Category Archives: Francis Schaeffer

FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALZES ART AND CULTURE Part 258 Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker by Colin Duriez (Featured artist is Elliott Hundley )

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The Story of Francis and Edith Schaeffer and Swiss L’Abri

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Colin Duriez – F. Schaeffer and H. Rookmaaker

Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker

by Colin Duriez
 
Published in Colin Duriez: Francis Schaeffer. An Authentic Life, Crossway Books – Wheaton Ill, 2008.
 
1. The first meeting between Francis Schaeffer and Hans Rookmaaker:
 
The meeting place for the Amsterdam conference of the International Council of Christian Churches in 1948 was heavy with symbolism. It was the Kloosterkerk, the church favored by the Puritan Pilgrim Fathers as a place of worship before they set out for the New World. (…) The ancient building (it was built in 1400) was also the setting for one of the most remarkable encounters in Fran’s life. Edith remembered the moment vividly.
 
Leaning against this historic wall, a young art critic for two Dutch newspapers, who was still taking his studies for his doctorate, chewed on his pipe and thoughtfully began to talk to Fran about art. They talked about art and history, art and philosophy, art and art, and the time went by and the recording secretary was missing from his meet­ing … a small blaze had started as two minds set each other on fire! It was Hans Rookmaaker’s and Francis Schaeffer’s first conversation, and Hans in student brashness had remarked, “These people in here,” pointing with his pipe, “don’t understand anything. But you and I, we can talk and understand each other.”1
 
Rookmaaker, ten years Fran’s junior and still an undergraduate, was not an official delegate, though it is likely that later he attended some sessions. He had dropped in on his fiancée to escort her home, a young Dutch woman named Anky Huitker. She was one of several people who had been recruited to work temporarily for the international conference. The event was a turning point for her, too, as she also got to know and become friends with the Schaeffers. Looking back, near the end of her life, she remembered:
 
I was helping in the office, and one night [Hans] came to the office to pick me up, and he saw there an American. Hans was very fond of negro music. So he said to me, “I go to that man” -that was Schaeffer- “and ask him about jazz music.” Then they started to talk, and they left without me. They walked the whole time through Amsterdam, and they came home at 4 o’c1ock [A.M.], I think. They never talked about American jazz music, but they had all other kind of things to talk about, mostly about religion, and art, of course. I think it started the interest of Dr. Schaeffer in art …. Mrs. Schaeffer was there [at the conference] also, and she talked to me about the work with children, Children for Christ, and she got me enthusiastic for it, because I had for years a group of children coming to my house hearing about the Bible.2
 
As Fran and Hans Rookmaaker paced the empty night streets, crossing the frequent canal bridges and eventually going to Hans’s student lodging to continue their discussion, they found a meeting of minds, though much about them was different. The range and depths of Hans Rookmaaker’s brilliance can only now be gauged, with the publication of the six extensive volumes of his Complete Works, rang­ing from art criticism and theory, to learned philosophical aesthetics, to Bible study, to popular music and jazz. A deep friendship was forged that, not surprisingly, began with a conversation, like so much in Francis Schaeffer’s life. The two men were shaped and enriched by each other’s ideas and biblical understanding. Both had been converted in isolation largely by reading through the Bible with philosophical questions in mind. Rookmaaker’s questions had been sharpened by his agony over the fate of Jewish people, including his close friend. At the time of the meeting with Schaeffer, Hans and Anky did not know of Riki Spetter’s fate. They waited years before getting engaged in the hope that she would return. Later he and his wife Anky were to become members of L’ Abri Fellowship, leading its distinctive and influential work in the Netherlands.
L’Abri was not even a dream in 1948, but the spiritual unity between the two men was real, potent with the future. Many years later, in his inaugural lecture for the Chair of Art History at the Free University in Amsterdam in 1968, Rookmaaker paid public tribute to his friend:
 
It seems to me a token, not only of our friendship but also of our spiritual unity, that you have come from Switzerland for this occasion. Since the first time we met, in 1948, we have had many long talks about faith, philosophy, reality, art, the modern world and their mutual relations. I owe very much to these discussions, which have helped to shape my thoughts on these subjects. I want to express my deep gratitude, and consider it a great honour and joy to be a member of L’Abri Fellowship.3
 
In a subsequent interview Rookmaaker told me of the tangible unity that bore so much fruit:
 
It was in 1948 that I met Schaeffer …. I was a bit dissatisfied with Dutch Christianity, which I felt was in some cases below what it should be, particularly on the level of personal faith and way of walking with the Lord. On the other hand, I feel that Anglo-Saxon Christianity really lacks the intellectual insight we have developed in Holland. In a way, what Dr. Schaeffer and I have tried to do is to fuse the two things, to make them into something new.4
 
He revealed more about that first meeting in a lecture he gave many years later while doing one of his regular summer stints tutoring and lecturing at L’Abri in Switzerland:
 
I came out of the prisoner-of-war camp as a Christian and with quite a bit of training in philosophy. After the war I started my studies in art history and began to wrestle with the problems of modern art which I traced back to the existentialist outlook on life that lies behind modern art. In 1948, as a young student, I happened to meet Dr Schaeffer. Humanly speaking we met by chance. At an interna­tional conference in Amsterdam I was looking for an American who could answer same of my questions about Negro spirituals, so I was looking for an intelligent-looking American, and I came across Dr Schaeffer and said, “May I speak to you?” He said, “Yes, I have half an hour before we start again at 7 p.m.” So we went out of the building and he left my room the next morning at 4 a.m.! We just talked on and on. We discussed modern art and that brought us together. 5
 
It was not as if either the older or the younger man dominated the conversation. Fran had already looked closely at art and paintings hanging in galleries in Philadelphia, St. Louis, and more recently all across Europe. He was already convinced that somehow understanding art was an important key to understanding a society. Hans, in his turn, had developed a philosophical understanding of biblical faith. Whereas Fran was steeped in Van Til, Hans was so knowledgeable of Groen Van Prinsterer, Abraham Kuyper, and Herman Dooyeweerd that he could discuss them with friends who were philosophers. Hans also at heart was a historian, who saw contemporary events as a direct consequence of the eighteenth-century Enlightenment.
Francis Schaeffer had spent three months travelling across Europe the previous year, trying to assess the situation faced by its churches at a time of unparalleled change. Now he was back again and would soon make his base in Switzerland. He had learned a lot from his survey of Europe. He could give illustrated talks about it. Getting to know Hans Rookmaaker, however, introduced him to the soul of Europe.
 
1. Edith Schaeffer, The Tapestry, 285. Edith’s memory is mistaken here-at this time Hans was an under­graduate at the University of Amsterdam and had not yet started reviewing for Trouw. He was much older than the normal undergraduate and mature even beyond his actual years, having passed through the fire and waters of wartime, imprisonment, and grievous personal loss of a loved one.
2. Interview with Anky Rookmaaker.
3. Hans R. Rookmaaker, Art and the Publie Today, second edition (Huémoz-sur-Ollon, Switzerland: L’Abri Fellowship, 1969).
4. Colin Duriez, “Interview with H. R. Rookmaaker,” Crusade, April 1972. A fuller version is published in “Interviews”, in Hengelaar-Rookmaaker, editor, Our Calling and God’s Hand in History: The Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker, Vol. 6, 150-153.
5. “A Dutch Christian’s View of Philosophy,” in Marleen Hengelaar-Rookmaaker; editor; The Complete Works of Hans R. Rookmaaker, Vol. 6 (Carlisle, UK: Piquant, 2003), 178.
 
 
2. Francis Schaeffer, Herman Dooyeweerd and Hans Rookmaaker:
 
Because of striking similarities between Schaeffer’s structural patterns of change in the development of Western thought and Dooyeweerd’s, Schaeffer has been charged with employing Dooyeweerd’s analysis without acknowledgment. However, Schaeffer considered that he owed no debt to Dooyeweerd, an outstanding twentieth-century philosopher, except for a single unnamed article on nature and grace. I was in the habit of sending him pieces I had written, on which he would comment. After sending him an article on Dooyeweerd’s thought, tentatively sug­gesting affinities with Schaeffer’s, he responded:
 
I am really not sure that I have much relationship to Dooyeweerd. Most of my thought was developed prior to my detailed contacts with Hans Rookmaaker and in our detailed contacts I do not think that what we exchanged had so much to do with Dooyeweerd at all, but simply our own thoughts which undoubtedly we have shared backwards and forwards to our mutual advantage for the 20 years. As for Van Til, I do not think he would appreciate being linked with Dooyeweerd at all. Van Til was helpful to me simply with his emphasis on presuppositions as such rather than anything detailed from his work. I think this is clear because he really does not seem to agree with the thrust of my apologetic work, although I know he is thank­ful for L’Abri and its work among the young people of our generation. Dooyeweerd did write one thing which was helpful to me. It was a very short article with a very clear exposition of nature and grace. When I read this it was helpful as I was already working in these areas in my own thinking …. Let me quickly say that I am not minimizing his work, or even saying that I do or do not agree with it (that would be another matter to write about), but rather that his work and mine really have very little contact.
I increasingly realize that really I have very little interest in theo­retical apologetics at all. Recently someone wrote a rather lengthy and involved study of my books and asked me to comment on it and I could only write back and say that really I had no interest in doing so because to me apologetics only had value in so far as it was related to evangelism. Of course I was thinking of evangelism in the wide sense here and not in a narrow one. In this same direction I have no interest ever in writing another book on philosophy after He Is There and He Is Not Silent. I might write short things, but the reason I do not expect to write another book after the trilogy of The God Who Is There, Escape from Reason and He Is There and He Is Not Silent is because from this point on it would become a more abstract apologetic and abstract philosophy and while I believe others may be called to this I am quite sure it is not my calling from the Lord.1
 
In the letter Schaeffer’s reference to Rookmaaker is significant, as the latter believed that there were affinities between his friend’s thinking and that of Dooyeweerd’s. In a L’Abri lecture, published after his death, Rookmaaker says:
 
Dooyeweerd himself wrote a good and short introduction to his work called [In] The Twilight of Western Thought. In the first part of that book he asks the question how Western thought is to be approached. Is it really Christian and if not, what is it? Escape from Reason is Schaeffer’s version of what Dooyeweerd develops in those chapters. They both talk for instance about nature and grace and about the influence of Greek concepts. Dooyeweerd tries to trace the various ways of thinking in Western history to their starting points. A start­ing point can be defined as the basic answers that are given to basic questions like: What is the world? Who is God? or What is the source of this world? The answers given to those questions color the answers that are given to all other questions. The second part of Dooyeweerd’s book deals with a truly Christian approach to reality. Firstly it is basic to such an approach that we begin with a world that is created. Secondly we hold that this world is fallen, it is not perfect. But thirdly we say that this is not the end, there is redemption as Christ came to redeem this world. On the basis of these truths we can try to grasp reality and analyze how this world is made. Dooyeweerd then proceeds to give such an analysis.2
 
This apparent contradiction between the views of Schaeffer and Rookmaaker on the influence of Dooyeweerd is fascinating, and this book is not the place to discuss it, but only to point it out as part of the complex origins of Schaeffer’s thinking. It is certainly true that Schaeffer’s work does not resemble at all the usual writings of those who follow Dooyeweerd. While Rookmaaker was a self-confessed pupil of Dooyeweerd’s, he developed his ideas selectively and in his own way (for example, in his emphasis upon meaning). He also drew on other Dutch scholars, such as Groen Van Prinsterer, J. P. A. Mekkes, and Abraham Kuyper. These represent a family of thinkers. For those within the fam­ily, the differences look great, while for those outside the similarities seem obvious. In my view Schaeffer was influenced by this family of thinkers, for example, through Van Til and Rookmaaker, rather than by Dooyeweerd’s epic system of thought. In Schaeffer, for instance, there is no discussion of ordinary, pre-theoretical knowledge, so pivotal to Dooyeweerd’s thought.
 
1. Francis A. Schaeffer, unpublished letter to Colin Duriez, June 16, 1972.
2. Hans Rookmaaker, “A Dutch Christian View of Philosophy,” in Our Calling and God’s Hand in History: The Complete Works of Hans Rookmaaker, Vol. 6 (Carlisle: Piquant, 2003), 179.

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Francis Schaeffer: Art and the Bible

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How Should We Then Live – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

Book Summary of Art in the Bible by Francis Schaeffer

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

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Francis Schaeffer – How Should We Then Live – 03.The Renaissance

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HowShouldweThenLive Episode 6

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Featured Artist is Elliott Hundley

Elliott Hundley: Evoking Emotions | Art21 “Exclusive”

Elliott Hundley

Elliott Hundley was born in 1975 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Hundley draws inspiration for his paintings from diverse sources, but especially from his Southern heritage, steeped in family history. Many of his works also contain references to Greek tragedy and classical mythology, and to Japanese woodblock prints. He also stages improvisational photo shoots to generate imagery for his multi-panel tableaus, casting friends and family in roles from antiquity and various other sources.

With these and other images anchored by thousands of pins to bulletin-board-like surfaces, his shallow reliefs form a palimpsest that teems with humble materials such as cut-up magazines, string, plastic, gold leaf, and other ephemera. He frequently recycles leftover scraps from one work to the next and uses images of completed paintings as substructures for new projects, creating continuity between old and new.

