Category Archives: Francis Schaeffer

(In tribute to the memory of Steven Weinberg who was a great thinker I am reposting my 1st post on him) FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

I enjoyed reading Steven Weinberg’s books and my first was THE FIRST THREE MINUTES and my favorite was TO EXPLAIN THE WORLD. What a great supporter of Israel too!

Nobel Prize winner Steven Weinberg, celebrated scientific mind, dies, 88

Steven Weinberg at the 2010 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Steven Weinberg at the 2010 Texas Book Festival, Austin, Texas, United States.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

Born to Jewish immigrants, Weinberg’s scientific accomplishments fueled his activism as a proud liberal and outspoken defender of Israel.

Nobel Prize-winning physicist and astronomer Prof. Steven Weinberg passed away Friday at the age of 88, according to a statement from the University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin).

The cause of death has not yet been determined, though according to the Washington Post, he had been hospitalized for some time.

Born in 1933 in New York City to Jewish immigrants, Weinberg would go on to have a landmark career in academia. His most famous work was a paper he published in 1967 that discussed the interaction between electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force – two of the universe’s four fundamental forces, which work as part of a unified electroweak force.

Simply titled “A Model of Leptons,” the paper was barely even three pages long, published in the academic journal Physical Review Letters. However, the impact it has has on the field of physics is nothing short of immense, being one of the single most cited works ever in the field of high-energy physics.
The equation-filled article discussed and theorized concepts and properties that had never been observed before, but which played key roles in the progression of the field. His predictions were supported in later years, including by the discovery of the Higgs boson particle in 2012 at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland.
This work later saw him awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1979 along with fellow scientists Sheldon Glashow and Abdus Salam.

Despite the complexity behind his work, however, Weinberg was also known for trying to make science more accessible. In his 1977 work The First Three Minutes: A Modern View Of The Origin Of The Universe, he walked readers through the first minutes of the existence of the universe – itself a very complex topic – in a way that was easy to understand, as noted by Live Science.

But Weinberg wasn’t just known for his scientific fame and accomplishments. Rather, he was also a noted activist, working as a spokesman for science. He had spoken to Congress, lectured on the history and philosophy of science and made waves for taking a stand against concealed carry guns in UT classrooms.
But Weinberg was also an outspoken advocate of the State of Israel. This was especially noted in his 1997 essay, “Zionism and Its Adversaries.”
He had also been an outspoken advocate against antisemitism, something he considered boycotting Israel to constitute.
Back in the early 2000s, Weinbeg had called off trips to universities in the UK due to UK boycotts against Israel. In a letter explaining his reason for withdrawing, the physicist said he perceived “a widespread anti-Israel and antisemitic current in British opinion.”
According to the UK daily The Guardian,Weinberg wrote that “I know that some will say that these boycotts are directed only against Israel, rather than generally against Jews.
“But given the history of the attacks on Israel and the oppressiveness and aggressiveness of other countries in the Middle East and elsewhere, boycotting Israel indicated a moral blindness for which it is hard to find any explanation other than antisemitism.”
Weinberg is survived by his wife, UT Austin Law Prof. Louise Weinberg, and their daughter, Elizabeth.


The Atheism Tapes – Steven Weinberg [2/6]

Published on Sep 25, 2012

Jonathan Miller in conversation with American physicist and Nobel laureate Steven Weinberg

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I have posted many times in the past about Steven Weinberg on my blog and I have always found his works very engaging. It is true that he is a secular humanist and is friends with many of the new atheists and many of the top scientists of today hold his same secular views. 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), and Michael Martin (1932-).

Many times in the past these secular humanists have suggested books for me to read and I have made it my practice to take them up on that and read the books they suggest and then I send my reviews back to them to consider.

One trend I have noticed among modern scholars and that have become more and more pessimistic. (No where is this demonstrated better than in the beginning of the episode THE AGE OF NONREASON shown below.  Also Francis Schaeffer in his book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? points out that Steven Weinberg has discussed the issue of the meaningless and pointlessness of life.

How Should We then Live Episode 7 small (Age of Nonreason)

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

10 Worldview and Truth

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

Many modern artists are left in this point of desperation that Schaeffer points out and it reminds me of the despair that Solomon speaks of in Ecclesiastes.  Christian scholar Ravi Zacharias has 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.” THIS IS EXACT POINT SCHAEFFER SAYS SECULAR ARTISTS ARE PAINTING FROM TODAY BECAUSE THEY BELIEVED ARE A RESULT OF MINDLESS CHANCE.

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Francis Schaeffer noted:

The Meaningless of All Things

An  overwhelming number of modern thinkers agree that seeing the universe and man from a humanist base leads to meaninglessness, both for the universe and for man – not just mankind in general but for each of us as individuals. Professor Steven Weinberg of Harvard University and the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory has written a book entitled The First Three Minutes: A Modern View of the Origin of the Universe (1976). Here he explains, as clearly as probably anyone has ever done, the modern materialistic view of the universe and its origin.
But when his explanation is finished and he is looking down at the earth from an airplane, as Weinberg writes, “It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe … [which] has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”86
When Weinberg says that the universe seems more “comprehensible,” he is, of course, referring to our greater understanding of the physical universe through the advance of science. But it is an understanding, notice, within, a materialistic framework, which considers the universe solely in terms of physics and chemistry – simply machinery. Here lies the irony. It is comprehension of a sort, but it is like giving a blind person sight, only to remove anything seeable. As we heard Woody Allen saying earlier, such a view of reality is “absolutely stupefying in its terror, and it renders anyone’s accomplishments meaningless.”
So, to the person who wants to be left alone without explanations for the big questions, we must say very gently, “Look at what you are left alone with.” This is not merely rhetoric. As the decades of this century have slipped by, more and more have said the same thing as Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen. It has become an obvious thing to say. The tremendous optimism of the nineteenth century, which stemmed from the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, has gradually ebbed away.
If everything “faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat,” all things are meaningless. This is the first problem, the first form of pollution. The second is just as bad.

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Rice Broocks in his book GOD’S NOT DEAD quoted the American philosopher and theologian William Lane Craig:

My claim is that if there is no God then meaning, value, and purpose are ultimately human illusions. They’re just in our heads. If atheism is true, then life is really objectively meaningless, valueless, and purposeless, despite our subjective beliefs to the contrary,” (William Lane Craig, ON GUARD: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision [Colorodo Springs: David C. Cook, 2010], 30).

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Francis Schaeffer below pictured on cover of World Magazine:

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Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?)

Back in September of 2014 I had a chance to correspond with Nobel Prize Harold Kroto and he  used this quote from his friend Steven Weinberg,“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” I DO AGREE WITH A PORTION OF THAT ASSERTION BUT IT SEEMS THAT MUSLIMS KILL A LOT MORE PEOPLE TODAY THAN CHRISTIANS. (SAM HARRIS EVEN POINTED THAT OUT RECENTLY ON BILL MAHER’S SHOW.)Then he gave me a link that gave more quotes from Steven Weinberg and here are some of those quotes and my initial reaction to some of them (From Nobel Lectures, Physics 1971-1980, Editor Stig Lundqvist, World Scientific Publishing Co., Singapore, 1992):

“One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment.”  Steven Weinberg (Many of Weinberg and Kroto’s scientific heroes of the past were Bible believing Christians such as Isaac Newton and I pointed this out to Ernst Mayr during our correspondence in 1995.I have also pointed out that evolutionists must hope  like George Wald that   “Time is the Hero” because the law of bio-genesis seems to  disprove evolution altogether.)

“I don’t need to argue here that the evil in the world proves that the universe is not designed, but only that there are no signs of benevolence that might have shown the hand of a designer.” Steven Weinberg  (There are great problems for the agnostic on this subject too and my discussion with Lester Mondale in his home in Missouri in 1996 clearly shows the secular humanist’s glaring weakness.)

“I have a friend — or had a friend, now dead — Abdus Salam, a very devout Muslim, who was trying to bring science into the universities in the Gulf states and he told me that he had a terrible time because, although they were very receptive to technology, they felt that science would be a corrosive to religious belief, and they were worried about it… and damn it, I think they were right. It is corrosive of religious belief, and it’s a good thing too.”
Steven Weinberg
I would point out that many scientists of the past were Christians and many of them opposed Darwinism (Agassiz, Pasteur, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Dawson, Virchow, Fabre, Fleming, etc). The list of Bible believing scientists boogle the mind and they believed the inspiration of the scriptures and put their faith in Christ for their salvation. Here is just a short list of some of them, Newton, Pasteur, Linnaeus, Faraday, Pascal, Lord Kelvin, Maxwell, Kepler, etc. 

“If there is no point in the universe that we discover by the methods of science, there is a point that we can give the universe by the way we live, by loving each other, by discovering things about nature, by creating works of art. And that—in a way, although we are not the stars in a cosmic drama, if the only drama we’re starring in is one that we are making up as we go along, it is not entirely ignoble that faced with this unloving, impersonal universe we make a little island of warmth and love and science and art for ourselves. That’s not an entirely despicable role for us to play.” Steven Weinberg (I was privileged to have the opportunity to correspond with Carl Sagan during the last year of his life and in that correspondence I answered back his letter with the assertion that mankind was put on this earth by God with a special purpose. We are precious, but even though Jodie Foster makes that claim in the movie CONTACT which Sagan wrote, the secular worldview does not in anywhere support that conclusion.)

One of the great achievements of science has been, if not to make it impossible for intelligent people to be religious, then at least to make it possible for them not to be religious. We should not retreat from this accomplishment. Steven Weinberg (Although Charles Darwin did lead science that direction,  Dr. H. Fritz Schaefer confronted the assertion that a scientist cannot believe in God in an excellent article. )

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/86758.Steven_Weinberg (This link led me to the following quotes.)

“All logical arguments can be defeated by the simple refusal to reason logically”
Steven Weinberg, Dreams of a Final Theory
“The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy. ”
Steven Weinberg
“It does not matter whether you win or lose, what matters is whether I win or lose!”
Steven Weinberg

The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979
Sheldon Glashow, Abdus Salam, Steven Weinberg

Steven Weinberg – Biographical

I was born in 1933 in New York City to Frederick and Eva Weinberg. My early inclination toward science received encouragement from my father, and by the time I was 15 or 16 my interests had focused on theoretical physics.

I received my undergraduate degree from Cornell in 1954, and then went for a year of graduate study to the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Copenhagen (now the Niels Bohr Institute). There, with the help of David Frisch and Gunnar Källén. I began to do research in physics. I then returned to the U.S. to complete my graduate studies at Princeton. My Ph.D thesis, with Sam Treiman as adviser, was on the application of renormalization theory to the effects of strong interactions in weak interaction processes.

After receiving my Ph.D. in 1957, I worked at Columbia and then from 1959 to 1966 at Berkeley. My research during this period was on a wide variety of topics – high energy behavior of Feynman graphs, second-class weak interaction currents, broken symmetries, scattering theory, muon physics, etc. – topics chosen in many cases because I was trying to teach myself some area of physics. My active interest in astrophysics dates from 1961-62; I wrote some papers on the cosmic population of neutrinos and then began to write a book, Gravitation and Cosmology, which was eventually completed in 1971. Late in 1965 I began my work on current algebra and the application to the strong interactions of the idea of spontaneous symmetry breaking.

From 1966 to 1969, on leave from Berkeley, I was Loeb Lecturer at Harvard and then visiting professor at M.I.T. In 1969 I accepted a professorship in the Physics Department at M.I.T., then chaired by Viki Weisskopf. It was while I was a visitor to M.I.T. in 1967 that my work on broken symmetries, current algebra, and renormalization theory turned in the direction of the unification of weak and electromagnetic interactions. In 1973, when Julian Schwinger left Harvard, I was offered and accepted his chair there as Higgins Professor of Physics, together with an appointment as Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory.

My work during the 1970’s has been mainly concerned with the implications of the unified theory of weak and electromagnetic interactions, with the development of the related theory of strong interactions known as quantum chromodynamics, and with steps toward the unification of all interactions.

In 1982 I moved to the physics and astronomy departments of the University of Texas at Austin, as Josey Regental Professor of Science. I met my wife Louise when we were undergraduates at Cornell, and we were married in 1954. She is now a professor of law. Our daughter Elizabeth was born in Berkeley in 1963.

Francis Schaeffer has written extensively on art and culture spanning the last 2000years and here are some posts I have done on this subject before : Francis Schaeffer’s “How should we then live?” Video and outline of episode 10 “Final Choices” episode 9 “The Age of Personal Peace and Affluence”episode 8 “The Age of Fragmentation”episode 7 “The Age of Non-Reason” episode 6 “The Scientific Age” , episode 5 “The Revolutionary Age” episode 4 “The Reformation” episode 3 “The Renaissance”episode 2 “The Middle Ages,”, and  episode 1 “The Roman Age,” . My favorite episodes are number 7 and 8 since they deal with modern art and culture primarily.(Joe Carter rightly noted,Schaefferwho always claimed to be an evangelist and not aphilosopher—was often criticized for the way his work oversimplifiedintellectual history and philosophy.” To those critics I say take a chill pillbecause Schaeffer was introducing millions into the fields of art andculture!!!! !!! More people need to read his works and blog about thembecause they show how people’s worldviews affect their lives!

J.I.PACKER WROTE OF SCHAEFFER, “His communicative style was not that of acautious academic who labors for exhaustive coverage and dispassionate objectivity. It was rather that of an impassioned thinker who paints his vision of eternal truth in bold strokes and stark contrasts.Yet it is a fact that MANY YOUNG THINKERS AND ARTISTS…HAVE FOUND SCHAEFFER’S ANALYSES A LIFELINE TO SANITY WITHOUT WHICH THEY COULD NOT HAVE GONE ON LIVING.”

Francis Schaeffer’s works  are the basis for a large portion of my blog posts andthey have stood the test of time. In fact, many people would say that many of the things he wrote in the 1960’s  were right on  in the sense he saw where ourwestern society was heading and he knew that abortion, infanticide and youthenthansia were  moral boundaries we would be crossing  in the coming decadesbecause of humanism and these are the discussions we are having now!)

There is evidence that points to the fact that the Bible is historically true asSchaeffer pointed out in episode 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? There is a basis then for faith in Christ alone for our eternal hope. This linkshows how to do that.

Francis Schaeffer in Art and the Bible noted, “Many modern artists, it seems to me, have forgotten the value that art has in itself. Much modern art is far too intellectual to be great art. Many modern artists seem not to see the distinction between man and non-man, and it is a part of the lostness of modern man that they no longer see value in the work of art as a work of art.” 

Steven Weinberg here in this video below does come down more critical on the violence brought on by Muslim radicals versus the political correct view that Islam is an religion of peace while Christianity has all the problems. At the end of this video he says “I don’t like God.”

Steven Weinberg on Atheism

Uploaded on Jul 31, 2011

According to atheist physicist Steven Weinburg, most scientists don’t think much about religion — they don’t think it’s worth thinking about. But Steven Weinburg does think about it and in a 2003 interview with BBC’s Jonathan Miller he gave his view on a number of things. Why are people religious, is the U.S. too religious, do Americans equate religion with patriotism, is truth important in religion, does our moral sense come from religion, is religion a good thing and does religion conflict with science? This video is edited from the original 29 minutes and does not have the annoying text over.

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APOLOGETICS: ETHICS

The Practical Impossibility of Atheism

By William Lane Craig
Guest Contributor

0 Comment(s)

CBN.com – Excerpted with permission from On Guard: Defending Your Faith with Reason and Precision

About the only solution the atheist can offer is that we face the absurdity of life and live bravely. The British philosopher Bertrand Russell, for example, believed that we have no choice but to build our lives upon “the firm foundation of unyielding despair.” Only by recognizing that the world really is a terrible place can we successfully come to terms with life. Camus said that we should honestly recognize life’s absurdity and then live in love for one another.

The fundamental problem with this solution, however, is that it’s impossible to live consistently and happily within the framework of such a worldview. If you live consistently, you will not be happy; if you live happily, it is only because you are not consistent.

Francis Schaeffer has explained this point well. Modern man, says 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.

Let’s look again, then, at each of the three areas in which we saw that life was absurd without God, to see how difficult it is to live consistently and happily with an atheistic worldview.

First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.

Now this is totally inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say life is objectively absurd and then to say you may create meaning for your life. If life is really absurd, then you’re trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. For the universe doesn’t really acquire a meaning just because I happen to give it one. This is easy to see: Suppose I give the universe one meaning, and you give it another. Who’s right? The answer, of course, is neither one. For the universe without God remains objectively meaningless, no matter how we happen to regard it. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling yourself.

The point is this: If God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.

Turn now to the problem of value. Here is where the most blatant inconsistencies occur. First of all, atheistic humanists are totally inconsistent in affirming the traditional values of love and brotherhood. Camus has been rightly criticized for inconsistently holding both to the absurdity of life and the ethics of human love and brotherhood. The view that there are no values is logically incompatible with affirming the values of love and brotherhood. Bertrand Russell, too, was inconsistent. For though he was an atheist, he was an outspoken social critic, denouncing war and restrictions on sexual freedom. Russell admitted that he could not live as though ethical values were simply a matter of personal taste, and that he therefore found his own views “incredible.” “I do not know the solution,” he confessed.6

The point is that if there is no God, then objective right and wrong do not exist. As Dostoyevsky said, “All things are permitted.” But man cannot live this way. So he makes a leap of faith and affirms values anyway. And when he does so, he reveals the inadequacy of a world without God.

The horror of a world devoid of value was brought home to me with new intensity several years ago as I watched a BBC television documentary called The Gathering. It concerned the reunion of survivors of the Holocaust in Jerusalem, where they rediscovered lost friendships and shared their experiences. One former prisoner, a nurse, told of how she was made the gynecologist at Auschwitz. She observed that pregnant women were grouped together by the soldiers under the direction of Dr. Josef Mengele and housed in the same barracks. Some time passed, and she noted that she no longer saw any of these women. She made inquiries. “Where are the pregnant women who were housed in that barracks?” “Haven’t you heard?” came the reply. “Dr. Mengele used them for vivisection.”

Another woman told of how Mengele had bound up her breasts so that she could not suckle her infant. The doctor wanted to learn how long an infant could survive without nourishment. Desperately this poor woman tried to keep her baby alive by giving it pieces of bread soaked in coffee, but to no avail. Each day the baby lost weight, a fact that was eagerly monitored by Dr. Mengele. A nurse then came secretly to this woman and told her, “I have arranged a way for you to get out of here, but you cannot take your baby with you. I have brought a morphine injection that you can give to your child to end its life.” When the woman protested, the nurse was insistent: “Look, your baby is going to die anyway. At least save yourself.” And so this mother felt compelled to take the life of her own baby. Dr. Mengele was furious when he learned of it because he had lost his experimental specimen, and he searched among the dead to find the baby’s discarded corpse so that he could have one last weighing.

My heart was torn by these stories. One rabbi who survived the camp summed it up well when he said that at Auschwitz it was as though there existed a world in which all the Ten Commandments were reversed. Mankind had never seen such a hell.

And yet, if God does not exist, then in a sense, our world is Auschwitz: There is no right and wrong; all things are permitted.

But no atheist, no agnostic, can live consistently with such a view. Nietzsche himself, who proclaimed the necessity of living beyond good and evil, broke with his mentor Richard Wagner precisely over the issue of the composer’s anti-Semitism and strident German nationalism. Similarly, Sartre, writing in the aftermath of the Second World War, condemned anti-Semitism, declaring that a doctrine that leads to mass extermination is not merely an opinion or matter of personal taste of equal value with its opposite. In his important essay “Existentialism Is a Humanism,” Sartre struggles vainly to elude the contradiction between his denial of divinely pre-established values and his urgent desire to affirm the value of human persons. Like Russell, he could not live with the implications of his own denial of ethical absolutes.

Neither can the so-called New Atheists like Richard Dawkins. For although he says that there is no evil, no good, nothing but pitiless indifference, he is an unabashed moralist. He vigorously condemns such actions as the harassment and abuse of homosexuals, religious indoctrination of children, the Incan practice of human sacrifice, and prizing cultural diversity over the interests of Amish children. He even goes so far as to offer his own amended Ten Commandments for guiding moral behavior, all the while marvelously oblivious to the contradiction with his ethical subjectivism.

Indeed, one will probably never find an atheist who lives consistently with his system. For a universe without moral accountability and devoid of value is unimaginably terrible.

Finally, let’s look at the problem of purpose in life. The only way most people who deny purpose in life live happily is either by making up some purpose—which amounts to self-delusion, as we saw with Sartre—or by not carrying their view to its logical conclusions. The temptation to invest one’s own petty plans and projects with objective significance and thereby to find some purpose to one’s life is almost irresistible.

For example, the outspoken atheist and Nobel Prize–winning physicist Steven Weinberg, at the close of his much-acclaimed book The First Three Minutes, writes,

It is almost irresistible for humans to believe that we have some special relation to the universe, that human life is not just a more-or-less farcical outcome of a chain of accidents reaching back to the first three minutes, but that somehow we were built in from the beginning.… It is very hard to realize that this all is just a tiny part of an overwhelmingly hostile universe. It is even harder to realize that this present universe has evolved from an unspeakably unfamiliar early condition, and faces a future extinction of endless cold or intolerable heat. The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.

But if there is no solace in the fruits of our research, there is at least some consolation in the research itself. Men and women are not content to comfort themselves with tales of gods and giants, or to confine their thoughts to the daily affairs of life; they also build telescopes and satellites and accelerators, and sit at their desks for endless hours working out the meaning of the data they gather. The effort to understand the universe is one of the very few things that lifts human life a little above the level of farce, and gives it some of the grace of tragedy.

There’s something strange about Weinberg’s moving description of the human predicament: Tragedy is not a neutral term. It expresses an evaluation of a situation. Weinberg evidently sees a life devoted to scientific pursuits as truly meaningful, and therefore it’s tragic that such a noble pursuit should be extinguished. But why, given atheism, should the pursuit of science be any different from slouching about doing nothing? Since there is no objective purpose to human life, none of our pursuits has any objective significance, however important and dear they may seem to us subjectively. They’re no more significant than shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.

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Woody Allen’s view of life

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What’s the Meaning of Life?

Jerry Solomon

The Questions Around Us

As I was driving to my office one day I heard a dramatic radio advertisement for a book. It began something like this: “Would you like to find meaning in life?” As I listened to the remainder of the ad I realized that the book’s author was focusing on New Age concepts of purpose and meaning. But the striking thing about what was said was that the advertisers obviously believed that they could get the attention of the radio audience by asking about meaning in life. Some may think it is advertising suicide to open an ad with such a question. Or perhaps the author and her publicists are on to something that “strikes a chord” with many people in our culture.

Questions of meaning and purpose are a part of the mental landscape as we enter a new millenium. Some contend this has not always been the case, but that such questions are an unprecedented legacy of the upheavals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.{3} Others assert that such questions are a result of man’s rejection of God.{4}

Even though most of us don’t make such issues a part of our normal conversations, the questions tend to lurk around us. They can be heard in songs, movies, books, magazines, and many other media that permeate our lives. For example, Jackson Browne, an exceptionally reflective songwriter of the ’60s and ’70s, wrote these haunting lyrics in a song entitled For a Dancer:

Into a dancer you have grown
From a seed somebody else has thrown
Go ahead and throw
Some seeds of your own
And somewhere between the time you arrive
And the time you go
May lie a reason you were alive….{5}

Russell Banks, the author of Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter, both of which became Oscar-nominated films, has this to say about his work: “I’m not a morbid man. In my writing, I’m just trying to describe the world as straightforwardly as I can. I think most lives are desperate and painful, despite surface appearances. If you consider anyone’s life for long, you find it’s without meaning.”{6}

Woody Allen, the film writer, director, and actor, has consistently populated his scripts with characters who exchange dialogue concerning meaning and purpose. In Hannah and Her Sisters a character named Mickey says, “Do you realize what a thread we’re all hanging by? Can you understand how meaningless everything is? Everything. I gotta get some answers.”{7}

Even television ads have focused on meaning, although in a flippant manner. A few years ago you could watch Michael Jordan running across hills and valleys in order to find a guru. When Jordan finds him he asks, “What is the meaning of life?” The guru answers with a maxim that leads to the product that is the real focus of Jordan’s quest.

Even though such illustrations can be ridiculous, maybe they serve to lead us beyond the surface of our subject. We often get nervous when we are encouraged to delve into subject matter that might stretch us. When we get involved in conversations that go beyond the more mundane things of everyday life we may tend to get tense and defensive. Actually, this can be a good thing. The Christian shouldn’t fear such conversations. Indeed, I’m confident that if we go beyond the surface, we can find peace and hope.

Beyond the Surface
Listen to the sober words of a famous writer of the twentieth century:

There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide. Judging whether life is worth living amounts to answering the fundamental question of philosophy…. I see many people die because they judge that life is not worth living. I see others paradoxically getting killed for the ideas or illusions that give them a reason for living (what is called a reason for living is an excellent reason for dying). I therefore conclude that the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions.{8}

These phrases indicate that Albert Camus, author of The Plague, The Stranger, and The Myth of Sisyphus, was not afraid to go beyond the surface. Camus was bold in exposing the thoughts many were having during his lifetime. In fact, his world view made it obligatory. He was struggling with questions of meaning in light of what some called the “death of God.” That is, if there is no God, can we find meaning? Many have concluded that the answer is a resounding “No!” If true, this means that one who believes there is no God is not living consistently with that belief.

William Lane Craig, one of the great Christian thinkers of our time, states that:

Man cannot live consistently and happily as though life were ultimately without meaning, value or purpose. If we try to live consistently within the atheistic world view, we shall find ourselves profoundly unhappy. If instead we manage to live happily, it is only by giving the lie to our world view.{9}

Francis Schaeffer agrees with Craig’s analysis, but makes even bolder assertions. He also maintains that the Christian can close the hopeless gap that is created in a person’s godless world view. Listen to what he wrote:

It is impossible for any non-Christian individual or group to be consistent to their system in logic or in practice. Thus, when you face twentieth-century man, whether he is brilliant or an ordinary man of the street, a man of the university or the docks, you are facing a man in tension; and it is this tension which works on your behalf as you speak to him.{10}

What happens when we go “beyond the surface” in order to find meaning? Can a Christian world view stand up to the challenge? I believe it can, but we must stop and think of whether we are willing to accept the challenge. David Henderson, a pastor and writer, gives us reason to pause and consider our response. He writes:

Our lives, like our Daytimers, are busy, busy, busy, full of things to do and places to go and people to see. Many of us, convinced that the opposite of an empty life is a full schedule, remain content to press on and ignore the deeper questions. Perhaps it is out of fear that we stuff our lives to the walls—fear that, were we to stop and ask the big questions, we would discover there are no satisfying answers after all.{11}

Let’s jettison any fear and continue our investigation. There are satisfying answers. It is not necessary to “stuff our lives to the walls” in order to escape questions of meaning and purpose. God has spoken to us. Let us begin to pursue His answers.

Eternity in Our Hearts

The book of Ecclesiastes contains numerous phrases that have entered our discourse. One of those phrases states that God “has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart. . .” (3:11). What a fascinating statement! Actually, the first part of the verse can be just as accurately translated “beautiful in its time.” Thus “a harmony of purpose and a beneficial supremacy of control pervade all issues of life to such an extent that they rightly challenge our admiration.”{12} The second part of the verse indicates that “man has a deep-seated ‘sense of eternity’, of purposes and destinies.”{13}But man can’t fathom the vastness of eternal things, even when he believes in the God of eternity. As a result, all people live with what some call a “God-shaped hole.” Stephen Evans believes this hole can be understood through “the desire for eternal life, the desire for eternal meaning, and the desire for eternal love:”{14}

The desire for eternal life is the most evident manifestation of the need for God. Deep in our hearts we feel death should not be, was not meant to be.

The second dimension of our craving for eternity is the desire for eternal meaning. We want lives that are eternally meaningful.

We crave eternity, and earthly loves resemble eternity enough to kindle our deepest love. Yet earthly loves are not eternal. Our sense that love is the clue to what it’s all about is right on target, but earthly love itself merely points us in the right direction.

What we want is an eternal love, a love that loves us unconditionally, accepts us as we are, while helping us to become all we can become.

In short, we want God, the God of Christian faith.{15}

We must trust God for what we cannot see and understand. Or, to put it another way, we continue to live knowing there is meaning, but we struggle to know exactly what it is at all times. We are striving for what the Bible refers to as our future glorification (Rom. 8:30). “There is something self-defeating about human desire, in that what is desired, when achieved, seems to leave the desire unsatisfied.”{16} For example, we attempt to find meaning while searching for what is beautiful. C.S. Lewis referred to this in a sermon entitled The Weight of Glory:

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them, and what came through them was longing. These things–the beauty, the memory of our own past–are good images of what we really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols, breaking the hearts of their worshippers. For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have not visited.{17}

Lewis’ remarkable prose reminds us that meaning must be given to us. “Meaning is never intrinsic; it is always derivative. If my life itself is to have meaning (or a meaning), it thus must derive its meaning from some sort of purposive, intentional activity. It must be endowed with meaning.”{18} Thus we return to God, the giver of meaning.

Meaning: God’s Gift

Think of all the wonderful gifts that God has given you. No doubt you can come up with a lengthy record of God’s goodness. Does your list include meaning or purpose in life? Most people wouldn’t think of meaning as part of God’s goodness to us. But perhaps we should. This is because “only a being like God–a creator of all who could eventually, in the words of the New Testament, ‘work all things together for good’–only this sort of being could guarantee a completeness and permanency of meaning for human lives.”{19}So how did God accomplish this? The answer rests in His amazing love for us through His Son, Jesus Christ.

Consider the profound words of Carl F.H. Henry: “the eternal and self-revealed Logos, incarnate in Jesus Christ, is the foundation of all meaning.”{20} Bruce Lockerbie puts it like this: “The divine nature manifesting itself in the physical form of Jesus of Nazareth is, in fact, the integrating principle to which all life adheres, the focal point from which all being takes its meaning, the source of all coherence in the universe. Around him and him alone all else may be said to radiate. He is the Cosmic Center.”{21}

Picture a bicycle. When you ride one you are putting your weight on a multitude of spokes that radiate from a hub. All the spokes meet at the center and rotate around it. The bicycle moves based upon the center. Thus it is with Christ. He is the center around whom we move and find meaning. Our focus is on Him.

When the apostle Paul reflected on meaning and purpose in his life in Phillipians 3, he came to this conclusion (emphases added):

7…whatever things were gain to me, those things I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ.

