ( 1910-1997), Matthew I. Spetter (1921-2012), H. J. Eysenck (1916-1997), Robert L. Erdmann (1929-2006), Mary Morain (1911-1999), Lloyd Morain (1917-2010),  Warren Allen Smith (1921-), Bette Chambers (1930-),  Gordon Stein (1941-1996) , Milton Friedman (1912-2006), John Hospers (1918-2011), Michael Martin (1932-).Harry Kroto (1939-), Marty E. Martin (1928-), Richard Rubenstein (1924-), James Terry McCollum (1936-), Edward O. WIlson (1929-), Lewis Wolpert (1929), Gerald Holton(1922-), Martin Rees (1942-), Alan Macfarlane (1941-),  Roald Hoffmann (1937-), Herbert Kroemer (1928-), Thomas H. Jukes(1906-1999) and  Ray T. Cragun (1976-).

 Adrian Rogers (September 12, 1931 – November 15, 2005) 

Adrian Rogers.jpg

—-

Charles Darwin Autobiography

(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

July 20, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 94th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE, and then I wanted to challenge you to read chapter 22 of Psalms which is an amazing prophecy!

(Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:)

In episode 2 of the second season of AFTER LIFE is the following discussion: 
Tony: I drink in times of trouble. I can’t help it the world is filled with trouble. It is a horrible place. Everyone is screwed up in someway. Everyone has worries like money or health or famine, war. We are chimps with brains the size of planets. No wonder we get drunk and try to kill each other. It is mental.

Matt: Always good to talk.

Tony: I was just explaining my new plan is to drink myself to death till I eventually implode in on my own evolution. 
Kath: Do you believe in all that? 
Tony: What? The proven fact that there is evolution? Yeah


As you know I am writing you a series of letters on Solomon’s efforts to find a meaning and purpose to life. Solomon tried to find a meaning and purpose to life UNDER THE SUN in the Book of Ecclesiastes in all of the 6 “L” words and looked into  learning(1:16-18),laughter, ladies, luxuries,  and liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and labor (2:4-6, 18-20). 

The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” 

Just like you Ricky I assume Tony Johnson holds to the view “Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.” Tony said that he believes in the proven fact of evolution. Also in another episode Tony states that it was by chance that he met the perfect spouse in Lisa! Did you know that Darwin himself had doubts concerning this world coming about by chance? I will quote Darwin later in this post about that.

Ricky Gervais

Comedian and Patron of Humanists UK

“You don’t need whatever religion gives you. Just be kind.”

Ricky Gervais is best known for his television comedies The Office and Extras, and for stand-up comedy, but he has also been a musician and worked in radio.

He is a philosophy graduate (London University), and after graduation worked at the University as entertainment manager for the Students Union, where he began developing the character of “Seedy Boss”, later to become David Brent in The Office.

His comedy is often controversial, and he has managed to offend a wide range of people, including the disabled, religious believers, and celebrities and film stars in his hosting of the Golden Globe Awards – but he has also managed to coax self-deprecating and very funny performances from stars who can take a joke against themselves such as Kate Winslet (in Extras) and Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter (in Small People).

He told Kirsty Young that he is an atheist during his 2007 interview for BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs (you can listen to his interview here), and later said that he had lost his faith at the age of eight. He has also said that he and his long-term partner chose not to marry because “there’s no point in us having an actual ceremony before the eyes of God because there is no God”, and has defended his atheism in the Wall Street JournalInterviewed by Elizabeth Day in The Observer in February 2013, he said:

“…I don’t believe there is a God but there’s nothing wrong with spirituality if that makes you a happier, nicer person. But religion is something else, it’s a way of controlling people. It’s no coincidence that the people in charge of religion aren’t the kindest or most forgiving. My point is that… you don’t need whatever religion gives you. Just be kind.”

Humanist Brian Cox comments below:

In the You Tube video “A Further 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 3),” Dr. Cox asserted: 

“I’m comfortable with the unknown — that’s the point of science. There are places out there, billions of places out there, that we know nothing about. And the fact that we know nothing about them excites me, and I want to go out and find out about them.  And that’s what science is. So I think if you’re not comfortable with the unknown, then it’s difficult to be a scientist… I don’t need an answer. I don’t need answers to everything. I want to have answers to find.”


Since you are a Humanist, I wanted to ask you about this idea of Evolution by Chance.

  • Manifesto I: Humanism believes that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process.
  • Manifesto II: Rather, science affirms that the human species is an emergence from natural evolutionary forces.
  • Manifesto III: Humans are an integral part of nature, the result of unguided evolutionary change.

Did you know that Charles Darwin himself struggled until his his dying day with this idea of evolution by chance. (I am not referring to the now debunked deathbed confession spread by his wife.)

The Genius of Charles Darwin (A film that Richard Dawkinswrote and narrated.) Part 1 (37th min):

(Richard Dawkins) I’ve come to meet Randal Keynes, Darwin’s great-great-grandson to try to understand Darwin’s frame of mind as he finished his book.

(Randal Keynes) This is a book about geology by Mr Greenough. It has this wonderful inscription – “Charles Darwin, Buenos Aires,
October 1832.” So he’s on the Beagle, really getting into his stride as a geologist. This is a scrapbook,
a children’s scrapbook that belonged to Darwin’s daughter Annie.

Anne Elizabeth “Annie” Darwin (2 March 1841 – 23 April 1851) was the second child and eldest daughter of Charles and Emma Darwin.

(Richard Dawkins) Darwin was no aggressive polemicist. He didn’t take to the stage
to publicise his work, but sought to influence leading thinkers behind the scenes, by sending them proof copies of the book with apologetic letters attached.’ He would write things like,
“This vile rag of a theory of mine.” Was that genuine modesty or was there an element of false modesty about it?

(Randal Keynes below)

(Randal Keynes) It was entirely real, um, and this is a very strange point about him. Through the years when he was steeling himself for publication, um, he was, at different times, enormously confident in it, and at other times, he was utterly uncertain. He had a deep fear, I think, that one species would be discovered that had some element of its make-up that could only have been designed. 

(Richard Dawkins) Doubts may have lingered in Darwin’s mind, but finally, 150 years ago, he set out his ideas on evolution and how it worked in The Origin Of Species. The book sold out its first run of 1,250 copies within two days. has never been out of print since. The Origin turned our world upside down…..

The case is clear that Darwin did turn the world upside down, but is also true that he had deep doubts about his theory throughout his whole life.

Francis Schaeffer seen above

In 1968, Francis Schaeffer (January 30, 1912 – May 15, 1984[1]got a hold of an unabridged autobiography of Darwin that Nora Barlow has edited. Wikipedia noted concerning Barlow:

Her first book as editor was a new edition of The Voyage of the Beagle (1933).

She published an unexpurgated version of The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, which had previously had personal and religious material removed by his son, Francis.

Here are Schaeffer’s comments on the autobiography:

Darwin in his autobiography  Darwin, Francis ed. 1892. Charles Darwin: his life told in an autobiographical chapter, and in a selected series of his published letters [abridged edition]. London: John Murray, and in his letters showed that all through his life he NEVER really came to a QUIETNESS concerning the possibility that chance really explained the situation of the biological world. You will find there is much material on this [from Darwin] extended over many many years that constantly he was wrestling with this problem. Darwin never came to a place of satisfaction. You have philosophically ONLY TWO possible beginnings. The first would be a PERSONAL beginning and the other would be an IMPERSONEL beginning plus time plus CHANCE. There is no other possible alternative except the alternative that everything comes out of nothing and that has to be a total nothing and that has to be a total nothing without mass, energy or motion existing. No one holds this last view because it is unthinkable. Darwin understood this and therefore until his death he was uncomfortable with the idea of CHANCE producing the biological variation. 