Elliot Hundley received a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design (1997), an MFA from UCLA (2005), and has been awarded residencies at Fine Arts Work Center (2001), Vermont Studio Center (2002), Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2002), and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art (2003). His work has appeared in major exhibitions at Nasher Sculpture Center (2012); Wexner Center for the Arts (2011); and the Hammer Museum (2006); and has been included in exhibitions at the ICP Triennial (2013); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2013); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2011); LACMA (2011); SFMOMA (2010); New Museum (2010); Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Denmark (2009); Las Vegas Art Museum (2009); Guggenheim Museum (2007); DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art (2007); Saatchi Gallery (2006); and ICA, Philadelphia (2003). Elliott Hundley lives and works in Los Angeles, California.

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 151f Clarke Schiebe of L’Abri Canada commenting on Francis Schaeffer analysis of Bertrand Russell

 

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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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Harold W. Kroto (left) receives the Nobel Prize in chemistry from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf in Stockholm, in 1996.

Soren Andersson/AP

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

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

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In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

 

From WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

The Unveiling of Truth
The famous Hindu writer and statesman Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan once wrote, “The altars erected to the unknown gods in the Graeco-Roman world were but an expression of man’s ignorance of the divine nature. The sense of failure in man’s quest for the unseen is symbolized by them. When asked to define the nature of God, the seer of the Upanishad sat silent, and when pressed to answer claimed that the Absolute is silence.”
By contrast, the Apostle Paul, speaking in the context of the very same altars to unknown gods in Athens, said, “…Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you” (Acts 17:23). And again, writing to the Corinthians not far away, “However, as it is written: `No eye has seen, nor ear has heard, no mind has conceived …’ but God has revealed it to us …” (1 Corinthians 2:9,10). This claim is common to the whole Bible. God has not waited for us to stumble to Him in the dark (which would be impossible anyway), but has revealed Himself to us. The word revelation in Greek is apokalupsis which means literally “unveiling”; so God has “unveiled” to us the things we could not know because of our finiteness and sin.
This revelation or unveiling to finite and sinful people is the Bible as the written Word. This is the claim of the whole Bible. Moreover, through the Bible we learn of the life and teaching of the Second Person of the Trinity, who became man at a point in history and so became the Living Word of the Godhead: “For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity lives in bodily form” (Colossians 2:9).
In this claim the dilemma of all humanistic systems is overcome at a stroke. The infinite God has spoken. None of the many finite attempts to define truth, doomed to failure as we have seen, is necessary. God has communicated to man, the infinite to the finite. God has communicated, in addition, in words that are understandable to us. The One who made man capable of language in the first place has communicated to man in language. Also, God has communicated truth about both spiritual reality and physical reality, about both the nature of God and the nature of man, about both events in past history and events in the future. Where all humanistic systems of thought are unable to give an adequate explanation of things, the Bible as God’s statement is adequate.
It is equally important to note that the Bible’s answer does not have to be believed blindly. There are good and sufficient reasons for seeing that it is true. It is the key that fits into the lock of what we know best about ourselves and the universe around us.
To change the metaphor: Imagine a book which has been mutilated, leaving just one inch of printed matter on each page. Although it would obviously be impossible to piece together and understand the book’s story, few people would imagine that the printing which was left on those one-inch portions had come together by chance. However, if the torn pieces of each page were found in a trunk and were added in the right places, then the story could be read and would make sense.
So it is with Christianity. The ripped pages remaining in the book correspond to the universe and its form and to the mannishness of man. The parts of the pages discovered in the trunk correspond to the Scriptures, which are God’s propositional communication to mankind. Neither the universe nor personality can give the answer to the whole meaning of the created order. Yet both are important as a testimony in helping us know that the Scriptures, God’s communication to man, are what they claim to be. The question is whether the communication given by God completes and explains the portions we had before and especially whether it explains what was open to observation before (though without an explanation), that is, that the existence of the universe and its form and the mannishness of man are not just chance configurations of the printer’s scrambled type.
This illustration is important for several reasons. First, it emphasizes that Christians do not start out from themselves autonomously, as the humanists try to do. God gives the pages, and thus God gives the answers.
Second, it helps us see the proper place of man’s reason. Just as a scientist does not create the order in the universe but does recognize it, so reason does not create the answer but simply recognizes it. Of course this does not mean that reason will necessarily receive the answer. Each person has to choose to receive God’s truth. But God’s truth is clear. The individual must acknowledge that he (and mankind) is not autonomous, not the center of all things, and he must acknowledge that he has many times done what he knows to be wrong and thus needs the work of Christ for himself. Those who refuse to back down from the position of autonomy make it impossible for themselves to receive the truth, even though there are good and sufficient reasons for knowing that it is the truth.

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Now to pages 119 to 123 of THE GOD WHO IS THERE in chapter 5 (How Do We Know It Is True?) of section three (How Historic Christianity Differs from the New Theology).

 

All men on their own level face a problem. Confronted with the existence and form of the external universe and the “mannishness” of man, how does it fit together, and what sense does it make?

(Then Schaeffer goes on and talks about propositional communication from the personal God before us, not only the things of the cosmos and history match up… a moral absolute and morals; the universal point of reference and the particulars, and the emotional and aesthetic realities of man as well.)

 

The Nature of Proof

In dealing with the question of proof which has been raised by the illustration of the book, I want to suggest that scientific proof, philosophical proof and religious proof follow the same rules. We may have any problem before us which we wish to solve; it may concern a chemical reaction or the meaning of man. After the question has been defined, in each case proof consists of two steps:

A. The theory must be non-contradictory and must give an answer to the phenomenon in question.

B. We must be able to live consistently with our theory.

…Then there is the negative consideration. After a careful definition has weeded out the trivial, the other possible answers that do not involve a mystical leap of faith are of the following nature:

  1. That the impersonal plus time plus chance have produced a personal man. But this theory is against all experience and thus usually the advocates of this theory end with a leap of faith, often hidden by connotation words.
  2. That man is not personal, but dead;that he is in reality a machine, and therefore personality is an illusion. This theory could fit the first criterion of being non-contradictory, but it will not fit the second, for man simply cannot life as though he were a machine. This may be observed as far back in the history of man as we have evidence–for example, from the art and artifacts of the caves or from man’s burial rites….Although man may say that he is no more than a machine, his whole life denies it.
  3. That in the future man will find another reasonable answer. Firstly, this could be said about any answer to anything and would bring all thought and science to an end. It must be seen to be an evasion and an especially weak reply if the person using it applies it only to this one question. Secondly, no one can live with this answer, for it simply is not possible to hold one’s breath and wait until some solution is found in the future. Continually the individual makes moral judgments which affect himself and others, and he must be using some working hypothesis from which to start. Thus, if a person offers this seriously as an alternative theory, he should be prepared to go into deep freeze and stop making judgments which touch on the problem of man. Bertrand Russell, for example, should have stopped making sociological decisions which involved others. This position is only possible if one stops the clock.
  4.  That the scientific theory of relativity may in the future prove to be a sufficient answer for human life. But the scientific theory of relativity cannot be applied to human life in this way. The scientific theory is constantly being tested, both as a theory and by measurement. Therefore it does not mean that “anything goes,” as it does when relativity is applied to human values. Moreover, in science the speed of light in a vacuum is considered an absolute standard. Therefore, scientific relativity does not imply that all scientific laws are in a constant state of flux. To use scientific relativity to buttress the concept of relativity in regard to human life and human values is completely invalid.

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I mailed this above to Clarke Schiebe who  I have a lot of respect for and asked a few questions and he gave me permission to post this response of his:

Dear Everette,

Thank you for your email and for your thoughtful reflection. Schaeffer had such a good mind and was an effective communicator. His work has been tremendously helpful to me and to the work here in Canada.

Your question: Is he saying that Bertrand Russell has taken the position that we cannot know anything is true unless there is an absolute and since Russell does not have one then he should be quiet. Or is Schaeffer saying that Russell has taken the position that we don’t have a unified field of knowledge but one day we will so Russell should shut up today?

A direct answer to your question: more the former than the latter, but both are implied. As I read these excerpts, Schaeffer is saying that if one accepts that true absolute knowledge is not yet possible, then one cannot go forward with any confidence in their search for coherent Truth, because who knows if the new knowledge found is actually true or relevant; and also one should not go forward with recommendations for society, because who knows, your recommendations today could go against what is considered true tomorrow, and who is to say who is right. At one point homosexuality was considered a mental illness and now it is considered something to be celebrated. From what moral framework can we say either position is absolutely true? If we say that true absolute knowledge is not possible, or not yet possible, we should not put forward decisions to which society should conform – in either case! Yet in us, we cannot stop ourselves from making those moral decisions. This theory of knowledge (as seen in Schaeffer’s 3rd point) cuts against human experience or human desire, since those like Bertrand Russell want to make moral decisions for society, while at the same time saying that absolute morality is not possible or not yet possible. Therefore, one should “stop making judgments which touch on the problem of man.”
Does this help? Or you looking for more?
Yours,
Clarke Scheibe

(End of Clarke’s response )

 

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[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]

It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. 

There was evidence during Bertrand Russell’s own life that indicated that the Bible was true and could be trusted.

Here is some below:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98) written by Francis Schaeffer and C. Everett Koop

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.

The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.

 

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Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

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Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

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. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

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

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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.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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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WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

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Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

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Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULTURE Part 257 review by Alison Sailer Bennett of How Should We Then Live? (Featured artist are Hubbard/Birchler )

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    August 16, 2010 · 1:48 am

How Should We Then Live? (Ancient Rome)

In order to learn lessons from the ancient times, Francis Schaeffer begins with Rome because of her strong influence on the western world. Schaeffer tracks Roman movement from away from a society built upon the city-state polis and toward a society built upon gods. In classical Athens, all values had meaning in reference to the polis because allegiance to an elitist republic was intrinsic to Roman citizenship. When the polis system failed, however, Rome, in partial imitation of the Greeks, turned to a society built upon gods that were little more than amplified human men and women with amplified feelings and flaws. “Since the gods depended on the society which made them, all of their gods put together could not give them a sufficient base for life, morals, and values and consequently when this society collapsed the gods tumbled with it.”

The Romans eventually accepted an authoritarian government centered on Caesar himself out of desperation for a chance to breathe after too many civil conflicts. “[Caesar’s] power now was not only absolute, but perpetual, too.” Plutarch writes about this time of political corruption when the emperors ruled as gods in his famous Lives of the Noble Greeks and Romans. But, as Schaeffer writes, a human god is a poor foundation and Rome fell.

Civilization is delicate and humanity is fragile. Without a strong foundation, it is only a matter of time before the inevitable collapse comes under pressure.

Christianity gradually came to Rome and with it came a totally different vision for culture. The Church brought with her an objective standard for truth, beauty, and goodness that completely uprooted all governments, all politics, and all societies founded on anything but the Triune God. The Romans burned their dead, the Christians buried theirs. The Romans aborted their babies or left them for dead on the streets, the Christians preserved all human life. The Romans practiced homosexuality, sodomy, bestiality, and pedophilia, the Christians restored marriage and sex to their redeemed purpose in the Kingdom of God.

But Rome was cruel and Christians were thrown to the beasts. Why were the Christians killed? They were not killed because they worshipped Jesus or because they loved their neighbors as themselves. They were killed because they worshiped Jesus as God and the infinite-personal God only, and because they had an absolute, universal standard by which to judge both personal morals and the State itself. A Schaeffer puts it, “nobody cared who worshipped whom so long as the worshiper did not disrupt the unity of the state, centered in the formal worship of Caesar.” In other words, Rome kept peace because peace depended upon the pluralism of Roman society. When Christianity disrupted society with the gospel’s implication to render Caesar unto God, things got messy.

Near the end of the Roman Empire, Francis Schaeffer argues that art, music, architecture, intellectual livelihood, and the economy suffered due to the apathy that had been growing in the minds of the Romans. Even after Constantine ended the persecution of Christians and made Christianity a legal religion in 313 A.D., pluralism soon took its toll on the health of society. “Rome did not fall because of external forces such as the invasion by the barbarians. Rome had no sufficient inward base; the barbarians only completed the breakdown – and Rome gradually became a ruin.”

If Rome only came to the logical conclusions of its worldview, Lord have mercy on America.

Featured Artists are Hubbard/Birchler

Hubbard/Birchler

Teresa Hubbard was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1965; Alexander Birchler was born in Baden, Switzerland, in 1962. Teresa Hubbard and Alexander Birchler live and work in Austin, Texas, as life partners and artist-collaborators. Both received MFAs from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax, Canada. Hubbard and Birchler make short films and photographs about the construction of narrative time and space, without the context of a traditional story line; their open-ended, enigmatic narratives elicit multiple readings. They began their collaboration in the mid-1990s, making sculpture, installation, photography, and performance-based work. In an early photographic series, they created film-still-like images of people interacting with objects and architecture in ways that questioned simplistic narrative resolution.

Their interest in the construction and negotiation of space, architecture, and the function of objects in three dimensions still plays a primary role in their work. In the video installations Detached Building (2001) and Eight (2001), the camera moves in and out of buildings in seamless loops, blurring the physical and chronological borders between here and there, before and after. Their productions reveal a strong sense of carefully constructed mise-en-scène that owes as much to natural-history-museum dioramas as to cinematic directorial techniques. These works seem to be spliced from a larger narrative, but the artists are unwilling to lead the viewer toward any specific apprehension of what that story might be.

Hubbard and Birchler cite as influences Hitchcock, Malick, Mamet, Kafka, Flaubert, and Hopper—all of whom are notable for use of the psycho-spatial dimension. Hubbard/Birchler’s work has been shown at Whitney Museum of American Art at Altria, New York; Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, Santiago de Compostela; Museum of Contemporary Art, Berlin; Foundation for Photography, Amsterdam; Center for Photography, Salamanca; Venice Biennale (1999); and National Gallery, Prague.