8 More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish in order that I may gain Christ,

9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith,

10 that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death;

11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Did you notice how Christ was central to what Paul had to say about both his past and present? And did you notice that he used phrases such as “knowing Christ,” or “that I may gain Christ?” Such statements appear to be crucial to Paul’s sense of meaning and purpose. Paul wants “to know” Christ intimately, which means he wants to know by experience. “Paul wants to come to know the Lord Jesus in that fulness of experimental knowledge which is only wrought by being like Him.”{22}

Personally, Paul’s thoughts are important words of encouragement in my life. God through Christ gives meaning and purpose to me. And until I am glorified, I will strive to know Him and be like Him. Praise God for Jesus Christ, His gift of meaning!
Notes
1. James Dobson, Focus on the Family Newsletter (May 1996).
2. Ibid.
3. Gerhard Sauter, The Question of Meaning, trans. and ed. Geoffrey W. Bromiley (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1982).
4. Charles R. Swindoll, Living on the Ragged Edge (Waco, TX: Word, 1985).
5. Jackson Browne, “For a Dancer,” in James F. Harris, Philosophy at 33 1/3 rpm: Themes of Classic Rock Music (Chicago: Open Court, 1993), 68.
6. Russell Banks, in Jerome Weeks, “Continental Divide,” The Dallas Morning News (2 March 1999), 2C.
7. Woody Allen, Hannah and Her Sisters, in Thomas V. Morris, Making Sense of It All: Pascal and the Meaning of Life (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1992), 54.
8. Albert Camus, The Myth of Sisyphus, trans. Justin O’Brien (New York: Vintage, 1960), 3-4.
9. William Lane Craig, Reasonable Faith: Christian Truth and Apologetics (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1994), 71.
10. Francis A. Schaeffer, The God Who Is There (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1968), 122.
11. David W. Henderson, Culture Shift: Communicating God’s Truth to Our Changing World (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1998), 186.
12. H.C. Leupold, Exposition of Ecclesiastes (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1952), 90.
13. Ibid., 91.
14. C. Stephen Evans, Why Believe? Reason and Mystery as Pointers to God, revised ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1996), 58-60.
15. Ibid.
16. Alistair McGrath, A Cloud of Witnesses (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 127.
17. C.S. Lewis, in “The Weight of Glory,” quoted in Alistair McGrath, A Cloud of Witnesses, 127.
18. Morris, 57.
19. Ibid., 62.
20. Carl F.H. Henry, God Revelation and Authority, Vol. III (Waco, TX: Word, 1979), 195.
21. D. Bruce Lockerbie, The Cosmic Center: The Supremacy of Christ in a Secular Wasteland (Portland, OR: Multnomah, 1986),127-128.
22. Kenneth S. Wuest, Wuest’s Word Studies From the Greek New Testament, Volume Two (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1973), 93.
© 1999 Probe Ministries International

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Featured Photographer is Martin Karplus

Martin Karplus on his passions

Two passions are Photography and cooking in famous Paris restaurants.

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THURSDAY SEP 25 – FRIDAY NOV 28, 2014

Presented by the
Austrian Cultural Forum New York

>> OPEN DAILY, 10 AM – 6 PM. FREE ADMISSION.

Martin Karplus is a chemist, Professor emeritus at Harvard University, and Nobel laureate who has spent the past fifty years consumed by a passion for documenting humanity in thousands of photographs. Sourced from Europe, Asia, and the Americas, his photographs capture societies at pivotal moments in their cultural and economic development in rich Kodachrome color.

In 1953, the Austrian-born, American Karplus received his uncle’s Leica camera as a gift from his parents and headed to Oxford University on a fellowship. In the following years he would spend months exploring the globe, documenting what he describes a “vision of a world, much of which no longer exists”.

Images from the Netherlands, Denmark, Greece, Italy, France, Yugoslavia, and Germany present the closure of a bygone lifestyle as societies modernized and rebuilt in the wake of World War 2 and the dawning of the Cold War. Further travels throughout the 1950s took him to the Americas, where he photographed the exuberance of suburban Californian prosperity alongside Native and Latin Americans living a way of life uninterrupted for centuries, yet largely unheard of today. A more recent series from 2008-09 presents a look at China and India as each nation’s unfurling economy brings rapid modernization, as well as to Japan, where it has firmly taken root.

[Image: Martin Karplus, Portrait Martin Karplus, Marineland of the Pacific, California, 1956, ©Martin Karplus Photography]

images

MARTIN KARPLUS

Schönbrunn, Austria, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Rome, Italy, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Ferry along the Moselle, Germany, 1954
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Sarajevo, Bosnia, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Near Biograd, Croatia, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Copenhagen, Denmark, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Waiting for the ferry to Denmark, 1955
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Grand Canyon, Arizona, 1956
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Gallup, New Mexico, 1956
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Cuzco, Peru, 1960
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

MARTIN KARPLUS

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1960
kodachrome
©Martin Karplus Photography

credits

Exhibition Coordinator Natascha Boojar
Exhibition Assistants Lisa-Joanna Csanyi, Sophie Gogl

With generous support from The Office of Science and Technology Austria (OSTA)

Supporting Institutions of the Austrian Cultural Forum New York Air BerlinEsterházy WineryStiegl

Special thanks to Franklin Castanien, Taylor Hawkins, Stefan Hoza, Geraldine Lau

Jewish Trio Win Nobel Prize for Chemistry: Michael Levitt, Martin Karplus and Arieh Warshel awarded

Published on Oct 11, 2013

A three man team of professors has won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. And all three are Jewish, with two hailing from Israel. Michael Levitt, a British-US citizen of Stanford University; US-Austrian Martin Karplus of Strasbourg University and Harvard; and US-Israeli Arieh Warshel of the University of Southern California will share this year’s prize of around USD 1.25 million. Warshel said the work for which he and his colleagues received the prize is for developing a method that allowed them to understand how proteins work. The trio devised computer simulations to understand chemical processes. In so doing, they revolutionized research in areas ranging from pharmaceuticals to solar energy.

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Two Israeli scientists who emigrated to U.S. win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt, and Martin Karplus win prize for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems; all three scientists are Jewish, while Warshel and Levitt hold Israeli citizenship.

By and | Oct. 9, 2013 | 10:24 PM

Three Jewish scientists – two of them Israelis who had emigrated to the U.S. – won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry on Wednesday.

Arieh Warshel, Michael Levitt and Martin Karplus were awarded the top international prize for the development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on Wednesday said, upon awarding the prize of 8 million crowns ($1.25 million), that their research in the 1970s has helped scientists develop programs that unveil chemical processes such as the purification of exhaust fumes or the photosynthesis in green leaves.

“The work of Karplus, Levitt and Warshel is ground-breaking in that they managed to make Newton’s classical physics work side-by-side with the fundamentally different quantum physics,” the academy said. “Previously, chemists had to choose to use either/or.”

All three winners are American citizens, but also hold dual citizenships. Warshel and Levitt are Israeli citizens, and both studied and worked at the Weizmann Institute in Israel, where Levitt also served as head of the Chemical Physics Department. Warshel was also educated at the Technion. Austrian-born Karplus had fled the Nazis to the U.S. as a child. The Nobel prize was awarded to them on the basis of their research at American universities.

Warshel is a U.S. and Israeli citizen affiliated with the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, Levitt is a U.S., Israeli and British citizen and a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine, and Karplus is affiliated with the University of Strasbourg, France, and Harvard University.

Pretoria-born Levitt immigrated to Israel at the age of 35 in 1983. He married an Israeli, and worked a few years at the Weizmann Institute until he left for Stanford.

“I can’t say I moved there because the conditions in Israel were not satisfactory,” Levitt told Israel Army Radio. “In all honesty, to this day I can’t quite say why I left the country, my connection to it being very strong. […] My wife is Israeli, I have two sons living in Israel.”

When visiting Israel, Levitt resides in a Rehovot flat, but recently has been  considering a move to Tel Aviv, which he called “an amazing city.”

“I am being asked all the time what I plan to do with the winnings, but it isn’t enough to buy a flat in Tel Aviv with.”
‘I didn’t leave by choice’

Warshel completed his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in 1966.

The person who supervised Warshel in his final project, ‘his first scientific father,’ you could say, was Prof. Ruben Pauncz, who was the first in Israel who dealt with quantum chemistry and calculations of the molecular and atomic systems. Through him, Warshel entered the field of theoretical chemistry.

“I was very happy to hear of Arieh Warshel’s winning [the Nobel Prize]”, Pauncz, now 93 years old, told Haaretz. “There were very many students over the years and I remember him somewhat hazily. I remember at some point speaking with Prof. Shneior Lifson of the Weizmann Institute, who supervised his doctorate work, and I remember he was impressed by his intellectual abilities.”

From the Technion, Warshel continued on to the Weizmann Institute of Science, where, in 1970 he completed his Ph. D. degree after three years of work. He spent four years there as a researcher in the Molecular Biology Department, from 1972 to 1976, and then in the late 1970s left for the United States, after not being able to receive tenure at the Institute, according to Speiser.

“The primary reason I left [the Weitzmann Institute] was the difficulties I had in progressing [there],” said Warshel, interviewed Wednesday on Channel 2. “I didn’t leave by choice, so I am not a good example for the‘brain drain’ issue,” he added.

As to his relationship with Israel, Warshel said “I still define myself as an Israeli, but it isn’t a clear definition. I have two passports. I speak Hebrew, and sometimes pass to English.” But, he concluded his answer, “I act like an Israeli.”

“I was sleeping when I got the news,” he said. “My wife got a call, and after verifying a Swedish accent was on the other end I was very pleased.”

Warshel’s wife Tamar told Israel Radio on Wednesday that her husband “didn’t know how to sell himself well enough to Israeli academia,” when asked about his leaving Israel.

Benny Shalev, Warshel’s brother, spoke to  him after the announcement. “He was very excited – like someone who won the Nobel Prize. He may not have been completely surprised since he has been a candidate to receive the prize for a few years already, but it is still a very nice surprise,” Shalev told Haaretz.

Warshel visits Israel once a year and was last here three months ago, said his brother. “He came to lecture at Tel Aviv University and Weizmann Institute.” As to the reasons Warshel left Weizmann, Shalev said: “There are a lot of smart people in Israel and at the same time there was not a job – so he left.”

Warshel won the prize for his development of computer programs that describe the processes of complex chemical and biological systems using quantum mechanical and classical models, explained Prof. Alon Hoffman, the dean of the Schulich Faculty of Chemistry at the Technion.

“Today, in biological systems we are trying to understand how proteins work and how drugs work, for example, on proteins. With the aid of these [computer] programs we can predict the nature of the interaction between the protein and the drug, the responses of the active ingredients, etc. To predict the processes using computerized methods has great importance and it allows the development of new materials and drugs,” said Hoffman.

“In short, what we developed is a method which requires computers to look, to take the structure of the protein and then to eventually understand how exactly it does what it does,” Warshel said. When scientists wanted to simulate complex chemical processes on computers, they used to have to choose between software that was based on quantum physics, which applies on the scale of an atom, or classical Newtonian physics, which operates at larger scales. The academy said the three laureates developed computer models that “opened a gate between these two worlds.”

While quantum mechanics is more accurate, it is impossible to use on large molecules because the equations are too complex to solve. By using quantum mechanics only for key parts of molecules and classical physics for the rest, the blended approach delivers the accuracy of the quantum approach with manageable computations.

“They certainly deserve the prize. They are trailblazers and to a great extent they founded this field,” said Prof. Hanoch Senderowitz of the chemistry department at Bar-Ilan University, who also works in the area of computerized models of chemical and biological systems.

“The specific field which they specialize in is molecular dynamics and in their first simulation they ran on biological systems. To receive a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in a theoretical field is exceptional,” said Senderowitz.

“The great majority of Nobel Prize winners are experimentalists. I think that this is mostly because people have finally understood the importance of this field and the things it can bring. For people in this field, international recognition is important, because we are talking about a computing tool that always went hand in hand with the experimental work. When you develop a computer model you always validate it against experimental results, since only after you validate it a great number of times can you achieve results,” explained Senderowitz.

Chemistry was the third of this year’s Nobel prizes, medicine and physics were already awarded. The prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were first awarded in 1901 in accordance with the will of businessman and dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel.

Israel’s history of Nobel Prizes

Israel has an impressive showing when it comes to Nobel winners, with 11 laureates in its 65-year history. Most recently, Israeli scientist Daniel Shechtman won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2011, just two years afterAda Yonath won the same award in 2009. Other Israelis to have won the prestigious prize in Chemistry were Aaron Ciechanover and Avram Hershko in 2004. Three Israeli politicians have also won the Nobel Prize for peace – Menachem Begin in 1978, and Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin in 1994.

The other Israeli Nobel laureates are Robert Aumann and Daniel Kahneman, who won the prize in economic sciences in 2005 and 2002 respectively, and Shmuel Yosef Agnon, who won the prize in literature in 1966.

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ADRIAN ROGERS “4 Miracle Prophecies Christians Should Know about Israel”

Adrian Rogers: Why I Love Israel [#2349]

Adrian Rogers: Is God Through with the Jews? [#2070] (Audio)

4 Miracle Prophecies Christians Should Know about Israel

city of Jerusalem

“Thou shalt arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time to favor her, yea, the set time is come. For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones and favor the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the Lord and all of the kings of the earth Thy glory. When the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.” Psalm 102:13-16

People sometimes ask me, “Pastor, why do you keep going back to the land of Israel?” Because I love the land and I love her people.They are God’s chosen people, a people of destiny. I go to Israel for two reasons.

One, I love her past. I love to look back and see the land where my Savior lived and walked and talked. I love to study the Bible on location. It causes the Bible to burst aflame in your hands.

Two, I want help in understanding the present and the future, because there is Bible prophecy yet to be fulfilled. Keep your eyes on Zion, God’s holy land. As the Jew goes, so goes the world. The Jews are God’s yardstick, God’s outline, God’s blueprint, for what He’s up to in the rest of the world.

The land of Israel, I believe, is the most important spot on earth. The most important city is not Washington or Moscow, but Jerusalem. The most important land, believe it or not, is not America but tiny Israel, about the size of New Jersey.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/silverjohn

Map of Israel

What Does the Bible Have to Say about Israel?

Israel: the geographic center. “See, I have set thee in the midst of the nations (Ezekiel 5:5). Israel, called “the navel of the earth,” is strategically located at the hub of three continents.

Israel: the revelation center. From this land, the land of Moses, the prophets and the apostles, came the Word of God.

Israel: the spiritual center. In Bethlehem Jesus was born. In Nazareth He grew to maturity. In Galilee He walked and taught on the mountainsides and beside the Sea. In Jerusalem our Lord was crucified, buried and rose from the dead. From the Mount of Olives He ascended. And to the Mount of Olives He will return; His feet will first touch down upon the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4).

Israel: the prophecy center. Prophecy is “pre-written history.” The land of Israel is the only land belonging to God’s people. The details of their future are minutely recorded in the Bible. If you want to know what God is doing, study Israel and her people.

Israel: the storm center. The Middle East, specifically Israel, is the world’s greatest trouble spot. The Bible says “Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone for all people” of the world[CAP1] [CA2] – (Zechariah 12:3), and indeed we see in the daily news the gathering storm clouds of Armageddon.

Israel: also the peace center. We’re told to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). There will never be peace on earth until there’s peace in Jerusalem, until Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, rules and reigns from Jerusalem. When we’re praying for the peace of Jerusalem, we’re praying, “Even so, come Lord Jesus.” We want our Lord to reign from Zion, to sit upon the throne of his father David.

Israel: one day will be the glory center. When our Lord returns, all nations of the world will come to Jerusalem to worship (Micah 2:3). Jerusalem will be the capital city not only of Israel but of the entire world, and the Word of the Lord shall go forth from Zion (Isaiah 2:3). Jesus will reign from Jerusalem (Luke 1:32). Israel is at the center of God’s plan.

As we look at Israel, I want you to see four miracle prophecies about this land.

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Generation (How Israel Came to Be a Nation)

In Genesis 18:18 God gave Abraham, the father of the Jewish people, the promise of a son—and descendants. He said, “Abraham, through your son all the nations of the world are going to be blessed” (Genesis 12:3, 22:18). When Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90, God gave them a miracle child. Every Jew alive today is the direct result of a miracle birth. Therefore, our precious Jewish friends should have no difficulty believing in the virgin birth because every one of them is here because of a miracle birth. That’s the miracle of the generation of the Jewish people.

Then God promised Abraham a land for His people. God Himself gave Abraham the land we call Israel. And He gave it irrevocably. (Genesis 12:1, 15:16, 15:18-21Deuteronomy 9:4)

Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Matthew Brosseau

Silhouette of man waving Israel flag on mountain top

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Preservation – Part 1

Not only did God bring Israel into being as a miracle nation, but God keeps Israel as a miracle nation. Psalm 89 shows God’s heart on this.

18 For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king…. 20 I have found David My servant; with My holy oil have I anointed him: 21 With whom My hand shall be established: Mine arm also shall strengthen him. 22 The enemy shall not exact upon him; nor the son of wickedness afflict him. 23 And I will beat down his foes before his face, and plague them that hate him. 24 But My faithfulness and My mercy shall be with him: and in My name shall his horn be exalted…. 27 “Also I will make him My first born, higher than the kings of the earth. 28 My mercy will I keep for him forevermore and My covenant [an unbreakable promise] shall stand fast with him. 29 His seed also will I make to endure forever and his throne as the days of heaven.”

God declares the descendants of David shall endure. Looking down through the tunnel of time, He foresaw (v. 30) that if David’s descendants 30 “forsake My law and walk not in My judgments [and by the way, they have forsaken God’s law and not walked in His judgments] 31”If they break My statutes and keep not My commandments,” [they have broken His statutes, they have not kept His commandments], then God says, “32 Then will I visit their transgression with the rod and their iniquity with stripes. 33 Nevertheless,” [highlight the word “nevertheless] “My lovingkindness will I not utterly take from him, nor suffer My faithfulness to fail, 34 My covenant will I not break nor alter the thing that is gone out of My lips, 35 Once have I sworn by My holiness that I will not lie unto David. 36 His seed shall endure forever and his throne as the sun before Me. 37 It shall be established forever as the moon, even like the faithful witness in the sky. Selah.” [Selah means “pause and think about that.”]

God has said:

the Jews would be disobedient—and they were,

the Jews would be dispersed—and they were,

the Jew would be discredited—and they were,

but you could no more destroy the Jewish race than you could destroy the sun, the moon and stars. They may be chastised, they may suffer, but God said, “I will keep My word to David, his seed shall endure” (v. 29).

Jeremiah 31:35-37 confirms this.

35 Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for a light by day, the ordinances of the moon and the stars for a light by night, Who disturbs the sea, And its waves roar (The Lord of hosts is His name): 36 “If those ordinances depart from before Me, says the Lord, then the seed of Israel shall also cease from being a nation before Me forever.” 37 Thus says the Lord: “If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,” says the Lord.

Moses holding tablets on mountain top

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Preservation – Part 2

If you want to get rid of the nation Israel, you will first have to get rid of the sun, moon, and stars. In other words, God is saying, “I’ll tell you when I’ll cast off Israel: the same day you can tell Me how high is ‘up.’ I’ll cast off Israel the same day you can show Me what this earth suspended in space is resting upon. You’ll have to pluck the sun, moon, stars from My heaven before you can annihilate this nation.”

They exist as a miracle nation. They stand beside the graves of their persecutors.  They live on. When they returned, the land was a rock-filled desert. Zion now is blooming as a rose.

Every Jew is here today because of God’s keeping, preserving power upon His chosen people.

Throughout history, Satan, Israel’s ancient foe, has tried to eradicate this nation and obliterate this promise, but he could not do it.

Egypt’s pharaoh could not diminish God’s chosen people.

The Red Sea could not drown them.

Jonah’s whale could not digest them.

Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace could not burn them.

The gallows of horrible Haman could not execute them.

The dictators of this world have not been able to annihilate them.

The nations of this world have not been able to assimilate them.

When other peoples have been taken from their homelands, when they have been scattered, soon they’ve been absorbed, assimilated—swallowed up, so to speak—into the culture of their new location and cannot be traced.

But for nineteen centuries the Jewish people, wherever they were found, kept themselves together, maintaining their traditions, laws, statutes and even language. God preserved them as a nation, an identifiable people.

God said He would “visit their iniquity with stripes” and indeed He has. They suffered unmentionable atrocities under Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander the Great and the Greeks, Nero and the Romans, under the Turks, and Hitler. Under Russia they have and are now suffering. Under the Arab nations they have and are suffering. But they have endured because God’s Word prophesied they would endure.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImagesfotofrankyat

Jerusalem city

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Restoration – Part 1

After centuries in exile, God once again brought His people back into their land. In my estimation the most amazing thing that has happened in recent history has not been the end of World War II or placing a man on the moon, but the day when Israel was reborn, reconstituted as a nation.

Through the prophet Amos, God said,

And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the way cities, and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and drink the wine thereof; and they shall also make gardens and eat the fruit of them. And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” (Amos 9:14-15)

God says, “I’ll bring them back and plant them there, and no one will uproot them.” God has brought them back to stay, regardless of what anyone says about it.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Xantana

Old Bible with sword next to it

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Restoration – Part 2

May 14, 1948, Israel’s declaration day of independence, I was playing high school football. Little did I realize the impact of that moment—God’s fulfillment of Bible prophecy. At that moment, 650,000 Jews were surrounded by six Arab states and 40 million enemies who had sworn by Allah that they would exterminate Israel, drench the soil with Israeli blood, and drive them into the sea. With a fury, immediately five Arab armies swept down from the east toward the west and on to Tel-Aviv.  But God miraculously preserved this little nation. Before that time, a Jew was subject to arrest for even carrying a gun. But by the time the UN called for an armistice, these people who were supposed to be “pushed off into the sea” were 150 miles into Egyptian territory. How did that happen?

The Israelis secretly took old automobiles and buses to sheds, where they welded boiler plates to the sides to make tanks. They took hoe handles and broomsticks and painted them to look like guns to appear better armed.

As Arab legions advanced through some groves, they encountered thousands of beehives.  The Israelis are beekeepers.  After all, you can’t have a land flowing with milk and honey without bees.  And it just so happened in the attack, these hives were overturned. Millions of bees swarmed out and began stinging. They dropped their modern weapons in consternation and fled. Later, when the bees went back into their hives, the Israelis went out and picked up the much-needed weapons.

At the same time, coming from the north, others from Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq attacked across the Jezreel Valley.  When they got to the middle of that valley, a strange sickness like dysentery disabled them.  They were so weak they couldn’t fight.  At that same moment, here came the Israelis with the weapons they had picked up from the battle of the bees.  An American newspaper ran this headline, “The Bees Fight for Israel.”  They captured those who were sick in the valley of Jezreel. The record reports that on one occasion, 20,000 Arabs were captured by 400 Israelis.

Don’t give Israel credit for that.  God said, “I will bring them again into their own land.”  I don’t think the Israeli cause has always been just.  I don’t think the American cause has always been just. I don’t think the Arab cause has always been just. I don’t think you can say any cause is always just if man has to do with it.  But God is over the affairs of men. God rules in the affairs of men. And God said, “I will bring them back.” God brought them back.

Similar things happened in the Six Day War in 1967. Again it seems God wasn’t neutral. Jordan, Egypt and Syria united with one stated goal: “Wipe Israel off the map.”  But it was over in six days. Outnumbered 80 to one, God gave His ancient people victory.

The same was true in 1973, the Yom Kippur War. Israel’s enemies invaded on Israel’s holiest day, when no one would expect it. God again seemed to intervene when both Israeli and Syrian forces reported strange events that caused Israel’s enemies to surrender.

The Bible predicts that in the last days the same will happen when Russia invades the Middle East. Russia will be brought to her knees on the mountains of Israel. Ezekiel 38 and 39 relate this amazing prophecy.

When the battle of Armageddon is fought, when the forces of anti-Christ gather once more against Jerusalem, God will again come to the rescue of His people in that great, final war for Israel and her survival. What we see today is a foretaste of that.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about when they shall be in siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”  Zechariah 12:2-3

When that battle comes, Zechariah says the LORD will fight for Israel.

In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (12:8-9)

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city of Jerusalem

The Prophecy of Israel’s Miraculous Regeneration

Look what happens in their hearts after all this occurs.

And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications, and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son and shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:10

What a day that will be! The eyes of God’s people will be opened. With deep mourning, they will recognize their Messiah as the one their forefathers pierced.

…there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.  (13:1)

God will remove the idols from Israel once and for all (v. 2). Then He will bring those remaining through the fire,

 …and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on My name, and I will hear them: I will say, “It is my people,” and they shall say, “The Lord is my God.” (13:9)

One of the signs that Jesus Christ is coming soon is the sign that Zion is being built up.

We long for this day! This is Israel’s glorious future—and you may be sure, God is going to bring it to pass.

Photo courtesy: ©GettyImages/Jacek_sopotnicki

Map of Israel

How Israel and the Jews Have Shaped History

As you study history, you learn that the indestructible Jew has left his indelible mark upon history. The Jewish people are not great in number. Of the world’s population, they are only 0.2%. That’s not two percent.  That’s less than one-fourth of one percent. Yet did you know that 22% of Nobel Prize winners have been Jews? In 2013, six of the 12 laureates were Jewish. Think of that.

Abraham’s descendants consistently win high percentages not just of Nobel Prizes but other awards in medicine, health, music, and public life. What a mark they’ve made upon our world.

Did you know it was a Jew who financed Christopher Columbus when he set sail for the west? Of his crew members, the first to set foot on American soil was a Jew. Did you know that a Jew, Haym Salomon, financed General George Washington in our Revolutionary War?

Have you ever taken an aspirin? Friedrich Bayer, whose company developed aspirin, was a Jew. Were you vaccinated for polio as a child? The injectable and oral polio vaccines of Salk and Sabin were so effective, the disease has been all but eradicated.

Has the dentist ever deadened your tooth before he started to drill? Alfred Einhorn, who developed Novocain, was a Jew. If you’re an anti-Semite, the next time you go to the dentist, why don’t you say, “Just drill away, don’t deaden my pain.” Have you ever had local anesthesia? Its inventor, Carl Koller, was a Jew.

When you developed an infection, the doctor prescribed streptomycin, developed by Waksman, a Jew. Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, was a Jew. Are you a student of philosophy? Spinoza was a Jew. Do you appreciate the Salvation Army? Its founder, William Booth, had a Jewish mother.

It’s amazing to study the mark God’s chosen people have made on the world. Jews can be thanked for the discovery of electromagnetic waves, the transistor, the first laser, oral contraceptives, antihistamines, anti-leukemia drugs, the electron microscope, vaccines against cholera and bubonic plague, the camera phone, nuclear fission reactor, sound-on-film technology, the discovery of neurotransmitters, the process by which we do MRIs, the Hepatitis-B vaccine, the first exact map of the moon—and do you like American music? Thank George and Ira Gershwin, Aaron Copland, Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Lerner and Lowe, and Stephen Sondheim, to name only a few.

All history has been dramatically impacted by six Jews:  Moses, Paul, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, Albert Einstein, and above them all, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Photo courtesy: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/ Pontuse

Based on the articles Israel and Bible Prophecy What Does the Future Hold? Part 1 and Part 2, orginially published on OnePlace.com. Used with permission

Publication date: March 22, 2018

Francis Schaeffer

I remember like yesterday hearing my pastor Adrian Rogers in 1979 going through the amazing fulfilled prophecy of Ezekiel 26-28 and the story of the city of Tyre. In 1980 in my senior year (taught by Mark Brink) at Evangelical Christian High School, I watched the film series by Francis Schaeffer called WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE? Later that same year I read the book by the same name and I was amazed at the historical accuracy of the Bible and the many examples from archaeology that Schaeffer gave and recently I have shared several of these in my current series on Schaeffer and the Beatles. The reason I did that was because many people in the 1960’s had taken non-rational leaps into such areas as communism, the occult, drugs, and eastern mysticism,  but sitting right there in front of them was the historical accurate Bible which contained sufficient evidence to warrant trust.

(Adrian Rogers met with Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.)

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(This was the average sanctuary crowd when I was growing up at Bellevue Baptist in Memphis)

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Anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows that politically Milton Friedman and Ronald Reagan were my heroes. Spiritually my heroes have been both Francis Schaeffer and Adrian Rogers. An interesting fact about both of these two men and that is they both believed the Bible is the inspired and inerrant word of God. Both men defended the historical accuracy of the Bible even though both of the religious denominations they belonged to started to shift to the liberal view that the Bible contains errors in it.

H. L. Mencken
H l mencken.jpg

J. Gresham Machen

J. Gresham Machen

Francis Schaeffer’s battle on this issue came in the 1930’s when he got to know Dr. J. Gresham Machen was involved in a battle with  the Presbyterian Church USA over their leftward shift in theology. Francis Schaeffer observed:

H.L. Mencken died when I was a young man and I read some of the stuff he wrote and he came at just the point of the total collapse of the American consensus back in the 1930’s or a little before. H.L.Mencken was very destructive to the American consensus and he was way out. It is he who said the famous thing about Dr. J. Gresham Machen. Dr. Machen was the man who was fighting the battle for historic Christianity against the liberals in the big denominations and expressly the Presbyterian denomination and the liberals were trying to laugh Machen out of court. But H.L. Mencken said a remarkable thing, “Well, if you really want to be a Christian there is only one kind of Christian to be and that is the Machen kind.” This is wonderful. This is exactly where the battlefield is. When you take Christianity and chip away at it like the liberals wanted to do then you don’t have anything left. This is no halfway war. If you are going to be a Christian you have to be a biblical Christian. Machen and Mencken understood this and this is my position too.  

Adrian Rogers also was that type of Christian too. Recently a relative told me that his Bible Study Teacher at the church he started attended recently started a series on Genesis and he said on the front end that evolution is true. I encouraged my relative to ask the simple question: DO YOU BELIEVE IN A LITERAL “ADAM AND EVE?” I sent him the sermon on Evolution by Adrian Rogers and here is a portion of it below:

H.G. Wells

H. G. Wells, the brilliant historian who wrote The Outlines of History, said this—and I quote: “If all animals and man evolved, then there were no first parents, and no Paradise, and no Fall. If there had been no Fall, then the entire historic fabric of Christianity, the story of the first sin, and the reason for the atonement, collapses like a house of cards.” H. G. Wells says—and, by the way, I don’t believe that he did believe in creation—but he said, “If there’s no creation, then you’ve ripped away the foundation of Christianity.”