Darwin, C. R. to Graham, William 3 July 1881:

Nevertheless you have EXPRESSED MY INWARD CONVICTION, though far more vividly and clearly than I could have done, that the Universe is NOT THE RESULT OF CHANCE.* But THEN with me the HORRID DOUBT ALWAYS ARISES whether the convictions of man’s mind, which has been developed from the mind of the lower animals, are of any value or at all trustworthy. Would any one trust in the convictions of a monkey’s mind, if there are any convictions in such a mind?

Francis Schaeffer comments:

Can you feel this man? He is in real agony. You can feel the whole of modern man in this tension with Darwin. My mind can’t accept that ultimate of chance, that the universe is a result of chance. He has said 3 or 4 times now that he can’t accept that it all happened by chance and then he will write someone else and say something different. How does he say this (about the mind of a monkey) and then put forth this grand theory? Wrong theory I feel but great just the same. Grand in the same way as when I look at many of the paintings today and I differ with their message but you must say the mark of the mannishness of man are one those paintings titanic-ally even though the message is wrong and this is the same with Darwin.  But how can he say you can’t think, you come from a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s mind, and you can’t trust a monkey’s conviction, so how can you trust me? Trust me here, but not there is what Darwin is saying. In other words it is very selective. 

Do you think Darwin was right to spend so much time exploring his doubts on this issue of Evolution by Chance? 

Forbidden Fruit by Paul Kurtz image

Salomons dom.jpg

The Judgment of Solomon, 1617 by Peter Paul Rubens(1577–1640)

Paul Kurtz

Paul Kurtz pictured above

I have had the privilege of corresponding with the humanist psychologist Steven Pinker of Harvard and I have enjoyed reading several of his books and the last one I read was ENLIGHTENMENT NOW: THE CASE FOR REASON, SCIENCE, HUMANISM, AND PROGRESS. In my view it is the best book written from a humanist point of view that discusses morality. Earlier I would given that recognition to Paul Kurtz and his book FORBIDDEN FRUIT: THE ETHICS OF SECULARISM. 

Dr. Pinker asserted:

The case for Enlightenment Now is not just a matter of debunking fallacies or disseminating data. It may be cast as a stirring narrative, and I hope that people with more artistic flair and rhetorical power than I can tell it better and spread it farther.The story of human progress is truly heroic. It is glorious. It is uplifting. It is even, I daresay, spiritual. It goes something like this.

We are born into a pitiless universe, facing steep odds against life-enabling order and in constant jeopardy of falling apart. We were shaped by a force that is ruthlessly competitive. We are made from crooked timber, vulnerable to illusions, self-centeredness, and at times astounding stupidity.

Yet human nature has also been blessed with resources that open a space for a kind of redemption. We are endowed with the power to combine ideas recursively, to have thoughts about our thoughts. We have an instinct for language, allowing us to share the fruits of our experience and ingenuity. We are deepened with the capacity for sympathy—for pity, imagination, compassion, commiseration.

These endowments have found ways to magnify their own power. The scope of language has been augmented by the written, printed, and electronic word. Our circle of sympathy has been expanded by history, journalism, and the narrative arts. And our puny rational faculties have been multiplied by the norms and institutions of reason: intellectual curiosity, open debate, skepticism of authority and dogma, and the burden of proof to verify ideas by confronting them against reality.

As the spiral of recursive improvement gathers momentum, we eke out victories against the forces that grind us down, not least the darker parts of our own nature. We penetrate the mysteries of the cosmos, including life and mind. We live longer, suffer less, learn more, get smarter, and enjoy more small pleasures and rich experiences. Fewer of us are killed, assaulted, enslaved, oppressed, or exploited by the others. From a few oases, the territories with peace and prosperity are growing, and could someday encompass the globe. Much suffering remains, and tremendous peril. But ideas on how to reduce them have been voiced, and an infinite number of others are yet to be conceived.

We will never have a perfect world, and it would be dangerous to seek one. But there is no limit to the betterments we can attain if we continue to apply knowledge to enhance human flourishing.

This heroic story is not just another myth. Myths are fictions, but this one is true—true to the best of our knowledge, which is the only truth we can have. We believe it because we have reasons to believe it. As we learn more, we can show which parts of the story continue to be true, and which ones false—as any of them might be, and any could become.

And the story belongs not to any tribe but to all of humanity—to any sentient creature with the power of reason and the urge to persist in its being. For it requires only the convictions that life is better than death, health is better than sickness, abundance is better than want, freedom is better than coercion, happiness is better than suffering, and knowledge is better than superstition and ignorance.

Sounds like Dr. Pinker like Darwin was an OPTIMISTIC HUMANIST!!!

I read the book by Craig Venter called LIFE AT THE SPEED OF LIGHT: FROM THE DOUBLE HELIX TO THE DAWN OF DIGITAL LIFE and in that book  on page 146 Venter wrote, “The future of biological research will be based to a great extent on the combination of computer science and synthetic biology.  We can get a fascinating view of this future from a series of contests that culminate in a remarkable event that takes place each year in Cambridge, Massachusetts–A gathering of brilliant young minds that gives me great hope for the future.  The International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition invites high school and college students and entrepreneurs to shuffle a standard set of DNA subroutines into something new in a competition for a trophy…”

This statement of Dr. Venter assumes that EDUCATION IS THE ANSWER!!!

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education, he may steal the whole railroad. Theodore Roosevelt

Humanity’s problem  is  not a lack of education but a moral problem.

Adrian Rogers:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

Dr. Venter is wrong about just education being our sole problem and it certainly isn’t embracing OPTIMISTIC HUMANISM.


Ricky since you are a member of the BRITISH HUMANIST ASSOCIATION I wanted you to read a statement from H.J. Blackham who is the founder of that organization.   Blackham asserted:

On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit. If there is a bridge over a gorge which spans only half the distance and ends in mid-air, and if the bridge is crowded with human beings pressing on, one after the other they fall into the abyss. The bridge leads nowhere, and those who are pressing forward to cross it are going nowhere….It does not matter where they think they are going, what preparations for the journey they may have made, how much they may be enjoying it all. The objection merely points out objectively that such a situation is a model of futility“( H. J. Blackham, et al., Objections to Humanism (Riverside, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1967).

Harold J. Blackham (1903-2009) pictured above

Mark Elvin comments below (Elvin’s father was founding member of British Humanist Association and friend of Harold J. Blackham)


This quote from that excellent in-depth interview with Alan Macfarlane :

I was puzzled by the fact that I was told nonsense, not just something I might not agree with, but nonsense. This was nonsense, and the contrast fascinated me and I was already about age eleven and in some way you could say someone who took as his guide Bertrand Russell’s work that was accessible to me beginning with his popular essays. 

On John Ankerberg’s show in 1986 there was a debate between  Dr. Paul Kurtz, and Dr. Norman Geisler and when part of the above quote was read, Dr. Kurtz responded:

I think you may be quoting Blackham out of context because I’ve heard Blackham speak, and read much of what he said, but Blackham has argued continuously that life is full of meaning;

I read THE MEANING OF HUMAN EXISTENCE by Edward O. Wilson, and I really enjoyed it. I marked up it with my yellow highlighter and wrote down many notes too. Instead of going through all those notes I just wanted to pick out what I thought was probably the most important passage and comment on that.

On page 173 you made 4 points:

(1) We were created not by a supernatural intelligence but by chance and necessity as one species out of millions of species in Earth’s biosphere.

(2) Hope and wish for otherwise as we will, there is no evidence of an external grace shinning down upon us, no demonstrable destiny or purpose assigned us, no second life vouchsafed us for the end of the present one.

(3) We are, it seems, completely alone. And that is my opinion is a very good thing. It means we are completely free….

(4) They empower us to address with more confidence the greatest goal of all time, the unity of the human race.

___________

Let me respond to #2 first. Is “there is no evidence of an external grace shinning down upon us, no demonstrable destiny?”  If I could demonstrate through historical evidence that the Bible is true then that would qualify as evidence that is demonstrable.

Taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times is a good place to start! Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and you can google these subjects or click on the links: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism), 4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites, 6.Shishak Smiting His Captives, 7. Moabite Stone, 8. Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III9A Verification of places in Gospel of John and Book of Acts., 9B Discovery of Ebla Tablets10. Cyrus Cylinder11. Puru “The lot of Yahali” 9th Century B.C.E.12. The Uzziah Tablet Inscription13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.,

CAN EVOLUTION BE PROVED WITH “LOGICALLY COHERENT EVIDENCE” LIKE THAT?

Dr. Wilson’s point #3 is that since we are alone that “is a very good thing. It means we are completely free.” Is Dr. Wilson saying that he finds the idea of being created by the personal God of the Bible unacceptable merely on philosophical grounds and he does prefer to think of not being responsible to a creator God?  In the article, WHY ACADEMICS EMBRACE EVOLUTION,” on 2-12-09 Marylou Barry assembled these quotes from evolutionists:

… Not because it can be proved by LOGICALLY COHERENT EVIDENCE to be true but because the only alternative, special creation, is clearly incredible,” wrote the late D.M.S. Watson, chair of evolution at the University of London.

“… Materialism is an absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door,” wrote Richard Lewontin, former professor of genetics at Harvard University.

“We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom,” the late author Aldous Huxley.

“I want atheism to be true,” New York University philosophy professor Thomas Nagel elaborated, “and am made uneasy by the fact that some of the most intelligent and well-informed people I know are religious believers. It isn’t just that I don’t believe in God and, naturally, hope that I’m right in my belief. It’s that I hope there is no God! I don’t want there to be a God; I don’t want the universe to be like that.”

________

Dr. Wilson’s point #4 is that “our greatest goal of all time, (should be) the unity of the human race.” WHY DOES THE UNITY OF THE HUMAN RACE EVEN MATTER ULTIMATELY? If Dr. Wilson’s assumptions about the meaningless of the universe are true then let me respond first with the words of Woody Allenfollowed by Bertrand Russell:

  • With no God, our true situation is hopeless. Why? Because “nothing does last.” “The sun will burn out.” “The universe is falling apart.” “At some point there won’t be anything at all.”
  • Your stuff, your little creations, are not going to last.
  • When you die, not only will there be no “you,” but no one or nothing is going to care (relatively speaking, in a massive sense).

Bertrand Russell is one of your heroes Ricky and here is what he wrote about mankind being the result of evolution:

That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms; …that all the labors of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and that the whole temple of Man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins—all these things, if not quite beyond dispute, are yet so nearly certain, that no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Bertrand Russell

 Jacques Monod – “Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, is at the root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.” 

Image result for manod jac nobel prize

Is there any positive way to spin the fact that there is no hope for a world if we only have this life only UNDER THE SUN? Some hang onto the idea that the human race may get better like Dr. Pinker! Charles Darwin wrote, “Believing as I do that man in the distant future will be a far more perfect creature than he now is…” 

(Julian Huxley in 1922)

Francis Schaeffer commented in 1968:

Now you have now the birth of Julian Huxley’s evolutionary optimistic humanism already stated by Darwin. Darwin now has a theory that man is going to be better. If you had lived at 1860 or 1890 and you said to Darwin, “By 1970 will man be better?” He certainly would have the hope that man would be better as Julian Huxley does today. Of course, I wonder what he would say if he lived in our day and saw what has been made of his own views in the direction of (the mass murder) Richard Speck (and deterministic thinking of today’s philosophers). I wonder what he would say. So you have the factor, already the dilemma in Darwin that I pointed out in Julian Huxley and that is evolutionary optimistic humanism rests always on tomorrow. You never have an argument from the present or the past for evolutionary optimistic humanism.

You can have evolutionary nihilism on the basis of the present and the past. Every time you have someone bringing in evolutionary optimistic humanism it is always based on what is going to be produced tomorrow. When is it coming? The years pass and is it coming? Arthur Koestler doesn’t think it is coming. He sees lots of problems here and puts forth for another solution.

Darwin wrote, “…it is an intolerable thought that he and all other sentient beings are doomed to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress. To those who fully admit the immortality of the human soul, the destruction of our world will not appear so dreadful…”

Marcel Proust seen above

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Here you feel Marcel Proust and the dust of death is on everything today because the dust of death is on everything tomorrow. Here you have the dilemma of Nevil Shute’s ON THE BEACH. If it is true that all we have left is biological continuity and biological complexity, which is all we have left in Darwinism here, or in many of the modern philosophies, then you can’t stand Shute’s ON THE BEACH. Maybe tomorrow at noon human life may be wiped out. Darwin already feels the tension, because if human life is going to be wiped out tomorrow, what is it worth today? Darwin can’t stand the thought of death of all men. Charlie Chaplin when he heard there was no life on Mars said, “I’m lonely.”


I can not think of a better illustration of this in action than the movie ON THE BEACH by Nevil Shute. On May 4, 1994 I watched the movie for the first time and again I thought of the humanist who believes that history is not heading somewhere with a purpose but is guided by pure chance, absolutely free but blind. I thought of the passage Ecclesiastes 9:10-12 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.12 For man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes that are taken in an evil net, and as the birds that are caught in the snare; so are the sons of men snared in an evil time, when it falleth suddenly upon them.
Francis Schaeffer noted: 

You think of the Swedish Opera (ANIARA) that is pictured inside a spaceship. There was a group of men and women going into outer space and they had come to another planet and the singing inside the spaceship was normal opera music. Suddenly there was a big explosion and the world had blown up and these were the last people left, the only conscious people left, and the last scene is the spaceship is off course and it will never land, but will just sail out into outer space.

—-

Lawrence Krauss

A while back I wrote a letter to Dr. Krauss with these words:

When I wrote you last I mentioned that I had just finished your book A UNIVERSE FROM NOTHING, and after the sermon I heard today at church I wanted to write you again because of some often quoted words of yours which I saw on a video for Big Think titled Is Xenophobia Inherent in Organized Religion?:

Religion is a negative force for humanity because … it implies things about the real world that are just not true.

I wish Dr. Krauss and other skeptics would take time to examine the Bible closely. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. The world is not a result of blind chance, but we all were put here for a purpose by God. If you want to investigate the evidence concerning the accuracy of the Bible then I suggest you read Psalms 22 which was written about a thousand years before the crucifixion events it described. Furthermore, when King David wrote those words the practice of stoning was the primary way of executing someone in Israel. 

The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ.

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

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

——

—-

Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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Related posts:

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I have gone back and forth and back and forth with many liberals on the Arkansas Times Blog on many issues such as abortion, human rights, welfare, poverty, gun control  and issues dealing with popular culture. Here is another exchange I had with them a while back. My username at the Ark Times Blog is Saline […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Biblical ArchaeologyFrancis SchaefferProlife | Edit|Comments (0)

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I have posted many of the sermons by John MacArthur. He is a great bible teacher and this sermon below is another great message. His series on the Book of Proverbs was outstanding too.  I also have posted several of the visits MacArthur made to Larry King’s Show. One of two most popular posts I […]By Everette Hatcher III | Posted in Adrian RogersCurrent Events | Edit|Comments (0)

John MacArthur on fulfilled prophecy from the Bible Part 1

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Francis Schaeffer “The Age of NONREASON”

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“Music Monday” THE BEATLES (Breaking down the song “Penny Lane”Part B) Featured artist is Clive Barker

In the book THE GOD WHO IS THERE, Francis Schaeffer noted:

In this flow there was also the period of psychedelic rock, an attempt to find this experience without drugs, by the use of a certain type of music. This was the period of the Beatles’ Revolver (1966) and Strawberry Fields Forever (1967). In the same period and in the same direction was Blonde on Blond (1966) by Bob Dylan….No great illustration could be found of the way these concepts were carried to the masses than “pop” music and especially the work of the BEATLES. The Beatles moved through several stages, including the concept of the drug and psychedelic approach. The psychedelic began with their records REVOLVER, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER, AND PENNY LANE. This was developed with great expertness in their record SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND in which psychedelic music, with open statements concerning drug-taking, was knowingly presented as a religious answer. The religious form was the same vague pantheism which predominates much of the new mystical thought today. One indeed does not have to understand in a clear way the modern monolithic thought in order to be infiltrated by it. SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND was an ideal example of the manipulating power of the new forms of “total art.” This concept of total art increases the infiltrating power of the message involved.