Links:
Artists’ website

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WOODY WEDNESDAY Open letter to Woody Allen concerning his obsession with death Part 1

In the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gertrude Stein tells Gil Pender what she thinks about his book, “Now, about your book,it’s very unusual, indeed.I mean, in a way, it’s almost like science fiction.We all fear death, and question our place in the universe.The artist’s job is not to succumb to despair,but to find an antidote for the emptiness of existence.You have a clear and lively voice. Don’t be such a defeatist.”

Open Letter to Woody Allen

March 6, 2019

Woody Allen

c/o XXXXXXX
New York, NY 10016

Dear Mr. Woody Allen,

I feel like I know you personally. I have read several books about you and seen all of your movies and many of them over and over. I am one of your biggest fans and I have told many people about your movies.

I have done about 1,000 posts on your movies, but among the top most popular posts I have ever done deal with looking at the historical lives of the characters mentioned in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS.

Did you know that several of these individuals committed suicide? Amedeo Modigliani, Juan Belmonte, Van Gogh, and Ernest Hemingway did commit suicide, and Paul Gauguin attempted to. The issue of death comes up quite a lot in your movies.

“There’s an old joke, um, two elderly women are at a Catskill Mountain resort, and one of ’em says, ‘Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.’ The other one says, ‘Yeah, I know. And such small portions.’ Well, that’s essentially how I feel about life. Full of loneliness and misery and suffering and unhappiness, and it’s all over much too quickly.” So begins the famous monologue at the beginning of Woody Allen’s best-known work, Annie Hall.

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(Adrian Rogers)

There is one book in the Bible that deals with death more than any other and it is the Book of Ecclesiastes. I have been interested in studying the Book of Ecclesiastes since I heard a message by Adrian Rogers on it in 1976 at my Junior High Chapel Service at school.

Let me start off by discussing what the book says about death.

Francis Schaeffer comments on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of death:

Ecclesiastes 9:11

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…

That first great cry “So I hated life.” Naturally if you hate life you long for death and you find him saying this in Ecclesiastes 4:2-3:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

He lays down an order. It is best never have to been. It is better to be dead, and worse to be alive. But like all men and one could think of the face of Vincent Van Gogh in his final paintings as he came to hate life and you watch something die in his self portraits, the dilemma is double because as one is consistent and one sees life as a game of chance, one must come in a way to hate life. Yet at the same time men never get beyond the fear to die. Solomon didn’t either. So you find him in saying this.

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

The Hebrew is stronger than this and it says “it happens EVEN TO ME,” Solomon on the throne, Solomon the universal man. EVEN TO ME, even to Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[n] 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

What he is saying is as far as the eyes are concerned everything grinds to a stop at death.

Ecclesiastes 4:16

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

That is true. There is no place better to feel this than here in Switzerland. You can walk over these hills and men have walked over these hills for at least 4000 years and when do you know when you have passed their graves or who cares? It doesn’t have to be 4000 years ago. Visit a cemetery and look at the tombstones from 40 years ago. Just feel it. IS THIS ALL THERE IS? You can almost see Solomon shrugging his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 8:8

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. (King James Version)

A remarkable two phrase. THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR or you can translate it “no casting of weapons in that war.” Some wars they come to the end. Even the THIRTY YEARS WAR (1618-1648) finally finished, but this is a war where there is no casting of weapons and putting down the shield because all men fight this battle and one day lose. But more than this he adds, WICKEDNESS WON’T DELIVER YOU FROM THAT FIGHT. Wickedness delivers men from many things, from tedium in a strange city for example. But wickedness won’t deliver you from this war. It isn’t that kind of war. More than this he finally casts death in the world of chance.

These facts 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. 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.

Those who reject God must accept three realities of their life UNDER THE SUN. FIRST, death is the end and SECOND, chance and time are the only guiding forces in this life. FINALLY, power reigns in this life and the scales are never balanced. In contrast, Dave Hope and Kerry Livgren believe death is not the end and the Christian can face death and also confront the world knowing that it is not determined by chance and time alone and finally there is a judge who will balance the scales.

Solomon’s experiment was a search for meaning to life “UNDER the sun.” Notice this phrase UNDER THE SUN since it appears about 30 times in Ecclesiastes. Francis Schaeffer noted that Solomon took a look at the meaning of life on the basis of human life standing alone between birth and death “under the sun.”

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

Even though this  phrase is used over and over in Ecclesiastes, Solomon omits the phrase in the 12th and final chapter of Ecclesiastes. In Ecclesiastes 12 he looks ABOVE the sun and brings God back into the picture: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: Fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. For God will bring every act to judgment, everything which is hidden, whether it is good or evil.”

(Adrian Rogers below)

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Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 1

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Kerry Livgren/Dave Hope: 700 Club Interview (Kansas) Part 2

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The answer to find meaning in life is found in putting your faith and trust in Jesus Christ. The Bible is true from cover to cover and can be trusted. Below is a piece of that evidence given by Francis Schaeffer concerning the accuracy of the Bible.

Thanks for your time.

Sincerely,

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

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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.

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

We looked earlier at the city of Lachish. Let us return to the same period in Israel’s history when Lachich was besieged and captured by the Assyrian King Sennacherib. The king of Judah at the time was Hezekiah.

Perhaps you remember the story of how Jesus healed a blind man and told him to go and wash in the Pool of Siloam. It is the same place known by King Hezekiah, approximately 700 years earlier. One of the remarkable things about the flow of the Bible is that historical events separated by hundreds of years took place in the same geographic spots, and standing in these places today, we can feel that flow of history about us. The crucial archaeological discovery which relates the Pool of Siloam is the tunnel which lies behind it.

One day in 1880 a small Arab boy was playing with his friend and fell into the pool. When he clambered out, he found a small opening about two feet wide and five feet high. On examination, it turned out to be a tunnel reaching  back into the rock. But that was not all. On the side of the tunnel an inscribed stone (now kept in the museum in Istanbul) was discovered, which told how the tunnel had been built originally. The inscription in classical Hebrew reads as follows:

The boring through is completed. And this is the story of the boring: while yet they plied the pick, each toward his fellow, and while there were yet three cubits [4 14 feet] to be bored through, there was heard the voice of one calling to the other that there was a hole in the rock on the right hand and on the left hand. And on the day of the boring through the workers on the tunnel struck each to meet his fellow, pick upon pick. Then the water poured from the source to the Pool 1,200 cubits [about 600 yards] and a 100 cubits was the height of the rock above the heads of the workers in the tunnel. 

We know this as Hezekiah’s Tunnel. The Bible tells us how Hezekiah made provision for a better water supply to the city:Now the rest of the acts of Hezekiah and all his might, and how he made the pool and the conduit and brought water into the city, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Judah?(II Kings 20:20). We know here three things: the biblical account, the tunnel itself of which the Bible speaks, and the original stone with its inscription in classical Hebrew.

From the Assyrian side, there is additional confirmation of the incidents mentioned in the Bible. There is a clay prism in the British Museum called the Taylor Prism (British Museum, Ref. 91032). It is only fifteen inches high and was discovered in the Assyrian palace at Nineveh. This particular prism dates from about 691 B.C. and tells about Sennacherib’s exploits. A section from the prism reads, “As for Hezekiah,  the Jew, who did not submit to my yoke, forty-six of his strong walled cities, as well as small cities  in their neighborhood I have besieged and took…himself like a caged bird, I shut up in Jerusalem, his royal city. Earthworks I threw up against him,” Thus, there is a three-way confirmation concerning Hezekiah’s tunnel from the Hebrew side and this amazing confirmation from the Assyrian side.

Image result for hezekiah tunnel
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End of Open Letter to Woody Allen

Below is a previous post I did on Picasso and the issue of death and it was one of my most popular posts:

Both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Picasso in his painting had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!!

Picasso in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS

Pablo Picasso: Self-portrait Facing Death (1972)

Does anyone not know the name Picasso? Based on sales of his works at auctions, he holds the title of top ranked artist according to the Art Market Trends report. He was also a prolific artist with estimates of 50,000 works of art producedin his lifetime. (This includes paintings, drawings, sculptuers, etc).

Pablo Picasso worked up until the day he died at age 91; literally painting till 3 am on Sunday, April 8th, which was just hours before his death.

His last well known self-portriat was done a little less than a year before his death, entitled Self Portrait Facing Death (June 30, 1972).

The piece is done with crayon on paper, and took several months to complete. A friend, Pierre Daix, tells of his memory of the piece on a visit to Picasso, “[Picasso] held the drawing beside his face to show that the expression of fear was a contrivance.” Then on another visit 3 months later, Pierre recalled that the harsh colored lines were even deeper, and Pierre writes, “He did not blink. I had the sudden impression that he was staring his own death in the face, like a good Spaniard”

There is much comentary about this piece. People talk about the fear of death Picasso had and how terrified his eyes look. They comment on the deep lines of age, and the work symbolizing Picasso’s confrontation of death.

Interestingly, as I researched this post I found a complete catolgue of Picasso’s works, in sequential order. It appears that just days prior and days after the piece above, he did several other self portraits.

I’m placing them in order, and wonder if there is a comment in the progression, I certainly feel there is a change with each. Below, copyright Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, are Self Portrait (June 28, 1972), Self Portrait (July 2, 1972), and Self Portrait (July 3, 1972)


In all his works through the next months before his death, I saw no further self portraits, these above were done in a burst, as if when done with these, he was done contemplating self and death.

Picasso’s death itself was sudden, waking on the morning of the 8th with an inabilty to get out of bed, calling for his wife, and dying 10 mins later. His cause of death was likely a heart attack with complications from heart failure.

I am happy to have stummbled upon the other portraits, giving us different glimpses of the idea of himself. Having such different works done in such a short time, gives testament to the complexity of all of our own self concepts. Just as I see the feelings of chaos, fear and acceptance in the works above, my own patients contemplating death can bounce from chaos, fear and acceptance sometimes in the span of a few hours.

References and more reading on the title piece:

http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/picasso/home/ed/8works/8works_8

http://www.artst.org/picasso/PabloPicasso-Self-Portrait-1972.jpg.html

*And special thanks to Karen Faught for alerting me to this piece

Midnight in Paris

“Love the sort of Van Goh poster”
a.k.a “The title card is too simple (not that I’m complaining)”

While vacationing in Paris with his fiancée Inez (Rachel McAdams), Hollywood screenwriter Gil (Owen Wilson) falls in love with the city and dreams of, in his opinion, its golden age in the 1920s. Drunk and lost on his way back to his hotel, the city clock strikes 12 and Gil rides a vintage car to the era he loves in the city he adores. That’s when the rest of the movie begins, the romance flourishes, and the smiles chime in.

“A scene to tease and to deceive. Why? Watch.”
a.k.a. “A kiss is always a good start to a movie”

Like Before Sunrise (also a love story set in Europe) or Vicky Cristina Barcelona (also written and directed by Woody Allen, but less whimsical than this one), the movie carries the same tone all three movies share—very spontaneous and carefree. But while it’s a love story on many levels, it’s also a fantasy adventure, kind of a time-traveling, self-reflection story of a guy who seeks more in life.

“I said “more in life”. not more girls in life” a.k.a “Owen is one lucky guy”
(left: with Marion Cotillard); right: with Lea Seydoux)

Part of the mystique is having world-renowned artists and literary giants portrayed by current actors. If you paid attention during your art and literature classes, you’ll spot them easily and get their drift and the narrative slightly better than those who flunked the subject.

“Star-studded cast both past and current” a.k.a. “The only few I know”
Clockwise from top left: The Fritzgeralds (Alison Pill, Tom Hiddleston), Hemingway (Corey Stoll),
Gertrude Stein (Kathy Bates), Picasso (Marcial Di Fonzo Bo), and Dali (Adrien Brody)

I love how all the movie’s themes cut across time, also proving that old school can still be relevant in this day and age. Plus, to be so taken by the breathtaking sights of Paris—spectacular yet not very tourist-y, as Allen captured it—is always a pleasure. The film’s premise and story is simple but profound, yet such a breeze to watch. And if you don’t take with you romance or lessons, you should have at least bagged a good, genuine smile.

Midnight in Paris gets a seven-point-five out of ten for giving us a very timeless upgrade: romance with a hint of modern and a dash of nostalgia in the city of love.

Pablo Picasso: Death of Harlequin

Picasso’s “Death of Harlequin” captures an enigmatic view of life and death as a performer

Picasso portrait artist cubist painter

Credit: The Telegraph

You don’t have to be an art lover to know the name Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). But few would think to associate a Harlequin-esque character with the cubist legend.

The character of “Harlequin” shows up in a countless number of Picasso’s paintings (especially his Rose Period) and became the ideal personality onto which he could project his ponderings of life and death. One of the most powerful paintings of Harlequin is Death of Harlequin (1905), which shows a somber funeral scene after the entertainer’s death.

Why choose to work through Harlequin? He is, after all, a character who had no resemblance to the painter himself. The physical traits of Harelquin are far from discreet: his face eclipsed in white, while his body constantly overwhelmed by the gaudiness of his clothes. As far as we know, Picasso was never seen running around in a 15th century romper.

“Why choose to work through Harlequin? He is, after all, a character who had no resemblance to the painter himself.”


“Death of Harlequin” (1905) by Pacblo Picasso. Credit: cultured.com

There are endless academic and arty ponderings as to why Picasso chose to paint Harlequin in his tableaux. A mythological perspective notes that Harlequin was “a mysterious character with classical origins,” who “had long been associated with the god Mercury and with Alchemy and the Underworld.” Perhaps Picasso was drawn to Harlequin for the dark undertones of the character’s peppy visage – it presented an opportunity for him to explore a harsh duality.