Now, the Bible teaches that man was created by God and that he fell into sin. The evolutionist believes that he started in some primordial soup and has been coming up and up. And, these two ideas are diametrically opposed. What we call sin the evolutionist would just call a stumble up. And so, the evolutionist believes that all a man needs—he’s just going up and up, and better and better—he needs a boost from beneath. The Bible teaches he’s a sinner and needs a birth from above. And, these are both at heads, in collision.

What is evolution? Evolution is man’s way of hiding from God, because, if there’s no creation, there is no Creator. And, if you remove God from the equation, then sinful man has his biggest problem removed—and that is responsibility to a holy God. And, once you remove God from the equation, then man can think what he wants to think, do what he wants to do, be what he wants to be, and no holds barred, and he has no fear of future judgment.

Francis Schaeffer & the SBC

Actually Francis Schaeffer’s good friend Paige Patterson talked Adrian Rogers into running for President of the Southern Baptist Convention in 1979 and the liberal shift was halted. In the article “Francis Schaeffer ‘indispensable’ to SBC,” (Thursday, October 30, 2014,)  David Roach wrote:

The late Francis Schaeffer was known to pick up the phone during the early years of the Southern Baptist Convention’s conservative resurgence. Paige Patterson knew to expect a call from Schaeffer around Christmas with the question, “You’re not growing weary in well-doing are you?”

Patterson, a leader in the movement to return the SBC to a high view of Scripture, would reply, “No, Dr. Schaeffer. I’m under fire, but I’m doing fine. And I’m trusting the Lord and proceeding on.”

To some it may seem strange that an international Presbyterian apologist and analyst of pop culture would take such interest in a Baptist controversy over biblical inerrancy.

But to Schaeffer it made perfect sense.

He believed churches were acquiescing to the world, abandoning their belief that the Bible is without error in everything it said. A watered-down theology left the SBC with decreased power to battle cultural evils. To Schaeffer the convention was the last major American denomination with hope for reversing this “great evangelical disaster,” as he put it.

Thirty years after Schaeffer’s death, Baptist leaders still remember how he took time from his speaking, writing and filmmaking schedule to quietly encourage Patterson; Paul Pressler, a judge from Texas with whom Patterson worked closely during the conservative resurgence; Adrian Rogers, a Memphis pastor who served three terms SBC president; and others.

By the early 1990s, conservatives had elected an unbroken string of convention presidents and moved in position to shift the balance of power on all convention boards and committees from the theologically moderate establishment. But at the time of Schaeffer’s annual calls, the outcome of the controversy was still in doubt.

(Paige Patterson)

“I strongly suspect that he was afraid I would not hold strong,” Patterson, now president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Texas, told Baptist Press. “He had seen so many people fold up under pressure that he assumed we probably would too. So he would call and ask for a report.”

Schaeffer’s interest in engaging culture made him particularly appealing to Southern Baptist conservatives. He helped provide them with a “battle plan” to fight cultural evils and what they perceived as theological drift in their denomination, Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary, told BP.

Along with theologian Carl F.H. Henry, Schaeffer was the key intellectual influence on leaders of the conservative resurgence, Land said. When conservatives started to be elected as the executives of Baptist institutions, Henry spoke at Land’s inauguration at the Christian Life Commission (the ERLC’s precursor), R. Albert Mohler Jr.’s at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kentucky and Timothy George’s at Beeson Divinity School in Alabama.

“If Schaeffer had still been alive, we would have had him come,” Land said. He noted that Schaeffer was “close” to Rogers and “admired” by Bailey Smith, two conservative SBC presidents. Edith Schaeffer and Patterson’s wife Dorothy were close friends and traveled together in the early 1980s speaking on the importance of the home.

Clark Pinnock, a former New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary professor who mentored conservative resurgence leaders before taking a leftward theological turn in his own thinking, served on Schaeffer’s staff at L’Abri.

BP Photo
Paige Patterson and Adrian Rogers share a time of prayer in the early moments of the Conservative Resurgence movement within the Southern Baptist Convention.

Image result for ADRIAN ROGERS richard land

Ron Dunn with Adrian Rogers above

Dr. Francis Schaeffer: The Biblical Flow of History & Truth

Whatever Happened To The Human Race? | Episode 5 | Truth and History (20…

Mount Sinai is one of the most important sites of the entire Bible. It was here that the Hebrew people came shortly after their flight from Egypt. Here God spoke to them through Moses, giving them directions for their life as newly formed nation and making a covenant with them.

The thing to notice about this epochal moment for Israel is the emphasis on history which the Bible itself makes. Time and time again Moses reminds the people of what has happened on Mount Sinai:

Deuteronomy 4:11-12New International Version (NIV)

11 You came near and stood at the foot of the mountain while it blazed with fireto the very heavens, with black clouds and deep darkness. 12 Then the Lordspoke to you out of the fire. You heard the sound of words but saw no form;there was only a voice.

Moses emphasized that those alive at the time had actually heard God’s voice. They had received God’s direct communication  in words. They were eyewitnesses of what had occurred–they saw the cloud and the mountain burning with fire. They saw and they heard. Moses says, on the basis of what they themselves have seen and heard in their own lifetime, they are not to be afraid of their present or future enemies.

On the same basis too, Moses urges them to obey God: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen…” (Deuteronomy 4:9)

Thus the people’s confidence and trust in God and their obedience to Him are alike rooted in truth that is historical and open to observation…The relationship between God and His people was not based on an upward experience inside their own heads, but upon a reality which was seen and heard. They were called to obey God not because of a leap of faith, but because of God’s real acts in history. For God is the LIVING GOD….”Religious Truth” according to the Bible involves the same sort of truth which people operate on in their everyday lives. If something is true, then its opposite cannot also be true.

From the Bible’s viewpoint, all truth finally rests upon the fact that the infinite-personal God exists in contrast to His not existing. This means that God exists objectively. He exists whether or not people say He does. The Bible also teaches that God is personal.
Much of the Bible is in the sphere of normal existence and is observable. God communicated himself in language. This is not surprising for He  was the creator of people who use language in communicating with other people.
In the Hebrew (and biblical) view, truth is grounded ultimately in the existence and character of God and what has been given us by God in creation and revelation. Because people are finite, reality cannot be exhausted by human reason.
It is within this Judeo-Christian view of truth that, by its own insistence, we must understand the Bible. Moses could appeal to real historical events as the basis for Israel’s confidence and obedience into the future. He could even pass down to subsequent generations physical reminders of what God had done, so that the people could see them and remember.

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The Story of Francis and Edith Schaeffer

John 21:1-14New International Version (NIV)

Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish

21 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.

Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.

He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”

“No,” they answered.

He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.”When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.

Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water. The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c] When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.

10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.

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The resurrected Christ stood there on the beach of the Sea of Galilee. Before the disciples reached the shore, He had already prepared a fire with fish cooking on it for them to eat. It was a fire that could be seen and felt; the fire cooked the fish, and the fish and bread could be eaten for breakfast.

When the fire died down, it left ashes on the beach; the disciples were well fed with bread and fish and Christ’s footprints would have been visible on the beach…

Thomas, Christ tells us,  should have believed the ample evidence given to him of the physical evidence of the resurrection by the other apostles. Christ rebuked him for not accepting this evidence.He at that time and we today have the same sufficient witness of those who have seen and heard and were able to touch the resurrected Christ and were able to observe what He had done.

Because Thomas insisted on seeing and touching we have a more sure witness than we otherwise would have  had. In the testimony of those who saw and heard we have a sure witness and this includes Thomas’ doubt and his personal verification which removed that doubt. WE SHOULD BOW BEFORE THE TOTAL WITNESS OF THE RECORD WHICH WE HAVE  IN THE BIBLE, OF THE TESTIMONY OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE UNIVERSE AND IT’S FORM AND THE UNIQUENESS OF MAN. IT IS ENOUGH! BELIEVE HE HAS RISEN.

John 20:24-29New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”

But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”

28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”

29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed;blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

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Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?

Tim Brister —  July 26, 2006 — 6 Comments

In the appendix of his book, He Is There and He Is Not Silent, Francis Schaeffer wrote a little piece called “Is Propositional Revelation Nonsense?” Schaeffer explains that, “To modern man, and much modern theology, the concept of propositional revelation and the historic Christian view of infallibility is not so much mistaken as meaningless” (345). The 20th century came with many challenges to theological formulation, not the least of which was the assault on propositional truth and revelation. Such camps as existentialists and logical positivists attempted to remove religious truth from the reason and revelation while others sought to justify meaning, reality, and truth with other criterion of verification such as experience and perception. However, center to the Christian faith is the belief that God has spoken and revealed himself in the written Word of God. In this revelation, God used language as the medium to carry and convey biblical truths and realities. This is not to say that God has revealed himself exhaustively, but it does mean that he has revealed himself truly and definitively. Schaeffer makes two points which I would like to mention here:

  1. Even communication between one created person and another is not exhaustive; but that does not mean that for that reason it is not true.
  1. If the uncreated Personal really cared for the created personal, it could not be thought unthinkable for him to tell the created personal things of a propositional nature; otherwise, as a finite being, the created personal would have numerous things he could not know if he just began with himself as a limited, finite reference point.

Schaffer makes some salient points here that deserve to be brought up in the 21stcentury. While we do not disagree that revelation is also personal, we cannot flinch on the assault on propositional revelation. God has revealed himself to us, his nature and his acts, through propositional revelation (i.e. the Bible), and the implications of this truth is that we do not have the rights to reinvent or rename the God Who Is There. If we do not begin with God and his revelation, Schaeffer is correct to conclude that there are many things we could not know about God based on such a limited, finite reference point as ourselves. It is no coincidence that, at the time of Schaeffer’s publishing of this book (1972), John Hick was advancing his pluralistic hypothesis which argued for the ineffability of the “Real” which argued that one cannot know anything about God as he is (ding an sich).Adapting the Kantian model of the noumenal and phenomenal worlds, Hick argues that God (“Real”) has not and cannot reveal himself truly and definitely; furthermore, it is impossible to know anything at all about the Real (except that it is ineffable and that it exists which is something he claims to know). The result when God is not the beginning, the reference point, the apriori grounds of knowledge and revelation, then knowing and defining God is a free-for-all to anyone who wants to postulate their phenomenological interpretations as religious truth. Schaeffer concludes his little article with this important paragraph in which he said:

“The importance of all this is that most people today (including some who still call themselves evangelical) who have given up the historical and biblical concept of revelation and infallibility have not done so because of the consideration of detailed problems objectively approached, but because they have accepted, either in analyzed fashion or blindly, the other set of presuppositions. Often this has taken place by means of cultural injection, without their realizing what has happened to them” (349, emphasis added).

In the days ahead, I hope to share how propositional truth is foundational to personal truth and give a few examples of the redefinition of revelation in contemporary contexts.

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world.
Hebrews 1:1-2

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The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black 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.

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Adrian Rogers – How you can be certain the Bible is the word of God Great article by Adrian Rogers. What evidence is there that the Bible is in fact God’s Word? I want to give you five reasons to affirm the Bible is the Word of God. First, I believe the Bible is the […]

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 379 Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!!Featured artist is Pedro Reyes

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Naturalistic, Materialistic, World View

Francis Schaeffer and  Gospel of Christ in the pages of the Bible

Francis Schaeffer’s term the “Mannishness of Man” and how it relates to Woody Allen and Charles Darwin!!! Schaeffer noted that everyone has these two things constantly pulling at them. First, it is the universe and its form and second, it is the mannishness of man. If one does not realize that God created them in the image of God where they can know right and wrong and worship their Creator then they will be longing throughout their life and even though they may say that we are a product of chance, like Allen did in his recent film MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT, he still is left with an empty feeling. Furthermore, Paul in  Romans 1 brings out these same two factors. In this post I am not going to spend much time on the demonstration that Woody Allen has dealt with the issues for the simple reason that I have done that over and over again in my previous posts. However, I will look at what Schaeffer says about Allen but mostly what he says about Charles Darwin and I will be providing extensive quotes from Darwin’s own 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.

The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method
Before we consider various possibilities, we must settle the question of method. What is it we are expecting our “answer” to answer?
There are a number of things we could consider, but at this point we want to concentrate on just two. The first is what we will call “the universe and its form,” and the second is “the mannishness of man.” The first draws attention to the fact that the universe around us is like an amazing jigsaw puzzle. We see many details, and we want to know how they fit together. That is what science is all about. Scientists look at the details and try to find out how they all cohere. So the first question that has to be answered is: how did the universe get this way? How did it get this form, this pattern, this jigsawlike quality it now has?
Second, “the mannishness of man” draws attention to the fact that human beings are different from all other things in the world. Think, for example, of creativity. People in all cultures of all ages have created many kinds of things, from “High Art” to flower arrangements, from silver ornaments to high-technology supersonic aircraft. This is in contrast to the animals about us. People also fear death, and they have the aspiration to truly choose. Incidentally, even those who in their writings say we only think we choose quickly fall into words and phrases that only make sense if they are wrong and we do truly choose. Human beings are also unique in that they verbalize. That is, people put concrete and abstract concepts into words which communicate these concepts to other people. People also have an inner life of the mind; they remember the past and make projections into the future. One could name other factors, but these are enough to differentiate people from other things in the world.
What world-view adequately explains the remarkable phenomenon of the distinctiveness of human beings? There is one world-view which can explain the explain the existence of the universe, its form, and the uniqueness of people – the world-view given to us in the Bible. There is a remarkable parallel between the way scientists go about checking to see if what they think about reality does in fact correspond to it and the way the biblical world-view can be checked to see if it is true.
Many people, however, react strongly against this sort of claim. They see the problem – Where has everything come from and why is it the way it is? – but they do not want to consider a solution which involves God. God, they say, belongs to “religion,” and religious answers, they say, do not deal with facts. Only science deals with facts. Thus, they say, Christian answers are not real answers; they are “faith answers.”
This is a strange reaction, because modern people pride themselves on being open to new ideas, on being willing to consider opinions which contradict what has been believed for a long time. They think this is what “being scientific” necessitates. Suddenly, however, when one crosses into the area of the “big” and most basic questions (like those we are considering now) with an answer involving God, the shutters are pulled down, the open mind closes and a very different attitude, a dogmatic rationalism, takes over.80
This is curious -first, because few seem to notice that the humanist explanations of the big and most basic questions is just as much a “faith answer” as any could be. With the humanist world-view everything begins with only matter; whatever has developed has developed only within matter, a reordering of matter by chance.
Even though materialistic scientists have no scientific understanding of why things exist, nor any certain scientific understanding of how life began, and even though this world-view leaves them with vast problems – the problems Woody Allen has described of “alienation, loneliness [and] emptiness verging on madness” – many modern people still reject at once any solution which uses the word God, in favor of the materialistic humanist “answer” which answers nothing. This is simply prejudice at work.
We need to understand, however, that this prejudice is both recent and arbitrary. Professor Ernest Becker, who taught at the University of California at Berkeley and San Francisco State College, said that for the last half-million years people have always believed in two worlds – one that was visible and one that was invisible. The visible world was where they lived their everyday lives; the invisible world was more powerful, for the meaning and existence of the visible world was dependent on it. Suddenly in the last century and a half, as the ideas of the Enlightenment have spread to the whole of Western culture, we have been told quite arbitrarily that there is no invisible world. This has become dogma for many secular people today.
Christians try to answer prejudices like these by pointing out that the biblical system does not have to be accepted blindly, any more than the scientific hypotheses have to be accepted blindly. What a scientist does is to examine certain phenomena in the world. He then casts about for an explanation that will make sense of these phenomena. That is the hypothesis. But the hypothesis has to be checked. So a careful checking operation is set up, designed to see if there is, in fact, a correspondence between what has been observed and what has been hypothesized. If it does correspond, a scientist accepts the explanation as correct; if it does not, he rejects it as false and looks for an alternative explanation. Depending on how substantially the statement has been “verified,” it becomes accepted as a “law” within science, such as the law of gravity or the second law of thermodynamics.
What we should notice is the method. It is rather like trying to find the right key to fit a particular lock. We try the first key and then the next and the next until finally, if we are fortunate, one of them fits. The same principle applies, so Christians maintain, when we consider the big questions. Here are the phenomena. What key unlocks their meaning? What explanation is correct?
We may consider the materialistic humanist alternative, the Eastern religious alternative, and so on. But each of these leaves at least a part of these most basic questions unanswered. So we turn to examine the Christian alternative.
Obviously, Christians do not look on the Bible as simply an alternative. As Christians we consider it to be objectively true, because we have found that it does give the answers both in knowledge and in life. For the purposes of discussion, however, we invite non-Christians to consider it as an alternative – not to be accepted blindly, but for good and sufficient reasons.
But note this – the physical scientist does something very easy, compared to those who tackle the really important and central questions for mankind. He examines a tiny portion of the real world – a leaf, a cell, an atom, a particle – and, because these things are not personal and obey very precise laws, he is able to arrive at explanations with relative ease. C. F. A. Pantin, who was professor of zoology at Cambridge University, once said: “Very clever men are answering the relatively easy questions of the natural examination paper.” This is not to disparage physical science. It works consistently with its own principles of investigation, looking further and further into the material of the world around us. But it only looks at part of the world. As Professor W. H. Thorpe of Cambridge University says, it is “a deliberate restriction to certain areas of our total experience – a technique for understanding certain parts of that experience and achieving mastery over nature.”
We are not then moving from definite things to indefinite things, when we look at those aspects of our experience which are more central than the study of an individual physical thing such as a leaf, a cell, an atom, or a particle. Rather, we are turning from a small part of reality to a larger part of reality. Picture a scientist for a moment: he is looking at a particular detail and carrying out his scientific investigation according to the recognized procedures. We have already discussed the method he uses to find the answers. Now we need to draw back and consider the whole phenomenon we are looking at, that is, the scientist carrying out his experiment. When the scientist is seated at his desk, he is able to find answers to his questions only because he has made two colossal assumptions about his situation, in fact about the entire world. He is assuming first of all that the things he is looking at do fit together somehow, even if some areas – such as particle physics – cannot at this time be fitted into a simple explanation. If the scientist did not assume that the things he is studying somehow fit together, he would not be trying to find an answer. Second, he is assuming that he as a person is able to find answers.
In other words, the big questions constitute the very framework within which the scientist is operating. To quote Thorpe again, “I recently heard one of the most distinguished theoretical scientists state that his own scientific drive was based on two fundamental attitudes: a conviction of his own responsibility and an awe at the beauty and harmony of nature.” So we have to resist any suggestion that to be involved in answering the big questions is somehow to be getting further and further away from “the real world.”
The opposite is the case. It is as we come to these big questions that we approach the real world that every one of us is living in twenty-four hours a day – the world of real persons who can think and so work out problems such as how to get to the other side of town, persons who can love, persons who can make moral decisions. These are, in other words, the phenomena which cry out for an adequate explanation. These are the things we know best about ourselves and the world around us. What world-view can encompass them?
C. S. Lewis pointed out that there are only two alternatives to the Christian answer – the humanist philosophy of the West and the pantheist philosophy of the East. We would agree. We agree, too, with his observation that Eastern philosophy is an “opposite” to the Christian system, but we shall look at that later. For the present our attention is directed toward the materialistic world-view of the West.
From time to time we read in the press or hear on the radio that an oil tanker has run aground on rocks and that the crude oil is being driven by the wind and currents onto an otherwise beautiful coast. We can picture the problem of humanism in that way. There is a rock on which all humanist philosophy must run aground. It is the problem of relative knowledge and relative morality or, to put it another way, the problem of finiteness or limitation. Even if mankind now had perfect moral integrity regarding the world, people would still be finite. People are limited. This fact, coupled with the rejection of the possibility of having answers from God, leads humanists into the problem of relative knowledge. There has been no alternative to this relativity for the past 200 years, and there can be no alternative within the humanist world-view. That is what we want to show now.

Francis Schaeffer pictured below:

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A nice parallel can be made between Woody Allen’s struggle with the issue of the mannishness of man and that of Charles Darwin. Below is something that Charles Darwin wrote looking back on his life:

“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.

Francis Schaeffer observed:

So he sees here exactly the same that I would labor and what Paul gives in Romans chapter one, and that is first this tremendous universe [and it’s form] and the second thing, the mannishness of man and the concept of this arising from chance is very difficult for him to come to accept and he is forced to leap into this, his own kind of Kierkegaardian leap, but he is forced to leap into this because of his presuppositions but when in reality the real world troubles him. He sees there is no third alternative. If you do not have the existence of God then you only have chance. In my own lectures I am constantly pointing out there are only two possibilities, a personal God or this concept of the impersonal plus time plus chance.  You will notice that he divides it into the same two points that Paul does in Romans into and that Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) will in the problem of existence, the external universe, and man and his consciousness. Paul points out there are these two things that man is confronted with. Two things is the real world, the universe and its form and I usually quote Jean Paul Sartre here, and Sartre says the basic philosophic problem is that something is there rather than nothing is there and I then I add at the point the very thing that Darwin feels and that is it isn’t a bare universe that is out there, it is an universe in a specific form. I always bring in Einstein and the uniformity of the form of the universe and that it is constructed as a well formulated word puzzle or you have Carl Gustav Jung who says two things cut across a man’s will that he can not truly be automous, the external world and what Carl Gustav Jung would call his “collected unconsciousness.” It is the thing that curns up out of man, the mannishness of man. Darwin understood way back here this is a real problem. So he says “the impossibility of conceiving that this grand and wondrouse universe,” part one, the real world, the external universe, and part two “with our conscious selves arose through chance” and then he goes on and says this is not “an argument of real value.” This only thing he has to put in its place is his faith in his own theory.

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Here below is the Romans passage that Schaeffer is referring to and verse 19 refers to what Schaeffer calls “the mannishness of man” and verse 20 refers to Schaeffer’s other point which is  “the universe and it’s form.”

Romans 1:18-22Amplified Bible (AMP)

18 For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],

21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor andglorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile andgodless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened.

22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves].

Francis Schaeffer commented:

Now Darwin 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, 

“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 observed:

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 his 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 very simple: 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. 

Darwin wrote:

…and the universal belief by men of the existence of redness makes my present loss of perception of not the least value as evidence. This argument would be a valid one if all men of all races had the same inward conviction of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case. Therefore I cannot see that such inward convictions and feelings are of any weight as evidence of what really exists. The state of mind which grand scenes formerly excited in me, and which was intimately connected with a belief in God, did not essentially differ from that which is often called the sense of sublimity; and however difficult it may be to explain the genesis of this sense, it can hardly be advanced as an argument for the existence of God, any more than the powerful though vague and similar feelings excited by music.

Francis Schaeffer noted:

You notice that Darwin had already said he had lost his sense of music [appreciation]. However, he brings forth what I think is a false argument. I usually use it in the area of morality. I mention that anthropologists point out that different people have different moral [systems]  and this is perfectly true, but what the materialist anthropologist can never point out is why man has a sense of moral motion and that is the problem here. Therefore, it is perfectly true that men have different concepts of God and different concepts of moral motion, but Darwin himself is not satisfied in his own position and WHERE DO THEY [MORAL MOTIONS] COME FROM AT ALL? So you are wrestling with the same dilemma here in this reference as you do in the area of all things human. For these men it is not the distinction that raises the problem, but it is the overwhelming factor of the existence of the humanness of man, the mannishness of man. The simple fact is he saw that you are shut up to either God or chance, and he said basically “I don’t see how it could be chance” and at the same time he looks at a mountain or listens to a piece of music it is a testimony that really chance isn’t sufficient enough. So gradually with the sensitivity of his own inborn self conscience he kills it. He deliberately  kills the beauty so it doesn’t argue with his theory. Maybe I am being false to Darwin here. Who can say about Darwin’s subconscious thoughts? It seems to me though this is exactly the case. What you find is a man who can’t stand the argument of the external beauty and the mannishness of man so he just gives it up in this particular place.

The Best Art References in Woody Allen Films Image via Complex / APJAC Productions

Film: Play It Again, Sam (1972)

In 1972’s Play It Again, Sam, Allen plays a film critic trying to get over his wife’s leaving him by dating again. In one scene, Allen tries to pick up a depressive woman in front of the early Jackson Pollock work. This painting, because of its elusive title, has been the subject of much debate as to what it portrays. This makes for a nifty gag when Allen strolls up and asks the suicidal belle, “What does it say to you?”

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Woody Allen in Play It Again Sam

Uploaded on May 20, 2009

Scene from ‘Play it Again Sam’ (1972)

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Allan: That’s quite a lovely Jackson Pollock, isn’t it?

Museum Girl: Yes, it is.

Allan: What does it say to you?

Museum Girl: It restates the negativeness of the universe. The hideous lonely emptiness of existence. Nothingness. The predicament of Man forced to live in a barren, Godless eternity like a tiny flame flickering in an immense void with nothing but waste, horror and degradation, forming a useless bleak straitjacket in a black absurd cosmos.

Allan: What are you doing Saturday night?

Museum Girl: Committing suicide.

Allan: What about Friday night?

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Woody Allen Contemplates God in “Hannah & Her Sisters”

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Woody Allen on insanity and Cate Blanchett

12 Questions for Woody Allen

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Featured artist is Pedro Reyes

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______________________ God and Carpeting: The Theology of Woody Allen Details Written by David M. of the group “Jews for Jesus” Woody Allen about meaning and truth of life on Earth Dick & Woody get semi-metaphysical Woody Allen interview 1971 PART 2/4 Woody Allen interview 1971 PART 1/4 God and Carpeting: The Theology of Woody Allen […]

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! PART 160 Part FF (It was my privilege to correspond with Charles Darwin’s grandson, the eminent professor Dr. Horace Barlow, Neuroscience, Cambridge, December 8, 1921-July 5, 2020) In my 32nd letter on 4-18-20 quoted H.J. Blackham on where humanism leads “On humanist assumptions, life leads to nothing, and every pretense that it does not is a deceit…”

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Tribute to Horace Barlow

Manuel Spitschan @mspitschan

Had the honour and pleasure of speaking at the Craik Club today at @CambPsych, where I got to meet Horace Barlow and John Mollon.

——

April 18, 2020

Dr. Horace Barlow,  Cambridge CB3 9AX, England

Dear Dr. Barlow,

As you know I have been writing you since 2015 and I was so thrilled to get a detailed letter back from you in November of 2017 that answered several of the questions that I have asked you about Charles Darwin’s views. In many of the letters I have written to you have referred also to Solomon and his words in the last book he wrote which was ECCLESIASTES. Well, Ricky Gervais has written and starred in a film series on Netflix called AFTER LIFE that reminds me of a modern day Solomon looking in vain for the meaning in life UNDER THE SUN in the fictional town Tambury which is really filmed in London.

Today I got to ask a question to Ricky and he took time to answer me and I thought you would enjoy some of my open letter to Ricky which I published today:

I have been a big fan of yours for 20 years now and I have taken an interest especially in your philosophical views concerning atheism and your attacks on Christianity, and since 2016 I have written you 9 letters basically concerning the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of nihilism. Then I ran across your series AFTER LIFE and Tony reminded me so much of Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes and the nihilism that Solomon embraced.

Today, Saturday April 18, 2020 at 6pm in London and noon in Arkansas, I had a chance to ask you on your Twitter Live broadcast “Is Tony a Nihilist?” At the 20:51 mark you answer my question with the following comments:


Not, I mean he [Tony] dabbles with it [nihilism] but a lot of this stuff is like he is being provocative and he is trying to sort of hurt people. No, It is difficult to say. I don’t. The one thing he wants he can’t have so he is angry. He has to compromise. He had the perfect marriage and he doesn’t know how to act or feel anymore. He is confused. He is in pain. He is ill. He is probably ill you know. If you are not right in your [mind] then you are ill, and you can’t just step out of it. You know. You even know you are not normal or well, but what can you do? You don’t feel good. That will do. Did we get serious then? That won’t happen again!

It seems to me that you would classify Tony as angry and confused but not a nihilist. You are the writer so you should know, but let me ask you if you can philosophically back up the view that Tony is not living the life of a nihilist (one who does think there are no rules for his life and no purpose for his life and no basis for morality).

As a member of the British Humanist Association you are familiar with the view of optimistic humanism. Let me share some views on that:

Paul Kurtz – (writer of Humanist Manifesto 2 in 1973 and Dr. Kurtz was a very kind gentleman who took time to correspond with me.)

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“The universe is neutral, indifferent to man’s existential yearnings. But we instinctively discover life, experience its throb, its excitement, its attraction. Life is here to be lived, enjoyed, suffered, and endured…Again–one cannot ‘prove’ this normative principle to everyone’s satisfaction. Living beings tend instinctively to maintain themselves and to reproduce beyond ultimate justification. It is a brute fact of our contingent natures; It is an instinctive desire to live.”

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J.P. Moreland – “2 Objections to optimistic humanism: #1 There is no rational justification for choosing it over nihilism. As far as rationality is concerned, it has nothing to offer over nihilism. Therefore, optimistic humanism suffers from some of the same objections we raised against nihilism. Kurtz himself admits that the ultimate values of humanism are incapable of rational justification!!!!!!  #2 Optimistic Humanism really answers the question of the meaning of life in the negative, just as nihilism does. For the optimistic humanist life has no objective value or purpose; It offers only subjective satisfaction, one should think long and hard before embracing such a horrible view. If there is a decent case that life has objective value and purpose, then such a case should be given as good a hearing as possible.

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R.C. Sproul:Nihilism has two traditional enemies–Theism and Naive Humanism. The theist contradicts the nihilist because the existence of God guarantees that ultimate meaning and significance of personal life and history. Naive Humanism is considered naive by the nihilist because it rhapsodizes–with no rational foundation–the dignity and significance of human life. The humanist declares that man is a cosmic accident whose origin was fortuitous and entrenched in meaningless insignificance. Yet in between the humanist mindlessly crusades for, defends, and celebrates the chimera of human dignity…Herein is the dilemma: Nihilism declares that nothing really matters ultimately…In my judgment, no philosophical treatise has ever surpassed or equaled the penetrating analysis of the ultimate question of meaning versus vanity that is found in the Book of Ecclesiastes

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The humanist 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). Francis Schaeffer comments concerning Blackham’s assertion, “One does not have to be highly educated to understand this. It follows directly from the starting point of the humanists’ position, namely, that everything is just matter. That is, that which has exited forever and in ever is only some form of matter or energy, and everything in our world now is this and only this in a more or less complex form.”

The 5 Conclusions of Humanism according to King Solomon of Israel in the Book of Ecclesiastes!!!!!