I love the music of the Beatles, but I realize that they did not have a Christian Worldview and they did very often pointed their audiences to the empty answers the world usually gives. I would hope that both Ringo and Paul would turn to Christ like both Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope of the rock group KANSAS did. 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.  

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The Beatles Penny Lane

 

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Great Album

 

 

 

Paul McCartney- Penny Lane (Live)

Here is an excerpt of a fine article about Schaeffer’s take on the Beatles’ album:

Soli Deo Gloria

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Music and The General Culture’s Shift Away From Absolute Truth

By

Pastor Stephen Feinstein

Two days ago, I wrote about artists plunging below the line of despair soon after the philosophers. By way of reminder, the line of despair, according Francis Schaeffer, is when people abandon the idea of absolutes and instead see reality as being relative to each individual. Relativity makes sense in a godless, accidental universe. Since many philosophers and artists bought into the philosophy of atheism, they gave up absolute truth with it. The end result is everyone can make up their own truth since ultimately everyone is wrong anyway.

Well, after the artists went below the line of despair, music went next, and then the general culture was soon to follow. Thus, today I will talk about the plunge of music and general culture below the line. As I have said before, the things that Schaffer points out are even more relevant for our day than his.

Just as Hegel was the doorway for philosophy and Impressionism was the doorway for art, Debussy (1862-1918) was the doorway for music to drop below the line of despair. He abandoned traditional musical Musique Concrete. Sound was seriously and deliberately distorted. They would take real sounds, but break them up, rearrange the parts, and throw them back together in any chaotic way they chose. Their message was loud and clear. Everything is relative, all things are in change, and nothing (not even sound) is absolute. This seems to be the uniform message of postmodern man. They see us as arising by chance and chaos, and eventually all will return to that state. So in the meantime, they say we must reject all meaning since there is no purpose or plan that unifies all of the particulars in the universe. For those who are interested, Schaffer gives some very interesting examples on page 36 of The God Who is There, of real samples from these types of composers, scales, eschewed tone in unnatural ways, and utilized chromaticism to alter music’s basic diatonic organization. In other words, our ears naturally make sense out of patterned scales and predictable tones, but he decided to jumble these around allowing for nonsensical sounds. This opened the door for music composers to deliberately go below the line of despair, as seen by the first large movement to do so. That movement was, well, it did not stop with music. This progression below the line moved onto a fourth step—general culture. Schaeffer covers the different elements of general culture in this chapter to make his point. He begins with literature and claims that Henry Miller (1891-1980) started to move the general culture below the line. His writings were certainly pornographic, but his purpose was more philosophical than perverse. His goal was to smash everything, including sex. He rejected that there is any meaning, so his goal was to smash all traditional thoughts of meaning, and he even sought to show that sex is meaningless. Without meaning or standards, he can write about whatever he wants, no matter how perverse…

Next Schaeffer moves onto drama and focuses in on John Osborne (1929-1980). As brilliant as a playwright as this man was, he too was part of this movement towards absurdity. In his famous play Martin Luther, he deliberately distorts history to promote his view of truth. Luther was a man that was absolutely committed to truth and he was convinced that he was right in his doctrinal stances against the Roman Catholic Church. Well, in Osborne’s play, the story ends with one of Luther’s old Catholic mentors asking, “Martin, do you know you are right?” And contrary to all history, Osborne has Luther answer, “Let’s hope so.” The curtain rolls, and the audience is left with the mood that nothing is certain. What a moving way to end a play! If someone missed the point in a philosophy textbook, they certainly would have gotten it from the emotional pit in their stomach after watching the play. This is how drama works. It has the unique power, like music, to bypass the intellect and go straight for the emotions.

Poetry also fell below the line. Dylan Thomas (1914-1953) wrote a poem called Elegy, which is a depressing verbal expression of total meaningless. They are the words of a tortured soul. He put to poetic form the musings of the philosophers, and in so doing he capture the emotional torment caused by such a worldview. Once again, his poetic form could speak to more people than the philosophers could ever hope to.

Modern Cinema is no different. Good movies are not labeled as good because they are morally right, but instead because they are technically good with good camera shots, artistic flavor, and a philosophical message. It is much the same today. Often the movies that win the awards are the movies that the general public did not care for. The general public often likes to see a good guy overcome a bad guy amidst a two hour roller coaster of action and suspense. But in the opinion of the cultural elites, this is nothing more than bad writing and bad filming meant to appease the masses with romantic illusions of escape. The elites want none of that!  Instead, the films that are dubbed as “good” are almost always created by people who agree with the postmodern view of man. Their films have plots that ultimately blur morality, certainty, and truth. They are at their core existentialist.

If you were to explain the drift of modern thought to the average person, they probably would not understand what you are talking about, but as Schaeffer points out, it does not mean they are not influenced by the things they see and hear in movies and on TV, and what they sing along to in pop music. In fact, it is from these areas that the masses have probably been most influenced. It is in these areas that the average “Joe” fell below the line of despair, whether he realized it or not.

For example, the psychedelic music of the Beatles were a deliberate attempt to destroy antithesis, promote relativism, undermined the truths of Christianity, and promote New Age Spirituality and drug use. The musicians that followed them simply brought more of the wickedness. Since the message was set to catchy tunes and directed toward drug-battered minds, an entire generation bought into the counterculture movement of the 1960s, and we are still living in the ramifications of it today. Music has only become more relative and meaningless. It has only promoted more drug use, violence, and sexual promiscuity…

This all stems from the fact that fallen man rejects absolute truth because they reject the God of the Bible. In the past, they clung to idolatry so that they could appeal to some authority other than God in order to account for their absolute standards. But when the chief thinkers rejected any purpose or meaning to things, and instead insisted upon an atheistic existence, absolute standards were rejected. The philosophers wrote and articulated it, the artists painted it on canvas, the musicians promoted it with their new styles, and the general culture (literature, poetry, drama, cinema, TV, and pop music) unwittingly accepted it. Now this is the default mode of thinking for the people of Western Civilization. People reject absolutes even if they don’t know why. Most people would not call themselves atheists, but their entire view of truth and reality stems from an atheist worldview. It is amazing how the absurd ideas of a few philosophers were able to change the way of thought for the entire modern world.

So Christian, what is your view on truth? In a world where antithesis is rejected, we need to push the antithesis again and again until the culture understands they cannot escape it. There are ways to do this, and perhaps they will be shared in later posts. We know that it is impossible to live without absolutes. We know the universe does have meaning. Therefore we are not hypocritical or inconsistent when we live as such. But the culture is hypocritical and inconsistent when it rejects God’s absolutes and yet forms its own, while with the same breath claiming such absolutes do not really exist. We need to confront them with God’s absolute truth, which is the only absolute truth that exists.

Penny Lane

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other uses, see Penny Lane (disambiguation).

Coordinates: 53°23′13″N 2°55′10″W

“Penny Lane”

US picture sleeve
Single by The Beatles
A-side Strawberry Fields Forever
Released 13 February 1967 (US)
17 February 1967 (UK)
Format 7″
Recorded 29 November 1966 –
17 January 1967
EMI Studios, London
Genre
Length 3:03
Label Parlophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
Certification Gold (RIAA)[4]
The Beatles singles chronology
Yellow Submarine” / “Eleanor Rigby
(1966)
Strawberry Fields Forever” / “Penny Lane
(1967)
All You Need Is Love
(1967)
Music sample
MENU
0:00
Magical Mystery Tour track listing

Penny Lane” is a song by The Beatles.[5] It was written by Paul McCartney but credited to the Lennon–McCartney songwriting partnership. The song was created in response to John Lennon’s “Strawberry Fields Forever“, and its lyrics refer to a real street in Liverpool, England.

Recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions, “Penny Lane” was released in February 1967 as one side of a double A-sided single, along with “Strawberry Fields Forever”. The single was the result of the record company wanting a new release after several months of no new Beatles releases. Although the song did not top the charts in Britain, it was still a top ten hit across Europe. The song was later included on the band’s US album, Magical Mystery Tour, despite not appearing on the British double EP of the same name.

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked “Penny Lane” at number 456 on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[6]

Background[edit]

‘Penny Lane’ was kind of nostalgic, but it was really a place that John and I knew; it was actually a bus terminus. I’d get a bus to his house and I’d have to change at Penny Lane, or the same with him to me, so we often hung out at that terminus, like a roundabout. It was a place that we both knew, and so we both knew the things that turned up in the story.[7]

– Paul McCartney, discussing “Penny Lane” in a 2009 interview with Clashmagazine

The song’s title is derived from the name of a street near Lennon’s childhood home for his first five years (9 Newcastle Road, just off Church Road), in the band’s hometown, Liverpool, England. McCartney and Lennon would meet at Penny Lane junction to catch a bus into the centre of the city. During the 1960s, this was a significant bus terminus for several routes, and buses with “Penny Lane” displayed were common throughout Liverpool. The name Penny Lane is also used for the area that surrounds its junction withSmithdown Road, Smithdown Place (where the terminus was located) and Allerton Road, including a busy shopping area. Penny Lane is believed to be named after James Penny, an 18th-century slave trader.[8]

The street is an important landmark, sought out by many Beatles fans touring Liverpool. In the past, street signs saying “Penny Lane” were constant targets of tourist theft and had to be continually replaced. Eventually, city officials gave up and simply began painting the street name on the sides of buildings. This practice was stopped in 2007 and more theft-resistant “Penny Lane” street signs have since been installed, although some are still stolen.[9]

Recording[edit]

Production began in Studio 2 at Abbey Road on 29 December 1966 with piano as the main instrument.[10] On 17 January 1967, trumpet player David Mason recorded the piccolo trumpet solo.[11] The solo, inspired by a performance of Johann Sebastian Bach‘s second Brandenburg Concerto,[12] is in a mock-Baroque style for which the piccolo trumpet (a small instrument built about one octave higher than the standard instrument) is particularly suited, having a clean and clear sound which penetrates well through thicker midrange textures.[13] According to lead sound engineer Geoff Emerick, David Mason “nailed it” at some point during the recording; Paul McCartney tried to get him to do another take but producer George Martin insisted it wasn’t necessary, sensing Mason’s fatigue. This is known[by whom?] as one of the few times the producer’s decision overruled that of the already superstar Beatles. Emerick also notes in his book that prior to this recording, the high “E” was considered unobtainable by trumpet players and has been expected of them since said performance on the record. Mason was paid 27 pounds and 10 shillings for his performance on the recording. “Penny Lane”‘s production effects include percussion effects and piano through a Vox guitar amplifier with added reverb.[14]

The original US promo single mix of “Penny Lane” had an additional flourish of piccolo trumpet notes at the end of the song. This mix was quickly superseded by one without the last trumpet passage, but not before a handful of copies had been pressed and sent to radio stations. These recordings are among the rarest and most valuable Beatles collectibles. A stereo mix of the song with the additional trumpet added back in was included on the USRarities compilation and the UK album: The Beatles Box in 1980, and is included on an alternate take of the song released on Anthology 2 in 1996.

Composition[edit]

The song has a double tonic structure of B major verse (in I-vi-ii-V cycles) and A major chorus connected by formal pivoting dominant chords.[15] In the opening bars in B major, after singing “In Penny Lane” (in an F#-B-C#-D# melody note ascent) McCartney sings the major third of the first chord in the progression (on “Lane”) and major 7th (on “barber”) then switches to a Bm chord, singing the flattened 3rd notes (on “know” with a i7 [Bm7] chord) and flattened 7th notes (on “come and go” [with a ♭VImaj7 [Gmaj7] chord] and “say hello” [with a V7sus4 [F#7sus4] chord]).[16] This has been described as a profound and surprising innovation involving abandoning mid-cycle what initially appears to be a standard I-vi-ii-V Doo Wop pop chord cycle.[17] To get from the verse “In the pouring rain – very strange” McCartney uses an E chord as a pivot, (it is a IV chord in the preceding B key and a V in the looming A key) to take listeners back into the chorus (“Penny Lane is in my ears …”). Likewise to get back from the chorus of “There beneath the blue suburban skies I sit, and meanwhile back … , McCartney uses an F#7 pivot chord (which is a VI in the old A key and a V in the new B key). The lyrics “very strange” and “meanwhile back” can be viewed as hinting at these complex tonal changes.[18]

A feature of the song was the piccolo trumpet solo played by Mason. This is thought to be the first use of this instrument (a distinctive, speciality instrument, pitched an octave higher than the standard B-flat trumpet) in pop music. Martin later wrote, “The result was unique, something which had never been done in rock music before.”[19] McCartney was dissatisfied with the initial attempts at the song’s instrumental fill (one of which, featuring cors anglais, was released on Anthology 2), and was inspired to use the instrument after seeing Mason’s performance on a BBC television broadcast of the second Brandenburg Concerto by Johann Sebastian Bach.[20][21]

The song features contrasting verse-chorus form.[22] Lyrically there are several ambiguous and surreal images. The song is seemingly narrated on a fine summer day (“beneath the blue suburban skies”), yet at the same time it is raining (“the fireman rushes in from the pouring rain”) and approaching winter (“selling poppies from a tray” implies Remembrance Day, 11 November). Ian MacDonald has stated: “Seemingly naturalistic, the lyric scene is actually kaleidoscopic. As well as raining and shining at the same time, it is simultaneously summer and winter.”.[23] Macdonald suggests an LSD influence, and that the lyrical imagery points to McCartney first taking LSD in late 1966. However, he also cites a different story, which dates McCartney’s first LSD trip to 21 March 1967. Macdonald finishes with the comment: “Despite its seeming innocence, there are few more LSD-redolent phrases in the Beatles’ output than the line … in which the Nurse ‘feels as if she’s in a play’ … and ‘is anyway’.”

Context[edit]

A Liverpool Penny Lane street sign

The “shelter in the middle of the roundabout” refers to the old bus shelter, later developed into a cafe/restaurant with a Beatles theme, but now derelict and abandoned, despite its popularity as a tourist attraction. This is also Penny Lane Bus Terminus, where the numbers 46 (Penny Lane to Walton) and 99 (Penny Lane to Old Swan) buses terminated and is officially on Smithdown Place.

The mysterious lyrics “Four of fish and finger pies” are British slang. “A four of fish” refers to fourpennyworth of fish and chips, while “finger pie” is sexual slang of the time, apparently referring to intimate fondlings between teenagers in the shelter, which was a familiar meeting place. The combination of “fish and finger” also puns on fish fingers.[24] The lyrics as printed on the compilation album The Beatles: 1967–1970, however, are “Full of fish and finger pies” which are incorrect[citation needed]. In the remastered version, the lyrics read as “For a fish and finger pies”, which is also incorrect[citation needed].

Release[edit]

When a new Beatles single was requested for by manager Brian Epstein, producer George Martin told him that the band had recorded “Penny Lane” and “Strawberry Fields Forever”, which Martin considered to be the band’s best songs up to that point.[25] At the suggestion of Epstein, the two songs were released as a double A-side single, in a fashion identical to that of their previous single, “Yellow Submarine” / “Eleanor Rigby“. Released in the US on 13 February 1967 and in the United Kingdom on 17 February 1967, the single failed to top the British charts, making it the first time since “Love Me Do” in 1962 for a Beatles single to peak lower than number one. The song stalled at number two, one place below Engelbert Humperdinck‘s “Release Me“.[26] On the national chart compiled by Melody Maker magazine, however, the combination topped the singles list for three weeks.[27] In the United States, the song became the band’s 13th single to reach number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, doing so for a week before being knocked off by the Turtles‘ song “Happy Together“.