Pablo Picasso pintando el Guernica (París, 1937)

Pablo Picasso (Paris, 1937). (Photo credit: Recuerdos de Pandora)

According the Met Museum, “Picasso has revealed the private sadness behind the public face of [Harlequin],” through “an interpretation that has greater resonance when one considers that the artist often regarded his clowns as representations of his alter ego.” In a way, Picasso played a similar role to Harlequin; he was never an entertainer per-se, but was expected to perform on a certain level as an artist for the public.

Death of Harlequin could very well show the exhaustion Picasso felt from such pressure. The image of Harlequin reclined in his garb, but also succumbed to death, represents the metaphorical death Picasso’s inspiration from time to time. With the constant pressure to “perform” well as a painter, it becomes easier to see the empathy Picasso could have felt with clowns like Harlequin. Another piece of information worth noting, says the Met, is the fact that Picasso was quite depressed at the time he painted Death of Harlequin, as his dear friend Carlos Casagemas had just committed suicide.

“As far as we know, Picasso was never seen running around in a 15th century romper.”

The tone of the painting is a bit undecided, walking the line between sadness and tranquility; helplessness and relief in the face of death. Harlequin and his mourners are bathed in white halos that seem to extend from their own face paint. The viewer doesn’t even see the legs of the table Harlequin is placed upon; instead he seems to float upon a cool, white portion of Picasso’s under-painting. Is Harlequin experiencing a peaceful death? Is he filled with regret after a life of tireless performance, or fulfillment? The wonderful thing about the work is, perhaps, its malleability: depending on our own mood, we can see a man reposed in peace, or surrendered to a life – and inspiration — exhausted.

What do you see in the face of Harlequin? We look forward to your comments below.

Related SevenPonds Posts:

Painting Details

20th Century Artist: Pablo Picasso
Title and Year: Death of Casagemas, 1901
Size: 27cm x 35cm
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Collection: Musée Picasso, Paris, France
Subject: Portraits, Male Portraits, Self Portraits

More

This deathbed painting of Carlos Casagemas is an intimate portrait of a friend that committed suicide over a lover. Casagemas also appears in the melancholy La Vie painting of 1903.

The thick, expressive brushstrokes and complimentary colors are reminiscent of Vincent van Gogh.

See more Picasso Blue Period Paintings, Cubist Paintings or Late Picasso Paintings.

Francis Schaeffer comments on the Book of Ecclesiastes and the subject of death:

Ecclesiastes 9:11

11 Again I saw that under the sun the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor bread to the wise, nor riches to the intelligent, nor favor to those with knowledge, but time and chance happen to them all.

Chance rules. If a man starts out only from himself and works outward it must eventually if he is consistent seem so that only chance rules and naturally in such a setting you can not expect him to have anything else but finally a hate of life.

Ecclesiastes 2:17-18a

17 So I hated life, because what is done under the sun was grievous to me, for all is vanity and a striving after wind. 18 I hated all my toil in which I toil under the sun…

That first great cry “So I hated life.” Naturally if you hate life you long for death and you find him saying this in Ecclesiastes 4:2-3:

And I thought the dead who are already dead more fortunate than the living who are still alive. But better than both is he who has not yet been and has not seen the evil deeds that are done under the sun.

He lays down an order. It is best never have to been. It is better to be dead, and worse to be alive. But like all men and one could think of the face of Vincent Van Gogh in his final paintings as he came to hate life and you watch something die in his self portraits, the dilemma is double because as one is consistent and one sees life as a game of chance, one must come in a way to hate life. Yet at the same time men never get beyond the fear to die. Solomon didn’t either. So you find him in saying this.

Ecclesiastes 2:14-15

14 The wise person has his eyes in his head, but the fool walks in darkness. And yet I perceived that the same event happens to all of them. 15 Then I said in my heart, “What happens to the fool will happen to me also. Why then have I been so very wise?” And I said in my heart that this also is vanity.

The Hebrew is stronger than this and it says “it happens EVEN TO ME,” Solomon on the throne, Solomon the universal man. EVEN TO ME, even to Solomon.

Ecclesiastes 3:18-21

18 I said in my heart with regard to the children of man that God is testing them that they may see that they themselves are but beasts. 19 For what happens to the children of man and what happens to the beasts is the same; as one dies, so dies the other. They all have the same breath, and man has no advantage over the beasts, for all is vanity.[n] 20 All go to one place. All are from the dust, and to dust all return.21 Who knows whether the spirit of man goes upward and the spirit of the beast goes down into the earth?

What he is saying is as far as the eyes are concerned everything grinds to a stop at death.

Ecclesiastes 4:16

16 There was no end of all the people, all of whom he led. Yet those who come later will not rejoice in him. Surely this also is vanity and a striving after wind.

That is true. There is no place better to feel this than here in Switzerland. You can walk over these hills and men have walked over these hills for at least 4000 years and when do you know when you have passed their graves or who cares? It doesn’t have to be 4000 years ago. Visit a cemetery and look at the tombstones from 40 years ago. Just feel it. IS THIS ALL THERE IS? You can almost see Solomon shrugging his shoulders.

Ecclesiastes 8:8

There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death: and there is no discharge in that war; neither shall wickedness deliver those that are given to it. (King James Version)

A remarkable two phrase. THERE IS NO DISCHARGE IN THAT WAR or you can translate it “no casting of weapons in that war.” Some wars they come to the end. Even the THIRTY YEARS WAR (1618-1648) finally finished, but this is a war where there is no casting of weapons and putting down the shield because all men fight this battle and one day lose. But more than this he adds, WICKEDNESS WON’T DELIVER YOU FROM THAT FIGHT. Wickedness delivers men from many things, from tedium in a strange city for example. But wickedness won’t deliver you from this war. It isn’t that kind of war. More than this he finally casts death in the world of chance.

 PABLO PICASSO
The Art History ArchiveCubism


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The Most Famous Artist of the 20th Century

Biography by Charles Moffat.

Full Name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Clito Ruiz y Picasso

Born October 25, 1881 – Died April 8, 1973.

“Everyone wants to understand art. Why don’t we try to understand the song of a bird? Why do we love the night, the flowers, everything around us, without trying to understand them? But in the case of a painting, people think they have to understand. If only they would realize above all that an artist works of necessity, that he himself is only an insignificant part of the world, and that no more importance should be attached to him than to plenty of other things which please us in the world though we can’t explain them; people who try to explain pictures are usually barking up the wrong tree.” – Picasso

After WWII, The Late Works: 1946-1973

In 1944, after the liberation of Paris, Picasso joined the Communist Party and became an active participant of the Peace Movement. In 1949, the Paris World Peace Conference adopted a dove created by Picasso as the official symbol of the various peace movements. The USSR awarded Picasso the International Stalin Peace Prize twice, once in 1950 and for the second time in 1961 (by this time, the award had been renamed the International Lenin Peace Prize, as a result of destalinization) . He protested against the American intervention in Korea and against the Soviet occupation of Hungary. In his public life, he always expressed humanitarian views.

After WWII, Françoise gave birth to two children: Claude (1947) and Paloma (1949). Paloma is the Spanish word for “dove” — the girl was named after the peace symbol.

Picasso would not settle down, and more women would come into his life, some coming and going, like Sylvette David; and some staying longer, like Jacqueline Rogue. Picasso would remain sexually active and seeking throughout most of his life; it wasn’t that he was looking for something better than what he had had previously; the artist had a passion for the new and untried, evident in his travels, his art and, of course, his women. For him, it was a way of staying young.

In the summer of 1955, Picasso bought “La Californie”, a large villa near Cannes. From his studio, he had a view of the enormous garden, which he filled with his sculptures. The south and the Mediterranean were just right for his mentality; they reminded of Barcelona, his childhood and youth. There, he painted “Studio ‘La Californie’ at Cannes” (1956) and Jacqueline in the Studio (1956). By 1958, however “La Californie” had become a tourist attraction. There had been a constantly increasing stream of admirers and of people trying to catch a glimpse of the painter at his work, and Picasso, who disliked public attention, chose to move house. Picasso bought the Chateau Vauvenargues, near Aix-en-Provence, and this was reflected in his art with an increasing reduction of his range of colors to black, white and green.

The mass media turned Picasso into a celebrity, and the public deprived him of privacy and wanted to know his every step, but his later art was given very little attention and was regarded as no more than the hobby of an aging genius who could do nothing but talk about himself in his pictures. Picasso’s late works are an expression of his final refusal to fit into categories. He did whatever he wanted in art and did not arouse a word of criticism.

With his adaptation of “Las Meninas” by Velászquez and his experiments with Manet’s Luncheon on the Grass, was Picasso still trying to discover something new, or was he just laughing at the public, its stupidity and its inability to see the obvious.

A number of elements had become characteristic in his art of this period: Picasso’s use of simplified imagery, the way he let the unpainted canvas shine through, his emphatic use of lines, and the vagueness of the subject. In 1956, the artist would comment, referring to some schoolchildren: “When I was as old as these children, I could draw like Raphael, but it took me a lifetime to learn to draw like them.”

In the last years of his life, painting became an obsession with Picasso, and he would date each picture with absolute precision, thus creating a vast amount of similar paintings — as if attempting to crystallize individual moments of time, but knowing that, in the end, everything would be in vain.

The movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS offers many of the same themes we see in Ecclesiastes. The second post looked at the question: WAS THERE EVER A GOLDEN AGE AND DID THE MOST TALENTED UNIVERSAL MEN OF THAT TIME FIND TRUE SATISFACTION DURING IT?

In the third post in this series we discover in Ecclesiastes that man UNDER THE SUN finds himself caught in the never ending cycle of birth and death. The SURREALISTS make a leap into the area of nonreason in order to get out of this cycle and that is why the scene in MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Salvador Dali, Man Ray, and Luis Bunuel works so well!!!! These surrealists look to the area of their dreams to find a meaning for their lives and their break with reality is  only because they know that they can’t find a rational meaning in life without God in the picture.

The fourth post looks at the solution of WINE, WOMEN AND SONG and the fifth and sixth posts look at the solution T.S.Eliot found in the Christian Faith and how he left his fragmented message of pessimism behind. In the seventh post the SURREALISTS say that time and chance is all we have but how can that explain love or art and the hunger for God? The eighth  post looks at the subject of DEATH both in Ecclesiastes and MIDNIGHT IN PARIS. In the ninth post we look at the nihilistic worldview of Woody Allen and why he keeps putting suicides into his films.

In the tenth post I show how Woody Allen pokes fun at the brilliant thinkers of this world and how King Solomon did the same thing 3000 years ago. In the eleventh post I point out how many of Woody Allen’s liberal political views come a lack of understanding of the sinful nature of man and where it originated. In the twelfth post I look at the mannishness of man and vacuum in his heart that can only be satisfied by a relationship with God.

In the thirteenth post we look at the life of Ernest Hemingway as pictured in MIDNIGHT AND PARIS and relate it to the change of outlook he had on life as the years passed. In the fourteenth post we look at Hemingway’s idea of Paris being a movable  feast. The fifteenth and sixteenth posts both compare Hemingway’s statement, “Happiness in intelligent people is the rarest thing I know…”  with Ecclesiastes 2:18 “For in much wisdom is much vexation, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.” The seventeenth post looks at these words Woody Allen put into Hemingway’s mouth,  “We fear death because we feel that we haven’t loved well enough or loved at all.”

In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Hemingway and Gil Pender talk about their literary idol Mark Twain and the eighteenth post is summed up nicely by Kris Hemphill‘swords, “Both Twain and [King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes] voice questions our souls long to have answered: Where does one find enduring meaning, life purpose, and sustainable joy, and why do so few seem to find it? The nineteenth post looks at the tension felt both in the life of Gil Pender (written by Woody Allen) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and in Mark Twain’s life and that is when an atheist says he wants to scoff at the idea THAT WE WERE PUT HERE FOR A PURPOSE but he must stay face the reality of  Ecclesiastes 3:11 that says “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” and  THAT CHANGES EVERYTHING! Therefore, the secular view that there is no such thing as love or purpose looks implausible. The twentieth post examines how Mark Twain discovered just like King Solomon in the Book of Ecclesiastes that there is no explanation  for the suffering and injustice that occurs in life UNDER THE SUN. Solomon actually brought God back into the picture in the last chapter and he looked  ABOVE THE SUN for the books to be balanced and for the tears to be wiped away.

The twenty-first post looks at the words of King Solomon, Woody Allen and Mark Twain that without God in the picture our lives UNDER THE SUN will accomplish nothing that lasts. The twenty-second post looks at King Solomon’s experiment 3000 years that proved that luxuries can’t bring satisfaction to one’s life but we have seen this proven over and over through the ages. Mark Twain lampooned the rich in his book “The Gilded Age” and he discussed  get rich quick fever, but Sam Clemens loved money and the comfort and luxuries it could buy. Likewise Scott Fitzgerald  was very successful in the 1920’s after his publication of THE GREAT GATSBY and lived a lavish lifestyle until his death in 1940 as a result of alcoholism.

In the twenty-third post we look at Mark Twain’s statement that people should either commit suicide or stay drunk if they are “demonstrably wise” and want to “keep their reasoning faculties.” We actually see this play out in the film MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with the character Zelda Fitzgerald. In the twenty-fourth, twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth posts I look at Mark Twain and the issue of racism. In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS we see the difference between the attitudes concerning race in 1925 Paris and the rest of the world.

The twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth posts are summing up Mark Twain. In the 29th post we ask did MIDNIGHT IN PARIS accurately portray Hemingway’s personality and outlook on life? and in the 30th post the life and views of Hemingway are summed up.