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The Humanistic world view tells us there is no afterlife and all we have is this life “under the sun.”

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Francis Schaeffer (Christian Philosopher) notes Solomon limits himself to “under the sun” – In other words the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death. It is indeed the book of modern man. Solomon is the universal man with unlimited resources who says let us see where I go. Ravi Zacharias 

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“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 us (Matter)”

1st Conclusion: Nothing in life truly satisfies and that includes wisdom, great works and pleasure. A) Will wisdom satisfy someone under the sun? We know it is good in its proper place. T

But what did Solomon find out about wisdom “under the sun”? Ecclesiastes 1:16-18 (Living Bible): I said to myself, ‘Look, I am better educated than any of the kings before me in Jerusalem. I have greater wisdom and knowledge.’So I worked hard to be wise instead of foolish[c]—but now I realize that even this was like chasing the wind. For the more my wisdom, the more my grief; to increase knowledge only increases distress.” (That is NIHILISM!!!!)

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KJV and Living Bible Ecclesiastes 2:1-3, 8, 10, 11: I said in mine heart, Go to now, I will prove thee with mirth, therefore enjoy pleasure: and, behold, this also is vanity.I said of laughter, It is mad: and of mirth, What doeth it? I sought in mine heart to give myself unto wine, yet acquainting mine heart with wisdom; and to lay hold on folly,And then there were my many beautiful concubines.10 Anything I wanted I took and did not restrain myself from any joy…11 But as I looked at everything I had tried, it was all so useless, a chasing of the wind, and there was nothing really worthwhile anywhere…

2nd Conclusion: Power reigns in this life and the scales are not balanced!!!!!Ecclesiastes 4:1 (King James Version): So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.
Ecclesiastes 7:15 (King James Version) All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.If you are a humanist you must admit that men like Hitler will not be punished in the afterlife because you deny there is an afterlife? Right?

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3rd Conclusion – Death is the great equalizer. Just as the beasts will not be remembered so ultimately brilliant men will not be remembered. Ecclesiastes 3:20 “All go unto one place; All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again.” Here Solomon comes to the same point that Kerry Livgren came to in January of 1978 when he wrote the hit song DUST IN THE WIND. Can you refute the nihilistic claims of this song within the humanistic world view? Solomon couldn’t but maybe you can.

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4th Conclusion – Chance and time plus matter (us) has determined the past and it will determine the future.By the way, what are the ingredients that make evolution work? George Wald – “Time is the Hero.”

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

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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.

5th Conclusion – Life is just a series ofcontinual 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).

I first starting studying Ecclesiastes in 1976 when I heard Adrian Rogers give a sermon on the nihilism of King Solomon. These facts in Ecclesiastes inspired the author of the song DUST IN THE WIND. Kerry Livgren of KANSAS, who wrote the song noted, “I happened to be reading a book of American Indian poetry and somewhere in it I came across the line, ‘We’re just dust in the wind.’ I remembered in the BOOK of ECCLESIASTES  where it said, ‘All is vanity,’ ” Livgren said of the passage that it reminds man he came from dust and will return to dust.

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I remember a visit in 1976 that Adrian Rogers made to our Junior High Chapel service at EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN SCHOOL, and it was that day that I personally began a lifelong interest in King Solomon’s life, and his search for satisfaction as pictured in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

(Kerry Livgren, Dave Hope in back)

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Solomon was searching for meaning and satisfaction in life in what Rogers called the 6 big L words in the Book of Ecclesiastes. He looked into Learning (1:16-18), Laughter, Ladies, Luxuries, and Liquor (2:1-3, 8, 10, 11), and Labor (2:4-6, 18-20).

Ecclesiastes 2:8-10The Message (MSG)

I piled up silver and gold,
loot from kings and kingdoms.
I gathered a chorus of singers to entertain me with song,
and—most exquisite of all pleasures—
voluptuous maidens for my bed.

9-10 Oh, how I prospered! I left all my predecessors in Jerusalem far behind, left them behind in the dust. What’s more, I kept a clear head through it all. Everything I wanted I took—I never said no to myself. I gave in to every impulse, held back nothing. I sucked the marrow of pleasure out of every task—my reward to myself for a hard day’s work!

(Edward John Poynter Painting  below of Solomon)

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Francis Schaeffer observed concerning Solomon, “You can not know woman by knowing 1000 women.”

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King Solomon in Ecclesiastes 2:11 sums up his search for meaning with these words, “…behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun.”

After hearing the sermon by Adrian Rogers in 1976, I took a special interest in the Book of Ecclesiastes and then the next year I bought the album POINT OF KNOW RETURN by the group rock group KANSAS. On that album was the song “Dust in the Wind”  and it rose to #6 on the charts in 1978. That song told me that Kerry Livgren the writer of that song 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.

(That is the same reason I am excited about Ricky’s series AFTER LIFE!!!)

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Furthermore, Solomon realized death comes to everyone and there must be something more. I was hoping the members of KANSAS would keep looking for something more than just material pursuits UNDER THE SUN.

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 the bass player 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 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. DAVE HOPE is the head of Worship, Evangelism and Outreach at Immanuel Anglican Church in Destin, Florida.

By the way, the final chapter of Ecclesiastes finishes with Solomon emphasizing that serving God is the only proper response of man. Solomon looks above the sun and brings God back into the picture.
13 Now all has been heard;
here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
for this is the whole duty of man.

14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
including every hidden thing,
whether it is good or evil

Sincerely,

Everette Hatcher, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

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(END OF LETTER TO DR BARLOW)

I found Dr. Barlow to be a true gentleman and he was very kind to take the time to answer the questions that I submitted to him. In the upcoming months I will take time once a week to pay tribute to his life and reveal our correspondence. In the first week I noted:

 Today I am posting my first letter to him in February of 2015 which discussed Charles Darwin lamenting his loss of aesthetic tastes which he blamed on Darwin’s own dedication to the study of evolution. In a later return letter, Dr. Barlow agreed that Darwin did in fact lose his aesthetic tastes at the end of his life.

In the second week I look at the views of Michael Polanyi and share the comments of Francis Schaeffer concerning Polanyi’s views.

In the third week, I look at the life of Brandon Burlsworth in the November 28, 2016 letter and the movie GREATER and the problem of evil which Charles Darwin definitely had a problem with once his daughter died.

On the 4th letter to Dr. Barlow looks at Darwin’s admission that he at times thinks that creation appears to look like the expression of a mind. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words in 1968 sermon at this link.

My Fifth Letter concerning Charles Darwin’s views on MORAL MOTIONS Which was mailed on March 1, 2017. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

6th letter on May 1, 2017 in which Charles Darwin’s hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would show that Christ existed! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning the possible manuscript finds in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link  

7th letter on Darwin discussing DETERMINISM  dated 7-1-17 . Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning determinism in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

8th letter responds to Dr. Barlow’s letter to me concerning  Francis Schaeffer discussing Darwin’s own words concerning chance in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

9th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 1-2-18 and included Charles Darwin’s comments on William Paley. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning William Paley in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

10th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 2-2-18 and includes Darwin’s comments asking for archaeological evidence for the Bible! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning His desire to see archaeological evidence supporting the Bible’s accuracy  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

11th letterI mailed on 3-2-18  in response to 11-22-17 letter from Barlow that asserted: It is also sometimes asked whether chance, even together with selection, can define a “MORAL CODE,” which the religiously inclined say is defined by their God. I think the answer is “Yes, it certainly can…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning A MORAL CODE in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

12th letter on March 26, 2018 breaks down song DUST IN THE WIND “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.”

In 13th letter I respond to Barlow’s November 22, 2017 letter and assertion “He {Darwin} clearly did not lose his sense of the VALUE of TRUTH, and of the importance of FOREVER SEARCHING it out.”

In 14th letter to Dr. Barlow on 10-2-18, I assert: “Let me demonstrate how the Bible’s view of the origin of life fits better with the evidence we have from archaeology than that of gradual evolution.”

In 15th letter in November 2, 2018 to Dr. Barlow I quote his relative Randal Keynes Who in the Richard Dawkins special “The Genius of Darwin” makes this point concerning Darwin, “he was, at different times, enormously confident in it,
and at other times, he was utterly uncertain.”
In 16th Letter on 12-2-18 to Dr. Barlow I respond to his letter that stated, If I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) “No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour…Muslim terrorists…violence within the Christian church itself”
17th letter sent on January 2, 2019 shows the great advantage we have over Charles Darwin when examining the archaeological record concerning the accuracy of the Bible
In the 18th letter I respond to the comment by Charles Darwin: “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words on his loss of aesthetic tastes  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In 19th letter on 2-2-19  I discuss Steven Weinberg’s words,  But if language is to be of any use to us, we ought to try to preserve the meanings of words, and “God” historically has not meant the laws of nature. It has meant an interested personality.

In the 20th letter on 3-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s comment, “At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep [#1] inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons...Formerly I was led by feelings such as those…to the firm conviction of the existence of God, and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that [#2] 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. [#3] 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 discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his former belief in God in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 21st letter on May 15, 2019 to Dr Barlow I discuss the writings of Francis Schaeffer who passed away the 35 years earlier on May 15, 1985. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words at length in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 22nd letter I respond to Charles Darwin’s words, “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe…will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words about hell  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In 23rd postcard sent on 7-2-19 I asked Dr Barlow if he was a humanist. Sir Julian Huxley, founder of the American Humanist Association noted, “I use the word ‘humanist’ to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or plant; that his body, mind and soul were not supernaturally created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being.”

In my 24th letter on 8-2-19 I quote Jerry  Bergman who noted Jean Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. A founding father of the modern American scientific establishment, Agassiz was also a lifelong opponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Agassiz “ruled in professorial majesty at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.”

In my 25th letter on 9-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s assertion,  “This argument would be a valid one if all men of ALL RACES had the SAME INWARD CONVICTION of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 26th letter on 10-2-19 I quoted Bertrand Russell’s daughter’s statement, “I believe myself that his whole life was a search for God…. Indeed, he had first taken up philosophy in hope of finding proof of the evidence of the existence of God … Somewhere at the back of my father’s mind, at the bottom of his heart, in the depths of his soul  there was an empty space that had once been filled by God, and he never found anything else to put in it”

In my 27th letter on 11-2-19 I disproved Richard Dawkins’ assertion, “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham.” Furthermore, I gave more evidence indicating the Bible is historically accurate. 

In my 28th letter on 12-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I am glad you were at the Messiah, it is the one thing that I should like to hear again, but I dare say I should find my soul too dried up to appreciate it as in old days; and then I should feel very flat, for it is a horrid bore to feel as I constantly do, that I am a withered leaf for every subject except Science. It sometimes makes me hate Science.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 29th letter on 12-25-19 I responded to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds…gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dullthat it nauseated me…. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive… The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of aesthetic tastes in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 30th letter on 2-2-20 I quote Dustin Shramek who asserted, “Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.”

IIn my 31st letter on 3-18-20 I quote Francis Schaeffer who noted, “Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of his Christian faith in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 32nd letter on 4-18-20 quoted H.J. Blackham on where humanism leads 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

Horace Barlow pictured below:

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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

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There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Horace Basil Barlow FRS was a British visual neuroscientist.

Barlow was the son of the civil servant Sir Alan Barlow and his wife Lady Nora (née Darwin), and thus the great-grandson of Charles Darwin (see Darwin — Wedgwood family). He earned an M.D. at Harvard University in 1946.

In 1953 Barlow discovered that the frog brain has neurons which fire in response to specific visual stimuli. This was a precursor to the work of Hubel and Wiesel on visual receptive fields in the visual cortex. He has made a long study of visual inhibition, the process whereby a neuron firing in response to one group of retinal cells can inhibit the firing of another neuron; this allows perception of relative contrast.

In 1961 Barlow wrote a seminal article where he asked what the computational aims of the visual system are. He concluded that one of the main aims of visual processing is the reduction of redundancy. While the brightnesses of neighbouring points in images are usually very similar, the retina reduces this redundancy. His work thus was central to the field of statistics of natural scenes that relates the statistics of images of real world scenes to the properties of the nervous system.

Barlow and his co-workers also did substantial work in the field of factorial codes. The goal was to encode images with statistically redundant components or pixels such that the code components are statistically independent. Such codes are hard to find but highly useful for purposes of image classification etc.

Barlow was a fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1969 and was awarded their Royal Medal in 1993.[1] He received the 1993 Australia Prize for his research into the mechanisms of visual perception and the 2009 Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience.

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His comments can be found on the 3rd video and the 128th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

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Interview of Horace Barlow – part 1

Published on Jun 18, 2014

Interviewed and filmed by Alan Macfarlane on 5 March 2012

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Interview of Horace Barlow – part 2

Horace Barlow’s quote taken from interview with Alan Macfarlane:

HAS RELIGION EVER BEEN IMPORTANT TO YOU? IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU? No, it is not important to me. Saying you don’t believe in God is a very foolish thing to say as it doesn’t explain why so many people talk about it, there has got to be more to it than that; also I think one has to respect what some godly people say and some of the things they do; I wish one could make more sense of it but I don’t think the godly people have done a very good job; I was never baptized or confirmed so have never been a practitioner, and I don’t miss it; DO YOU THINK THAT SCIENCE HAS DIS-PROVEN RELIGION AS DAWKINS ARGUES? I think it [science] provides some hope of acting rationally to handle the social and political problems we have to deal with on a personal level and one a worldwide level. Religion is a way of perpetuating a way of thought that might have otherwise been lost, and I imagine that is fine.   

Dr. Barlow’s only three solid claims in this response to Alan Macfarlane is that science is #1 the best help today with our social problems,(which is in the original clip), #2 Saying you don’t believe in God (position of atheism) is foolish, and #3 we need an explanation for why so many people talk about [God.]

My response to #1 is to look at how the secular humanists have messed up so many things in the past and I include Barlow’s personal family friend Margaret Mead in that. My responses to #2 and #3 were both covered in my earlier response to Roald Hoffmann

(Roald Hoffmann is a Nobel Prize winner who I have had the honor of corresponding with in the past. Pictured below)

Image result for Roald Hoffmann.

(This July 1933 photo shows [left to right] anthropologist Gregory Bateson with Margaret Mead)

Image result for margaret mead husband

Horace Barlow’s words  from interview conducted by Alan Macfarlane:

I don’t ever remember going to Bateson’s house in Granchester as a child; William Bateson’s wife was a friend of my mother’s; when Gregory Bateson was out in Bali he met Margaret Mead; Beatrice Bateson, his mother, felt she was too old to go out and inspect her so she sent my mother instead; she flew off in an Imperial Airlines plane and we saw her off from Hendon; that must have been 1937-8; my mother got on very well with Margaret Mead – she was not altogether convinced by her, but very impressed by her breadth of knowledge and energy; she came and stayed with us many times; I was even more sceptical than my mother and thought she was a very impressive person; Gregory was born 1904 and my mother, in 1886, so there was quite a big age difference between them; I never got on close intellectual terms with Gregory even though we were to some extent interested in the same sort of thing, both in cybernetics and psychology, and his ideas were always interesting; however, my model of a scientist was taken from my mother and not from Gregory; my mother was interested in genetics and the paper for which she was famous was on the reproductive system in plants like cowslips; my mother reasoned like a scientist whereas Gregory was a guru – he liked to think things out for himself; he obviously influenced many others too; I saw him once or twice when I went to Berkeley

Postscript:

I was sad to see that Jon Stewart is stepping down from the DAILY SHOW so I wanted to include one of the best clips I have ever seen on his show and it is a short debate between the brilliant scientists  Edward J. Larson (an evolutionist), William A. Dembski (an Intelligent Design Proponent), and then he threw in a nutball in for laughs,  Ellie Crystal (a metaphysical theorist). Dembski gives several great examples of design and it reminded me of many of the words of Darwin show above in my letter to Horace Barlow.

William Dembski on The Jon Stewart Show

Uploaded on Nov 15, 2010

Wednesday September 14, 2005 – Jon Stewart’s “Evolution, Schmevolution” segment with panelists Edward J. Larson (an evolutionist), William A. Dembski (an Intelligent Design Proponent), and Ellie Crystal (a metaphysical theorist).

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 41 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Featured artist is Marina Abramović)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 40 Timothy Leary (Featured artist is Margaret Keane)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 39 Tom Wolfe (Featured artist is Richard Serra)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 38 Woody Allen and Albert Camus “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide” (Feature on artist Hamish Fulton Photographer )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 37 Mahatma Gandhi and “Relieving the Tension in the East” (Feature on artist Luc Tuymans)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 36 Julian Huxley:”God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” (Feature on artist Barry McGee)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 34 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Feature on artist Shahzia Sikander)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 33 Aldous Huxley (Feature on artist Matthew Barney )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 31 David Hume and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist William Pope L. )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 30 Rene Descartes and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist Olafur Eliasson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 29 W.H. Thorpe and “The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method” (Feature on artist Jeff Koons)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 28 Woody Allen and “The Mannishness of Man” (Feature on artist Ryan Gander)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 27 Jurgen Habermas (Featured artist is Hiroshi Sugimoto)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 26 Bettina Aptheker (Featured artist is Krzysztof Wodiczko)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 25 BOB DYLAN (Part C) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s song “Ballad of a Thin Man” and the disconnect between the young generation of the 60’s and their parents’ generation (Feature on artist Fred Wilson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 24 BOB DYLAN (Part B) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s words from HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED!! (Feature on artist Susan Rothenberg)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 23 BOB DYLAN (Part A) (Feature on artist Josiah McElheny)Francis Schaeffer on the proper place of rebellion with comments by Bob Dylan and Samuel Rutherford

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 22 “The School of Athens by Raphael” (Feature on the artist Sally Mann)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 21 William B. Provine (Feature on artist Andrea Zittel)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 20 Woody Allen and Materialistic Humanism: The World-View of Our Era (Feature on artist Ida Applebroog)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 19 Movie Director Luis Bunuel (Feature on artist Oliver Herring)

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

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 17 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part C (Feature on artist David Hockney plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 16 Francis Schaeffer discusses quotes of Andy Warhol from “The Observer June 12, 1966″ Part B (Feature on artist James Rosenquist plus many pictures of Warhol with famous friends)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE PART 375 First Chapter of “He is there and He is not silent” by Francis Schaeffer Featured artist is Josephine Halvorson

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The late Adrian Rogers was my pastor at Bellevue Baptist when I grew up and I sent his sermon on evolution and another on the accuracy of the Bible to many atheists to listen to and many of them did. I also sent many of the arguments from Francis Schaeffer also.

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), and Michael Martin (1932-).

THIRD, there is hope that an atheist will reconsider his or her position after examining more evidence. Twenty years I had the opportunity to correspond with two individuals that were regarded as two of the most famous atheists of the 20th Century, Antony Flew and Carl Sagan. I had read the books and seen the films of the Christian philosopher Francis Schaeffer and he had discussed the works of both of these men. I sent both of these gentlemen philosophical arguments from Schaeffer in these letters and in the first letter I sent a cassette tape of my pastor’s sermon IS THE BIBLE TRUE? You may have noticed in the news a few years that Antony Flew actually became a theist in 2004 and remained one until his death in 2010. Carl Sagan remained a skeptic until his dying day in 1996.Antony Flew wrote me back several times and in the June 1, 1994 letter he commented, “Thank you for sending me the IS THE BIBLE TRUE? tape to which I have just listened with great interest and, I trust, profit.” I later sent him Adrian Rogers’ sermon on evolution too.
The ironic thing is back in 2008 I visited the Bellevue Baptist Book Store and bought the book There Is A God – How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, by Antony Flew, and it is in this same store that I bought the message by Adrian Rogers in 1994 that I sent to Antony Flew. Although Antony Flew did not make a public profession of faith he did admit that the evidence for God’s existence was overwhelming to him in the last decade of his life. His experience has been used in a powerful way to tell others about Christ. Let me point out that while on airplane when I was reading this book a gentleman asked me about the book. I was glad to tell him the whole story about Adrian Rogers’ two messages that I sent to Dr. Flew and I gave him CD’s of the messages which I carry with me always. Then at McDonald’s at the Airport, a worker at McDonald’s asked me about the book and I gave him the same two messages from Adrian Rogers too.

in many of these letters that I would send to famous skeptics and I would always include audio messages from Adrian Rogers. Perhaps Schaeffer’s most effective argument was concerning Romans 1 and how a person could say that he didn’t believe that the world had a purpose or meaning but he could not live that way in the world that God created and with the conscience that every person is born with.

Google “Adrian Rogers Francis Schaeffer” and the first 8 things that come up will be my blog posts concerning effort to reach these atheists. These two great men proved that the scriptures Hebrews 4:12 and Isaiah 55:11 are true, “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” and “so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

This book will deal with the philosophic necessity of God’s being
there and not being silent, in the areas of metaphysics, morals, and
epistemology.
We should understand first of all that the three basic areas of
philosophic thought are what they have always been. The first of
them is the area of metaphysics, of “being.” This is the area of what
is—the problem of existence. This includes the existence of man,
but we must realize that the existence of man is no greater problem
as such than is the fact that anything exists at all. No one has said it
better than Jean-Paul Sartre, who has said that the basic philo-
sophic question is that something is there rather than that nothing
is there. Nothing that is worth calling a philosophy can sidestep the
question of the fact that things do exist and that they exist in their
present form and complexity. This is what we define, then, as the
problem of metaphysics, the existence of being.
The second area of philosophical thought is that of man and
the dilemma of man. Man is personal and yet he is finite, and so he
is not a sufficient integration point for himself. We might remem-
ber another profound statement from Sartre that no finite point
has any meaning unless it has an infinite reference point. The
Christian would agree that he is right in this statement.
Man is finite, so he is not sufficient integration point for him-
self, yet man is different from non-man. Man is personal in con-
trast to that which is impersonal, or, to use a phrase which I have
used in my books, man has his “mannishness.”
Now behaviorism, and all forms of determinism, would say
that man is not personal—that he is not intrinsically different from
the impersonal. But the difficulty with this is that it denies the obser-
vation man has made of himself for forty thousand years, if we
accept the modern dating system; and second, there is no determin-
ist or behaviorist who really lives consistently on the basis of his
determinism or his behavioristic psychology—saying, that is, that
man is only a machine. This is true of Francis Crick, who reduces
man to the mere chemical and physical properties of the DNA tem-
plate. The interesting thing, however, is that Crick clearly shows that
he cannot live with his own determinism. In one of his books,
Of Molecules and Men,
he soon begins to speak of nature as “her,” and
in a smaller, more profound book,The Origin of the Genetic Code,
he begins to spell nature with a capital N.
B. F. Skinner, the author of
Beyond Freedom and Dignity,
shows the same tension. So there are
these two difficulties with the acceptance of modern determinism
and behaviorism, which say there is no intrinsic difference between
man and non-man: first, one has to deny man’s own observation of
himself through all the years, back to the cave paintings and beyond;
and second, no chemical determinist or psychological determinist is
ever able to live as though he is the same as non-man.
THE METAPHYSICAL NECESSITY
Another question in the dilemma of man is man’s nobility.
Perhaps you do not like the word “nobility,” but whatever word you
choose, there is something great about man. I want to add here that
evangelicals have made a horrible mistake by often equating the fact
that man is lost and under God’s judgment with the idea that man is
nothing—a zero. This is not what the Bible says. There is something
great about man, and we have lost perhaps our greatest opportunity
of evangelism in our generation by not insisting that it is the Bible
that explains why man is great.
However, man is not only noble (or whatever word you want
to substitute), but man is also cruel. So we have a dilemma. The
first dilemma is that man is finite and yet he is personal; the second
dilemma is the contrast between man’s nobility and man’s cruelty.
Or one can express it in a modern way: the alienation of man from
himself and from all other men in the area of morals. So now we
have two areas of philosophic thought: first, metaphysics, dealing
with being, with existence; second, the area of morals.
The third area of this study is that of epistemology—the
problem of knowing.
Now, let me make two general observations. First, philoso-
phy and religion deal with the same basic questions. Christians,
and especially evangelical Christians, have tended to forget this.
Philosophy and religion do not deal with different questions,
though they give different answers and in different terms. The
basic questions of both philosophy and religion (and I mean reli-
gion here in the wide sense, including Christianity) are the ques-
tions of being: that is, what exists; man and his dilemma—that is,
morals; and of how man knows. Philosophy deals with these
points, but so does religion, including orthodox evangelical Chris-
tianity.
The second general observation concerns the two meanings
of the word “philosophy,” which must be kept absolutely separate
if we are to avoid confusion. The first meaning is a discipline, an
academic subject. That is what we usually think of as philosophy: a
highly technical study which few people pursue. In this sense, few
people are philosophers. But there is a second meaning that we
must not miss if we are going to understand the problem of
preaching the gospel in the twentieth-century world. For philoso-
phy also means a man’s worldview. In this sense, all men are phi-
losophers, for all men have a worldview. This is just as true of the
man digging a ditch as it is of the philosopher in the university.
Christians have tended to despise the concept of philosophy.
This has been one of the weaknesses of evangelical, orthodox
Christianity—we have been proud in despising philosophy, and
we have been exceedingly proud in despising the intellectual. Our
theological seminaries hardly ever relate their theology to philoso-
phy, and specifically to the current philosophy. Thus, men go out
from the theological seminaries not knowing how to relate it. It is
not that they do not know the answers, but my observation is that
most men graduating from our theological seminaries do not
know the questions.
In fact, philosophy is universal in scope. No man can live
without a worldview; therefore, there is no man who is not a phi-
losopher.
There are not many possibilities in answer to the three basic
areas of philosophic thought, but there is a great deal of possible
detail surrounding the basic answers. It will help us tremen-
dously—whether we are studying philosophy at university and feel
buffeted to death, or whether we are trying to be ministers of the
gospel, speaking to people with a worldview—if we realize that
although there are many possible details, the possible answers—in
their basic concepts—are exceedingly few.
There are two classes of answers given to these questions.
1. The first class of answer is that there is no logical, rational
answer. This is rather a phenomenon of our own generation. The
question has come under “the line of despair.” I am not saying that
nobody in the past had these views, but they were not the domi-
nant view. Today it is much more dominant than it has ever been.
This is true not only among philosophers in their discussions, but
it is equally true of discussions on the street corner, at the cafe, at
the university dining room, or at the filling station. The solution
commonly proposed is that there is no logical, rational
answer—all is finally chaotic, irrational, and absurd. This view is
expressed with great finesse in the existential world of thinking,
and in the theater of the absurd. This is the philosophy, or
worldview, of many people today. It is a part of the warp and woof
of the thinking of our day that there are no answers, that every-
thing is irrational and absurd.
If a man held that everything is meaningless, nothing has
answers, and there is no cause-and-effect relationship, and if he
really held this position with any consistency, it would be very hard
to refute. But in fact, no one can hold consistently that everything
is chaotic and irrational and that there are no basic answers. It can
be held theoretically, but it cannot be held in practice that every-
thing is absolute chaos.
The first reason the irrational position cannot be held consis-
tently in practice is the fact that the external world is there and it
has form and order. It is not a chaotic world. If it were true that all
is chaotic, unrelated, and absurd, science, as well as general life,
would come to an end. To live at all is not possible except in the
understanding that the universe that is there—the external uni-
verse—has a certain form, a certain order, and that man conforms
to that order and so he can live within it.
Perhaps you remember one of Godard’s movies, Pierrot le Fou,
in which he has people going out through the windows,
instead of through the doors. But the interesting thing is that they
do not go out through the solid wall. Godard is really saying that
although he has no answer, yet at the same time he cannot go out
through that solid wall. This is merely his expression of the diffi-
culty of holding that there is a totally chaotic universe while the
external world has form and order.
Sometimes people try to bring in a little bit of order, but as
soon as you bring in a little bit of order, the first class of
answer—that everything is meaningless, everything is irrational—is
no longer self-consistent, and falls to the ground.
The view that everything is chaotic and there are no ultimate
answers is held by many thinking people today, but in my experi-
ence they always hold it very selectively. Almost without exception
(actually, I have never found an exception), they discuss rationally
until they are losing the discussion and then they try to slip over into
the answer of irrationality. But as soon as the one we are discussing
with does that, we must point out to him that as soon as he becomes
selective in his argument of irrationality, he makes his whole argu-
ment suspect. Theoretically, the position of irrationalism can be
held, but no one lives with it in regard either to the external world or
the categories of his thought world and discussion. As a matter of
fact, if this position were argued properly, all discussion would come
to an end. Communication would end. We would have only a series
of meaningless sounds—blah, blah, blah. The theater of the absurd
has said this, but it fails, because if you read and listen carefully to the
theater of the absurd, it is always trying to communicate its view that
one cannot communicate. There is always a communication about
the statement that there is no communication. It is always selective,
with pockets of order brought in somewhere along the line. Thus we
see that this class of answer—that all things are irrational—is not an
answer.
2. The second class of answer is that there is an answer that
can be rationally and logically considered, which can be communi-
cated to oneself in one’s thought world and communicated with
others externally. In this chapter we will deal with metaphysics in
the area of answers that can be discussed; later, we will deal with
man in his dilemma, the area of morals, in relation to answers that
can be discussed. So now, we are to consider such answers in the
area of being, of existence.
I have already said that there are not many basic answers,
although there are variances of details within the answers. Now,
curiously enough, there are only three possible basic answers to
this question that would be open to rational consideration. The
basic answers are very, very few indeed.
We are considering existence, the fact that something is
there. Remember Jean-Paul Sartre’s statement that the basic philo-
sophic question is that something is there, rather than that nothing
is there. The first basic answer is that everything that exists has
come out of absolutely nothing. In other words, you begin with
nothing. Now, to hold this view, it must be absolutely nothing. It
must be what I call nothing-nothing. It cannot be noth-
ing-something or something-nothing. If one is going to accept this
answer, it must be nothing-nothing, which means there must be
no energy, no mass, no motion, and no personality.
My description of nothing-nothing runs like this. Suppose
we had a very black blackboard that had never been used. On this
blackboard we drew a circle, and inside that circle there was every –
thing that was—and there was nothing within the circle. Then we
erase the circle. This is nothing-nothing. You must not let anybody
say he is giving an answer beginning with nothing and then really
begin with something: energy, mass, motion, or personality. That
would be something, and something is not nothing.
The truth is, I have never heard this argument sustained, for
it is unthinkable that all that now is has come out of utter nothing.
But theoretically, that is the first possible answer.
The second possible answer in the area of existence is that all
that now is had an impersonal beginning. This impersonality may be
mass, energy, or motion, but they are all impersonal, and all equally
impersonal. So it makes no basic philosophic difference which of
them you begin with. Many modern men have implied that because
they are beginning with energy particles, rather than old-fashioned
mass, they have a better answer. SALVADOR DALI did this as he moved
from his surrealistic period into his new mysticism. But such men
do not have a better answer. It is still impersonal. Energy is just as
impersonal as mass or motion. As soon as you accept the impersonal
beginning of all things, you are faced with some form of
reductionism. Reductionism argues that everything there is now,
from the stars to man himself, is finally to be understood by reduc-
ing it to the original, impersonal factor or factors.
The great problem with beginning with the impersonal is to
find any meaning for the particulars. A particular is any individual
factor, any individual thing—the separate parts of the whole. A
drop of water is a particular, and so is a man. If we begin with the
impersonal, then how do any of the particulars that now exist—
including man—have any meaning and significance? Nobody has
given us an answer to that. In all the history of philosophical
thought, whether from the East or the West, no one has given us an answer.
Beginning with the impersonal, everything, including man,
must be explained in terms of the impersonal plus time plus
chance. Do not let anyone divert your mind at this point. There are
no other factors in the formula, because there are no other factors
that exist. If we begin with an impersonal, we cannot then have
some form of teleological concept. No one has ever demonstrated
how time plus chance, beginning with an impersonal, can produce
the needed complexity of the universe, let alone the personality of
man. No one has given us a clue to this.
Often this answer—of beginning with the impersonal—is
called pantheism.
The new mystical thought in the underground
newspapers is almost always some form of pantheism—and
almost all the modern liberal theology is pantheistic as well. Often
this beginning with the impersonal is called pantheism, but really
this is a semantic trick, because by using the root theism
a connota-tion of the personal is brought in, when by definition the imper-
sonal is meant. In my discussions I never let anybody talk
unthinkingly about pantheism. Somewhere along the way I try to
make the point that it is not really pantheism, with its semantic
illusion of personality, but paneverythingism.
The ancient religions of Hinduism and Buddhism, as well as the modern mysticism, the
new pantheistic theology, are not truly pantheism. It is merely a
semantic solution that is being offered. Theism is being used as a connotation word. In
The God Who Is There, I have emphasized the fact that the modern solutions are usually semantic mystic-isms and this is one of them.
But whatever form paneverythingism takes, including the
modern scientific form which reduces everything to energy parti-
cles, it always has the same problem: in all of them, the end is the
impersonal.
There are two problems that always exist—the need for unity
and the need for diversity. Paneverythingism gives an answer for
the need of unity, but it gives none for the needed diversity. Begin –
ning with the impersonal, there is no meaning or significance to
diversity. We can think of the old Hindu pantheism, which begins
everything with om. In reality, everything ought to have ended
with om on a single note, with no variance, because there is no rea-
son for significance in variance. And even if paneverythingism
gave an answer for form, it gives no meaning for freedom. Cycles
are usually introduced as though waves were being tossed up out of
the sea, but this gives no final solution to any of these problems.
Morals, under every form of pantheism, have no meaning as mor-
als, for everything in paneverythingism is finally equal. Modern
theology must move toward situational ethics because there is no
such thing as morals in this cycle. The word “morals” is used, but it
is really only a word. This is the dilemma of the second answer,
which is the one that most hold today. Naturalistic science holds it,
beginning everything with energy particles. Many university stu-
dents hold some form of paneverythingism. Liberal theological
books today are almost uniformly pantheist. But beginning with
an impersonal, as the pantheist must do, there are no true answers
in regard to existence with its complexity, or the personality—the

mannishness—of man.Some might say there is another possibility—some form of dualism, that is, two opposites

existing simultaneously as co-equal and co-eternal. For example, mind (or ideals or ideas)

and matter; or in morals, good and evil. However, if in morals one holds this position, then

there is no ultimate reason to call one good and one evil_the words and choice are purely

subjective if there is not something above them. And if there is something above them it is no

longer a true dualism. In metaphysics, the dilemma is that no one finally rests with dualism.