Since the Beatles usually did not include songs released as singles on their British albums, both songs were left off the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, a decision Martin later regretted.[28] Both songs were later included on the US Magical Mystery Tour album in November 1967.

This was also the first single by the Beatles to be sold with a picture sleeve in the UK, a practice rarely used there at that time but common in the US and various other countries (such as Japan).

Penny Lane today[edit]

A view down Penny Lane at the opposite end from the roundabout, approaching the junction with Greenbank Road near to Sefton Park.

Tony Slavin (the white building on the corner) now occupies the location of the original Bioletti’s barbershop mentioned in the song as “barber showing photographs / of every head he’s had the pleasure to know”.

Prior to securing international fame, Penny Lane’s chief renown was as the terminus for the No 46 and No 99 bus routes to Walton, Old Swan and the city centre. The terminus included a purpose-built bus shelter, with waiting room and toilets for waiting passengers. The shelter is located on its own “island” which is the mentioned “shelter on the roundabout” in the Beatles song. In the 1980s, the shelter was bought privately and converted to the Sergeant Pepper’s Bistro, though it has since closed and now stands in the middle of its roundabout looking in a very sorry state. The shelter is actually situated in Smithdown Place, though the terminus was named Penny Lane because of its proximity to Penny Lane.

Towards the end of the 1970s, businesses in Penny Lane included Penny Lane Records and a wine bar known in the early years as Harper’s Bizarre, now called Penny Lane Wine Bar (this was actually a doctors’ surgery, previously Drs Walton, Endbinder and Partners); the practice moved to Smithdown Place in the 1980s. Following privatisation, the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive bus depot, slightly up the hill past Bioletti’s, was demolished and replaced with a shopping precinct complete with a supermarket and a public house.

Since then, the general Penny Lane area has acquired a distinct trendiness and desirability.[citation needed] The “alternative” businesses (wholefood outlets, charity shops), the now expanded array of cafés, bars, bistros, and takeaway food emporiums, as well as handily located traditional businesses (WHSmiths and Clarke’s cake shop), make the neighbourhood the most sought-after among Liverpool’s large student population.[citation needed] Though the song refers to Penny Lane junction on Smithdown Road, the street itself also leads down at the other end to the University of Liverpool‘s student halls of residence, near Sefton Park.

In July 2006, a Liverpool Councillor proposed renaming certain streets because their names were linked to the slave trade. It was soon discovered that Penny Lane, named after James Penny, a wealthy 18th-century slave ship owner and strong opponent of abolitionism, was one of these streets. Ultimately, city officials decided to forgo the name change and re-evaluate the entire renaming process. On 10 July 2006, it was revealed that Liverpool officials said they would modify the proposal to exclude Penny Lane.[29]

According to Barry Miles, the fireman and fire engine referred to in the lyrics are based upon the fire station at Mather Avenue, which is “about half a mile down the road” from Penny Lane.[30] The station is still in use today.

Promotional film[edit]

This is the “shelter in the middle of the roundabout.” As of March 2008, it is in a state of disrepair.

The promotional film for “Penny Lane” was, together with the video for “Strawberry Fields Forever“, one of the first examples of what later became known as a music video.[31] The music video for the song was not filmed at Penny Lane, as the Beatles were reluctant to travel to Liverpool. Street scenes were filmed in and around Angel Lane in London’s East End. The broken sequence of Lennon walking alone was filmed on the King’s Road (at Markham Square) in Chelsea. The outdoor scenes were filmed at Knole Park in Sevenoaks on 30 January 1967. The promotional film for “Strawberry Fields Forever” was also shot at the same location, during the same visit.[32] Both films – directed by the Swede Peter Goldmann – were selected by New York‘s MoMA to be among the most influential promotional music films of the late 1960s. Film of “Penny Lane” was included – with some scenes of green Liverpool buses and a brief overhead view of the bus shelter – but none of the Beatles attended.

Song ownership[edit]

Northern Songs, the publishing company that owned all but four of the Beatles songs, was acquired by ATV – a media company owned by Lew Grade in 1969. By 1985 the company was being run by serial Australian entrepreneur Robert Holmes à Court, who decided to sell the catalogue to Michael Jackson.

Before the sale, he offered his 16-year-old daughter Catherine the chance to keep any song “in her name” from the catalogue. She chose “Penny Lane” as it was her favourite – despite her father’s urging to choose “Yesterday”, which was by far the biggest royalty-earning song on the books (and is in the top four global royalty earning songs of all time).

Catherine Holmes à Court-Mather is still the owner of “Penny Lane”‘s copyright today, one of only five Beatles songs not owned by Sony/ATV Music Publishing.[33]

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The Beatles – In my Life

Published on Feb 25, 2011

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Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles Tribute

Not sung by George but good nonetheless!!

Francis Schaeffer’s favorite album was SGT. PEPPER”S and he said of the album “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band…for a time it became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings.”  (at the 14 minute point in episode 7 of HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? ) 

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How Should We Then Live – Episode Seven – 07 – Portuguese Subtitles

Francis Schaeffer

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The Beatles – Revolution

Published on Oct 20, 2015

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CLIVE BAKER IS FEATURED ARTIST TODAY!!!

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Open Letter #93 to Ricky Gervais on comparison of the Tony of AFTER LIFE to the Solomon of ECCLESIASTES, Tony Johnson and the idiots who dressed up their baby to look like Hitler!

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After Life #1 Trailer

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After Life 2 Trailer

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On Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask Ricky Gervais a question on his Twitter Live broadcast which was  “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark Ricky answers my question. Below is the video:

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If Death is the end then what is the point Kath asks below:

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Kath: You are an atheist?

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(Above) Tony and Anne on the bench at the graveyard where their spouses are buried.

July 19, 2020 
Ricky Gervais 


Dear Ricky,  

This is the 93th day in a row that I have written another open letter to you to comment on some of your episodes of AFTER LIFE, and then I wanted to pass along some evidence that indicates the Bible is historically accurate.

Eine Szene aus der Serie „After Life“ von und mit Komiker Ricky Gervais: Die Eltern haben den Sohn als Mini-Hitler verkleidet, nicht er sich selbst. Foto: NETFLIX/All rights reserved

Before we get to the Hitler look alike baby let’s take a look at a very brilliant man by the name of Solomon. Below are the comments of Francis Schaeffer on the universal man Solomon: 

File:Francis Schaeffer.jpg

We have here the declaration of Solomon’s universality:

1 Kings 4:30-34

English Standard Version (ESV)

30 so that Solomon’s wisdom surpassed the wisdom of all the people of the east and all the wisdom of Egypt. 31 For he was wiser than all other men, wiser than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, Calcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol, and his fame was in all the surrounding nations. 32 He also spoke 3,000 proverbs, and his songs were 1,005. 33 He spoke of trees, from the cedar that is in Lebanon to the hyssop that grows out of the wall. He spoke also of beasts, and of birds, and of reptiles, and of fish.34 And people of all nations came to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and from all the kings of the earth, who had heard of his wisdom.

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Here is the universal man and his genius. Solomon is the universal man with a empire at his disposal. Solomon had it all.

Ecclesiastes 1:3

English Standard Version (ESV)

What does man gain by all the toil
    at which he toils under the sun?

Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.” This phrase UNDER THE SUN appears over and over in Ecclesiastes.

Pursuing Learning

Now let us look down the details of his searching.

In Ecclesiastes 1: 13a we have the details of the universal man’s procedure. “And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdomconcerning all that has been done under heaven.”

So like any sensible man the instrument that is used is INTELLECT, and RAITIONALITY, and LOGIC. It is to be noted that even men who despise these in their theories begin and use them or they could not speak. There is no other way to begin except in the way they which man is and that is rational and intellectual with movements of that is logical within him. As a Christian I must say gently in passing that is the way God made him.