In the 31st post we will observe that just like Solomon Picasso slept with many women. Solomon actually slept with  over 1000 women ( Eccl 2:8, I Kings 11:3), and both men ended their lives bitter against all women and in the 32nd post we look at what happened to these former lovers of Picasso. In the 33rd post we see that Picasso  deliberately painted his secular  worldview of fragmentation on his canvas but he could not live with the loss of humanness and he reverted back at crucial points and painted those he loved with all his genius and with all their humanness!!! In the 34th post  we notice that both Solomon in Ecclesiastes and Picasso in his painting had an obsession with the issue of their impending death!!!

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Woody Allen believes that we live in a cold, violent and meaningless universe and it seems that his main character (Gil Pender, played by Owen Wilson) in the movie MIDNIGHT IN PARIS shares that view. Pender’s meeting with the Surrealists is by far the best scene in the movie because they are ones who can […]

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In MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Gil Pender ponders the advice he gets from his literary heroes from the 1920’s. King Solomon in Ecclesiastes painted a dismal situation for modern man in life UNDER THE SUN  and many modern artists, poets, and philosophers have agreed. In the 1920’s T.S.Eliot and his  house guest Bertrand Russell were two of […]

“Woody Wednesday” ECCLESIASTES AND WOODY ALLEN’S FILMS: SOLOMON “WOULD GOT ALONG WELL WITH WOODY!” (Part 4 MIDNIGHT IN PARIS Part C, IS THE ANSWER TO FINDING SATISFACTION FOUND IN WINE, WOMEN AND SONG?)

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 151e Sir Bertrand Russell: We may define “faith” as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence!

Image result for bertrand russellBertrand Russell as a child.Image result for bertrand russellWe may define “faith” as a firm belief in something for which there is no evidence! These are the words Bertrand Russell. If Russell was here today I would say to him, “Bertie read on if you want some evidence!”On November 21, 2014 I received a letter from Nobel Laureate Harry Kroto and it said:…Please click on this URL http://vimeo.com/26991975and you will hear what far smarter people than I have to say on this matter. I agree with them.Harry KrotoI have attempted to respond to all of Dr. Kroto’s friends arguments and I have posted my responses one per week for over a year now. Here are some of my earlier posts:Arif Ahmed, Sir David AttenboroughMark Balaguer, Horace Barlow, Michael BatePatricia ChurchlandAaron CiechanoverNoam Chomsky,Alan DershowitzHubert Dreyfus, Bart Ehrman, Stephan FeuchtwangDavid Friend,  Riccardo GiacconiIvar Giaever , Roy GlauberRebecca GoldsteinDavid J. Gross,  Brian Greene, Susan GreenfieldStephen F Gudeman,  Alan Guth, Jonathan HaidtTheodor W. Hänsch, Brian Harrison,  Hermann HauserRoald Hoffmann,  Bruce HoodHerbert Huppert,  Gareth Stedman Jones, Steve JonesShelly KaganMichio Kaku,  Stuart Kauffman,  Lawrence KraussHarry Kroto, George LakoffElizabeth Loftus,  Alan MacfarlanePeter MillicanMarvin MinskyLeonard Mlodinow,  Yujin NagasawaAlva NoeDouglas Osheroff,  Jonathan Parry,  Saul PerlmutterHerman Philipse,  Carolyn PorcoRobert M. PriceLisa RandallLord Martin Rees,  Oliver Sacks, John SearleMarcus du SautoySimon SchafferJ. L. Schellenberg,   Lee Silver Peter Singer,  Walter Sinnott-ArmstrongRonald de Sousa, Victor StengerBarry Supple,   Leonard Susskind, Raymond TallisNeil deGrasse Tyson,  .Alexander Vilenkin, Sir John WalkerFrank WilczekSteven Weinberg, and  Lewis Wolpert,In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.__

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Francis Schaeffer noted concerning the IMPLICIT FAITH of Bertrand Russell:I was lecturing at the University of St. Andrews one night and someone put forth the question, “If Christianity is so clear and reasonable then why doesn’t Bertrand Russell then become a Christian? Is it because he hasn’t discovered theology?”It wasn’t a matter of studying theology that was involved but rather that he had too much faith. I was surrounded by humanists and you could hear the gasps. Bertrand Russell and faith; Isn’t this the man of reason? I pointed out that this is a man of high orthodoxy who will hold his IMPLICIT FAITH on the basis of his presuppositions no matter how many times he has to zig and zag because it doesn’t conform to the facts.You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. I think that these men are men of a high level of IMPLICIT FAITH in their own set of presuppositions. Paul said (in Romans Chapter One) they won’t carry it to it’s logical conclusion even though they hold a great deal of the truth and they have revolted and they have set up a series of universals in themselves which they won’t transgress no matter if they conform to the facts or not.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 1:18-20 Amplified Bible :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].We can actually see the two points makes playing themselves out in Bertrand Russell’s own life.Image result for bertrand russell[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]It is quite true what you say, that you have never expressed yourself—but who has, that has anything to express? The things one says are all unsuccessful attempts to say something else—something that perhaps by its very nature cannot be said. I know that I have struggled all my life to say something that I never shall learn how to say. And it is the same with you. It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. But it is from listening to the ghost that one comes to feel oneself a ghost. I feel I shall find the truth on my deathbed and be surrounded by people too stupid to understand—fussing about medicines instead of searching for wisdom. Love and imagination mingled; that seems the main thing so far.During Bertrand Russell’s lifetime (1872-1970) there lived another scholar who also doubted that the Bible was true and his name was Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (1851-1939. Ramsay taught from 1885 to until his retirement in 1911 but he continued writing books.Wikipedia notes:In 1880 Ramsay received an Oxford studentship for travel and research in Greece. At Smyrna, he met Sir C. W. Wilson, then British consul-general in Anatolia, who advised him on inland areas suitable for exploration. Ramsay and Wilson made two long journeys during 1881-1882.He traveled widely in Asia Minor and rapidly became the recognized authority on all matters relating to the districts associated with St Paul’s missionary journeys and on Christianity in the early Roman Empire. Greece and Turkey remained the focus of Ramsay’s research for the remainder of his academic career. In 1883, he discovered the world’s oldest complete piece of music, the Seikilos epitaph. He was known for his expertise in the historic geographyand topography of Asia Minor and of its political, social, cultural, and religious history. He was Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, in 1882.From 1885 to 1886 Ramsay held the newly created Lincoln and Merton professorship of classical archaeology and art at Oxford and became a fellow of Lincoln College (honorary fellow 1898). In 1886 Ramsay was appointed Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen. He remained affiliated with Aberdeen until his retirement in 1911. What information did William Ramsay find out about the accuracy of the Bible? Francis Schaeffer discusses Ramsay’s life below:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98)

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.What is even more interesting is the way “liberal” modern scholars today deal with Ramsay’s discoveries and others like them. In the NEW TESTAMENT : THE HISTORY OF THE INVESTIGATION OF ITS PROBLEMS, the German scholar Werner G. Kummel made no reference at all to Ramsay. This provoked a protest from British and American scholars, whereupon in a subsequent edition Kummel responded. His response was revealing. He made it clear that it was his deliberate intention to leave Ramsay out of his work, since “Ramsay’s apologetic analysis of archaeology [in other words, relating it to the New Testament in a positive way] signified no methodologically essential advance for New Testament research.” This is a quite amazing assertion. Statements like these reveal the philosophic assumptions involved in much liberal scholarship.A modern classical scholar, A.N.Sherwin-White, says about the Book of Acts: “For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming…Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must not appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken this for granted.”When we consider the pages of the New Testament, therefore, we must remember what it is we are looking at. The New Testament writers themselves make abundantly clear that they are giving an account of objectively true events.(Under footnote #98)Acts is a fairly full account of Paul’s journeys, starting in Pisidian Antioch and ending in Rome itself. The record is quite evidently that of an eyewitness of the events, in part at least. Throughout, however, it is the report of a meticulous historian. The narrative in the Book of Acts takes us back behind the missionary journeys to Paul’s famous conversion on the Damascus Road, and back further through the Day of Pentecost to the time when Jesus finally left His disciples and ascended to be with the Father.But we must understand that the story begins earlier still, for Acts is quite explicitly the second part of a continuous narrative by the same author, Luke, which reaches back to the birth of Jesus.Luke 2:1-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. [b]This was the first census taken while[c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.In the opening sentences of his Gospel, Luke states his reason for writing:Luke 1:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things[a]accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those whofrom the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellentTheophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f]taught.In Luke and Acts, therefore, we have something which purports to be an adequate history, something which Theophilus (or anyone) can rely on as its pages are read. This is not the language of “myths and fables,” and archaeological discoveries serve only to confirm this.For example, it is now known that Luke’s references to the titles of officials encountered along the way are uniformly accurate. This was no mean achievement in those days, for they varied from place to place and from time to time in the same place. They were proconsuls in Corinth and Cyprus, asiarchs at Ephesus, politarches at Thessalonica, and protos or “first man” in Malta. Back in Palestine, Luke was careful to give Herod Antipas the correct title of tetrarch of Galilee. And so one. The details are precise.The mention of Pontius Pilate as Roman governor of Judea has been confirmed recently by an inscription discovered at Caesarea, which was the Roman capital of that part of the Roman Empire. Although Pilate’s existence has been well known for the past 2000 years by those who have read the Bible, now his governorship has been clearly attested outside the Bible.Image result for bertrand russell__

ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES THAT DEBUNKED FALSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST THE BIBLE

1. Tel Dan Stele (Discovery: 1993-1994)

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/ancient-cultures/ancient-israel/meet-the-house-ofdavid-at-the-met/
13-by-16 inch c. 830 BC rock
What is clear is that the Aram-Damascene king Hazael brags of having killed 70 kings, including
of Israel and of the “House of David” (The round number, scholars agree, is probably
exaggerated, although Hazael did have a reputation for being ruthless and successful).
That the nation of Judah is referred to as the “House of David” is significant because it is the
only archaeological evidence of a historical David—a belief that had been hotly debated
prior to this discovery—thus substantiating part of the Biblical narrative.
1 Kings 19:15 (Hazael); 2 Kings 8:13 (Hazael)

2. Lysanias tetrarch of Abilene (Discovery: 1737)

http://formerthings.com/lysanias.htm
Archeologists found an inscription of the time of Jesus concerning Lysanias who was tetrarch of
Abila
Scholars at one time were skeptical of Luke being accurate in referring to Lysanius being
the tetrarch of Abilene around A. D. 27 when John the Baptist began his ministry. They could
only find one Lysanius in Roman records and he was the ruler of Chalcia fifty years
before the one Luke mentions.
However, the credibility of Luke’s gospel record continues to be reinforced by archeological
discoveries. An inscription was found on a temple from the time of Tiberius (the Roman emperor
from 14 – 37 AD), which named Lysanias as the Tetrach of Abila near Damascus, just as Luke
has written.
The temple inscription reads:
“For the salvation of the August lords and of all their household, Nymphaeus, freedman of Eagle
Lysanias tetrarch established this street and other things.”
The reference to August lords is a joint title given only to the emperor Tiberius (son of Augustus)
and his mother Livia (widow of Augustus). This reference establishes the date of the inscription
to between A.D. 14 and 29. The year 14 was the year of Tiberius’ accession and the year 29
was the year of Livia’s death.

3. Ebla archive (Discovery: 1974-1975)

http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-a008.html
Documents written on clay tablets from around 2300 B.C. demonstrate that personal and place
names in the Patriarchal accounts are genuine. The name “Canaan” was in use in Ebla, a name
critics once said was not used at that time and was used incorrectly in the early chapters of the
Bible. The word tehom (“the deep”) in Genesis 1:2 was said to be a late word
demonstrating the late writing of the creation story. “Tehom” was part of the vocabulary at
Ebla, in use some 800 years before Moses.

4. Hittites (City of Hattusa discovered 20th century)

http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/turkeyhattusa.htm
The Hittites were once thought to be a Biblical legend, until their capital and records were
discovered at Bogazkoy, Turkey.
The re-discovery of the city of Hattusa and a script referring to the ‘Great King’ of the Hittites has
led to confirmation that they were the fourth, great civilisation of ancient times.5. King Sargon (Discovery: 19th-20th century)http://www.cemml.colostate.edu/cultural/09476/iraq05-042.html
It was once claimed there was no Assyrian king named Sargon as recorded in Isaiah 20:1,
because this name was not known in any other record. Then, Sargon’s palace was discovered
in Khorsabad, Iraq. The very event mentioned in Isaiah 20, his capture of Ashdod, was recorded
on the palace walls. What is more, fragments of a stela memorializing the victory were found at
Ashdod itself.6. Pool of Siloam (Discovered 2004)http://creation.com/focus-281#siloam
‘Scholars have said that there wasn’t a pool of Siloam and that John was using a
religious conceit’ (to illustrate a point) said James H. Charlesworth of Princeton Theological
Seminary. ‘Now we have found the pool of Siloam … exactly where John said it was.’ A Gospel
that was thought to be ‘pure theology is now shown to be grounded in history’, he said.