Back of Yin and Yang there is placed a shadowy Tao; back of Zoroastrianism there is placed

an intangible thing or figure. The simple fact is that in any form of dualism we are left with

some form of imbalance or tension and there is a motion back to a monism.

Either men try to find a unity over the two; or in the case of the concept of a parallelism (for

example, ideals or ideas and material) there is a need to find a relationship, a correlation or

contact between the two, or we are left with a concept of the two keeping step with no unity

to cause them to do so. Thus in an attempted parrellism there has been a constant tendency

for one side to be subordinated to the other, or for one side to become an illusion.

Further, if the elements of the dualism are impersonal, we are left with the same problem

in both being and morals as in the case of a more simple form of a final impersonal. Thus, for

me, dualism is not the same kind of basic answer as the three I deal with in this book.

Perhaps it would be well to point out that in both existence and morals, Christianity gives a

unique and sufficient answer in regard to a present dualism yet original monism. In exis-

tence, God is spirit_this is as true of the Father as of the Holy Spirit, and equally true of the

Son, prior to the incarnation. Thus, we begin with a monism, but with a creation by the infinite

God of the material universe out of nothing, a dualism now exists. It should be noted that

while God thus created something which did not exist before, it is not a beginning out of nothing nothing, because he was there (as the infinite-personal God) to will.

The third possible answer is to begin with a personal beginning.
With this we have exhausted the possible basic answers in regard to
existence. It may sound simplistic, but it is true. That is not to
saythere are no details that one can discuss, no variances, subhead-
ings, or subschools—but these are the only basic schools of thought
that are possible. Somebody once brilliantly said that when you get
done with any basic questions, there are not many people in the
room. By this he meant that the farther you go in depth in any basic
question, finally the choices to be made are rather simple and clear.
There are not many basic answers to any of the great questions of
life.
So now let us think what it means to begin with that which is
personal. That is, that which is personal began everything else,
the very opposite of beginning with the impersonal. In this case,
man, being personal, does have meaning. This is not abstract.
Many of the people who come to L’Abri would not become Chris-
tians if we did not discuss in this area. Hundreds of them would
have turned away, saying, “You don’t know the questions.” These
things are not abstract, but have to do with communicating the
Christian gospel in the midst of the twentieth century.
I get tired of being asked why I don’t just preach the “simple
gospel.” You have to preach the simple gospel so that it is simple to
the person to whom you are talking, or it is no longer simple. The
dilemma of modern man is simple: he does not know why man has
any meaning. He is lost. Man remains a zero. This is the damnation
of our generation, the heart of modern man’s problem. But if we
begin with a personal beginning and this is the origin of all else,
then the personal does have meaning, and man and his aspirations
are not meaningless. Man’s aspirations of the reality of personality
are in line with what was originally there and what has always
intrinsically been.
It is the Christian who has the answer at this point—a titanic
answer! So why have we gone on saying the great truths in all the
ways that nobody understands? Why do we keep talking to our
-selves, if men are lost and we say we love them? Man’s damnation
today is that he can find no meaning for man, but if we begin with
the personal beginning we have an absolutely opposite situation.
We have the reality of the fact that personality does have meaning
because it is not alienated from what has always been, and what is,
and what always will be. This is our answer, and with this we have a
solution not only to the problem of existence—of bare being and
its complexity—but also for man’s being different, with a person-
ality which distinguishes him from non-man.
We may use an illustration of two valleys. Often in the Swiss
Alps there is a valley filled with water and an adjacent valley without
water. Surprisingly enough, sometimes the mountains spring leaks,
and suddenly the second valley begins to fill up with water. As long
as the level of water in the second valley does not rise higher than the
level of the water in the first valley, everyone concludes that there is a
real possibility that the second lake came from the first. However, if
the water in the second valley goes thirty feet higher than the water
in the first valley, nobody gives that answer. If we begin with a per-
sonal beginning to all things, then we can understand that man’s
aspiration for personality has a possible answer.
If we begin with less than personality, we must finally reduce
personality to the impersonal. The modern scientific world does this
in its reductionism, in which the word “personality” is only the
impersonal plus complexity. In the naturalistic scientific world,
whether social, psychological, or natural science, a man is reduced to
the impersonal plus complexity. There is no real, intrinsic differ-
ence.
But once we consider a personal beginning, we have yet
another choice to make. This is the next step: are we going to
choose the answer of God or gods? The difficulty with gods instead
of God is that limited gods are not big enough. To have an ade-
quate answer of a personal beginning, we need two things. We
need a personal-infinite God (or an infinite-personal God) and we need a personal unity and diversity in God.
Let us consider the first choice—a personal-infinite God.
Only a personal-infinite God is big enough. Plato understood that
you have to have absolutes or nothing has meaning. But the diffi-
culty facing Plato was the fact that his gods were not big enough to
meet the need. So although he knew the need, the need fell to the
ground because his gods were not big enough to be the point of ref-
erence or place of residence for his absolutes, for his ideals. In
Greek literature the Fates sometimes seem to be behind and con-
trolling the gods, and sometimes the gods seem to be controlling
the Fates. Why the confusion? Because everything fails in this
thinking at this point—because their limited gods are not big
enough. That is why we need a personal-infinite God. That is first.
Second, we need a personal unity and diversity in God—not
just an abstract concept of unity and diversity, because we have
seen we need a personal God. We need a personal unity and diver-
sity. Without this we have no answer.
What we are talking about is the philosophic necessity, in the
area of being and existence, of the fact that God is there. That is
what it is all about:He is there.
There is no other sufficient philosophical answer than the
one I have outlined. You can search through university philoso-
phy, underground philosophy, filling station philosophy—it does
not matter which—there is no other sufficient philosophical
answer to existence, to being, than the one I have outlined. There is
only one philosophy, one religion, that fills this need in all the
world’s thought, whether the East, the West, the ancient, the mod-
ern, the new, the old. Only one fills the philosophical need of exis-
tence, of being, and it is the Judeo-Christian God—not just an
abstract concept, but rather that this God is really there. He really
exists. There is no other answer, and orthodox Christians ought to
be ashamed of having been defensive for so long. It is not a time to
be defensive. There is no other answer.
Let us notice that no word is as meaningless as is the word
“god.” Of itself it means nothing. Like any other word, it is only a
linguistic symbol—g-o-d—until content is put into it. This is espe-
cially so for the word “god,” because no other word has been used to
convey such absolutely opposite meanings. The mere use of the
word “god” proves nothing. You must put content into it. The word
“god” as such is no answer to the philosophic problem of existence,
but the Judeo-Christian content to the word “God” as given in the
Old and New Testaments does meet the need of what exists—the
existence of the universe in its complexity and of man as man. And
what is that content? It relates to an infinite-personal God, who is
personal unity in diversity on the high order of trinity.
Every once in a while in my discussions someone asks how I
can believe in the Trinity. My answer is always the same. I would
still be an agnostic if there were no Trinity, because there would be
no answers. Without the high order of personal unity and diversity
as given in the Trinity,there are no answers.
Let us return again to the personal-infinite. On the side of
God’s infinity, there is a complete chasm between God on one side
and man, the animal, the flower, and the machine on the other. On
the side of God’s infinity, he stands alone. He is the absolute other.
He is, in his infinity, contrary to all else. He is differentiated from
all else because only he is infinite. He is the Creator; all else was cre-
ated. He is infinite; all else in finite. All else is brought forth by cre-
ation, so all else is dependent and only he is independent. This is
absolute on the side of his infinity. Therefore, concerning God’s
infinity, man is as separated from God as is the atom or any other
machine-portion of the universe.
But on the side of God being personal, the chasm is between
man and the animal, the planet, and the machine. Why? Because
man was made in the image of God. This is not just doctrine. It is
not dogma that needs just to be repeated linearly, as McLuhan
would say. This is really down in the warp and woof of the whole
problem. Man is made in the image of God; therefore, on the side
of the fact that God is a personal God, the chasm stands not
between God and man, but between man and all else. But on the
side of God’s infinity, man is as separated from God as the atom or
any other finite of the universe. So we have the answer to man’s
being finite and yet personal.
It is not that this is the best answer to existence; it is the only
answer. That is why we may hold our Christianity with intellectual
integrity. The only answer for what exists is that God, the
infinite-personal God, really is there.
Now we must develop the second part a bit further—per-
sonal unity and diversity on the high order of trinity. Einstein
taught that the whole material world may be reduced to electro-
magnetism and gravity. At the end of his life he was seeking a unity
above these two, something that would unite electromagnetism
and gravity, but he never found it. But what if he had found it? It
would only be unity in diversity in relationship to the material
world, and as such it would only be child’s play. Nothing would
really have been settled because the needed unity and diversity in
regard to personality would not have been touched. If he had been
able to bring electromagnetism and gravity together, he would not
have explained the need of personal unity and diversity.
In contrast, let us think of the Nicene Creed—three persons,
one God. Rejoice that they chose the word “person.” Whether you
realize it or not, that catapulted the Nicene Creed right into our
century and its discussions: three Persons in existence, loving each
other, and in communication with each other, before all else was.
If this were not so, we would have had a God who needed to
create in order to love and communicate. In such a case, God
would have needed the universe as much as the universe needed
God. But God did not need to create; God does not need the uni-
verse as the universe needs him. Why? Because we have a full and
true Trinity. The persons of the Trinity communicated with each
other and loved each other before the creation of the world.
This is not only an answer to the acute philosophic need of
unity in diversity, but of personal unity and diversity. The unity
and diversity cannot exist before God or be behind God, because
whatever is farthest back is God. But with the doctrine of the Trin-
ity, unity and diversity is God himself—three persons, yet one
God. That is what the Trinity is, and nothing less than this.
We must appreciate that our Christian forefathers under-
stood this very well in A.D.325, when they stressed the three per-
sons in the Trinity, as the Bible had clearly set this forth. Let us
notice that it is not that they invented the Trinity in order to give an
answer to the philosophical questions which the Greeks of that
time understood very dynamically. It is quite the contrary. The
unity and diversity problem was there, and they realized that in the
Trinity, as it had been taught in the Bible, they had an answer that
no one else had. They did not invent the Trinity to meet the need;
the Trinity was already there and it met the need. They realized that
in the Trinity we have what all these people are arguing about and
defining but for which they have no answer.
Let us notice again that this is not the best answer; it is the only
answer. Nobody else, no philosophy, has ever given us an answer
for unity and diversity. So when people ask whether we are embar-
rassed intellectually by the Trinity, I always switch it over into their
own terminology—unity and diversity. Every philosophy has this
problem and no philosophy has an answer. Christianity does have
an answer in the existence of the Trinity. The only answer to what
exists is that he, the triune God, is there.
So we have said two things. The only answer to the metaphys-
ical problem of existence is that the infinite-personal God is there,
and the only answer to the metaphysical problem of existence is
that he, the Trinity, is there—the triune God.
Now, surely by this time we will have become convinced that
philosophy and religion are indeed dealing with the same ques-
tions. Notice that in the basic concept of existence, of being, it is
the Christian answer or nothing. It will change your life if you
understand this, no matter how evangelical and orthodox you are.
Let me add something, in passing. I find that many people
who are evangelical and orthodox want truth just to be true to the
dogmas, or to be true to what the Bible says. Nobody stands more
for the full inspiration of Scripture than I, but this is not the end of
truth as Christianity is presented, as the Bible presents itself.The
truth of Christianity is that it is true to what is there.You can go to
the end of the world and you never need be afraid, like the ancients,
that you will fall off the end and the dragons will eat you up. You
can carry out your intellectual discussion to the end of the game,
because Christianity is not only true to the dogmas, it is not only
true to what God has said in the Bible, but it is also true to what is
there, and you will never fall off the end of the world! It is not just
an approximate model; it really is true to what is there. When the
evangelical catches that—when evangelicalism catches that—we
may have our revolution. We will begin to have something beauti-
ful and alive, something which will have force in our poor, lost
world. That is what truth is from the Christian viewpoint and as
God sets it forth in Scripture. But if we are going to have this
answer, notice that we must have the full biblical
answer, and not reduce Christianity to either the paneverythingism of the East or
the paneverythingism of modern liberal theology, whether
Protestant or Roman Catholic. We must not
allow a theological pantheism to begin to creep in, and we must not reduce Christian-
ity to the modern existential, upper-story theology. If we are going
to have these great, titanic answers, Christianity must be the full
biblical answer. We need the full biblical position to have the
answer to the basic philosophical problem of the existence of what
is. We need the full biblical content concerning God: that he is the
infinite-personal God and the triune God.
Now let me express this in a couple of other ways. One way to
say it is that without the infinite-personal God, the God of personal
unity and diversity, there is no answer to the existence of what
exists. We can say it in another way, however, and that is that the
infinite-personal God, the God who is Trinity, has spoken. He is
there, and he is not silent. There is no use having a silent God. We
would not know anything about him. He has spoken and told us
what he is and that he existed before all else, and so we have the
answer to the existence of what is.
He is not silent. The reason we have the answer is because the
infinite-personal God, the full trinitarian God, has not been silent.
He has told us who he is. Couch your concept of inspiration and
revelation in these terms, and you will se how it cuts down into the
warp and woof of modern thinking.He is not silent.
That is the reason we know. It is because he has spoken. What has he told us? Has
he told us only about other things? No, he has told us true truth
about himself, and because he has told us true truth about him-
self—that he is the infinite-personal, triune God—we have the
answer to existence. Or we may put it this way: at the point of
metaphysics—of being, of existence—general and special revela-
tion speak with one voice. All these ways of saying it are really
expressing the same thing from slightly different viewpoints.
In conclusion, man, beginning with himself, can define the
philosophical problem of existence, but he cannot generate from
himself the answer to the problem. The answer to the problem of
existence is that the infinite-personal, triune God is there, and that
the infinite-personal, triune God is not silent

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____________

“Music Monday” LAST RECORDED SONG BY BEATLES ON APRIL 1, 1970 TELLS WHY THEY BROKE UP!

_

A commentary below notes: “They were all prepared or desiring to move in different directions; they all really kind of wanted their own thing. A fitting, if depressing ending song. It’s about selfishness…” That is my analysis too of the following song:

Lyrics
All through the day
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
All through the night
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
Now they’re frightened of leaving it
Everyone’s weaving it
Coming on strong all the time
All through the day
I me mine
I me me mine
I me me mine
I me me mine
I me me mine
All I can hear
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
Even those tears
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
No-one’s frightened of playing it
Everyone’s saying it
Flowing more freely than wine
All through the day
I me mine
I me me mine
I me me mine
I me me mine
I me me mine
All I can hear
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
Even those tears
I me mine, I me mine, I me mine
No-one’s frightened of playing it
Everyone’s saying it
Flowing more freely than wine
All through your life
I me mine
Source: Musixmatch
Songwriters: George Harrison
I Me Mine lyrics © Westminster Music

  • General CommentI think it’s commentary on the breaking up of the band more than anything. Sure, it applies to Paul, but it really applies to each of them. They were all prepared or desiring to move in different directions; they all really kind of wanted their own thing. A fitting, if depressing ending song. It’s about selfishness and how it can build things (Desire for wealth and fame makes many bands) but destroys them just as well (Major fame makes them think each is the reason they rock, so they want their own gigs).

    DavimusKon July 24, 2007   Link

I Me Mine” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1970 album Let It Be. Written by George Harrison, it was the last new track recorded by the band before their break-up in April 1970. The song originated from their January 1969 rehearsals at Twickenham Film Studios when they were considering making a return to live performance. Written at a time of acrimony within the group, the lyrics lament humankind’s propensity for self-centredness and serve as a comment on the discord that led to Harrison temporarily leaving the Beatles. The musical arrangement alternates between waltz-time verses and choruses played in the hard rockstyle.

“I Me Mine”
"I Me Mine" sheet music cover.jpg

Cover of the original Hansen Publishing sheet music
Song by the Beatles
from the album Let It Be
Released 8 May 1970
Recorded 3 January and 1 April 1970
Studio EMI, London
Genre Rock
Length 2:25
Label Apple
Songwriter(s) George Harrison
Producer(s) Phil Spector

The song reflects Harrison’s absorption in Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita and their denouncement of ego in favour of universal consciousness. When Harrison presented “I Me Mine” at Twickenham, John Lennon showed little interest and instead waltzed with Yoko Ono while the other Beatles rehearsed the song. Footage of the couple dancing was included in the Let It Bedocumentary film. In January 1970, by which point Lennon had privately left the group, the three remaining members formally recorded the song at EMI Studios in London for the Let It Be album. When preparing the album for release, producer Phil Spector extended the track by repeating the chorus and second verse, in addition to adding orchestration and a female choir.

Among music critics, several writers have identified “I Me Mine” as a powerful final performance by the Beatles and an apt statement from Harrison. The song has been referenced by some religious scholars in their commentary on egoism. Harrison titled his 1980 autobiography I, Me, Mine after the track. The original recording, lasting just 1:34, appeared on the Beatles’ 1996 outtakes compilation Anthology 3, introduced by a mock announcement from Harrison referring to Lennon’s departure.

Background and inspirationEdit

I kept coming across the words I, me and mine in books about yoga and stuff … [about the difference between] the real you and the you that people mistake their identity to be … I, me and mine is all ego orientation. But it is something which is used all the time … “No one’s frightened of saying it, everyone’s playing it, coming on strong all the time. All through your life, I me mine.”[1]

– George Harrison, 1997

George Harrison wrote “I Me Mine” on 7 January 1969, during the second week of the Beatles‘ filmed rehearsals at Twickenham Film Studios in west London.[2] The film project – which became known as Get Back and eventually Let It Be[3][4] – formed part of the Beatles’ proposed return to live performance for the first time since 1966.[5]Harrison recalled that after spending two months in the United States in late 1968, he was “quite optimistic” about the new project, but the situation within the group “was just the same as it had been when we were last in the studio … There was a lot of trivia and games being played.”[6] For Harrison, the power struggle between John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and the constant presence of Lennon’s girlfriend, avant-garde artist Yoko Ono,[7] created an atmosphere that contrasted sharply with the creative freedom and camaraderie he had recently enjoyed with Bob Dylan and the Band in upstate New York.[8]

When writing the song, Harrison drew inspiration from the divisive atmosphere in the band.[2] The 7 January rehearsal was marked by acrimony, as the Beatles argued over the direction of the project.[9]Hours were given over to rehearsing McCartney’s “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” with little improvement,[10] and McCartney confronted Lennon over his lack of new songs, drawing a sarcastic response from Lennon.[11][nb 1] Since the start of the project, Harrison had presented several new songs for consideration,[16][17] only to see them given laborious treatment by the band or overlooked entirely.[18] That day, he confronted his bandmates about their attitude to his songs;[19] he later complained that due to their greater experience as songwriters, Lennon and McCartney viewed their own material as the priority and “I’d have to wait through ten of their songs before they’d even listen to one of mine.”[20] In their study of the tapes from the Get Back project, authors Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt write that Lennon and McCartney regularly overlooked Harrison’s compositions, even when his songs were “far better than their own”.[7]

The song’s message was partly inspired by the teachings of Hindu monk Swami Vivekananda.

When discussing “I Me Mine”, Harrison said he was addressing the “eternal problem” of egoism[21][22]and that his perspective was informed by his past experiences with the hallucinogenic drug LSD.[1][23]He said the concept was in keeping with Swami Vivekananda‘s teaching that an individual’s goal in life was to realise their divine qualities by transcending ego concerns, which Harrison called “the little ‘i'”, and seeing themselves as part of “the big ‘I’; i.e. OM, the complete whole, universal consciousness that is devoid of duality and ego”.[21]Author Jonathan Gould describes the song as a “commentary on the selfishness” of Lennon and McCartney,[24] while musicologist Walter Everettsays that after Harrison had written “Not Guilty” in 1968 as a “defense against the tyranny of his songwriting comrades”, “I Me Mine” was his “mocking complaint about their stifling egos”.[25]Harrison wrote the song at home that night.[26] The melody was inspired by the incidental music on a BBC television programme he watched, Europa – The Titled and the Untitled,[19] played by an Austrian brass band.[25]

CompositionEdit

The verses of “I Me Mine” are in the key of A minorwhile the chorus is in A major.[27] This technique of parallel minor/major contrast is common in the Beatles’ songwriting and had been employed by Harrison in his 1968 songs “While My Guitar Gently Weeps[27] and “Savoy Truffle“.[28][nb 2] Everett likens the melody of the verses to the European folk music typified by Mary Hopkin‘s debut single for the Beatles’ Apple record label, “Those Were the Days“.[25] He views this folk aspect as “well suited” to Harrison’s use of the same “F-against-E7 sound” he first adopted in “I Want to Tell You“.[25][nb 3] The composition originally included a flamenco-style instrumental passage[30] but Harrison subsequently replaced this section with a chorus repeating the line “I me-me mine”.[31] In its final form, the structure comprises an intro, two combinations of verse and chorus, followed by a verse.[32] The verse and chorus are also differentiated by their time signature: the former is in 3/4 time while the latter is in 4/4.[32]

Musicologist Alan Pollack describes the song as “an interesting folk/blues stylistic hybrid with more than just a touch of the hard rocking waltz beat”.[32] The verse begins with two repeated phrases, each consisting of a shift from the i minor (Am) chord to a IV (D7), emphasising the Dorian mode,[33] followed by ♭VII (G), V7 (E7) and i minor chords.[32] The verse continues with a minor iv (Dm) chord for two bars[32]before shifting to V7 (E7), after which a ♭9 (F natural) melody note results in what musicologist Dominic Pedler terms the “dark drama” of an E7♭9 chord and an example of the Beatles’ employment of an “exotic intensifier”.[34] There then follows a chromatically descending bass line over the i minor chord, leading to VI (F7) and the transition into the 4/4 chorus.[32] The latter presents as a heavy rock[35] 12-bar blues but is abbreviated to 10 bars since the V chord functions as a re-transition to the verse.[32] Pedler also comments on the unusual aspect of the song concluding on an ♭VI (Fmaj7) chord in A minor key.[36]

The set of pronouns that form the song’s title are a conventional way of referring to the ego in Hinduand Buddhist philosophy.[37] The lyrics reference the Bhagavad Gita 2:71-72,[38] part of which advocates a life “devoid of any sense of mineness or egotism”.[39][nb 4] According to spiritual biographer Gary Tillery, the song targets McCartney and Lennon “for being so fixated on their own interests” but also laments all of humankind’s propensity for egocentricity.[8] The lyrics state that this self-centredness is constant and in all actions and desires.[41] Tillery says that the message is both ironic and tragic from a Hindu perspective, which contends that ego is merely an illusion; egocentricity is therefore akin to a single drop of water focusing on its own course at the expense of the ocean surrounding it.[8]

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below spent a lot of time in the 1960’s analyzing the Beatles’ words and music and below he sums up the Beatles search for meaning and values in a letter that I mailed to Paul McCartney on March 20, 2016.)

March 20, 2016

Paul McCartney

Dear Paul,

I love the song THE LONG AND WINDING ROAD for several reasons. I hope you put it in your set list for Little Rock on April 30, 2016. Wikipedia noted: 

The Long and Winding Road” is a ballad written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) from the Beatles‘ album Let It Be. It became the group’s 20th and last number-one song in the United States in June 1970,[1] and was the last single released by the quartet.

While the released version of the song was very successful, the post-production modifications by producer Phil Spector angered McCartney to the point that when he made his case in court for breaking up the Beatles as a legal entity, he cited the treatment of “The Long and Winding Road” as one of six reasons for doing so. New versions of the song with simpler instrumentation were subsequently released by both the Beatles and McCartney.

In 2011, Rolling Stone ranked “The Long and Winding Road” number 90 on their list of 100 greatest Beatles songs of all time.[2]

During your time in the Beatles you obviously were searching for satisfaction in several different places and it seemed you returned to the romantic vision of love providing the big answers to life. 
The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I’ve seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door
The wild and windy night that the rain washed away
Has left a pool of tears crying for the day
Why leave me standing here, let me know the way
Many times I’ve been alone and many times I’ve cried
Anyway you’ll never know the many ways I’ve tried
And still they lead me back to the long and winding road
Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984) was a Christian and a philosopher who also took a deep interest in the trends in culture in the 1960’s and he spent a lot of time analyzing the Beatles search for meaning and values in life. Here is a summary statement he had on the Beatles:
The Beatles have showed us what has occurred [in the last years of the 1960’s in the culture.] The Beatles with Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band which incidentally was a very good piece of total art in the sense that it was an unit, they had many songs on this album but the songs all made one message and the whole album was an unit, and the way the songs were arranged. It all formed an unit of infiltration  of the message of modern man and of the drug culture. In fact, it could be said the  drug culture and the mentality that went with it had it’s own vehicle that crossed the frontiers of the world which were otherwise almost impassible by other means of communication. This record,  Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, became the rallying cry for young people throughout the world. It expressed the essence of their lives, thoughts and their feelings. 

(Below Francis Schaeffer holding up  Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album in his film HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? Episode 7 which can be seen on Vimeo:

Francis Schaeffer – How Should We then Live – 07.The Age of Non Reason

from CaptanFunkyFresh6 years ago

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Image result for francis schaeffer beatles sergeant pepper's lonely hearts album

Later came psychedelic rock, an attempt to find this experience without drugs. The younger people and the older ones tried drug taking but then turned to the eastern religions. Both drugs and the eastern religions seek truth inside one’s own head, a negation of reason. The central reason of the popularity of eastern religions in the west is a hope for a nonrational meaning to life and values….

Beatles in India

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Then the Beatles gradually came home. The last thing we find them doing is the YELLOW SUBMARINE. I am sure a lot of parents thought this is much better than the old hard rock, but I thought it was a very sad thing because it really wasn’t a children’s story at all, but what it was in fact was a romantic statement and the fact is that is all there is. Just the same as [Ingmar] Bergman after he makes the movie SILENCE [1963] then he makes a comedy [ALL THESE WOMEN in 1964]. It is the same as Picasso when he pictures his child as a clown [Paul in a Clown Suit, 1924]. So we find the Beatles making the YELLOW SUBMARINE, but there is something more to it than this because Erich Segal made his reputation by writing the script for the movie version of YELLOW SUBMARINE and then he went on and wrote LOVE STORY. So what we have done is we have come around in a big circle. There was the destruction of the romantic. Students in the 1960’s said we are tired of the romantic of giving us optimistic statements with no sufficient base.

[Paul in a Clown Suit, 1924 by Picasso].