So we find first of all Solomon turned to WISDOM and logic. Wisdom is not to be confused with knowledge. A man may have great knowledge and no wisdom. Wisdom is the use of rationality and logic. A man can be very wise and have limited knowledge. Here he turns to wisdom in all that implies and the total rationality of man.

Works of Men done Under the Sun

After wisdom Solomon comes to the great WORKS of men. Ecclesiastes 1:14,  “I have seen all the works which have been doneunder the sun, and behold, all is [p]vanity and striving after wind.” Solomon is the man with an empire at this disposal that speaks. This is the man who has the copper refineries in Ezion-geber. This is the man who made the stables across his empire. This is the man who built the temple in Jerusalem. This is the man who stands on the world trade routes. He is not a provincial. He knew what was happening on the Phonetician coast and he knew what was happening in Egypt. There is no doubt he already knew something of building. This is Solomon and he pursues the greatness of his own construction and his conclusion is VANITY AND VEXATION OF SPIRIT.

Ecclesiastes 2:18-20

18 Thus I hated all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun, for I must leave it to the man who will come after me. 19 And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the fruit of my labor for which I have labored by acting wisely under the sun. This too is vanity. 20 Therefore I completely despaired of all the fruit of my labor for which I had labored under the sun.

He looked at the works of his hands, great and multiplied by his wealth and his position and he shrugged his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 2:22-23

22 For what does a man get in all his labor and in his striving with which he labors under the sun23 Because all his days his task is painful and grievous; even at night his mind does not rest. This too is vanity.

Now if a brilliant man like Solomon could not find the meaning to life UNDER THE SUN, is there any hope for you and me? The surprising answer is that it is not about how brilliant or arrogant we are but in where we are looking. The Christian Scholar Ravi Zacharias noted, “The key to understanding the Book of Ecclesiastes is the term UNDER THE SUN — What that literally means is you lock God out of a closed system and you are left with only this world of Time plus Chance plus matter.” You are not going to find it UNDER THE SUN but only above the sun, and it will not be a result of how brilliant you are. 

Ricky Gervais plays bereaved husband Tony Johnson in AFTER LIFE

In AFTER LIFE in season two there is a scene when Tony and Lenny interview parents of a baby who looks like Hitler with his hair combed forward and a mustache painted on with eyeliner. Tony objects to this contrived situation saying it is not newsworthy and the parents even agree that they could have done “Chinese baby that looked like Kim Jong-un and Tony replies “Or even a Korean one even.”

Here you have Ricky surrounding Tony with idiots in AFTER LIFE like Lenny and Kath to create great situations for comedy. Likewise in life Ricky you are quite arrogant on twitter in your criticisms of Christianity when there are times you haven’t studied up on the situations. For instance, we see this attitude from your friend Richard Dawkins. Your recent visit with Richard included you asking him, “Can we bring back the Mammoth?” Richard gave a convoluted answer and you retorted, “If you don’t know Richard then just say so!”


Adrian Rogers: Pictured above and his quote below:

Did you know that all atheists are not atheists because of intellectual problems? They’re atheists because of moral problems. You say, “But I know some brilliant people who are atheists.” Well, that may be so, but I know some brilliant people who are not. You say, “I know some foolish people who believe in God.” Well, I know everyone who doesn’t believe in God is foolish.

In other words there are brilliant and stupid people on both sides of the fence and it is not an intellectual issue but a moral one.

Brian Harrison who is both an agnostic and a historian comments:

I have always remained an agnostic and not an atheist. I am not militant about it. I have never seen any evidence for it, and if anything, being a historian has turned me the other way.

I have enjoyed reading the book OUTGROWING GOD by your friend Richard Dawkins, but sometimes he talks beyond his field of scientific knowledge and he gets burned. For instance, on page 53 he states: 

Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham 

Did Camels Exist in Biblical Times?

5 reasons why domesticated camels likely existedMegan Sauter November 12, 2018  16 Comments 2730 views  Share

Did camels exist in Biblical times?

Some Biblical texts, such as Genesis 12 and 24, claim that Abraham owned camels. Yet archaeological researchshows that camels were not domesticated in the land of Canaan until the 10th century B.C.E.—about a thousand years after the time of Abraham. This seems to suggest that camels in these Biblical stories are anachronistic.

The Caravan of Abram

Abraham’s Camels. Did camels exist in Biblical times? Camels appear with Abraham in some Biblical texts—and depictions thereof, such as The Caravan of Abram by James Tissot, based on Genesis 12. When were camels first domesticated? Although camel domestication had not taken place by the time of Abraham in the land of Canaan, it had in Mesopotamia. Photo: PD-1923.Mark W. Chavalas explores the history of camel domestication in his Biblical Views column “Did Abraham Ride a Camel?”published in the November/December 2018 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review. Although he agrees that camel domestication likely did not take place in Canaan until the 10th century B.C.E., he notes that Abraham’s place of origin was not Canaan—but Mesopotamia. Thus, to ascertain whether Abraham’s camels are anachronistic, we need to ask: When were camels first domesticated in Mesopotamia?

Chavalas explains that the events in the Biblical accounts of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs (Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Israel and Rachel) have been traditionally dated to c. 2000–1600 B.C.E. (during the Middle Bronze Age). Camels appear in Mesopotamian sources in the third millennium B.C.E.—before this period. However, the mere presence of camels in sources does not necessarily mean that camels were domesticated.

The question remains: When were camels domesticated in Mesopotamia?

In his examination of camel domestication history, Chavalas looks at a variety of textual, artistic, and archaeological sources from Mesopotamia dating to the third and second millennia. We will examine five of these sources here:

1. One of the first pieces of evidence for camel domestication comes from the site of Eshnunna in modern Iraq: A plaque from the mid-third millennium shows a camel being ridden by a human.

2. Another source is a 21st-century B.C.E. text from Puzrish-Dagan in modern Iraq that may record camel deliveries.

3. Third, an 18th-century B.C.E. text (quoting from an earlier third millennium text) from Nippur in modern Iraq says, “the milk of the camel is sweet.” Chavalas explains why he thinks this likely refers to a domesticated camel:

Having walked in many surveys through camel herds in Syria along the Middle Euphrates River, I believe that this text is describing a domesticated camel; who would want to milk a “wild camel”? At the very least, the Bactrian camel was being used for dairy needs at this time.

4. Next, an 18th-century B.C.E. cylinder seal depicts a two-humped camel with riders. Although this seal’s exact place of origin is unknown, it reputedly comes from Syria, and it resembles other seals from Alalakh (a site in modern Turkey near Turkey’s southern border with Syria).

5. Finally, a 17th-century text from Alalakh includes camels in a list of domesticated animals that required food.

syria-camel-seal

Camel Domestication. When were camels first domesticated? This impression of an 18th-century B.C.E. cylinder seal from Syria depicts a two-humped camel with riders. The seal and other archaeological discoveries shed light on camel domestication history, suggesting that camel domestication had occurred in Mesopotamia by the second millennium B.C.E. Photo: ©The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.

Although domesticated camels may not have been widespread in Mesopotamia in the second millennium, these pieces of evidence show that by the second millennium, there were at least some domesticated camels. Thus, camel domestication had taken place in Mesopotamia by the time of Abraham. Accordingly, Chavalas argues that the camels in the stories of Abraham in Genesis are not anachronistic.

Learn more about the history of camel domestication in Mark W. Chavalas’s Biblical Views column “Did Abraham Ride a Camel?” published in the November/December 2018 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.——————

Subscribers: Read the full Biblical Views column “Did Abraham Ride a Camel?” by Mark W. Chavalas in the November/December 2018 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review.