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7. Sir William Mitchell Ramsay, Historical Accuracy of Luke-Acts (19th-20th century)

https://books.google.com/books?id=NC9VAAAAMAAJ&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_ge_su
mmary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false
http://www.wayoflife.org/database/bibles_proof.html
William Ramsay, a Scottish archaeologist, went to Asia Minor with the expressed purpose of
proving the BIBLE was historically inaccurate. As he painstakingly poured over the ancient
artifacts and details, to his amazement he found that the BIBLE was accurate down to the
tiniest detail. The evidence was so convincing that Sir Ramsay himself became a Christian and
a great Biblical scholar.
“The more I have studied the narrative of the Acts, and the more I have learned year after year
about Graeco-Roman society and thoughts and fashions, and organization in those provinces,
the more I admire and the better I understand. I set out to look for truth on the borderland where
Greece and Asia meet, and found it here. You may press the words of Luke in a degree beyond
any other historian’s, and they stand the keenest scrutiny and the hardest treatment, provided
always that the critic knows the subject and does not go beyond the limits of science and of
justice.”
MORE ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES THAT
CONFIRM THE HISTORICAL RELIABILITY OF THE
BIBLEImage result for sir william ramsay archaeologist

8. Nebo-Sarsekim – chief officer of Nebuchadnezzar (Discovery: 19th century)

http://www.biblearchaeology.org/post/2008/04/28/Nebo-Sarsekim-Found-in-BabylonianTablet.aspx
http://creation.com/new-archaeological-find-affirms-old-testament-historicity
Dr Irving Finkel, a British Museum expert, said, ‘This is a fantastic discovery, a world-class find.
If Nebo-Sarsekim existed, which other lesser figures in the Old Testament existed? A
throwaway detail in the Old Testament turns out to be accurate and true. I think that it means
that the whole of the narrative [of Jeremiah] takes on a new kind of power.’
Michael Jursa, a visiting professor from Vienna, made the discovery. The name on the tablet,
Nabu-sharrussu-ukin, seemed familiar and he recalled that Jeremiah 39:3 mentions ‘NeboSarsekim
a chief officer’ of Nebuchadnezzar who came into Jerusalem when Jerusalem was
besieged and conquered.

9. Sennacherib’s Campaign Against Judah

http://www.truth-that-matters.com/assyria.htm
http://www.bible-history.com/empires/prism.html
Campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib against Judah (2 Kings 18:13-16), as recorded on
the Taylor Prism
– “Because Hezekiah, king of Judah, would not submit to my yoke, I came up against him,
and by force of arms and by the might of my power I took 46 of his strong fenced cities;
and of the smaller towns which were scattered about, I took and plundered a countless
number. From these places I took and carried off 200,156 persons, old and young, male
and female, together with horses and mules, asses and camels, oxen and sheep, a
countless multitude; and Hezekiah himself I shut up in Jerusalem, his capital city, like a
bird in a cage, building towers round the city to hem him in, and raising banks of earth
against the gates, so as to prevent escape… Then upon Hezekiah there fell the fear of
the power of my arms, and he sent out to me the chiefs and the elders of Jerusalem with
30 talents of gold and 300 talents of silver, and diverse treasures, a rich and immense
booty… All these things were brought to me at Nineveh, the seat of my government.”
– As recorded by Josephus, Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities, book ten, verses 21-23 relate
an account by the Babylonian historian Berossus, in which Berossus claims a disease
befell an Assyrian army led by the Rabshakeh, and one hundred and eighty-five
thousand men were lost. Earlier in the book, the account of Herodotus is also
mentioned.
The differences in these accounts from the Biblical account is normal, considering the fact that
the Assyrian/Babylonian historians would try to paint a positive picture of this story, instead of
choosing to recognize the divine intrusion in favor of their enemies (Kingdom of Judah).
WHYRelated posts:

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FRANCIS SCHAEFFER ANALYZES ART AND CULUTURE Part 256 Review by Slim Jim : Art and the Bible: Two Essays by Francis A. Schaeffer (Featured artist is Brian Jungen)

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This is one of the books I recommended for this year’s Christian worldview and apologetics presents suggestion.

art-and-the-bible1

This is a good introduction to a Christian view on art. They say don’t judge a book by it’s cover and for this work I would also add that neither should you judge a book by it’s size–the book turned out to be better than I expected. Francis Schaeffer delivers in this work that’s really two chapters/essay that lays the foundation for the development of a Christian view of art. In the first chapter, Schaeffer attempts to establish Biblically that art is a godly pursuit. He begins his case with the Lordship of Christ, in which Christ and God is in charge of every area of the Christian life including their creative pursuits. Acknowledging that some Christians invoke the Ten commandments of not having graven images as an objection towards art, Schaeffer has a beautiful and powerful presentation of the Biblical data that this cannot be what the prohibition means since the Bible has arts. Schaeffer surveys the Tabernacle, the Temple and Solomon’s temple for evidence that God approves of art and even biblically backs up a case for poetry, dance and drama. In chapter two, Schaeffer goes over ten principles concerning the direction of how Christians ought to pursue their venture with art and how to evaluate art. I thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated his four criteria of evaluating art: 1.) Technical abilities (artistic skills), 2.) validity (Schaeffer meant whether they are attempting to really show what the artist believed, or whether they have become mercenaries in their art), 3.) their worldview intellectual content and 4.) message’s relationship to the artistic vehicle. Delineating these four criteria proves to be helpful and can help us as Christians become more nuance when we say what we mean when we dislike a work of art and/or why we like it though not everything is good about it. Excellent work, I thoroughly recommend it.

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The Story of Francis and Edith Schaeffer and Swiss L’Abri

Francis Schaeffer: Art and the Bible

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How Should We Then Live – Episode 8 – The Age of Fragmentation

Book Summary of Art in the Bible by Francis Schaeffer

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

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Francis Schaeffer – How Should We Then Live – 03.The Renaissance

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HowShouldweThenLive Episode 6

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Featured artist is Brian Jungen

Brian Jungen

Brian Jungen was born in Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada in 1970. He draws from his family’s ranching and hunting background, as well as his Dane-zaa heritage, when disassembling and recombining consumer goods into whimsical sculptures. Jungen transforms plastic chairs into whale skeletons, garbage bins into a giant turtle carapace, sewing tables into a basketball court, golf bags into towering totem poles, and collectible Nike Air Jordan shoes into objects resembling both the ceremonial masks of British Columbian coastal tribes and abstract modernist sculptures.

At once direct and disarming, Jungen’s sculptures are entirely familiar in their material and assembly and yet still trick the eye through complex and deft illusions. He has created many works involving animals, from habitats and playgrounds for household pets, to paintings and drums utilizing stretched and tanned hides—demonstrating an interdependence between people and other species as well as between aesthetic form and function. While exquisite for their craftsmanship and graphic use of pattern and color, Jungen’s works also contain subtle critiques of labor practices, global capitalism, and cultural stereotypes.

Brian Jungen attended Emily Carr College of Art + Design (BFA, 1992). Jungen’s awards and residencies include the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (2010), Capp Street Project (2004), Sobey Art Award (2002), and The Banff Centre for the Arts residency (1998). Jungen has had major exhibitions at Hannover Kunstverein (2013); Bonner Kunstverein (2013); Art Gallery of Ontario (2013, 2011); Documenta (2012); Shanghai Biennial (2012); Smithsonian Institute—National Museum of the American Indian (2009); Sydney Biennale (2008); Witte de With, Rotterdam (2007); Lyon Biennial (2007); Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2006); Tate Modern, London (2006); Vancouver Art Gallery (2006); New Museum, New York (2005); and the Vienna Secession (2003), among others. Brian Jungen lives and works in North Okanagan, BC, Canada.

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 151d Sir Bertrand Russell placed absolute faith in the doctrine of uncertainty and he rejected the notion of absolute truth, except when it came to his firm belief in his doctrine of doubt!

 

Image result for bertrand russell
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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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Harry Kroto

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

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

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In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

Bertrand Russell’s Greatest Paradox was His Faith

The views expressed by the author do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of The Christian Post or its editors.

Bertrand Russell was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, and social critic. He is recognized as one of the most important logicians of the 20th Century. He is also credited for showing that the naive set theory created by Georg Cantor leads to a contradiction. This is known as “Russell’s paradox.”

Seemingly unbeknownst to Russell however, his greatest paradox was actually his faith. He was a man who placed absolute faith in the doctrine of uncertainty. He rejected the notion of absolute truth, except when it came to his firm belief in his doctrine of doubt. Russell explained it this way: “In all affairs it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.” Jesus, on the other hand, taught his disciples to always rest certain of His Word and His love for them. Russell taught people to reject any sense of certainty. He said, “I would never die for my beliefs because I might be wrong.” That worship of uncertainty was Russell’s undoing and his ultimate paradox.

On March 6, 1927, he delivered a lecture entitled, “Why I Am Not a Christian.” It is a revealing presentation which clearly shows the difference between the mind of natural man and the enlightened mind of a Christian believer. In this lecture, Russell accused religion of being “based primarily and mainly upon fear.” Not only was he mistaken on that account, but ironically he was the one actually basing his own philosophy on the fear of being wrong. He was terrified to place absolute trust in something because in his mind, it might eventually be proven false. That fear kept him bound in chains to his skepticism. This is where his longing for rationality made him irrational. He was the poster child for fear-based living. It consumed him. It enslaved him. And it motivated him to reject Christ.

Interestingly, Russell’s doubts led him to place tremendous confidence in his own intelligence. It is a very proud and misguided position. As the Scripture says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.” (Proverbs 14:12) For Russell, the world needs man much more than man needs God. In explaining why he was not a Christian, he said the world “needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.”

Christians trust in Jesus Christ as their personal Savior. Bertrand Russell trusted in his intelligence as his personal savior. The problem is that his savior cannot truly save. His savior is very weak when compared to God. His savior is limited to human reason and man’s understanding. There is a higher level of reason which man desperately needs to acquire. This higher level of sanctified reason is only reached after you trust Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and save your soul. Up until that point, man is basing his conclusions on a limited amount of information and an uninspired level of human reason. “For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” (1 Corinthians 1:25)

No wonder Russell, amidst all of his intelligence, never found any ultimate satisfaction in life. He repeatedly refused to humble himself before the Lord. Yet he found himself often trying to explain away the very God which he argued wasn’t needed or real. He had made a conscious decision during his teenage years to reject God and the Bible once and for all. From that period forward, it was obvious that Russell had an axe to grind with God. There was a chip on his shoulder and Jesus Christ was one of his favorite targets.

In fact, Russell went so far as to say: “Historically it is quite doubtful whether Christ ever existed at all, and if he did we do not know anything about him.” It is astounding that a man with his intellect could be so ignorant regarding the historicity of Jesus of Nazareth. That is how far into the realm of irrationality he was driven by his doctrine of uncertainty. It is truly mind-boggling.

His rejection of Christ was very much related to his denial of his own sinful condition. In his 1927 lecture he said, “When you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings.”

Rather than it being an illuminated insight, Russell’s rejection of personal sin was his Achilles’ heel. He respected himself too much to bring himself to admit before God that he was a sinner and in need of salvation. In the end, his deep struggle was not really an intellectual one. It was a moral struggle. It was a moral refusal to admit fault, blame, sin, and the need for God to save him. Therefore, he resorted to trusting his own intelligence to save him not from sin, but from fear. Even then, Russell found that his savior could not deliver him from the very thing he dreaded the most.

By the end of his earthly journey, Russell’s savior left him no different than before. He was just as fearful, if not more so. If any rational person today wants to see where “self-respecting intelligence” ultimately leads, just examine Bertrand Russell. No real hope. No real peace. And absolutely no certainty. A mind is a beautiful thing to waste. And it sure makes a sorry excuse for a savior.

Bertrand Russell was a walking paradox. His life was a permanent contradiction. He ended up doing the very thing he was most afraid of doing, and he trusted in something which he should have known would fail him. His pride blinded him to the contradiction that was his life. It became an infinite loop. A mathematician of Russell’s caliber should have been able to recognize such a thing. This loop has continued for him beyond the grave. His worst fears have now been realized.

In fear he ran from fear. In fear he also ran from God. In so doing, Russell became locked in his own mental contradiction. He couldn’t, or wouldn’t, get out of it. He lived and died without trusting in the One Person who could have delivered him from his paradoxical and misplaced faith. What a sad life and tragic end for a man who had so much human potential. If anyone could ever have been saved by logic alone, it was Bertrand Russell.

God said, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” (1 Corinthians 1:19) Bertrand Russell experienced that frustration more than most. Unfortunately, his life’s message was seen as foolishness from the grandstand of heaven. The message of heaven is only understood by those who become humble before their Creator. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18)

Bertrand Russell was too proud to allow himself to be “saved” from anything, least of all his sin before a holy God. He rejected that doctrine as being beneath his dignity and mental superiority. After all, he was Bertrand Russell. Even his four wives and many mistresses over the years seemed to do little if anything to ever make him feel personally guilty for any wrongdoing. He was too self-absorbed to sincerely love God or to truly love a woman. “He seemed detached in mind and body,” one mistress wrote, “but all the furies of hell raged in his eyes.”

With God out of the way, Russell felt free to explore relationships with many women without being burdened down by any absolute set of sexual ethics. His lustful romantic relationships were every bit as paradoxical as his faith in the doctrine of uncertainty. In fact, they fed off each other and fueled even more exploration and an unwillingness to make a lifetime commitment to one woman or to God’s one set of values. At the end of the day, the driving forces of his life were passionate sex with multiple partners and passionate uncertainty in multiple disciplines.

Bertrand Russell is a classic example of how radical skeptics come and go. Meanwhile, “God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.” (Psalm 53:2) When will man wise up and recognize the limitations and contradictions of his own intelligence?

Dan Delzell is the pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb. He is a regular contributor to The Christian Post.

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Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

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Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

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. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

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

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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.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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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Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

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John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

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Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Great debate Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

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RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 151c Bertrand Russell’s  perfect unshakable implicit faith in an uniformity of natural causes in a closed system

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Bertrand Russell as a child.

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

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

In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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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Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true.