Paul in a Clown Suit, 1924, 1903 by Pablo Picasso

LOVE STORY

So the Beatles destroyed that and then they went through these various trips into non-reason but when they came out they had nothing left but the romantic. This is the tragedy of the young people starting with Berkeley in 1964. How right they were in saying we have largely a plastic culture.    This is something the church should have been saying. These students said give us reality. Then the students tried those trips and they weren’t trips based on reality but they were separated from reason. It was trying to find answers in one’s own head whether it was the drug  trip or the Eastern Religion trip. Then they came around in a big circle and what do we find–we end up with Segal’s LOVE STORY, just the romantic thing as one can imagine but with no adequate base at all, yet giving us a lovely romantic answer, which just like the YELLOW SUBMARINE is very, very sad because the Beatles and young people were giving up the search and just accepting something like this. 

(Joan Baez sings at Free Speech Movement rally in Berkeley. November 20, 1964)

YELLOW SUBMARINE

Image result for beatles yellow submarine

If we are going to understand the line of despair we must understand that it is an unit saying that reason is not going to take us anywhere. After Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Søren Kierkegaard and the German philosophers Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, and Immanuel Kant there was an unity that bound all these fields of expressions together. First, it was the philosopher expressing this. Second, it was the artist. Third, it was the musician and lastly it was expressed in general culture. The giving up of hope that on the basis of reason one is going to have optimistic answers is the mark of our age. Any kind of answers to the purpose in life, love morals have nothing to do with reason for modern man. It can be expressed in John Cage’s music or in certain forms of rock music.

Chance is the king of our age and John Cage’s music best demonstrates where chance has brought us

You scientists out there who say man is only the atom but a big more complex then you come home to your wife and you say, “I love you.” You want something more than merely sex. Those of you who look to your children with some tenderness and those of you who believe in some morals but you have never settled your score with Marquis de Sade  who said it so well WHAT IS IS RIGHT.

Modern man lives in a dichotomy. Downstairs there is reason which leads to man only being a machine and upstairs there is a some kind of hope against all reason. That great high boast coming out of the Enlightenment that man beginning from himself would gather enough particulars to make his own universal to give adequate answers for life, but it has failed.

de Sade portrayed in recent movie

Karl Popper seen below

Alfred Kinsey seen below

Image result for alfred kinsey

Rationalism fails because man is finite and limited. Karl Popper in England can falsify a few things but he can’t verify anything. Alfred Kinsey tells us that all sexual behavior just comes down to sociological statistics. There is not going to be an answer for modern man unless there is something more than modern man beginning from himself, namely that there is a God there and He is not silent.

In another place 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?, under footnote #94)

Consider, too, the threat in the entire Middle East from the power of Assyria. In 853 B.C. King Shalmaneser III of Assyria came west from the region of the Euphrates River, only to be successfully repulsed by a determined alliance of all the states in that area of the Battle of Qarqar. Shalmaneser’s record gives details of the alliance. In these he includes Ahab, who he tells us put 2000 chariots and 10,000 infantry into the battle. However, after Ahab’s death, Samaria was no longer strong enough to retain control, and Moab under King Mesha declared its independence, as II Kings 3:4,5 makes clear:

Now Mesha king of Moab was a sheep breeder, and he had to deliver to the king of Israel 100,000 lambs and the wool of 100,000 rams. But when Ahab died, the king of Moab rebelled against the king of Israel.

The famous Moabite (Mesha) Stone, now in the Louvre, bears an inscription which testifies to Mesha’s reality and of his success in throwing off the yoke of Israel. This is an inscribed black basalt stela, about four feet high, two feet wide, and several inches thick.

Moabite (Mesha) Stone seen below

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Actually 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. Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject and if you like you could just google these subjects: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem, 2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription.13. The Pilate Inscription14. Caiaphas Ossuary14 B Pontius Pilate Part 214c. Three greatest American Archaeologists moved to accept Bible’s accuracy through archaeology.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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Featured artist is Charles Lutyens

Contemporary Christian Art – The Rt Revd Lord Harries of Pentregarth

Image result for charles lutyens artist

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Published on Apr 10, 2012

Contrary to much opinion, the current scene of faith-related art is very much alive. There are new commissions for churches and cathedrals, a number of artists pursue their work on the basis of a deeply convinced faith, and other artists often resonate with traditional Christian themes, albeit in a highly untraditional way. The challenge for the artist, stated in the introduction to the course of lectures above, is still very much there: how to retain artistic integrity whilst doing justice to received themes.

This lecture is part of Lord Harries’ series on ‘Christian Faith and Modern Art’. The last century has seen changes in artistic style that have been both rapid and radical. This has presented a particular problem to artists who have wished to express Christian themes.

The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website:
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and…

Gresham College has been giving free public lectures since 1597. This tradition continues today with all of our five or so public lectures a week being made available for free download from our website.
http://www.gresham.ac.uk

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Charles Lutyens, 1933

Fire Angel Mosaic, 1968

Image result for charles lutyens artist Fire Angel Mosaic

Charles Lutyens studied at the Chelsea, Slade, St Martin’s and CentralSchools of Art in London and later in Paris. Though mainly a painter he has worked in a range of media and has exhibited widely. From 1963 to 1968 he worked on a commission to produce a mosaic mural of “Angels of the Heavenly Host” on the four long panels high above and surrounding the congregation and altar of St Paul’s Bow, with light flooding down from the large lantern on top. At 800 square feet it is almost certainly the largest contemporary mural in the British Isles. Lutyens was commissioned by the architects of the church because they thought his work consistently revealed “a feeling for states of mind or spirit.” They thought that as we do not know what angels look like it was important that the work be not to too representational and as they put it, they thought the work had achieved just the right balance “between the figurative and the abstract, between severity and empathy, between assertiveness and recession.”[1] Mainly a portrait and landscape painter, Lutyens has turned to Christian themes from time to time as in this recently exhibited The Mocking, 1968. What is interesting about this is the way the tormentors hide behind a great sheet as though they do not want to see what they are doing.

 

Outraged Christ

Image result for charles lutyens artist Outraged Christ

The highlight of a recent exhibition, however, was a work which has also just been completed and was on view for the first time. This is the much larger than life, in fact 15’ Outraged Christ, made of carved and recycled timber shaped in the form of slats. The first Christians liked to show Christ victorious on the cross. The Mediaeval period focussed on his suffering for the sins of the world. The 20th century too focussed almost exclusively on the suffering of Christ but more often than not as a paradigm of the suffering of a terrible century with its innumerable victims.

 

The Outraged Christ.

The depiction of an outraged Christ is, so far as I know, a fresh addition to Christian iconography. It is a moving, impressive work. Instead of Christ being shown battered or anguished, it depicts him with mouth open, slightly to one side, with his knees pushing forward from the cross, in rage. But here is rage, indeed fury, not just at what is being inflicted on him but at what we humans do to one another.

[1] Charles Lutyens: Being in the World, paintings, drawings, sculptures, mosaic info@charleslutyens.co.uk, 2011,p.64

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From his website:

Profile

Born in 1933, Charles Lutyens has been an artist all his life. He grew up during the war living in Berkshire and discovered his enjoyment to paint when he was seven years old whilst at school in Shropshire. During his time at Bryanston School in Dorset he realised his commitment to being an artist and would use his academic assignment periods to work in the art room. Through later training at the Slade, St. Martin’s and Central Schools of Art, he developed his skills in oil painting and sculpture.

Lutyens’ work is diverse and has always taken an individual direction using a variety of materials including clay, wood, stone, mosaic, as well as drawn and painted images on paper, board and canvas. His images emerge out of his own experience of life, looking inwardly, with a focus on the condition of “Man’s being in the World”.

Between 1958 and 1964, Lutyens lived in London working in his Fulham studio developing his own personal approach to painting. A body of images then painted were exhibited at the Wildenstein Gallery in New York, where critics compared his work to expressionists, Munch and Ensor.

From 1963 to 1968, Lutyens worked on a commission to produce a tesserae mosaic mural of “Angels of the Heavenly Host” at the newly consecrated church of St. Paul’s, Bow Common, E3.

Charles moved to Oxford with his family in 1978, where together with other commitments, teaching and running related workshops he continued to explore his studio painting and sculpting as well as his landscape work.

Throughout his artistic life he has exhibited in his studio, partaken in mixed exhibitions and has held one-man shows at St. Martin’s Gallery in London and Hollerhaus Gallery, near Munich.

His work is in private collections in England, Germany, Austria, France, Ireland, Spain and USA.

He has recently moved with his wife to Hampshire and is currently working on a 15ft wooden sculpture, a Crucifixion of an “Outraged Christ”.

Related posts:

Image result for sergent peppers album cover

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? ) 

Image result for francis schaeffer how should we then live

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

Francis Schaeffer

Image result for francis schaeffer

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February 15, 2018 – 1:45 am

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The Beatles went through their Eastern Religion phase and it happened to be when the album SERGEANT PEPPER’S LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND album came out. Today we will take a look at the article “The Gurus of Sergeant Pepper,” by Richard Salva and then look at some of the thoughts of Francis Schaeffer on this topic. I […]

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In 1967 the Beatles had honored Stockhausen by putting his photo on the cover of their Sergeant Pepper [sic] album. When John Lennon was murdered in December 1980, Stockhausen said in a telephone interview: “Lennon often used to phone me. He was particularly fond of my Hymnen and Gesang der Jünglinge, and got many things […]

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Have you ever had the chance to contrast the music of Bach with that of the song Revolution 9 by the Beatles? Francis Schaeffer pointed out, “Bach as a Christian believed that there was resolution for the individual and for history. As the music that came out of the Biblical teaching of the Reformation was […]

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Dan Mitchell article Another Minority Convert to Gun Rights

Another Minority Convert to Gun Rights

Charles Blow is a doctrinaire left-wing columnist for the New York Times. But I applauded him late last year for expressing sympathy for black gun ownership.

He’s certainly not a full-blown supporter of the Second Amendment.

And I don’t think he realizes that many of the first gun control laws had racist motivations.

But I’m not going to nit pick. I welcome converts, even half-hearted ones.

Which is why today’s column will cheer another newcomer to the cause.

In a column for the Washington Post, Danielle King describes her decision to become a gun owner.

I never thought I’d own a gun. But there I was, in Hazard, Ky., in the middle of a pandemic on a Saturday, buying a .38 snub-nosed revolver. I’m not your stereotypical gun owner…as a Black woman, I am a statistical rarity… But I had come to believe that I had two choices: take steps to protect myself, or become a victim. I decided I needed to be armed.…it wasn’t until one night last April at my Kentucky home that I decided to become a gun owner myself. The brightness of the living room light startled me from my sleep. …The rustling sounds confirmed that we had an intruder. …The invader eventually made his way to the bedroom door. …The intruder slammed against the door like a battering ram in an attempt to take it down. He nearly succeeded, shattering the frame, but my husband held the rest of the door shut while I hid on the balcony and called the police.It took officers more than 45 minutes to arrive… I realized we needed protection. …Three days after the break-in, with my husband’s encouragement, I went to the gun store and purchased my revolver and some hollow-point bullets.

Ms. King notes that many other blacks are joining her and becoming gun owners.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation reported a 58 percent surge in gun purchases by Black men and women in the first six months of 2020 compared with the same period in 2019, citing a survey of gun retailers. Of all purchasers, 5.4 percent were Black women. I strongly support private gun ownership and the Second Amendment… To be honest, I am still afraid of having guns in my home — and even of having one in my possession. But we are products of a violent nation, and ultimately, I don’t feel like the police can or want to protect me. …My first practice shot was a couple of feet from my backyard, bordering the woods. My husband created a target for me to practice on. …Terrified, my hands trembling, drenched in sweat, I anxiously grasped the revolver’s handle while searching for the trigger. Then, lining up the target while calming my breath, I pressed the trigger to hear a POP. Now, I thought, we are protected.

By the way, I hope what she wrote about the police isn’t true. I’d like to think they want to protect her and her family.

But Ms. King is definitely correct to fear that the police may not have the ability to protect her. Just consider the fact that it took 45 minutes for cops to arrive when her family was threatened by an intruder.

And it would be especially foolish to rely on the government for safety during a pandemic. Or during a period of civil strife.

If you read Ms. King’s full column, it’s clear that she hasn’t embraced the full libertarian view on gun ownership. But just as was the case with Charles Blow, I welcome her shift in the correct direction.

P.S. Here are the other columns celebrating folks on the left who have had epiphanies on gun rights.

  • In 2012, I shared some important observations from Jeffrey Goldberg, a left-leaning writer for The Atlantic. In his column, he basically admitted his side was wrong about gun control.
  • Then, in 2013, I wrote about a column by Justin Cronin in the New York Times. He self-identified as a liberal, but explained how real-world events have led him to become a supporter of private gun ownership.
  • In 2015, I shared a column by Jamelle Bouie in Slate, who addressed the left’s fixation on trying to ban so-called assault weapons and explains that such policies are meaningless.
  • More recently, in 2017, Leah Libresco wrote in the Washington Post that advocates of gun control are driven by emotion rather empirical research and evidence.
  • Last but not least, Alex Kingsbury in 2019 acknowledged the futility of gun control in a column for the New York Times.

P.P.S. Here’s a column on race and gun control.

P.P.P.S. If you want unintentional comedy, here’s a column by a British leftist who equates gun ownership and slavery.

Karl Marx: Worst Person in World History?

Since more than 100 million people have been killed by communist regimes, should we conclude that Karl Marx is the worst person in world history?

To address that question, let’s start with this video from Prager University, which is narrated by Professor Paul Kengor of Grove City College.

At the risk of understatement, the video is a damning indictment of Marx’s legacy.

His political ideas provided the justification for the genocides of dictators such as Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot.

His economic ideas led to policies that produced mass deprivation, starvation, and immense human suffering.

Now let’s take a closer look at Marx rather than just his ideas.

Was he a good person who simply had some horribly misguided ideals?

Hardly. Everything we know suggests he was a sickeningly despicable excuse for a human being.

Professor Richard Ebeling has some of the sordid details in an article for Intellectual Takeout.

Karl Marx was born on May 5, 1818, in the Rhineland town of Trier. …he was generally a lazy and good-for-nothing student. …Marx’s only real jobs during his lifetime were as occasional reporters for or editors of newspapers and journals most of which usually closed in a short period of time…He had sex enough times with the family maid that she bore him an illegitimate son… He often used racial slurs and insulting words to describe the mannerisms or appearance of his opponents in the socialist movement.  …In Marx’s mind, the Jew in bourgeois society encapsulated the essence of everything he considered despicable in the capitalist system… Marx’s caricaturing description of the asserted “Jewish mindset” rings amazingly similar to those that were later written by the Nazi “race-scientists” of the 1930s.

All told, it appears that Marx lacked a single redeeming feature. He was a very bad person with very bad ideas.

Indeed, it’s safe to assume that the best thing he did in his life occurred on March 14, 1883.

P.S. For those seeking more economic analysis, Marx advocated for the pure version of socialism, meaning government ownership of the means of production (state factories, collective farms, etc).

P.P.S. It’s disgusting that there’s a statue of Marx in his birth city and it’s equally disgusting that the former President of the European Commission went there to celebrate the 200th anniversary of his birth.

P.P.P.S. Marx gets featured frequently in my collection of jokes mocking communism.

The Beatles were good friends of Allen Ginsberg and Terry Southern and many others who were involved in the FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT in Berkeley in the 1960’s. The movement started off just being about FREE SPEECH, but then it turned quickly to the New Left and the Marxist-Leninist point of view. It was in this atmosphere in the mid-sixties that caused KARL MARX to be a logical choice to be on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s.

Beatles 1966 Last interview

69 THE BEATLES TWO OF US

As a university student, Karl Marx (1818-1883) joined a movement known as the Young Hegelians, who strongly criticized the political and cultural establishments of the day. He became a journalist, and the radical nature of his writings would eventually get him expelled by the governments of Germany, France and Belgium. In 1848, Marx and fellow German thinker Friedrich Engels published “The Communist Manifesto,” which introduced their concept of socialism as a natural result of the conflicts inherent in the capitalist system. Marx later moved to London, where he would live for the rest of his life. In 1867, he published the first volume of “Capital” (Das Kapital), in which he laid out his vision of capitalism and its inevitable tendencies toward self-destruction, and took part in a growing international workers’ movement based on his revolutionary theories.

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

Karl Marx is seen next to Oliver Hardy on the cover of  Stg. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

1. Sri Yukteswar (Indian Guru)
2. Aleister Crowley (black magician)
3. Mae West
4. Lenny Bruce
5. Stockhausen (modern German composer)
6. W.C. Fields
7. Carl Jung (psychologist)
8. Edgar Allen Poe
9. Fred Astaire
10. Merkin (American artist)
12. Huntz Hall (Bowery Boy)
13. Simon Rodia (creater of Watts Towers)
14. Bob Dylan
15. Aubrey Beardsly (Victorian artist)
16. Sir Robert Peel (Police pioneer)
17. Aldous Huxley (philosopher)
18. Dylan Thomas (Welsh poet)
19. Terry Southern (author)
20. Dion (American pop singer)
21. Tony Curtis
22. Wallace Berman (Los Angeles artist)
23. Tommy Handley (wartime comedian)
24. Marilyn Monroe
25. William Buroughs (author)
26. Mahavatar Babaji (Indian Guru)
27. Stan Laurel
28. Richard Lindner (New York artist)
29. Oliver Hardy
30. Karl Marx
31. H.G. Wells
32. Paramhansa Yogananda (Indian Guru)
33. Stuart Sutcliffe
35. Max Muller
37. Marlon Brando
38. Tom Mix (cowboy film star)
39. Oscar Wilde
40. Tyrone Power
41. Larry Bell (modern painter)
42. Dr. Livingstone
43. Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan)
44. Stephen Crane (American writer)
45. Issy Bonn (comedian)
46. George Bernard Shaw
47. Albert Stubbins (Liverpool footballer)
49. Lahiri Mahasaya (Indian Guru)
50. Lewis Carol
51. Sonny Liston (boxer)
52 – 55. The Beatles (in wax)
57. Marlene Dietrich
58. Diana Dors
59. Shirley Temple
60. Bobby Breen (singing prodigy)
61. T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia)
In these pics from alternate shots of the cover photo, you can still see Leo Gorcey, who was removed because he requested a fee, next to his fellow Bowery Boy pal Huntz Hal, and Ghandi, who was removed because EMI felt his inclusion might offend record buyers in India.
http://www.beatlesagain.com/btsgtppr.html

About BED PEACE

1969 was the year that John & Yoko intensified their long running campaign for World Peace.

They approached the task with the same entrepreneurial expertise as an advertising agency selling a brand of soap powder to the masses. John & Yoko’s product however was PEACE, not soft soap, and they were determined to use any slogan, event and gimmick in order to persuade the World to buy it.

BED PEACE (directed by Yoko & John and filmed by Nic Knowland) is a document of the Montreal events and features John & Yoko in conversation with, amongst others, The World Press, satirist Al Capp, activist Dick Gregory, comedian Tommy Smothers, 

protesters at Berkeley’s People’s Park,

Rabbi Abraham L. Feinberg, quiltmaker Christine Kemp, psychologists Timothy Leary & Rosemary Leary, CFOX DJs Charles P. Rodney Chandler & Roger Scott, producer André Perry, journalist Ritchie Yorke, DJ & Promoter Murray The K, filmmaker Jonas Mekas, publicist Derek Taylor & personal assistantAnthony Fawcett.

Featured songs are Plastic Ono Band’s GIVE PEACE A CHANCE & INSTANT KARMA, Yoko’s REMEMBER LOVE & WHO HAS SEEN THE WIND & John’s acoustic version of BECAUSE.

“As we said before: WAR IS OVER! (If You Want It) – yoko

BED PEACE starring John Lennon & Yoko Ono

WHY WAS KARL MARX ON THE COVER? The answer is very simple. Back in Berkeley in 1964 there were the riots that broke out and the Free Speech Movement and this movement was encouraged later by John Lennon and Yoko as they spoke with the protesters by phone in the above video. Also Allen Ginsberg and Terry Southern were good friends with Paul McCartney and they were involved in the Free Speech Movement.  The movement started off just being about FREE SPEECH, but then it turned quickly to the New Left and the Marxist-Leninist point of view. It was in this atmosphere in the mid-sixties that caused Karl Marx to be a logical choice to be on the cover.

Jean Genet, Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Terry Southern
Chicago, 1968

genet_burroughs_ginsberg_terrysouthern_chgo1968

_______________

John Lennon with Allen Ginsberg below:

Paul and Linda McCartney with Allen Ginsberg below:

___________

Francis Schaeffer asserted:

In some places the Marxist-Leninist line or the Maoist line took over…But the Marxist-Leninism is another leap into the area of nonreason-as idealistic as drug-taking was in the early days. The young followed Marxism in spite of clear evidence that oppression was not an excess of Stalin, but was and is an integral part of the system of communism. 

William Lane Craig’s book THE ABSURDITY OF LIFE WITHOUT GOD.   Without God there is no meaning in life.

William Lane Craig notes:

First, the area of meaning. We saw that without God, life has no meaning. Yet philosophers continue to live as though life does have meaning. For example, Sartre argued that one may create meaning for his life by freely choosing to follow a certain course of action. Sartre himself chose Marxism.

Now this is utterly inconsistent. It is inconsistent to say that life is objectively absurd and then to say that one may create meaning for his life. If life is really absurd, then man is trapped in the lower story. To try to create meaning in life represents a leap to the upper story. But Sartre has no basis for this leap. Without God, there can be no objective meaning in life. Sartre’s program is actually an exercise in self-delusion. For the universe does not really acquire meaning just because I happen to give it one. This is easy to see: for suppose I give the universe one meaning, and you give it another. Who is right? The answer, of course, is neither one. For the universe without God remains objectively meaningless, no matter how we regard it. Sartre is really saying, “Let’s pretend the universe has meaning.” And this is just fooling ourselves.

The point is this: if God does not exist, then life is objectively meaningless; but man cannot live consistently and happily knowing that life is meaningless; so in order to be happy he pretends that life has meaning. But this is, of course, entirely inconsistent—for without God, man and the universe are without any real significance.

Sartre’s worldview is discussed in the film series “How should we then live?” by Francis Schaeffer below.

Transcript from “How Should we then live?”:

Humanist man beginning only from himself has concluded that he is only a machine. Humanist man has no place for a personal God, but there is also no place for man’s significance as man and no place for love, no place for freedom.

Man is only a machine, but the men who hold this position could not and can not live like machines. If they could then modern man would not have his tensions either in his intellectual position or in his life, but he can’t. So they leap away from reason to try to find something that gives meaning to their lives, to life itself, even though to do so they deny their reason.

Once this is done any type of thing could be put there. Because in the area of nonreason, reason gives no basis for a choice. This is the hallmark of modern man. How did it happen? It happened because proud humanist man, though he was finite, insisted in beginning only from himself and only from what he could learn and not from other knowledge, he did not succeed. Perhaps the best known of existentialist philosophers was Jean Paul Sartre. He used to spend much of his time here in Paris at the Les Deux Magots.

Sartre’s position is in the area of reason everything is absurd, but one can authenticate himself, that is give validity to his existence by an act of the willIn Sartre’s position one could equally help an old woman across the street or run her down.

Reason was not involved, and there was nothing to show the direction this authentication by an act of the will should take. But Sartre himself could live consistantly with his own position. At a certain point he signed the Algerian Manifesto which declared that the Algerian war was a dirty war. This action meant that man could use his reason to decide that some things were right and some things were wrong and so he destroyed his own system.

Berkeley’s Campus Free Speech Movement at 50

The Free Speech Movement: civil disobedience in Berkeley 1964

Mario Savio, leader of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964) – from THE EDUCATION ARCHIVE

I have dedicated several posts to this series on the Beatles and I don’t know when this series will end because Francis Schaeffer spent a lot of time listening to the Beatles and talking and writing about them and their impact on the culture of the 1960’s. In this series we have looked at several areas in life where the Beatles looked for meaning and hope but also we have examined some of the lives of those  writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors,  religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers  that were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. We have discovered that many of these individuals on the cover have even taken a Kierkegaardian leap into the area of nonreason in order to find meaning for their lives and that is the reason I have included the 27 minute  episode THE AGE OF NONREASON by Francis Schaeffer. In that video Schaeffer noted,  ” 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.”

 Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band Album really did look at every potential answer to meaning in life and to as many people as the Beatles could imagine had the answers to life’s big questions. One of the persons on the cover did have access to those answers and I am saving that person for last in this series on the Beatles. 

During this long series on the Beatles it has become quite evident that there were reasons why certain writers, artists, poets, painters, scientists, athletes, models, actors,  religious leaders, musicians, comedians, and philosophers were put on the cover of Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and that is the Beatles had made it to the top of the world but they were still searching for purpose and lasting meaning for their lives. They felt they were in the same boat as those pictured on the cover and so they called it appropriately Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.  In his article “Philosophy and its Effect on Society  Robert A. Sungenis, notes that all these individuals “are all viewing the burial scene of the Beatles, which, in the framework we are using here, represents the passing of idealistic innocence and the failure to find a rational answer and meaning to life, an answer to love, purpose, significance and morals. They instead were leaping into the irrational, whether it was by drugs, the occult, suicide, or the bizarre.”

Communism catches the attention of the young at heart but it has always brought repression wherever it is tried. “True Communism has never been tried” is something I was told just a few months ago by a well meaning young person who was impressed with the ideas of Karl Marx. I responded that there are only 5 communist countries in the world today and they lack political, economic and religious freedom.
Tony Bartolucci noted that Schaeffer has correctly pointed out:
Hope in Marxism-Leninism is a leap in the area of nonreason. From the Russian Revolution until 1959 a total of 66 million prisoners died. This was deemed acceptable to the leaders because internal security was to be gained at any cost. The ends justified the means. The materialism of Marxism gives no basis for human dignity or rights. These hold to their philosophy against all reason and close their eyes to the oppression of the system.
WHY DOES COMMUNISM FAIL?
Communism has always failed because of its materialist base.  Francis Schaeffer does a great job of showing that in this clip below. Also Schaeffer shows that there were lots of similar things about the basis for both the French and Russia revolutions and he exposes the materialist and humanist basis of both revolutions.

Schaeffer compares communism with French Revolution and Napoleon.

1. Lenin took charge in Russia much as Napoleon took charge in France – when people get desperate enough, they’ll take a dictator.

Other examples: Hitler, Julius Caesar. It could happen again.

2. Communism is very repressive, stifling political and artistic freedom. Even allies have to be coerced. (Poland).

Communists say repression is temporary until utopia can be reached – yet there is no evidence of progress in that direction. Dictatorship appears to be permanent.

3. No ultimate basis for morality (right and wrong) – materialist base of communism is just as humanistic as French. Only have “arbitrary absolutes” no final basis for right and wrong.

How is Christianity different from both French Revolution and Communism?

Contrast N.T. Christianity – very positive government reform and great strides against injustice. (especially under Wesleyan revival).

Bible gives absolutes – standards of right and wrong. It shows the problems and why they exist (man’s fall and rebellion against God).

WHY DOES THE IDEA OF COMMUNISM CATCH THE ATTENTION OF SO MANY IDEALISTIC YOUNG PEOPLE? The reason is very simple. 

In HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Rise and Decline of Western Thought and Culture, the late Francis A. Schaeffer wrote:

Materialism, the philosophic base for Marxist-Leninism, gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Where Marxist-Leninism is not in power it attracts and converts by talking much of dignity and rights, but its materialistic base gives no basis for the dignity or rights of man.  Yet is attracts by its constant talk of idealism.

To understand this phenomenon we must understand that Marx reached over to that for which Christianity does give a base–the dignity of man–and took the words as words of his own.  The only understanding of idealistic sounding Marxist-Leninism is that it is (in this sense) a Christian heresy.  Not having the Christian base, until it comes to power it uses the words for which Christianity does give a base.  But wherever Marxist-Leninism has had power, it has at no place in history shown where it has not brought forth oppression.  As soon as they have had the power, the desire of the majority has become a concept without meaning.

Is Christianity at all like Communism?

Sometimes Communism sounds very “Christian” – desirable goals of equality, justice, etc but these terms are just borrowed from the New Testament. Schaeffer elsewhere explains by saying Marxism is a Christian heresy.

Below is a great article. Free-lance columnist Bradley R. Gitz, who lives and teaches in Batesville, received his Ph.D. in political science from the University of Illinois.

This article was published January 30, 2011 at 2:28 a.m. Here is a portion of that article below:
A final advantage is the mutation of socialism into so many variants over the past century or so. Precisely because Karl Marx was unclear as to how it would work in practice, socialism has always been something of an empty vessel into which would be revolutionaries seeking personal meaning and utopian causes to support can pour pretty much anything.
A desire to increase state power, soak the rich and expand the welfare state is about all that is left of the original vision. Socialism for young lefties these days means “social justice” and compassion for the poor, not the gulag and the NKVD.
In the end, the one argument that will never wash is that communismcan’t be said to have failed because it was never actually tried. This is a transparent intellectual dodge that ignores the fact that “people’s democracies” were established all over the place in the first three decades after World War II.
Such sophistry is resorted to only because communism in all of those places produced hell on earth rather than heaven.
That the attempts to build communism in a remarkable variety of different geographical regions led to only tyranny and mass bloodshed tells us only that it was never feasible in the first place, and that societies built on the socialist principle ironically suffer from the kind of “inner contradictions” that Marx mistakenly predicted would destroy capitalism.
Yes, all economies are mixed in nature, and one could plausibly argue that the socialist impulse took the rough edges off of capitalism by sponsoring the creation of welfare-state programs that command considerable public support.
But the fact remains that no society in history has been able to achieve sustained prosperity without respect for private property and market forces of supply and demand. Nations, therefore, retain their economic dynamism only to the extent that they resist the temptation to travel too far down the socialist road.

Francis Schaeffer notes:

At Berkeley the Free Speech Movement arose simultaneously with the hippie world of drugs. At first it was politically neither left nor right, but rather a call for the freedom to express any political views on Sproul Plaza. Then soon the Free Speech Movement became the Dirty Speech Movement, in which freedom was seen as shouting four-letter words into a mike.  Soon after, it became the platform for the political New Left which followed the teaching of Herbert Marcuse. Marcuse was a German professor of philosophy related to the neo-Marxist teaching of the “Frankfurt School,” along with...Jurgen Habermas (1929-). 

Herbert Marcuse, “Liberation from the Affluent Society” (1967)

Brannon Howse talks some about the Frankfurt School in some of his publications too. 

During the 1960’s many young people were turning to the New Left fueled by Marcuse and Habermas but something happened to slow many young people’s enthusiasm for that movement.