Stephan Feuchtwang comments:

I think I was always an atheist; I had to ask myself what is God all the time; however, I am deeply respectful, as well as utterly sceptical, of what people say they have as their spiritual experience including what they say about God or gods; I have a preference for polytheism. I come from a psycho-analytically inclined family culture; my mother was psycho-analysed and did graphology, and I am married to a psycho-analytic therapist; what Freud calls an oceanic experience, the emotion of religiosity that goes with a belief in God, I think I can detect in myself; I have never had an epiphany but have had oceanic experiences, the sense of wonder, as the arch-atheist, Richard Dawkins.

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Francis Schaeffer noted concerning Charles Darwin’s loss of faith:

This is very sad. He lies on his bunk and the Beagle tosses and turns and he makes daydreams, and his dreams and hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii or some place like this, an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would put his stamp of authority on it, which would be able to show that Christ existed. This is undoubtedly what he is talking about. Darwin gave up this hope with great difficulty.

Ricky you have an advantage of 150 years over your hero Charles Darwin and the archaeologist’s spade has continued to dig. Take a look at this piece of evidence from the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?)

In the previous chapter we saw that the Bible gives us the explanation for the existence of the universe and its form and for the mannishness of man. Or, to reverse this, we came to see that the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are a testimony to the truth of the Bible. In this chapter we will consider a third testimony: the Bible’s openness to verification by historical study.

Christianity involves history. To say only that is already to have said something remarkable, because it separates the Judeo-Christian world-view from almost all other religious thought. It is rooted in history.

The Bible tells us how God communicated with man in history. For example, God revealed Himself to Abraham at a point in time and at a particular geographical place. He did likewise with Moses, David, Isaiah, Daniel and so on. The implications of this are extremely important to us. Because the truth God communicated in the Bible is so tied up with the flow of human events, it is possible by historical study to confirm some of the historical details.

It is remarkable that this possibility exists. Compare the information we have from other continents of that period. We know comparatively little about what happened in Africa or South America or China or Russia or even Europe. We see beautiful remains of temples and burial places, cult figures, utensils, and so forth, but there is not much actual “history” that can be reconstructed, at least not much when compared to that which is possible in the Middle East.

When we look at the material which has been discovered from the Nile to the Euphrates that derives from the 2500-year span before Christ, we are in a completely different situation from that in regard to South America or Asia. The kings of Egypt and Assyria built thousands of monuments commemorating their victories and recounting their different exploits. Whole libraries have been discovered from places like Nuzu and Mari and most recently at Elba, which give hundreds of thousands of texts relating to the historical details of their time. It is within this geographical area that the Bible is set. So it is possible to find material which bears upon what the Bible tells us.

The Bible purports to give us information on history. Is the history accurate? The more we understand about the Middle East between 2500 B.C. and A.D. 100, the more confident we can be that the information in the Bible is reliable, even when it speaks about the simple things of time and place.

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnote #94)

So the story goes on. We have stopped at only a few incidents in the sweep back to the year 1000 B.C. What we hope has emerged from this is a sense of the historical reliability of the Bible’s text. When the Bible refers to historical incidents, it is speaking about the same sort of “history” that historians examine elsewhere in other cultures and periods. This borne out by the fact that some of the incidents, some of the individuals, and some of the places have been confirmed by archaeological discoveries in the past hundred years has swept away the possibility of a naive skepticism about the Bible’s history. And what is particularly striking is that the tide has built up concerning the time before the year 1000 B.C. Our knowledge about the years 2500 B.C. to 1000 B.C. has vastly increased through discoveries sometimes of whole libraries and even of hitherto unknown people and languages.

There was a time, for example, when the Hittite people, referred to in the early parts of the Bible, were treated as fictitious by critical scholars. Then came the discoveries after 1906 at Boghaz Koi (Boghaz-koy) which not only gave us the certainty of their existence but stacks of details from their own archives!

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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.

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, everettehatcher@gmail.comhttp://www.thedailyhatch.org, cell ph 501-920-5733, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002

PS: What is the meaning of life? Find it in the end of the open letter I wrote to you on April 23, 2020. 

Below is the workforce of THE TAMBURY GAZETTE 

Seen below is the third episode of AFTERLIFE (season 1) when Matt takes Tony to a comedy club with front row seats to cheer him up but it turns into disaster!!!

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Part 1 “Why have integrity in Godless Darwinian Universe where Might makes Right?”

Part 2 “My April 14, 2016 Letter to Ricky mentioned Book of Ecclesiastes and the Meaninglessness of Life”

Part 3 Letter about Brandon Burlsworth concerning suffering and pain and evil in the world.  “Why didn’t Jesus save her [from cancer]?” (Tony’s 10 year old nephew George in episode 2)

Part 4 Letter on Solomon on Death Tony in episode one, “It should be everyone’s moral duty to kill themselves.”

Part 5 Letter on subject of Learning in Ecclesiastes “I don’t read books of fiction but mainly science and philosophy”

Part 6 Letter on Luxuries in Ecclesiastes Part 6, The Music of AFTERLIFE (Part A)

Part 7 Letter on Labor in Ecclesiastes My Letter to Ricky on Easter in 2017 concerning Book of Ecclesiastes and the legacy of a person’s life work

Part 8 Letter on Liquor in Ecclesiastes Tony’s late wife Lisa told him, “Don’t get drunk all the time alright? It will only make you feel worse in the log run!”

Part 9 Letter on Laughter in Ecclesiastes , I said of laughter, “It is foolishness;” and of mirth, “What does it accomplish?” Ecclesiastes 2:2

Part 10 Final letter to Ricky on Ladies in Ecclesiastes “I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song, and—most exquisite of all pleasures— voluptuous maidens for my bed…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun” Ecclesiastes 2:8-11.

Part 11 Letter about Daniel Stanhope and optimistic humanism  “If man has been kicked up out of that which is only impersonal by chance , then those things that make him man-hope of purpose and significance, love, motions of morality and rationality, beauty and verbal communication-are ultimately unfulfillable and thus meaningless.” (Francis Schaeffer)

Part 12 Letter on how pursuit of God is only way to get Satisfaction Dan Jarrell “[In Ecclesiastes] if one seeks satisfaction they will never find it. In fact, every pleasure will be fleeting and can not be sustained, BUT IF ONE SEEKS GOD THEN ONE FINDS SATISFACTION”

Part 13 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon realizing he will die just as a dog will die “For men and animals both breathe the same air, and both die. So mankind has no real advantage over the beasts; what an absurdity!” Ecclesiastes

Part 14 Letter to Stephen Hawking on 3 conclusions of humanism and Bertrand Russell destruction of optimistic humanism. “That Man is the product of causes which had no prevision of the end they were achieving; that his origin, his growth, his hopes and fears, his loves and his beliefs, are but the outcome of accidental collocations of atoms—no philosophy which rejects them can hope to stand. Only within the scaffolding of these truths, only on the firm foundation of unyielding despair, can the soul’s habitation henceforth be safely built.”(Bertrand Russell, Free Man’s Worship)

Part 15 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Leonardo da Vinci and Solomon and Meaningless of life “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes Book of Ecclesiastes Part 15 “I hate life. As far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It’s smoke—and spitting into the wind” Ecclesiastes 2:17

Part 16 Letter to Stephen Hawking on Solomon’s longing for death but still fear of death and 5 conclusions of humanism on life UNDER THE SUN. Francis Schaeffer “Life is just a series of continual and unending cycles and man is stuck in the middle of the cycle. Youth, old age, Death. Does Solomon at this point embrace nihilism? Yes!!! He exclaims that the hates life (Ecclesiastes 2:17), he longs for death (4:2-3) Yet he stills has a fear of death (2:14-16)”

Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy on her first assignment in ‘After Life’. (Twitter)

A still from ‘After Life’ that captures the vibe of the Tambury Gazette. (Twitter)

Michael Scott of THE OFFICE (USA) with Ricky Gervais 

After Life on Netflix

After Life on Netflix stars Ricky Gervais as a bereaved husband (Image: Netflix)

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Psychiatrist played by Paul Kaye seen below.

The sandy beach walk

Tony Johnson with his dog Brandi seen below:

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Francis Schaeffer THE AGE of FRAGMENTATION

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