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Francis Schaeffer noted concerning the IMPLICIT FAITH of Bertrand Russell:

I was lecturing at the University of St. Andrews one night and someone put forth the question, “If Christianity is so clear and reasonable then why doesn’t Bertrand Russell then become a Christian? Is it because he hasn’t discovered theology?”

It wasn’t a matter of studying theology that was involved but rather that he had too much faith. I was surrounded by humanists and you could hear the gasps. Bertrand Russell and faith; Isn’t this the man of reason? I pointed out that this is a man of high orthodoxy who will hold his IMPLICIT FAITH on the basis of his presuppositions no matter how many times he has to zig and zag because it doesn’t conform to the facts.

You must understand what the term IMPLICIT FAITH  means. In the old Roman Catholic Church when someone who became a Roman Catholic they had to promise implicit faith. That meant that you not only had to believe everything that Roman Catholic Church taught then but also everything it would teach in the future. It seems to me this is the kind of faith that these people have in the uniformity of natural causes in a closed system and they have accepted it no matter what it leads them into. 

I think that these men are men of a high level of IMPLICIT FAITH in their own set of presuppositions. Paul said (in Romans Chapter One) they won’t carry it to it’s logical conclusion even though they hold a great deal of the truth and they have revolted and they have set up a series of universals in themselves which they won’t transgress no matter if they conform to the facts or not.

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 1:18-20 Amplified Bible :

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].

We can actually see the two points makes playing themselves out in Bertrand Russell’s own life.

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[From a letter dated August 11, 1918 to Miss Rinder when Russell was 46]

It is quite true what you say, that you have never expressed yourself—but who has, that has anything to express? The things one says are all unsuccessful attempts to say something else—something that perhaps by its very nature cannot be said. I know that I have struggled all my life to say something that I never shall learn how to say. And it is the same with you. It is so with all who spend their lives in the quest of something elusive, and yet omnipresent, and at once subtle and infinite. One seeks it in music, and the sea, and sunsets; at times I have seemed very near it in crowds when I have been feeling strongly what they were feeling; one seeks it in love above all. But if one lets oneself imagine one has found it, some cruel irony is sure to come and show one that it is not really found.
The outcome is that one is a ghost, floating through the world without any real contact. Even when one feels nearest to other people, something in one seems obstinately to belong to God and to refuse to enter into any earthly communion—at least that is how I should express it if I thought there was a God. It is odd isn’t it? I care passionately for this world, and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted—some ghost, from some extra-mundane region, seems always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand the message. But it is from listening to the ghost that one comes to feel oneself a ghost. I feel I shall find the truth on my deathbed and be surrounded by people too stupid to understand—fussing about medicines instead of searching for wisdom. Love and imagination mingled; that seems the main thing so far.

During Bertrand Russell’s lifetime (1872-1970) there lived another scholar who also doubted that the Bible was true and his name was Sir William Mitchell Ramsay (1851-1939. Ramsay taught from 1885 to until his retirement in 1911 but he continued writing books.

Wikipedia notes:

In 1880 Ramsay received an Oxford studentship for travel and research in Greece. At Smyrna, he met Sir C. W. Wilson, then British consul-general in Anatolia, who advised him on inland areas suitable for exploration. Ramsay and Wilson made two long journeys during 1881-1882.

He traveled widely in Asia Minor and rapidly became the recognized authority on all matters relating to the districts associated with St Paul’s missionary journeys and on Christianity in the early Roman Empire. Greece and Turkey remained the focus of Ramsay’s research for the remainder of his academic career. In 1883, he discovered the world’s oldest complete piece of music, the Seikilos epitaph. He was known for his expertise in the historic geographyand topography of Asia Minor and of its political, social, cultural, and religious history. He was Fellow of Exeter College, Oxford, in 1882.

From 1885 to 1886 Ramsay held the newly created Lincoln and Merton professorship of classical archaeology and art at Oxford and became a fellow of Lincoln College (honorary fellow 1898). In 1886 Ramsay was appointed Regius Professor of Humanity at the University of Aberdeen. He remained affiliated with Aberdeen until his retirement in 1911. 

What information did William Ramsay find out about the accuracy of the Bible? 

Francis Schaeffer discusses Ramsay’s life below:

TRUTH AND HISTORY (chapter 5 of WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?, under footnotes #97 and #98)

A common assumption among liberal scholars is that because the Gospels are theologically motivated writings–which they are–they cannot also be historically accurate. In other words, because Luke, say (when he wrote the Book of Luke and the Book of Acts), was convinced of the deity of Christ, this influenced his work to the point where it ceased to be reliable as a historical account. The assumption that a writing cannot be both historical and theological is false.

The experience of the famous classical archaeologist Sir William Ramsay illustrates this well. When he began his pioneer work of exploration in Asia Minor, he accepted the view then current among the Tubingen scholars of his day that the Book of Acts was written long after the events in Paul’s life and was therefore historically inaccurate. However, his travels and discoveries increasingly forced upon his mind a totally different picture, and he became convinced that Acts was minutely accurate in many details which could be checked.

What is even more interesting is the way “liberal” modern scholars today deal with Ramsay’s discoveries and others like them. In the NEW TESTAMENT : THE HISTORY OF THE INVESTIGATION OF ITS PROBLEMS, the German scholar Werner G. Kummel made no reference at all to Ramsay. This provoked a protest from British and American scholars, whereupon in a subsequent edition Kummel responded. His response was revealing. He made it clear that it was his deliberate intention to leave Ramsay out of his work, since “Ramsay’s apologetic analysis of archaeology [in other words, relating it to the New Testament in a positive way] signified no methodologically essential advance for New Testament research.” This is a quite amazing assertion. Statements like these reveal the philosophic assumptions involved in much liberal scholarship.

A modern classical scholar, A.N.Sherwin-White, says about the Book of Acts: “For Acts the confirmation of historicity is overwhelming…Any attempt to reject its basic historicity, even in matters of detail, must not appear absurd. Roman historians have long taken this for granted.”

When we consider the pages of the New Testament, therefore, we must remember what it is we are looking at. The New Testament writers themselves make abundantly clear that they are giving an account of objectively true events.

(Under footnote #98)

Acts is a fairly full account of Paul’s journeys, starting in Pisidian Antioch and ending in Rome itself. The record is quite evidently that of an eyewitness of the events, in part at least. Throughout, however, it is the report of a meticulous historian. The narrative in the Book of Acts takes us back behind the missionary journeys to Paul’s famous conversion on the Damascus Road, and back further through the Day of Pentecost to the time when Jesus finally left His disciples and ascended to be with the Father.

But we must understand that the story begins earlier still, for Acts is quite explicitly the second part of a continuous narrative by the same author, Luke, which reaches back to the birth of Jesus.

Luke 2:1-7 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all [a]the inhabited earth. [b]This was the first census taken while[c]Quirinius was governor of Syria. And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a [d]manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

In the opening sentences of his Gospel, Luke states his reason for writing:

Luke 1:1-4 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile an account of the things[a]accomplished among us, just as they were handed down to us by those whofrom the beginning [b]were eyewitnesses and [c]servants of the [d]word, it seemed fitting for me as well, having [e]investigated everything carefully from the beginning, to write it out for you in consecutive order, most excellentTheophilus; so that you may know the exact truth about the things you have been [f]taught.

In Luke and Acts, therefore, we have something which purports to be an adequate history, something which Theophilus (or anyone) can rely on as its pages are read. This is not the language of “myths and fables,” and archaeological discoveries serve only to confirm this.

For example, it is now known that Luke’s references to the titles of officials encountered along the way are uniformly accurate. This was no mean achievement in those days, for they varied from place to place and from time to time in the same place. They were proconsuls in Corinth and Cyprus, asiarchs at Ephesus, politarches at Thessalonica, and protos or “first man” in Malta. Back in Palestine, Luke was careful to give Herod Antipas the correct title of tetrarch of Galilee. And so one. The details are precise.

The mention of Pontius Pilate as Roman governor of Judea has been confirmed recently by an inscription discovered at Caesarea, which was the Roman capital of that part of the Roman Empire. Although Pilate’s existence has been well known for the past 2000 years by those who have read the Bible, now his governorship has been clearly attested outside the Bible.

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Image result for sir william ramsay archaeologistLuke’s Accuracy 
Introduction: 
Luke was a physician and historian who authored the Gospel that bears his name and the book of Acts which is the story of the fledgling church. Together these two books make up close to one quarter of the New Testament. The fact that Luke was obviously an intelligent and educated man who wrote very eloquently in near classical Greek takes a back seat to whether or not he was an accurate historian. In other words, was Luke a credible witness to the events he wrote about.The fact that Luke was so meticulous about recording dates, names, titles, locations and other details, makes it relatively easy to check his facts. However, all too many times, scholars and critics pooh-poohed something Luke wrote, only to have him proved right by a subsequent archaeological discovery.Lysanius
For example, Luke was extremely precise about when John the Baptist’s ministry began…Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, and Herod was tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip was tetrarch of the region of Ituraea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene, ….  (Luke 3:1 NASB)Many critics scoffed at the idea that Lysanius was tetrarch of Abilene, because the only known Lysanius was ruler of Chalcis (a town on the island of Euboea in Greece) about 50-60 years earlier. However, the discovery of an inscriptions from Abila (northwest of Damascus) showed that an official named Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene between the years AD 14 and 29. Apparently there were two government officials with the same name.Sergius Paulus
Similarly, in Acts 13:7, Luke also said the proconsul was an intelligent man called Sergius Paulus. This was also rejected by critics, until an 1887 discovery of an inscription which said a Sergius Paulus was appointed as proconsul in A.D. 47.

Related posts:

 

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part C (Kroto’s admiration of Bertrand Russell examined)

Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:   Gareth Stedman […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were  atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 (More On) Woody Allen’s Atheism As I wrote in a previous post, I like Woody Allen. I have long admired his […]

John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

______ Top 10 Woody Allen Movies PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 01 PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 02 __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Great debate Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 151b Sir Bertrand Russell “I do not believe in God and in immortality!” But Ecclesiastes 3:11 notes “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

This issue of Ecclesiastes 3:11 playing out in people’s hearts is examined more in the earlier blog post dealing with my challenge to CSICOP entitled “RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part B (Kroto was a member of CSICOP).”

Image result for bertrand russell
1589 × 1960Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More
Image result for bertrand russell
200 × 255Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More

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

__

Harry Kroto

Image result for harry kroto
538 × 379Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More

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

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

_

In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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)

__

Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

Bertrand Russell and Christianity, Part 1Bertrand Russell and Christianity, Part 1

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was one of the most influential opponents of Christianity of this century. When he won the Nobel Prize in Literature (1950), he was characterized as one “who constantly figured as a defender of humanity and freedom of thought.” Actually, he was a militant defender of skepticism and a dedicated enemy of Christianity. Nevertheless, the Swedish Academy described him as “one of our times’ most brilliant spokesmen of rationality and humanity.”

On March 6, 1927, in London, Professor Russell delivered a lecture titled, “Why I Am Not a Christian,” which set forth the philosopher’s objections to the Christian faith. That speech was transcribed and has since been widely circulated throughout the world. What were the arguments he employed in defense of his criticisms? If the “most brilliant spokesman” of agnosticism in the modern world can be adequately answered, surely little attention will have to be given to those of lesser stature.

Russell’s objections to Christianity fell into two categories. First, if one claims to be a Christian he must believe in God and immortality. But, he said, “I do not believe in God and in immortality.”

Second, he declared that if one professes Christianity, he must believe that Christ was divine, or at least the best and wisest of men. But Russell said:

I do not think that Christ was the best and wisest of men, although I grant him a very high degree of moral goodness (1957, 4-5).

We will not pause to ponder how Jesus could claim to be deity, not be, yet still be described as possessed of “moral goodness,” or how the British sage even arrived at a determination of what “goodness” is. We will just reflect upon his major objections.

The Existence of God

Russell gives several reasons why he rejected the concept of God. Actually, he responded to theistic arguments that have been advanced across the centuries.

Struggling with a First-Cause

Professor Russell repudiated the cause-and-effect argument because, he said, “if everything must have a cause, then God must have a cause” (Ibid., 6). He misstated the argument. We contend that every effect must have a cause. God is not an effect. Thus it is not necessary to postulate a cause for him.

Logic forces us to conclude that ultimately there was a Cause that was uncaused, or eternal. If something exists now, then something must have existed always, for something cannot come from nothing. Something does now exist; thus, something has existed always. That something is not matter, for matter is not eternal (as any physicist knows). Consequently, that eternal, uncaused Something must be non-material, and so, is the Cause of all material effects. The Bible identifies that eternal Cause/Mind as God (Psalm 90:2).

But Mr. Russell contended that there “is no reason why the world could not have come into being without a cause; nor, on the other hand, is there any reason why it should not have always existed” (Ibid., 7). Neither of these positions is reasonable. The world could not have created itself because matter does not have that ability. If matter can create itself, there ought to be evidence that such is occurring. But the First Law of Thermodynamics indicates that matter is not being created; we must therefore conclude that matter cannot be self-caused.

Moreover, it is now almost universally acknowledged—as a consequence of the Second Law of Thermodynamics—that the universe has not always existed. As Dr. Robert Jastrow, an agnostic, concedes: “[M]odern science denies an eternal existence to the Universe” (1977, 15).

Struggling with Design

Russell criticized the argument from design, though he had a very defective understanding of it. He described it like this. The world appears to have been “made just so that we can manage to live in it,” and if it was “ever so little different, we could not manage to live in it. That is the argument from design” (Ibid., 9). He ridiculed believers whom he claimed argue the case for design by suggesting that the rabbit was given a white tail so that the hunter can see better to shoot him. This is a gross misrepresentation of the design argument. It is much easier to set up a straw man and knock it down, than to deal responsibly with an argument.