1970 bombing took away righteous standing of Anti-War movement

Francis Schaeffer mentioned the 1970 bombing in his film series “How should we then live?” and I wanted to give some more history on it. Schaeffer asserted:

In the United States the New Left also slowly ground down,losing favor because of the excesses of the bombings, especially in the bombing of the University of Wisconsin lab in 1970, where a graduate student was killed. This was not the last bomb that was or will be planted in the United States. Hard-core groups of radicals still remain and are active, and could become more active, but the violence which the New Left produced as its natural heritage (as it also had in Europe) caused the majority of young people in the United States no longer to see it as a hope. So some young people began in 1964 to challenge the false values of personal peace and affluence, and we must admire them for this. Humanism, man beginning only from himself, had destroyed the old basis of values, and could find no way to generate with certainty any new values.  In the resulting vacuum the impoverished values of personal peace and affluence had comes to stand supreme. And now, for the majority of the young people, after the passing of the false hopes of drugs as an ideology and the fading of the New Left, what remained? Only apathy was left. In the United States by the beginning of the seventies, apathy was almost complete. In contrast to the political activists of the sixties, not many of the young even went to the polls to vote, even though the national voting age was lowered to eighteen. Hope was gone.

After the turmoil of the sixties, many people thought that it was so much the better when the universities quieted down in the early seventies. I could have wept. The young people had been right in their analysis, though wrong in their solutions. How much worse when many gave up hope and simply accepted the same values as their parents–personal peace and affluence. (How Should We Then Live, pp. 209-210

______________________

Sunday, August 28th, 2011, 11:11pm

Aug. 24 marked the 41st anniversary of the Sterling Hall bombing on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus.

Four men planned the bomb at the height of the student protests over the Vietnam War. Back then, current Madison Mayor Paul Soglin was one of the leaders of those student protests in the capitol city. This weekend, Soglin recalled the unrest felt by UW-Madison students.

“The anti-war movement adopted a lot of its tactics and strategies from the civil rights movement which was about ten years older,” said Soglin. “It was one of picketing, demonstration, and passive resistance.”

The four men who planned the bombing focused on the Army Mathematics Research Center housed in Sterling Hall because it was funded by the U.S. Department of Defense and therefore, worked on weapons technology. Karl Armstrong was one of the four men and he recently spoke with CBS News in his first television interview detailing the moments right before the bomb was set off.

“He asked me, he says, ‘Should we go ahead? Are we gonna do this?’ I think I made a comment to him about something like, ‘Now, I know what war is about,'” remembered Armstrong. “And I told him to light it.”

The bomb killed one researcher and father of three, 33-year-old Robert Fassnacht, although Armstrong maintains they planned the attack thinking no one would get hurt. The four men heard about the death as they were in their getaway car after the bomb went off.

“I felt good about doing the bombing, the bombing per se, but not taking someone’s life,” recalled Armstrong.

The researcher’s wife told CBS News that she harbors no ill will toward Armstrong and the other bombers. Three of the four men were captured and served time in prison. Armstrong served eight years of a 23-year sentence.

The fourth man, Leo Burt, was last seen in the fall of 1970 in Ontario and is to this day, still wanted by the FBI, with a $150,000 reward for his capture.

E P I S O D E 9

T h e Age of Personal Peace and Affluence 

I. By the Early 1960s People Were Bombarded From Every Side by Modern Man’s Humanistic Thought

II. Modern Form of Humanistic Thought Leads to Pessimism

Regarding a Meaning for Life and for Fixed Values

A. General acceptance of selfish values (personal peace and affluence) accompanied rejection of Christian consensus.

1. Personal peace means: I want to be left alone, and I don’t care what happens to the man across the street or across the world. I want my own life-style to be undisturbed regardless of what it will mean — even to my own children and grandchildren.

2. Affluence means things, things, things, always more things — and success is seen as an abundance of things.

B. Students wish to escape meaninglessness of much of adult society.

1. Watershed was Berkeley in 1964.

2. Drug Taking as an ideology: “turning on” the world.

3. Free Speech Movement on Sproul Plaza.

a) At first neither Left nor Right.

b) Soon became the New Left.

(1) Followed Marcuse and Habermas.

(2) Paris riots.

4. Student analysis of problem was right, but solution wrong.

5. Woodstock, Altamont, and the end of innocence.

6. Drug taking survives the death of ideology but as an escape.

7. Demise of New Left: radical bombings.

8. Apathy supreme. The young accept values of the older generation: their own idea of personal peace and affluence, even though adopting a different life-style.

C. Marxism and Maoism as pseudo-ideals.

1. Vogue for idealistic communism which is another form of leap into the area of non-reason.

2. Solzhenitsyn: violence and expediency as norms of communism.

3. Communist repression in Hungary and Czechoslovakia.

4. Communism has neither philosophic nor historic base for freedom. There is no base for “Communism with a human face.”

5. Utopian Marxism steals its talk of human dignity from Christianity.

6. But when it comes to power, the desire of majority has no meaning.

7. Two streams of communism.

a) Those who hold it as an idealistic leap.

b) Old-line communists who hold orthodox communist ideology and bureaucratic structure as it exists in Russia.

8. Many in West might accept communism if it seemed to give peace and affluence.

III. Legal and Political Results of Attempted Human Autonomy

A. Relativistic law.

1. Base for nonarbitrary law gone; only inertia allows a few principles to survive.

2. Holmes and sociological (variable) law.

3. Sociological law comes from failure of natural law (see evolution of existential from rationalistic theology).

4. Courts are now generating law.

5. Medical, legal, and historical arbitrariness of Supreme Court ruling on abortion and current abortion practice.

B. Sociological law opens door to racism, abrogation of freedoms,  euthanasia, and so on.

IV. Social Alternatives After Death of Christian Consensus

A. Hedonism? But might is right when pleasures conflict.

B. Without external absolute, majority vote is absolute. But this justifies a Hitler.

V. Conclusion

A. If there is no absolute by which to judge society, then society is absolute.

B. Humanist thinking—making the individual and mankind the center of all things (autonomous) — has led to death in our culture and in our political life.

Note: Social alternatives after the death of Christian consensus are continued in Episode Ten.

Questions

1. What was the basic cause of campus unrest in the sixties? What has happened to the campus scene since, and why?

2. What elements — in the life and thought of the communist and noncommunist world alike — suggest a possible base for world agreement?

3. “To prophesy doom about Western society is premature. We are, like all others who have lived in times of great change, too close to the details to see the broader picture. One thing we do know:

Society has always gone on, and the most wonderful epochs have followed the greatest depressions. To suggest that our day is the exception says more about our headache than it does about our head.” Debate.

4. As Dr. Schaeffer shows, many apparently isolated events and options gain new meaning when seen in the context of the whole. How far does your own involvement in business, law, financing, and so on reveal an acquiescence to current values?

Key Events and Persons

Oliver Wendell Holmes: 1841-1935

Herbert Marcuse: 1898-1979

Jurgen Habermas 1929-

Alexander Solzhenitsyn: 1917-

Hungarian Revolution: 1956

Free Speech Movement: 1964

Czechoslovakian repression: 1968

Woodstock and Altamont: 1969

Radical bombings: 1970

Supreme Court abortion ruling: 1973

Solzhenitsyn’s The Gulag Archipelago: 1973-74

Further Study

Keeping one’s eyes and ears open is the most useful study project: the prevalence of pornographic films and books, more and more suggestive advertising and TV shows, and signs of arbitrary absolutes.

The following books will repay careful reading, and Solzhenitsyn, though long and horrifying, should not be skipped.

Os Guinness, The Dust of Death (1973).

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: Parts I-II (1973), Parts III-IV (1974).

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A Christian Manifesto Francis Schaeffer

Published on Dec 18, 2012

A video important to today. The man was very wise in the ways of God. And of government. Hope you enjoy a good solis teaching from the past. The truth never gets old.

The Roots of the Emergent Church by Francis Schaeffer

#02 How Should We Then Live? (Promo Clip) Dr. Francis Schaeffer

10 Worldview and Truth

Two Minute Warning: How Then Should We Live?: Francis Schaeffer at 100

Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR

_______________________

Karl Marx’s most important work was THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO and ironically Francis Schaeffer’s most popular book was A CHRISTIAN MANIFESTO in 1981 and A.T.Coates in a review noted:

It’s more than a catchy title: A Christian Manifesto. On a flyleaf, Schaeffer names his book’s predecessors to mark his as a Christian political document: “The Communist Manifesto, 1848/ Humanist Manifesto I, 1933/ Humanist Manifesto II, 1973.” Keeping in mind that this book came out in 1981, it’s clear that this move serves two purposes: 1) it places Schaeffer’s book both in the tradition of and in opposition to these other manifestos, and 2) it posits a genealogical connection between communism and humanism—even in the capitalist world, Schaeffer implies, “humanism” springs from Marxism. For Schaeffer, Christianity and “humanism” are mutually incompatible “world views.” A “world view” describes “the overall way people think and view the world and life as a whole” (17). According to Schaeffer, humanism considers ultimate reality to be a random flux of energy and matter, our world to be nothing but the result of pure chance. In the period from 1933-1973, this world view took over American culture, which was founded on “Judeo-Christian” values (55).

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EARLIER IN THIS POST I NOTED THAT Francis Schaeffer asserted:

In some places the Marxist-Leninist line or the Maoist line took over…But the Marxist-Leninism is another leap into the area of nonreason-as idealistic as drug-taking was in the early days. The young followed Marxism in spite of clear evidence that oppression was not an excess of Stalin, but was and is an integral part of the system of communism….

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.

The Bible and Archaeology – Is the Bible from God? (Kyle Butt 42 min)

You want some evidence that indicates that the Bible is true? Here is a good place to start and that is taking a closer look at the archaeology of the Old Testament times. Is the Bible historically accurate? Here are some of the posts I have done in the past on the subject: 1. The Babylonian Chronicleof Nebuchadnezzars Siege of Jerusalem2. Hezekiah’s Siloam Tunnel Inscription. 3. Taylor Prism (Sennacherib Hexagonal Prism)4. Biblical Cities Attested Archaeologically. 5. The Discovery of the Hittites6.Shishak Smiting His Captives7. Moabite Stone8Black 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.

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

There is also a confirmation of what the Bible says concerning the Egyptian King Tirhakah who came up to oppose the Assyrians. Confirmation of his reality is typified by a sphinx-ram in the British Museum (British Museum Ref. B.B.1779). The small figure between the legs of the ram is a representation of King Tirhakah. The Bible says that when Sennacherib heard that  Tirhakah, king of Eqypt, was coming to fight against him, he sent messengers to tell Hezekiah that help from Egypt would be of no use to him.

2 Kings 19:9, 10 Now the king heard concerning Tirhakah king of Cush, “Behold, he has set out to fight against you.” So he sent messengers again to Hezekiah, saying,10 “Thus shall you speak to Hezekiah king of Judah: ‘Do not let your God in whom you trust deceive you by promising that Jerusalem will not be given into the hand of the king of Assyria. (Isaiah 37:9-10 also says about the same thing.)

The date of Sennacherib’s campaign in Palestine is 701 B.C., and something which has often puzzled historians is the role of Tirhakah, who was not king of Egypt and Ethiopia until 690 B.C. But the solution to this problem is simple. In 701 B.C. Tirhakah was only a prince at the side of his military brother, the new Pharaoh Shebitku, who sent Tirhakah with an army to help Hezekiah fend off the Assyrian advance. But the story in Kings and Isaiah does not end in 701 B.C. It carries right through to the death of Sennacherib in 681 B.C., which is nine years after Tirhakah had become king of Egypt and Ethiopia. In other words, the biblical narrative, from the standpoint of 681 B.C., mentions Tirhakah by the title he bore at that time (that is, 681 B.C.), not as he was in 701 B.C. This is still done today, using a man’s title as he is known at the time of writing even it one is speaking of a previous time in his personal history.

Unaware of the the importance of these facts, and falling into wrong interpretations of some of Tirhakah’s inscriptions, some Old Testament scholars have stumbled over each in their eagerness to diagnose historical errors in the Books of the Kings and Isaiah. But as the archaeological confirmation shows, they were quite mistaken. What is striking about these archaeological finds is the way they often converge; there is often not just one line of evidence but several in which the biblical account is confirmed. We do not have confirmation of every single detail in the biblical account, by any means. Nor do we need such total confirmation in view of the amount of evidence there is. To insist on confirmation at every point would be to treat the Bible in a prejudiced way, simply because it is the Bible. The fact that is a religious book does not mean that it cannot also be true when it deals with history.

Not all archaeological finds have a convergence of many different interrelated lines like these around the life of Hezekiah, but they are no less striking. For example, take the “ration tablets” discovered in the ruins of Bablyon. The Bible tells us that after the Assyrians had destroyed the nothern kingdom of Samaria (around 721 B.C.), the southern kingdom, Judah, survived for almost another 150 years until approximately 586 B.C. By this time Assyria, one of the greatest military powers of the ancient world, had been defeated by Bablyon, a neighboring state to the east. That was in 609 B.C. Four years later the Babylonian general, Nebuchadnezzar–then the crown prince–came west and completely defeated Necho II, king of Egypt, at the battle of Carchemish. As a result of this victory he laid claim to Judah, which had previously been in the sphere of influence of Egypt. King Jehoiakim of Judah thus now paid tribute to the Babylonians. The Bible tells us that Jehoiakim rebelled three years later: “During Jehoiakim’s reign Nebuchadnezzar king of Bablyon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he changed his mind and rebelled against Nebuchnezzar” (II Kings 24:1).

The political background for this step can be understood from the Babylonian Chronicles (British Museum, Ref. 21946, records events from 597 B.C. down to 594). These were a compressed chronological summary of the principal events from the Babylonian court. There had been a crucial battle in 601 B.C. between the Egyptians and the Babylonians. This had left both sides weakened, and Jehoiakim took this opportunity to declare his independence of the Babylonian king. His independence, or rather Judah’s independence, did not last long, for Jehoiakim himself died in 598 B.C., leaving his throne and the crisis to his son, Jehoiachin. Second Kings (II Kings 24:10-12, 17) tells us what happened:

10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up to Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to the city while his servants were besieging it, 12 and Jehoiachin the king of Judah gave himself up to the king of Babylon, himself and his mother and his servants and his officials and his palace officials. The king of Babylon took him prisoner in the eighth year of his reign. 17 And the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.

The story of Jehoiachin does not end there, however. The royal family were kept at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, and the Bible says that they , like other royal captives, were provided for by the king with rations of grain and oil (II Kings 25:27-30):

27 And in the thirty-seventh year of the exile of Jehoiachin king of Judah, in the twelfth month, on the twenty-seventh day of the month, Evil-merodach king of Babylon, in the year that he began to reign, graciously freed[a] Jehoiachin king of Judah from prison. 28 And he spoke kindly to him and gave him a seat above the seats of the kings who were with him in Babylon. 29 So Jehoiachin put off his prison garments. And every day of his life he dined regularly at the king’s table, 30 and for his allowance, a regular allowance was given him by the king, according to his daily needs, as long as he lived.

The records of these allowances referred to in the Bible were unearthed in excavations in Babylon in basement storerooms of the royal palace (in Staat-Liches Museum, East Berlin, Vorderas Abteilung; Babylon 28122 and 28126). These are known as the “ration tablets” and they record who received such “rations.” In these, Jehoiachin is mentioned by name.

We also have confirmation of the Babylonian advance towards Judah in Nebuchadezzar’s first campaign. Among the ruins of Lachish were discovered a number of ostraca. Ostraca are broken pieces of earthenware called postherds, which were used for writing on in ink. (The Lachish ostraca are in the Palestinian Archaeological Museum, Jerusalem.) These brief letters reveal the increasing tensions within the growing state of Judah and tie in well with the picture given in the Bible by the Book of Jeremiah the Prophet. In Ostracon VI, the princes are accused of “weakening our hands” (that is, discouraging the writers), which is the very phraseology used in the Bible by the Judean princes against Jeremiah. Also, the use of fire beacons for signaling is found in both Ostracon IV and Jeremiah 6:1, each using the same terminology.

These events took place around the year 600 B.C. Events we considered earlier in relation to the capture of Lachish by Sennacherib during the reign of Hezekiah were around the year 700 B.C.

Statue of Tirhakah discovered in Sudan

Owen Jarus reports in The Independent the discovery of a massive statue of Pharaoh Taharqa [English Bible: Tirhakah] deep in Sudan.

No statue of a pharaoh has ever been found further south of Egypt than this one. At the height of his reign, King Taharqa controlled an empire stretching from Sudan to the Levant.

A massive, one ton, statue of Taharqa that was found deep in Sudan. Taharqa was a pharaoh of the 25th dynasty of Egypt and came to power ca. 690 BC, controlling an empire stretching from Sudan to the Levant. The pharaohs of this dynasty were from Nubia – a territory located in modern day Sudan and southern Egypt.

Taharqa statue. Photo: Berber-Abidiya Archaeological Project.

The Nubian pharaohs tried to incorporate Egyptian culture into their own. They built pyramids in Sudan – even though pyramid building in Egypt hadn’t been practised in nearly 800 years. Taharqa’s rule was a high water mark for the 25th dynasty. By the end of his reign a conflict with the Assyrians had forced him to retreat south, back into Nubia – where he died in 664 BC. Egypt became an Assyrian vassal – eventually gaining independence during the 26th dynasty. Taharqa’s successors were never able to retake Egypt.

In addition to Taharqa’s statue, those of two of his successors – Senkamanisken and Aspelta – were found alongside. These two rulers controlled territory in Sudan, but not Egypt.

. . .

While this is the furthest south that a pharaoh’s statue has been found, it doesn’t necessarily mean that Dangeil is the southern border of Taharqa’s empire. It’s possible that he controlled territory further up the Nile.

The statue of Taharqa is truly monumental. “It’s a symbol of royal power,” said Dr. Anderson, an indicator that Dangeil was an “important royal city.”

It’s made of granite and weighs more than one ton. It stood about 2.6 meters (8.5 feet) when it had its head. In ancient times it was smashed into several pieces on purpose. This was also done to the two other statues. It’s not known who did this or why. It happened “a long time after Taharqa,” said Anderson.

. . .

The largest piece of Taharqa’s statue is the torso and base. This part of the statue is so heavy that the archaeological team had to use 18 men to move it onto a truck.

“We had trouble moving him a couple hundred meters,” said Anderson. The move was “extremely well planned,” with the team spending eight to nine days figuring out how to accomplish it without the statue (or the movers) getting damaged.

The full account from The Independent may be read here. A longer article by Jarus, with several photos, may be found in Heritage Key.

After the Assyrian king Sennacherib captured Lachish, he headed for Jerusalem. On the way he heard that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia (Cush) had come out to fight against him.

The king heard that King Tirhakah of Ethiopia was marching out to fight him. He again sent messengers to Hezekiah, ordering them: “Tell King Hezekiah of Judah this: ‘Don’t let your God in whom you trust mislead you when he says, “Jerusalem will not be handed over to the king of Assyria.” Certainly you have heard how the kings of Assyria have annihilated all lands. Do you really think you will be rescued? (2 Kings 19:9-11 NET; cf. Isaiah 37:9)

Hezekiah was king of Judah from 716/15 – 687/86 B.C. (Thiele). The events recorded in the Bible took place shortly before 700 B.C. Tirhakah evidently came to power before 690 B.C., was already a leading commander of the army, or there may be another solution to the problem.

HT: Biblical Paths.

September 19, 2011

By Elvis Costello

My absolute favorite albums are Rubber Soul and Revolver. On both records you can hear references to other music — R&B, Dylan, psychedelia — but it’s not done in a way that is obvious or dates the records. When you picked up Revolver, you knew it was something different. Heck, they are wearing sunglasses indoors in the picture on the back of the cover and not even looking at the camera . . . and the music was so strange and yet so vivid. If I had to pick a favorite song from those albums, it would be “And Your Bird Can Sing” . . . no, “Girl” . . . no, “For No One” . . . and so on, and so on. . . .

Their breakup album, Let It Be, contains songs both gorgeous and jagged. I suppose ambition and human frailty creeps into every group, but they delivered some incredible performances. I remember going to Leicester Square and seeing the film of Let It Be in 1970. I left with a melancholy feeling.

PAUL McCARTNEY & WINGS – LIVE 1976 – “Lady Madonna”

86

‘Lady Madonna’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: February 3 and 6, 1968
Released: March 18, 1968
11 weeks; No. 4

Like many of McCartney’s finest songs, “Lady Madonna” is a tribute to working-class womanhood, expressed through Irish-Catholic imagery. “‘Lady Madonna’ started off as the Virgin Mary, then it was a working-class woman, of which obviously there’s millions in Liverpool,” he later said. “There are a lot of Catholics in Liverpool because of the Irish connection.” The Madonna of the song is a long-suffering but indestructible matriarch, as tough as the title character of “Eleanor Rigby,” yet as comforting as Mother Mary from “Let It Be.”

Musically, “Lady Madonna” has an earthier inspiration: the New Orleans piano boogie of Fats Domino. McCartney called it “a Fats Domino impression,” composed while trying to play something bluesy on the piano. The recorded version is a full-on tribute to the New Orleans R&B sound, with tootling saxophones. Domino must have taken it as a compliment. A few months after the song came out, he released his own cover version, which became the last Top 100 hit of his career.

Appears On: Past Masters

Paul McCartney — Back In The USSR (Live in Kiev 2008)

Uploaded on Jun 15, 2008

Paul McCartney’s “Back In The USSR” in Kiev’s historic Independence Square
14.06.2008

This RIP was made from NOVY TV Channel (http://www.novy.tv/ )

The beatles – Back in the USSR

85

‘Back in the USSR’

the beatles 100 greatest songs
S&G Press Agency/Redferns/Getty Images

Main Writer: McCartney
Recorded: August 22 and 23, 1968
Released: November 25, 1968
Not released as a single

The witty opening track to the White Album got a helping hand from one of the American rock stars it parodied: In February 1968, McCartney played his variation on Chuck Berry’s “Back in the U.S.A.” for Beach Boys vocalist Mike Love while the two were visiting India. Love suggested that McCartney add a “California Girls”-style section about the women of the Soviet Union. McCartney then recorded a loose, jovial demo of the song in May.

By the time they started work on the album version on August 22nd, though, the Beatles were at each other’s throats. When McCartney criticized Starr’s drumming on “USSR,” Starr announced he was quitting the band, walked out and headed off for a Mediterranean vacation. The other three Beatles got back to work, recording the basic track with McCartney on drums and Lennon playing six-string bass. They finished it the next day with jet-airplane noise from a sound-effects collection. When Starr returned two weeks later, they covered his drum kit in flowers to welcome him back.

Appears On: The Beatles

Today’s featured artist is George Petty

Article on George Petty:

George Petty - skating majorette

George Petty - signature

George Petty - skater with ponytail
George Petty is most famous for his pin-up drawings that appeared in Esquire magazine in the 1930’s and the covers for many Ice Capades programs. There is an excellent 1997 book on him, Petty – The Classic Pin-Up Art of George Petty. It’s worth getting and I hereby credit it as my main source of information on Petty.
George Petty - Telephone Petty was born in 1894 in Louisiana, the son of a photographer, also named George, who moved his family to the potentially more prosperous Chicago around 1900. George survived traditional schooling, though he thrived at evening classes at the Chicago Art Institute. He spent a great deal of time in his father’s photography studio where he mastered the airbrush, a tool invented around 1889 and used solely to retouch photographs (or their negatives). Petty would help change that.
Prior to World War I, study in Europe was de rigueur for the aspiring artist. After his graduation from high school, Petty’s mother took George and his sister to Paris where he was enrolled at the Académie Julian. This art school was quite famous and had such illustrious alumni as John Singer Sargent, Alfonse Mucha, Matisse, and, most significant to Petty, J.C. Leyendecker. George studied in Paris until 1916, then returned to Chicago. At the age of 18, he should have been prime fodder for the War, but shortly after Petty’s return from Europe, his father died, leaving George the head of the family and so exempt from service.
George Petty - 1933 World's Fair Not wanting to be a photographer or a photo-retoucher, he closed his father’s studio and went to work for an ad agency, where his first published work was a stylish ice skater on the cover of the 1920 Marshall Field catalog (at right). Ice skaters were to figure prominently in his future. At the agencies, Petty excelled at retouching and his skill with the airbrush was prodigious. He did lots and lots of retouching, all the while focusing his efforts on breaking into the illustration market. There were plenty of advertisements, but his few covers and magazine assignments led nowhere. He began using the airbrush in his drawings, not a common medium at the time, but the results were stunning, like the poster at left that won Petty first prize in the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair poster contest. George Petty - fashion ad

George Petty - girl in gown with gunIn the early Thirties, George opened his own studio and started to get more and more work that relied on pretty women. His daughter Marjorie Jule, born in 1919, was modeling for him and her body topped with an endless variety of faces would appear in many of these ads. In 1933, the depths of the depression, Esquire Magazine was started. At a time when The Saturday Evening Post was a nickel, The Ladies Home Journal a dime, and Good Housekeeping and Cosmopolitan a quarter, Esquiredebuted at 50 cents. Only Fortune, started in 1930, just three months after the stock market crash, was priced higher at $1. And just as Fortune had confounded the prophets by being successful, Esquire‘s first issue sold out – even with a print run of 100,000.

Petty’s work was in that first issue, a cartoon. He wasn’t a cartoonist, but that’s what the magazine needed and they were willing to supply him with situations and gags. The drawings he submitted were printed full page on good paper and the magazine’s 10″x14″ format was perfect for the slick, well-rendered images George was capable of. With his command of the airbrush, a strong foundation in drawing, plenty of practice drawing lissome women, and a willing model, Petty had assembled the components of a meteoric career. His cartoons appeared in seven of the first dozen issues and were thinly disguised excuses for rendering the female body. Even when they were fully clothed, his women looked like, if you’ll pardon the expression, their clothes were airbrushed on.Witness the “cartoon” at above right from a 1935 issue and also issued as part of a spiral-bound portfolio of Petty cartoons from 1937 titled aptly enough, Petty – A Portfolio. Click for larger image.

The exposure brought Petty to the attention of national ad agencies and within two years George was doing monthly ads for Old Gold Cigarettes and Jantzen Swim Wear as well as others, many of which appeared in the same issues of Esquire as his cartoons.The cartoons were a huge success. Quickly dubbed The Petty Girl, the public clamored for more of her and Esquire was more than happy to oblige. With its high production values, the magazine was able to add fold-outs as a design feature. In the Christmas, 1939 issue, one (of four) of these was devoted to the largest Petty Girl yet seen. That’s about 1/2 of her at the right. Fully 30″ long, the modern pin-up was born and Esquire‘s circulation soared yet again.

George Petty - Esquire Petty Girl

George Petty - Girl in bathing suit runningIt’s rather difficult to convey just how famous Petty became – and how fast! This rather obscure Chicago commercial artist was suddenly thrust upon the national stage, literally, overnight. His signature was prominently displayed in all of his advertising work. Jantzen created the “Petty Girl” swimsuit in 1940. Old Gold offered prints of the Petty Girls in their ads. His hands, a brush, and Petty Girl appeared in a watch ad. He was given highly publicized commissions to paint posters for films. The aforementioned portfolio was released. In 1942, when 3700 Chicago high school art students cast their votes for most important artist from their three years of art studies, Petty won first place – as a write-in. He did a cover for Time in 1942 as well as the first in a line of covers for the annual Ice Capades revue. And it would be incorrect to attribute all the fame to the Esquire pin-ups. If anything, it was his national advertising images that got him the most attention – and money.

George Petty - girl in cat suitIt was money that finally severed the Esquire relationship. The money Esquire paid bought less and less of Petty’s time as his advertising career soared. Alberto Vargas had been brought in as a replacement during negotiations and in 1942, after a year of uneasy coexistence, the Petty Girl made way for the Varga Girl in Esquire, anyway. Petty continued his high-profile commercial art and spent the war years doing ads and posters (see “It’s for YOU…” below). In 1945, he began a three year alliance with little-known True Magazine and helped them double their circulation. While many of the images still retained his trademark telephone, he was beginning to branch out into more lively poses as the True page above left and “The Panther Girl” (at right) done for the 1946 Ziegfield Follies clearly show.

George Petty - It's For You adPetty had always been a sharp businessman and insisted on retaining all secondary rights to his images as well as the return of his original paintings. He licensed their use on playing cards, on drinking glasses, and elsewhere. At left is from an ad I just found in a 1943 issue of The American Weeklywherein for $2 sent directly to Petty, you’d get a set of four 12″x18″ posters printed in six colors!

And he never ceased working. He did a calendar for Ridge Tools in 1953. He returned to Esquire with a 1955 calendar, designed the hood ornaments for the 1954 and 1955 Nash automobiles and in the early Sixties was back doing paintings for The Ice Capades. Petty died in 1975 after witnessing a minor revival of his work, including a new pin-up for the 40th anniversary issue of Esquire.

George Petty

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Ballerina – 1965

George Brown Petty IV (April 27, 1894 – July 21, 1975) was an American pin-up artist. His pin-up art appeared primarily in Esquire and Fawcett Publications’s True but was also in calendars marketed by Esquire,True and Ridgid Tool Company. Petty’s Esquire gatefolds originated and popularized the magazine device of centerfold spreads. Reproductions of his work were widely rendered by military artists as nose artdecorating warplanes during the Second World War, including the Memphis Belle, known as “Petty Girls”.

Birth and early career[edit]

George Petty was born in Abbeville, the seat of Vermilion Parish in south Louisiana to George Brown Petty III and his wife, Sarah. George, IV, was the couple’s second child; his sister Elizabeth had been born in 1891. The Petty family moved to Chicago, Illinois, just before the turn of the century, where George, III, a photographer of some note, enjoyed considerable success with images of young women, madonnas, and nudes.

Petty was not a particularly good student in high school, spending a great deal of time on extracurricular activities instead of schoolwork. His artistic bent first became obvious in high school, where he was the staff artist for the school newspaper.

During his high school years, he enrolled in evening classes at Chicago Academy of Fine Arts under the tutoring of Ruth VanSickle Ford, where he taught his own art course, charging classmates $5.00 per session. He also worked in his father’s photo shop where he learned how to use an airbrush. Petty studied art at the Académie Julian with Jean-Paul Laurens and others until 1916, when World War I caused Joseph P. Herrick, ambassador at that time, to order all Americans to return home.

Petty returned to Chicago, and worked as an airbrush retoucher for a local printing company. He was able to establish himself as a freelance artist, painting calendar girls and magazine covers for The Household. By 1926, he was able to open his own studio.