The design argument simply says: where there is design, there must be a designer.This principle is not even denied by modern agnostics. Paul Ricci calls it “an analytically true statement” (1986, 190). If it can be shown that the universe is characterized by design, then it must have had a designer. An increasing number of scientists are intrigued by what has come to be known as the Anthropic Principle, i.e., the concept that the universe is characterized by numerous incredible “coincidences” which accommodate human existence (cf. Glynn 1996, 28ff). It appears that Someone planned the Cosmos for human habitation. Elsewhere we have demonstrated that even unbelievers have acknowledged design, as such is exhibited in the human body (see Jackson 1993).

Russell alleged, however, that the “defects,” that are apparent on our planet, argue against the notion of design. There were several flaws in his reasoning. First, one does not have to demonstrate design in everything to show that there is design in some things. Only an adequate case is necessary. Second, it is quite possible that genuine design is present in an object even though unrecognized. For years scientists saw no purpose in the human appendix; now its function is very well documented. Third, degeneration (cf. Romans 8:20ff) accounts for the lack of apparent design in some things. But even a watch that no longer functions still reveals the rudiments of design (see Some Atheistic Arguments Answered).

Struggling with Morality

The moral-law argument suggests that there is, in all men, a recognition of the existence of moral obligation, i.e., a sense of oughtness—an acknowledgment that there is a difference between right and wrong. This we call conscience. Conscience does not define morality (objective revelation—the Bible—is required for that), but it does testify that moral sensitivity exists in men (animals do not have it). This moral law implies a moral law-giver, which Scripture reveals as God.

Russell avoided confronting this argument head-on. He merely said that if the difference between right and wrong is due to God’s fiat, “then for God himself there is no difference between right and wrong” (Ibid., 12). Frankly, that statement is meaningless. It does not state a sensible proposition—a logical truth. God’s directives regarding right and wrong are based upon his own eternal (Psalm 90:2), unchanging (Malachi 3:6), and holy (Isaiah 6:3) nature (cf. 1 Peter 1:15).

But note this. Russell declared: “I am not for the moment concerned with whether there is a difference between right and wrong, or whether there is not” (Ibid., 12).

How very convenient. The reason the philosopher was not interested in discussing the difference between right and wrong is obvious. Once you assert there is a difference, you are obligated to defend some standard by which your judgment is made. Russell had none, and so he decided to skirt the issue. He was not courageous enough to say, as did his atheistic colleague Jean Paul Sartre, that since there is no God, anything you want to do is permitted (Marsak 1961, 485).

When it came to dealing with his own children, however, Mr. Russell was quite concerned with the difference between right and wrong. His daughter, Katharine Tait, wrote that he taught his family that they ought to live unselfishly so as to make others happy, etc. Yet, all the while, he theoretically argued that there was “no rational ground for this view.” She said his arguments convinced neither her nor himself! (1975, 182,185).

Struggling with Injustice

Thoughtful people have frequently reflected upon the fact that there appears to be considerable injustice in the world. Good people suffer, and, as Job once expressed it, “the tents of robbers prosper” (12:6). This circumstance seems to make no sense. Even Russell called it “annoying” (Ibid., 13)—though why it should be, from the vantage point of his philosophy, it is difficult to say.

Reason would suggest, however, that if there is such a thing as justice, there must be a reckoning—a judgment where wrongs are made right—beyond this life. Mr. Russell rejected this longing of the human spirit. To him it was no different than opening a crate of oranges and finding rotten ones on top. Would one logically expect to find, he wondered, good oranges down below, just to establish a principle of justice? No, not at all. But what does that have to do with us? Human beings are not oranges! No spoiled orange ever felt enraged at some perceived sense of orange-injustice. We do not suppose that oranges even contemplate the problem.

Russell concluded, in fact, that injustice in the world constitutes a moral argument against the existence of deity? How so? If there is no moral standard, why even suggest that there is such a thing as injustice. The professor’s arguments against belief in God were invalid.

Part 2 of this series will address Russell’s criticisms of Christ.

REFERENCES
  • Glynn, Patrick. 1996. Beyond The Death of God. National Review, May 6.
  • Jackson, Wayne. 1993. The Human Body—Accident or Design?. Stockton, CA: Courier Publications.
  • Jastrow, Robert. 1977. Until The Sun Dies. New York, NY: Warner Books, Inc.
  • Marsak, Leonard, ed. 1961. French Philosophers from Decartes to Sartre. New York, NY: Meridian Books.
  • Ricci, Paul. 1986. Fundamentals of Critical Thinking. Lexington, MA: Ginn Press.
  • Russell, Bertrand. 1957. Why I Am Not a Christian and other essays on religion and related subjects. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  • Tait, Katharine. 1975. My Father Bertrand Russell. New York, NY: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich.
SCRIPTURE REFERENCES
Psalm 90:2; Romans 8:20; Malachi 3:6; Isaiah 6:3; 1 Peter 1:15
CITE THIS ARTICLE
Jackson, Wayne. “Bertrand Russell and Christianity, Part 1.” ChristianCourier.com. Access date: July 7, 2018. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/10-bertrand-russell-and-christianity-part-1

Image result for bertrand russell

Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

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. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

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

_

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.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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.

____

Related posts:

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Pausing to take a look at the life of HARRY KROTO Part C (Kroto’s admiration of Bertrand Russell examined)

Today we look at the 3rd letter in the Kroto correspondence and his admiration of Bertrand Russell. (Below The Nobel chemistry laureates Harold Kroto, Robert Curl and Richard Smalley) It is with sadness that I write this post having learned of the death of Sir Harold Kroto on April 30, 2016 at the age of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 52 The views of Hegel and Bertrand Russell influenced Gareth Stedman Jones of Cambridge!!

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 _________________ Below you have picture of Dr. Harry Kroto:   Gareth Stedman […]

WOODY WEDNESDAY John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

Top 10 Woody Allen Movies __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were  atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 (More On) Woody Allen’s Atheism As I wrote in a previous post, I like Woody Allen. I have long admired his […]

John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!!

______ Top 10 Woody Allen Movies PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 01 PBS American Masters – Woody Allen A Documentary 02 __________ John Piippo makes the case that Bertrand Russell would have loved Woody Allen because they both were two atheists who don’t deny the ramifications of atheism!!! Monday, August 06, 2012 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Great debate Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 2)

Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of UK/BBC copyright. Pardon the hissy audio. It was recorded 51 […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript and audio (Part 1)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 4)

THE MORAL ARGUMENT     BERTRAND RUSSELL But aren’t you now saying in effect, I mean by God whatever is good or the sum total of what is good — the system of what is good, and, therefore, when a young man loves anything that is good he is loving God. Is that what you’re […]

Bertrand Russell v. Frederick Copleston debate transcript (Part 3)

Fr. Frederick C. Copleston vs Bertrand Russell – Part 1 Uploaded by riversonthemoon on Jul 15, 2009 BBC Radio Third Programme Recording January 28, 1948. BBC Recording number T7324W. This is an excerpt from the full broadcast from cassette tape A303/5 Open University Course, Problems of Philosophy Units 7-8. Older than 50 years, out of […]

RESPONDING TO HARRY KROTO’S BRILLIANT RENOWNED ACADEMICS!! Part 151a Sir Bertrand Russell “No one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God.” 

Image result for bertrand russell
200 × 255Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More

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

__

Harry Kroto

Image result for harry kroto
538 × 379Images may be subject to copyrightLearn More

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

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

_

In  the first video below in the 14th clip in this series are his words and I will be responding to them in the next few weeks since Sir Bertrand Russell is probably the most quoted skeptic of our time, unless it was someone like Carl Sagan or Antony Flew.  

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)

__

Quote from Bertrand Russell:

Q: Why are you not a Christian?

Russell: Because I see no evidence whatever for any of the Christian dogmas. I’ve examined all the stock arguments in favor of the existence of God, and none of them seem to me to be logically valid.

Q: Do you think there’s a practical reason for having a religious belief, for many people?

Russell: Well, there can’t be a practical reason for believing what isn’t true. That’s quite… at least, I rule it out as impossible. Either the thing is true, or it isn’t. If it is true, you should believe it, and if it isn’t, you shouldn’t. And if you can’t find out whether it’s true or whether it isn’t, you should suspend judgment. But you can’t… it seems to me a fundamental dishonesty and a fundamental treachery to intellectual integrity to hold a belief because you think it’s useful, and not because you think it’s true._

Bertrand Russell – Faith Bully

Faith Bully

Every generation has its favorite faith bullies and mine was Bertrand Russell. Russell was a British philosopher and logician. He was also one of the leading social critics of his time. He was born in 1872 and died in 1970 – my last full year as an atheist.

I read many of Russell’s books, articles and essays in the 1960s and early 70s. Some of my favorites were “Why I Am Not A Christian,” “Free Thought and Official Propaganda,” “A Free Man’s Worship,” and “Am I An Atheist Or An Agnostic?” I say “were” because I stopped agreeing with Russell 40 years ago. Mr. Russell was wrong and my goal as a free-thinking person is to be right.

Bertrand Russell used to say, “No one can sit at the bedside of a dying child and still believe in God.” I understand the argument because I used it, but how does sitting at the bedside of a dying child prove there is no God? It doesn’t. What the question does is cause some people of faith to question God. Why would my God let an innocent child suffer and die? For people who do not believe, the question confirms what they think about faith in God. They view faith as silly, childish, infantile.

Faith bullies say things like that to attack the minds and hearts of people. Most people love children and the thought of a child dying is difficult to accept. We look at children with hope for their future. When a child dies, their future is cut short. So, if there is a God, why would He let a child die?

Why indeed! It was never God’s intention that children should die. It was never God’s intention that anyone would die. He Created the human race to live forever. So, who is to blame for the sad affairs of humanity that could see the death of a child? Let’s place the blame squarely on the shoulders of the living beings who caused this terrible thing – Satan, Adam and Eve. Satan deceived the first woman and her husband stood by and watched it happen. That’s who is to blame for the death of a child.

I realize that Russell would not agree with my defense because I believe in the God of the Bible. He didn’t believe in God. He didn’t believe in the Words of the Bible. Russell was an unbeliever. But that does not change the facts about the existence of God and the reliability of Scripture. If one person sees a burning building and another says there is no building so there could be no fire, it doesn’t change the fact that a building is on fire and people’s lives are in danger. I am not deterred from Truth just because some people don’t believe it. Who is the fool? The person saying the building is on fire or the person standing in front of the burning building saying there is no building and no fire? The fool has said in his heart, there is no God.

Bertrand Russell said and wrote many other things during his lifetime to bully people of faith. He had a profound effect on people of my generation and the generation before, and he continues to impact the thinking of atheists and agnostics today. Because of that, we will revisit Russell’s words again, along with those who are following in his bullying footsteps.

Russell may be dead, but his lies are still being told. And whose lies are they? They come from the first liar – the father of lies – Satan. Remember what we learned about how Satan attacks. Bertrand Russell was just a man. It is the spiritual power behind Russell and those like him that we need to guard against.

In Christ’s Love and Grace,

Mark McGee

Faith Defense

Francis Schaeffer in his fine book about modern man ESCAPE FROM REASON  states,

“the True Christian position is that, in space and time and history, there was an unprogrammed man who made a choice, and actually rebelled against God…without Christianity’s answer that God made a significant man in a significant history with evil being the result of Satan’s and then man’s historic space-time revolt, there is no answer but to accept Baudelaire’s answer [‘If there is a God, He is the devil’] with tears. Once the historic Christian answer is put away, all we can do is to leap upstairs and say that against all reason God is good.”(pg. 81)

(Francis Schaeffer pictured below)

Image result for bertrand russell

Bertrand Russell pictured above and Francis Schaeffer below:

Image result for francis schaeffer

Francis Schaeffer noted in his book HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? (p. 182 in Vol 5 of Complete Works) in the chapter The Breakdown in Philosophy and Science:

In his lecture at Acapulco, George Wald finished with only one final value. It was the same one with which English philosopher Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) was left. For Wald and Russell and for many other modern thinkers, the final value is the biological continuity of the human race. If this is the only final value, one is left wondering why this then has importance. 

Now having traveled from the pride of man in the High Renaissance and the Enlightenment down to the present despair, we can understand where modern people are. They have no place for a personal God. But equally they have no place for man as man, or for love, or for freedom, or for significance. This brings a crucial problem. Beginning only from man himself, people affirm that man is only a machine. But those who hold this position cannot live like machines! If they could, there would have been no tensions in their intellectual position or in their lives. But even people who believe they are machines cannot live like machines, and thus they must “leap upstairs” against their reason and try to find something which gives meaning to life, even though to do so they have to deny their reason. 

Francis Schaeffer in another place worded it like this:

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. 

We all know deep down that God exists and even atheists have to grapple with that knowledge.

Solomon wisely noted in Ecclesiastes 3:11 “God has planted eternity in the heart of men…” (Living Bible). No wonder Bertrand Russell wrote in his autobiography, “It is odd, isn’t it? I feel passionately for this world and many things and people in it, and yet…what is it all? There must be something more important, one feels, though I don’t believe there is. I am haunted. Some ghosts, for some extra mundane regions, seem always trying to tell me something that I am to repeat to the world, but I cannot understand that message.”

Take a look at this 7th episode from Schaeffer’s series “HOW SHOULD WE THEN LIVE? The Age of Nonreason”:

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

_

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.

Schaeffer then points to the historical accuracy of the Bible in Chapter 5 of the book WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE HUMAN RACE?

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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