Artistic influences[edit]

George Petty never discussed in detail those artists who influenced him, other than J. C. Leyendecker (an artist for The Saturday Evening Post during George’s high school days) for his interpretation of men, Coles Phillips for his technique, and Maxfield Parrish for his use of light. However, it can be inferred from his later work that other influences included artists who were extremely popular in Paris at the time, such as Alfons Mucha, George Barbier and, in particular, the watercolor technique of England’sWilliam Russell Flint.

“The Petty Girl”[edit]

Petty is especially known for “the Petty Girl”, a series of pin-up paintings of women done for Esquire from the autumn of 1933 until 1956. Petty frequently depicted these women with the relative lengths of their legs being longer—and the relative sizes of their heads being smaller—than those of his actual models.

Petty appeared as a guest on the popular TV program What’s My Line.

Petty died in San Pedro, California, on July 21, 1975.

Use in popular culture[edit]

Crew of the Memphis Belle with the Petty Girl nose art

Sources[edit]

Reid Stewart Austin (The Best of Gil Elvgren) examined the life and art of George Petty in the 192-page Petty: The Classic Pin-Up Art of George Petty. Published by Gramercy in 1997, the lavish volume features a foreword by Hugh Hefner and an introductory essay by Petty’s daughter, Marjorie Petty, who was his main model. In The New York Times Book Review, famed designer George Lois praised this collection of Petty’s creations, commenting:

Just as the cool, unapproachable Gibson Girl was the feminine ideal of young men at the turn of the century, the voluptuous Petty Girl became the ideal of their wide-eyed sons. I’m going on the record to swear that George Brown Petty IV consistently created better-designed women than God, and now I’ve got a big beautiful book to prove it.

________________

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Related posts:

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! PART 160 Part EE (It was my privilege to correspond with Charles Darwin’s grandson, the eminent professor Dr. Horace Barlow, Neuroscience, Cambridge, December 8, 1921-July 5, 2020) In my 31st letter on 3-18-20 I quote Francis Schaeffer who noted, “Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position”

________________

Tribute to Horace Barlow

Bence Olveczky @BOlveczky

Horace remains a huge inspiration. He was an unparalleled mind in Neuroscience – a deep and clear thinker. He was generous, gracious and kind, and even took me (a noname PhD student) to the pub when I visited Cambridge 20 years ago. A life well lived. RIP Horace. This is a great interview with Horace Barlow and evokes a time when science was much more of an intellectual than a managerial endeavour.users.sussex.ac.uk/~philh/pubs/BA…

—-

March 18, 2020

Dr. Horace Barlow, Cambridge CB3 9AX, England
Dear Dr. Barlow,

I wanted to recommend a book to you that I thought you would really enjoy. It is the book “Why Darwin Matters” by the skeptic Michael Shermer. Let me share a portion of it with you:

In June of 2004, Frank Sulloway and I began a month-long expedition to retrace Charles Darwin’s footsteps in the Galapagos Islands. It turned out to be one of the most physically grueling experiences of my life, and having raced a bicycle across America five times that is saying something special about what the young British naturalist was able to accomplish there in 1835. Charles Darwin was not only one sagacious scientist; he was also one tenacious explorer.1

I fully appreciated Darwin’s doggedness when we hit the stark and barren lava fields on the island of San Cristóbal, the first place Darwin explored in the archipelago. With a sweltering equatorial sun and almost no fresh water, it isn’t long before 70-pound water-loaded packs begin to buckle knees and strain backs. Add hours of daily bushwacking through dense, scratchy vegetation and the romance of fieldwork quickly fades. At the end of one three-day excursion my water supply was so dangerously low that Frank and I collected the dew from the tents that had accumulated the night before. One day I sliced my left shin on a chunk of a’a lava, whose edges are like broken glass. Another day I was stung by a wasp that caused my face to nearly double in size. At the end of one particularly grueling climb through a moonscape-like area Darwin called the “craterized district,” we collapsed in utter exhaustion, muscles quivering and sweat pouring off our hands and faces, after which we read from Darwin’s diary, in which the naturalist described a similar excursion as “a long walk.”

Death permeates these islands. Animal carcasses are scattered hither and yon. The vegetation is coarse and scrappy. Dried and shriveled cacti trunks dot the bleak lava landscape that is so broken with razor sharp edges that moving across it is glacially slow. Many people have died there, from stranded sailors of centuries past to wanderlust tourists of recent years. Within days I had a deep sense of isolation and fragility. Without the protective blanket of civilization none of us are far from death. With precious little water and even less eatable foliage, organisms eek out a precarious living, their adaptations to this harsh environment selected over millions of years. A lifelong observer of and participant in the evolution-creation controversy, I was struck by how clear it is in these islands: creation by intelligent design is absurd. Why, then, did Darwin depart the Galápagos a creationist?

This is the question that Sulloway went there to answer. A historian of science and Darwin scholar, Frank has spent a lifetime reconstructing how Darwin pieced together the theory of evolution. The iconic myth is that Darwin became an evolutionist in the Galápagos when he discovered natural selection operating on finch beaks and tortoise carapaces, each species uniquely adapted by food type or island ecology. The legend endures, Sulloway notes, because of its elegant fit into a Joseph Campbell-like tripartite myth of the hero who

  1. leaves home on a great adventure (Darwin’s five-year voyage on the Beagle),
  2. endures immeasurable hardship in the quest for noble truths (Darwin suffered seasickness and other maladies), and
  3. returns to deliver a deep message (evolution).

The myth is ubiquitous, appearing in everything from biology textbooks to travel brochures, the latter of which inveigle potential customers to come walk in the footsteps of Darwin.

The Darwin Galápagos legend is emblematic of a broader myth that science proceeds by select eureka discoveries followed by sudden revolutionary revelations, where old theories fall before new facts. Not quite. Paradigms power percepts. Nine months after departing the Galápagos, Sulloway discovered, Darwin made the following entry in his ornithological catalogue about his mockingbird collection: “When I see these Islands in sight of each other, & possessed of but a scanty stock of animals, tenanted by these birds, but slightly differing in structure & filling the same place in Nature, I must suspect they are only varieties.” Similar varieties of fixed kinds, not evolution of separate species. Darwin was still a creationist! This explains why Darwin did not even bother to record the island locations of the few finches he collected (and in some cases mislabeled), and why these now-famous birds were never specifically mentioned in the Origin of Species.2

Through careful analysis of Darwin’s notes and journals, Sulloway dates Darwin’s acceptance of evolution to the second week of March, 1837, after a meeting Darwin had with the eminent ornithologist John Gould, who had been studying his Galápagos bird specimens. With access to museum ornithological collections from areas of South America that Darwin had not visited, Gould corrected a number of taxonomic errors Darwin had made (such as labeling two finch species a “Wren” and “Icterus”), and pointed out to him that although the land birds in the Galápagos were endemic to the islands, they were notably South American in character.

Darwin left the meeting with Gould, Sulloway concludes, convinced “beyond a doubt that transmutation must be responsible for the presence of similar but distinct species on the different islands of the Galápagos group. The supposedly immutable ‘species barrier’ had finally been broken, at least in Darwin’s own mind.” That July, 1837, Darwin opened his first notebook on Transmutation of Species. By 1844 he was confident enough write in a letter to his botanist friend and colleague Joseph Hooker: “I was so struck with distribution of Galapagos organisms &c &c, & with the character of the American fossil mammifers &c &c, that I determined to collect blindly every sort of fact which cd bear any way on what are species.” Five years at sea and nine years at home pouring through “heaps” of books led Darwin to admit: “At last gleams of light have come, & I am almost convinced, (quite contrary to opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder) immutable.”3


Like confessing a murder. Dramatic words for something as seemingly innocuous as a technical problem in biology: the immutability of species. But it doesn’t take a rocket scientist — or an English naturalist — to understand why the theory on the origin of species by means of natural selection would be so controversial: if new species are created naturally — not supernaturally — what place, then, for God? No wonder Darwin waited twenty years before publishing his theory.4

From the time of Plato and Aristotle in ancient Greece to the time of Darwin and Wallace in the nineteenth century, nearly everyone believed that a species retained a fixed and immutable “essence.” A species, in fact, was defined by its very essence — the characteristics that made it like no other species. The theory of evolution by means of natural selection, then, is the theory of how kinds can become other kinds, and that upset not only the scientific cart, but the cultural horse pulling it. The great Harvard evolutionary biologist, Ernst Mayr, stressed just how radical was Darwin’s theory: “The fixed, essentialistic species was the fortress to be stormed and destroyed; once this had been accomplished, evolutionary thinking rushed through the breach like a flood through a break in a dike.”5

The dike, however, was slow to crumble. Darwin’s close friend, the geologist Charles Lyell, withheld his support for a full nine years, and even then hinted at a providential design behind the whole scheme. The astronomer John Herschel called natural selection the “law of higgledy-piggledy.” And Adam Sedgwick, a geologist and Anglican cleric, proclaimed that natural selection was a moral outrage, and penned this ripping harangue to Darwin:

There is a moral or metaphysical part of nature as well as a physical. A man who denies this is deep in the mire of folly. You have ignored this link; and, if I do not mistake your meaning, you have done your best in one or two cases to break it. Were it possible (which thank God it is not) to break it, humanity, in my mind, would suffer a damage that might brutalize it, and sink the human race into a lower grade of degradation than any into which it has fallen since its written records tell us of its history.



….Like Confessing a murder. Like Darwin, that is precisely how I felt when I realized that my creationist beliefs were wrong and that evolution actually happened. I was a creationist from the time I became a born-again Christian in high school in 1971, through graduate school in 1977.9 The evangelical movement was just gathering momentum in the 1970s, and one of the central dogmas I took from it was that the biblical story of creation was to be taken literally; ergo, the theory of evolution had to be wrong.

Knowing next to nothing about evolution other than what I gleaned from reading creationist literature, I absorbed the arguments against the theory and practiced them on my undergraduate science and philosophy teachers. At Glendale College, where I attended for the first two years for General Education requirements, my debating skills were honed as my creationist arguments were met with firm evolutionist counterarguments. At Pepperdine University, a Church of Christ institution where I finished my undergraduate degree, evolution was a nonentity as I witnessed for Christ and studied the theological underpinnings of the Christian faith. When I arrived at Pepperdine, in fact, I considered theology as a profession, but when I discovered that a doctorate required proficiency in Hebrew, Greek, Latin, and Aramaic, and knowing that foreign languages were not my strong suit (I struggled through two years of high school Spanish), I switched to psychology and mastered one of the languages of science: statistics. By the time I matriculated at the California State University at Fullerton for graduate training in experimental psychology, I was ensconced in the ways of science.


Why does evolution matter? The influence of the theory of evolution on the general culture is so pervasive it can be summed up in a single observation: we live in the age of Darwin

In the memorable observation by Theodosius Dobzhansky: Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.11

Darwin matters, not only because his theory changed the world and reconfigured our position in the cosmos, but because he was such a brilliant, creative, and thoughtful man. As Shakespeare wrote of another giant from another era (in Julius Caesar):

The elements So mix’d in him,
that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world,
“this was a man!”

__(End of quote from WHY DARWIN MATTERS)–

In the above passage you can see that Charles Darwin did not leave his creationist views behind while on his 5 year voyage on the Beagle, but he did a few years later. Francis Schaeffer said that he never totally came to peace with the idea that chance was responsible for it all, and he left his creationist views partly because they conflicted with his new theory. Below are some comments by Charles Darwin followed by commentary by Francis Schaeffer:

Charles Darwin:

“I am much engaged, an old man, and out of health, and I cannot spare time to answer your questions fully,—nor indeed can they be answered. Science has nothing to do with Christ, except in so far as the habit of scientific research makes a man cautious in admitting evidence. For myself, I do not believe that there ever has been any revelation.

Image result for charles darwin

Charles Darwin (1809-1882) pictured above

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Francis Darwin (1848-1925) pictured above

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Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)

30:45 mark

Francis Schaeffer commented:

So he has come to the place as an old man that he doesn’t believe there has been any revelation. In his younger years he held a different position. He lost his position not on the basis of reason but simply that it disagreed with his theory and his presuppositions and he was forced to give it up.

The passages which here follow are extracts, somewhat abbreviated, from a part of the Autobiography, written in 1876, in which my father gives the history of his religious views:—

“During these two years* (ft note *October 1836 to January 1839.) I was led to think much about ([page] 58) religion. Whilst on board the Beagle I was quite orthodox, and I remember being heartily laughed at by several of the officers (though themselves orthodox) for quoting the Bible as an unanswerable authority on some point of morality.

Francis Schaeffer commented:

So you find that as a younger man he did accept the Bible. As an older man he has given up revelation but he is not satisfied with his own answers. He is caught in the tension that modern man is caught in. He is a prefiguration  of the modern man and he himself contributed to. Then Darwin goes on and tells us why he gave up the Bible.

GAVE UP ON HISTORICITY of OLD TESTAMENT

I suppose it was the novelty of the argument that amused them. But I had gradually come by this time, i.e. 1836 to 1836, to see that the Old Testament was no more to be trusted than the sacred books of the Hindoos. The question then continually rose before my mind and would not be banished,—is it credible that if God were now to make a revelation to the Hindoos, he would permit it to be connected with the belief in Vishnu, Siva, &c., as Christianity is connected with the Old Testament? This appeared to me utterly incredible.

Francis Schaeffer notes:

Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.

Everette Hatcher, 13900 Cottontail Lane, Alexander, AR 72002, cell ph 501-920-5733, everettehatcher@gmail.com

PS: I hope you are doing well during this Coronavirus outbreak!!! My parents are in their 80’s and I have been encouraging them to stay inside!!! We just got our 37th case in Arkansas today and just a week ago we had our first case in the whole state!!! I see that the United Kingdom is up to 2,644 cases so far. I hope the trend lines are going down for the UK but the trend lines are going up for USA now I am told.

Xxxxx

I found Dr. Barlow to be a true gentleman and he was very kind to take the time to answer the questions that I submitted to him. In the upcoming months I will take time once a week to pay tribute to his life and reveal our correspondence. In the first week I noted:

 Today I am posting my first letter to him in February of 2015 which discussed Charles Darwin lamenting his loss of aesthetic tastes which he blamed on Darwin’s own dedication to the study of evolution. In a later return letter, Dr. Barlow agreed that Darwin did in fact lose his aesthetic tastes at the end of his life.

In the second week I look at the views of Michael Polanyi and share the comments of Francis Schaeffer concerning Polanyi’s views.

In the third week, I look at the life of Brandon Burlsworth in the November 28, 2016 letter and the movie GREATER and the problem of evil which Charles Darwin definitely had a problem with once his daughter died.

On the 4th letter to Dr. Barlow looks at Darwin’s admission that he at times thinks that creation appears to look like the expression of a mind. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words in 1968 sermon at this link.

My Fifth Letter concerning Charles Darwin’s views on MORAL MOTIONS Which was mailed on March 1, 2017. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning moral motions in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

6th letter on May 1, 2017 in which Charles Darwin’s hopes are that someone would find in Pompeii an old manuscript by a distinguished Roman that would show that Christ existed! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning the possible manuscript finds in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link  

7th letter on Darwin discussing DETERMINISM  dated 7-1-17 . Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning determinism in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

8th letter responds to Dr. Barlow’s letter to me concerning  Francis Schaeffer discussing Darwin’s own words concerning chance in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

9th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 1-2-18 and included Charles Darwin’s comments on William Paley. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning William Paley in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

10th letter in response to 11-22-17 letter I received from Professor Horace Barlow was mailed on 2-2-18 and includes Darwin’s comments asking for archaeological evidence for the Bible! Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning His desire to see archaeological evidence supporting the Bible’s accuracy  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

11th letterI mailed on 3-2-18  in response to 11-22-17 letter from Barlow that asserted: It is also sometimes asked whether chance, even together with selection, can define a “MORAL CODE,” which the religiously inclined say is defined by their God. I think the answer is “Yes, it certainly can…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning A MORAL CODE in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

12th letter on March 26, 2018 breaks down song DUST IN THE WIND “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.”

In 13th letter I respond to Barlow’s November 22, 2017 letter and assertion “He {Darwin} clearly did not lose his sense of the VALUE of TRUTH, and of the importance of FOREVER SEARCHING it out.”

In 14th letter to Dr. Barlow on 10-2-18, I assert: “Let me demonstrate how the Bible’s view of the origin of life fits better with the evidence we have from archaeology than that of gradual evolution.”

In 15th letter in November 2, 2018 to Dr. Barlow I quote his relative Randal Keynes Who in the Richard Dawkins special “The Genius of Darwin” makes this point concerning Darwin, “he was, at different times, enormously confident in it,
and at other times, he was utterly uncertain.”
In 16th Letter on 12-2-18 to Dr. Barlow I respond to his letter that stated, If I am pressed to say whether I think belief in God helps people to make wise and beneficial decisions I am bound to say (and I fear this will cause you pain) “No, it is often very disastrous, leading to violence, death and vile behaviour…Muslim terrorists…violence within the Christian church itself”
17th letter sent on January 2, 2019 shows the great advantage we have over Charles Darwin when examining the archaeological record concerning the accuracy of the Bible
In the 18th letter I respond to the comment by Charles Darwin: “My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive….The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words on his loss of aesthetic tastes  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In 19th letter on 2-2-19  I discuss Steven Weinberg’s words,  But if language is to be of any use to us, we ought to try to preserve the meanings of words, and “God” historically has not meant the laws of nature. It has meant an interested personality.

In the 20th letter on 3-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s comment, “At the present day the most usual argument for the existence of an intelligent God is drawn from the deep [#1] inward conviction and feelings which are experienced by most persons...Formerly I was led by feelings such as those…to the firm conviction of the existence of God, and of the immortality of the soul. In my Journal I wrote that [#2] 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. [#3] 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 discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his former belief in God in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 21st letter on May 15, 2019 to Dr Barlow I discuss the writings of Francis Schaeffer who passed away the 35 years earlier on May 15, 1985. Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words at length in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In the 22nd letter I respond to Charles Darwin’s words, “I can indeed hardly see how anyone ought to wish Christianity to be true; for if so the plain language of the text seems to show that the men who do not believe…will be everlastingly punished. And this is a damnable doctrine.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words about hell  in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In 23rd postcard sent on 7-2-19 I asked Dr Barlow if he was a humanist. Sir Julian Huxley, founder of the American Humanist Association noted, “I use the word ‘humanist’ to mean someone who believes that man is just as much a natural phenomenon as an animal or plant; that his body, mind and soul were not supernaturally created but are products of evolution, and that he is not under the control or guidance of any supernatural being.”

In my 24th letter on 8-2-19 I quote Jerry  Bergman who noted Jean Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) is regarded as one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. A founding father of the modern American scientific establishment, Agassiz was also a lifelong opponent of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. Agassiz “ruled in professorial majesty at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology.”

In my 25th letter on 9-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s assertion,  “This argument would be a valid one if all men of ALL RACES had the SAME INWARD CONVICTION of the existence of one God; but we know that this is very far from being the case.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 26th letter on 10-2-19 I quoted Bertrand Russell’s daughter’s statement, “I believe myself that his whole life was a search for God…. Indeed, he had first taken up philosophy in hope of finding proof of the evidence of the existence of God … Somewhere at the back of my father’s mind, at the bottom of his heart, in the depths of his soul  there was an empty space that had once been filled by God, and he never found anything else to put in it”

In my 27th letter on 11-2-19 I disproved Richard Dawkins’ assertion, “Genesis says Abraham owned camels, but archaeological evidence shows that the camel was not domesticated until many centuries after Abraham.” Furthermore, I gave more evidence indicating the Bible is historically accurate. 

In my 28th letter on 12-2-19 I respond to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I am glad you were at the Messiah, it is the one thing that I should like to hear again, but I dare say I should find my soul too dried up to appreciate it as in old days; and then I should feel very flat, for it is a horrid bore to feel as I constantly do, that I am a withered leaf for every subject except Science. It sometimes makes me hate Science.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning MORAL MOTIONS in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 29th letter on 12-25-19 I responded to Charles Darwin’s statement, “I have said that in one respect my mind has changed during the last twenty or thirty years. Up to the age of thirty, or beyond it, poetry of many kinds…gave me great pleasure, and even as a schoolboy I took intense delight in Shakespeare, especially in the historical plays. I have also said that formerly pictures gave me considerable, and music very great delight. But now for many years I cannot endure to read a line of poetry: I have tried lately to read Shakespeare, and found it so intolerably dullthat it nauseated me…. My mind seems to have become a kind of machine for grinding general laws out of large collections of facts, but why this should have caused the atrophy of that part of the brain alone, on which the higher tastes depend, I cannot conceive… The loss of these tastes is a loss of happiness…” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of aesthetic tastes in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

In my 30th letter on 2-2-20 I quote Dustin Shramek who asserted, “Without God the universe is the result of a cosmic accident, a chance explosion. There is no reason for which it exist. As for man, he is a freak of nature–a blind product of matter plus time plus chance. Man is just a lump of slime that evolved into rationality. There is no more purpose in life for the human race than for a species of insect; for both are the result of the blind interaction of chance and necessity.”

IIn my 31st letter on 3-18-20 I quote Francis Schaeffer who noted, “Darwin is saying that he gave up the New Testament because it was connected to the Old Testament. He gave up the Old Testament because it conflicted with his own theory. Did he have a real answer himself and the answer is no. At the end of his life we see that he is dehumanized by his position and on the other side we see that he never comes to the place of intellectual satisfaction for himself that his answers were sufficient.” Francis Schaeffer discusses Darwin’s own words concerning his loss of his Christian faith in Schaeffer’s 1968 sermon at this link.

Horace Barlow pictured below:

_____________

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

Image result for harry kroto

__________________________

There are 3 videos in this series and they have statements by 150 academics and scientists and I hope to respond to all of them. Wikipedia notes Horace Basil Barlow FRS was a British visual neuroscientist.

Barlow was the son of the civil servant Sir Alan Barlow and his wife Lady Nora (née Darwin), and thus the great-grandson of Charles Darwin (see Darwin — Wedgwood family). He earned an M.D. at Harvard University in 1946.

In 1953 Barlow discovered that the frog brain has neurons which fire in response to specific visual stimuli. This was a precursor to the work of Hubel and Wiesel on visual receptive fields in the visual cortex. He has made a long study of visual inhibition, the process whereby a neuron firing in response to one group of retinal cells can inhibit the firing of another neuron; this allows perception of relative contrast.

In 1961 Barlow wrote a seminal article where he asked what the computational aims of the visual system are. He concluded that one of the main aims of visual processing is the reduction of redundancy. While the brightnesses of neighbouring points in images are usually very similar, the retina reduces this redundancy. His work thus was central to the field of statistics of natural scenes that relates the statistics of images of real world scenes to the properties of the nervous system.

Barlow and his co-workers also did substantial work in the field of factorial codes. The goal was to encode images with statistically redundant components or pixels such that the code components are statistically independent. Such codes are hard to find but highly useful for purposes of image classification etc.

Barlow was a fellow of Trinity College, University of Cambridge. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1969 and was awarded their Royal Medal in 1993.[1] He received the 1993 Australia Prize for his research into the mechanisms of visual perception and the 2009 Swartz Prize for Theoretical and Computational Neuroscience from the Society for Neuroscience.

________________

His comments can be found on the 3rd video and the 128th clip in this series. Below the videos you will find his words.

50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 1)

Another 50 Renowned Academics Speaking About God (Part 2)

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

_______________

Interview of Horace Barlow – part 1

Published on Jun 18, 2014

Interviewed and filmed by Alan Macfarlane on 5 March 2012

______________________

Interview of Horace Barlow – part 2

Horace Barlow’s quote taken from interview with Alan Macfarlane:

HAS RELIGION EVER BEEN IMPORTANT TO YOU? IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU? No, it is not important to me. Saying you don’t believe in God is a very foolish thing to say as it doesn’t explain why so many people talk about it, there has got to be more to it than that; also I think one has to respect what some godly people say and some of the things they do; I wish one could make more sense of it but I don’t think the godly people have done a very good job; I was never baptized or confirmed so have never been a practitioner, and I don’t miss it; DO YOU THINK THAT SCIENCE HAS DIS-PROVEN RELIGION AS DAWKINS ARGUES? I think it [science] provides some hope of acting rationally to handle the social and political problems we have to deal with on a personal level and one a worldwide level. Religion is a way of perpetuating a way of thought that might have otherwise been lost, and I imagine that is fine.   

Dr. Barlow’s only three solid claims in this response to Alan Macfarlane is that science is #1 the best help today with our social problems,(which is in the original clip), #2 Saying you don’t believe in God (position of atheism) is foolish, and #3 we need an explanation for why so many people talk about [God.]

My response to #1 is to look at how the secular humanists have messed up so many things in the past and I include Barlow’s personal family friend Margaret Mead in that. My responses to #2 and #3 were both covered in my earlier response to Roald Hoffmann

(Roald Hoffmann is a Nobel Prize winner who I have had the honor of corresponding with in the past. Pictured below)

Image result for Roald Hoffmann.

(This July 1933 photo shows [left to right] anthropologist Gregory Bateson with Margaret Mead)

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Horace Barlow’s words  from interview conducted by Alan Macfarlane:

I don’t ever remember going to Bateson’s house in Granchester as a child; William Bateson’s wife was a friend of my mother’s; when Gregory Bateson was out in Bali he met Margaret Mead; Beatrice Bateson, his mother, felt she was too old to go out and inspect her so she sent my mother instead; she flew off in an Imperial Airlines plane and we saw her off from Hendon; that must have been 1937-8; my mother got on very well with Margaret Mead – she was not altogether convinced by her, but very impressed by her breadth of knowledge and energy; she came and stayed with us many times; I was even more sceptical than my mother and thought she was a very impressive person; Gregory was born 1904 and my mother, in 1886, so there was quite a big age difference between them; I never got on close intellectual terms with Gregory even though we were to some extent interested in the same sort of thing, both in cybernetics and psychology, and his ideas were always interesting; however, my model of a scientist was taken from my mother and not from Gregory; my mother was interested in genetics and the paper for which she was famous was on the reproductive system in plants like cowslips; my mother reasoned like a scientist whereas Gregory was a guru – he liked to think things out for himself; he obviously influenced many others too; I saw him once or twice when I went to Berkeley

Postscript:

I was sad to see that Jon Stewart is stepping down from the DAILY SHOW so I wanted to include one of the best clips I have ever seen on his show and it is a short debate between the brilliant scientists  Edward J. Larson (an evolutionist), William A. Dembski (an Intelligent Design Proponent), and then he threw in a nutball in for laughs,  Ellie Crystal (a metaphysical theorist). Dembski gives several great examples of design and it reminded me of many of the words of Darwin show above in my letter to Horace Barlow.

William Dembski on The Jon Stewart Show

Uploaded on Nov 15, 2010

Wednesday September 14, 2005 – Jon Stewart’s “Evolution, Schmevolution” segment with panelists Edward J. Larson (an evolutionist), William A. Dembski (an Intelligent Design Proponent), and Ellie Crystal (a metaphysical theorist).

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Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 5 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog _______________________ I got this from a blogger in April of 2008 concerning candidate Obama’s view on evolution: Q: York County was recently in the news […]

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 4 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog______________________________________ I got this from a blogger in April of 2008 concerning candidate Obama’s view on evolution: Q: York County was recently in the news […]

Carl Sagan versus RC Sproul

At the end of this post is a message by RC Sproul in which he discusses Sagan. Over the years I have confronted many atheists. Here is one story below: I really believe Hebrews 4:12 when it asserts: For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the […]

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution)jh68

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 4 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 5 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog _______________________ This is a review I did a few years ago. THE DEMON-HAUNTED WORLD: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl […]

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution)

Review of Carl Sagan book (Part 3 of series on Evolution) The Long War against God-Henry Morris, part 4 of 6 Uploaded by FLIPWORLDUPSIDEDOWN3 on Aug 30, 2010 http://www.icr.org/ http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWA2http://store.icr.org/prodinfo.asp?number=BLOWASGhttp://www.fliptheworldupsidedown.com/blog______________________________________ I was really enjoyed this review of Carl Sagan’s book “Pale Blue Dot.” Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot by Larry Vardiman, Ph.D. […]

Atheists confronted: How I confronted Carl Sagan the year before he died jh47

In today’s news you will read about Kirk Cameron taking on the atheist Stephen Hawking over some recent assertions he made concerning the existence of heaven. Back in December of 1995 I had the opportunity to correspond with Carl Sagan about a year before his untimely death. Sarah Anne Hughes in her article,”Kirk Cameron criticizes […]

My correspondence with George Wald and Antony Flew!!!

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 41 Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan (Featured artist is Marina Abramović)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 40 Timothy Leary (Featured artist is Margaret Keane)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 39 Tom Wolfe (Featured artist is Richard Serra)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 38 Woody Allen and Albert Camus “There is but one truly serious philosophical problem, and that is suicide” (Feature on artist Hamish Fulton Photographer )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 37 Mahatma Gandhi and “Relieving the Tension in the East” (Feature on artist Luc Tuymans)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 36 Julian Huxley:”God does not in fact exist, but act as if He does!” (Feature on artist Barry McGee)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 35 Robert M. Pirsig (Feature on artist Kerry James Marshall)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 34 Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (Feature on artist Shahzia Sikander)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 33 Aldous Huxley (Feature on artist Matthew Barney )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 32 Steven Weinberg and Woody Allen and “The Meaningless of All Things” (Feature on photographer Martin Karplus )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 31 David Hume and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist William Pope L. )

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 30 Rene Descartes and “How do we know we know?” (Feature on artist Olafur Eliasson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 29 W.H. Thorpe and “The Search for an Adequate World-View: A Question of Method” (Feature on artist Jeff Koons)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 28 Woody Allen and “The Mannishness of Man” (Feature on artist Ryan Gander)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 27 Jurgen Habermas (Featured artist is Hiroshi Sugimoto)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 26 Bettina Aptheker (Featured artist is Krzysztof Wodiczko)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 25 BOB DYLAN (Part C) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s song “Ballad of a Thin Man” and the disconnect between the young generation of the 60’s and their parents’ generation (Feature on artist Fred Wilson)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 24 BOB DYLAN (Part B) Francis Schaeffer comments on Bob Dylan’s words from HIGHWAY 61 REVISITED!! (Feature on artist Susan Rothenberg)

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 23 BOB DYLAN (Part A) (Feature on artist Josiah McElheny)Francis Schaeffer on the proper place of rebellion with comments by Bob Dylan and Samuel Rutherford